The USDA Forest Service
announced a new regulation in November 2005, governing off-highway
vehicles (OHVs) and other motor vehicle use on national forests
and grasslands. The new rule states that all OHV use on public
lands managed by the Forest Service would be limited to designated
routes and trails.
"OHVs are fun and exciting
ways to experience national forests, and we've seen dramatic increases
in their popularity in the last decades," said Forest Service
Chief Dale Bosworth. "Land managers, working with states, counties,
motorized sports enthusiasts, conservationists, local communities
and others, will provide sustainable motorized recreation experiences
in national forests and grasslands for the long run." For more
information on the new national travel management rule please
need for a new policy?
particularly OHV use, has been identified as one of four
threats to the health of America's National Forests.
The National Off-Highway Vehicle use policy addresses the need
to mitigate undesirable effects of irresponsible and damaging
OHV use on the nations Forests.
Each year millions of
off-highway vehicles travel America's National Forests legally
and sensibly on open roads and trails. In the past thirteen years
we have experienced a significant increase of OHV use on public
A National Report from the National Survey on Recreation and the
Environment (NSRE)(.pdf). A small but growing number of irresponsible
OHV riders are threatening the health of all National Forests
by driving far off-trail, damaging fragile plants, wetlands, and
To address this National
Forest health problem, the National OHV Policy is being implemented
on the Ozark National Forest. Under the new rules, OHVs must remain
on designated roads and trails systems while on the National Forest.
It also ensures that all Forests will involve the public in developing
a system designated roads and trails.
Designate existing routes
and trails that follow safety guidelines established by trails
team and engineering staff. This will be done on a Forest-wide
Determine the need for
further designation of closed roads and look at the possibility
of new connector trail construction. This will be done on a District
criteria was used to determine routes and trails?
The team in charge of
the implementation of the OHV plan looked at
several aspects when
choosing routes, including:
.Proximity to sensitive
.Proximity to Wild
and Scenic rivers, Wilderness areas, and Special Interest Areas
.Proximity to threatened,
endangered, or rare species
.Proximity to archeological
.Presence of highly
.Jurisdiction of the
route (county, state or forest)
I know where I can ride?
The Forest Service will
provide maps of designated routes and trails at the Ozark National
Forest Supervisor's and District offices. Maps will be updated
on a yearly basis to reflect changes in designation (closings,
We have also reproduced the popular "Traveling
the Backcountry" brochure for visitors to our Forests. It
is a complete atlas of routes and trails that can be ridden forest-wide.
Traveling the Backcountry is a very large publication that may take
time to download. Original print size is 14X22 with a 28X22
There are four designated multi-use trails: Huckleberry Mountain Horse Trail
(near Midway), Mill Creek Trail
(near Combs), Moccasin Gap Horse Trail
(near Dover) and Brock Creek Trail