Planning

National Travel Management Rule and Nez Perce National Forest

Photo collage of vehicles
 

DESIGNATED ROUTES & AREAS FOR MOTOR VEHICLE USE

(DRAMVU) PLANNING

Updated - October 2011

Where we are in the process

Step 1 - Compile Existing Travel Management Direction, Assemble Resource Data, Identify Proposals for Change.

  • May – November 2006: Collect Information and Display Current Condition
  • November 2006-March 2007: Inform Key Internal and External Contacts
  • March-April 2007: Develop Proposed Action.

Step 2 – Environmental Analysis and Decision Making

  • May 17, 2007: Notice of Intent Published (45 days)
  • July-October 2007: Analysis Comments, Identify Issues, Use Comments to Develop Alternatives
  • November 2007 – March 2008: Develop and Analyze Alternatives.
  • December 2008: Release DRAMVU Draft and District Alternative Maps
  • January -April 2009: Receive Public Comments on DEIS
  • April 2009- September 2010: Review public comments, draft responses to comments, review alternatives, continue effects analysis. It was determined there was a need prepare a Supplemental Draft EIS and present new information to the public for comment. Additional analysis was completed for the Supplemental Draft EIS.
  • October 2010: Release: DRAMVU Supplemental Draft EIS
  • October 2010-September 2011: Review public comments on Supplemental DEIS, develop final alternatives for analysis with Rick Brazell (the Deciding Official) and complete FEIS Effects Analysis.
  • We have completed consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office and the Nez Perce Tribe.
  • What’s next:
  • Currently we are consulting with federal agencies (US Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA-Fisheries). The consultation must be completed before the decision can be signed.
  • Sign and release the Record of Decision (ROD) and DRAMVU Final EIS. Date is dependent upon consultation being completed.
  • Decision will be followed a 45-day Appeal Period and Appeal Resolution.

Step 3 - Publish Motor Vehicle Use Map

Following the environmental analysis process, the Nez Perce Forest will produce a motor vehicle use map (MVUM) displaying designated roads, trails and areas for motorized use across the 2.2 million acres of Nez Perce National Forest lands in Idaho. This will replace the current road and trail access guides.

Publication of a motor vehicle use map completes the designation process. Under the new travel management rule, the motor vehicle use map is the principal enforcement tool for motor vehicle regulations. It will display only those roads and trails designated for motor vehicle use by the public. Routes not designated for motor vehicle use (such as non-motorized trails, single-purpose roads and trails, unauthorized roads and trails, and temporary roads and trails) will not be shown on the motor vehicle use map. The motor vehicle use map does not replace visitor maps, travel maps, or other maps intended to convey visitor information. The motor vehicle use map will be free to the public, and will be available both in hard copy and on agency websites. After their initial publication, the maps will be re-published annually, reflecting any changes to designations since the last printing.

Step 4 - Implement, Monitor and Revise.

Implementation of motor vehicle designations will include publishing and disseminating a motor vehicle use map; educating visitors on travel management regulations and designations; amending existing authorizations to provide for needed motor vehicle access; and enforcing travel management restrictions.

Monitoring can include several kinds of activities. Project implementation monitoring evaluates compliance with land management plans and project decisions, including any required mitigation measures. Effectiveness monitoring evaluates the effectiveness of management actions in achieving desired outcomes. Program monitoring tracks and evaluates ecological, social, and economic trends. Validation monitoring verifies assumptions and models used in project implementation. Each kind of monitoring is relevant to managing motor vehicle use.

Revision. The designations identified on the motor vehicle use map are subject to revision. Information collected through monitoring and through public user groups will be useful in evaluating and revising travel management decisions. Future decisions regarding motorized vehicle use on roads, trails or areas will change the MVUM overtime.

Current Access Guide Tables

These spreadsheets contain current information from the Nez Perce National Forest Access Guides. These road and trail guides will remain in place to use until the Forest MVUM map is available to the public. Roads and Trails are listed by Vehicle Restricted and Period of Restriction (Season).

DRAMVU ROAD ACCESS GUIDE (PDF 880 kb)

DRAMVU TRAIL ACCESS GUIDE (PDF 197 kb)

Background and Public Participation in the Planning Process

In 2005, the Forest Service finalized new travel management regulations for motor vehicle use on National Forest System lands. The National OHV Program Website is located at: http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/ohv/index.shtml.   To meet these new regulations, the Nez Perce National Forest (NPNF) began the first steps of the designation process in the spring of 2006 and is targeting its completion in 2012.

Designation changes identified on the NPNF are: 1) No cross-country travel allowed; 2) All routes closed unless designated open; and 3) No decisions regarding over snow motorized use.

Public participation in this planning process was done in several ways. Interested publics participated by attending the travel management 'open house' presentations, visiting with the planning team, or submitting written comments.

The first round of public Open Houses was held in May, 2007. These meetings focused on providing an overview of the National Travel Management Rule, the planning schedule for the Nez Perce National Forest, and a summary of the Forest's existing travel management opportunities and current closures. A Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an environmental impact statement was published in the Federal Register on May 17, 2007.

A second round of Open Houses was held in June, 2007 to describe the proposed action and accept comments.

A notice of the third round of public meetings was held in late January and early February 2009 to review the DEIS and maps at Grangeville, Riggins, Kooskia, Lewiston and Elk City. There was a good turnout at each of these meetings and active participation from members of the public during the question and answer period. The comment period on the DEIS was extended from February to April 2009. The Forest received over 32,000 letters during the DRAMVU DEIS original and extended comment periods (January to April). We received 4 form letters and 5 replicate letters (more than 5 duplicates). The result was approximately 1320 unique letters received. Multiple comments were contained in most letters.

A fourth round of public meetings was held in October/November 2010 when the forest released the Supplemental Draft EIS for public comment. Two public meetings were held: October 26th in Grangeville and November 9th in Elk City. The Forest received over 250 letters during the DRAMVU SDEIS comment period (October to December). We received one form letter.

Strategy for the Nez Perce National Forest Travel Plan

To achieve the objectives listed below in the National Travel Management Rule, the Nez Perce National Forest (NPNF) began work in 2006 and will continue with the following schedule:

2006 Data Inventory Validation

The Forest began compiling existing Forest Plan off-highway vehicle (OHV) direction and existing travel management decisions and direction for the inventory.

•Recreation and Engineering Staff also began validation of existing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and tabular (INFRA) road and trail data.

2007/08 Public Input and Environmental Analysis

Continue validating road and trail data

•Compilation of past access and travel management decisions Initiation of Public meetings

•Begin Environmental analysis – evaluate data for information ‘gaps' , review and analyze public comments and concerns, define the Forest's travel niche, user needs and area suitability

2008-2010 Analysis and EIS Documentation

Develop and distribute Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)

•Develop and distribute Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS)

•Continue internal and external briefings; respond to public comments

•Continue regulatory agency consultation

2011-2012 Final Documentation and Designation

Continue internal and external briefings; respond to public comments

•Continue regulatory agency consultation

•Prepare Final Environmental Impact Statement/Record Of Decision

2012 Implementation

Complete Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) and print for public distribution.

•Complete monitoring for DRAMVU decision.

•Education and enforcement of road and trail designations.

•Update MVUM annually.

 





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