Send Your Comments to Oppose Latest Trump Proposal to End Public Input Regarding Planning for Public Lands
For half a century the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) has enabled citizens to protect national forests by holding federal managers accountable to enforceable legal standards.
This bedrock law is now under serious attack.
Trump is proposing to discount the long term cumulative impacts of cutting millions of trees, accelerating the climate catastrophe and destroying vital wildlife habitat. While the changes apply to all federal agencies, the impacts locally will be to rubber stamp continued Forest Service mismanagement.
Comments on the proposal are due by Tuesday, March 10, 2020.
Submit your opposition comments here.
Here’s what you need to know about the impact of implementing Trump’s latest draft proposal:
The new regulations implementing NEPA would:
- Provide unbridled authority to the Forest Service to determine whether an environmental impact statement is required. Under existing regulations an environmental impact statement must be prepared if a proposed action involves highly controversial, uncertain or unknown risks or pose a threat to endangered species, roadless lands or Wilderness Areas. The new regulations remove these and other criteria.
- Eliminates the duty of the Forest Service to consider the cumulative and indirect impacts of massive clearing and burning projects. For example, multiple ongoing and reasonably foreseeable projects could be approved without acknowledging that fuel reduction will not alter regional wildfire trends and could result in significant environment harm. The agency would also no longer be required to evaluate the impacts to public health of repeated exposure to toxic smoke from prescribed fires.
- The effects on the climate of cutting millions of trees would not be considered “significant” under the new rules and thus not require an environmental impact statement or any other NEPA review.
- Chills the ability of the public to hold the Forest Service accountable by requiring those opposing a project to post a monetary bond prior to seeking administrative review.
- Weakens the responsibility of the Forest Service to provide an objective and clear basis for evaluating alternatives, including alternatives proposed by the public to protect roadless forests and focus fuel reduction near homes.
- Allow timber companies to undertake environmental analysis of proposed projects even if there is a conflict of interest between their financial gain and protection of the environment.
- Dramatically weakens the imperative for the Forest Service to address public concerns and constructively use the NEPA process to protect, restore, and enhance national forests.
- Sets the stage for getting rid of NEPA completely. The conservative Heritage Foundation is already calling for the complete repeal of NEPA.
Our forests deserve a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Santa Fe Mountains Landscape Resiliency Project.
Why: A project of this size and scope will not only affect the 50,000 acres designated to be cut and burned but also the wildlife that call it home, the greater Santa Fe area and the 107,000 acres designed on this project.
What: An EIS is part of the NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) and is the most extensive evaluation of alternatives that protect roadless areas, wildlife populations, soil, water, and the ecological integrity of the forest using the best available science.
SIGN THIS PETITION to request an EIS.
PLEASE call or write and request the Santa Fe National Forest halt all tree clearing projects in the Greater Santa Fe Fireshed until an EIS has been completed with the public fully informed and involved in the process.
James Melonas, Forest Supervisor, Santa Fe National Forest firstname.lastname@example.org, (505) 438-5300
SPREAD THE WORD!
Few people in Santa Fe really know about the deforestation efforts in and around our city.
Everyone is in favor of fire safety (we are, too!) but, very few are in favor of removing up to 90% of trees (in the project areas) and burning those removed using chemicals that can harm humans, animals and our drinking water.
One of the first, most important things you can do to save the trees in Santa Fe is to talk about it!
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