Appeals court panel hears arguments on Idaho roadless case

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments on Idaho’s national forest roadless rule Friday in Portland.

The panel, which included Idaho Senior Appeals Judge Stephen Trott, heard the appeal by the Wilderness Society and other environmental groups of the decision in 2011 of U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill’s decision upholding the rule.

The rule, negotiated by Jim Risch when he was governor, set up a unique system to protect nearly 9 million acres of roadless land in Idaho. The rule is separate from the 2001 roadless rule that has been upheld by two appeals courts and the Supreme Court by its decision not to hear the case.

“Working with groups like the Idaho Conservation League and Trout Unlimited, along with loggers, off-road users and other stakeholders, we crafted the only state plan in the nation that protects our land and helps rural communities,” said Risch, now a U.S. Senator.

Tim Preso, attorney with Earthjustice, who represented the Wilderness Society, the Greater Yellowstone Coalition and others said the judges asked him many questions about the points he raised in the case. They asked him why he his clients didn’t like the collaborative process.

“When the collaborative buy-in comes with an analysis that doesn’t disclose the real impact it’s a lot easier to get the buy-in,” Preso said.

Risch attended the hearing along with representatives of the state of Idaho and the Kootenai Tribe.

If they want ARGUMENTS, they should try it HERE.


If you still print the same stuff everybody else gets from AP, Reuters and Yahoo! without subtantive local content beyond this, you are doomed to fail wanting money from me.

Landlocked land

I understand the argument on both sides of the issue. That does NOT mean I agree with either side. My question remains, how about someone having enough courage to address the access to the 150,000+ acres of landlocked land in Idaho. This is public land that the public cannot set on foot on it legally. Either put this land on the tax rolls or find a way to open this land up to the public. The legislature is falling short of its duty to represent the people of Idaho. Roadless or not we should be able to walk on this land.

"Walk the land"

When the FS gets done decommissioning a road, not even the elk can walk down it.


It's hard to imagine public land that is not accessible somehow. Where are you thinking?