BTNF signs ROD for Off Highway Vehicle Routes
For Big Piney, Jackson and Buffalo Ranger Districts of the Bridger-Teton National Forest
by Bridger-Teton National Forest
January 27, 2009
District Rangers on the Buffalo, Jackson and Big Piney Ranger District have signed the Record of Decision for the Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Route Designation Project on the Bridger-Teton National Forest. The decision will improve management of public summer motorized use by designating roads and motorized trails in areas of the Bridger-Teton National Forest where motorized use is currently not restricted.
Areas included in this project are:
Gros Ventre/Shadow Mountain
Snake River Range/Munger Mountain
Hoback Basin/Granite Creek
The decision consists of which routes are incorporated in the designated system, the season of use, and the type of motor vehicle use allowed.
The District Rangers decided to implement Alternative D with modifications made in response to public comments, information revealed through the environmental analysis, and additional on-the-ground verification of route conditions.
Within the project area, unrestricted motorized use will be eliminated and a designated system of OHV routes will be established consisting of 392-miles of road and 88-miles of motorized trail. Approximately 38 percent of the OHV routes will have some kind of seasonal restriction. By comparison, the initial preferred alternative presented in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) contained 407-miles of road and 99-miles of motorized trail with 26 percent of the OHV routes having some kind of seasonal restriction.
Compared to the current Forest transportation system within the project area, there will be fewer miles of road, more miles of motorized trail, and more routes with seasonal restrictions.
The decision will be implemented through publication of a summer motor vehicle use map in the spring of 2009.
Project objectives for the designated OHV route system were:
(1) Designate roads and motorized trails to meet identified public needs, improve the quality of the system, and reduce conflicts,
(2) Reduce resource impacts, and
(3) Improve the ability to maintain routes and enforce travel regulations.
Public input has been sought on this project since May 2006. A proposed action was released for public review on January 5, 2007.
The Draft EIS, released on June 20, 2008, presented five alternatives including a No Action alternative and an initial preferred alternative to meet the project objectives. Review of the Draft EIS generated 216 public comments. These comments were used to prepare the Final EIS and inform the decision.
The Final EIS contains a detailed response to every public comment received on the Draft EIS.
The Record of Decision, a summary of the Final EIS and the full Final EIS including the Response to Public Comments are available via a link called "North Zone Travel Plan Revision" on the Bridger-Teton National Forest website: http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/btnf .
In addition, the public is invited to attend an informational meeting on Friday February 6th from 5:30-6:30 pm to learn about the decision, how public comments were incorporated, and discuss implementation. At this meeting, copies of the decision, the response to public comments, and summary of the Final EIS will be available. The meeting will be held at the Forest Service Log Cabin adjacent to the Supervisorís Office on 340 North Cache.