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How Far to the Nearest Road?

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Abstract:Ecological impacts from roads may be the rule rather than the exception in most watersheds of the conterminous United States. We measured total area, and forestland area located within nine distances of the nearest road of any type in each of 2,108 watersheds nationwide. Overall, 20% of the total area was within 90 meters of the nearest road, and the proportion increased rapidly with distance such that 83% was within 750 meters of a road and only 3% was more than 3,660 meters away. Forestland area measurements differed by <2% for all distances. There was also substantial geographic variation. For example, the proportion of total watershed area within 270 meters of a road varied from 1% to 94% among watersheds. Geographic "clusters" of watersheds with a substantial portion of area in close proximity to roads were located in Northeast, lower Great Lakes, and Pacific Northwest and Southwest coastal regions, on the southeast Piedmont and coastal plain, and in parts of the Ohio, Brazos, Colorado, San Joaquin, and Sacramento River basins
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Citation:Riitters, K. H., and J. D. Wickham. How Far to the Nearest Road? FRONTIERS IN ECOLOGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT 1(13):125-129, (2003).
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Contact: Chris Siebert - (702) 798-2234 or siebert.christopher@epa.gov
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Division: Environmental Sciences Division
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Branch: Landscape Ecology Branch
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Product Type: Journal
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Published: 10/27/2003
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Related Entries:
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Bullet Item Development of Landscape Indicators for Use in Regional Ecological Risk Assessments
spacer Relationship Reason:   A Project of the Product
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Last Updated on Monday, October 22, 2007
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