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August 8, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Chat replay: Should roads into wild areas be repaired?

Battles over road access to iconic backcountry haunts such as Mount Rainier, reflected here in Eunice Lake, are shaking the fault lines of longstanding political alliances among conservationists. (Photo by Benjamin Benschneider / The Seattle Times)

Battles over road access to iconic backcountry haunts such as Mount Rainier, reflected here in Eunice Lake, are shaking the fault lines of longstanding political alliances among conservationists. (Photo by Benjamin Benschneider / The Seattle Times)

It’s peak season for hiking so it’s fitting that Sunday’s Pacific Northwest magazine cover story concerned the topic. Author Ron C. Judd’s feature story, titled “Splinter in the Woods,” examines a fight between outdoors groups over whether to repair roads into wild areas.

From the piece: Do conservationists have any right –- let alone responsibility — to protect wilderness areas by working to keep people out of them? What place do roads – anathema on their face to wilderness legislation, which forbids mechanized travel – have in or near designated wild areas? And with the federal Wilderness Act approaching middle age, turning 50 next year, and the old “multi-use” (logging) road web crumbling, which of those roads should be maintained, and who picks up the check?

Judd hosted a live chat on seattletimes.com.

Comments | More in Environment, Live chats


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