Draft plan for off-road vehicle trails delayed until summer | SierraSun.com

Draft plan for off-road vehicle trails delayed until summer

Off-road vehicle enthusiasts will have to wait until this summer to read a draft plan that could impact their favorite routes on the Tahoe National Forest.

The report will assess which unauthorized routes should be added to the forest’s existing system of roads and motorized trails, and which of those routes should be closed to off-road vehicles.

Across the state, the route designation process on national forests has become controversial among recreationists who fear some frequently used but unauthorized routes will close.

Begun in 2004 on the Tahoe National Forest, the re-routing process has involved well-attended and emotional public meetings. Input from hikers, fishermen, motorcyclists and riders of all-terrain and four-wheel drive vehicles have provided knowledge of backwoods areas.

The process has resulted in the mapping of hundreds of miles of trails.

“After several internal reviews, there were a variety of recommended changes. The interdisciplinary team is continuing to refine alternatives and assess effects of routes on various different resources,” Tahoe National Forest officials said in a prepared statement.

After the draft environmental report is released this summer, people will have another opportunity to share their views before a final plan and map are developed.

For more information, visit http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/tahoe.

To request a copy of the report, summary or map packet, contact the federal agency by May 9 at http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/tahoe/projects_plans/ohv_inv/DEIS-response.php.

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