Governor Matt Mead, on Monday directed the State of Wyoming to petition for a rehearing of the decision that upheld the Roadless Rule. Governor Mead would like the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to consider Wyoming’s arguments en banc.
“This Rule has significant implications for Wyoming and our people,” Governor Mead said. “The case raises legal questions of exceptional importance and I believe it is necessary to have this decision reviewed by the entire Tenth Circuit.”
The Petition for Rehearing says that the U.S. Forest Service violated the Wilderness Act when it created de facto wilderness areas across approximately 59 million acres of the nation’s forests, including three million acres in Wyoming. In addition, the Petition states that the Forest Service radically altered the scope of the Roadless Rule without preparing a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act; that the Forest Service circumvented the National Forest Management Act under the guise of nationwide rulemaking; that the Forest Service is required to evaluate forest use on a forest-by-forest basis rather than by national rule; and that the Forest Service predetermined the outcome of the Roadless Rule to satisfy a Presidential edict.
“The creation of these de facto wilderness areas means the voice of the public and the State are stifled in managing the lands here,” Governor Mead said. “Not only does this prevent many uses of public land, but it also limits our ability to fight back against the bark beetles that are devastating our forests.”
The Petition was filed with the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Monday.