Locating Roads, Landings and Quarries
What is the major challenge when planning the location of roads on karst
A major area of potential conflict with road locations is the fact that
logging roads are often located along ridges and areas of higher
elevation to achieve easier access to timber and maximum deflection
for harvesting. These same locations are also where
the greatest density of exposed epikarst is
typically found. Ideally, roads
should not be located on exposed, well-developed epikarst. However,
in many cases, there may not be a viable alternative for locating
These two issues – the need to protect exposed epikarst and the
need for efficient access to timber – require innovative management
approaches. These are discussed in detail in the lesson on Constructing
Roads, Landings and Quarries.
The following section summarizes the recommended best management practices
for locating roads, landings and quarries. As these are only brief
summaries, you should also check out more detailed information
in the Karst
Management Handbook for British Columbia.
Low and Moderate Vulnerability Areas
The following best management practices are recommended:
- Use existing roads, landings and quarries wherever possible.
- Locate quarries on a site-specific basis while accounting
for the nature of karst
resources in the area.
- Locate roads and landings to minimize
deep cuts and fills.
- Locate roads, landings and quarries to maintain natural surface
drainage patterns as much as possible.
- Avoid locating roads, landings, spoil sites and/or equipment
turnaround/turnout sites near surface karst features, cave entrances,
or exposed epikarst.
- Avoid locating roads, landings and quarries within 100 metres
of caves known to have fragile formations or known/suspected
habitats of bats or other wildlife sensitive to disturbances.
- Avoid facilitating public access to sensitive or hazardous
- Locate storage areas for fuel and other hazardous materials
off karst terrain or at least on low vulnerability karst areas
(except for daily fuel requirements).
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High Vulnerability Areas
In addition to the recommendations for low and moderate vulnerability areas,
the following best management practices are recommended on high
- Limit the planning of new roads and landings to only those
required for local timber access or for crossing short sections
- Plan to use overlanding road
construction techniques as much as possible on exposed epikarst.
- Avoid locating mainline or long-term roads and landings on
well-developed epikarst. Limit roads on these areas to temporary
roads that can be readily rehabilitated.
- Avoid locating roads over caves known to have thin ceilings
(see Figure 6-1).
- Avoid locating roads over sinking streams, intermittent or
ephemeral channels and dry valleys.
- Avoid locating bridge crossings at topographical
- Avoid quarrying on high vulnerability karst if possible.
(Use adjacent lower vulnerability karst areas or seek the
a qualified professional for appropriate
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