USFS releases Final Rule for Motorized Rec
Recreational Vehicle use on National Forests and Grasslands
November 2, 2005
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service announced a new regulation for recreational motor vehicle use in national forests and grasslands on Wednesday, November 2nd. Recreational motor vehicles include OHVs, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), off-highway motorcycles (OHMs) and off-road vehicles (ORVs), such as 4-by-4 trucks or Jeeps.
The new travel management policy requires each national forest and grassland to identify and designate those roads, trails and areas that are open to motor vehicle use. Local units will seek public input and coordinate with federal, state, county and other local governmental entities as well as tribal governments before any decision is made on a particular road, trail or area. Unplanned, user-created routes will be considered at the local level during the designation process.
The Forest Service expects that it will take up to four years to complete the designation process for all 155 national forests and 20 grasslands. Each unit will publish a motor vehicle use map. Once the designation process is complete, motor vehicle use off these routes and outside those areas (cross-country travel) will be prohibited. This prohibition will not affect over-snow vehicles, such as snowmobiles.
The rule will impact motor vehicle use on roads, trails and areas under Forest Service management. State, county or other public roads within national forest and grassland boundaries will not be included in the designation process.
A copy of the new rule can be found at www.fs.fed.us.