Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area OHV Designated Routes Project

The Project

The 1994 Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area Plan (the Plan) established separate management areas with differing resource emphases. The designated routes project at the Dunes was a process to designate a sustainable system of trails and areas for motor vehicle use. This project covers only Management Area 10 C, 4,455 acres consisting primarily of vegetation, where the operation of OHVs is allowed only on “Designated Routes.”

The goal of this project was:

  • to determine the routes and areas that will provide OHV riding opportunities and access
  • minimize impacts to the environment and protect the ecology of the Dunes

The project began in 2009 when the Forest hired a facilitator to assemble a working group of diverse interests to provide information necessary for the preparation of a proposed action and to involve the public early in the planning process. The group’s final report recommended a system of designated trails and open riding areas that would meet the 1994 Plan direction. In June 2011, a Notice of Intent was published in the Federal Register and a scoping letter for the project was mailed. In this letter, the Forest Service described our proposal and asked for comments. We received over 900 individual comment letters and petitions containing more than 3200 signatures

After a multi-year analysis and review process, which included input from thousands of members of the public, the Siuslaw National Forest published the Final Record of Decision in January 2015 designating motorized travel routes in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. The final ROD differs slightly from the draft ROD in that it includes some minor clarifications and adds three maps. Public input was an important component of this project. Key issues were developed based on the comments received and from the key issues, five different alternatives were developed.

The comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) ended on January 24, 2013. Approximately 1,300 comments were received and responses to comments were included as an appendix in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).

The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and Draft Record of Decision were published on September 17, 2014.

The new designated routes were implemented in 2015, focusing first on public education about changes to designated routes and riding areas to ensure riders know where they can and cannot ride. Non-designated user-created trails were signed closed, blocked, or allowed to naturally revegetate.

For more information on the Dunes Designated Routes project, contact the Central Coast Ranger District at 541-271-3611. For information on the new designated routes, contact Shane Gill, Central Coast Ranger District & Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area at shanegill@usda.gov or 541.271.6042.

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