Here’s some big, breaking news. Reports AP:

A federal judge on Wednesday reinstated a ban on road construction in nearly a third of national forests, overturning a Bush administration rule that allowed states to decide how to manage individual forests.

U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Laporte sided with states and environmental groups that sued the U.S. Forest Service after it reversed President Clinton’s 2001 “Roadless Rule” that prohibited logging, mining and other development on 58.5 million acres in 38 states and Puerto Rico.

In May last year, the Bush administration replaced the Clinton rule with a process that required governors to petition the federal government to protect national forests in their states.

Laporte said the process violated federal law because it didn’t require necessary environmental studies.

“This is fantastic news for millions of Americans who have consistently told the forest service that they wanted these last wild areas of public land protected,” said Kristen Boyles, an attorney for Earthjustice, one of the groups that filed the lawsuit in October 2005.

Stay tuned for more …