Responsible Recreation

Notice of Public Hearing

Before the Owyhee County Board of County Commissioners

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that, pursuant to Idaho Code 49-426 (3), the Board of Owyhee County Commissioners will hold a public hearing to consider 34 currently closed roads, and any additional roads considered for future closing, to all-terrain vehicles (ATV), utility type vehicles (UTV), specialty off-highway vehicles (OHV), and motorbikes. This meeting will be held from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on July 7, 2020. The Board will hear comments and testimony in Courtroom 2 of the Owyhee County Courthouse located at 20381 State Highway 78, Murphy, Idaho.  At this hearing anyone may appear to provide testimony concerning road closures pursuant to Idaho Code 49-426 (3) and current Owyhee County ordinance 10-03 making it unlawful to operate the aforementioned vehicle types, even though licensed and registered, on roads and portions of roads designated in the ordinance, and stating exemptions for law enforcement and agriculture use, and establishing a maximum speed limit and rules of the road applicable to such vehicles on roads other than those designated as closed to such use in ordinance. In consideration of those who cannot attend in person, we will also offer this meeting and hear testimony by teleconference and web-based meeting using the Zoom platform. If you are interested in participating, please use the following link:

Maps have been prepared depicting the roads currently closed to the aforementioned recreational vehicles. All referenced maps are available below

At the conclusion of the hearing, or at such other time as is necessary to review the evidence from the hearing, the Board of Owyhee County Commissioners will determine which roads, or portions of roads,  should be closed to said recreational vehicle use and whether such closures would be in the public interest in accordance with Idaho Code 49-426 (3), and based thereon, adopt an ordinance accordingly.

The hearing will be held in a facility that is accessible to persons with disabilities. Special accommodations will be available, upon request, five (5) days prior to the hearing in a format that is usable to persons with disabilities. For more information, contact the Community Development department at 208-495-2095 ext. 2, or via mail at Owyhee County Commissioners P.O. Box 128, Murphy, Idaho 83650.


Public Hearing Legal Notice

This meeting is being conducted to review the roads closed or proposed to be closed to ATV, UTV, OHV, and motorbike traffic. Other than the roads outlined in Owyhee County Ordinance 2010-03 shown on the map linked below, there are currently no additional roads proposed for consideration of closure. However, at this public hearing, the Board will take comments and testimony on any road, not just the currently closed roads. 

Map of currently closed roads

Owyhee County Ordinance 2010-03


On April 27th, 2020, the County Commissioners held a meeting with various off road recreation groups. That meeting focused on responsible recreation and respectful use of public lands. Below are some of the great ideas that came out of that meeting. We want to thank all of the groups that participated and have worked so hard to help ensure responsible recreation through the “Do the Right Thing” campaign.


Do the right thing! The Owhyee front is becoming overwhelmed with the recent increase in recreation. The amount of trash, cross country travel, parking area destruction and disrespect for local ranchers is unacceptable. Please share these images to help other new users learn how to recreate responsibly.


Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 128
Murphy, ID 83650

20381 State Highway 78
Murphy, ID 83650

Phone: 208-495-2421

Fax: 208-495-1173

  • Fences/Gates – Leave gates as you found them and pay attention to signs. Respect private lands and ranchers. Use an app like OnX to identify what areas are public and what is trespassing.


  • Trails – Stay on the trail. Do not widen or create new trails. Cross country travel is prohibited. Observe closed trail signs to allow for revegetation.


  • Mud – Stay off roads when they are wet.




  • Trash – Pack it in, Pack it out. Secure your trash in your vehicle and help pick up any trash that may have blown away.

  • Group – We’re Better Together – Share this post, share the trails, join a club, help educate others about responsible recreation and help keep Idaho public lands open, clean and beautiful for years to come.


Date: April 28, 2020
Contact: Craig Quintana, Public Information Officer, Senior


A record number of off-road riders are hitting the Owyhees to get outdoors, and the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation and our partners would like to remind users to recreate responsibly while having fun.

In recent weeks, a few visitors have left trash, defaced restrooms, and damaged private property while riding the backcountry. (The attached photos show some of what has occurred.)

The majority of riders are responsible but the actions of a careless few can tarnish the experience for everyone – and put access for all at risk.

The department urges riders to continue to enjoy the outdoors but to do so respectfully, leaving no trace whenever possible and being mindful of other users. Set the right example while riding and please:

• Stay off of closed, muddy roads, which are susceptible to rutting this early in the season.
• Avoid damp areas and keep to established trails.
• Leave no trash when you visit to preserve the experience for others.
• Respect private property and stay away from livestock equipment.

Idaho State Parks joins the Owyhee County Commission, the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation, the Idaho State ATV Association, the Treasure Valley Trail Machine Association, Idaho Off-Road 4×4 Club, High Desert Off Road 4X4 Club, and the Southern Idaho Desert Racing Association in urging riders to be responsible.