Willows, CA. August 15, 2008 - With only a few months left before rain and winter weather returns, it's a great time to visit and recreate on the Mendocino National Forest in northern California. The Forest now has a new Motor Vehicle Use Map available, highlighting the roads and trails designated for vehicle use when visiting the National Forest.
Motor Vehicle Use Maps are free and available at the Grindstone, Upper Lake or Covelo Ranger District offices or the Mendocino National Forest Supervisor's Office. Maps are also available online at www.fs.fed.us/r5/mendocino/maps/mvum.
The maps are presented in three parts - North, Central, and South. The maps only reflect the roads where vehicle use is permitted and reflects what type of vehicle is allowed and the season of use.
Since reference points aren't shown on these maps, it is recommended that they be used along with a general Mendocino National Forest visitor map, which can be purchased for $10 at the Grindstone, Upper Lake or Covelo Ranger District Offices or the Supervisor's Office.
For more than 30 years the Mendocino National Forest has had a system of designated vehicle routes. In 2005, the Forest Service published the national Travel Management Rule, which required each national forest to designate roads, trails and areas open to motor vehicle use.
Since then, the Mendocino National Forest has reviewed the designated routes on the Forest, gathered public input, analyzed environmental impacts, and now published the map of available routes.
If there is a route that you would like to see added to the system, please bring it to the attention of the District Ranger. The designated routes and related comments will be reviewed annually and considered for further analysis and possible addition to the system.
"The Mendocino National Forest is one of the premier forests for motorized vehicle recreation in northern California," said Forest Supervisor Tom Contreras. "We are happy to be sharing this first map and look forward to adapting it over the next several years with the help of the public."
The map contains a brief overview and definitions, as well as operator responsibilities. If a motor vehicle is operated on National Forest System lands off the designated route system on the map, the operator is subject to fines of up to $5,000 or imprisonment for up to 6 months or both.
While the Forest Service strives to maintain a visible presence throughout the Forest, available personnel is limited. Forest visitors are encouraged to help share the information regarding the new designated routes and to report illegal activity.
For more information on the Mendocino National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Map, please visit www.fs.fed.us/r5/mendocino/maps/mvum or call (530) 934-3316.