A federal district court ordered reinstatement of the Clinton Roadless Rule to protect almost 50 million acres of wild national forests and grasslands from road building, logging, and development. This is a triumph for everyone who values America's great natural areas, and a moment every one of you activists should savor with pride.
The 2001 Roadless Rule is one of the greatest forest conservation measures in U.S. history. But the Bush administration repealed the Roadless Rule with no environmental analysis and limited public input, and replaced it with a weak petitioning process. The repeal put all of our roadless national forests at risk from logging and energy exploration -- some of which has already begun.
The Court agreed that in repealing the rule, the Bush administration failed to comply with basic legal requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act.
Of course there will be additional legal challenges to the Roadless Rule, but this ruling is a significant victory.
An Earthjustice petition, signed by 276,000 people, asked the Bush administration to reinstate the protections of the Roadless Rule. It was ignored.