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Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) Information and Frequently Asked Questions

The Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) is a requirement of the 2005 Final Travel Management Rule and reflects travel management decisions on each Forest. The MVUM displays National Forest System (NFS) routes (roads and trails) or areas designated as open to motorized travel. The MVUM also displays allowed uses by vehicle class (ex. highway-legal vehicles, vehicles less than 50 inches wide and motorcycles), seasonal allowances, distance allowances, and provides information on other travel rules and regulations. Routes not shown on the MVUM are not open to public motor vehicle travel. Routes designated for motorized use may not always be signed on the ground but will be identified on the MVUM. It will be the public's responsibility to reference the MVUM to stay on designated routes for motor vehicle use. Motor Vehicle Use Maps do not currently show mechanized, non-motorized and over-snow vehicle use.

The MVUM is a black and white map with no topographic features. It is a map for legal designations of where you can travel with various motorized vehicles, but for additional reference it is best used in conjunction with a Forest Visitor Map or other detailed map. 

Is this map current?

The MVUM will be updated as needed to correct mapping errors or discrepancies and update travel decisions. The most recent versions of the maps are required to be referenced and posted within the individual Forest webpages. 

How do I view and print?

If you do not already have a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader you can download a copy from Adobe. To print, once the Motor Vehicle Map opens, zoom into the area you wish to print. From the menu bar select FILE and PRINT. Under PAGES TO PRINT select MORE OPTIONS, then CURRENT VIEW. Under PAGE SIZING and HANDLING select FIT. Select your preferred orientation and PRINT.

Where can I get a Motor Vehicle Use Map?

Maps are required to be posted online and are most frequently found on a Forest's Maps and Publication Page.  Paper maps can often be found at visitor centers.

What do you mean by vehicle class?  

By vehicle class, we are referring to size or type of motorized vehicle.  The following are typical MVUM vehicle class and route designations:

  • Roads open to highway legal vehicles only
  • Roads open to all vehicles (licensed and unlicensed)
  • Trails open to vehicles 50 inches or less in width (ATV, motorcycle, etc.)
  • Trails open to all (full size) vehicles (trails may be rugged and narrow - intended for 4x4s)
  • Trails open to motorcycles only (single track)

Legal does not mean prudent. It is important to understand that the legal use on a route is not synonymous with the development level of the route.  For example, low standard roads may allow ALL motor vehicles, which would include low clearance passenger cars and even motor homes, although it may not be wise to do so.  Use discretion when traveling in the forest.  Forest Visitor maps are a great companion to the MVUM and can aid in your travel plans.

What do you mean by a season allowance?

Some routes or areas may be open only during certain times of the year for various reasons such as to reduce wildlife disturbance, protect users from unsafe or impassable conditions and to reduce impacts to other resource values, like soil, water, and vegetation.

Are there road and trail route marker signs on the ground?

In some cases, a route marker may exist at the entrance of the road/trail with symbols indicating which classes of vehicles are allowed. Routes designated for motorized uses will be identified on the MVUM. The MVUM is an enforcement tool to ensure individuals are on the correct route. It is the responsibility of the user to determine if they are on a route designated for the motor vehicle being used. MVUM's will be developed for each forest nationwide. It is not only a tool for motorized users, but also a consistent and standardized law enforcement tool.

What is the USFS enforcement strategy?

The Forest Service tries to educate the public about the specifics of the regulations shown within the MVUM. Howerver, law enforecement officers can issue a notice of violation anytime after the MVUM is publicly available.

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