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Eye On Boise

Idaho roadless rule upheld in court

Gov. Butch Otter departed from his prepared remarks, just as he was highlighting “the damage that federal court rulings can do to our traditional industries and our Idaho lifestyle.” The governor told lawmakers, “In fact we learned just this morning that Idaho won its case on our roadless rule … because we stayed at the table, because we continued to force the merits of our arguments. The 9thCircuit Court ruled this morning 3-0 that we were right.” Loud applause greeted the announcement. Click below for an announcement from Sen. Jim Risch.

Press release from Sen. Jim Risch





Boise, Idaho – A three-judge panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled today in favor of Idaho’s roadless plan created in 2006. In 2011, a federal district judge upheld the Idaho Roadless Rule, and the decision was appealed to the Ninth Circuit.


The Idaho Roadless Rule was a collaborative effort led by then-Governor Jim Risch and included the conservation groups Idaho Conservation League and Trout Unlimited, along with county commissioners, timber companies, hunters and recreation groups. The collaborative process and public hearings resulted in the creation of management plans for various tracts within the 9.3 million acres of inventoried roadless areas in Idaho.


“When I was Idaho’s governor, I clearly saw the need for strong leadership to bring together the different groups to come up with a plan for Idaho. The federally-mandated one-size-fits-all approach had not worked. But in our collaborative effort we were successful in crafting a plan written by Idahoans, for Idahoans,” said Risch. “Working with groups like the Idaho Conservation League and Trout Unlimited, along with many other stakeholders, we crafted the only state plan in the nation that protects our land and helps rural communities.”



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The written opinion for the case can be found here:



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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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