The Bush administration acted illegally in 2005, according to a federal appeals court ruling, when it struck down the 2001 rule prohibiting road development and logging in national parks. Wednesday's ruling reinstated the protections of 2001, ensuring our national parks are safe once again from development. Idaho and Alaska's Tongass National Forest remain exceptions, but environmental groups are working on the Obama administration to extend the roadless rule.
Kristen Boyles, the Earthjustice attorney who litigated the case on behalf of 20 environmental organizations, acknowledged the victory but warned against complacency.
"We're not out of the woods yet," she said. "This decision halts the Bush administration assault on roadless areas, but the Obama administration should now take the next steps necessary to make protection permanent."
The 2001 Roadless Rule not only saves national parks for hikers and campers, it also protects wildlife habitat and reduces costs for municipalities that get their drinking water from sources in national parks. Pollutants from logging and other industry increase the costs of treating drinking water.
Follow this link to read the decision.
Follow this link for a history of the National Park Service.