Wyoming Attorney General comments on Roadless Ruling
by Governor Freudenthal’s office
August 14, 2008
Wyoming Attorney General Bruce Salzburg today said he’s pleased about the ruling from U.S. District Judge Clarence Brimmer regarding Wyoming’s lawsuit over the 2001 Roadless Rule.
Attorney General Salzburg issued the following statement on hearing the news of the ruling:
"Today, in a 102-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Clarence Brimmer issued a permanent injunction against the United States Department of Agriculture related to the ‘2001 Roadless Rule.’ The Court found that in promulgating the Rule, the Department of Agriculture and its subagencies violated both the National Environmental Policy Act and the Wilderness Act, and that a permanent injunction was appropriate in light of the potential harm that the Roadless Rule poses to our national forests due to beetle infestation and forest fires. The Court specifically found that in designating some 58.5 million acres of national forest lands as ‘roadless areas,’ the Secretary of Agriculture had, in fact, created wilderness areas within the forests. Under the Wilderness Act, the authority to designate wilderness areas is exclusively vested in the Congress through legislation, not in a federal agency through its rule making authority.
We are pleased that the Court agreed with the State's position in the case; however, we anticipate an appeal by either the United States or one or more of the intervenors. As such, we consider the matter still in litigation."