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Coconino Natl' Forest
Supervisor's Office

1824 S. Thompson St.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Office: (928) 527-3600
Fax: (928) 527-3620

Mon-Fri, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

 

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Travel Management Environmental Impact Statement

Thank you for visiting the Coconino National Forest's Travel Management Planning website.

     
 

The Coconino National Forest signed a Record of Decision on the Travel Management Project on September 28, 2011. This decision and the Final Environmental Impact Statement are available below. Implementation of these new rules went into effect on May 1, 2012. An updated Motor Vehicle Use Map is available beginning May 1, 2013.

 

 

 

Travel Management Record of Decision (ROD)

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 (782kb .pdf) – 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 (3.27MB .pdf) – 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 (165kb .pdf) – 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 (90kb .pdf)– This appendix includes the amendments to the Coconino National Forest Plan
  • Index (41kb .pdf) – 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 (2.50MB .pdf) – 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 (2.11MB .pdf)
  • Map 2 of Alternative 1 (1.62MB .pdf) – No Action Alternative
  • Map 3 of Alternative 3 (1.44MB .pdf) – Preferred Alternative
  • Map 4 of Alternative 4 (1.77MB .pdf) – Enhanced Recreation Alternative
  • Map 5 (1.63MB .pdf) – Motorized access under Alternative 1
  • Map 6 (1.12MB .pdf) – Motorized access under Alternative 3
  • Map 7 (1.15MB .pdf) – Motorized access under Alternative 4

Should you want a full copy of both Volume 1 (Chapters 1-4, references, index, and Appendix A and B) and Volume 2 (response to comments), you can download the combined 795-page document here (6.05MB .pdf).

The seven maps can be downloaded in a combined pdf document here (9.69MB .pdf). (If you have trouble opening this file due to the large size, right click and "save-as" for downloading.)

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.

 

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. We expect the MVUM to be published and available in April 2012. This provides time for the 45-day appeal period and for the processing of any appeals received on the Travel Management decision. Until the publication of the MVUM, existing rules will be in effect.

In addition to the MVUM, the Coconino National Forest has drafted several implementation plans to guide how the new rules affecting motorized use will occur. These plans are working documents and may be changed as needed based on new information, lessons learned, or new resources or ideas become available.

Background

On November 2, 2005, the Forest Service announced final travel management regulations governing OHVs and other motor vehicle use on national forests and grasslands. Under the new rules, forests that do not restrict motor vehicle travel to "designated roads-and-trails" must do so. Motor vehicles must remain on designated roads and trails systems while on the National Forest.

Under the current rules, the Coconino National Forest does not have a forest-wide designated road or trail system; cross-country motorized travel is permitted except in areas that are signed closed or restricted to seasonal use. For example, a large area around Sedona restricts motorized travel to designated routes only.

Current regulations in effect today on the Coconino National Forest are explained on the OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLES page.

In order to better comply with the new rule, the Coconino Forest has identified a system of roads, areas, and trails across the entire forest to remain open to motorized use and which will be socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable over time. The selected alternative included in the Record of Decision is based on efforts to review and incorporate comments on thousands of miles of roads throughout the Forest.

 

What is the Travel Management Rule?


The final travel management rule requires 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).
  • Designated roads, trails, and areas shall be identified on a motor vehicle use map (MVUM) (36 CFR 212.56).
  • Once the map is published, motor vehicle use inconsistent with designations is prohibited (36 CFR 261.13).
  • Until designation is complete, current rules and authorities remain in place.

Criteria for evaluating and designating routes (36 CFR 212.55) are largely derived from Executive Order 11644.

 

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.

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.

 

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. [More]

 

Documents

Our online document archive will contain important documents related to the travel management process as they are developed. [More]

 

Contact Us

Should you have any questions or need help accessing information on this webpage, please contact us. [More]

 

Shape the Future of the Coconino National Forest

The Coconino National Forest is beginning two major planning efforts that will shape future management and enjoyment of this treasured land. Through these efforts the public will be able to share opinions about national forest management including outdoor recreation, wildlife management, fire protection and others. [Click Here for 9/29/2006 news release

 

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. [More]

 




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