By Elsa Heidorn
Laramie, WY – Wyoming challenged a Clinton-era roadless rule in US District Court today. Judge Clarence Brimmer heard arguments on whether Wyoming can revive an order he issued four years ago striking down the rules. The Clinton rules placed some 58 million acres of national forest land off-limits for new road construction and other development, including wild lands in Idaho. Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal says, it's not that the state opposes the idea of roadless areas, but he says decision-making should be done by experts who know the land. "There are clearly areas that ought to remain roadless, but it should be done in the context of a properly resourced and properly implemented management plan by the relevant federal agency whether it be the Bureau of Land Management or the US Forest Service," he said. Environmental groups oppose Wyoming's request, saying that it could open up pristine areas to development.