Notice: I've taken a part-time job, and it's definitely affecting my blogging time. I'll continue to add content here as often as possible. Pertinent guest posts are always welcome.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Finding Your Way Around the Chequamegon

sample of motorized trail use map Chequamegon National Forest
small sample of one segment of the Chequamegon National Forest motorized use map
a news release of the Chequamegon National Forest, with additional comments

Wisconsin's Chequamegon National Forest is offering free maps of the roads and trails which are open to motorized travel.

At the October 2008 Triad meeting, Forest Service Region 9 representative, John Romanowski, announced the very welcome news that as a whole, Forests will now consider trails and roads closed to motorized traffic unless posted open. These "postings" will consist of maps which would be available. Violators will no longer be able to say that they do not know where they are allowed to take vehicles. The travel management rule was actually created in 2005, and all national forests across the country must now implement it.

While some Forests previously had operated under this policy, others had not. Motorized incursion has been listed as one of the top problems of the next decade for the Forests. The Chequamegon Forest of Wisconsin contains 63 miles of North Country Trail. Illegal use of ATVs and other vehicles on the trail is an ongoing problem in many areas across the entire trail.

The first annual Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) is available free of charge at any of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest (CNNF) offices as well as on the web-site. The map is the product from the implementation of the U.S. Forest Service’s national Travel Management Rule.

The MVUM displays the roads and trails designated as open to public motorized travel on the CNNF. The MVUM also displays allowed uses by vehicle class (for example, off-highway vehicles and highway legal vehicles), season of allowed use, and provides information on other travel rules and regulations. Routes not shown on this first MVUM are unavailable for public motorized travel. It will be the public’s responsibility to know where they are on the MVUM.

"This first MVUM is the product of over 2 years of gathering public comments. We will continue with our commitment to provide education, out-reach and the opportunity to be part of this annual process." said Forest Supervisor, Jeanne Higgins. To bring a road forward for consideration for the next MVUM to be published in March 2010 comments need to be received by the end of November 2009.

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest Public Affairs Officer Suzanne Flory says, "The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest has a lot more road than a lot of other national forest, lot of the roads are old logging roads or user made roads so there is actually thousands and thousands of miles of roads out on the forest so its really important for people to have this map because this will be their one tool to really know what is available and or unavailable as there traveling out on the forest." The road maps will need to be used in tandem with other forest maps for best information.

Hikers will want to purchase trail maps from the North Country Trail Association. It is welcome news that the Forests are taking steps to help preserve hiking trails for hikers.

See Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest Road Maps

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