Project Remote is our 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.
We are delighted to share with you our 50 documentary expeditions of Project Remote as they unfold state by state across America. We hope that you enjoy reading accounts of our work as much as we enjoyed doing all the fulfilling work it took get there. A book manuscript about Project Remote is in the works. We will share many of our family wilderness experiences as well as report all our scientific findings at each state Remote Spot. It is our greatest desire that this work becomes a platform for preservation of America’s remaining roadless wildlands.
Before we could kick off Project Remote and investigate the remotest locations in every state, we had to develop a suitable definition of remoteness. Being remote evokes feelings in human beings. How remote a person feels varies with a person’s experience, perspective, and comfort zone. The feeling of remoteness is a qualitative, biased metric. For Project Remote, we needed a quantitative, non-biased, definition that we could apply evenly for all states.
By our definition, a state’s Remote Spot is the point that is the farthest straight-line distance from a road or an otherwise isolated human settlement. Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), we can calculate the exact location within a state that is the farthest distance from a road. Most importantly, this calculation can easily be replicated and repeated in the future to measure changes in remoteness.
The road network of the U.S. already exceeds 3.9 million miles in aggregate length. Roads fill the national landscape so fully that, except in Alaska, one can get no farther from a road than 21 miles on the mainland (Wyoming) and 25 miles on an island (Florida). Many of the eastern states contain so many roads that it is no longer possible to get more than 5 miles from a road. This trend is unacceptable.