Forest Access and Travel Management
Forest Supervisor Tom Montoya received requests from Baker County and several organizations for more review time of the existing condition maps that displays both roads and motorized trails. “I understand that the Wallowa-Whitman is a large national forest with several maps needed to cover this extensive landscape. Therefore, I have decided to provide more time for reviewing these maps and submitting your corrections, now ending March 31, 2015,” shares Tom Montoya. Tom and the employees of the Wallowa-Whitman are committed to working closely with the public, Counties, and Tribes to make sure the maps depict the existing condition of the National Forest System roads and motorized trails, and current use. These maps were developed from input from public, counties and tribes, as well as Forest Service road data; and now the Forest is asking if this information is accurate.
News Release: Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Existing Condition Road Maps Ready for Review (Released August 18, 2014)
Newsletter: August 2014
Public Remarks & Clarifications to Existing Condition Road Maps
Recieved as of 2/6/2015
Guide to Providing Information about the Maps & How to Print the Maps
Existing Condition Information Forms
Dear Partners and Interested Public:
When I came to the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest (WWNF) in 2013, I heard from many of you that the Forest needed to get a better handle on the condition of the Forest Service system roads and motorized trails, and how they were being used. I agree with you that it is essential to have a map showing existing conditions before we can begin to discuss management of the Forest’s road and motorized trail system for the future. Some may wonder what we mean by existing conditions -- well are the roads being used, are they grown in, do they have vegetation blocking the road, etc. To complete accurate maps you asked me to produce, I asked WWNF staff members to create a map that depicts the existing condition of the Forest Service system road and motorized trail network. In developing the maps, we used our road database and compatible information provided by counties, organizations, and individuals during the travel management process, along with recent on-the-ground information provided by our Forest employees.
We have a set of DRAFT existing condition road and motorized trail maps now ready for your review and comment. We need your input to verify that these maps accurately reflect how the Forest system roads and motorized trails are being used. Please share your knowledge of the roads you enjoy and use, including how you use them during the year.
So, we need your help. Here’s my request to you or any other individuals you know who might want to help. Over the time between now and March 31, 2015, we ask that you check out the map to answer this one question, “Do these maps accurately reflect how the Forest Service system roads and motorized trails, that you are familiar with, are being used? If not, then please provide updated information to us utilizing the Existing Condition Road and Trail Information form we’ve provided.”
This request is not about whether a road or motorized trailshould be open or closed— it is only about whether the maps are correct regarding their condition and type of motorized use. Your information will help us update the maps this winter. Our plan is by spring, we will then use these updated existing condition road and motorized trail maps as the starting point to begin the official public planning process to be in compliance with the 2005 Travel Management Rule. This Rule does require every National Forest to complete a Motorized Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) at the end of the planning effort. The WWNF effort will include public involvement and official comment periods, in order to help the Forest identify a designated system of roads, trails, and areas for public motorized vehicle use on the WWNF. Once the travel management planning effort is complete, the network of designated roads, trails, and areas will be displayed on a MVUM.
It takes 19 maps to cover the travel planning area of the WWNF (except areas already covered by an existing travel plan, such as Hells Canyon NRA). I believe the maps are simple and understandable, and hope you do as well. The maps are drawn at a larger scale so they are easier to read and are labeled with the full 7-digit road number on each road making it easier to provide comments. Please continue reading to find out how you can view the maps and provide information.
I understand that this is a large undertaking. I hope you will join us in this important effort.
John Laurence, Forest Supervisor
Wallowa-Whitman National Forest
History and Background of Travel Management on the Wallowa-Whitman