Important Information About the High Lakes OHV Area
Temporary Road and Trail Closures:
On June 5th a Decision Memo was signed issuing the Temporary Forest Order prohibiting cross-country motorized wheeled vehicle travel on the Lassen National Forest. Under the Temporary Forest Order, wheeled motor vehicle travel on most existing roads, trails, and small riding areas is allowed to continue. Cross-country travel (between roads, trails or areas) in the Forest is prohibited. In other words, you need to stay on the roads, trails, or areas displayed on the Forest Order maps and not drive off them unless you have a permit that specifically allows you to do so. Parking is allowed within one vehicle length of a mapped route.
The Order took effect on July 12th, and will likely remain in effect for two years. Copies of the Forest Order, maps, and other related documents are available on the Forest's website at:
Paper copies of maps displaying open routes across the Forest are available at Lassen National Forest offices in Susanville, Chester, Fall River Mills, and Old Station. More detailed quarter quad maps of open routes may be printed from the Forest’s website.
All non-system trails and approximately 3 miles of system trails are not shown on the Order’s maps in the High Lakes OHV Area. These trails were deleted from the map due to serious resource impacts or because a prior Forest Order for the High Lakes prohibited motor vehicle travel off system trails. A separate environmental analysis was completed to temporarily close the system trails. Click on the link below for a map of the High Lakes OHV Area and the trail system that is open for motor vehicle travel.
For now use the closure map CLICK HEREA "new" map is a few days away.
High Lakes Management Planning Process:
The High Lakes OHV Area is a special place. However, in the recent years, numerous user created trails have been established causing additional resource impacts. Some system trails have also been rated “red” for erosion due to lack of maintenance over the years. Signs were posted this summer at each closed trail segment advising the public about the closures. These closures have not been effective and evidence of continued motor vehicle use is still occurring on all closed routes. On one trail, the closure signs were sheared off and thrown in the bush. Please stay on the open trails to protect your right to ride in this area.
The Forest Service will be completing a separate recreation strategy and management plan for the High Lakes, commencing this year. This area is not included in the broader analysis to designate routes elsewhere on the Lassen National Forest. Public involvement activities for High Lakes will be announced when a more definite timeline has been determined. Information will be posted on the Lassen website to keep you informed of the planning process. The High Lakes OHV Area Plan may consider the following management actions:
Establishment of carrying capacity levels for the area and/or at high use lakes.
Establishment of limits of acceptable change standards.
Determination of need for visitor permits and whether there will be a fee.
Location of developed and dispersed camp sites at the more popular lakes to reduce recreation related impacts including site containment, dispersal and concentration, etc.
Location and extent of trail head developments.
Location of sanitation facilities.
Location of designated trails and the vehicle classes allowed on them.
Adoption of seasonal travel restrictions (if needed).
Location of non-motorized trails.
Sign plan to both educate and direct travelers in the area.
Law enforcement plan to determine the desired level of law enforcement presence.
Establishment of group size guidelines.
Annual operations and maintenance plan, including the size of the desired Forest Service workforce and volunteer cadre to implement.
Visitor education/outreach plan.
Plan to protect adjacent private property.
Land acquisition plan.
Monitoring plan to assesses effectiveness of management actions and mitigation techniques.
Heritage stewardship plan to protect archaeological sites and create a volunteer site steward program.
Collaboration plan to promote on-going community and user participation in OHV planning and future management of the High Lakes.
When riding in the High Lakes OHV Area, be advised:
California residents must have their OHV registered with a California DMV Green or Red Sticker.
Out of state OHV riders must be registered in their home state or have a California non-resident use tag.
OHVs must have an approved muffler, brakes, and spark arrester before riding on the forest.
Helmets are required when riding an ATV. Riding double on an ATV is allowed only when the vehicle is equipped with a manufactured second seat and foot pegs.
Tread Lightly by riding on open trails only.
Respect this beautiful area and pack out all your trash.
Bring a shovel and bury human waste and toilet paper.
For more information about the High Lakes OHV Area, please contact Friends of The High Lakes, CLICK HERE , or email EMail.