U.S. District Court judge throws out Bush’s Roadless Rule

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My sister just sent this along, and I though many of you would be interested:

A federal judge on Wednesday overturned the Bush administration’s rules on road construction in untouched areas of national forests and reinstated a Clinton-era ban on new roads in nearly a third of federal forests.

U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Laporte sided with states and environmentalists who sued the U.S. Forest Service after it reversed Clinton’s “Roadless Rule” that prohibited logging, mining and other development on 58.5 million acres of forest land in 38 states and Puerto Rico.

In May 2005, the Bush administration replaced the Clinton rule with a voluntary state-by-state petition process that the plaintiffs claimed violated federal environmental laws.

Laporte’s ruling Wednesday overturned Bush’s “State Petitions Rule.”

The suit against new rule was brought about by Western states, including New Mexico’s attroney general, Patricia Madrid.

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