“This is a state that is the most affected state by the roadless rule in the lower 48, so we thought it was appropriate to come to Idaho to make the announcement today,” Veneman said. “And we also have enjoyed a very close working relationship with both Gov. Kempthorne and Sen. Craig as we have addressed these issues.”
At the statehouse announcement, Veneman was flanked by Craig and Kempthorne, who both lauded the plan to give states a chance to petition for their own, state-specific roadless rules in the next 18 months. If states don’t petition, there’d be no roadless rule, and local forest plans would govern.
Idaho has more than 9 million acres of inventoried roadless land in its national forests, about 17 percent of the state’s land mass.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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