Road Study

Transportation Analysis Process Subpart A: The Road Study

Road Study AheadThe U.S. Forest Service is studying the risk and benefits for visitors and the environment associated with the road system on the Ottawa National Forest. 

The analysis, referred to as “Subpart A,” is part of the implementation of the 2005 Travel Management Rule, 36 CFR 212, Travel Analysis Process (TAP). The Subpart A process will be documented in a road study report which will identify opportunities to adjust our road system so that it considers access for public and forest management activities, minimizes environmental impacts, and can be maintained within budget constraints. 

The Road Study is not a decision-making process, so implementation of any future opportunities will require a separate NEPA decision-making process.


Project Update!

The U.S. Forest Service is committed to balancing your needs for access to the National Forests & Prairie with the responsibility to sustain a productive, diverse, and healthy forest/prairie. As part of this commitment, the Forest Service performed a forest-by-forest road analysis (also known as Travel Analysis – Subpart A) intended to guide future road management planning and address concerns about the future sustainability of the National Forest/Prairie road system. This analysis was not a decision, but was intended to recommend a minimum road system that takes into consideration access for the public and forest management activities, environmental impacts, public input, and budget constraints. Currently, all road analyses are being reviewed and then will be made available. This web site will continue to be updated with any new information.



The Ottawa National Forest manages more than 3,800 miles of roads.  While many Forest roads provide land management- and user-related benefits, some may also pose risks to forest resources. Increased use of an aging roads infrastructure increases safety and maintenance costs, impacts wildlife, and contributes to degradation of water quality.

The US Forest Service Travel Management Rule (36 CFR Part 212, adopted in 2005), calls for each National Forest to identify the minimum road system needed for safe and efficient travel and for administration, utilization, and protection of National Forest System lands.  In determining the minimum road system, the responsible official must incorporate a science-based roads analysis at the appropriate scale and, to the degree practicable, involve a broad spectrum of interested and affected citizens, other state and federal agencies, and tribal governments.

The goal of the national Travel Analysis Process is to define safe, fiscally feasible minimum road systems that provide the greatest benefit to the largest number of visitors with the least risk to the environment.


How You Can Help

We invite you to review the road system with us to help recommend opportunities that lead to a safe, affordable and environmentally sustainable road system.  We encourage anyone who uses roads or benefits from a national forest to share information and ideas that could be added to the Road Study report. 

It is critical for all parties to work together as we study our road system, with a full understanding of opportunities and associated trade-offs.  Continued participation by the public and partners is invaluable as we work toward identifying a minimum road system.


Road Study Documents




Other Related Links



Road Study Update September 2015 – Travel Analysis Report Available

For informational/historical purposes, below is a road study report compiled in September 2015. The Travel Analysis Reports analyzed the roads system and identified potential opportunities to achieve a more sustainable road system for each National Forest and Prairie. These reports were part of a nationwide requirement and were not decision documents - instead, they provided an analysis of the road system as it existed at that moment in time. All future proposed actions and decisions will involve further opportunities for public input and engagement at the project-level under National Environmental Policy Act processes. If you have a specific question on a road, trail, or area you may contact your local office for more information.


Travel Analysis Process Documents

  • Ottawa National Forest Travel Analysis Report (pdf)
  • Appendix A – Risk/Benefit Assessment (pdf)
  • Appendix B – List of Geospatical Data Used (pdf)
  • Appendix C – Roads "Not Likely Needed for Future Use" (pdf)
  • Appendix D – Public Engagement for the TAP (pdf)
  • Appendix E – Financial Analysis Information (pdf)
  • Appendix F – Glossary of Travel Management Terminology (pdf)