There are over 380,000 miles of roads on National Forest Service lands in the US. If you place them end to end they would circle the earth fifteen times! Some of those roads are important, as they allow hunters, fishermen, and families to access public forests, rivers, and campgrounds.
But many roads lead to nowhere. They are relics of past logging or unstable routes created illegally by off-road vehicle users. This system of roads is in desperate need of maintenance to prevent erosion that muddies streams and kills fish. The taxpayer is now on the hook for $10 billion dollars in deferred road maintenance.
The Forest Service is beginning to take modest steps to fix or remove a fraction of these failing roads and define appropriate places for off-road vehicle use. Unfortunately, extreme anti-environmental groups are strongly vocalizing their opposition to these efforts. It is vital that those who support salmon, rare plants, and our shared natural heritage make a difference by speaking up for responsible road management.