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Home Working with Section 106 ACHP Case Digest Spring 2005 Nationwide: Management of Off-Highway Vehicles in National Forests
Nationwide: Management of Off-Highway Vehicles in National Forests
Agency: U.S. Forest Service
The ACHP has approved a national policy that incorporates Section 106 and heritage preservation concerns into Forest Service policy development for the designation and/or closure of roads and trails on National Forest System land for use by off-highway vehicles (OHVs).
Unmanaged recreation, including the use of OHVs, has been identified as one of the major threats to the National Forests. Users without Forest Service permission or supervision have created many of the current OHV roads and trails. Many of these roads and trails have caused erosion and damage to a wide range of natural resources. In addition, numerous illegal roads and trails cut through archeological sites, Traditional Cultural Properties, and sacred sites.
The OHV policy, which was endorsed by the ACHP members in February 2005, is an effort to improve the management of the full range of forest resources, including cultural resources and historic properties.
The OHV policy outlines a process for each National Forest that includes consulting with State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs), tribes, and other stakeholders to identify historic properties and the effect of the designation or closure on them.
The policy provides a minimum requirement for completing the Section 106 review process for the designation or closure of OHV roads and trails. National Forests are allowed to develop their own process for compliance as long as it meets the minimum standard.
In addition, the policy provides national direction to the individual National Forests without the use of a traditional national Programmatic Agreement (PA), and it instructs National Forests to use their existing PA and other agreements with SHPOs and tribes to complete the Section 106 review process.
The Forest Service has found that the development of national policy for particular programs, and the crafting of instructions for the National Forests, is an efficient approach to cultural resource management and Section 106. It plans to use this OHV policy as a model for other projects with the ACHP.
Staff contact: Steve Del Sordo
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