Idaho leaders are hailing Monday's decision by a federal appeals court to uphold the state's strategy for managing millions of acres of roadless wilderness.
Idaho’s 'roadless rule' provides the framework for use and protection of more than nine million acres of backcountry land owned by the public.
The Idaho plan was adopted in 2006 and approved by the Bush administration. In other states, federal public land is subject to a more restrictive Clinton-era roadless rule.
Governor Butch Otter praised the stakeholders who stuck with drafting the plan despite tough opposition.
“We’ve been fighting to keep it ever since, because the Interior Department, that was the only roadless plan that the federal government had accepted. That was the winning day for us.”
While Idaho’s plan was drafted with groups like the Idaho Conservation League and Trout Unlimited, other environmental groups argued the Idaho plan gives the U.S. Forest Service too much flexibility to build new roads.
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