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U.S. Forest Service Categorically Excludes Forest Plans from NEPA

Thinking Forward
Categorized Under: Environment



The Bush Administration, through the Department of Agriculture and U.S. Forest Service (USFS), has issued a Final Directive that categorically excludes the adoption, amendment, and revision of national forest land management plans from environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The new directive was announced in the Federal Register in mid-December and is reflected in revisions to the USFS’s Handbook (71 Fed. Reg. 241, December 15, 2006; FSH 1909.15). Prior to this rule, to comply with NEPA the USFS typically prepared a programmatic environmental impact statement (EIS) parallel to the development of the forest management plan to comply with NEPA. Such an EIS typically evaluates impacts within a broad geographic area and compares policy-level alternatives.

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Authored By

  • Ron Bass

    Senior FellowICF International

    Ronald Bass has participated in environmental and planning studies under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and state planning laws. He is coauthor of The CEQA DESKBOOK: A Step-by-Step Approach to the California Environmental Quality Act and The NEPA Book: A Step-By-Step Guide on How to Comply with the National Environmental Policy Act.

    A member of the editorial board of California Environmental Law Reporter, he writes articles about legislation, regulations, and court decisions. Mr. Bass has served as president of the Association of Environmental Professionals and the American Planning Association, California chapter, from which he received the Distinguished Leadership Award.

Insight Details

Published: Jan 1, 2007
Source: ICF International

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