Travel Management

Illustration of various recreation vehicles

Quick Summary

The Travel Management Rule is a collection of laws mandating the National Forests designate which roads, trails, and areas are open to motor vehicle use. The free Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) shows these open areas. Driving a car, truck, ATV, motorcycle, or any other motorized vehicle anywhere not shown as open to motor vehicle use on the MVUM is prohibited.

The MVUM is updated annually and available by May 1 of each year. Get a free copy of the current Coconino National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Map at one of our offices or by mail.

Read more about the background and access documentation about the Coconino National Forest's implementation of the Travel Management Rule below.

 

Table of Contents 

 

Introduction & Background 

What is the Travel Management Rule?


The final travel management rule [PDF, USFS] is a collection of laws mandating each National Forest System unit:

  • Shall designate those roads, trails, and area open to motor vehicle use by vehicle class and, if appropriate, by time of year (36 CFR 212.51 [GPO]).
  • Designated roads, trails, and areas shall be identified on a motor vehicle use map (MVUM) (36 CFR 212.56 [GPO]).
  • Once the map is published, motor vehicle use inconsistent with designations is prohibited (36 CFR 261.13 [GPO]).
  • Until designation is complete, current rules and authorities remain in place.

Criteria for evaluating and designating routes (36 CFR 212.55 [GPO]) are largely derived from Executive Order 11644 [National Archives].

 

Why is Travel Management Planning Important?

Ruts caused by vehicles on wet and muddy roads.Outdoor recreation is central to our work. The demand for recreation opportunities is growing. These opportunities connect people with the land and foster healthy lifestyles.

Motorized recreation is a legitimate use of our national forests. The rule provides a uniform set of guidelines for travel management decisions. This will result in consistent, high quality motorized recreation opportunities on designated roads, trails, and areas on national forests and grasslands.

Route designations will involve working with local communities. The final rule itself doesn’t open or close a single route. Those decisions will be made at the local level in a fair and open travel planning process that anyone can join. Working with local communities, interest groups and tribal governments over the next three years will result in a system of designated routes and areas tailored to local conditions and needs.

Together, we’ll sustain our natural resources. The rule addresses the growing demand for motorized recreation while protecting the environment and assuring that our national forests and grasslands provide clean air, clean water, and abundant wildlife for future generations.

 

Background

The number of OHV users in the Unites States has climbed tenfold in the past 32 years, from approximately 5 million in 1972 to 51 million in 2004. The Forest Service now manages more than 300,000 miles of road and 35,000 miles of trail for motor vehicle use. More than 11 million people using OHVs visited national forest and grasslands in 2004. See the original Travel Management Rule (TMR) Proposed Action.

 

Why Change OHV Use on Arizona's National Forests?

More Americans than ever are using off-highway vehicles (OHV) to enjoy the outdoors. Nowhere is this more apparent than in our own state of Arizona where OHV ownership has skyrocketed. Read the Why Change OHV Use on Arizona's National Forests? brochure [PDF].

 

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Documents 

Our online document archive contains important documents related to the travel management process as they are developed. Access the Travel Management Rule (TMR) Documents archive.

 

Travel Management Record of Decision (ROD) 

 

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Travel Management Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) 

The Travel Management Final Environmental Impact Statement is a very large document. For your convenience, this document is being provided in several segments to facilitate faster and easier downloads and opening of the document:

  • FEIS Chapters 1 and 2 [PDF 782 kB] – This section includes background information, the purpose and need, a summary of public participation, a description of alternatives, and alternatives considered but eliminated from detailed study.
  • FEIS Chapter 3 [PDF 3.3 MB] – This is a large section which includes detailed analysis for all Forest resources including recreation, economics, wildlife, soil and water quality, invasive species, scenery, and others.
  • FEIS Chapter 4 and References [PDF 165 kB] – This section includes information on preparers and contributors, organizations who were informed and/or contributed, and a list of referenced information and studies used in the analysis.
  • Appendix A [PDF 90 kB]– This appendix includes the amendments to the Coconino National Forest Plan
  • Index [PDF 41 kB] – This includes an index with page numbers for all topics discussed in the analysis of the alternatives in the FEIS.
  • FEIS Volume II, Response to Comments [PDF 2.5 MB] – Responses to all comments representing concerns, issues, or mistakes that were submitted during the comment period on the DEIS (March 19 – May 3, 2010).
  • Map 1 of existing closures and motorized restrictions [PDF 2.1 MB]
  • Map 2 of Alternative 1 [PDF 1.6 MB] – No Action Alternative
  • Map 3 of Alternative 3 [PDF 1.4 MB] – Preferred Alternative
  • Map 4 of Alternative 4 [PDF 1.8 MB] – Enhanced Recreation Alternative
  • Map 5 [PDF 1.6 MB] – Motorized access under Alternative 1
  • Map 6 [PDF 1.1 MB] – Motorized access under Alternative 3
  • Map 7 [PDF 1.2 MB] – Motorized access under Alternative 4

If you would prefer to receive a hard-copy of these documents or a compact disc with these materials, please contact Mike Dechter at 928-527-3416 or via e-mail at mdechter@fs.fed.us.

 

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Implementation of the Decision 

The Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) is a free map that will show all of the routes, trails, and areas open to motorized use. The first version of the MVUM was published and available in April 2012. This map is updated and re-published every year. Learn more and get a free copy of the current MVUM.

In addition to the MVUM, the Coconino National Forest has an implementation plans to guide management of motorized use, signage, enforcement, monitoring, and rehabilitation and restoration of previously roaded areas. These plans are working documents and may be changed as needed based on new information, lessons learned, or new resources or ideas become available.”
 

 

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Proposed Changes to Motor Vehicle Use Designations 

The Coconino National Forest is considering changes to which roads, trails, and areas are open to motor vehicle use on the Forest and would like your input. In September 2011, the Coconino National Forest completed analysis of motorized use designations required by the Travel Management Rule (TMR; 36 CFR 212). Since this decision, the Forest has received helpful feedback to modify road, trail and area designations to better support a fun, safe, and ecologically sustainable motorized roads system. To make these designation changes, the Forest is initiating the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) planning process to receive specific feedback on the proposed motor vehicle use designation changes. The proposal and supporting documents can be accessed at the links below. The comment period closed July 2016.

 

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Future Planning 

All visitors and neighbors of the Coconino National Forest will be invited and are encouraged to take part in helping to identify roads, areas, and trails to remain open to motorized use on the forest. If you would like to be involved in our travel management planning process or receive information about our progress, please contact us. We would also like to hear your ideas about how you would like to interact with our planning team, both now and over the course of the project.

 

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Contact Us 

Should you have any questions or need help accessing information, please contact us.

 

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Related Resources 

  • Motor Vehicle Use Map: Know before you go! Get a free copy of the official MVUM, and download the digital companion Travel Map for your smartphone or GPS!
  • Quiet Areas: Special seasonal closures to protect big game winter habitats and provide quiet hunting areas (part of Forest Order 04-00-146).
  • Forest Order 04-00-146 - Off-Road Vehicle Restrictions: the Off-Road Management Plan (exhibit A) is a map of seasonal and permanent vehicle use closure areas (which are incorporated into the MVUM).
  • Forest Orders: A full list of current closures, restrictions, and prohibitions on the Coconino National Forest.

 

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