A summary of the environmental impacts of roads, management responses, and research gaps: A literature review

Patrick Daigle


There are an estimated 400 000-550 000 km of unpaved resource roads in British Columbia. These roads are used for forest, mineral, and energy development, commercial and public recreation, and in some cases for access to private land holdings. This literature summary lists road effects on terrestrial and aquatic wildlife, plant communities, and physical elements found across landscapes in British Columbia. These effects may be local or may apply to large areas. Road effects can occur during construction or with subsequent road presence, upkeep, and use. Also summarized are recommendations meant to reduce negative road effects. These include taking a strategic approach to road and access management, using structured road planning methods and tools, implementing mitigation techniques, and following up with effectiveness monitoring and reporting. The summary also provides recommendations for further studies of road effects.


Access management; Mitigation techniques; Planning; Research needs; Road analysis; Road assessment; Road effects; Roads

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