Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM)

Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM)

The Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) is a requirement of the 2005 Final Travel Management Rule and is a product of the 2002 revision of the Forest Plan and travel management decisions across the Forest. The MVUM displays National Forest System (NFS) routes (roads and trails) or areas designated as open to motorized travel. The MVUM also displays allowed uses by vehicle class (ex. highway-legal vehicles, vehicles less than 50 inches wide and motorcycles), seasonal allowances, and distance allowances, and provides information on other travel rules and regulations. Routes not shown on the MVUM are not open to public motor vehicle travel. Routes designated for motorized use may not always be signed on the ground but will be identified on the MVUM. It will be the public’s responsibility to reference the MVUM to stay on designated routes for motor vehicle use. The MVUM will be updated annually, in January, to correct mapping errors or discrepancies and update travel decisions.

The MVUM is a black and white map with no topographic features. It is a map for legal designations of where you can travel with various motorized vehicles, but for additional reference it is best used in conjunction with a Forest Visitor Map or other detailed map. The MVUM is free to the public at each local Ranger District office and at the Supervisor’s Office. The MVUM is available on this web site and sections of it may be printed from your home computer.

If you do not already have a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader you can download a copy from Adobe.

Some customers have been experiencing an error saying the maps are not totally loading; however, the maps do load in their entirety. Should you think a map did not load up in its entirety for you, please contact the Tongass Webmaster for assistance. Thank you.

2024 MVU Maps:

Frequently Asked Questions:

Where can I get a MVUM?

Maps will be posted on this web site and available through both the Alaska Region and National Forest Service web sites. Paper copies of each Ranger District maps will be available free of charge at the Forest Service office in Sitka, Ketchikan, Petersburg, Wrangell, Hoonah, Yakutat, Juneau, Craig and Thorne Bay. Other partners and distribution locations may be developed over time to help disseminate maps. If you have any questions about the maps, please feel free to contact any of the Ranger District offices. You can find full contact information on the contacts web page.

How many MVUM's are there for the Tongass National Forest?

Maps for all districts are now available.

How do I print the MVUM?

A full-size version of the MVUM is 34” x 22” and cannot be printed on conventional home printers. A full-size version can only be printed from a large plotter. Many local copy shops, engineering and survey businesses can print the map.

To be readable, only a portion of the MVUM can be printed on 8 ½” x 11” paper using home printers. With Adobe Acrobat®, use the “Print Current View” function to print the view on your screen. It is recommended that the legend box be printed to aid in interpretation of the MVUM.

What does an MVUM show me?

The map displays all National Forest System roads, trails and designated areas allowing public motor vehicle use. This is commonly referred to as designation. It also states that driving off designated roads and trails is prohibited (36 CFR 261.13)

Motorized use includes but is not limited to Motorcycles, ATV’s, and 4-wheel drive vehicles.

Designation details include vehicle class, time of year, and motorized access for the purpose of dispersed camping (camping in established locations other than campgrounds).

The MVUM also shows roads where only highway-legal vehicles are allowed because of user safety considerations.

Limited motor vehicle access may occur on routes not shown on the MVUM for the purpose of administrative access by Forest Service personnel; for fire and law enforcement; for emergency purposes; and by persons authorized by a written special use permit or contract from the Forest Service.

Does the MVUM also show mechanized and non-motorized trails and over-snow vehicle uses?

No, a visitor map or recreation opportunity map will provide information on over-snow and non-motorized routes, including mechanized trails, hiking, and horse trails. Over-snow vehicle use is exempted from designations on the MVUM. Regardless of what other maps (including the Forest Visitor Map) may show as motorized routes, only those routes identified on the MVUM are designated as open to public motorized use and legal for public motorized travel.

What do you mean by vehicle class?

By vehicle class we are referring to size or type of motorized vehicles. The following are typical MVUM vehicle class and route designations:

Roads open to highway legal vehicles only

Roads open to all vehicles (licensed and unlicensed)

Trails open to vehicles 50 inches or less in width (ATV, motorcycle, etc.)

Trails open to all (full size) vehicles (trails may be rugged and narrow- intended for 4x4s)

Trails open to motorcycles only (single track)

It’s important to understand that routes and areas shown open to certain vehicle classes do not mean they are maintained for or suitable for travel using those vehicles. It simply means it is legal to use them. For example, many low standard roads may be open to all motor vehicles. This designation includes passenger cars, although it may not be prudent to drive this type of vehicle on the route due to the condition of the surface or during inclement weather. Please check with the local Ranger District Offices for more information. Phone numbers, addresses and email address are located on the contacts web site.

What do you mean by a season allowance?

Some routes or areas may be open only during certain times of the year for various reasons such as to reduce wildlife disturbance, protect users from unsafe or impassable conditions and to reduce impacts to other resource values, like soil, water, and vegetation.

Are there road and trail route marker signs on the ground?

On the Tongass our goal is to have most, if not all, of our motorized travel routes signed at primary junctions, at any given time. In some cases, a route marker may exist at the entrance of the road/trail with symbols indicating which classes of vehicles are allowed. Routes designated for motorized uses will be identified on the MVUM. The MVUM is an enforcement tool to ensure individuals are on the correct route. It is the responsibility of the user to determine if they are on a route designated for the motor vehicle being used. MVUM's will be developed for each forest nationwide. It is not only a tool for motorized users, but also a consistent and standardized law enforcement tool.

When will the MVUM become enforceable?

Each MVUM becomes enforceable at the time they become available to the public. If you are uncertain of an enforceable date or have any other questions, you may contact the local Ranger District. Information for contacting each Ranger District is available on the contacts web site.

After MVUMs are available to the public in map form and on the web, what will be the USFS enforcement strategy?

When new regulations are posted, the Forest Service provides some time to educate the public about the specifics of the regulation. A law enforcement officer contact with the public is a great opportunity to provide information education and create awareness about MVUM. However, law enforcement officers can issue a notice of violation any time after the MVUM is publicly available.