Denver — Trout Unlimited welcomed the decision handed down from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals today reinstating the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule. The ruling protects millions of acres of public backcountry lands from coast to coast.
In its ruling, the 10th Circuit overturned lower courts that claimed the rule violated federal environmental regulations such as the Wilderness Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. The ruling essentially resolves any uncertainty regarding the management of nearly 50 million acres of inventoried roadless lands in the United States, The original rule was put in place in 2001, and has faced legal challenges at a regular pace since.
Trout Unlimited applauds the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals for reinstating protections for tens of millions of acres of our nation's greatest fish and game habitat," said Steve Moyer, vice president for government affairs at Trout Unlimited. "These backcountry protections will help ensure that generations of Americans can enjoy outstanding hunting and fishing opportunities on our public lands."
The ruling is a decisive victory for sportsmen, as it protects much of the habitat that supports healthy populations of game and fish. Unlike wilderness areas, roadless areas allow a wide variety of uses while still boasting backcountry characteristics. They are especially important habitat to native trout species and provide crucial security habitat for big game species. By keeping these areas intact, public lands will continue to be a playground for the hunters and anglers who have participated in these traditions for generations.
Trout Unlimited has been engaged in the effort to protect America's roadless lands since 2003.