ALERT: Manti-La Sal National Forest Draft Forest Plan Revision

SAWS Action Alert

Comment Deadline: April 30, 2006

Send Comments to:

    Forest Plan Revision Team
    599 West Price River Dr.
    Price, UT 84501

Phone: 435-636-3500

Fax: 435-637-4940


Detailed information available here:

Previous SAWS Alert for the Manti-La Sal National Forest here: 

The Manti-La Sal National Forest is nearing the end of revising their current Forest Plan. The process began in the spring of 2003.┬á Part of this proposed plan will lock snowmobilers out of yet more areas.┬á Why?┬á Because the Forest Service has deemed snowmobiling as an ÔÇ£unsuitable useÔÇØ in certain parts of the forest.┬á It appears this determination has been made with the help of the exclusive-use community and without much input from snowmobilers.┬á With regard to winter recreation, the Forest Service only acknowledges the objective of designating more non-motorized winter recreation (RMOB008 – Proposed Desired Conditions, Objectives, and Guidelines).┬á This is unacceptable.

The forest service needs to be encouraged to work with all forest users; including the local snowmobile clubs, Utah Snowmobile Association, SAWS members in Utah, and not just the non-motorized groups that have nothing better to do.

For this alert, SAWS is utilizing information received from Utah SAWS members.

Information from the Skyline Sno-riders Snowmobile Club

We need your help! The Skyline Sno-riders Snowmobile Club want to make everyone aware that not only those who snowmobile, but hunters, fishermen, families that campout etc. could lose their freedom to use the following canyon areas if they don’t send their comments to the Forest Service before April 30, 2006! If we fail to make comments, then the Forest Service will think we are in agreement with them to close the areas to motorized vehicles! That includes those of you that drive your cars and trucks into the canyon to camp out, hunt and fish. It would mean no more ATV use or Snowmobile use!┬áPlease, take a moment now and send your comments to the Forest Service to keep this area open to recreation. We need everyone’s comments to make a difference!
It is extremely important!

Thank you.

Darlene Mortensen
Skyline Sno-riders Snowmobile Club


There have been a number of requests for identification of non-motorized winter sports areas along highway 31 and 264 in the plan.  Current forest direction is to provide specific language in the plan stating it will be an objective of the plan to identify areas specifically for non-motorized use (primarily skiing and snowboarding) and manage them as such.

Areas which have been discussed and are prime candidates are: 

  • Lake Canyon – below the bowl at the top of the drainage and east of Huntington Reservoir Dam.
  • Spring Creek┬á- above Huntington Reservoir and below the upper bowl and open area.
  • Trough Spring Ridge┬á- a corridor north and/or south on top of the ridge including the road┬áabove Skyline Mine.
  • Cleveland ATV trail complex – the area east of the Millers Flat Trailhead and west of Cleveland Reservoir
  • Mammoth Ranger Station – the area in Japanese Creek drainage to the north and east of Skyline Drive and West of the Mammoth station.

It is imperative the Forest Service hear comments from the motorized public before the end of the draft comment period April 30th.  Make sure to include some personal information about your experiences in this forest and in and around your favorite riding areas.  And always include your name, address and phone number with your comments.

Points to make: 

  • Those areas currently proposed by the Forest Service to become non-motorized should be removed from that consideration.┬á Enforcement will be a nightmare, and conflict will increase rather than decrease.
  • Highways 31 and 264 provide access to world-class snowmobiling activity and have been traditionally used by snowmobilers from Utah as well as from many other states for over two decades.
  • Snowmobiling is the primary winter use and forest access and parking must be maintained, expanded and improved.
  • Snowmobilers can support the establishment of non-motorized areas set aside for limited rather than multiple use, providing such ‘set asides’ do not eliminate or unduly restrict snowmobiling from areas traditionally used and are logically defined geographically so they can be readily managed as non-motorized areas.
  • The Utah Snowmobile Assn. and local clubs must be included in the process to define any non-motorized set-asides to help insure the areas are logically defined and manageable.
  • Those areas proposed as non-motorized for winter recreation are high elevation and not big game winter range.
  • There is no reasonable explanation for designating more area of the forest as non-motorized winter recreation.┬á Social conflict is not reasonable.┬á Shared use is reasonable.┬á┬á

Please forward this to anyone that rides a snowmobile, regardless of where they ride. Ask them to write the Forest Service.  The Forest Service needs to know that snowmobilers are not willing to be ignored.

Thank you all for your interest in and dedication to protecting YOUR right to ride.

Snowmobile Alliance of Western States

Protecting the right to ride for the owners of 303,604 registered snowmobiles (2005) in the western United States.

Copyright ┬® 2006 Snowmobile Alliance of Western States. All Rights Reserved.

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