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Ninth Circuit Court Throws Out Bush Roadless Rules

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has thrown out the Bush Administration rule governing roadless forests, and reinstated the previous Clinton rule. Rob Manning reports.

President Clinton's roadless rule tightly restricted activities like logging and mining on 58 million acres of western forest.

The Bush Administration tossed that rule and instead allowed states to police roadless areas themselves.

A three-judge appeals panel has now sided with environmental groups and top officials in Oregon and Washington in junking the Bush rule.

Kristen Boyles is with the environmental law firm, Earthjustice.

Kristen Boyles: “The Bush Administration’s attempt to repeal the Roadless Rule and its protections was illegal. And they also affirmed that the reinstatement of the Roadless Rule nationwide was correct, and so the Roadless Rule is back as the law of the land.”

That sounds final, except that a federal judge in Wyoming – outside the 9th circuit – has ruled the opposite way, against the Clinton rule.

That decision could apply to Oregon if it were appealed to the Supreme Court, and if the high court sided with the Bush rule.