Last week, Congress committed to clean water by
allotting $40 million to the Legacy Roads and
Trails program during 2017. It’s a victory for lynx and
grizzly bear as much as it is for clean water because the money enables the
Forest Service to close old, decaying roads on our national forests and
restore, reconnect and rewild damaged lands.
Our national forests have more than 372,000
miles of roads and the Forest Service knows it has way too many roads. With
that many miles you could drive from Los Angeles to our Nation’s Capital and
back 70 times!
The majority of these roads are old, decrepit
and largely unneeded—the agency even admits as much.
Guardians and our partners at The Wilderness
Society and the Washington Watershed Restoration Initiative have a proven solution—shrink
the road system to a financially prudent and ecologically restorative
Committed to connectivity, we’re pushing the
agency to rewild streams, watersheds and landscapes, and remove unneeded roads to reconnect grizzly bear, lynx, wolves and salmon
to their native landscapes and waterways. To
support recreation, we ensure the national
forest roads needed to access trailheads and campsites are in good enough
condition for all to use.
Stream by stream, mile by mile, and dollar by
dollar is how the work gets done and now more
of it will be done with the funding Congress recently provided. Since 2008, our advocacy has resulted in $470 million dedicated to this program.
We thank you for supporting our advocacy to drive
Congress to fund this crucial program!
For the wild,
Wild Places Program Director
photo: bear cubs returning to reclaimed Montana road—WildEarth Guardians