Two overall types of travel management decisions were completed in the RMP revision:
1. Planning Level RMP Decision: geographic areas, or “polygons” are designated open to cross country travel, closed to one or more modes of travel, or limited to designated routes to one or more modes of travel (see Approved RMP Comprehensive Trails and Travel Management section).
2. Implementation Level Decisions/Appealable: Within limited polygons, all routes must be designated to appropriate modes of travel. For example, open to all uses, limited to specific uses or dates of use or closed (see Appendix M and Approved RMP Comprehensive Trails and Travel Management TRV-IMP-01 implementation action).
Limitations to travel or modes of travel by area or route are a reflection of management objectives found in other resources or programs. These commonly include: significant habitat for plant and/or wildlife protection; extreme slopes and other soils concerns; special designations like wilderness study areas or Areas of Critical Environmental Concern; and recreation related objectives.
The initial route inventory completed in 2009 found roughly 4,000 miles of existing routes within the field office. Each alternative in the Proposed RMP weighed the use or purpose of the route with resource objectives or conflicts in the analysis to determine designations. “Limited to designated routes” is the default allocation for motorized and mechanized use in the planning area. All areas outside of the open and closed polygons by alternative are limited. Limitations vary by modes of travel, seasons of use, and types of user.
Generally, horse and foot travel is not limited to designated routes. Certain areas with high use, sensitive resources, or potential conflict with other users require that foot and horse travel is limited to designated routes or, in some alternatives, excluded all together.