News December 19, 2017

The Forest Service is Withdrawing the Over- Snow Vehicle Use Map for the Teton Division of the Bridger-Teton National Forest

by Jackson Hole. Media

The Forest Service is withdrawing the Over-Snow Vehicle Use Map (OSVUM) for the Teton Division of the Bridger-Teton National Forest that was published on February 2, 2017 under 36 CFR § 212 Subpart C, effective immediately. The OSVUM shall have no further force or effect.

The Forest Service is withdrawing the OSVUM to allow time to further review issues raised in the August 29, 2017 Notice of Intent to Sue (NOI) submitted by WildEarth Guardians, Winter Wildlands Alliance, and The Wilderness Society. A new over-snow vehicle use map for the Teton Division will not be issued by the Forest Service until this review is complete and the Forest Service has responded to the NOI, and in any case no sooner than April 1, 2018. Before issuing a new OSVUM, the Forest Service will also complete applicable requirements under 36 CFR §212 Subpart C for making designations for over-snow vehicle use. Over-snow vehicles are defined as motor vehicles designed for use over snow that run on tracks and/or a ski or skis while in use over snow. 36 CFR § 212.1. The Bridger-Teton National Forest further limits use of over-snow vehicles to those that are less than 1,000 pounds, and steered by a ski or skis in contact with the snow.

In the interim, Orders have been issued by the Forest Service that implement decisions regarding the closures and restrictions on over-snow vehicle use on the Teton Division that were in effect pursuant to the Forest Plan and subsequent site-specific decisions prior to publication of the OSVUM on February 2, 2017, in accordance with 36 CFR § 261 Subpart B. 

There will be no change in over-snow motor vehicle use on the Teton Division (Jackson and Blackrock Ranger District) as a result of withdrawing the OSVUM. The Orders issued by the Forest Service are accompanied by maps showing the areas where over-snow vehicle use is allowed, prohibited or restricted. Additional short-term Orders may be issued for resource protection or public health and safety during the season in accordance 36 CFR §§ 261 Subpart B and 220.6(d)(1).

Members of the public are encouraged to stop by a Forest Service office to obtain a free copy of the Orders and Maps. For more information regarding over-snow vehicle use on the Bridger-Teton National Forest, please visit the Forest Website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/btnf or contact the Visitor Information Specialists at the Jackson Ranger District at (307) 739-5500 or the Blackrock Ranger District at (307) 543-3900.

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