Supreme Court Upholds Roadless Rule

October 5, 2012 By: Benjamin Clary

The U.S. Supreme Court, on Monday, upheld a lower ruling that allowed the controversial Roadless Rule Conservation Rule (“Roadless Rule”) to stay in place.

“This is the nail in the coffin in Wyoming’s legal case against the roadless rule,” said Tim Preso, an attorney with Earthjustice, an organization involved in the litigation.

The Supreme Court, by denying cert. (denying review) in Wyoming v. USDA upheld an opinion by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.  In that opinion, 10th Circuit concluded that the U.S. Forest Service was within its power when it established the Roadless Rule.  The Supreme Court’s actions should stifle any challenges to the rule from other states effectively upholding the rule in all states, not just Wyoming.

The rule is, according to Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, “a multiple-use national forest management regulation that was designed to limit road building and timber harvest on undeveloped public lands managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”  It has been touted by fly fisherman as a way to protect backcountry fish habitats from mining and timber interests.