Did you know that the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
in Washington has 2,500 miles of roads? That’s more than the distance from Seattle to Houston. Or visualize Washington
State—an area that is 18 times as big as this forest but with only twice as
many roads (rural and urban roads combined). Clearly roads are densely distributed in this wild place.
Send your comments today to the U.S. Forest Service to speak out for the wild being crisscrossed with roads.
Many of these old national forest roads are damaged and
eroding. Streams are polluted by
sediment-filled runoff, wildlife habitat is bisected by mazes of roads and now
maintenance dollars for fixes are virtually non-existent.
What if one of these roads was rewilded to connect
habitat for the gray wolf, Canada lynx or grizzly bear? Or another was reclaimed to stop dirt
from pouring into streams—suffocating Chinook salmon eggs? Options exist—but the quiet voice for
wildness is being overrun by motors.
The Forest Service has finally started to look in-detail at
its oversized and undermaintained road system. Let them know you value reclaiming these roads.
Some forests have already finished this work but some—like
the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie—are just beginning. We are asking you today to speak up for wildlife and wild
fish and wild rivers because their voices are not being heard.
Before October 31, fill out the Mt.
Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest’s online questionnaire
. Even if you are not familiar with specific
roads, at least tell the Forest Service that you are one quiet voice speaking
up for wildness.
Stay tuned to the Wild Places program as we scrutinize
this work on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie and other forests across the West.