On the Bush Administration's Appeal of the Roadless Case
Statement of Robert C. Vandermark, Director, Heritage Forests Campaign
The Bush administration today filed an appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the court's final February 7, 2007 judgment that affirmed the status of legal protections for inventoried roadless areas in national forests. This final judgment also enjoined the U.S. Forest Service from taking any further action contrary to the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule.
"Americans have repeatedly called for the protection of these last wild forests, but those pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Today's filing by the Bush administration adds insult to injury; corporate special interests continue to trump the American people, sound science and our country's natural heritage.
"The courts have found the administration's repeal of the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule to be illegal, but the Bush administration refuses to acquiesce. A national policy protecting all of America's roadless national forests is the best way to preserve these last wild places."
- The appeal period expired Monday, April 9.
- On September 20, 2006, Judge Elizabeth Laporte, Magistrate for the U.S. District Court for Northern California, ruled that the Administration illegally repealed the Roadless Rule, set aside the 2005 State Petitions Rule, and reinstated the 2001 Roadless Rule nationwide, except in the Tongass National Forest.
- On November 29, 2006, Judge Laporte issued an injunction halting all activities inconsistent with the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule. In her injunction, Judge LaPorte stated that because the 2001 rule had been repealed illegally, all projects in roadless areas inconsistent with that rule are also illegal and must now be halted.
- On February 6, 2007 Judge Laporte issued her final injunction, clarifying that the injunction extended to oil and gas drilling permits (as well as leases) issued since May 2005. Interested stakeholders had 60 days to file an appeal.