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Judge overturns Bush changes to roadless forest rule

A federal judge overturned the Bush administration's changes to a controversial roadless forest rule that has been in limbo since 2001.

The Clinton administration completed the rule before leaving office. It limits road building on nearly 59 million acres of already roadless forest lands throughout the nation.

The Kootenai Tribe, the state of Idaho and Idaho timber interests sued to overturn the rule. The case prompted the Bush administration to rescind the Clinton protections and give more power to state governors.

But U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Laporte said the Bush administration failed to conduct an environmental analysis of its changes. She reinstated the Clinton-era rule in a case brought by the states of California, Oregon, Washington and New Mexico

Most tribes have supported the rule, citing the need to protect treaty lands and sacred sites from development.

Get the Story:
Bush Dealt Setback On Opening Forests (The Washinton Post 9/21)
Judge Voids Bush Policy on National Forest Roads (The New York Times 9/21)
Judge voids Bush's roadless rules (The Seattle Post-Intelligencer 9/21)
Press Release: Court Reinstates Roadless Rule (Earthjustice 9/20)

USDA Documents:
Final Rule | Press Release

Relevant Links:
Roadless Area Conservation -

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