State AGs challenge Bush administration over forest road construction plan Chris Buell at 4:10 PM ET
[JURIST] Attorneys general from California, New Mexico and Oregon have challenged a decision by the US Forest Service [official website] to allow road building and other development on more than 58.5 million acres of national forest previously protected. California Attorney General Bill Lockyer [official website] said allowing construction of roads on the lands would pave the way for mining and other resource extraction from the forests, which have remained undeveloped up to this point. The Forest Service decision reversed the "roadless rule" adopted by President Bill Clinton in the final days of his presidency, but which had been struck down by a Wyoming federal judge in 2003. The Forest Service instead adopted a policy [JURIST report] that required states to determine jointly with the Forest Service how forests should be managed. State governors were granted an 18-month window to petition for protection or opening of individual forests. Read the final rule [text] issued by the Forest Service. Lockyer's office has a news release on the suit. AP has more.
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