August 14, 2008

U.S. Judge in Wyoming Stops National Forest ‘Roadless Rule’

By - The Associated Press

CHEYENNE, Wyo. - A federal judge has overturned a Clinton-era ban on road construction in nearly a third of national forests, the latest turn in a long-running dispute over U.S. Forest Service rules for undeveloped land.

U.S. District Judge Clarence Brimmer issued a permanent injunction Tuesday against the so-called "roadless rule," saying it violated the National Environmental Policy Act and the Wilderness Act.

"The Forest Service, in an attempt to bolster an outgoing President's environmental legacy, rammed through an environmental agenda that itself violates the country's well-established environmental laws," Brimmer wrote.

The judge issued a similar decision in 2003 in response to a lawsuit filed by Wyoming challenging the roadless rule.

The 2001 rule prohibits logging, mining and other development on 58.5 million acres in 38 states and Puerto Rico, but the Bush administration replaced it in May 2005 with a process that required governors to petition the federal government to protect nat

(c) 2008 Charleston Gazette, The. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.