WASHINGTON (AP) – A federal appeals court has revived a lawsuit by the state of Alaska challenging the national roadless rule, which prohibits road construction and timber harvesting on millions of acres of forest lands, including vast swaths of national forest in Alaska.
In a 3-0 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed a federal judge’s ruling that Alaska waited too long to file its complaint.
The appeals court said Alaska’s lawsuit, filed in 2011, was within a six-year time limit.
The U.S. Forest Service argued that the clock on Alaska’s suit began running in 2001 when the roadless rule was issued. The three-judge appeals panel disagreed, saying the rule was repealed in 2005 by the Forest Service and reinstated in 2006 by a federal judge.