Travel on Public Lands
Whether motorized or non-motorized, on roads and trails or cross-country, travel on the public lands is a resource that the BLM manages along with numerous others.
Travel management plans (TMPs) designate road and trail systems in the context of the broader resource management plan (RMP) for a particular area.
An RMP identifies motorized travel area designations: areas that are open to cross-country travel, where travel is limited to existing or designated routes, or closed to all motorized travel. Most public lands are in the limited category. Lands may be closed to motorized travel when they contain sensitive or legally protected resources or to protect public safety. Some closures are seasonal or otherwise temporary, such as emergency closures to allow lands to stabilize and recover following a wildland fire.
Motorized cross-country travel (off-road) is discouraged in all but small areas designated specifically for this activity because it can damage wildlife habitat, spread noxious weeds, increase erosion, or ignite wildfires.
A TMP establishes designated routes on lands where travel is limited in the RMP. The travel plan may also specify or limit the types of travel allowed on designated routes: motorized (motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs, 4WD, snowmobiles, etc.) and/or non-motorized.