Skip to Content

Deschutes NF roadless decision released


The Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and the Crooked River National Grassland announced Monday a decision that will guide changes to motor vehicle use on public lands.

Following an extensive planning and environmental analysis process with significant public involvement the two forests and grassland will implement new motor vehicle use rules on local Forest Service managed lands.

The decision will do the following:

Limit motor vehicle use to existing designated roads and trail system roads Designate some gravel pits open to motorized access Create new conditions for motor vehicle access off of designated roads for dispersed camping Change some system roads to highway legal vehicle use only No existing designated roads or motorized trails are being closed as a result of the decision; however, changes to cross-country travel, motorized access for dispersed camping, and motorized mixed use of some system roads will result from the decision. Cross-country travel will no longer be allowed on the two Forests and Grassland except in designated areas. Motorized access for dispersed camping sites will be limited to within 300 feet of the designated road and motor vehicles will not be allowed to park closer than 30 feet to any wetland, stream, or waterbody at dispersed campsites.

The decision will not be implemented for at least 45 days following the publication of the legal notice in the Bend Bulletin, planned for Sept. 7, 2011. The first year of implementation will focus on education. Given the change in motor vehicle use the Forest Service wants to provide time for the public to understand the specifics of the new rules.

The decision makes no changes to developed campgrounds and does not address motorized travel on snowmobiles or snow machines or other permitted activities such as firewood cutting.


The 2005 Travel Management Rule mandated each National Forest and Grassland publish a Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) showing designated roads, trails, and areas open to motor vehicle use. Prior to the 2005 Travel Management Rule, National Forest and Grasslands were open to motor vehicle use unless designated closed. Under the 2005 Rule, National Forest and Grasslands are closed to motor vehicle use unless shown open on a Motor Vehicle Use Map.


The Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and the Crooked River National Grassland have prepared Motor Vehicle Use Maps. These maps will show all roads, trails and areas that allow motorized use, including the type of vehicle and season of use allowed on the route or in the designated area. The maps also will show where motorized access for dispersed camping is allowed on National Forest or Grasslands. The maps will be provided free to the public and updated annually.

Following the implementation of the decision, the only motor vehicle travel allowed off designated open roads or trails or outside of designated areas is to access dispersed camping sites. Motorized access for dispersed camping can occur at three types of sites: designated, defined, or existing. Motorized access is limited to 300 feet from the edge of a road to access a dispersed campsite. During the analysis it was found that the vast majority of dispersed camping sites are within 300 feet from the edge of a road. Motor vehicles at dispersed sites, cannot park closer than 30 feet from a stream, wetland, or water body.

For more information or to get the free Motor Vehicle Use Maps, please visit a local Forest Service office.

Deschutes National Forest Headquarters

1001 SW Emkay

Bend, OR 97702


Bend-Ft. Rock Ranger District

1230 NE 3rd Street Suite A-262

Bend, OR 97701


Crescent Ranger District

136471 Hwy 97

Crescent, OR 97733


Sisters Ranger District

Pine Street and Hwy 20

Sisters, OR 97759


Ochoco National Forest Headquarters

Lookout Ranger District

Paulina Ranger District

3160 NE 3rd Street

Prineville, OR 97754


Crooked River National Grassland

813 SW Hwy 97

Madras, OR 97741


Rager Ranger Station

7803 Beaver Creek Road

Paulina, OR 97751


Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

KTVZ News Team


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content