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John Stewart

Interim Trail Directives Issued

[Federal Register: October 16, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 201)]
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE - Forest Service

National Trail Classification System, FSM 2350 and FSH 2309.18

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of issuance of interim final directives and public comment period.

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John Stewart

Roads by Definition

Roads by Definitionby: John StewartNatural Resources ConsultantCalifornia Association of 4 Wheel Drive ClubsThe Forest Service is embarked on a mission to evaluate and designate routes of travel within the National Forest System. The final product will be a Motor Vehicle Use Map. The central theme of the MVUM is to designate the routes of travel open for public use. Current policy stipulates the MVUM will be subject to annual review and update.The map will highlight the terms and definitions which are provided below. The USDA Forest Service recognizes five road maintenance levels (Source: Forest Service Handbook 7709.58.10):Level 1: Is assigned to intermittent service roads during the time they are closed. The closure period must exceed 1 year. Basic maintenance is performed to keep damage to adjacent resources to an acceptable level and to perpetuate the road for future use. The road may be of any type or construction standard or may be managed at any other maintenance level when open. When at level 1, roads are closed to vehicular traffic, but may be open and suitable to non-motorized uses.Level 2: Roads are for high clearance vehicles only. Passenger cars are not a consideration. Traffic levels are minor and usually consist of administrative, permitted, recreation, or other dispersed use.Level 3: Roads are open and maintained for a prudent driver in a standard passenger car. User comfort and convenience are not considered priorities. These roads are typically low speed, single lane with turnouts and spot surfacing.Level 4: Roads provide a moderate degree of user comfort and convenience at moderate travel speeds. Most roads are double lane and aggregate surfaced. Some roads may be single lane, paved, or dust abated.Level 5: Roads provide a high degree of user comfort and convenience. These roads are normally double lane and paved. Some may be aggregate surfaced and dust abated.

Click on the MUIRNet Notebooks (Federal) menu option for additional information about the U.S. Forest Service.

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John Stewart

USFS Region 5 Travel Management Status

The following is USFS Region 5 Travel Management status as of Nov. 17, 2007.

Angeles Status (Updated 9/1/2007)Step 1 - Route Inventory CompleteStep 2 - Temporary Forest Orders N/A - Already have designated systemStep 3 - Proposed Actions Not planning to designate new routesStep 4 - NEPA Not necessary if new routes aren't proposedStep 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2008Forest Service Contact Raina Fulton 626-574-5278Cleveland Status (Updated 9/1/2007)Step 1 - Route Inventory CompleteStep 2 - Temporary Forest Orders N/A - Already have designated systemStep 3 - Proposed Actions See motorized route mapsStep 4 - NEPA Fall 2007Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2008Forest Service Contact Anne Carey858-674-2977Eldorado Status (Updated 10/25/2007)Step 1 - Route Inventory CompleteStep 2 - Temporary Forest Orders CompleteStep 3 - Proposed Actions CompleteStep 4 - NEPA DEIS completeStep 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2008Forest Service Contact 530-621-5276Humboldt-Toiyabe - Bridgeport District Status (Updated 8/27/2007)Step 1 - Route Inventory CompleteStep 2 - Temporary Forest Orders Complete for areas with resource concernsStep 3 - Proposed Actions Winter 2007Step 4 - NEPA Winter 2007Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2008Forest Service Contact David Loomis775-884-8132Humboldt-Toiyabe - Carson District Status (Updated 8/27/2007)Step 1 - Route Inventory CompleteStep 2 - Temporary Forest Orders Completed for areas with resource concernsStep 3 - Proposed Actions Fall 2007Step 4 - NEPA Fall 2007Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2008Forest Service Contact David Loomis775-884-8132Inyo Status (Updated 11/01/2007)Step 1 - Route Inventory CompleteStep 2 - Temporary Forest Orders Complete -- View Forest Order #04-07-01Step 3 - Proposed Actions Released sample proposals for Mammoth East & Inyo Mountains management areas on January 23Step 4 - NEPA NOI Issued October 1Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2008Note: Public comment deadline extended to December 15 Forest Service Contact Marty Hornick760-873-2461Klamath Status (Updated 8/1/2007)Step 1 - Route Inventory CompleteStep 2 - Temporary Forest Orders Will not undertake - resource conditions don't warrantStep 3 - Proposed Actions Step 4 - NEPA Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2009Forest Service Contact Bob Talley530-841-4423Lassen Status (Updated 10/25/2007)Step 1 - Route Inventory CompleteStep 2 - Temporary Forest Orders Forest Order issued June 6, 2007Step 3 - Proposed Actions Discussion Draft ReleasedStep 4 - NEPA NOI Issued October 25Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2008Forest Service Contact Allen Nosler530-252-6637Los Padres Status (Updated 10/3/2007)Step 1 - Route Inventory CompleteStep 2 - Temporary Forest Orders N/A - Already have a designated systemStep 3 - Proposed Actions Not planning to propose new routesStep 4 - NEPA Will conduct mixed-use analysis on the Santa Lucia & Mount Pinos Districts in 2007Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Issued MVUMs on the Monterey, Santa Barbara & Ojai Districts in February 2007Forest Service Contact Rick Larson805-961-5744Mendocino Status (Updated 10/16/2007)Step 1 - Route Inventory CompleteStep 2 - Temporary Forest Orders N/A -- Already have designated systemStep 3 - Proposed Actions Released November 2006Step 4 - NEPA Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2008Note: Documents cover two separate travel management proposals; Public comment period ends Nov 13, 2007Forest Service Contact Mike Van Dame530-934-1141Modoc Status (Updated 10/30/2007)Step 1 - Route Inventory CompleteStep 2 - Temporary Forest Orders Area closures in progressStep 3 - Proposed Actions December 2007Step 4 - NEPA Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2009Forest Service Contact Robert Haggard530-233-8840Plumas Status (Updated 5/15/2007)Step 1 - Route Inventory CompleteStep 2 - Temporary Forest Orders CompleteStep 3 - Proposed Actions "First Cut" Proposal -- Issued on April 3Step 4 - NEPA Fall 2007Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2008Forest Service Contact Fred Krueger530-283-7840San Bernadino Status (Updated 2/8/2007)Step 1 - Route Inventory CompleteStep 2 - Temporary Forest Orders N/A - Already have designated systemStep 3 - Proposed Actions Plan on minor adjustments through NEPAStep 4 - NEPA Proposed action issued January 30 (see maps)Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2008Forest Service Contact Chris Evans928-443-8282Sequoia Status (Updated 7/1/2007)Step 1 - Route Inventory CompleteStep 2 - Temporary Forest Orders CompleteStep 3 - Proposed Actions Will issue as part of NEPAStep 4 - NEPA NOI issued on June 15Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2008Forest Service Contact Chris Sanders 559-784-1500 ex 1131Shasta-Trinity Status (Updated 8/20/2007)Step 1 - Route Inventory Projected completion Summer 2007Step 2 - Temporary Forest Orders Do not plan on issuing forest orderStep 3 - Proposed Actions Step 4 - NEPA Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2009Forest Service Contact Brenda Tracy530-226-2340Sierra Status (Updated 11/01/2007)Step 1 - Route Inventory CompleteStep 2 - Temporary Forest Orders Will not issueStep 3 - Proposed Actions Proposed action maps availableStep 4 - NEPA NOI issued on September 11, 2007Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2008Note: Public comment period ends December 3, 2007 Forest Service Contact Susan Burkindine559-297-0706 x 4921Six Rivers Status (Updated 10/25/2007)Step 1 - Route Inventory Inventory maps released October 10, 2007Step 2 - Temporary Forest Orders Projected completion Fall 2007Step 3 - Proposed Actions Step 4 - NEPA EA released on Travel Management for Smith River NRA & Orleans District Roads EAStep 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2008Forest Service Contact Ray McCray707-574-6233Stanislaus Status (Updated 11/17/2007)Step 1 - Route Inventory CompleteStep 2 - Temporary Forest Orders Projected completion Spring 2007Step 3 - Proposed Actions Discussion proposals released in December 2006Step 4 - NEPA - Draft Proposal released 11/16/2007Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2008Note: Public comment period ends Jan 18, 2008Forest Service Contact Sue Warren209-532-3671Tahoe Status (Updated 10/30/2007)Step 1 - Route Inventory CompleteStep 2 - Temporary Forest Orders Complete -- View Forest OrderStep 3 - Proposed Actions CompleteStep 4 - NEPA NOI Issued April 11, DEIS to R5 Nov 16, 2007Step 5 - Motor Vehicle Use Map Projected completion 2008Forest Service Contact Phil Horning530-478-6210

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John Stewart

BLM Travel Management Program

(from the Bureau of Land Management Travel Management Program web site)

The BLM public lands host over 55 million recreation visitors annually – an increase of over 80% since 1990. BLM estimates that 22 million of these visitors participate in motorized recreation.

These include:9 million who participate in driving for pleasure;12 million who participate in off-highway vehicle travel;500,000 who participate in snowmobiling; and500,000 who participate in other specialized motorized sports, events, and activities.In compliance with Executive Orders, the BLM OHV regulations form a framework for the agency to establish management areas as either “open”, “limited”, or “closed” to off-road vehicle use. Certain BLM-managed lands also are categorized as “undesignated.”"Open" areas are areas where all types of vehicle use is permitted at all times, anywhere in the area."Limited" areas are areas restricted at certain times, in certain areas, and/or to certain vehicular use.“Closed” areas are those which are closed to all types of vehicle use and include units of the National Wilderness Preservation System.BLM management plans do not currently address motorized access in "undesignated" areas. Thus, these "undesignated" lands have no restrictions on motorized access. The vast majority of "undesignated" areas managed by the BLM are in Alaska. For the 258 million acres of BLM administered lands, the BLM’s current OHV designation status is approximately 32% “open”, 4% “closed”, 48% “limited”, and 16% “undesignated”. Included among the “open” areas, BLM manages approximately 100 specifically designated OHV riding areas.

Travel Management Guidance & Technical Reference

The BLM manages travel and transportation on public lands in accordance with existing laws, regulations and policies. Program policy guidance provides direction to the field for management and administration of all aspects of the travel management program. This guidance is developed at the National, State and District Office level, and includes regulations, manuals, handbooks, Strategic Action Plans, Instruction Memorandums and Information Bulletins. Following is a list of various laws, regulations and policies governing BLM’s travel management program.

Federal LawsThe Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) – FLPMA is the organic act that provides overall legislative direction to the BLM for all its management activities and responsibilities. Specific sections that pertain to BLM’s travel and transportation responsibilities include:43 U.S.C. §§1701 (a)(8) (§102(a)(8)): “the public lands be managed in a manner that will protect the quality of scientific, scenic, historical ecological, environmental, air and atmospheric, water resource, and archeological values; that, where appropriate will preserve and protect certain public lands in their natural condition; that will provide food and habitat for fish and wildlife and domestic animals; and that will provide for outdoor recreation and human occupancy and use.”43 U.S.C. §§1701 (a) (h): “The term ‘sustained yield’ means the achievement and maintenance in perpetuity of a high-level annual or regular periodic output of the various renewable resources of the public lands consistent with multiple use.”43 U.S.C. §§1732 (a): “The Secretary shall manage the public lands under the principles of multiple use and sustained yield, in accordance with the land use plans developed by him under §1712 of this title when they are available, except that where a tract of such public land has been dedicated to specific uses according to any other provisions of law it shall be managed in accordance with such law.”The National Trails System Act – Institutes a national system of recreation, scenic and historic trails. It also prescribes the methods and standards through which additional components may be added to the system. Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) – SAFETEA-LU authorizes the Federal surface transportation programs for highways, highway safety, and transit for 5 years (2005-2009). The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) – TEA-21 (1998, PL 105-178) authorizes the Federal surface transportation programs for highways, highway safety, and transit for the 6-year period 1998-2003. The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) – ISTEA (1991) provides policy for various transportation enhancement activities, National Scenic Byways, and the National Highway System. National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) – NEPA (PL 91-190, 83 Stat. 852) requires that certain federal projects and land use decisions include prescribed environmental review. The Wilderness Act of 1964 – Among other things, the Wilderness Act (Public Law 88-577) generally prohibits the use of motor vehicles in wilderness. The law contains special provisions for motor vehicle use when required in emergencies or as necessary for the administration of the area. Motor vehicles may also be permitted for special uses such as access to a private inholding, to support grazing, or to exercise valid existing rights.Executive OrdersExecutive Orders 11644 and 11989 were issued in the 1970s to established policies and procedures for regulating the use of off-highway (aka: off-road) vehicles of federal lands. Executive Order 11644 – Issued in February 1972 to establish policies and provide for procedures to control and direct the use of OHVs on Federal lands to: 1) protect the resources of those lands; 2) promote the safety of all users of those lands; and 3) minimize conflict between the use of OHVs and other types of recreation. The order closes wilderness and primitive areas to OHV use. It also requires the federal agencies to issue OHV use regulations, inform the public of the lands’ designation for OHV use through signs and maps, enforce OHV use regulations, and monitor the effects of OHV use of the land. Executive Order 11989 – Issued in May 1977 and contains three amendments to Executive Order 11644. While these amendments lifted restrictions on the use of military and emergency vehicles on public lands during emergencies, they otherwise strengthened protection of the lands by authorizing agency heads to: 1) close areas or trails to OHVs causing considerable adverse effects; and 2) designate lands as closed to OHVs unless the lands are specifically designated as open to them.RegulationsThe BLM developed regulations in response to applicable Federal laws and Executive Orders. These regulations require the BLM to designate areas where OHVs may be used and to manage the use of OHVs; to identify any adverse effects of OHV use; and to take appropriate steps to counteract such effects. Specific BLM travel management-related regulations include the following: 43 CFR 8340 – Off-Road Vehicles43 CFR 2800 – Rights-of-Way, Principles and Procedures43 CFR 3150 – Onshore Oil and Gas Geophysical Explorationwww43 CFR 3800 – Mining Claims Under the General Mining Laws43 CFR 9260 – Law Enforcement; CriminalBLM Strategic Action PlansThe following BLM Strategic Action Plans provide additional travel and transportation guidance. BLM’s National Management Strategy for Motorized Off-Highway Vehicle Use On Public Lands – Released in 2001, this Strategy is aimed at recognizing the interests of motorized OHV users while protecting environmentally sensitive areas on the public lands. The Strategy also seeks to focus the agency's resources on motorized OHV management on-the-ground (ie, at the local Field Office level). National Mountain Bicycling Strategic Action Plan –This Action Plan aims to facilitate providing high-quality mountain bicycling experiences on BLM-managed public lands. The Plan provides guidance for implementing resource protection measures for mountain bicycling use and other human-powered mechanical transport. November 2002. National Scenic & Historic Trails Strategy & Work Plan – The National Trails System Act of 1968 directed the BLM and other Federal agencies to achieve certain objectives and purposes for the development of the National Trail System. BLM’s National Scenic & Historic Trails Strategy provides a 10-year framework for the development of program guidance and direction for improved management of BLM’s National Scenic and Historic Trails program.Additional BLM Travel Management Policy Documents & Technical ReferencesBLM Roads and Trails Terminology Report – Provides BLM recommendations concerning the management of transportation-related linear features on public lands, including using a standard terminology, data management, data dictionary, and alignment of programs responsible for travel management functions. Interim Management Policy for Lands Under Wilderness Review, H-8559-1 – Contains specific direction on how BLM manages travel and transportation in areas found suitable for wilderness designation pending a final decision by Congress as to whether or not they should be included in the National Wilderness Preservation System. BLM Land Use Planning Handbook / Travel Management – This Handbook includes a section which requires BLM land use plans to delineate travel management areas and designated OHV management areas (H-1601-1; Appendix C, Section D). Other BLM Travel Management Manuals & Handbook Guidance – BLM’s directives system is comprised of individual Manuals and Handbooks for transmitting policy and instructions for travel management and related visitor services. (Most of this guidance is not available via the Internet; however, as new manuals and handbooks are developed they will be available electronically.) Planning and Conducting Route Inventories / BLM Technical Reference 9113-1 

For additional information about BLM Travel Management:

Travel Management ProgramPlanning & InventoryImplementationGuidance & Technical ReferenceOutreach & Partnerships
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