Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Releases Travel Management Plan
Release Date: Mar 15, 2012
Contact: Holly Krake; 541-523-1246
The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest (WWNF) has released the new Travel Management Plan, which will guide changes to motor vehicle use on public lands.
The WWNF Travel Management Plan will:
Balance motor vehicle access and recreation, while still protecting forest resources.
Improve the quality of motorized trails, including creating loop routes and managed jeep and motorcycle trails.
Expand motor vehicle opportunities in high-priority areas such as Breshears trail system, Winom-Frazier trail system, Spring Creek and trails around Sumpter.
Protect threatened and endangered fish and their habitat.
Improve big game security in 17 critical elk habitat areas.
Improve non-motorized recreation and hunting opportunities
Forest Service Public Affairs Officer, Holly Krake stated, “Through the 2012 Travel Management Plan, the WWNF and collaborative groups have worked to strike a balance between providing motor vehicle-related recreational opportunities in areas of high interest to the public while reducing effects to resources in areas of concern.”
Beginning in the summer of 2012, routes must be designated as open for motorized use on a Forest Service Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) in order to operate a motor vehicle on a road or trail in the WWNF. If a route is not designated open then it is closed to all motor vehicles; no cross-country travel is allowed. The WWNF is making these changes in accordance with the 2005 Forest Service’s Travel Management Rule.
The WWNF will publish free Motor Vehicle Use Maps this summer, which show all roads, trails and areas open for motorized travel. Motor Vehicle Use Maps will be available at the ranger districts and headquarters office, as well as online at www.fs.usda.gov/wallowa-whitman. The first part of implementation will focus on education. Given the change in motor vehicle use the Forest Service wants to provide time for the public to understand the new rules.
Currently available online is the Record of Decision, the Final Environmental Impact Statement and the Selected Alternative Maps.
Off-route access will be allowed within 300 feet on either side of designated motor vehicle roads to access dispersed campsites, day use parking, and firewood removal with a valid fuel wood removal permit.
Wallowa-Whitman Forest Supervisor, Monica Schwalbach said, “I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in this process including private citizens, local interest groups and non-profit organizations. I hope that we can work together to ensure the success of the WWNF Travel Management Plan.”