Winter Travel Planning

Tahoe National Forest


Tahoe National Forest has issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for a plan to manage over-snow vehicle (OSV) recreation. Comments on the DEIS are May 29, 2018. Four open-house meetings have been held to give the public an opportunity to learn about the plan and talk to forest planners.


The DEIS analyzes five alternatives. Alternative 2, the current proposed action, incorporates several of Snowlands suggestions to improve nonmotorized winter recreation opportunity in the Tahoe National Forest. However, the alternative fails to address the most serious areas of conflict between nonmotorized and motorized users. It continues the failure of the Forest Service to provide any non-motorized recreation area in the Lakes Basin and fails to address the high and still growing demand for non-motorized recreation on Castle Peak bowls.

While Alternatives 3 and 5 would close the most public land to snowmobiles, we feel that the Forest Service is unlikely to adopt either of those alternatives. Therefore, we are focusing on what modifications to Alternative 2, the current proposed action, might be acceptable to the majority of the public and what aspects of Alternatives 3 and 5 might be included in the final decision.


State that you are submitting comments to the draft Environmentall Impact Statement for the Over-Snow Vehicle Use Designation for Tahoe National Forest.

Here are some of our recommendations to the Forest Service:

Alternative 2 Modifications

Alternative 2, the proposed action, would be acceptable if several changes were made:

  • Enlarge the Castle Valley OSV closure to the east into Coon Canyon and around Summit Lake; enlarge the closed area to the west south of Lower Castle Creek.
  • Create a non-motorized region in the Lakes Basin by closing the area around the Sierra Buttes, Saxonia Lake, and Sardine Lakes south of Packer Lake Road.
  • Enlarge the closure around Loch Leven Lake so that it includes Fisher Lake.
  • Close the area to the east of Anderson Peak as in Alternative 5.
  • Do not designate any OSV areas or routes north of Highway 267 at Brockway Summit.
  • Create a non-motorized buffer around the Pacific Crest Trail with limited designated crossings as in Alternative 5.
  • Require a uniform minimum snow depth of 18 inches for OSV travel everywhere.
  • Set an OSV season of December 1 - April 30.
  • Require or encourage best-available-technology snowmobiles in popular shared use areas, such as the Lakes Basin.

Alternative 2 Measures To Support

Some of the aspects of Alternative 2 are beneficial and should be supported and included in the Final EIS:

  • Support the closure around Loch Leven Lake (with the modification above).
  • Support the closure around Boca Hill.
  • Support the closure area between Lunch Creek and Yuba Pass north of Highway 49, with a designated OSV route going north from the Yuba Pass Sno-Park.
  • Support closing lands below 5000 feet in elevation.


You may submit your comments in several ways:

Note: comments submitted on the Forest Service website have been removed from the Public Reading Room because commenters have been receiving threatening or harassing emails. You may still submit comments there, but your comments will not be posted on the public web page. You must include indentifying information with your comment in order for it to be considered. For this reason, you may want to email your comments directly to the forest service at


The deadline for submitting scoping comments on the Tahoe proposal is May 29, 2018.


This is the time for you to let the Tahoe NF know what changes you want to see in order to improve backcountry skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. Thank you for participating in this community effort.