Conservation groups challenge Idaho roadless rule in court

Spokesman Review 11/9/2012
Excerpt:      “PUBLIC LANDS — A coalition of environmental groups made arguments before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Portland, Ore., today in an ongoing effort to repeal the Idaho roadless rule and replace it with one adopted under President Bill Clinton.

The Wilderness Society, Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council contend the Idaho rule, crafted in a collaborative effort led by former Gov. Jim Risch, is weaker than the 2001 rule that is now in force on most national forests outside of Idaho, according to a report by Eric Barker of the Lewiston Tribune.   ….”

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Agency stands by coal mine expansion into roadless area

Grand Junction Daily Sentinel; 11/8/2012
Excerpt:      “The U.S. Forest Service is standing by its approval of a coal mine expansion into a roadless area 10 miles east of Paonia.

The Forest Service’s regional office this week ruled against conservation groups who had appealed the agency’s decision to let Arch Coal build 6.5 miles of road and 48 drilling pads for methane vents in 1,700 acres of the Sunset Roadless Area.

The activities would accommodate the expansion of the West Elk Mine, owned by Arch Coal’s Mountain Coal Co. subsidiary.  …..”

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Sparing an acre here and there in the latticework of oil development

Bismark Tribune; 10/14/2012
Excerpt:      “The state of North Dakota has now joined four western North Dakota counties in legal action to try to force the U.S. Forest Service into letting them build section line roads in a few scattered parcels of federal public land in the Badlands that are still suitable for wilderness designation. In the 1970s, fully 500,000 acres of the Little Missouri National Grasslands were designated as “suitable for wilderness.” Today fewer than 70,000 acres of the badlands remain roadless and suitable for wilderness.   …..”

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Legal battle over building roads on protected grasslands heats up

Fargo Inforum  10/7/2012
Excerpt:   “FARGO – A legal battle is intensifying to decide if roads can be built in areas of the Little Missouri National Grasslands now managed as roadless and eligible to be protected as wilderness.

The dispute started this summer when four North Dakota counties sued the federal government, asserting they have the legal right to build roads along section lines.  …”

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State Awaits Outcome of Remaining Roadless Forest Lawsuits

Alaska Public Radio 10/4/2012
Excerpt:   “The state of Alaska has the only remaining legal challenge pending against a nationwide ban on logging and road building on roadless forest lands. That’s after the U.S. Supreme Court decided this week not to hear an appeal on a lawsuit brought by the state of Wyoming and a mining industry group from Colorado.  …..”

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High court rejects challenge to roadless rule

Laramie Boomerang; 10/2/2012
Excerpt:  ” Environmental groups hailed the U.S. Supreme Court’s rejection of an appeal challenging a federal rule that bars development on 50 million acres of roadless areas in national forests, ending one of the main legal battles that had left the rule in doubt for more than a decade.

“The Supreme Court action validates arguably one of most important public land conservation polices in a generation,” said Jane Danowitz, a director of the Pew Environment Group, which has worked on the rulemaking since 1998.  ……”

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

Summit County Voice; 10/1/2012
Excerpt:   “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.   …”

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High court rejects challenge to roadless rule

Associated Press 10/1/2012
Excerpt:  “

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has turned away an appeal challenging a federal rule that bars development on 50 million acres of roadless areas in national forests.

The justices said Monday they will leave in place a federal appeals court decision that upheld the so-called roadless rule that took effect late in the presidency of Bill Clinton.  The state of Wyoming and the Colorado Mining Association said closing so much forest land to development has had serious consequences for residents of Western states and the logging, mining and drilling industries.  ….”

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Colorado: Forest Service challenged anew over approval of a coal mine expansion in roadless area

Summit County Voice ;  9/26/2012
Excerpt:   “FRISCO — A long-running battle over a coal mine expansion in a national forest roadless area continues, as conservation groups this week challenged U.S. Forest Service approval of a coal mine expansion 10 miles west of Paonia.

According to Earthjustice, the mine project could ultimately result in construction more than six miles of roads, along with 48 natural gas drilling pads within the Sunset roadless area, one of the areas exempted from a road-building ban under a newly adopted roadless rule for national forest lands in Colorado.  …”

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Legal challenge stops work on Burnt Mtn. at Snowmass

Aspen Times 9/13/2012
Excerpt:   “SNOWMASS — Aspen Skiing Co.’s plan to add skiing on 230 acres of Burnt Mountain at Snowmass ski area this winter is being challenged by an environmental organization.

The Ark Initiative filed a lawsuit Sept. 5 contending that the U.S. Forest Service had unlawfully granted Skico permission to cut trees in what it maintains is an inventoried roadless area with special protections. The Ark Initiative informed the Forest Service that it intended to seek a temporary restraining order blocking Skico’s tree cutting on Burnt Mountain.   …”

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