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9th Circuit Court of Appeals Reinstates Clinton-era Roadless Rule

August 5, 2009

The US Appeals Court for the Ninth Circuit reinstated the 2001 Clinton-era Roadless Rule, barring development in "roadless" areas of national forests in many of the Western states.

The ruling exempts Idaho and the Tongass National Forest in Alaska. Idaho created its own roadless plan and the Tongass National Forest was exempt from the initial plan.

The Ninth Circuit issued their ruling on Wednesday, August 5, 2009, but the ruling may only be temporary.

US District Judge Clarence Brimmer in Wyoming ruled on August 12, 2008, that the Roadless Rule was illegal. He ruled the federal government did not follow National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) standards. Brimmer concluded the federal government did not adequately include effected states, did not offer alternatives unless they included a ban on roadbuilding, and the outcome was predetermined, among other problems.

The Wyoming case is currently being appealed by environmental groups. Now there are two conflicting rulings on the same case in different parts of the country. The case may have to go all the way to the Supreme Court before it is completely settled.

The Ninth Circuit ruling has not yet been published. When it is, we will attach a link to it here.

The Wyoming case can be found on our website here:  State of Wyoming & Colorado Mining Association v. United Stated Department of Agriculture (.pdf file)



Copyright ICMJ & CMJ, Inc. 2009. (Permission granted to link to this document by copying the web address above.)

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