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USFS - Lassen/Modoc NF - Patrol District

  This LE application states the Lassen NF has 713 miles of ML 3-5 roads (closed to OHV travel) and 2,585 miles of ML 2 roads (open to OHV travel). The LNF's 2010 Travel Management Plan did NOT consider the following when the Plan's decision was issued: 1) there are miles of interconnecting, unpaved county roads through the forest where OHV travel is legal and permitted by the counties - these roads look just like Lassen NF ML 3-4 roads. 2) OHV riders can't tell unpaved county roads from FS ML 3 or 4 roads. Therefore, they have no idea where it is legal to ride through the forest. 3) OHV riders cannot access many of the 2,585 miles of ML 2 roads as they are prohibited from riding on unpaved ML 3-4 roads that provide the only connection with ML 2 roads. For the past 7 years, five counties (Butte, Lassen, Plumas, Shasta and Tehama) that lie within the boundaries of the Lassen NF have been asking to coordinate with the Lassen NF to designate 664 miles of unpaved ML 3 and 4 roads for mixed use. This would provide an interconnected system of county and FS roads for OHV riding. It would achieve compatible road management polices between the FS and counties, which is badly needed to provide a seamless transportation system for OHV enthusiasts. To date (7 years later), the Lassen NF has refused to coordinate with the counties on their OHV plan and now their OSV planning process. Please note: coordination with local governments is required by the FS Travel Management Rule and FS directives. It is stated many times in this higher level direction for Forest Supervisors to do. So far, the Lassen NF has rejected the 5 counties' proposal to analyze 664 miles of roads they requested. Three counties have completed their own engineering analysis of FS roads they want to open to OHV recreation to push the FS along. I do not support funding this application when Lassen NF management lacks the will and ability to manage OHV recreation on the forest, and refuses to coordinate on the counties' proposal to provide interconnecting mixed use roads. Amending the Lassen's Travel Management Plan should not take 7 years! I do not support this application as the Lassen NF is not even implementing their 2010 Travel Management Plan with enforcement of current prohibitions even though they have issued MVUM maps that show you can't ride OHVs on ML 3-4 roads. This is really confusing! Until the FS comes up with a collaborative Plan that makes sense, why reward them with LE funds to enforce what they can't and won't enforce anyway? Most of what they say they'll do in the application is not transferring to performance on the ground. Elizabeth Norton - 3/8/15


  I do NOT support funding the LNF's LE grant request from the CA OHMVR Division. 1. The Lassen National Forest has failed to coordinate with the 5 counties within the NF when developing their Motorized Travel Management Plan. 2. The 5 Counties have made many attempts to encourage the LNF to start coordination without success. 3. In their request for a grant, the LNF states there are 2,585 miles of designated level 2 forest roads. What they failed to say is they are prohibiting OHV on level 3 and 4 roads (which have historically had OHV travel). These level 3 and 4 roads connect the level 2 roads. In order to use the level 2 roads, the forest visitor must “trailer” their OHV on a level 3 or 4 road to each level 2 road in order to use it, even if the level 2 roads are ¼ mile (or less) a part. 4. In order to prohibit OHV travel on level 3 and 4 roads, the LNF has used the CVC definition of highway for their level 3 and 4 roads, even though the CHP states that is a misuse of the CVC definition. They are not prohibiting travel on level 3 and 4 roads because of safety concerns (the statistics of mixed-use accidents do not define these roads as being unsafe); but, because of a misinterpretation of the CVC, which the CHP has tried to correct (December 19, 2007 letter from CHP Deputy Commissioner J. A. Farrow (now Commissioner) to R5 Regional Forester Randy Moore); but, the FS will not listen and has even not responded to meeting requests by the CHP. 5. If the Lassen National Forest was concerned about public safety on their Forest roads, they would embark on an aggressive off-highway safety campaigm to promote safe mixed-use on all forest roads as suggested by CHP T. A. Morrison in a 12-11-2009 letter to the R5 Regional Forester, Randy Moore. They have not. 6. In the Federal Register Final Rule Travel Designation Route – Part IV Department of Agriculture Forest Service 36 CFR Parts 212, 251, 261 and 295 Travel Management, it states the agency shall seek cooperation of relevant State agencies in the dissemination of information where off-road vehicles use is permitted. I have not seen this happen. 7. The Lassen stated the Motorized Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM) would be updated yearly. It is now 2015 and the most current map is the 2011 version. 8. The Lassen National Forest stated in their Motorized Travel Management (MTM) Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), under education, they would distribute brochures promoting responsible use. This has not been done. 9. In the Lassen National Forest MTM FEIS, under education, they stated many other methods they would use to educate the public on their Motorized Travel Management Plan. Most of these methods have not been implemented. 10. The Lassen NF could use their Website, District Office displays, Forest Visitor Guide, Newspapers, Radio, Counities’ Visitor Guides, and social media (Facebook, Twitter, …) to educate the public. They have not. 11. I have traveled over 3000 miles on Forest Service roads (level 2, 3 and 4) on my atv and have not been approached by any Forest Service personnel about where to ride, even though I have seen FS personnel during my travels. The Lassen National Forest should NOT be rewarded with a grant from the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation division for their poorly managed Motorized Travel Management Program, for failing to coordinate with the 5 Counties involved, for failing to educate the public and for restricting OHV travel on level 3 and 4 roads. I do NOT support funding the LNF's LE grant request from the CA OHMVR Division. Greg Sanders - 3/13/15