Category Archives: National Forest lands

9th Circuit prohibits logging in National Forest’s

Bush of course overturned a Clinton rule and allowed logging in our National Forest’s. From Jurist:

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday affirmed a district court ruling reinstating the Roadless Rule, which prohibited the building of roads or the use of roadless lands in National Parks for timber production. The Clinton administration measure was effectively overturned in 2005 by the State Petitions Rule, enacted by the US Department of Agriculture under President George W Bush. The State Petitions Rule allowed governors to petition for Roadless Rule protections, depending on their individual state needs, in lieu of blanket protection. Affirming the ruling, Judge Robert Beezer wrote that the State Petitions Rule violated the National Environmental Policy Act because it was enacted without an environmental impact statement:

In the context of this case, we cannot condone a marked
change in roadless area management without environmental analysis because it was the USDA’s preferred response to an untested district court injunction that was subject to possible reversal in a pending appeal.

As expected, opinions on the ruling varied. The environmental group Earthjustice lauded the ruling, calling it a victory for all citizens who enjoy the outdoors, and for cities that rely on the wilderness for fresh water. The Intermountain Forest Association, a logging industry group, said that it was too early to say definitively what the ruling means .

The Roadless Area Conservation Rule was implemented by former president Bill Clinton in 2001 and replaced by the Bush administration in 2005. In March, the US House of Representatives voted to approve the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, a collection of more than 160 bills aimed at preserving federal land as wilderness areas. The Act includes a rule which allows governors to request that regulations on the management of roadless areas be developed to meet the needs of individual states. The Clinton-era rule would have prohibited mining, logging, and road construction in the forests of 38 states and Puerto Rico, totaling more than 58 million acres of land.

Lets hope this holds up when it hits the Supreme Court, which I know it will. The logging folks will not go away quietly.