Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for December 9, 2009
Dixie National Forest to implement travel plan
The Dixie National Forest has begun implementation of a Motorized Travel Plan. Decision on the plan was authorized this summer. While there were six administrative appeals to the plan, all but one have been resolved informally. The Intermountain Regional Office has upheld the forest decision on the remaining appeal.
The plan prohibits cross-country (off-trail) motorized travel, yet establishes a system of approximately 2,700 miles of designated motorized routes.
“Implementing the Dixie National Forest Motorized Travel Plan demonstrates our commitment to stewardship of natural resources on national forest system lands,” said Forest Supervisor Rob MacWhorter. “We feel our system of designated routes provides a world-class recreation experience for the motorized user, but also preserves a world-class recreation experience in other areas for non-motorized users.”
Cedar Mountain resident and business owner Bryan Romney said residents had worked with the Forest Service over the years on designated travel routes, and that the mountain has a great riding system. He objects to the ‘all roads are closed, unless marked open’ concept that has been implemented, but adds having marked, designated trails is smart, encouraging proper use and not harming resources by users going off-road.
“From a business perspective concerning tourism,” said Romney, “it (tourism) hasn’t changed for us. A majority of people visiting here do use motorized travel. The trail system has been a benefit.”
Those using the forest can expect to see crews moving boulders, ripping roads and placing signs across the Dixie National Forest in the upcoming months. A public map will be made available in early 2010 to assist and inform about appropriate motorized uses under the plan.