(Last Revised October 2005)
MRC owns and manages approximately 2,400 miles of forest roads. The company budgets significant funding every year to upgrade, relocate and retire historic roads. This effort is based on the belief that road improvement will have the largest and most immediate positive impact on reducing sediment in the streams. Improperly designed roads and road crossings, whether being actively used or not, are the primary sources of man-made stream sediment on MRC lands. Past road practices still contribute to chronic sediment loading. Priorities for road projects are based on the volume of sediment that can potentially be controlled and the risks of imminent failure to the road or drainage structures. These measurements are part of the MRC road survey of all existing roads to determine location, and condition. This comprehensive road inventory and database of all roads on the MRC ownership is expected to be completed by 2010.
MRC's investment in road work is prioritized as follows
- Relocating roads away from stream zones;
- Redesigning roads to improve drainage and reduce sediment loads (storm proofing) and using road construction techniques that reduce the chance of road failures (full bench-end haul of spoils on slopes over 50% side-slope);
- Rehabilitating problem roads to correct chronic problems resulting from past practices;
- Repairing ordinary road wear, including replacing culverts or removing culverts and replacing with rocked fords.
- Upgrading culverts to allow for more water flow
- Replacing culverts with bridges to improve fish habitat
When using roads for log hauling, MRC works to minimize impacts. This includes working with neighbors to access harvest areas over existing road systems with temporary easements in order to eliminate the need for new road construction.