Obama administration extends roadless moratorium

The Obama administration is extending for another year the moratorium on most logging and mining in millions of acres of remote and rugged sections of national forests.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said today from Washington, D.C., he wants to continue to give decisions on projects in roadless areas a higher level of scrutiny while waiting for federal courts to resolve the legal issues.

The idea of preserving roadless areas for wildlife habitat and clean water came out of the Clinton administration. The Bush administration tried to open them up to more logging and mining by giving states control.

One federal appeals court has upheld the so-called 2001 Roadless Rule, while another is expected to rule soon.

Under the old moratorium, Vilsack approved 21 projects in roadless areas.

— The Associated Press

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