DENVER (AP) - A federal appeals court has upheld the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule protecting nearly 50 million acres of land in national forests across the United States.
Lawyers for the state of Wyoming and the Colorado Mining Association asked the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year to uphold a district court ruling that a 2001 federal rule banning construction of new roads on National Forest land violates the law.
The appeals court reversed the lower court ruling, saying the court abused its discretion in permanently enjoining the roadless rule by misinterpreting the application of federal statutes governing public lands.
Environmental activist Jane Danowitz says the decision is one of the most significant conservation victories in several decades because it reinforces the cornerstone protection of national forests.