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Thu May 24, 2007
Wyoming Goes to Court Again Over Roadless Rule
By Kristin Espeland
Laramie, WY – Wyoming wants to throw out Clinton-era federal rules that prohibit new roads in forests. The state says its local forest planners should be able to decide. So a federal judge will hear the state's argument tomorrow in Cheyenne. Wyoming's attorney general pat Crank says local forest managers have had their hands tied while the legislation is pending. The forest legislation has traveled a long and winding road to get to this point. The Clinton administration issued what's known as the roadless rule, prohibiting new roads in forests areas that were already roadless. But US district court judge Clarence Brimmer ruled that Wyoming could ignore it. Another federal court tossed out Brimmer's ruling. And then the Bush administration issued its own forest rules rendering the whole issue moot. But environmental groups sued. Now Wyoming wants its ruling reinstated, and environmental groups will once again fight the state on that.