Vilsack Takes Over Roadless Rule

Obama begins to put his imprint on the much litigated “roadless rule”-

Bill Schneider at New West has followed the long battle of what was originally Bill Clinton’s roadless rule for the national forests.  Today the Obama Administration made its first move.

Schneider tells the story in New West.

Vilsack Takes Over Roadless Rule.

“After hearing conservation group recommendations, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has decided to take over authority to approve any development in national forest roadless areas, taking this decision away from district rangers and forest supervisors, where local politics often has a big impact.”

Update . . . more. This article from the New York Times. One-year delay on roadless rule for federal lands expected. By Noelle Straub and Eric Bontrager.



  1. Layton Avatar

    Oh — my — God!!!

    Backward, feudal, redneck Idaho is the only state EXEMPTED because they are going to use it’s plan as a MODEL for other states???

    Will wonders never cease!!!

  2. Brian Ertz Avatar

    If I remember correctly, the tradeoff for Idaho’s “collaborative” – local plan was that local groups including industry groups, ICL, TU, Idaho’s congressional delegation etc. came up with a plan that cuts off from the original Clinton Roadless rule 5 million acres out of ever being considered for wilderness & an additional 400,000 acres off the original rule that will be immediately allowed to be roaded, logged & mined. From what I read of the articles, because Idaho engaged in this collaborative, local rule -Idaho will not benefit from Obama/Vilsack’s protective moratorium on roads & development upholding the Clinton rule – that 5 million acres lost to “W”ilderness forever, & the 400,000 to be potentially put under the blade, shovel, or bit is gone – unless the Sierra Club & TWS win the lawsuit. Is that correct or am I misunderstanding ? I haven’t kept up on the Roadless stuff.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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