2014 Vermont Backcountry Survey
Thank you to everyone who took the time to fill out forester Dun Cochrane’s Vermont backcountry survey, and share their valuable perspectives on backcountry skiing and riding in Vermont. Dun conducted the survey as part of his graduate research work with Antioch College. We helped him promote the survey, and he was kind enough to share the results with Vermont’s backcountry community. The survey is simply one of MANY tools we are using to better understand Vermont’s evolving backcountry skiing and riding community.
A summary of the survey results was presented at the 2nd Annual Vermont Backcountry Forum in in Rochester, VT (November 2014), where much additional and very helpful input from the community was gathered. (Thanks again! to everyone who attended)
The survey results indicate strong support for the following:
• Ongoing conservation of Vermont’s diverse backcountry environments
• Large areas should be left unmanaged and “wild”
• Locally-supported, grassroots efforts around creating more bc skiing/riding options in a variety of terrain types, for skiers/riders of all abilities
• Responsible and ecologically-sensitive management of both existing & new bc zones
• Monitoring of ongoing impacts of backcountry skiing/riding activity
• Backcountry skiing/riding could be an important economic force in Vermont, while promoting health and wellness
• The VTBC/CTA functioning as a voice for Vermont’s broader backcountry community, while facilitating future backcountry projects and programs
• Projects and programs should be pursued in close collaboration with existing user groups
• Greater education around backcountry safety and stewardship is needed
If you missed the chance to weigh in on the survey, please chime in anytime by leaving a comment on the VTBC Facebook page. While the complete, raw survey results are a bit too cumbersome to post here, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy. Please consider that the survey was by no means conducted scientifically, but rather, serves simply as a useful gauge of the perspectives and ideas offered by the 500+ individuals that took the time to participate.