Discover Your Forest + US Forest Service: Strategic consulting uncovers new opportunities to engage visitors

Discover Your Forest (DYF) promotes the discovery of Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and Crooked River National Grassland by enriching the experience of visitors, building community support and creating the next generation of environmental stewards.

DYF’s new leadership team was ready to explore using digital technology to connect visitors and volunteers to its services and expand its donor base. Our discovery process uncovered strategic opportunities for integrating digital solutions that DYF hadn’t considered possible or affordable – launching them into a new phase of innovation and expansion.

Empowering visitors with easy access to information

DYF’s wanted a digital kiosk at the new Cascade Lakes Welcome Center that gave visitors simple access to trail and permitting info. Our team built a custom web app leveraging their existing US Forest Service databases, making trail and use information user-friendly and instantly available to visitors. Directly after launch, the Forest Service began evaluating the web app for regional offices in the Northwest and beyond.


  • Easy, 24-7 access to visitor information
  • Increased permitting revenue
  • New digital solution for Forest Service visitor services

“Partnership with Effectual helped us engage with a wider audience than we’d ever imagined. Their strategic guidance was invaluable and it shows in our final product.”

Rika Nelson / Executive Director, Discover Your Forest

Mobile app transforms visitor engagement

As conversations evolved, Effectual encouraged DYF to look beyond the web app to a mobile solution that could engage visitors anywhere. The Forest Service had shelved the idea of a mobile app in the past due to cost and technical issues. New research and some collective problem-solving revealed that going mobile was within reach and within budget.


  • Simple UX makes trail and permit info easy to discover
  • Expanded engagement and access beyond bricks and mortar experience
  • Leveraged existing technology platforms with little added cost
  • Created a standardized, clean set of data deployable across other Forest Service locations

Deep dive business strategy delivers outstanding online experience

Last, the DYF static website needed a complete redesign to boost engagement and connect visitors and volunteers to the group’s mission. Effectual guided their team through an in-depth planning process to identify key personas and calls to action that would drive design and user experience and deliver desired outcomes.


  • Finely tuned UX development and design aligned with business goals
  • Responsive web design and implementation
  • Improved analytics

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