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FRIDAY, MARCH 14, 2014, 8:21 A.M.

Clearwater forest releases over-snow vehicle use maps

UPDATE, March 14, noon:  The Forest Service just announced that all of its systems are not up to speed and the over-snow maps mentioned in the following announcement will not be available until Monday, March 17.

WINTER SPORTS -- Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests announced today that the Clearwater Over Snow Vehicle Use Maps (OSVUMs) are available to the public at Forest offices and online.  A

At this time full implementation of the closures will begin.  OSVUMs are the winter travel map for the Clearwater National Forest. The Clearwater Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) designating forest roads, trails and areas open to motor vehicle use has been available since November. 

Read on for more details.

On January 12, 2012, the Clearwater National Forest issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision that designated roads, trails and areas where winter motorized uses are allowed.  The decision to close some roads, trails and areas (including recommended wilderness on the Clearwater to over snow motorized use) was also made at that time.  This decision is final, and we appreciate the public’s understanding and compliance with the decision. 

The Clearwater OSVUMs consist of three double sided (2’x3’) color maps – Palouse Ranger District (Front & Back), North Fork Ranger District (Front & Back), and Lochsa-Powell Ranger District (Front & Back).

“Over Snow”is defined as any motor vehicle having skis or tracks designed exclusively for over-snow travel and operated entirely on snow. Other track driven vehicles like ATVs or ATVs fitted with removable tracks are generally considered summer vehicles and are governed by restrictions on the MVUM. They are considered over-snow vehicles only when operated entirely on snow and after November 15th.

For more information, please contact any of the following Forest Service offices:  Palouse Ranger District at (208) 875-1131, Lochsa Ranger District at (208) 926-4274, Lolo Pass Visitor Center at (208) 942-3113, or the Orofino Office and North Fork Ranger District at (208) 476-4541.

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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