Spatial -

July 2012: Appeal filed for recent BLM-issued Burning Man permit - details here

June 2012: Burning Man 2012 EA finalized by BLM - details here

Spatial-Ed's observations and analysis of impacts for Burning Man 2012 - Burning Thoughts 2012

Home Projects Keys to Travel Management

Winnemucca BLM Route Inventory - Project History PDF Print E-mail

The Winnemucca District encompasses 12 million acres – 8 million of which are managed by the BLM.
Winnemucca BLM has devoted field staff to route inventories and assessments since 2005 for the purpose of creating a travel management plan for inclusion in the upcoming Resource Management Plan. 
Routes include federal and county-maintained routes, and established single and two-tracks.  
These routes are all unpaved and a majority of these routes lack a comprehensive inventory due to issues of access, poor visibility on imagery, and the transient nature of user-created tracks.  

2005 to 08
•    Statewide standard route data dictionary established
•    Route segments captured with mapping grade GPS and support field assessments with digital photos
•    GPS data corrected against base stations
•    Digital photos linked to GPS locationsUsed with Geospatial Expert’s GPS-Photo Link software
•    In 2007, GPS cameras introduced to facilitate data management    .

2009 - Focus on motorcycle-accessed routes
•    Delivered data, maps and analysis results with a comprehensive report detailing methods and making recommendations to facilitate both travel management planning and the special recreation permit process for motorcycle races and related events
•    Results published in 2009 Facilitating Travel Management report

2010 - Creation of district-wide geodatabase
•    Data since 2005 was collected with multiple similar but varied data dictionaries.
     Attributes across all years was modified to meet one standard.
•    Over the years data compilewas stored in multiple shapefiles across many directories.
     For the first time, all GPS data was compiled into a single district-wide geodatabase.
•    Compiled over 2,000 GPS-photos with point locations in above geodatabase and photos in a single location.
•    Resulting transportation network of 3,300 miles published in online maps and KML files

2011 - District-wide geodatabase
•    Added 2010 GPS route data and GPS-photos

Creation of nSRMA (Nightingale Special Recreation Management Area) geodatabase
•    This 935,000 acres area is heavily used by Special Recreation Permit and is of highest priority for the travel management plan
•    GPS data to remove overlaps and duplicates
•    GPS routes in the nSRMA were edited GPS data to meet newly added topology rules.
•    With distinct routes, classifications, numbers and names were assigned by conventions created for this project
•   Resulting transportation network of 1,650 miles within nSRMA published in online maps and KML files

The future  - Proposed continuation of ongoing efforts
•    Expand data collection to other areas within the district
•    Combine data outside of nSRMA into geodatabase with enforced topology rules and assigned route classification, numbering and names
•    After BLM staff assigns route designation (open/closed/seasonal) for travel management plan, author instructions for the public to view and send recommendations to BLM. This will assist the communication of spatial data and attached notes during the public comment periods of the Resource Management Plan.

Steps in the Travel Management Process PDF Print E-mail

Travel management planning is a high priority in the federal government.  This is the process by which agencies –

- Inventory & map travel route locations

    [miles, acres, administration boundaries]

- Assess route conditions

    [suitability, soil types, required maintenance]

- Identify routes & designate uses

    [open/closed/limited, permitted and non-permitted uses]

- Communicate multi-use of public lands

    [signs, maps, permit processes]

- Monitor, document & regulate route use and development

   [field presence, GPS and photographs]
Winnemucca BLM DRAFT RMP PDF Print E-mail

Winnemucca District Office DRAFT Resource Management Plan & Environmental Assessment - May 2010

It appears on the information on the Resource Management Plan (RMP) site appears dated.  For your convenience, we have posted PDF files of the draft here.  Jclick on the Volume number to download the PDF.  Items relevant to Recreation and Travel Management Plan have been marked with an * Asterisk *  

Volume 1 : Executive Summary 5 MB PDF file

Volume 2 : 54.7 MB PDF file

Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 Alternatives

Chapter 3 Affected Environment

     *  Section 3.3 on Recreation and Transportation  *

Volume 3 :  3.8 MB PDF file

Chapter 4 Environmental Consequences

Volume 4 :  3.2 MB PDF file

Chapter 4 Environmental Consequences (continued)

Chapter 5 Consultation and Coordination

Chapter 6 References

Chapter 7 Glossary

Volume 5 - Part 1 : 124.5 MB PDF file

Appendices (w/lots of map)

*   C - BLM Proposed Special Recreation Management Areas and Recreation Management
Zones  *

*   J - BLM Proposed Special Recreation Management Areas and Recreation Management
Zones   *

Volume 5 - Part 5 : 48 MB PDF file

Best Management Practice and Standard Operating Procedures

BLM Roads & Trails Terminology PDF Print E-mail

Although there are main travel routes through the Winnemucca BLM District are BLM or county roads, the vast majority of routes are -

  • user-created
  • not maintained
  • lack an assigned owner
  • are located on the public lands, but
  • not a part of the BLM transportation system

The term "route" used throughout this site : the means of getting from HERE to THERE

What follows are the formal BLM definitions .....

The BLM Roads and Trails Terminology Team was chartered to ‘establish strategic direction and consistent terminology used by the recreation, planning, National Science and Technology Center (NSTC), National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS), lands, property, and engineering groups to manage the BLM transportation system in activities such as planning, inventorying, designating, mapping, signing, monitoring, developing public information, maintaining, assessing condition, tracking, and reporting data so ongoing alignment of current and future strategic comprehensive travel management and transportation objectives can be achieved.’Their recommended terminology for route classification includes

A. BLM Transportation system


A linear route declared a road by the owner, managed for use by low-clearance vehicles having four or more wheels, and maintained for regular and continuous use.


A linear route managed for human-powered, stock, or off-highway vehicle forms of transportation or for historical or heritage values. Trails are not generally managed for use by four-wheel drive or high-clearance vehicles.

Primitive road

Routes presently used by a number of organizations to describe high-clearance and 4 × 4 routes that are not designed to an engineering standard, but are available for use and should be identified on transportation systems.

B. Non-BLM Routes

Linear disturbances may include engineered (planned) as well as unplanned (user-created) single and two-track linear features that are not part of the BLM transportation system.

from BLM Roads and Trails Terminology, Technical Note 422

2.4 MB PDF file

Travel Management References PDF Print E-mail

1. BLM Comprehensive Travel & Transportation Management (CTTM) Program

2. BLM Addressing the Transportation Challenge: Transportation Resource Paper for Reauthorization of SAFETEA-LU

2.6 MB PDF file

3. Transportation and the BLM

State-by-state summaries of transportation types by miles and expenditures, 2006

15 MB PDF file

4. The BLM’s Priorities for Recreation Visitor Services 

‘Workplan Goal and Objective # 1: Establish a comprehensive approach to travel planning and management.’, 2003

1.4 MB PDF file

5. BLM Strategies and Guidance 

Presentation with overview of travel management, land use and recreation issues

2.6 MB PDF file

6. BLM National Management Strategy for OHV use on Public Lands, 2001

341 KB PDF file

7. BLM Executive Order - Use of off-road vehicles on the public lands 

Executive Order 11644 of Feb. 8, 1972, appear at 37 FR 2877, 3 CFR, 1971-1975 Comp., p. 666

8.    BLM Roads and Trails Terminology, Technical Note 422

2.4 MB PDF file

9.    BLM Planning and Conducting Route Inventories, Technical Reference 9113-1

2.6 MB PDF file

NV BLM Route Data Standard PDF Print E-mail

This project used the NV BLM route inventory data dictionary established in 2005 as a minimum standard.  Collected project data encompasses most of the information targeted by the proposed standard for primitive roads.  Attributes added to meet goals specific to the2009 Motorcycle Race Route project are indicated by an asterisk.

Attributes for the  point feature : Route Point (Route_pt)

  • Point Type (Point type)

    Y,T Intersection, 4 Way, 5 Way, 6 Way, End of Route, Other, End of Day

  • Method

    GPS_Res_Grd, GPS_Rec_Grd, Digitized, Duplicate

  • Comment
  • Date

Attributes for the linear feature: Route

  • Route Type (rt_type)

    Single Track, Drivable Wash, Unimproved; 2-Track, Improved; Dirt/Blad, Improved; Grvl, Paved

  • Road Number (trail_num)

    BLM, County, NV, WSA, Does Not Apply

  • Route Width in Feet (rt_wdth_ft)    NOTE: Approximate

    2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 20, >20

  • Suitability NOTE: Highest vehicle that can travel it

    Mtn. Bike, Motorcycle, ATV, 4WD/High Clearance, 4WD, High Clearance, 2WD/High Clearance, All Vehicles

  • Overall Condition    NOTE: Use photos to support

   Good, Fair, Poor, Impassable, Does not apply

  • Specific Condition*    NOTE: Requires photo(s)

    Needs Rehab, Good Example, Excellent Example, Does Not Apply

  • Vertical Variance *

    Flat, Gentle Slope, Undulating, Steep, Whoops, Whooped Out, Sidehill, Downhill Only, Does Not Apply

  • Braided *

    No, Yes

  • Soil Type *

    Rocky & Sandy, Rocky, Sandy, Hardpack, Wash, Boulders, Waterfall, Does Not Apply

  • Condition

    Rocky; Rough, Rutted, Washed Out, Brushed In, Loose Sand; Silt, Steep, Trees Blocking, Impassible, Rocks in Road, Poor Drain, Does Not Apply

  • Comment
  • Date
Why not extract these routes from imagery? PDF Print E-mail

There are many advantages of GPS-captured data over remote imagery

Detect primitive roads

Highways and other paved roads are easily extracted from imagery.  These do not represent the most common types of routes in this district.  Primitive dirt and gravel roads and single tracks are often indistinguishable from washes, horse and cow tracks that are lost in the never ending sea of sagebrush.  Ground crews may even have difficulty finding these routes until they are immediately upon them.  Imagery and other automated data acquisition methods do not find these routes.

Assess route quality

Route conditions and assessments such as trail surface, obstructions and use level can only be made by field observations.  A field crew is needed to make these determinations and shoot a GPS-photo that supports these observations.

Submeter accuracy

Data at 1:100k is accurate to only 50.2 meters as per national map accuracy standards.  Project data was collected with mapping grade GPS devices and processed for sub-meter accuracy.

Maintain a presence on the public lands

To keep apprised of activities and conditions on the public lands, agency personnel must make regular onsite visits and inspections.  This is especially important since the majority of the travel routes in the district are not maintained or assigned to any particular owner (county, federal, private etc).