If a court ruling protects roadless forests can anyone hear it? There’s a bright spot in the legal struggle that started almost a year and a half ago to protect national forests in northern Minnesota. A federal district court recently decided that the Forest Service violated a major national environmental law (National Environmental Policy Act) by failing to evaluate the effects of logging on water quality in the Echo Trail area adjacent to the Boundary Waters Wilderness.
A vast area of glistening lagoons and wetlands punctuated by jagged mountains and volcanic peaks, Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska is critical habitat for hundreds of thousands of migratory birds, as well as marine mammals, grizzlies and caribou. But Congress is considering a bill that would result in a road being built through the heart of this refuge, destroying the intact watershed the animals depend on for survival.
Twelve recently released land management plans for Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming are getting quite a reaction. They exclude an opportunity for the public to protest, in order to speed the development of oil shale.