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Fri May 21, 2004
Future of Roadless Rule Still Unknown
Laramie, Wy – An appeal of a judge's ruling overturning a Clinton-era ban on national forest road-building remains alive following a federal court order.
The roadless rule would limit timber harvesting and other development on 58 million acres of remote forest land.
Last July, U-S District Judge Clarence Brimmer in Wyoming struck down the rule, saying it illegally created wilderness areas and violated other federal laws.
Eight conservation groups took the matter to the Denver-based 10th U-S Circuit Court of Appeals.
The state of Wyoming, which won the case, argued that the environmentalists cannot appeal the decision because they were not original parties in the lawsuit.
In an order issued last week, the 10th Circuit Court deferred any decision on the groups' legal standing, instead letting a yet-to-be-named three-judge panel settle the matter.
That means the appeals process will move forward, for now, and
the conservation groups have until June 21st to file a brief
outlining their arguments.