THE MANY VALUES OF ROADLESS AREAS
Economic and Recreational Values
National Forest land contains 4.4 million acres of inventoried roadless lands,
with over 640,000 acres located in the White River National Forest.
The White River National Forest is the most visited National Forest in the entire
nation, with 9,692,000 user days in 2002.
in Colorado generates more than $7 billion annually, contributing more than a
half a billion dollars to Colorado’s state and local tax coffers.
Eagle, Garfield, Pitkin and Summit Counties (the major counties comprising the
White River National Forest), 67% of the population is dependent on the tourism
industry for its livelihood. Many of the tourists come to these counties to
visit the White River National Forest.
gear and equipment sales in Colorado totaled $1.3 billion in 2003.
and fishing generated $1.5 billion in 2002 to Colorado’s economy, and wildlife
viewing added another $560 million. Many of these wildlife species depend on
Roadless Areas for essential habitat.
Eagle, Garfield, Pitkin and Summit counties, the total economic input from
hunting, fishing and wildlife watching is about $265 million. Ninety-eight
percent of this is generated within the White River National Forest.
Areas in the White River National Forest provide outstanding recreational
opportunities, including hiking, backpacking, hunting, fishing,
wildlife-watching, and skiing – activities that are undertaken regularly by
over 66% of Coloradans, and are essential for the $18 billion dollar national
outdoor recreation industry.
The Forest Service’s own studies show that the economic benefits of extractive uses are
only a fraction of the economic benefits derived from recreation and
conservation activities. Specifically, conservation and recreation activities
generate about 3 times the revenue and 5 times the number of jobs than
extractive industries on Forest Service land.
White River National Forest currently contains 2,356 miles of forest-managed
roads that provide access to and through WRNF system lands.
Nationally, the US Forest Service road system contains 386,000 miles of roads –
enough to circle the earth 15 times.
US Forest Service has a fiscal backlog of $10 billion for maintenance of
existing roads. The Forest Service receives less than 20% of the funding needed
to maintain its existing road infrastructure.
Ecological values of roadless areas
 An analysis of Economic Trends in the WRNF Region, US
Forest Service, 1997
 Outdoor Industry Association, 2004
 Colorado Department of Natural Resources. http://wildlife.state.co.us/about/economic_impact/
Division of Wildlife, 2004
 Outdoor Industry Association, 2003
 Alward, G. et al., 2003. Evaluating the economic significance of the USDA Forest Service
strategic plan (2000 revision):
Methods and results for programmatic evaluations. Fort Collins, CO: USDA Forest Service Inventory and Monitoring Report No. 6. 45 p.
 Page 3-382 WRNF LRMP FEIS
 Forest Service Roadless Area Conservation FEIS at p