Appeals court hears arguments on forest roads rule

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Lawyers for the state of Wyoming and the Colorado Mining Association say a 2001 federal rule banning construction of new roads on National Forest land violates the law.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver heard oral arguments Wednesday in Wyoming's lawsuit challenging the rule.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture — the parent agency of the National Forest Service — and environmental groups argue the rule is legal.

The two sides also made arguments on whether the rule-making process followed federal laws.

The rule affects at least 40 million acres of federal land nationwide.

The court did not indicate when it would decide the case.

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