U.S. Supreme Court denies challenge to Forest Service's "roadless rule"

October 01, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge to a federal rule maintaining roadless national forest land. 

The so-called "roadless rule" took effect near the end of President Bill Clinton’s term. The U.S. Forest Service manages 192 million acres of national forest land. Nearly 60 million acres are designated as roadless and development is prohibited.

The rule has been upheld by an appeals court, but the state of Wyoming and the Colorado Mining Association tried to get the Supreme Court to hear cases challenging the regulation. They argued closing the land off from development has had serious consequences for residents and for industries like mining and logging. But the justices declined to hear the case, leaving the roadless rule intact.

The designated roadless areas are spread across 38 states. In Arizona, about 10 percent of the 11 million acres of national forest land are roadless.

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