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ROADLESS RULE CHANGES

Characterized by a lot of huffing and puffing, the administration finally, May 4, concluded the National Roadless Area Conservation Rule (see The LYNX, 4/01, 12/00, 5/00, 4/00, 2/00, 12/99, 10/99) should stand ...sort of. The Secretary of Agriculture announced the rule would be implemented but that the Administration and Forest Service, now headed by Dale Bosworth, former Wasatch-Cache National Forest Supervisor, will implement a rule making process to change the roadless rule so that it is more flexible at the local level--meaning less protective, less broad, less deep. It will be initiated by another round of public meetings; we shall see if the administration and new Forest Service are serious about their concerns that the first rule did not receive adequate public review, despite 600 public meetings nationwide!

Further complicating the survival of the roadless rule was a ruling by an Idaho Federal District Judge who issued a preliminary injunction against the rule on 12 May. That has been appealed by conservationists with the hope of an expedited decision by mid-summer!

Dick Carter


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