While there is little doubt that roads are linked to forest plant invasions at local scales, effective resource conservation at regional scales requires an understanding of other factors linked to both roads and invasions across the larger landscape.Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center researchers and partners developed a series of models that allowed them to see the incremental influences of agriculture and development, forest fragmentation, local site conditions, and regional ecosystem characteristics in comparison to road proximity effects in eastern U.S. forest plant invasions. As reported in the journal Diversity and Distributions, regional ecosystem characteristics best explain the odds of invasion. The next best predictors of invasion were land use, site productivity, forest fragmentation, and distance from a road, respectively. Because roads and human activities surrounding them are so pervasive in the East, land managers should be thinking of ‘human impact zones’ instead of just ‘road effect zones’ when evaluating the risk of forest plant invasions. The context of the road is key.