U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
OHV Adminstration Guidelines for Nevada Public Lands
The Nevada Northeastern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council (RAC), the Sierra Front Northwestern Great Basin RAC, and the Mojave-Southern Great Basin RAC, as chartered by the Department of the Interior, have developed Guidelines for the administration of Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) use on public lands within the State of Nevada. These guidelines are intended to promote cooperation among user groups, to share resources, and to minimize conflicts in accordance with the Nevada Standards for Rangeland Health. While recognizing the legitimacy and necessity of OHV use on public lands, it has become necessary to define guidelines for management of OHVs to insure the protection of land health and the availability of the public lands for all multiple users. These guidelines are to assist land managers in administrative and planning decisions. Administrators may use the guidelines for managing for land health and making decisions with regard to restricting, or not restricting OHV activity. Additionally, administrators may use the educational guidelines as tools to provide training for land managers and to inform the public on OHV use issues and ethics. Planners should use these guidelines in developing timely plans for resources and recreation use, while addressing the increasing demand for OHV use.
ON-THE-GROUND MANAGEMENT GUIDELINES
· Encourage OHV use on existing or designated roads and trails, except in closed areas, prior to land use plans being updated and road and trail inventories completed.
· Locate and manage OHV use to conserve soil functionality, vegetative cover, and watershed health. Manage OHV use to minimize the impact on the land, while maintaining OHV access.
· Manage OHV use by type, season, intensity, distribution, and/or duration to minimize the impact on plant and animal habitats. If seasonal closures become appropriate to minimize adverse OHV impact(s) on public lands resources, managers will strive to preserve public access by designating alternative routes.
· Manage OHV activities to conserve watershed and water quality.
· Monitor the impact(s) of OHV activities on all public land, water, air and other resources and uses.
· Maintain an inventory of existing road and trail systems.
· Manage OHV use to preserve cultural, historical, archeological, and paleontological resources.
· Engineer, locate, and relocate roads and trails to accommodate OHV activities while minimizing resource impacts.
· Encourage cooperation in law enforcement among all agencies.
· OHV use pursuant to a permitted activity shall be governed by the terms of the permit.
· In land use plans or plan amendments, designate areas as open, limited, or closed to OHV use.
· Address OHV management including land use and/or route designations, monitoring and adaptive management strategies, such as applying the Limits of Acceptable Change process, when developing new land use plans or amending existing land use plans. Work closely with local, state, tribal, and other affected parties and other resource users in OHV planning.
· Establish and maintain an inventory of existing routes and trails as part of the land use planning process.
· Provide for other resources and uses in OHV planning. This includes livestock grazing, other recreational uses, archeological sites, wildlife, horses and burros, and mineral extractions and coordinate with other users of public lands.
· Conduct an assessment of current and future OHV demand, and plan for and balance the demand for this use with other multiple uses/users when developing all land use plans.
· Include in land use plans, social/economic effects of OHV use, including special recreation events.
· Integrate concepts of habitat connectivity into OHV planning to minimize habitat fragmentation.
· For addressing/resolving local site-specific OHV issues/concerns, use collaborative planning groups consisting of local representative(s), affected/interested group(s) and agency(s).
· Clearly identify route and area designations.
· Where land health permits, develop sustainable OHV use areas to meet current and future demands, especially for urban interface.
· Cooperatively develop/improve public outreach programs to promote trail etiquette, environmental ethics, and responsible-use stewardship ethic.
· Promote/expand/disseminate materials from programs such as, but not limited to, “Tread Lightly!” and “Leave No Trace.”
· Provide OHV management education and training for managers, staff, partners and volunteers. Training should focus on state of the art practices and be tailored to meet local needs. Encourage communication between agencies, managers, staff, partners and volunteers to share expertise and effective techniques.
· Encourage the private sector, as well as the public sector, to conduct responsible marketing of activities on public lands while avoiding the promotion of products, behaviors and services that are inconsistent with existing regulations and land use plans.
· Develop communication and environmental education plan(s). Assess all situations where OHV use may require public information and education. Develop materials and programs appropriate to each situation.
· Utilize high use areas and special events to maximize the dissemination of responsible use education materials and concepts to the public.