Subpart B - Travel Management Project

Routes designated in Travel Management Subpart B are included as part of the current road system. The designation of these roads was the result of considerable analysis along with public involvement in the site-specific environmental analysis using NEPA with a decision by the responsible official. These roads are part of the designated National Forest Road System.

In 2011, a U.S. District Court Judge found that the Forest Service failed to comply with the National Forest Management Act (NFMA) when it designated 42 existing wheeled motorized vehicle routes that cross portions of meadows with their 2008 Public Wheeled Motorized Travel Management Decision (see below). The order stated that the Forest Service failed to complete a required Riparian Conservation Objective analysis for standards and guidelines in its Land and Resource Management Plan pertaining to segments that cross meadows. In response to the court's order the Eldorado closed the affected routes with a forest order, revised it's Motor Vehicle Use Map,  analyzed the 42 routes in a supplemental EIS, held open houses for public comments, created a plan for repairing the meadows that were actually affected (18) and have been repairing them as funding and resources allowed.

Status: 

All routes are completed.

Topics

Please select from the following options to learn more.

Vehicle Travel on the Eldorado

Over 1,800 miles of roads and trails across the Forest are designated for wheeled motor vehicle travel. Vehicle travel off these designated roads and trails is prohibited. The following link has the current Motor Vehicle Use maps, information about the seasonal road closure and other related information.

42 Route Project Updates

The update contains the progress of the temporary road closures and the status of project planning for the 18 routes.

Routes that have been RE-OPENED

  • 09N08 Stockton Camp Road - opened September 2014
  • 09N95 Cosumnes Head - opened
  • 10N01B Woods Spur - opened  July 7, 2015
  • 10N13 Schneider Camp Road up to the new parking area near the old barn spur road. - opened November 2014
  • 10N14 Mule Canyon - opened November 2014
  • 10N98 Jim Quinn Spur  - reopened 9/30/15
  • 11NY32 47 Mile Road - opened October 2014
  • 14N39 Richardson Lake road up to the PCT was opened July 14, 2014. The entire trail is open as of August 21, 2015,
  • 16E21 Barrett Lake 4WD Trail - opened July 23, 2015
  • 16E26 Forest System Trail - opened 10/29/18
  • 16E27 Long Canyon 4wd Trail - reopened 9/30/15
  • 16E33 North Shanty Spur - opened November 2014
  • 17E16 Little Round Top Trail - opened August 30, 2018
  • 17E19 Allen Camp Trail - opened 10/29/18
  • 17E24 Carson Emigrant Trail (beyond Mud lake) - opened 10/29/18
  • 17E28 Long Valley Trail - opened August 30, 2018
  • 17E32 Mud Lake - opened June 2015
  • 17E73 Strawberry Trail - opened August 30, 2018
  • 19E01/09N83 Deer Valley Trail - opened

42 Route Supplemental EIS Project Documents

42 Route Monitoring

Monitoring Plan

Monitoring of repairs on 18 Routes

Evaluation of Aquatic Features 24 Routes

Background for 42 Route Supplemental EIS

May 26, 2011: U.S. District Court Senior Judge Lawrence Karlton found that the Forest Service failed to comply with the National Forest Management Act (NFMA) when it designated 42 existing wheeled motorized vehicle routes that cross portions of meadows with their 2008 Public Wheeled Motorized Travel Management Decision.

The order stated that the Forest Service failed to complete a required Riparian Conservation Objective analysis for standards and guidelines in its Land and Resource Management Plan pertaining to segments that cross meadows.

February 14, 2012:  The court directed the Forest Service to submit a proposed order that will set aside the decision that designates the 42 routes to the degree they go through meadows, and not affecting the sections of those same roads that do not go through meadows, unless they cannot otherwise be reached. The court also directed that the current seasonal closure for those routes remain in effect until the court order is issued.

March 14, 2012:  The Forest Service submitted the proposed order.

April 23, 2012:  The Eldorado National Forest issued an interim forest order keeping the 42 routes closed to motorized vehicle access until a final court order was issued later. The court’s interim decision prohibited wheeled motor vehicle access to a total 135 miles of routes. The rest of the 1800 mile system is still open to wheeled motor vehicle travel.

April and May, 2012:  Initial public notification and on-the-ground signing was completed. Public education is ongoing.

July 31, 2012:  In settling a lawsuit filed in 2009 regarding the Eldorado National Forest’s Travel Management decision, Judge Karlton issued his final order on July 31, 2012.  In May 2011, Judge Karlton had upheld the majority of the Forest’s 2008 Travel Management decision, although the Court did find that the Forest had erred in designating 42 roads or trails crossing meadows.  This final Order identifies the remedies and corrective actions that the Forest Service is directed to follow:

  • The final court order prohibits or limits travel through meadows until a new environmental decision on these specific routes is made allowing public wheeled motorized travel.
  • The final court order changes the route closures from closing the entire route to just those portions of the routes that intersect with the meadows. See Table B in the final court order.
  • The final court order narrowly defines what is being reviewed in the supplemental environmental analysis. These areas are being analyzed for the effect of the routes on the hydrological function of the meadow. Does this route hinder the movement of water in the meadow? Habitat, species effect, etc. is not part of the order.
  • The Forest Service will revise its Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) to incorporate these changes. (Completed.)
  • Until the MVUM is finalized and available for public distribution an interim Forest Order will be issued. (Completed.)
  • All other portions of the 2008 Public Wheeled Motorized Travel Management Decision remain in effect. The Travel Management decision:
    • Allows highway legal and non-highway legal motor vehicle use by the public on 1,002 miles of ML-2 native surfaced roads (this total includes the addition of 17 miles of unauthorized roads to the NFTS).
    • Allows motorcycle, ATV, and high clearance vehicle use on 210 miles of trails
      (this total includes the addition of 6 miles of unauthorized trails to the NFTS).
    • In addition, there are 635 miles of surfaced roads suitable for passenger cars that are not a part of this decision. 

August 13, 2012: The interim Forest Order and revised maps are in place.

September 21, 2012: The revised Motor Vehicle Use Map is available.

October 9, 2012: Proposed Action Released.

October 22, 2012: Open House - Alpine County - Turtlerock Community Center, Markleeville, CA

October 24, 2012: Open House - El Dorado County - Placerville, CA

October 28, 2012: Open House - Amador County - Jackson, CA

November 7, 2012: End of this phase's comment period.

February 19, 2013: Draft SEIS released

February 26, 2013:  Open House - El Dorado County - Placerville, CA

March 5, 2013: Open House - Alpine County - Turtlerock Community Center, Markleeville, CA

March 6, 2013: Open House - Amador County - Jackson, CA

June 13, 2013: A Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) for the affected 42 routes was completed, and a Record of Decision (ROD) was signed by the Forest Supervisor on June 13, 2013. 

June 14, 2013: Notice in Mountain Democrat which starts the 45 day appeal period.

July 29, 2013: End of appeal period.

August 8, 2013: Informal meeting between appellants and Forest Supervisor to resolve appeal issues.

September 12, 2013: End of 45 day period for Regional Forester to "dispose" of appeals. All eleven appeals were dropped and the routes that have been identified to re-open are open. 2013 MVUM maps have been distributed to Forest Service offices.

2008 Travel Management Project

The Eldorado National Forest Travel Management Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision was released on April 2, 2008. Starting in January 2009, the Eldorado National Forest began implementing the decision made to restrict all motor vehicles to designated roads and trails. This direction follows the Forest Supervisor’s decision from April 2008's Final Travel Management Environmental Impact Statement, which allows public motor vehicle use on over 1,800 miles of roads and trails across the Forest. 

Project Documents:

 





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/eldorado/home/?cid=STELPRDB5362046