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Supreme Court rejects roadless rule challenge

In a major victory for environmentalists, the Supreme Court today rejected a challenge to the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule that determines the management of 45 million acres of national forests and grasslands outside of Idaho and Colorado.

The rule is a multiple-use national forest management regulation designed to limit road building and timber harvest on undeveloped public lands managed by the Agriculture Department. The state of Wyoming and the Colorado Mining Association had brought the case, which claimed that the rule unduly impacts industrial development.

“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court affirms the value of backcountry areas in sustaining healthy and secure habitat for fish and wildlife,” said Joel Webster, director of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership Center for Western Lands.

“These are values hunters and anglers both have benefitted from and supported for years. With the fall hunting season upon us, sportsmen can celebrate this legal victory by enjoying our favorite pastimes on America’s prime publicly owned hunting and fishing lands.”