Roadless: 10th Cir. Vacates Injunction

Roadless:  On October 21, 2011, the Tenth Circuit reversed the district court’s issuance of a permanent injunction.  The Court remanded to district court to vacate the permanent injunction.  “The district court abused its discretion in permanently enjoining the Roadless Rule on a nationwide basis…”

US Forest Service issued this tweet on October 21:

OFFICIAL STATEMENT For Immediate Release Contact: (202) 205-1134 Twitter: @forestservice

“The US Forest Service is pleased that a federal appeals court has upheld the 2001 Roadless Rule The Obama Administration has been and remains a strong supporter of the protection of roadless areas. These areas are vital for protecting watersheds, providing recreation and hunting and fishing opportunities. We applaud this decision upholding the 2001 rule and are proud to have vigorously supported the rule in this case. The Roadless Rule prohibits road construction and timber cutting in 58.5 million acres of inventoried roadless areas, covering about 30 percent of the National Forest System.If you would rather not receive future communications from US Forest Service, let us know by clicking here.US Forest Service, 1400 Independence Avenue”

Here is the statement by Mike King, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of
Natural Resources, regarding today's ruling from the 10th Circuit:

"The Colorado Roadless Rule is based on the essential elements and
structure of the 2001 Roadless Rule that the 10th Circuit Court has
today reaffirmed. Starting in 2005, Colorado has been engaged in an
extensive public involvement process to develop consensus on a rule
that makes sense for the various needs and uses of our forests while
also finding ways to provide strong protection of these lands. That
process has benefitted from updated backcountry inventories for true
roadless characteristics, the identification of high-value fish and
wildlife habitat, and developing narrowly-tailored accommodation of
activities critical to local economies that also includes wildfire
protection for mountain communities. In addition, this ruling does not
preclude further litigation, which could continue to create
uncertainty. As a result, we will continue working to finalize the
Colorado rule so we can provide clear and appropriate direction on the
management and protection of national forest roadless areas in Colorado."


October 31 — CWF, too,  read the decision and is conferring with others to figure out the impact of the decision on the Colorado Roadless Rule (CRR).  As we understand it, the 10th Circuit ruling does not preclude adoption of a state-specific rule.  Who knows how the politics will play out.  The CRR has not been finalized yet.  See Our Stand (bottom left of the home page) for the recommendations developed by several organizations including CWF and submitted to the State on October 28.   As of October 20, the US Forest Service, Region 2, was still reviewing the public comments submitted in July.  The next step is (or was)  for Region 2 to submit to Washington –unless the Court decision changes the process.  A final rule has been expected by year end or beginning of 2012.  CWF and others have continued to meet with Colorado Department of Natural Resources to urge incorporation of our recommendations made in our July 14 comment letter.