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USDA Forest Service Geospatial Transportation Activities

USDA Forest Service Geospatial Transportation Activities

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USDA Forest Service Geospatial Transportation Activities

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  1. USDA Forest ServiceGeospatial Transportation Activities National States Geographic Information Council 2008 Midyear Conference Betsy Kanalley Assistant Geospatial Services Program Coordinator USDA Forest Service

  2. Forest Service Organization • National Headquarters in Washington,DC • 9 Regional Offices • 155 National Forests and 20 Grasslands • 600 Ranger Districts • 193 million acres (78 million hectares) • Research • 7 stations • 50 field offices • State and Private Forestry • Fire & Aviation • Forest Health Protection • International Programs

  3. US Forest Service Mission • Mission • The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. • Motto “Caring for the Land and Serving People”

  4. Forest Service Transportation Management • 375,000 miles of roads on National Forest System Lands • 68,000 miles of Class 3 - 5 Roads or “Passenger Car” Roads • 214,000 miles of Class 2 or “High Clearance” Roads • Mixed Uses --May be used by Off Highway Vehicles (OHVs) • 93,000 miles of Class 1 or “Closed” or “Stored” Roads • These are not obliterated or decommissioned roads Miles of road based on 2007 inventory

  5. Proposed 2008 Planning Rule • Brings People together with the Forest Service to develop land management plans which provide the framework for all resource and recreation management on National Forests and Grasslands nationwide • Expands public involvement • early and frequent public dialog in all phases of development, implementation and monitoring • Provides an opportunity for comprehensive transportation planning as part of the process • Address local issues • Incorporate latest science and technology

  6. Forest Planning – Issues and Focus • Healthy Forests make for a Healthy Nation • Four Threats to Healthy Forests: • Fire and fuels—Restore healthy, disturbance-resilient ecosystems on lands at risk from catastrophic fire • Invasive species—Protect forest and rangeland ecosystems by preventing the release of non-native species and by controlling the spread, or eradicating, invasive species.

  7. Caring for the Land and Serving People • Four Threats to Healthy Forests continued: • Loss of open space—Conserve the nation’s forests and rangelands most at risk due to subdivision and land conversion by working with partners, communities and landowners to balance development with sustaining ecosystem services and viable working landscapes • Unmanaged recreation—Work with partners to develop travel management plans that regulate the use of Off Highway Vehicles (OHVs) on designated roads, trails, and parks in an appropriate manner.

  8. Unmanaged Recreation Issues • It is every American’s birthright to use the national forests and grasslands in multiple ways • Visitors to National Forest lands grew 18 times from 1946 to 2000. In 2002, the number of visitors reached 214 million. • One of the fastest growing forms of outdoor recreation involves the use of OHVs. • OHV owners and users have risen from about 5 million in 1972 to 36 million in 2002. • OHV users account for about 11 million visitors, or 5 percent, to the national forests and grasslands.

  9. OHV Use on National Forests • The phenomenal increase in use of National Forests for recreational activities raises the need to manage the use of off-highway vehicles (OHVs). • OHVs are motorized vehicles such as: • all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), • snowmobiles • sport utility vehicles (SUVs), • off-highway motorcycles, • and similar means of transportation. • Only a small number of OHV use leaves lasting traces on the land. • even this small percentage has created undesired impacts.

  10. Unmanaged Recreation Inappropriate use of OHVs can cause lasting damage

  11. Forest Service Travel Management Rule • Published November 9, 2005 (36 CFR Parts 212, 261 and 295) • Requires Each National Forest and Grassland to designate • those roads, trails and areas open to motor vehicle use • Web site:

  12. Designating OHV Routes • Since adoption of the new rule, individual national forests and ranger districts are determining which roads, trails, and areas to designate for motor vehicle use in coordination with State, county, and local and tribal governments. • Public participation in decision making process • Determining which trails or roads should be open or closed to motor vehicles on a site specific basis • Designations will include class of vehicle and time of year. • Some trails will be managed for nonmotorized use. • Final designations must be clearly communicated to the public - key to success

  13. Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) • The MVUM is required under the new Travel Management Rule • Clarifies what types of motor vehicle are allowed, when, and where • Only designated routes shown on the map are open to motorized use, and all motorized vehicles must be street legal under governing state law • Under the Travel Management Rule these Motor Vehicle Use Maps are available to the public free of charge

  14. Motor Vehicle Use Maps • As of the end of FY 2007 almost 12.5% of NFS lands (23.9 million acres) were covered by a Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) • displaying motorized route and area designations. • An additional 45 National Forests and Grasslands are expected to produce MVUMs by the end of FY 2008. • Designation decisions on all national forests and grasslands are expected to be completed by December 2009. • As a result of this process, much of the Forest Service roads data is being standardized and centralized and is available to share with our partners

  15. Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM) completed in 2007 R-1 – Gallatin; R-2 – Bighorn, Routt, Grand Mesa, and Uncompahgre; R-3 – Black Kettle/McLellan Grasslands; R-4 - Fishlake, Uinta, Caribou; R-5 - Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, San Bernardino; R-8 - El Yunque, Cherokee, Chattahoochee-Oconee, Daniel Boone, Francis Marion-Sumter, NFs in Alabama, NFs in North Carolina, Ozark-St. Francis; and R-9 – Finger Lakes, Hiawatha, Hoosier, Midewin, Monongahela, Ottawa, and White Mountain.

  16. Motor Vehicle Use Map Sample Web View

  17. Forest Service GeoData Clearinghouse http//

  18. FS Geo Data Clearinghouse • For More Information: • FS Geospatial Service Geospatial Services and Technology Center (GSTC) • • FS Remote Sensing Applications Center •

  19. Forest Service Geospatial Contacts • Geospatial Program • Susan DeLost • Betsy Kanalley • Regional Geospatial Program Managers • National GIS Coordinator • Ron Gendreau • Regional GIS Coordinators

  20. THANK YOU!