11 Mar 2010, 3:50pm
Latest Forest News
by admin

Jurisdiction at the heart of “roadless” rule battle

By Bruce Finley, The Denver Post, March 11, 2023 [here]

Government and industry attorneys squared off in a federal appeals court Wednesday over how strongly to protect the nation’s last “roadless” forests.

Judges for the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals zoomed to the core of a long-running conflict: whether the Clinton administration overstepped its authority in establishing the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule, which bans logging and road-building on 58.4 million acres of national forest.

At issue is whether, by outlawing roads in large swaths of public land, the executive branch effectively created new “wilderness” areas. A wilderness declaration can be made only by Congress, lawyers for the mining industry argued.

In addition, mining interests argue that lawful procedures weren’t followed before the roadless order was issued.

The move to protect this public land as “roadless” looked like a rush job “to lock it up” before Clinton left office, Senior Judge Stephen Anderson said. … [more]

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