Attacks on Environmental Protections
The Bush administration’s actions are a clear attack on environmental laws and public participation in national forest management. By eliminating all requirements for environmental review and all opportunities for public comment and administrative appeal, the administration is undoing decades of national forest protections. Below are a series of incremental changes proposed by the Administration, outside of Congress, that damage forest protections:
12/11/03 -- Provided agency guidance for severely reducing the requirements needed for environmental assessments (EAs). EA’s are necessary for obtaining a categorical exclusions, which allows a project to go ahead without environmental review.
12/16/03 -- Proposed to exempt "hazardous fuels reduction projects" from the documentation requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This would allow the Forest Service to conduct thinning and other fuel reduction activities without preparing an environmental impact statement or environmental assessment.
Background material at: www.fs.fed.us/emc/hfi/notice.pdf
1/3/03 -- Proposed a categorical exclusion from the NEPA requirements to prepare "environmental disclosure documents" (no EISs or EAs) for timber sales less than 50 acres and salvage sales no more than 250 acres in size and less than ˝ mile of temporary roads.
12/18/02 -- Proposed changes in the Forest Service appeals process which will make it more difficult to appeal Forest Service timber sales and other land management decisions (two separate proposed rules one for FS and one for BLM).
12/10/02 -- Guidance from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service to expedite (section 7) ESA consultations on fuel reduction projects.