« Return to this article

Know the West

A call to uproot roads

  After torrential rains in northern Idaho triggered widespread landslides in national forests last November, some Idaho Fish and Game officials are urging the Forest Service not to repair damaged roads. They want the roads either re-engineered or obliterated.

"We want them to fix the problem, so those roads aren't just time bombs waiting to go off again," Idaho Fish and Game official Steve Agte told the Moscow-Pullman Daily News. Forest Service officials, however, have requested millions of dollars from the Federal Highway Administration to repair the logging roads, even though the roads themselves, along with clearcuts, appear to have contributed to the severity of the landslides (HCN, 1/22/96). In contrast, Idaho Fish and Game staffers suggest re-contouring the landscape around the roads and restoring native vegetation to protect watersheds and wildlife habitat.

* Jenny Emery