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e-CFR data is current as of October 22, 2020

Title 36Chapter IIPart 212 → Subpart B


Title 36: Parks, Forests, and Public Property
PART 212—TRAVEL MANAGEMENT


Subpart B—Designation of Roads, Trails, and Areas for Motor Vehicle Use


Contents
§212.50   Purpose, scope, and definitions.
§212.51   Designation of roads, trails, and areas.
§212.52   Public involvement.
§212.53   Coordination with Federal, State, county, and other local governmental entities and tribal governments.
§212.54   Revision of designations.
§212.55   Criteria for designation of roads, trails, and areas.
§212.56   Identification of designated roads, trails, and areas.
§212.57   Monitoring of effects of motor vehicle use on designated roads and trails and in designated areas.

Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1011(f), 16 U.S.C. 551, E.O. 11644, 11989 (42 FR 26959).

Source: 70 FR 68288, Nov. 9, 2005, unless otherwise noted.

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§212.50   Purpose, scope, and definitions.

(a) Purpose. This subpart provides for a system of National Forest System roads, National Forest System trails, and areas on National Forest System lands that are designated for motor vehicle use. After these roads, trails, and areas are designated, motor vehicle use, including the class of vehicle and time of year, not in accordance with these designations is prohibited by 36 CFR 261.13. Motor vehicle use off designated roads and trails and outside designated areas is prohibited by 36 CFR 261.13.

(b) Scope. The responsible official may incorporate previous administrative decisions regarding travel management made under other authorities, including designations and prohibitions of motor vehicle use, in designating National Forest System roads, National Forest System trails, and areas on National Forest System lands for motor vehicle use under this subpart.

(c) For definitions of terms used in this subpart, refer to §212.1 in subpart A of this part.

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§212.51   Designation of roads, trails, and areas.

(a) General. Motor vehicle use on National Forest System roads, on National Forest System trails, and in areas on National Forest System lands shall be designated by vehicle class and, if appropriate, by time of year by the responsible official on administrative units or Ranger Districts of the National Forest System, provided that the following vehicles and uses are exempted from these designations:

(1) Aircraft;

(2) Watercraft;

(3) Over-snow vehicles (see §212.81);

(4) Limited administrative use by the Forest Service;

(5) Use of any fire, military, emergency, or law enforcement vehicle for emergency purposes;

(6) Authorized use of any combat or combat support vehicle for national defense purposes;

(7) Law enforcement response to violations of law, including pursuit; and

(8) Motor vehicle use that is specifically authorized under a written authorization issued under Federal law or regulations.

(b) Motor vehicle use for dispersed camping or big game retrieval. In designating routes, the responsible official may include in the designation the limited use of motor vehicles within a specified distance of certain forest roads or trails where motor vehicle use is allowed, and if appropriate within specified time periods, solely for the purposes of dispersed camping or retrieval of a downed big game animal by an individual who has legally taken that animal.

[70 FR 68288, Nov. 9, 2005, as amended at 73 FR 74613, Dec. 9, 2008]

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§212.52   Public involvement.

(a) General. The public shall be allowed to participate in the designation of National Forest System roads, National Forest System trails, and areas on National Forest System lands and revising those designations pursuant to this subpart. Advance notice shall be given to allow for public comment, consistent with agency procedures under the National Environmental Policy Act, on proposed designations and revisions. Public notice with no further public involvement is sufficient if a National Forest or Ranger District has made previous administrative decisions, under other authorities and including public involvement, which restrict motor vehicle use over the entire National Forest or Ranger District to designated routes and areas, and no change is proposed to these previous decisions and designations.

(b) Absence of public involvement in temporary, emergency closures—(1) General. Nothing in this section shall alter or limit the authority to implement temporary, emergency closures pursuant to 36 CFR part 261, subpart B, without advance public notice to provide short-term resource protection or to protect public health and safety.

(2) Temporary, emergency closures based on a determination of considerable adverse effects. If the responsible official determines that motor vehicle use on a National Forest System road or National Forest System trail or in an area on National Forest System lands is directly causing or will directly cause considerable adverse effects on public safety or soil, vegetation, wildlife, wildlife habitat, or cultural resources associated with that road, trail, or area, the responsible official shall immediately close that road, trail, or area to motor vehicle use until the official determines that such adverse effects have been mitigated or eliminated and that measures have been implemented to prevent future recurrence. The responsible official shall provide public notice of the closure pursuant to 36 CFR 261.51, including reasons for the closure and the estimated duration of the closure, as soon as practicable following the closure.

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§212.53   Coordination with Federal, State, county, and other local governmental entities and tribal governments.

The responsible official shall coordinate with appropriate Federal, State, county, and other local governmental entities and tribal governments when designating National Forest System roads, National Forest System trails, and areas on National Forest System lands pursuant to this subpart.

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§212.54   Revision of designations.

Designations of National Forest System roads, National Forest System trails, and areas on National Forest System lands pursuant to §212.51 may be revised as needed to meet changing conditions. Revisions of designations shall be made in accordance with the requirements for public involvement in §212.52, the requirements for coordination with governmental entities in §212.53, and the criteria in §212.55, and shall be reflected on a motor vehicle use map pursuant to §212.56.

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§212.55   Criteria for designation of roads, trails, and areas.

(a) General criteria for designation of National Forest System roads, National Forest System trails, and areas on National Forest System lands. In designating National Forest System roads, National Forest System trails, and areas on National Forest System lands for motor vehicle use, the responsible official shall consider effects on National Forest System natural and cultural resources, public safety, provision of recreational opportunities, access needs, conflicts among uses of National Forest System lands, the need for maintenance and administration of roads, trails, and areas that would arise if the uses under consideration are designated; and the availability of resources for that maintenance and administration.

(b) Specific criteria for designation of trails and areas. In addition to the criteria in paragraph (a) of this section, in designating National Forest System trails and areas on National Forest System lands, the responsible official shall consider effects on the following, with the objective of minimizing:

(1) Damage to soil, watershed, vegetation, and other forest resources;

(2) Harassment of wildlife and significant disruption of wildlife habitats;

(3) Conflicts between motor vehicle use and existing or proposed recreational uses of National Forest System lands or neighboring Federal lands; and

(4) Conflicts among different classes of motor vehicle uses of National Forest System lands or neighboring Federal lands.

In addition, the responsible official shall consider:

(5) Compatibility of motor vehicle use with existing conditions in populated areas, taking into account sound, emissions, and other factors.

(c) Specific criteria for designation of roads. In addition to the criteria in paragraph (a) of this section, in designating National Forest System roads, the responsible official shall consider:

(1) Speed, volume, composition, and distribution of traffic on roads; and

(2) Compatibility of vehicle class with road geometry and road surfacing.

(d) Rights of access. In making designations pursuant to this subpart, the responsible official shall recognize:

(1) Valid existing rights; and

(2) The rights of use of National Forest System roads and National Forest System trails under §212.6(b).

(e) Wilderness areas and primitive areas. National Forest System roads, National Forest System trails, and areas on National Forest System lands in wilderness areas or primitive areas shall not be designated for motor vehicle use pursuant to this section, unless, in the case of wilderness areas, motor vehicle use is authorized by the applicable enabling legislation for those areas.

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§212.56   Identification of designated roads, trails, and areas.

Designated roads, trails, and areas shall be identified on a motor vehicle use map. Motor vehicle use maps shall be made available to the public at the headquarters of corresponding administrative units and Ranger Districts of the National Forest System and, as soon as practicable, on the website of corresponding administrative units and Ranger Districts. The motor vehicle use maps shall specify the classes of vehicles and, if appropriate, the times of year for which use is designated.

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§212.57   Monitoring of effects of motor vehicle use on designated roads and trails and in designated areas.

For each administrative unit of the National Forest System, the responsible official shall monitor the effects of motor vehicle use on designated roads and trails and in designated areas under the jurisdiction of that responsible official, consistent with the applicable land management plan, as appropriate and feasible.

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