Appeals Court Rules In Favor of Idaho 'Roadless Rule'

Jan 7, 2013

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.

Governor Butch Otter praised those who worked on Idaho's roadless rule before he was governor. He snuck this unscripted into his annual State of the State address.
Credit Aaron Kunz

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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