PUBLIC LANDS — The 9thCircuit Court ruled 3-0 this morning in favor of Idaho and against a challenge some conservation groups have made to the state's roadless rule, which helps designate where motorized vehicle use can be allowed on public lands not otherwise protected.
The Idaho Roadless Rule was formalized in 2006 in a collaborative process with other conservation groups, including Trout Unlimited, and public hearings that created management plans for various tracts within the 9.3 million acres of inventoried roadless areas in the state.
It was a good-faith effort.
Here's the reaction from Idaho Sen. Jim Risch, who spearheaded the adoption of the rule while he was governor of Idaho.
Click “continue reading” for the reaction from Idaho Conservation League officials who were pleased with the court decision.
Idaho Conservation League statement on court decision upholding Idaho Roadless Rule
Jan. 7, 2013
Idaho Conservation League is pleased with today’s ruling of the 9thCircuit Court of Appeals that upholds the Idaho Roadless Rule. The rule wasfinalized in October 2008 and guides management on 9.3 million acres of Idaho’s most spectacular backcountry national forests.
While the Idaho Conservation League and Idaho’s leaders don’t always see eye-to-eye on forest management issues, we all appreciate the importance of protecting Idaho’s rugged backcountry. This appreciation for the land and for Idaho traditions of hunting, camping, hiking and fishing led to a plan that will ensure that our kids and grandkids have the opportunity to experience Idaho at its best.
Thousands of Idahoans engaged in the development of this rule. As a result the final plan was greatly improved.
Because of the efforts of conservationists, hunters, anglers, the State of Idaho, the Forest Service, and the national roadless committee, the Idaho Roadless Rule provides important protections for Idaho’s backcountry for Idahoans, and all Americans.
What may be most noteworthy is that the courts have endorsed the collaborative effort that went into the Idaho Roadless Rule. Other local efforts were spawned by this success in the Clearwater, Panhandle, Salmon-Challis, Payette, Sawtooth and Boise Forests. By upholding the rule, the potential for these collaborative efforts is strengthened.
The Idaho Conservation League’s goal has always been to protect the quality hunting, fishing and clean water that Idaho’s roadless forests provide. ICL remains committed to ensuring appropriate on-the-ground management, consistent with the rule to protect the values Idahoans share.