BOISE, Idaho — Idaho leaders hailed Monday’s decision by a federal appeals court to uphold the state’s strategy for managing millions of acres of roadless wilderness.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision Monday supporting Idaho’s plan. It provides the framework for use and protection of more than 9 million acres of backcountry land owned by the public.
The Idaho plan was adopted in 2006 and approved by the Bush administration. In other states, federal public land is subject to a more restrictive Clinton-era roadless rule.
Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter praised the stakeholders who stuck with drafting the plan despite tough opposition.
“We’ve been fighting to keep it ever since, because the Interior Department, that was the only roadless plan that the federal government had accepted. That was the winning day for us.”
The plan was upheld by a federal judge in Boise last January after a coalition of environmental groups challenged its legality.
While Idaho’s plan was drafted with groups like the Idaho Conservation League and Trout Unlimited. Other Environmental groups argued the Idaho plan gives the U.S. Forest Service too much flexibility to build new roads.
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