The unpopular prospect of closing backcountry roads to save wildlife

By Jimmy Thomson
The Narwhal
October 30, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forest service roads are widely used by backcountry enthusiasts to gain quick access to the outdoors. But for wildlife — like caribou and grizzly bears — the roads can negatively impact their survival. …Forestry and mining, together, make up around $2.4 billion in direct revenue for the provincial government, plus at least 20,000 jobs — and accessing those resources demands roads. But when the companies move on, the roads take on a new life as access points for recreation. That access comes at a cost, both in maintenance and environmental harm. At the heart of the decision to close roads like Rady Creek is the effect on species like caribou and grizzly bears — species that need huge swaths of unbroken land to thrive. The more roads, the more people, the more disturbance, the less chance those species have of surviving. But the thought of losing access to the ridge has set the whole community on edge.

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