National forests and grasslands spread across almost 10% of the United States. They are held in trust for the American people—but are managed by the U.S. Forest Service. Unlike national parks, extractive activities like logging, mining, drilling, and livestock grazing are allowed on national forests. Yet these activities have left a legacy of deep scars on the landscape, pollution in the air and water, and continue to cause harm. Some of the biggest problems across these lands and waters stem from a crumbling road infrastructure—built for the logging boom in the 1970’s and now a disastrous liability, particularly under a changing climate.
It is critical that changes be made now to restore national forests and ensure they are more resilient. WildEarth Guardians developed this handout to share with all, which provides an abbreviated summary of the impacts from climate change related to transportation infrastructure as well as recommendations for adaptation. More details, as well as all references can be found in Section II of “Environmental Consequences of Forest Roads and Achieving a Sustainable Road System.”