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Forest Service Now Offers Off-Road Guide

The Forest Service announced that the Summit Ranger District recently completed a National Forest System Road and Motorized Trail Atlas showcasing routes available for public motorized travel. Visitors may view the atlas information at the District Ranger Station, or posted at off-highway vehicle (OHV) trailheads. The atlas supports a new Forest Order, currently in effect to protect the District’s natural resource values by requiring motorized vehicles to be operated only on designated National Forest system roads and trails.

“Producing this atlas was a considerable task, requiring a lot of hard work. The benefit it provides is well worth the investment and effort. Visitors to the Summit District now have a new tool to better identify routes open to motorized use. OHV enthusiasts can find out the best places to legally ride, while protecting fragile resources,” said Forest Supervisor Tom Quinn. “We are proud of our staff for accomplishing this large project, and hope the public will enjoy discovering the motorized recreation opportunities this information displays,” continued Quinn.

The road and motorized trail atlas is now available for visitors at the Summit Ranger District office. Information from the atlas will be posted at District OHV trailheads, and other key locations. The atlas maps display routes open to motorized use and support a new Forest Order [2003-5]. The Forest Order generally prohibits operating a motor vehicle off National Forest System roads and trails on the Summit Ranger District, in order to protect natural resources.

The Forest Order is authorized by [Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations, 261.56], and will be strictly enforced. A violation of the Order’s prohibitions is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both. Copies of the Order are available at the District office and may also be viewed on the Forest website.

The Summit Ranger District offers a combined total of 500 miles of roads and trails open to motor vehicle travel. Summit District Ranger Karen Caldwell added, “We have many wonderfully scenic motorized opportunities on this District, and want visitors to enjoy them safely, respectfully, and in a way that respects the area’s scenic beauty and protects its natural resource values. Our new District atlas is an essential part of that effort.”

For more information on motorized opportunities, stop by the Summit Ranger Station in Pinecrest or visit us on the Internet at: fs.fed.us/r5/stanislaus