The number of off-highway vehicle (OHV) users in the U.S. 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. While most people ride responsibly, a few riders leave lasting impacts by traveling off roads and trails and creating unauthorized routes. Unmanaged OHV use affects wetlands and wildlife habitat, erodes soils, damages cultural resources and spreads invasive species.
State and county governments manage public roads, provide access to National Forest System (NFS) lands and represent private landowners within and adjacent to NFS lands. OHV riders and non-motorized recreation visitors share an interest in enjoying outdoor recreation in a natural environment. We are working collaboratively with federal, state, county, and tribal agencies, motorized and non-motorized recreation user groups, conservationists and others to provide access to NFS lands on routes and in areas that are environmentally and socially sustainable. Many roads and trails are maintained and improved through cooperative relationships.
Motorized recreation is an appropriate use of national forests and grasslands. A managed system of roads, trails, and areas designated for motor vehicle use will better protect natural and cultural resources, address use conflicts, and secure sustainable opportunities for public enjoyment of national forests and grasslands.
Roles and Responsibilities
- Travel Management Rule sets nationwide, consistent guidelines for the process.
- Regional forester provides region wide guidelines for the forests.
- Forest supervisor provides forest wide consistency in process.
- District ranger develops proposal for a designated system of roads, trails and areas.
What can you do?
Motorized travel is an appropriate use of NFS lands - your ideas can help us manage this use on our forests. Our ultimate goal in the planning process is to designate a system of roads, trails, and areas open to motorized use – you can help us create a manageable and sustainable motorized travel system.
Your ideas about motorized travel management are welcome any time. If you recreate on the national forests in the Southwestern Region, we want to hear from you!
- Read the Travel Management Rule and accompanying information.
- Review maps of existing forest system and compare to roads and trails you use.
- Contact a Forest Service office to get involved in the process.
- Attend a meeting to become better informed.
How soon will these changes happen?
- Districts are preparing preliminary proposals for a designated travel system now.
- Proposals for designated travel systems are expected on some National Forests as early as October 2006.
- Environmental analysis will occur in 2007 to 2009.
- Final motor vehicle use maps will be published by 2009 and available from local office or on the Internet.
Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM)
NOTE: These are large files. We recommend that you right click on the links and save the PDF to your computer. If you would like a hard copy of these maps, please contact one of our forest offices.
- Travel Management Rule (219 KB PDF): On November 2005, the Forest Service announced final travel management regulations governing off-highway vehicles (OHV) and other motor vehicle use on national forests and grasslands.
- Implementation Guidelines (115 KB PDF)
- State OHV/ATV Laws (Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas)
- National Travel Management Program - Information pertinent to the Agency nationwide.
- Overview for Prescott National Forest (20 KB PDF)
- Frequently Asked Question for Prescott National Forest (20 KB PDF)
344 S. Cortez St.
Prescott, AZ 86303