Gila National Forest to restrict motorized travel

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SILVER CITY, N.M. (AP) - The Gila National Forest plans to generally prohibit motorized cross-country travel within the forest in southwestern New Mexico.

According to forest officials, the plan chosen by Forest Supervisor Kelly Russell designates a system of roads, trails, and other areas for motorized vehicle use.

The forest says the plan chosen by Kelly keeps 96 percent of non-wilderness land within two miles of a road and 99 percent within three miles.

Under the plan, approximately 3,300 miles of road are kept open for vehicle use while just over 900 miles of road are closed for non-emergency uses. Most closed roads are a mile long or shorter.

There are special provisions for various users, including hunters, campers and firewood cutters.

The forest says publication of a legal notice starts a 45-day appeal period.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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