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Roadless Rule Restored
September 20, 2006 11:58 AM   Subscribe

Judge overturns Bush petition plan on roadless forests and reinstates the Clinton Roadless Rule. The policy gave governors an 18-month interim period to submit petitions to protect their national roadless areas, but the Forest Service sold timber rights to two tracts of land in Oregon (which have already been logged) before Gov. Kulongoski could submit his petition. A copy of the judge's ruling can be found here (PDF).
posted by arrhn (27 comments total)

 
YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH JUDGES!!

wootwoot
posted by cavalier at 12:05 PM on September 20, 2006


has this administration done anything right? (besides suck?)
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 12:08 PM on September 20, 2006


"Forest protection is not an end in itself; it is a means to increase and sustain the resources of our country and the industries which depend on them." Gifford Pinchot, the first director of the U.S. Forest Service, in a speech for Teddy Roosevelt in 1901.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:19 PM on September 20, 2006


has this administration done anything right? (besides suck?)

They don't suck right, coz they bite, too.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:20 PM on September 20, 2006


Activist judges! Legislating from the bench!

(I just wanted to give you a preview of how popular opinion is going to respond to this.)

Does somebody with any kind of legal background want to give us a summary of that 55-page pdf? I'd love to read it, but I haven't the time.
posted by rockabilly_pete at 12:22 PM on September 20, 2006


I think there are more miles of forest roads than paved roads in the US. It's an entirely different parallel world of roads. Kind of the rural equivalent of exploring city tunnels.
posted by stbalbach at 12:23 PM on September 20, 2006


Does somebody with any kind of legal background want to give us a summary of that 55-page pdf?

The Forest Service violated NEPA and the APA in instituting the State Petitions Plan as a replacement for the Roadless Rule. Stay tuned for the appeal.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:34 PM on September 20, 2006


Activist judges! Legislating from the bench!

Maybe, but I get this feeling the administration will just take the hit and move on. This just doesn't seem to have the luster of some of the other hot topics they use to charge their base.

But I could be wrong, I wouldn't call them exactly rational all the time, so they could leap on this and scream their heads off about how not being able to build roads is helping the terrorists. I can't see how, but then, I'm still not clear on how talking about the legality of wiretapping helps terrorists.

So what do I know.
posted by quin at 12:48 PM on September 20, 2006


I really have to guard against automaticaly disagreeing with anything this administration says or does, alternatly rejoycing whenever something they do gets struck down. I honestly make a conscious choice to judge each issue on its merits. But, when it seems that every single thing they do is boneheaded or idiotic it gets hard.

For the record I am happy with this ruling for the sake of mopre roadless forrests, not (just) becasue it goes againt Bush et al.
posted by edgeways at 1:06 PM on September 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


How about a compromise? All the 30 story tourist hotels developed along those roads for the benefit of the public could have paintings of trees on their outside walls. The fast food franchises could have paintings of shrubbery and wild flowers. Mechanical "singing" birds are already available.
To complete the picture, add a chained bear for wildlife.
posted by Cranberry at 1:24 PM on September 20, 2006


I just wanted to give you a preview of how popular opinion is going to respond to this.
I'm not sure I would say popular opinion will react that way. Certainly the talking heads on Fox and on talk radio will get all incensed about it and try to get people upset about those damn "activist judges". But decisions like this one tend to play well with most of the public. I tend to think "popular" opinion will be okay with this decision.

BushCo blew this one when they jumped the gun on the deadline. All they had to do was wait for the deadline, then do what they wanted. Cross your "T"s and dot your "I"s, y'know. They couldn't hold back the greed even for what, in the great scope of things, was a little pissant rule.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:24 PM on September 20, 2006


All the 30 story tourist hotels developed along those roads

That's not what these roads are for.
posted by jefgodesky at 1:28 PM on September 20, 2006


How about a compromise? All the 30 story tourist hotels developed along those roads for the benefit of the public could have paintings of trees on their outside walls. The fast food franchises could have paintings of shrubbery and wild flowers. Mechanical "singing" birds are already available.
To complete the picture, add a chained bear for wildlife.


That sounds suspiciously like Disney World.
posted by crunchland at 1:32 PM on September 20, 2006


Thanks for posting this news. Its the best news I've heard all day.

I remember reading that Clinton's staff, in their last days in power, worked overtime to make overturning Clinton's environmental rules very difficult for the Bush administration. I wonder if their efforts had any effect in this case.
posted by pandaharma at 1:36 PM on September 20, 2006


I should add, as far as I know, this makes the Clinton Administration 2 for 2 in having their protection plans upheld.

The Escalante-Grand Staircase National Monument, that was so controversial in my state, was upheld in court this year.
posted by pandaharma at 1:37 PM on September 20, 2006



For the record I am happy with this ruling for the sake of mopre roadless forrests, not (just) becasue it goes againt Bush et al.


It would be petty and misguided of me (or anyone else) to approve of these types of things simply because it makes the Bush administration look bad.

They just happen to do a lot of really stupid shit, and it's always good to see those types of mistakes corrected before more damage is done.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 1:50 PM on September 20, 2006


The Escalante-Grand Staircase National Monument
That place is great!

posted by inigo2 at 2:03 PM on September 20, 2006


The simple fact is that the Republicans are incompetent, as evidenced by this and myriad other policy actions, when it comes to running a government. Too bad that the Dems are imcompetent when it comes to getting elected.
posted by klangklangston at 2:09 PM on September 20, 2006


The Forest Service required timber companies to use helicopters to haul out the logs. It says that means the forest remains roadless.^

I dunno about you guys, but that gave me a good chuckle. I mean, come on...
posted by zennie at 2:45 PM on September 20, 2006


"I dunno about you guys, but that gave me a good chuckle. I mean, come on..."

Busted: Zennie is Rob Corddry's sock puppet.
posted by j-dub at 3:07 PM on September 20, 2006


Aw damn. Just don't tell Crunchland.
posted by zennie at 3:27 PM on September 20, 2006


Maybe, but I get this feeling the administration will just take the hit and move on. This just doesn't seem to have the luster of some of the other hot topics they use to charge their base.

Quite the contrary. They'll wait until people are all worked up about one of those "hot topics," and then sneak this in under the radar.
posted by Afroblanco at 3:44 PM on September 20, 2006


Oregon is so cool.
People have the right to die, trees have the right to live, and nobody has the right to a tan.
posted by odasaku at 4:32 PM on September 20, 2006


It's nice that every so often, this evil and incompetent administration is incompetent at being evil.
posted by nicwolff at 8:05 PM on September 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


As a UK citizen, I have no clue as to the American legal process, but isn't it a pretty good bet that judges consistently overturning terrible administration decisions are going to get fired/ruined/penalised/sanctioned/turned into a ferret?
posted by malusmoriendumest at 4:56 AM on September 21, 2006


Turned into newts, actually. But they'll get better.
posted by kcds at 5:35 AM on September 21, 2006


As a UK citizen, I have no clue as to the American legal process, but isn't it a pretty good bet that judges consistently overturning terrible administration decisions are going to get fired/ruined/penalised/sanctioned/turned into a ferret?

US Federal judges are appointed by the President and have the seat for life, or as long as they want it. They are not personally liable for any judicial decision, their salaries cannot be reduced, and the only way to remove them is impeachment by Congress. The system is intended to isolate Federal judges from political pressure as far as possible. (State judges don't necessarily have these protections and are often chosen by election.)
posted by zennie at 7:58 AM on September 21, 2006


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