Fisheries and Land Resources

Forestry and Agrifoods

Resource Access Roads


Proper management of our natural resources will ensure our forests and ecosystems will be around for future generations to enjoy.

The Resource Roads Program

As an essential component of the Provincial Sustainable Forest Management Strategy a network of forest resource roads are built to provide access on Crown limits to mature and overmature softwood and hardwood stands for the purpose of:

  • harvesting
  • intensified silviculture
  • forest protection
  • and wildlife management

To satisfy the goals associated with resource management it is important that an adequate road network is in place and is properly maintained.

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In 1974 a Provincial Resource Roads Program was put in place when the first Forestry Subsidiary Agreement (FSA1) was signed. The success of the program encouraged the Agency to continue with similar programs (FSA2 and FRDA) but at a somewhat reduced scale. Today the program has evolved into an integral part of resource management and is now the responsibility of the Province to provide capital dollars.

By the spring of 2006, the Province had funded the construction of over 3,100 kilometers of access road through all regions of the Province. These roads:

  • provide access for natural resource management;
  • play an ever increasing role in the development of eco-tourism; and
  •  are utilized by the general public for recreation, hunting and firewood collection.

The majority of these roads are located in timber stands which are being accessed by small to intermediately sized, independent sawmill owner operators who are located in many rural areas throughout the Province. As a result of the program, sawmilling in these rural areas remains viable and form an important part of their economies.

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All resource road construction on Crown land is performed on a contractual basis. Through Forest  Management districts, the Province determines the location and types of road to be built, then invites tenders on each project. All projects are monitored by field and headquarters staff to ensure that contractual obligations are fulfilled. Annual budgeting and planning begin at the district level and proceed through regional services to headquarters.

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Through the Forestry Act and road construction guidelines, the Department has the ability to better control resource road construction in the Province. All roads constructed for forestry purposes must be built to the standards established by the Department. Some roads which are deemed no longer necessary are deactivated in such a fashion that the area previously occupied is returned to a productive state.

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Road Closures

The Department can also close roads during times of poor operating conditions, especially:

  • during spring breakup;
  • at times of high fire index levels; or
  • for any purpose deemed in the best interest of forest management

Parties interested in additional information pertaining to the construction of resource roads in Newfoundland are encouraged to contact the Forest Engineering & Industry Services division of the Forestry and Wildife branch. 

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Roadside Vegetation Mulching


One of the unfortunate aspects of the road construction process is the creation of sites through the exposure of mineral soil adjacent to the road bed which is conducive to the establishment of alders and birches. While this assists in the rehabilitation of the exposed areas, alders can quickly become both a nuisance and more importantly a safety issue as lines of sight and road widths are reduced. It is estimated that alders can become a problem within five to ten years of road construction given the proper conditions (soil moisture, seed source); even sooner for some areas.

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