Off-highway vehicles (OHV – ATVs, motorcycles, jeeps) are becoming increasingly popular among Californians, in Lassen National Forest and elsewhere. I recently wrote about OHV enthusiasts’ struggle with the Shasta-Trinity National Forest for more access to the roads there.
Access for Off-Highway Vehicles in Lassen National Forest
There are about 1.1 million OHVs in California, with a reported 100,000 more each year. I just found this article in the Red Bluff Daily News about Tehama County OHV riders wanting more access to Lassen National Forest roads. Many of the same issues on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest are cropping up on Lassen National Forest, namely increasing the ability of OHV riders to drive on existing roads and a desire to create new roads to form loops.
OHV users could once ride cross country, but increasing ridership was causing resource damage, said Heidi Perry, public affairs officer for the Lassen National Forest. As a result, a Temporary Forest Order went into effect in July 2007 to close all roads unless they were designated otherwise. The Lassen National Forest offers maps of what roads are now open, including about 2,600 miles for OHV use.
The OHV policy will remain that roads are closed unless designated open, but the forest plans to increase road designations and create loop opportunities, she said.
The designation and request are consistent with historical use and the desires of OHV enthusiasts, said Sylvia Milligan, chairwoman of the Recreation Outdoors Coalition.