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Alaska Travel and Transportation
The BLM manages approximately 72 million acres of public lands in Alaska. Most of these lands are remote, with little or no road access, but there are thousands of miles of trails. While travel may be challenging, access to and across BLM-managed public lands occurs for a variety of reasons:
- recreational access to public lands
- access to resources such as minerals or oil and gas
- access to private inholdings
- access to traditional subsistence areas
The BLM addresses comprehensive travel and transportation management through a land use planning process that produces regional Resource Management Plans (RMP). Each RMP involves public participation and input to identify existing and proposed access needs. The RMP uses this information to determine Off-Highway Vehicle area designations for the planning area. The three types of Off-Highway Vehicle designations are:
- OPEN - Use of motorized vehicles is unrestricted
- LIMITED - Motorized vehicle use and activities have limitations identified
- CLOSED - Use of motorized vehicles is prohibited year round
The Off-Highway Vehicle, (OHV) area designations apply to all recreational use of motorized vehicles within the planning area. Other types of access across BLM-managed lands, such as rights-of-way and commercial use, may be authorized.
Typically most BLM-managed public lands are designated as "Limited" with specific motorized vehicle use limitations identified. Motorized vehicle use limitations are made through a Travel Management Plan and can include: seasonal use of a trail or area such as winter only; vehicle weight or size limits; vehicle type restrictions; and limiting motorized vehicle use to designated trails and roads. These OHV use limitations are used to protect resources, such as riparian areas and permafrost soils, from damage.
The BLM recognizes the importance of access and travel across public lands. As Travel Management Plan decisions are implemented, the BLM will identify areas and routes for motorized and non-motorized uses, develop travel information and trail maps, and continue to move towards a sustainable transportation system. The Alaska Public Lands Information Center, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, and the Bureau of Land Management public land information offices can help identify land ownership and who to contact for more information on access and allowable motorized vehicle activities on your public lands.