Forest Service Roads
|This page is an incomplete draft and is in progress. Please contact Vectorspace if you have any questions during the construction.|
- 1 Background
- 2 Functional Classification
- 3 Road Naming Conventions
- 4 Editing Resources
Among many of the functions of the United States Forest Service (USFS) is the development and maintenance of Forest System roads that are relied upon by USFS and the public. The USFS uses these to maintain its forests, aid in fighting forest fires, allow public use, and other functions.
The USFS specifically issues Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM) that identify specifically where USFS allows use of their roads by public motor vehicles. Some of these roads are paved and well maintained, others are dirt but used like streets, while others are dirt roads that are not well maintained and will only accommodate 4x4 wheel vehicles.
Waze and Forest Service Roads
Creating accurate and properly represented USFS roads in Waze will:
- benefit large numbers of tourists and recreational users of USFS roads,
- allow those lost in some areas to navigate to regular roadways,
- allow local populations appropriate use of USFS roads,
- allow some roads to be marked as private to the USFS,
- allow identification of useful Waze Landmarks on USFS land,
- allow time-based restrictions on some roads that are closed in winter.
USFS to Waze Classification Mapping
|Low speeds, single lane, local or collectors, may have potholes or washboarding||Street|
|Dirt Road /|
|1||Closed||Vehicular traffic is prohibited, might be used as a motorized trail for use by motorcycles, etc.||Do Not|
Note that Levels 5 and 3 may have ambiguity for Waze Editors. This is because there may be large variability in local interpretation of the road type that is important to Wazers. In rural or some western states, some the very same type of USFS road may be best marked as a Minor Highway or Primary Street whereas in urban areas, they may be interpreted best as streets. Here are some suggestions.
USFS Level 5
- Pick the lowest level of road type that is reasonable for the surrounding area.
USFS Level 3
- Preference is to always mark these roads as Waze type "Street."
- In rare cases pick "Dirt Road / 4x4 Trail" if you verify the road is in poor condition.
Maintenance Level Road Images
The following images provide examples from USFS for these road types. They may help illustrate differences between levels that will help you while editing.
|Example A||Example B|
|Level 5 =
|Level 4 =
|Level 3 =
|Level 2 =
Dirt Road /
|Level 1 =
Road Naming Conventions
USFS Naming Conventions
Naming is typically recursive based upon road stubs. For instance, if a main road has name "23" then stubs from that road may be, 23A, 23A1, 23A2, 23B, 23C, using alternating designators (letters, numbers). The third level of “23A1” is road 23, stub A, secondary stub 1. The exact choice is of this format is picked by different road engineers, so we cannot accurately predict something standard.
Waze Naming Conventions
Interactive Travel Map
USFS Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM)
Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM) identify specifically where USFS allows use of their roads by public motor vehicles. They are available for a small fee in hard copy or can be found online in PDF format.
A listing of forests that maintain MVUM is available as a great resource for Waze editors. From this link you must select the appropriate forest listed by state. On those pages will be listed the MVUMs that are available.