To learn more about the experiences of visitors to national wildlife refuges, the Human Dimensions Branch of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partnered with a team of social science researchers from the School of Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University and staff from the American Conservation Experience (ACE).

This national visitor survey (NVS) aims to provide managers, planners, visitor services specialists, and the public with reliable baseline data about refuge visitors and their experiences at refuges. Survey results can inform the management and planning of visitor services, facilities, and experiences from a field station to a national level. In particular, the results of this effort can inform site-specific decisions related to Comprehensive Conservation Plans, associated step-down plans, and transportation plans.

Results of this work reflect myriad recreation activities, trip characteristics, contributions to local economies, and beliefs about the importance and satisfaction of vital aspects of the National Wildlife Refuge System. More than 10,000 visitors from over 75 refuges nationwide have told us about their experiences, and we are excited to share results with you!

Explore the report for any refuge sampled during 2018 and 2019, and find out which refuges are the focus of our 2022 survey efforts!