State asks for relief from Clinton Roadless Rule
Judge strikes down Bush Roadless Rule, state wants return to on-the-ground forest planning
by Governor Freudenthalís office
September 22, 2006
With a motion in US District Court Friday, September 22, the State of Wyoming is seeking a return to on-the-ground forest planning efforts by reinstating a judge's decision to strike down the Clinton roadless rule.
In 2003, District Judge Clarence Brimmer found that the Clinton roadless rule was adopted in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Wilderness Act. His decision, though, was effectively rendered moot when the Bush administration issued its own roadless rule shortly later.
Now, a federal judge in California has also struck down the Bush roadless rule. Wyoming officials are arguing that the latest action reinstates Brimmer's ruling, which means neither the Bush nor Clinton administration rules would be in effect.
"I have long maintained that the single best way to make these decisions is not through a blanket approach to forest management, but through the on-the-ground approach of forest planning," said Gov. Dave Freudenthal. "Both these roadless rules painted with too broad a brush. There are areas that should absolutely be protected from development, but there are also areas that might be more suitable. Those decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis in the already-existent forest planning process, and they should undergo public scrutiny and participation."
Wilderness Society Statement on reinstating 2001 roadless area conservation rule (www.wilderness.org, 9/20/06)