THE MANY VALUES OF ROADLESS AREAS
Areas in the White River National Forest provide vital habitat and migration
routes for numerous wildlife species and are particularly important for those
requiring large home ranges.
February 2006, the Colorado Division of Wildlife staff presented a statewide
report compiled by area managers and field biologists from around Colorado,
with 100% of those staff members recommending that ALL Roadless Areas be
protected, preserved, enhanced, managed and maintained to provide the maximum
benefit for wildlife and wildlife habitat.
White River National Forest Roadless Areas act as
ecological anchors, especially in areas where nearby federal, state, and
private lands are being developed.
in Roadless Areas can allow entry of invasive plants and animals that threaten
the health of native species, increase human-caused wildfire, and disrupt
entry into Roadless Areas will decrease the amount of wildlife habitat
available by increasing fragmentation.
best coldwater fish habitat is in Roadless Areas. Sedimentation and debris from
road-building can irreversibly degrade habitat for fish and other aquatic
Areas serve as buffer zones that help prevent wildfires. Forest Service studies
have found that large fires occur much more frequently in areas that are
already roaded than in Roadless Areas. Human-caused wildland fire is nearly
five times more likely to occur on essentially roaded lands than on essentially
unroaded lands. According to a 15-year study by independent scientists, large
wildfires are more likely to occur and to burn to greater extents in areas
outside of Roadless Areas.
can recycle from 1,760 to 3,903 pounds of carbon dioxide per acre per year,
helping offset the average US per capita carbon dioxide contribution of 5.6
tons per year.
Forest Service received more than 4 million comments on the original Roadless
Area Conservation Rule, the vast majority of them in favor of strong protection
for Roadless Areas in our national forests.
Economic and recreational values of roadless areas
 Inventoried Roadless Areas Report, Colorado Division
of Wildlife, available at www.wildlife.state.co.us
 Forest Service NOI, Federal Register: October 19, 1999
(Volume 64, Number 201)]
 American Fisheries Society, November 2005
 Natural Resources Defense Council, 12/15/04. www.nrdc.org