Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Judge tosses challenge to Idaho roadless plan

A federal judge has tossed out a lawsuit from environmentalists over Idaho's handcrafted plan for managing millions of acres of roadless wilderness across Idaho. U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill issued the ruling Friday defending the so-called Idaho Roadless Rule that guides future use and protection for 9.3 million acres of backcountry. The rule was written by Idaho officials after a series of statewide meetings before winning approval by the U.S. Forest Service in 2008. The plan was challenged by a coalition of environmental groups opposed to letting state determine how to manage federal public land. They also claimed the Idaho rule opened too much to logging, mining and other activities that could threaten endangered species habitat. Winmill said federal laws protecting endangered species were not ignored in drafting the plan. AP

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