Ninth Circuit of Hell
Environmentalists asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday to lift an injunction against a rule that seeks to ban logging and road-building on one-third of national forest lands. The rule, which was enacted by former President Clinton and would apply to 58.5 million acres of federal forests, was appealed by the state of Idaho and special interest groups, and subsequently blocked by a U.S. district judge. Opponents of the rule say it would make forests vulnerable to disease, bugs, and fire, as well as limit use by Native American tribes. Environmentalists are pessimistic about the decision, and concerned that the Bush administration would change the rule even if the court lifted the injunction. Still, they say, the fight will go on.