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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

More national forests weigh in with their Travel Management Plans

As the new Travel Management Plans (also called the Travel Management Rules - TMR) are being implemented in the national forests, it is becoming apparent that each individual forest supervisor is approaching the plan differently in his forest.

For instance I received a report from Doug that he had just downloaded the MVUM (Motor Vehicle Use Map) for the Coronado NF in Arizona, and that they have included wide dispersed camping corridors with camping allowed up to 300 feet on either side of the many roads. He also says, "Needless to say, all the various campsites I have visited in past years remain accessible. This is in stark contrast to the Kaibab NF, where its 30-foot limit eliminates most existing campsites."

I received the following information from the San Juan NF in Colorado:
"Setting up your own campsite away from developed fee sites, also known as dispersed camping, is allowed on most of the national forests. For comprehensive information on dispersed camping opportunities, contact the San Juan Public Lands Office at 970-247-4874."

It appears, however, that there are variations across the forest, as on the website for the Pagosa Ranger district, there is a MVUM (Motor Vehicle Use Map) available on which a block titled "Dispersed Camping" states: "Motor vehicle use off of designated roads for the purpose of dispersed camping is permitted for up to 300 feet from the centerline of the road, allowing the same vehicles as the road allows and the same season as the road is open. This applies to all roads with the Dispersed Camping symbol."

I then looked a another national forest, taken at random, the Umpqua NF in Oregon and read:
MVUM will not be available until June 2012. At that time the forest supervisor stated that: "The federal rule requires designated roads, trails and areas be identified on a motor vehicle use map that is available to the public free of charge and is updated annually. Using the map, it is the responsibility of individuals to know where and when they can legally operate a motor vehicle on national forests. "

So, the best advice seems to be that before you enter a national forest for bondocking, look online for a MVUM or visit the forest's ranger station or district office and find out if their TMR has been implemented and what their specific rules are and specifically where you can camp.


  1. Always best to know where you are going.

  2. Great information. Thanks for sharing.