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BLM > Arizona > What We Do > Travel Management Planning > Lake Havasu Field Office > Route Evaluation Process
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Route Evaluation Process

Route Inventory Process

As directed by the Presidential Proclamation and consistent with Bureau of Land Management policy, BLM is developing a LHFO Travel Management Plan (TMP) for the long-term monitoring, maintenance, and management of the designated route system to accommodate motorized and non-motorized use for administrative purposes and public use. An inventory of existing travel routes within the LHFO, which serves as the foundation of the TMP, was competed in 2006. The inventory consisted of mapping the existing road and trail networks, route conditions, and facilities, improvements and public use areas accessed by the routes (range improvements, wildlife improvements, recreation activity areas, gates, fences, trailheads, and other features). Inventory procedures were designed to collect information necessary for planning and management for the LHFO. The following tools and procedures were used to complete the inventory: route identification using aerial photography; on the ground verification and data collection with global positioning system (GPS) equipment, and documentation of route conditions. The routes identified in the inventory were later evaluated to identify route designation alternatives for developing the comprehensive travel management plan. The route evaluation process is described below.

Description of the Route Evaluation Tree Process©

The Bureau of Land Management in Arizona has adapted the Route Evaluation Tree Process© (process), designed by Advanced Resource Solutions, Inc., for evaluating and designating routes. The process applies a standard analytical method to existing routes to assist in determining route designations, and was used to evaluate routes on the LHFO. This page describes this process in detail, lists the criteria that were applied teach route during evaluation, and explains how route designations in this RMP were derived from the route evaluation process.

The process is a tool designed to assist agency staff with the systematic collection and compilation of data necessary for the thorough evaluation, analysis and/or designation of both motorized and non-motorized routes. It builds upon the history of past efforts of route designation, assists with addressing various issues and concerns raised by both private and public entities (e.g., planning policy, sensitive resource protection, commercial access needs, recreational access preferences) and helps to assess compliance with state and federal statutory requirements that need to be considered in this type of planning effort. The process helps to build into the land use planning process a means by which to achieve desired outcomes that are specifically tailored to the needs and issues unique ta planning area. It is not a replacement for NEPA process, documents, or analysis, but rather is a tool designed to assist with the systematic collection of sensitive resource and route-use information that can then be subsequently used to evaluate and designate routes. The process or its software does not make any final decisions regarding route designation. Route designation recommendations are made by agency staff utilizing both data collected during the process and from other agency data sources. Ultimately, any decisions made regarding route designation are made by BLM managers as part of the Record of Decision.

In order to address the many facets of route evaluation and transportation planning, the process is divided into a number of smaller steps which fine-tune the information needed to successfully evaluate and designate routes.

The process takes a systematic approach to collect data and evaluate routes individually, as well as collectively, based upon statutory requirements and issues raised by the public, and plan alternative themes developed by the BLM. The result of this process is the creation of different potential designated route networks that address identified issues and constraints. The data collected through this route evaluation process may assist agency planners in making potential decisions within the environmental impact analysis process required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The process has been extensively used by the BLM and other land management agencies. The process meets or exceeds the needs of the BLM Land Use Planning requirements.

Route Evaluation Criteria

During the route evaluation process, BLM used detailed variables or criteria to evaluate each route. Route evaluations were then applied to the themes governing each alternative to produce a range of alternatives and route designations.

The following overarching criteria, developed by the BLM, were applied to the route evaluation process on the LHFO (they are listed in no particular order):

1. Resource Issues:
Association or Proximity of Route to:

  • Known Cultural Site
  • Site or Area of Tribal Significance
  • Sites on National Register of Historic Places
  • Vegetation Habitat Management Area
  • Area of Critical Environmental Concern
  • Wilderness Characteristics
  • Wildlife Habitat Management Area
  • Emergency Closure Areas
  • Sensitive Plant Species Area
  • Special Status Plant Species
  • Sensitive Wildlife Species Area

Other Resource Considerations:

  • Air Quality
  • Desert Wash
  • Dumping
  • High Density Route Area
  • Route Proliferation
  • Soils
  • Critical Habitat Designations
  • Recreation Opportunity Spectrum
  • Visual Resource Management
  • Hazards

2. Public Uses
Existing Public Uses:

  • ATV Use
  • Birding
  • Camping - Developed
  • Camping - Primitive
  • Equestrian
  • Firewood Gathering - Illegal
  • Firewood Gathering - Legal
  • Geocaching
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Motorcycle Trials
  • Motorcycle Use
  • Mountain Biking
  • OHV Touring
  • Paintball
  • Parking Area - Improved
  • Parking Area - Unimproved
  • Public Use Site Access / Interpretative Panel
  • Rockhounding
  • Shooting
  • SUV Touring
  • Vistas, Sightseeing, Photography
  • Wildlife Watching

Other Public Use Considerations:

  • Route Contributes to Public Safety
  • Route Contributes to User Conflicts
  • Route Helps Minimize User Conflicts
  • Route is a Concern for Public Safety
  • Commercial Recreation Permit
  • Special Recreation Use Permit

3. Commercial, Administrative, Property Access, and Economic Issues:
Commercial Ranching Facilities

  • Active grazing Allotment
  • Allotment Boundary Fenceline
  • Cattleguard
  • Corral
  • Fence Line (not Allotment Boundary Fence line)
  • Gate
  • Pipeline
  • Ranch
  • Ranch HQ
  • Tank, Trough
  • Water Catchment
  • Well
  • Windmill

Administrative Uses

  • Administrative Gate
  • Compliance/Enforcement Monitoring
  • Fire Suppression
  • Monitoring Site
  • Resource Treatment
  • Weed Abatement
  • Wildlife Agency Monitoring
  • Wildlife Catchment
  • Wildlife Water / Guzzler


  • Gate
  • Utility Corridor
  • Cell Site
  • Communication Site
  • Gas Pipeline
  • Electrical Transmission / Powerline
  • Telephone

Land Access

  • City Gate
  • City Land Access
  • County Land Access
  • Private Property Access
  • State Land
  • Tribal Land Access


  • Active/Inactive Mines
  • Apiary Site
  • Cemetery
  • Desert Plant Sales (from Private Land)
  • Dude Ranch
  • Landing Strip
  • Military Facility and use
  • Mining Claims
  • Officially recognized in Federal Planning Document and Maintained
  • Route is recognized as contributing to the local economy
  • Route is recognized in a local plan

Adaptation of Route Evaluation Process to LHFO Travel Management

The route evaluation concluded in a variety of route specific management designations, which vary by Alternative.