COSA New Research: The COVID-19 Pandemic is Changing the Way People Recrea te Outdoors

Greetings Leave No Trace Supporters and Partners,

On March 11th, 2020, since the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic, daily life has been rapidly altered leading to changes in the way we spend time outside. To collect timely and relevant data on national recreation patterns, before, during, and after the pandemic, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics worked quickly with its research partner, Pennsylvania State University, to offer guidance to land managers, recreation providers, and outdoor enthusiasts across the country.

Over 1000 outdoor recreationists from the Leave No Trace community were surveyed in a 48-hour window from April 9-11, 2020. The results of this assessment are intended to provide valuable information for managing the changing recreational use of public lands, predicting spikes in recreation, and offering insight for land managers as they work to protect the natural world.

The tables, figures, and corresponding brief descriptions access by the link below are intended to provide initial results of this research effort. Further results are forthcoming. As are additional surveys to track trends over time.

See attached and:

Please feel free to distribute widely to your networks. Let me know if you have questions.

Hope you’re all safe and healthy.


Ben Lawhon, MS | Education Director

Leave No Trace

Center for Outdoor Ethics

PO Box 997 | Boulder, CO 80306

P 303.442.8222 x104

F 303.442.8217



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LandManager-CoronaSurvey – FINAL.pdf