Posted by | October 6, 2012 02:23 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Lost in the debate news is the end of a thirteen year saga, the Supreme Court refused to review a challenge to the Clinton Administration (yes you read that correctly) regulation prohibiting road construction in national forests.

The U.S. Supreme Court left intact a rule issued in the waning days of Bill Clinton’s presidency to protect 58.5 million acres of forest lands, as the justices turned away arguments from states and industry groups.

The justices today refused to question a federal appeals court’s conclusion that the U.S. Forest Service was within its authority when it issued the so-called Roadless Rule in January 2001, eight days before Clinton left office.

The rebuff is a setback to Wyoming, which pressed the appeal, and trade groups representing the mining, cattle, oil and farming industries. The rule prohibits road construction or reconstruction and virtually all timber extraction on land in 38 states, mostly in the western part of the country.

This regulation has been in the courts for 11 years (the Bush Administration tried to repeal it but was rebuffed by the courts).  Sometimes if you wait long enough, you get the right answer.

By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.