Travel Management

Forest Hosting Travel Management Rule Objection Resolution Meetings


The Tonto National Forest will host objection resolution meetings for the Travel Management Rule Environmental Impact Statement September 19-21, 2016, at the Tonto National Forest Supervisor’s Office.


The Travel Management Rule mandates that the National Forests designate which roads, trails, and areas are open to motor vehicle use.


The public can attend these sessions, which begin at:

  • 12:45 to 5 p.m. on September 19

  • 7:50 a.m. to 5 p.m. on September 20

  • 7:50 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on September 21


Meetings will include clarification of issues from objectors, additional input from stakeholders and the public, proposed solutions and discussion on the way ahead.


The Supervisor’s Office is located at 2324 E. McDowell Road, Phoenix, Arizona, 85006.


Tonto National Forest Releases draft Record of Decision to comply with the Final Travel Management Rule

The Tonto National Forest is releasing the draft record of decision (ROD) in compliance with the Final Travel Management Rule, which requires that all National Forest System lands designate roads, trails, and areas for motor vehicle travel, and with the predecisional objection process.

The Final Travel Management Rule requires motor vehicles to be restricted to designated roads, trails, and areas as shown on the Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM). The selected alternative restricts off-road motor vehicle use; and designates:

  • Approximately 3,700 miles of roads and motorized trails open to the public;
  • Eight OHV areas where travel off designated system roads and motorized trails is permitted;
  • Three additional permit zones;
  • Motor vehicle use solely for retrieving legally harvested elk and bear for all hunts up to 1 mile on both sides of all designated roads and motorized trails;
  • Motor vehicle use for dispersed camping on approximately 91 miles of full-sized motorized trails that access nearly 2,750 inventoried existing dispersed camping sites; and
  • The use of motorized vehicles off of designated system roads and motorized trails to aid in the collection of permitted personal fuelwood within the designated fuelwood cutting areas.

In conjunction with notification of the draft ROD in the Arizona Capitol Times, the paper of record for the Tonto National Forest, we are making the Final* Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) available at, along with all supporting analysis documentation. Also available is a Frequently Asked Questions document.

Travel Management Planning is an activity implementing a land management plan and subject to the objection process described in 36 CFR 218 Subparts A and B. Objections will only be accepted from those who submitted project-specific written comments during scoping or other designated comment periods. Issues raised in objections must be based on previously submitted comments unless based on new information arising after the designated comment period(s).

Objections must be submitted within 45 days following the publication of this legal notice in the Arizona Capitol Times, the Tonto National Forest paper of record. The date of this legal notice is the exclusive means for calculating the time to file an objection. Those wishing to object should not rely upon dates or timeframes provided by any other source. It is the objector’s responsibility to ensure evidence of timely receipt (§218.9).

Objections, including attachments, must be submitted to the reviewing officer: Calvin Joyner, Regional Forester, 333 Broadway Boulevard SE, Albuquerque, NM, 87102; (505) 842-3173 (fax). Objections may be submitted via mail, FAX, or delivered during business hours (Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). Electronic objections, in common formats (.doc, .pdf, .rtf, .txt), may be submitted to: with subject: Travel Management Draft ROD.

At a minimum, an objection must include the following (§218.8(d)):

  1. Objector's name and address as defined in §218.2, with a telephone number, if available.
  2. Signature or other verification of authorship upon request (a scanned signature for electronic mail may be filed with the objection).
  3. When multiple names are listed on an objection, identification of the lead objector as defined in §218.2. Verification of the identity of the lead objector must be provided upon request or the reviewing officer will designate a lead objector as provided in §218.5(d).
  4. The name of the proposed project, the name and title of the responsible official, and the name(s) of the national forest(s) and/or ranger district(s) on which the proposed project will be implemented.
  5. A description of those aspects of the proposed project addressed by the objection, including specific issues related to the proposed project; if applicable, how the objector believes the environmental analysis or draft decision specifically violates law, regulation, or policy; suggested remedies that would resolve the objection; supporting reasons for the reviewing officer to consider.
  6. A statement that demonstrates the connection between prior specific written comments on the particular proposed project or activity and the content of the objection, unless the objection concerns an issue that arose after the designated opportunity for comment (see §218.8(c)).

*NOTE: The Tonto National Forest believes that the Final EIS, available at, is complete. However, the objection process is predecisional and §218.11 authorizes the reviewing official to conduct resolution meetings with objectors.  As a result, changes to the Final EIS may be necessary. The release of the Notice of Availability (NOA) of the Final EIS in the Federal Register, in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (40 CFR 1506.9), will either take place after the predecisional objection process or in conjunction with it. The record of decision for Travel Management for the Tonto National Forest cannot be signed by the Forest Supervisor until 30 days after publication of the NOA (40 CFR 1506.10(b)(2)).

For further information, contact Anne Thomas, Project Lead and Tonto National Forest NEPA Coordinator, 2324 E. McDowell Rd, Phoenix, AZ, 85006, (602) 225-5213 or by email:

Arizona OHV Laws and Places to Ride

The Travel Management Rule

In 2005, the Forest Service published a new rule for providing motor vehicle access to national forests and grasslands after receiving more than 81,000 comments on a draft rule published in July 2004. Many user groups, environmental groups, and state and local governments endorsed the concept of a designated system of roads, trails, and areas for motor vehicle use.

The final rule requires each national forest and grassland to designate those roads, trails, and areas open to motor vehicle use. Designated routes and areas will be identified on a motor vehicle use map. Motor vehicle use outside of designated routes and areas will be provided for fire, military, emergency, and law enforcement purposes and for use under Forest Service permit. Valid existing rights are honored. The rule also maintains the status quo for snowmobile use, as determined in individual forest plans. The rule itself does not designate roads or areas for motor vehicles but provides a framework for making those decisions at the local level. 

What will change?




Off-highway use of motorized vehicles

Cross country travel permitted unless posted closed

Cross country travel only in designated areas* or with written permission

Roads open for public motorized use

All existing roads open unless posted closed or restricted

Only designated roads* open

Trails open for public motorized use

All existing trails open unless posted closed or restricted

Only designated trails* open

Areas open for public motorized use


Only designated areas* open

*Designated open roads, trails and areas as depicted on the Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM)

Designating Motorized Routes

  • Travel Management Rule sets nationwide, consistent guidelines for the process
  • Regional forester provides region-wide guidelines for the forests
  • Forest supervisor provides forest-wide consistency in process
  •  District rangers are currently in the process of developing a proposal for designated system of roads, trails and areas

The Tonto National Forest, in coordination with the public and interested groups, state, county, and local governments, will designate the roads, trails, and areas for motor vehicle use. This is a public process, and you are encouraged to participate. If you are interested in which routes or areas should be open or closed to motor vehicles, please contact your local ranger district and get involved.

Designations will include class of vehicle and, if appropriate, time of year. Some single-track trails may be designated for motorcycle use only. Other trails will accommodate a wider range of vehicles. Some trails will be managed for nonmotorized use. The key to making these decisions, and ensuring they are sustainable over the long term, will be working together at the local level.

The national forests and grasslands are shared resources held by all Americans. Recreational visitors experience them in many different ways. Across the country, some of our most effective examples of OHV management involve state and local governments, motorized and nonmotorized users, and other affected citizens working together. Partnerships extend the agency's limited resources to accomplish trail maintenance, restore damage, educate users, and promote a spirit of cooperation among national forest visitors.

For further information please contact individual ranger districts,
or contact our Forest NEPA Coordinator
Anne Thomas
phone: 602-225-5213