Idaho: Bush’s Roadless agenda of state control is challenged in court

A coalition of conservation groups sued the federal government Friday
in an effort to block Idaho rules for managing more than 9.3 million
acres of roadless backcountry. The lawsuit argues the Fish and
Wildlife Service violated the Endangered Species Act when it ruled the
Idaho roadless plan wouldn’t jeopardize dwindling grizzly bear and
caribou populations in northern Idaho.

Attorney Tim Preso of the
Earthjustice law firm filed the lawsuit on behalf of The Wilderness
Society, Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Natural Resources Defense
Council, Sierra Club, Lands council and Idaho activist Gerald Jayne.
Preso, who is based in Montana, is also representing a coalition of
environmental groups asking a federal judge to halt the expansion of a
phosphate mine in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest near the Wyoming

This is the third time Earthjustice, a non-profit public
interest law firm headquartered in Oakland, Calif., has waged a legal
battle against the federal government over the repealed 2001 roadless
rule, Preso said. “We’re not sitting back and waiting for the Obama
administration to solve our problems,” Preso said. “We think there is
an illegal act here that needs to be remedied.”

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