United States Department of the Interior
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
New Mexico State Office
1474 Rodeo Road
P. O. Box 27115
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87502-0115
IN REPLY REFER TO:
1780 (93100)P November 26, 1997
Groupwise Transmission - 12/03/97
Instruction Memorandum No. NM-98-009
To: DM's and AM's
From: State Director
Subject: Transmittal of the New Mexico Bureau of Land
Management Resource Advisory Council Off Highway Vehicle
As you are aware, the New Mexico Resource Advisory Council
(RAC) has been working on and completed the Off Highway Vehicle
(OHV) Recommendations. During the last RAC meeting in
Albuquerque, New Mexico, on November 20-21, 1997, the New Mexico
Bureau of Land Management (NM BLM) agreed to distribute the
"BLM RAC OHV Recommendations" dated June 26, 1997, to
the Field Office Managers in NM. A copy of the recommendations is
attached for your implementation as appropriate in your offices'
If there are any questions, please contact Dave Mensing. Dave
can be reached at the New Mexico State Office at 505- 438-7418.
|Signed by:||Authenticated by:|
|Richard A. Whitley||Sophie Leyba|
|Acting State Director||Office Automation Assistant|
OHV Recommendations (2 pp)
WO (240, Karen Slater), LS, Rm. 401 - 1
RS-100 - 1
NM (950, DSD) - 1
NM (912, Chief OEA) - 1
NM (931, Bob Armstrong) - 1
NM (931, Dave Mensing) - 1
Office of the Lt. Governor
State Capitol Rm. 417
Santa Fe, NM 87503 - 1
BLM RAC OHV Recommendation
June 26, 1997
The New Mexico BLM RAC has developed proposed standards for
sustaining the health of BLM lands in New Mexico. Proposed
guidelines have been developed for users who graze livestock on
these lands to assist them in meeting the standards.
Recognizing that the public land users other than those
related to livestock grazing activities also contribute to
rangeland health conditions, the NM RAC offers the following
recommendations that apply to management of off-highway-vehicles
(OHV) on public lands.
NM BLM should:
1) Assign higher priority to off-highway-vehicle (OHV)
management activities, especially through on-the-ground presence
during hunting seasons and at other high use times or areas.
2) Cooperate and coordinate with the US Forest Service, NM
Dept. of Game and Fish, NM State Land Office, NM State Parks
Division, and other federal, state, county and local agencies in
developing policies for OHV management.
3) Develop area OHV plans using detailed proposals from OHV,
environmental, BLM and other public land users, working together
as a team. Plans should include inventory of roads and trails,
designation of routes and areas, mapping of areas and systems,
and enforcement of all designations without prejudice. Such plans
should emphasize low impact recreational experiences.
4) Inventory unpaved roads and trails on public lands in New
Mexico, provide updated maps for the public, increase and improve
signage, and designate usable roads, trails, and "open"
areas. BLM should utilize the services and expertise of the state
and local OHV associations and clubs, and other public land
users. BLM should develop creative funding mechanisms such as
grants, user fees and/or volunteer services and permit fees, in
order to maintain OHV routes and areas as well as to fund
enforcement, inventory, mapping, and signing efforts in these
5) Develop OHV information and training programs for users and
managers that parallel those of other land management agencies;
and support Tread Lightly and other educational efforts.
6) Work to coordinate and improve enforcement, especially for better hunt management (increased presence), including more stringent penalties to effectively deter OHV use violations. Encourage and promote volunteer trail patrols, facilitate education and develop patrol standards.
7) Change general open OHV designations to - limited to:
designated; roads, trails, and specific use locations. Close
designated sensitive areas. Cross-country travel (unmanaged
travel not on existing roads or trails) should not be allowed
without agency authorization. Unanticipated resource damage or
lack of maintenance or enforcement funds could be a reason to
consider temporary or permanent closure of the designated OHV
trails in question.
8) Consider other options for the development of OHV
opportunities; i.e., on private land or utilizing private/public
9) Consider the needs of persons with disabilities and their
access to roads, trails and hunting opportunities utilizing
10) Consider the option that roads may be gated to help
protect against habitat fragmentation, vandalism, etc.
These recommendations may not apply to permittees due to the
fact their actions are covered by other authorizations.
Closed - A designation that should be applicable to designated
wilderness and wilderness study areas, lands where unresolved and
unmitigated degradation or damage has occurred, or where the BLM
has designated sensitive areas, endangered or threatened species
habitat, or areas of critical environmental concerns.
OHV Use - Any use by a motorized vehicle off paved roads and
roads and trails regularly and frequently maintained for general
transportation purposes. Back country roads which are used for a
specific purpose such as oil and gas operations or livestock
grazing are considered as off highway vehicle routes. OHV use can
involve cross-country, road, and trail use.
Open - A designation that should be limited to specific
locations that have no designated endangered species, rare plants
and/or animals, cultural and/or historical areas, wilderness
study areas, or areas of critical environmental concern.
Permittees - Interests, such as oil and gas, ranching,
recreational (including both motorized and non-motorized), and
others, that are permitted for specific activities.
Route of travel - Any road or trail that is at least two feet
wide and shows significant evidence of prior use. In case of
washes, a wash is considered a route of travel if it is
traditionally used as a route of travel and connects existing