Roads in Managed Forests
The Society of American Foresters (SAF) believes forest roads are necessary to provide access for managing and sustaining our nation’s federal, state, private, and tribal forestlands. Strategies and practices to maintain healthy and productive forests for multiple uses by present and future generations, such as timber harvesting, prescribed burning, wildfire control, recreation access, and habitat and watershed improvement require access on well-constructed and maintained road systems. Access is essential to provide for many critical environmental, economic, and societal needs from forestlands. There are widely developed and accepted best management practices (BMPs) whether regulatory or
nonregulatory, to guide forestry professionals in providing these services.
Forest managers must also have the ability to restrict use of forest roads when necessary to ensure public safety, prevent wildlife disturbance, protect threatened or endangered species, or meet other resource management objectives. As such, SAF also believes that some public lands merit roadless protection due to their unique qualities.