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U.S. Supreme Court rejects national forest roadless rule challenge

State, mining and ranching groups lose bid to overturn protection for 58 million acres of environmental valuable wild lands

The national forest roadless rule stands.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — A last-ditch effort by miners, ranchers and other extractive users to overturn the U.S. Forest Service’s national roadless rule has failed, as the U.S. Supreme Court reject a plea to hear the case.

The formal petition came from the state of Wyoming, which last year lost its challenge in the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Wyoming was joined in the petition by eight other states, numerous mining and ranching groups, along with several motorized recreation groups.

The states and groups repeated their oft-rejected claims that the rule was adopted in violation of federal environmental laws and that the rule represented a de facto illegal creation of wilderness. Continue reading

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Eight states, mining, ranching and motorized groups ask U.S. Supreme Court to hear latest roadless rule challenge

Critics continue to claim the rule creates de facto wilderness

Will the U.S. Supreme Court hear a challenge to the Forest Service roadless conservation rule?

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Eight states, numerous mining and ranching groups, along with several motorized recreation groups have joined the Colorado Mining Association in appealing the U.S. Forest Service’s national roadless rule to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In its petition to the Supreme Court, the Colorado mining group repeats the oft-rejected claim that the roadless rule was adopted in violation of federal environmental laws, and that the rule is “a sweeping usurpation of the authority vested solely in Congress to designate lands as wilderness.”

Even though federal appeals courts have rejected those legal challenges, at least one natural resource law expert thinks the array of heavyweight opposition could sway the Supreme Court’s conservative justices to take on the case.

The 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule limits road-building on about 58 million acres of national forest lands across the country. It was adopted after an extensive public process to protect water quality, wildlife habitat, and in recognition of the fact that the Forest Service has a massive backlog of maintenance on the existing national forest road system. Continue reading

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