Black Hills National Forest officials are working hard to provide a safe environment for motorized vehicle users.
Special Order 113 was signed by Forest Supervisor Craig Bobzien. It states that any motor vehicle that emits a sound in excess of 96 decibels for vehicles manufactured on or after Jan. 1, 1998, and 99 decibels for vehicles manufactured before Jan. 1, 1998, are not allowed on the Black Hills National Forest within Custer, Fall River, Lawrence, Meade and Pennington Counties in South Dakota, and Crook and Weston Counties in Wyoming.
"This limits unnecessary noise in the forest," Bobzien said.
Bobzien's management objectives for this Special Order were stated in the Black Hills National Forest Travel Management Plan Record of Decision, dated March 2010.
"I decided to establish sound limit levels for motorized vehicles using the Forest. A level of 96 dB(A) is the standard level the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) has adopted for sanctioned events," Bobzien said.
"The 96 dB(A) sound limit was proposed in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and was the subject of a number of comments," Bobzien said. "I believe this will allow most stock vehicles to use the motorized system, and that it can provide a reasonable limit on vehicle noise close to lands of other ownerships."
Special Order 113 is in effect until Dec. 31, 2015, or until rescinded for motorized vehicles.
Persons EXEMPT from the order:
(1) Persons with a Forest Service permit specifically authorizing the otherwise prohibited act or omission.
(2) Any Federal, State or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force engaged in the performance of an official duty.
To read Special Order 113 or for more information on the Black Hills National Forest, go to www.fs.usda.gov/blackhills