The Kaibab National Forest has now updated its Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM) and Motorized Travel Aids this past week to help better cater towards motorist that visit the forest.
The MVUM had been used to designate which areas were OK to drive through and which were prohibited in Kaibab National Forest. However, there had been some concerns pertaining the navigation process of these maps. Therefore, the Kaibab National Forest developed a new GPS-enabled travel maps.
Hannah Krivickas, NAU Hiking Club president and junior criminology and criminal justice major, said she believes this new map system was a much needed improvement.
“More and more people are shying away from the traditional paper maps and relying on their phones. In NAU Hiking Club, we often find ourselves digging for an exact location of a trail head through applications, such as Apple Maps,” said Krivickas.
Although these maps are something new and updated for Kaibab, there had been similar third-party applications that were helping people navigate through the forest.
Michael Daugherty, Forestry Club member and senior forestry major, explained that there is a similar application that he uses when working as a wild-land firefighter.
However, the GPS enabled map has added benefits that the other apps don’t.
“It helps aid people in knowing precisely if they are on a legal road or not so they can avoid tickets,” said Daugherty.
In a recent newsletter from the Forest Service, they explained that having the MVUM is as vital to driving around the forest as having a hunting license is for hunters.
The new detailed map features enhanced traveling aids that previous maps did not have. Because the MVUM is republished every year, the Forest Service highly recommends that the public use the most current version.
In the past, some motorists have found that the MVUM was sometimes hard to navigate, and motorists would sometimes have difficulty finding their location on the map.
The main difference between these previous maps is that this update version contains a GPS-enabled travel map for three of its ranger districts. The ranger districts include Williams, Tusayan and North Kaibab.
In addition to the MVUM, the Forest Service also released a new travel map for Kaibab, available free for download online. The previous map was much larger and made it difficult to handle while traveling.
The GPS-enabled travel map was specifically designed to aid the motorist driving through Kaibab with some high-tech features meant to increase mobility.
Some of its multiple tools include helping motorists find their location when traveling in the forest with different devices. They may be able use the GPS-enabled travel map to find identical roads and trails on the maps that are the same as the current MVUM. The maps are available for smartphones, tablets and Garmin GPS devices.
The public now has the opportunity to download the free digital travel map on the National Kaibab Forest website. However, the Williams Ranger District and the Tusayan Ranger District travel maps are the only ones available for right now. The North Kaibab Ranger District travel map will be available soon. More information about these maps can be found at the USDA Forest Service’s website.