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.
The state of Wyoming is asking the U-S Supreme Court to consider the state’s challenge of the Clinton-era Roadless rule.
The rule makes road building, logging and development off limits in some areas of national forests. Federal Judge Clarence Brimmer had previously agreed with the state that the U-S Forest Service exceeded its authority by creating the rule.
Wyoming has contended that only Congress could take such action. The Brimmer ruling has been overturned and Governor Matt Mead is hoping that the U-S Supreme Court will give it one last hearing.
Governor Matt Mead says he is continuing to pursue legal action over the federal roadless rule as he tries to work out a compromise in Wyoming. Mead says the lawsuit is trying to delay making hundreds of acres off limits to development, while state officials work with the forest service to determine what should actually be off limits.
A federal appeals court has rejected Wyoming's request for it to reconsider a decision upholding the Roadless Rule. The 2001 rule bars development on millions of acres of roadless areas in national forests.
Last year, a three-judge panel of the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the 2001 rule passed under former President Bill Clinton. On Thursday, the court denied Wyoming's request for a rehearing. The Colorado Mining Association, which is part of the lawsuit, says they're considering taking the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The state of Wyoming and the Colorado Mining Association want a federal court in Denver to reconsider a rule prohibiting roads on nearly 50 million acres of land in national forests across the United States.
In a motion filed Monday, the plaintiffs say the U.S. Forest Service's roadless rule was a "sham process" designed to circumvent Congress.
Although Wyoming officials oppose a recent court ruling that re-instated the Clinton era roadless rule, a conservationist says the ruling could actually help,not hurt Wyoming's economy. Eric Molvar is a wildlife biologist with the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance. He says Elk gather in roadless areas, so he says the ruling could help the economy through increased hunting opportunities.