The U.S. Agriculture Secretary has called for a "time out" for road less National Forest areas. The directive puts a stop to new development and logging on more than 50 million acres nationwide, and more than three million acres in Wyoming - including land in the Bighorn, Bridger-Teton and Shoshone National Forests.
The directive is temporary, and is described as a way to provide more time to work out a clear policy. Jane Danowitz with Pew Environment Group says the move is good news for those who like their wild areas just the way they are now.
Danowitz says road less areas are just a fraction of the National Forest inventory, and protecting them provides balance with other uses for forests, such as logging, mining and drilling.
In 2001, the Clinton administration put into effect a rule to protect the remaining “road less” areas in National Forests. The Bush administration challenged the rule, and the issue has been in the courts for years, leaving the fate of road less areas uncertain.
New projects could still happen in Wyoming, but they have to get special approval from the agriculture secretary.