And the Roadless Saga continues....


Federal government won't appeal roadless ruling

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - The federal government will not appeal a court ruling
that struck down a Clinton-era ban on building roads in a third of the
country's national forests, state Attorney General Pat Crank said.

According to Crank, the U.S. Department of Justice has decided not to appeal
the ruling this summer by U.S. District Court Judge Clarence A. Brimmer in

The roadless rule, issued in the final days of the Clinton administration,
limits timber harvesting and other development on 58 million acres of remote
forest land controlled by the Forest Service.

The ruling by Brimmer would open the land to oil, gas and mineral
exploration. He issued a decision in July concluding the rule illegally
created wilderness areas and should be overturned.

Now that the federal government has decided it won't appeal, the only
parties in the case who might try to keep the lawsuit alive are eight
conservation groups that intervened in the litigation.

The environmentalists, however, might not be able to appeal the ruling
because they were not original parties to the lawsuit, Crank said.

''We will argue vociferously that they don't have standing,'' he said.

Two activist groups have also filed a complaint against Brimmer in the case,
alleging a conflict of interest because he owns stock or royalty interests
in 15 oil and gas companies. No action has yet been taken.

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