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Interior Secretary Just Keeps on Trashing, Idaho This Time

POCATELLO, Idaho (CN) - Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne violated the Endangered Species Act by opening hundreds of thousands of acres of roadless land in Idaho to road construction for logging and mining, imperiling habitat for threatened and endangered grizzly bears, caribou, salmon, trout and other species, environmentalists claim in Federal Court.

In what may be one of the last challenges to the Bush administration midnight regulatory changes, the groups challenge the U.S. Forest Service's "Roadless Area Conservation" plan, published in the Federal Register on Oct. 16, 2008.

Plaintiffs say the regulations violate the Endangered Species Act, the National Forest Management Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.

Plaintiffs - the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, The Lands Council, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, and The Wilderness Society - are represented in Federal Court by Timothy Preso with Earthjustice of Bozeman, Mont., and Bradford Purdy of Boise.

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