We wanted to hear from the people that use these lands to understand how they are valued by our community.
FINDING TANGIBLE BENEFITS.
This survey gathered input from Kittitas County community members to understand how a locally designed and managed community forest can bring tangible benefits to our community while ensuring permanent protection of and access to this iconic landscape.
The survey was made available online and as a paper questionnaire located at several community businesses. The survey was conducted between September 7th, 2020 to November 6th, 2020, and consisted of 12 questions. In total, 674 people responded to the survey, 424 of which were residents. You can download the full report for more in-depth information. Below we share some key takeaways we learned from listening to you.
Who Took The Survey?
Based upon whether participants selected that they were a community member (permanent resident, part-time resident, college student) or a visitor (weekend visitor and other), 61% of respondents are residents. We are happy to have reached recreation users from near and far.
More about who took the survey...
Mostly male community members and visitors completed the survey, followed by females and non-binary/no answer respectively. The most common age group was 45-54 and tapered off as participants got younger and older.
Where did survey takers value?
This shows the proportion of respondents that ‘valued’ or ‘highly valued’ each area. Three quarters of the respondents at least valued each area.
How did benefits rank?
Most participants ranked each benefit rather high. Visitors value recreation, access, and local economies significantly more than community members.
How did priorities rank?
Community members value forest health, water, fish & wildlife, and cultural heritage significantly more than visitors, while visitors value recreation, public access, and local economy more than community members. For both groups, forest health is the highest ranked priority.
What draws residents?
Community members ranked most features that draw them higher than visitors. Both groups agree that recreation is the biggest draw. Access and views follow closely in second and third. Though 'traditional uses' was not identified by those responding to the survey, it is a known value held by local tribes.
What would be lost?
Community members and visitors alike believe recreation would be the greatest loss should these lands be developed, followed by scenic value, health & wellness, and solitude. Community members fear the loss of intrinsic value – the belief that these lands are worth more than the benefits we derive from them - almost twice as much as visitors.