US Forest Service proposal to speed up logging, cut environmental analysis, public input

by Karen Chávez, Asheville Citizen Times

In what conservationists are calling the most sweeping and “existential threat” to national forests in the past 50 years, a U.S. Forest Service proposal would eliminate public participation in most logging, prescribed burning, road and pipeline building and other forest operations.

On June 13, the Forest Service released a proposed rule amending the National Environmental Policy Act, which was enacted into law in 1970 to require federal agencies to assess the environmental effects of their proposed actions before making decisions, with public input.

The Forest Service proposal would allow for speeding up the “pace and scale of work accomplished on the ground” by removing the public review process for many timber projects with a focus on removing hazardous fuels by completing project decision making “in a timelier manner.”

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Submit comments to the Forest Service about the proposal:

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