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1962 YellowSubmarine
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<font color="yellow">pay close attention to the part I put in italics</font c>


Roadless rule hits the skids
by Michelle Nijhuis


NATION

The mood was unusually agreeable
at a recent federal court hearing on the Clinton
administration's
roadless area conservation rule
for national forest lands. In Boise, Idaho, on March
30, Judge Edward
Lodge heard arguments against the
rule from the State of Idaho, timber company Boise
Cascade, and
other plaintiffs. Then he turned
to the government attorneys, who are usually expected
to defend federal
policy.

They spoke for less than five
minutes.

"We essentially watched the
government move over and sit with the plaintiffs,"
says John McCarthy of
the Idaho Conservation League. The
ICL and eight other environmental groups, which
intervened in the
case, offered the only substantial
defense at the hearing.

The roadless rule, which would
protect about 58.5 million acres of national forest
lands from logging and
road-building, was to take effect
March 13, but the Bush administration recently delayed
the start date
until May 12 (HCN, 4/9/01:
Republicans launch counteroffensive).

Six days after the Boise hearing,
Judge Lodge decided not to decide. The plaintiffs
wanted a preliminary
injunction, which would have
blocked the roadless rule until the courts made a
final decision. Lodge
postponed his ruling on the
injunction until after May 4, when the Bush
administration is expected to
complete its review of the policy.

Most observers say the
administration cannot single-handedly reverse the
rule, since it was vetted in
several years of public hearings
and published in the Federal Register. But the
administration could revise
the policy and open a new, weaker
version to public comment.

The plaintiffs are pleased with
their day in court, especially because Judge Lodge's
written opinion
described the public comment
period for the rule as "grossly inadequate." "It
appears from the pointed
wording that he believes the
state's concerns are valid," says H.D. Palmer,
spokesman for Idaho
Republican Gov. Dirk Kempthorne.

Environmental groups cannot appeal
until the judge makes a final decision. In the
meantime, they hope a
letter-writing campaign by their
supporters will convince President Bush and new
Agriculture Secretary
Ann Veneman to preserve the rule
as is.


But Doug Honnold of Earthjustice
Legal Defense Fund, the lead counsel for the
environmental groups,
says, "We're hard-pressed to
imagine anything but a rush to rescind the rule."

<font color="yellow">you know what you need to do...so get writing <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"></font>
 

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OK <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"> this will be the fifth letter on this subject I have sent to the president <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">
 

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1962 YellowSubmarine
Joined
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11,423 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
<font color="yellow">only five?? <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"></font c>
 
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