Users of motor vehicles on the Tongass National Forest should stop by their local ranger district to pick up the current copy of the Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM), available now. There is a separate MVUM for each district or unit.
The maps were developed as a requirement of the 2005 Travel Management Rule to balance the care of national forest system land with public enjoyment of motorized vehicles. The maps identify and designate those roads, trails and areas that are open to motor vehicle use on the Tongass National Forest for each respective ranger district or unit. The maps also specify vehicle classes that may travel the roads and trails, and indicate seasonal restrictions.
Motor vehicle use off these designated routes and open areas is prohibited. Motor vehicles are defined as any self-propelled vehicle (other than a wheelchair), and include off-highway vehicles (OHVs), all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), all motorcycles, cars, trucks, sport utility vehicles and off-road vehicles such as 4-by-4 trucks or Jeeps. This prohibition does not affect the use of machines designed for use over snow, specifically snowmobiles.
The maps were developed as part of an open, public process. Tongass land managers worked with motorized sports enthusiasts, conservationists, state and local officials, tribal governments and others through a series of public meetings and comment periods to gain public input before making any decision on a particular road, trail or area.
Each unit or ranger district is required to look at the MVUMs annually, and to modify them, if needed. Maps will be updated each year. Valid MVUMs will have the current year stamped or printed on them. It is the responsibility of the motorized vehicle user to obtain a valid MVUM for their area, and to be knowledgeable about restrictions.
OHV and other motorized vehicles are fun and exciting ways to experience national forests. The U.S. Forest Service has seen dramatic increases in motorized recreation in the last decade. The agency will continue to work to provide responsible motorized recreational opportunities in national forests and grasslands for the long run.
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For more info: Tongass National Forest