The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest will implement a new Travel Management Plan in early Summer 2012, affecting motorized access to certain popular draw-hunts and ODFW Wildlife Management Units within the forest.
The units affected are: Catherine, Keating, Pine Creek, Imnaha, Chesnimnus, Sled Springs, Minam, Snake River, Sumpter, Starkey, and Mt. Emily.
The new motor vehicle restrictions are meant to help promote big game health and wellbeing, increase suitable fish habitat, and limit other resource damage occurring due to increasing off-highway vehicle (OHV) use and motorized cross-county travel.
Hunters should consider changes in motor vehicle access when planning hunt applications. Cross-county travel will be closed forest-wide when this plan is implementated. Motorized access beyond 300 feet from open roadways will no longer be legal on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.
Some routes which in the past have been open to non-highway legal vehicles, will be closed to OHVs and other motorized vehicles that cannot legally be driven on streets. Some roadways will be closed to full-size vehicles, but open to OHVs.
The best option to find area-specific information will be to contact the ranger district office in the area you plan to hunt for help in planning.
Hunter related information will also be available on the ODFW website at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/index.asp.
The Motor Vehicle Use Maps, which explain regulations and closures, will be available in June in hardcopy at Wallowa-Whitman National Forest offices and on the forest website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/wallowa-whitman.
Until then, ranger district staff should be able to help answer questions.