Tags: Judge | Blocks | Forest | Road | Ban

Judge Blocks Forest Road Ban

Thursday, 10 May 2001 12:00 AM

The Clinton administration's last-minute rule would cause "irreparable harm" unless amended, said U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge. Allowing the rule to take effect "ignores the reality ... that once something of this magnitude is set in motion, momentum is irresistible, options are closed and agency commitments, if not set in concrete, will be the subject of litigation for years to come."

Timber company Boise Cascade, along with the state of Idaho and other plaintiffs, had sought the preliminary injunction against the Clinton administration's last-minute roadless-area rule. Alaska and Utah have filed similar lawsuits, as has a coalition of about 10 timber companies.

The judge's decision came less than a week after the Bush administration said it would allow the rule to take effect Saturday while work continued on revisions to allow more local input.

Lodge had signaled early in the case that he was not pleased with the rule, which would prohibit timber harvesting or development in 90,000 square miles of national forests. Additionally, no road maintenance of additional roads could take place nor could new roads be built in the designated areas.

Christine Romano, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Justice, charged with defending a rule the administration does not favor, told United Press International: "We are reviewing the court's order now. We have not made a decision on how we'll proceed."

The Bush administration has several options. It could do nothing and let the order stand, or file a notice of intent within 60 days that it plans to appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Defenders of the rule, with official court status as intervener, filed an appeal Thursday. The case will be heard in the circuit court, possibly in the next few months.

The final decision may could hinge on how well the required process of making the federal roadless rule was followed.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

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The Clinton administration's last-minute rule would cause irreparable harm unless amended, said U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge. Allowing the rule to take effect ignores the reality ... that once something of this magnitude is set in motion, momentum is irresistible,...
Judge,Blocks,Forest,Road,Ban
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2001-00-10
Thursday, 10 May 2001 12:00 AM
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