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Old 02-18-2024, 06:21 PM   #1
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Smithsonian Magazine: The Case for Destroying Old Forest Roads

Not my position, but thought it useful to share, very thought-provoking article:

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/scien...ads-180983693/

We love our forest roads, but I also get the point

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Old 02-18-2024, 06:33 PM   #2
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I love old forest, fire and mining roads.
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Old 02-19-2024, 10:27 AM   #3
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Read the article. Obviously written by a thoroughly biased tree hugger.

" Roads, with their deadly traffic, noise pollution, chronic erosion and attendant humans, are among the most ubiquitous and powerful forces threatening our public lands and the wildlife and fragile ecosystems they contain."

So roads are to be destroyed because they allow humans to access the back country is what I'm reading here. "Deadly" traffic? Can't recall the last time I heard of a head-on collision or something of the sort on a dirt road on public lands.

Around here the public land managers have finally seen the light and are expanding clear areas along dirt roads and highways because they serve as very effective fire containment for a wildland fire. And a wildfire will cause far more damage in just a few hours to the ecosystem than a road will.

Here's a pic I took not far from my house...narrow dirt road stopped that fire from spreading:
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The other thing the article fails to consider is...once a fire starts in a roadless area, fire crews have no good way to get in there to fight the fire.
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Old 02-19-2024, 11:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deserteagle56 View Post
Read the article. Obviously written by a thoroughly biased tree hugger.



It was very biased, I had to skip much of it to figure out what the point was.
It's what I expect from the Smithsonian.


'They provide access to hunters that decimate the grizzly population'. They are clearly against hunting as well. They are probably unaware that there are game management regulations in place for population control of such predators as Bears.


In Oregon they have active management of the logging roads, and many are 'reclaimed' after being closed. That doesn't really limit access, it just thins out the logging roads. Amongst the logging roads are also 'Forest roads' that are generally better kept, or at least passable for recreation and used for wildland fire management.
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Old 02-19-2024, 11:42 AM   #5
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Old 02-19-2024, 12:11 PM   #6
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A Youtube channel I follow, Gonagain, had this video a few months back showing what looked to be some pretty sweet campsites in Montana that were no longer accessible due to forest service road closures...seemed crazy to me...but when we were in Montana last summer I did note that boondocking seemed to be a little trickier there than other western states.



https://youtu.be/Cs7X92G1zyQ
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Old 02-19-2024, 01:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by kbeefy View Post
It's what I expect from the Smithsonian.
I wonder how many of those wanting roads closed are people who never go out there and use them.

It has gotten impossibly difficult these days. Most legacy institutions like the Smithsonian have chosen to "go woke" and in doing so they have lost all of their credibility. That's unfortunate because once credibility is lost, it's almost impossible to ever get it back. Even those that haven't sold out are now under intense suspicion and doubt (are there any left?).
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Old 02-20-2024, 09:33 AM   #8
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It appears to me this article is talking about public land, not privately held land. Your land, my land, land that belongs to us all, but there are plenty of groups that are trying to restrict access to our land to just those that can hike in or ride horses to. It’s happening all over and unless we fight back, we all stand to loose our ability enjoy using these lands. Moab is a perfect example where over 300 miles of historic trails and roads were just closed to all but foot travel. We continue to loose access to our public lands across America. If this bothers you, get involved and fight back because closure is not the answer. I support groups such as the Blue Ribbon coalition and CORVA that fight for our right for access to OUR public lands.

https://www.sharetrails.org/

https://corva.org/
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Old 02-20-2024, 12:00 PM   #9
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This is the goal:

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Old 02-20-2024, 08:34 PM   #10
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Reading the thread and some of the terms used, I decided to say something.

First, who am I?
1. I am a scientist who studies roads and wildlife, this is my profession.
2. I know the writer of the article.
3. I know most of the people interviewed.
4. I know the science that is behind the article.
5. I own a 4x4 van, and I use it to access remote areas because I love solitude, nature and wildlife.
6. I am a member of this forum.
7. I hunt.

We need roads, but roads also have negative impacts. The main points of the article in Smithsonian Magazine are based on science. It has nothing to do with being woke or what your political beliefs are. Furthermore, it is not that all two-tracks and dirt roads need to be removed or that they will be removed and that you and I are about to lose all access to the places we want to go. But leaving all existing roads in place is hurting the things most of us care about and why we want to be out there in the first place. The lands discussed in the article are public lands. These lands have many different uses and functions, and there will always be changes in the management to balance the different interests and responsibilities... no specific interest group or responsibility will ever be 100% served on multi-use lands... that is simply not possible. But to say that no dirt roads can or should be removed is hurting nature, wildlife, clean water, fish.... it hurts what most of us want to experience when we go out in our vehicles and seek solitude, beauty and wildness. So, even when you do own and use a 4x4 van, even when you do want to use dirt roads to get to remote places, you do not have to object to the removal of selected roads in some areas... in fact, it can help protect why most of us want to be in those places to begin with... we can get behind such efforts rather than oppose them.

Nobody has to agree with what I wrote. But what I see happening in this discussion is an attempt to discredit science just because some don't like what the science says. To try and associate the science with being woke or a particular political orientation is simply not true and not helping anyone or anything.
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