A federal appeals court today ruled the Trump Administration illegally approved a loophole that allowed the coal industry to despoil unroaded National Forest lands in western Colorado.
Called the “North Fork Exception,” the loophole would have exempted coal companies from compliance with the Colorado Roadless Rule, which protects pristine, unroaded lands on National Forests across the state.
The “North Fork Exception” opened the door for Arch Coal’s subsidiary, Mountain Coal Company, to expand its West Elk mine into wild lands directly adjacent to the iconic West Elk Wilderness Area.
Together with Earthjustice, High Country Conservation Advocates, Wilderness Workshop, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Sierra Club, we sued to overturn the “North Fork Exception.” Thankfully, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit agreed with us that the Forest Service illegally approved the loophole.
Today’s win is another important victory against the Trump Administration’s attempts to give away public lands at the expense of our climate.