Government halts forest road-building for year

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is calling for a one-year moratorium on road-building and development on millions of acres of remote national forests.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued a directive today reinstating for one year a Clinton-era ban against new road construction and development in national forests. The 2001 rule banned road building and logging in more than 58 million acres of remote national forests, mostly in the West.

Conflicting court decisions issued since then have left the rule's legal status in doubt, even as two states — Colorado and Idaho — pursued their own rules for forest road construction. The states were the only two that acted on a Bush administration rule giving states more control over whether and how to block road building in remote forests.

— The Associated Press

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