08/05/2009 - A federal appeals court handed environmentalists a victory this morning in a long-litigated fight over road-building and other development in national forests, striking down a Bush administration policy that effectively gutted forest protections set out by President Bill Clinton.
The ruling, by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, reinstates the Clinton-era Roadless Area Conservation Rule, which sealed nearly 60 million acres of public land from logging, road-building and other activity. Much of the protected wilderness lies in the West.
"The Obama administration's recent 'timeout' directive on activity in roadless areas is a good first step, but more than ever our last unspoiled national forests need permanent protection under a national rule," Jane Danowitz, director of the Pew Environment Group's U.S. public lands program, said in a statement. "We hope the president will put the full weight of his administration behind reinstating this landmark policy."
Read the full article Court Restores Restrictions on Road-Building in National Forests on the Los Angeles Times' Web site.