National forests cover some 193 million acres of the U.S., all of which is owned by you, me and the American public. The land is managed for a wide range of uses, including wildlife habitat, water resources, air quality, recreation, and timber harvesting.
The opportunity for you to weigh in on important decisions regarding the national forests — from trying to fight off a huge clearcut in the headwaters of a trout stream to the creation of a new management plan for your local national forest— exists because of the National Environmental Policy Act. But the Forest Service under the Trump administration is proposing big changes that would drastically roll back your say in how public lands are managed.
NEPA is arguably the most important law for environmental quality and public lands management in the U.S. since it requires that we measure the impact of big changes to public lands and study the potential impacts on air and water quality, recreation access, potential pollution, and more. The Forest Service hasn’t always been efficient in doing environmental analysis, so there are legitimate reasons to pursue improvements.
However, under the current proposal, 93% of all Forest Service decisions will lose all the advance notice and public comment requirements they currently provide for.
Industry groups and extractive companies would like to see these roll backs to make it easier and faster for them to profit off our public lands. The revisions proposed by the Forest Service would undermine NEPA’s bedrock principles of government transparency, accountability, public involvement, and science-based decision-making.
Take action now: