Off-Highway Vehicle Policy

Current Travel Management Rule

The USDA Forest Service announced a new regulation in November 2005, governing off-highway vehicles (OHVs) and other motor vehicle use on national forests and grasslands. The new rule states that all OHV use on public lands managed by the Forest Service would be limited to designated routes and trails.

"OHVs are fun and exciting ways to experience national forests, and we've seen dramatic increases in their popularity in the last decades," said then Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth. "Land managers, working with states, counties, motorized sports enthusiasts, conservationists, local communities and others, will provide sustainable motorized recreation experiences in national forests and grasslands for the long run." For more information on the national travel management rule please visit

Why the need for this policy?

Unmanaged recreation, particularly OHV use, has been identified as one of four threats to the health of America's National Forests.  The National Off-Highway Vehicle use policy addresses the need to mitigate undesirable effects of irresponsible and damaging OHV use on the nations Forests.

Each year millions of off-highway vehicles travel America's National Forests legally and sensibly on open roads and trails. In the past several years, we have experienced a significant increase of OHV use on public lands. View A National Report from the National Survey on Recreation and the Environment (NSRE)(.pdf). A small but growing number of irresponsible OHV riders are threatening the health of all National Forests by driving far off-trail, damaging fragile plants, wetlands, and ecosystems.

To address this National Forest health problem, the National OHV Policy has been implemented on the Ozark National Forest. Under the rules, OHVs must remain on designated roads and trails systems while on the National Forest. 

How will I know where I can ride?

The Forest Service provides maps of designated routes and trails at the Ozark National Forest Supervisor's and District offices. Maps will be updated annually to reflect changes in designation (closings, openings, etc.)

We also publish the popular "Traveling the Backcountry" brochure for visitors to our Forests. It is a complete atlas of routes and trails that can be ridden forest-wide. 

Listing of available maps and information