New Survey Maps Roadless Areas Of U.S.

Researchers have surveyed the continental U.S. to create a map of all roadless areas. The survey revealed that a road is always within 22 miles of any point in the country, and that some areas have too many roads for the size of their populations.

"In the continental United States, roads are never more than a reassuring 22 miles away. Their ubiquity makes travel and transport convenient for people, but it can also fragment or destroy wildlife habitats, help introduce invasive species, and contribute to pollution."

"The further an environment is from a road, the less it is affected by those things. But traditional tools for analyzing roadless space have ranked a plot of land one mile from a road the same as one several miles from a road."

"Researchers compiled roadless space data in 100-foot intervals, county-by-county, across the 48 contiguous United States."

"And when the scientists compared the roadless space with the number of people in a given area, they sometimes found a mismatch: that is, too many roads for too few people."

Full Story: Roadless Space Uneven Across U.S.



New Survey Maps Roadless Areas Of U.S.

The article on the Discovery Channel website is a summary of an article "Roadless Space of the Conterminous United States" by USGS Rocky Mountain Geographic Science Center personnel which appeared in the May 4,2007 issue of Science, the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Supporting Online Material
Includes a QuickTime Video of the collapse of roadless space along the Front Range of Colorado.

The video illustrates the collapse of roadless space from 1937 to 1997 in part of north central Colorado. The area includes the expanding Denver metropolitan area, several towns that become small cities over the period of the video (Boulder, Longmont, Fort Collins, Loveland, and Greeley), and farmland between them that increasingly hosts small subdivisions and scattered residences.

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