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Travel Management Plans will change forever how you use the national forests and BLM land

June 2, 2012 by Bob Difley · 22 Comments  
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By Bob Difley

camper_streamAs many of you boondockers know by now, the National Forest Service (FS) is in the process of implementing their new Travel Management Plans (TMP) throughtout the nation’s forests. These new rules, once approved by each individual forest, will apply to everyone who uses a national forest for driving and camping, designating which roads you are allowed to drive on and where you are allowed to camp or boondock.

Allowed driving roads will be limited to only those legal roads built by the FS, usually with specifications that will support cattle trucks, firefighting equipment, and logging trucks, and therefore presumably suitable for RVs as well. All illegal roads will be designated and driving will not be allowed on them–that includes off-road vehicles if you happen to be towing one.

Camping and vehicle parking will only be allowed within 30 feet (or one vehicle length, depending on the forest) from the side of the road unless in a designated “dispersed camping area.” These areas and roads will be defined on Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM) that will be available free online, from rangers, and at  ranger stations and regional offices. Not following the rules will result in a fine after a period of up to a year (as long as you are not a flagrant violator) for informing and explaining the new rules to the public.

The FS has been putting the TMPs together for several years and has asked users and the public for their input all along in the process, yet, as can be expected, as the rules go into effect it is a surprise to much of the public that then is outraged about the “government taking our public lands” and has resulted in court action, delayed implementation, and disruptions to the vision of how users are currently using the forest and how they plan to use it in the future. These include: off road vehicle drivers, hunters, campers, boondockers, 4-wheelers, recreation outfitters, adventure tour operators, ranchers, firewood gatherers, berry pickers, and many more.

Now the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is starting to put together their own travel management plans for use of the land under their administration, which includes much of the southwestern deserts used by snowbirds in the winter. The following was published in Eastern Idaho and Western Wyoming’s LocalNews8.com

ARBON VALLEY, Idaho — The Bureau of Land Management wants the public’s opinion on what to do with the 360,000 acres of public land in the Deep Creek and Curlew areas.
Currently, the BLM does not have a travel management plan for the area, meaning that people can drive, ride or walk anywhere, but that will change and public input can help to shape the outcome.
BLM Outdoor Recreation Planner Chuck Patterson said there may be nothing out there now, but he wants to know if people want specific mountain bike trails, horse-riding trails or hiking trails.
“Those are the kind of opportunities that we want to work with the public to identify, you know, are there areas that we can provide additional recreation for them?” Patterson said.
The land will become a limited use area, meaning people can only travel in certain places. Supervisory Resource Management Specialist Blaine Newman said they don’t want to hurt the activities that people already use the land for, but with the number of off-highway vehicles in Idaho jumping to more than 100,000 in the last several decades, keeping a balance is crucial.
“What we would like to do is designate a system of roads and trails that’s reasonable for people to get access to public lands, as well as offer protection for wild life and sensitive plants and other resources that are out there,” Newman said.

This is just an example of the dozens of FS and BLM districts where restrictions will eventually roll out and your travel and boondocking will be affected forever. It is not a good idea to just let the government supervisors go ahead and make plans with the vision as they see it–remember, their goals will not be the same as yours–because nobody spoke up.

If you don’t want to see this happen, it is important that you get involved in the process before all the decisions have been made. Contact the forests and BLM districts where you pursue your recreational activities and make sure your questions are answered, your opinions heard and considered, and your favorite areas included, otherwise you may find your favorite boondocking campsites going, going, gone.

For more RVing tips take a look at my Healthy RV Lifestyle website, where you will also find my ebooks: BOONDOCKING: Finding the Perfect Campsite on America’s Public Lands (PDF or Kindle), 111 Ways to Get the Biggest Bang for your RV Lifestyle Buck (PDF or Kindle), and Snowbird Guide to Boondocking in the Southwestern Deserts (PDF or Kindle).


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Comments

22 Responses to “Travel Management Plans will change forever how you use the national forests and BLM land”

  1. Paul LeSage on June 3rd, 2012 4:55 pm

    I think you can thank the ORV’s and ATV”s recklessly roaming all over creation, creating erosion and ruts everywhere, with no regard for anything dealing with nature. It’s all about their ability to spin around in circles, and do wheelies in the desert dirt. The only differnece between them and the dopes on jet-skis is, jet-skis don’t leave tracks, just ruin everyone elses enjoyment of the water.

    RV’ers get penalized for these ham-heads actions.

  2. RockinFX on June 3rd, 2012 5:33 pm

    I cannot add much or say it much better than that, Paul. I have written to many BLM and FS units to express just such an opinion. While I am disturbed that I am being penalized for irresponsible idiots’ selfish and uncaring actions, I can only think of what some of these places will look like with another generation or two of ATV/ORV abuse. Not all of them do criminal damage and the responsible ones among them will be affected along with the rest of us, but the damage I have seen done by the aforementioned idiots is truly disgusting and must be curtailed if our public lands are to be preserved for our children and theirs beyond them.

  3. butterbean carpenter on June 3rd, 2012 5:34 pm

    YEAH, AS IF THE RULES AREN’T ALREADY WRITTEN IN D.C.!!! REMEMBER UDALL!!!

  4. Glen Jones on June 3rd, 2012 6:40 pm

    One thing that bothers me is they classify power wheelchairs and scooters that are in use by the disabled are classified as Motor Vehicles and are not allowed on closed roads, I have filied and ADA complaint, I am not yet using one of these but I am close to it and I am a partly disabled veteran

  5. Craig on June 3rd, 2012 9:16 pm

    In the interest of being civil I will not say what I really think of the two previous post writers. I will say that the damage being done by ATV’s is being done by a very small percentage of riders. Most ATV riders are responsible and want to keep the areas open for all to enjoy. Instead of making more rules and regulations lets spend our tax money on enforcing the laws already on the books. I am all for seeking out and prosecuting the riders that don’t follow the rules. I will be the first one to turn someone in for a violation. Like I have said before there is plenty of land for all of us to enjoy. Saying all ATV riders are idiots is like say all old people should not be allowed to drive a large motorhome, some should not be and others do a good job.

  6. Katrina on June 4th, 2012 12:19 am

    Amen concerning power wheelchairs and scooters used by the handicapped. They are NOT motor vehicles and are necessary for the disabled to enjoy nature like everyone else. I personally use a an Ezip 2-wheeled scooter to get around in some paved or hard dirt road areas areas as a handicapped person and am very careful around others and nature. The handicapped have a right to enjoy nature too. Guess I’ll be filing a complaint as well.

  7. Chris on June 4th, 2012 8:40 am

    The Vehicle use maps in central Oregon are horrible! There is signage out on the FS roads that says one thing and the maps say another and when you go in to the FS office you will get different answers to what is permissible depending on whom you speak to. This is a program that is set up to allow ticket writing, truly bad!

  8. Tom yellowboots on June 4th, 2012 10:13 am

    Take a lesson from the early native american indians; they travelled around everywhere without destroying the land they lived on.
    These are the rules that should be implemented for everyone who desires to live outside in the national forests or anywhere else.

  9. American Native on June 4th, 2012 8:52 pm

    White people wanted to rule these lands and instead have ruined them and now everyone is whining and crying about everything from holes in the ozone to too much waste in the landfills.

    White man has ruined the air, the sky, the water, the oceans, and the earth with his abuse.

    People should stop complaining…. this is what the white man wanted from the beginning— CONTROL. Well, now he has it.
    May the Great Spirit forgive him for everything he has done!

  10. lmatch on June 5th, 2012 12:25 am

    Craig, well said. When I travel around on my quad in the forest, I leave so few tracks I can get lost trying to find my way back out sometimes! Far lower pounds per square inch than a human foot (or deer/elk hoof). This has NOTHING to do with vehicles tearing up the forest and deserts, and EVERYTHING to do with city-dwelling environmentalists who never truly spend any time in the forests, pressuring the socialist regime in power to do their bidding. Don’t waste your time trying to contact them and give them your opinion– they have zero intention to listen to anyone. It is all bull.

    As for “American Native”, a racist with whatever skin pigmentation and DNA lineage, is still a racist. I dislike racist more than just about any personality disorder I can think of..

  11. Goatroper on June 5th, 2012 7:27 am

    Hikers in Montana are now required to register to hike in the Pintler Wilderness area because of damage and garbage being left. Horses are being restricted because of trail damage and over grazing. OHVs and ATVs are being locked out to so call balance non-motorized opportunities. The DOI and DOA are fully engaged in promoting separation of users or in reality lets call it what it is, SEGREGATION. These are federal land managers, not federal land owners. Everyone has an impact to the land when they recreate, even walkies. Stop and think about it. Land managers are segregating, divide and conquering, and ultimately removing ALL people from our public lands. We need to work together to maintain, respect and care for these lands. Removing people removes opportunities for all these things.

  12. yhgddlcde on June 13th, 2012 3:10 am

    sirpk…

    qcotegwig qhrqw cthopun qcsz kpsocywnbahclxq…

  13. Bielizna on June 23rd, 2012 1:37 pm

    Bielizna…

    Travel Management Plans will change forever how you use the national forests and BLM land…

  14. Gary on June 24th, 2012 7:48 pm

    To American Native you had better clean up your own lands before you give such a pathetic response. I have never seen any sign that a Native gives a damn about the land or it’s need for care.
    To Craig. Right on, exactly correct,thank you.

  15. Beth on June 26th, 2012 12:04 pm

    Bob- We are FULL-TIME RVers. We use ALL National Forests and BLM lands from coast to coast. Your suggestion to “contact the forests and BLM districts where you pursue your recreational activities” is hardly going to help us truly full-time boondockers. Where are the lobbyists that represent this huge RV community? What organizations are suppose to be looking out for OUR rights? Who do we contact in Washington to get this addressed on a NATIONAL level? We need some solid direction to help us fight this.

  16. Steve on June 26th, 2012 2:16 pm

    Beth – you are absolutely correct….. one thing your missing though – since it is appearant that Washington is run by a regime that hates freedom, and our right to do anything that would be without government control, Good luck. It seems that little by little ‘our’ public lands are and will be gov’t lands and we will have none. I think a little more than lobbying is in order. What would one suggest?

  17. Royal Carribean on July 2nd, 2012 4:41 pm

    Fastidious answer back in return of this difficulty with firm arguments and telling everything on
    the topic of that.

  18. frank lodico on July 3rd, 2012 6:46 pm

    i live on a 1.2 mile long dead end dirt road in FLA. A canal borders the road .For the first few years i lived here i used a pool screen to get all the plastic bottles out of the canal, which leads to the lagoon, river and then ocean. I also walked the road picking up trash (hey it was my driveway!) After a few years, i gave up. I know when i’m beat. 11 stinkin’ houses. new trash on the road every damn day. it only takes a couple of jerkoffs to ruin it for everybody. (kinda like high school) country folk city folk no diff at all that i can see. some put value on wild places, some don’t donate a rodent’s rectum. And i have to say, it sucks that few ruin it for the most, BUT CHILD PLEASE keep your paranoid rants about the big G being out to get us in your own scrambled tiny brain. Ask any ranger. They are trying to protect us fom the douchebags. IMHO and if you don’t agree, you might be a douche.

  19. ysj on July 27th, 2012 10:32 am

    i live on a 1.2 mile long dead end dirt road in FLA. A canal borders the road .For the first few years i lived here i used a pool screen to get all the plastic bottles out of the canal, which leads to the lagoon, river and then ocean. I also walked the road picking up trash (hey it was my driveway!) After a few years, i gave up. I know when i’m beat. 11 stinkin’ houses. new trash on the road every damn day. it only takes a couple of jerkoffs to ruin it for everybody. (kinda like high school) country folk city folk no diff at all that i can see. some put value on wild places, some don’t donate a rodent’s rectum. And i have to say, it sucks that few ruin it for the most, BUT CHILD PLEASE keep your paranoid rants about the big G being out to get us in your own scrambled tiny brain. Ask any ranger. They are trying to protect us fom the douchebags. IMHO and if you don’t agree, you might be a douche.

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