Rocky Mountain Research Station Publications

RMRS Online Publication - Journal Articles, External Publications, and Special Reports
Benefits and impacts of road removal

Switalski, T.A., Bissonette, J.A., Deluca, T.H., Luce, C.H., and Madej, M.A. 2004. Benefits and impacts of road removal. Front. Ecol. Environ. 2(1):21-28.

Road removal is being used to mitigate the physical and ecological impacts of roads and to restore both public and private lands. Although many federal and state agencies and private landowners have created protocols for road removal and priorities for restoration, research has not kept pace with the rate of removal. Some research has been conducted on hydrologic and geomorphic restoration following road removal, but no studies have directly addressed restoring wildlife habitat. Road removal creates a short-term disturbance which may temporarily increase sediment loss. However, long-term monitoring and initial research have shown that road removal reduces chronic erosion and the risk of landslides. We review the hydrologic, geomorphic, and ecological benefits and impacts of three methods of road removal, identify knowledge gaps, and propose questions for future research, which is urgently needed to quantify how effectively road removal restores terrestrial, riparian, and aquatic habitat and other ecosystem processes.

Keywords: road removal, physical and ecological impacts, hydrologic and geomorphic restoration

About PDFs: For best results, do not open the PDF in your Web browser. Right-click on the PDF link to download the PDF file directly to your computer. Click here for more PDF help.

Download Report

PDF File Size: 60 K

Title: RMRS Other Publications: Benefits and impacts of road removal
Electronic Publish Date: January 18, 2004
Expires: Indefinite
Last Update:
January 18, 2004

RMRS Publications | Order a publication | Contact Us