Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hunters: Watch out for kids on forest roads

The Forest Service just released a new 60-second PSA that gives Idaho hunters a head's up that they should watch out for kids riding motorbikes and ATVs on forest roads this fall.

Idaho law allows kids to ride trail machines on forest roads as long as they are accompanied by ann adult. The Forest Service is concerned about child safety. The PSA was viewed as a short-term solution.

The PSA has been distributed to all TV network stations in Idaho, as well as TV stations in the Spokane market, cable services and other TV outlets. It's also on YouTube and

Thanks for watching.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Motor Vehicle Use Maps hold key to where to ride during hunting season

If you're a big game rifle hunter, you're probably getting ready for the big hunt.

If you're planning on accessing your hunting area via an ATV or motorbike on a national forest trail, you should be aware that the Forest Service has come out with some new Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM), which replace and supercede the old travel plan maps.

Once a national forest completes its travel management planning, each ranger district in the forest is supposed to publish a MVUM to reflect the new rules and restrictions.

This information is of utmost importance to hunters because they need to know if the trails or roads they want to use are open during hunting season.

The MVUMs provide detailed information about when trails and roads are open, down to the milepost markers in some instances.

The Idaho OHV web site has a link to the MVUMs that have been published so far in the Boise National Forest and Sawtooth National Forest.

In addition, the Caribou-Targhee National Forest just published four MVUMs. Here are the links:

Be forewarned that the pdf maps are large-scale, so you will need to blow up the maps to zero in on your hunting area. Hard-copy maps are easier to read, but not as convenient to obtain.

So you may want to try reading the maps online, and if you can't figure out if your preferred trails are open or closed, call the ranger district office and see if someone can help you. Maybe they can send you a MVUM by mail. The maps are free of charge.

If you can't find any MVUMs for the areas you like to hunt in, you will need to call the national forest ranger district and ask about the status of your favorite hunting trails and roads.

For a handy reference to U.S. Forest Service offices in Idaho, check out the contacts section of

- SS

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Salmon-Challis National Forest makes final decision on motorized recreation use

The Salmon-Challis National Forest issued a final decision on Thursday regarding summer motorized recreation use in the forest, ending a three-year travel management planning process that started in May 2006.

The Record of Decision (ROD) designates 2,670 miles of roads and 864 miles of trails for motorized use for a total of 3,534 miles of motorized routes forest-wide, officials said. This is an increase of 110 miles of motorized routes, compared to the existing system, officials said. The decision also forbids cross-country travel by motorized vehicles in the forest.

Information about the final ROD can be found on the Salmon-Challis National Forest web page.

The Salmon-Challis National Forest received more than 9,000 emails and comments when it first asked for public input about summertime motorized recreation in the forest, and another 400 comments during the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) stage.

The final decision by Salmon-Challis Supervisor Bill Wood is subject to appeal in the next 45 days. If no appeals are filed, the Salmon-Challis expects to issue Motor Vehicle Use Maps that provide information about motorized roads and trail routes in late 2009.

All of Idaho’s national forests have been working through travel management plans for motorized recreation:
• The Clearwater National Forest recently extended its public comment period on its draft EIS until Oct. 2. Comments should be sent to
• The Idaho Panhandle National Forests are still working on travel management plans.
• The Payette and Sawtooth national forests have completed their travel management plans, and the Boise national forest has completed travel planning for all but two of its ranger districts.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

"Ride the Bayhorse" Trail Ride event at Bayhorse Saturday, Sept. 12

The Land of the Yankee Fork State Park is hosting a trail ride and barbecue this Saturday, Sept. 12.

The event is being billed as an ATV ride, but motorbikes and UTVs are welcome, too. Check out the many trails in the old Bayhorse ghost town and mining area and Land of the Yankee Fork country between Yankee Fork and Challis. The event is co-sponsored by Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation and the Challis Area Chamber of Commerce.

Here is a brief video and slide show about the Land of the Yankee Fork.

If you'd like to attend, RSVP to the Challis Chamber by calling 208-879-2771 or email

To contact Land of the Yankee Fork State Park, call 208-879-5244 or email