Under the direction of the Trump administration, the U.S. Forest Service has put out a plan that would leave the public with no role in more than 90 percent of the decisions made for our national forests. This is a clear violation of the public trust and of major laws like the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and it’s designed to ramp up clearcutting and bulldozing on millions of acres in national forests.
Make no mistake, these new rules would give Trump’s Forest Service free rein to increase destructive logging and road building. They would also leave citizens with almost no voice in the management of their public lands.
Some of the plan’s worst loopholes would allow projects to:
- Bulldoze five miles of logging roads with no public input;
- Log up to 4,200 acres with no public input; and
- Legitimize illegally created off-road-vehicle routes.
The Forest Service claims these decisions won’t cause any harm, so there’s no need to consider impacts or check with the public. That’s cynical and false. These public lands are the birthright of all Americans and by law, the public has a right to participate in how they are managed. It’s also been the case throughout the history of NEPA that local residents and governments are often better-positioned than the land management agencies with on-the-ground knowledge of the needs and challenges of areas that are most proximate to their communities. This is especially true in communities like ours, which are surrounded by public lands. These precious lands also give refuge to wildlife, supply clean water to communities, offer recreation to millions and are imperative to our local mountain economies and way of life.
The comment period deadline has been extended to August 26. It’s incredibly important that the Forest Service hears from you! Act now and tell the them to withdraw this dangerous plan.
>>> SUBMIT YOUR COMMENT LETTER HERE