U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
United States Department of the Interior
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Washington, D.C. 20240-0036
March 13, 2008
In Reply Refer To:
8300 (250) P
EMS TRANSMISSION 03/20/2008
Instruction Memorandum No. 2008-091
To: All State Directors
Attn: Travel Management Leaders, Engineers, Recreation Program Leaders
From: Assistant Director, Renewable Resources and Planning
Subject: Guidance for Signing When Implementing Comprehensive Travel and
Transportation Management Planning
Program Areas: Land Use Planning, Engineering, and All Resource Programs
Purpose: The purpose of this Instruction Memorandum (IM) is to incorporate travel and transportation management into the sign plan process and to develop consistency in travel management signing on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Signing, along with maps, kiosks, and bulletin boards, and websites, are a key element to managing and implementing comprehensive travel and transportation management plans on the ground. Road, primitive road, and trail, along with entrance and access point, signage are important elements of all route systems, and are necessary to provide users with information relating to identification, safety, and regulation. States are encouraged to consult and work with their constituents and adjoining agencies when developing sign plans or policies.
Background: Travel management signage is important on public lands, and should be part of the sign plan process. Proper signing can improve the visitor’s experience by providing the necessary information to ensure users are aware of regulations, safety, and uses. Road and trail users want to know what modes of travel are allowed or not allowed on the route they would like to use. Nationally, the BLM has identified inconsistent travel management signs as an issue. Different State or Field Office sign protocols are often confusing to visitors as they travel across the public lands. Creating a consistent approach to signing would benefit these visitors by providing the information needed to make responsible choices during their recreational pursuits.
Policy or Action: Sign plans are the primary document in BLM signing efforts. This IM is not intended to replace local or statewide efforts on signing, but to provide guidance on how to incorporate travel and transportation management into the signing process. As written in the BLM Sign Guidebook (2004), “a sign plan provides for the systematic and uniform development and maintenance of a sign system for a given area.” A sign plan is necessary to ensure that signs placed in an area are consistent with land use and other planning documents; that they are designed to be consistent with all applicable laws, regulations, and policies; and that all signs adhere to a consistent theme. A sign plan should include the goals, objectives, and responsibilities for the placement of signs, as well as an inventory of existing signs and may include a process for designing/locating new signs. The intent of this IM is to define core common elements that each state sign policy or plan should contain; see attachment 1, BLM Travel and Transportation Management Sign Guidance. Additionally, this IM will be supplemental guidance to the BLM Sign Manual, M-9130, released January 8, 2004. The Sign Manual states the policy for the sign program and the responsibilities for implementing the policy. A guidebook has been developed to explain sign implementation. For further information on the “how to” guidance, please refer to www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/Sign_Center.html.
Effective communication requires the clear, concise delivery of an understandable message through an effective medium. Signs are one of the mediums used to convey information about the BLM. Often, a sign is the only formal contact the public has with the BLM.
Attachment 1 of this IM provides guidance on how to effectively communicate the travel and transportation network to the public through use of signs. It covers consistency in sign elements, types, design, designations, and standards. Attachments 2, 3, and 4, are examples of sign guidance from Colorado, Utah, and California, for your reference.
It is important that the design and maintenance of signs adhere to the BLM’s standards to help promote a positive image of the BLM. Proper signing will help to insure a safe and enjoyable visit to the public lands.
Timeframe: These policy statements are in effect immediately. They will remain in effect until the Comprehensive Travel and Transportation Management Manual and Handbook are complete.
Budget Impact: There is no significant effect on the budget.
Manual or Handbook Sections Affected: BLM Sign Manual, M-9130, released 01/08/04.
Coordination: The BLM Washington Office Recreation and Visitor Services division prepared this guidance with consultation from National Sign Program, State Recreation, and Travel and Transportation Management Coordinators.
Contact: National OHV Coordinator, 202-452-7771; Mark Goldbach, Trails and Travel Management Coordinator, 202-452-5176.
Signed by: Authenticated by:
Edwin L. Roberson Robert M. Williams
Assistant Director Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Renewable Resources and Planning