Fremont-Winema National Forest Urges the Public to Refrain from Driving on Wet, Muddy Forest Roads

Contact(s): Erica Hupp 541-883-6715; Lisa Swinney 541-947-6261

Forest Service Road DamageLakeview, Ore.–To ensure public safety and prevent damage to unpaved roads, the Fremont-Winema National Forest urges the public to refrain from driving on soft, muddy unsurfaced Forest Service Roads.

“The wet weather south central Oregon is experiencing has made unpaved Forest Service roads highly acceptable to surface damage.” said Dennis Scott, Recreation, Engineering, Archaeology, Lands & Minerals (REALM) Staff Officer. “The Forest’s roads can become damaged or erode when driven on during wet and saturated conditions.”

Proper and responsible use of vehicles on Forest roads is important to ensure roads remain in good shape for all visitors. Causing damage to roads and other Forest resources can be a violation of federal regulations, which could carry a fine up to $5,000 and/or six months in jail.

Forest users should always use defensive driving techniques while on Forest roads. This includes adjusting speed to current weather and road conditions. Also, staying alert for the unexpected hazards, including other vehicles, livestock, as well as rocks, fallen trees and road washouts. 

Additionally, visitors need to make sure they have a free Fremont-Winema National Forest’s Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) that is available at all local Service Forest offices and Web site:

Only those Forest Service roads and motorized trails shown on the MVUM are available for motor vehicle use.New maps that reflect updates and corrections to the Forest road system will be available in late spring of 2014.

For more information about road conditions, obtaining a MVUM, and how to suggest revisions to the MVUM or to report resource damage, please contact the following Fremont-Winema National Forest offices.