Remote Footprints is investigating what it means to be ‘remote’ on the surface of the Earth. We have initiated Project Remote, a unique mission to define remoteness scientifically, identify the remotest location in each of the 50 United States, and mount documentary expeditions into each state’s ‘Remote Spot.’ We are generating new knowledge about ecological and physical conditions in these special, previously unknown, places. Using Project Remote as a platform, we are working to increase nationwide awareness about the importance of preserving our remaining roadless wildlands–forever.
Interactive map showing the progress of Project Remote across the United States. Red dots denote state Remote Spots. Click a dot to read expedition blogs from particular states and follow our progress across America.
Project Remote uses a combination of GIS science and documentary exploration to generate new baseline knowledge about America’s Remote Spots.
Even as America works to preserve some of its wildlands through arguably the world’s best conservation policies, remoteness of our national landscape still is being lost because of encroaching development and roadbuilding. Many of our greatest public wildlands are laced with an alarming number of roads or are outright developed, themselves.
Through Project Remote, we already have discovered that the U.S. roads network fills the national landscape so fully that it is no longer possible to get more than 5 miles from a road or town in the vast majority of the continental United States. We also have learned that the remotest locations left in our country reside on islands because the continental mainland is laced with roads and blanketed by cities.
There is a vast body of scientific literature that documents the negative impacts of roads to ecosystems and wildlife.
Our excessive roads network diminishes the wilderness character of the once wild American landscape. Wilderness seekers are far less likely in our generation to experience truly remote areas that are distant from the roar, smell, and sight of fossil-fueled civilization. What will we leave the next generation? A landscape full of concrete, asphalt, noise, and smog? Less wild places? It’s unbelievable how much remoteness we have already lost, and unacceptable to lose any more.
Our Vision? Remote Footprints believes that it is ill-advised and unnecessary to build any new roads on public lands including: state parks and forests, national parks and forests, national wildlife refuges, and Bureau of Land Management lands. If a road must be built, then we believe that another road of equal mileage and magnitude should be removed and restored to native habitat. In other words: no net increase of road mileage within public lands.
We also encourage private landowners to consider this vision for their lands. After all, the majority of our country is in private ownership. The decisions made by private citizens ultimately will decide, more than anything, whether our great nation will preserve it’s remote and roadless areas.
We, therefore, are calling for the conservation of the existing remoteness of our country to preserve the right of future generations to experience wild places that are remote from human infrastructure.
As Project Remote proceeds state by state, we are raising national awareness about the importance of preserving remote, roadless areas to: 1) support biodiversity, 2) preserve our inalienable right to have meaningful wilderness experiences remote from the influences of human development, and 3) facilitate deeper relations between people–especially families–and wildlands.
We invite you to follow us–Ryan, Rebecca, and our young daughter Skyla–on 50 documentary journeys into the nation’s remotest locations. From barrier islands and blue ridges in the East to deserts and mountain ranges of the West, we are proceeding eventually to the remotest location in the entire USA–in Alaska…Click here to read our expedition blogs.
Project Remote Fundraiser: After reading this website, you might be surprised at just how hard it is to get away from a road or a town nowadays–and instantly understand that we must now as a nation speak out to protect remaining public roadless areas from further roads development. Project Remote is now half-way done! We plan to document 10 states in 2014, from Alabama to California. Our goal is to raise $6, 500 simply to offset the cost of traveling frugally state by state, completing the documentary field work, and maintaining this website. If you like what we do, please Click here to make a tax deductible donation to support Project Remote today. Thank you so very much for helping us to preserve remote America…