In January 2000, President Clinton submitted to the Federal Register the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, prohibiting road construction and timber harvesting in designated roadless areas. Set to take effect sixty days after Clinton left office, the rule was immediately challenged by nine lawsuits from states, counties, off-road-vehicle users, and timber companies. The Bush administration refused to defend the rule and eventually sought to replace it with a rule that invited governors to suggest management policies for forests in their states. Roadless Rules offers a fascinating overview of the creation of the Clinton roadless rule and the Bush administration's subsequent replacement rule, the controversy generated, the response of the environmental community, and the legal battles that continue to rage more than seven years later.
Tom Turner is a journalist and the editor at large for Earthjustice in Oakland, California. He is the author of Wild by Law; Sierra Club, One Hundred Years of Protecting Nature; and Justice on Earth.