Here is another great victory for the Clinton rule protecting all national forest roadless areas.

A federal judge in Northern California issued a final injunction Tuesday that protects 52 million acres nationwide from a repeal of the 2001 Clinton roadless rule. U.S. District Judge Elizabeth D. Laporte included language in her decision preventing roads and surface disturbance related to energy development, though oil and gas deposits would still be available through directional drilling. Read the rest in the Jackson Hole News and Guide. Story by Cory Hatch.

What the fight is over — unprotected roadless lands like these. This is the Marten Creek Cirque
inside a large roadless portion of the Wyoming Range (SW Wyoming). Copyright Ralph Maughan

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is past President of the Western Watersheds Project.

5 Responses to Clintons's Roadless rule reinforced!

  1. avatar kt says:

    It’s surprising there hasn’t been more publicity about this.

    So does this mean all that brouhaha a couple months ago – like the Risch roadless plan for Idaho that some conservationists supported – is no longer valid?

    And also that those Healthy Forest manipulation themes/schemes/categories that were built into parts of Idaho’s Risch Plan are no longer valid?

  2. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    If my understanding of the situation is correct, the 2001 Roadless Rule is now fully intact, barring changes in the decision by appellate courts, which means actions taken under the Bush rule are null and void, including the governor recommendations.

    Still, I don’t like relying on a rule. We need to get as many roadless areas into Wilderness as we can. Perhaps now’s the time to really support NREPA.

  3. My class wondered about it today. It had to say “up in the air.”

    So I’m glad to have Robert’s comment.

  4. avatar Mike says:

    Nice shot, Ralph. I need to visit the Wyoming Range one of these days.

    The judges decision is very good news. I’m sure the usual judges with industry portfolios(*cough* Wyoming)will try and stop it.

  5. avatar kt says:

    It seems that this upsets the applecart on at least one Forest Travel Process-in-progress – in the Humboldt-Toiyabe Santa Rosa Ranger District.

    The Forest had done a decent job in making the process understandable – but the Draft would leave roads remaining in 7 Inventoried Roadless Areas (Note: I tried posting a link, but it makes the Blog message disappear for some reason).

    Anyway, the overwhelming cause of roads on the Santa Rosa RD is public lands ranching activities. Welfare ranchers drive to the top of ridges to place salt, readily creatign new roads. Every ugly fence or spring-gutting project has a road to it.

    Maybe the Forest will have to make the ranchers actually start using horses … instead of ATVs and pickups.


February 2007


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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