'Roadless rule' in national forests reinstated by court

A federal appeals court Wednesday reinstated a rule created in the final days of the Clinton administration that banned logging, mining and new roads on nearly 40 million acres of national forest land.

It's not clear yet how the decision will affect the Tongass National Forest, which was exempted from the ban six years go.

The decision by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstates most of the so-called "Roadless Rule," issued by President Bill Clinton in 2001.

The court case began after President George W. Bush repealed the Clinton rule and issued his own roadless rule, giving states discretion to ban development in affected national forest land.

The 9th Circuit, based in San Francisco, sided with several Western states and environmental groups that said the Bush rule violated the National Environmental Policy and Endangered Species acts.

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