Outside – The Trump administration is trying to remove public input from Forest Service decision-making – “The Trump administration is quietly trying to strip public input from the decision-making process used by the U.S. Forest Service. Doing so would mean that logging companies could clear-cut at many as 4,200 acres at a time, and you wouldn’t know about it until you turned up at your favorite spot to find it decimated. But you have one last chance to stop that from happening.
“This is a speak-now-or-forever-lose-your-ability-to-have-input situation,” says Sam Evans, a senior attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC). The organization has put together an easy tool that will enable you to participate in what’s potentially the last public-comment period about the vast majority of decisions affecting national forests. If the public doesn’t speak up now and stop this proposed logging rule from going forward, it won’t have a chance to weigh in when logging, roads, or even pipelines threaten the lands where they recreate. Way back in 1969, Richard Nixon signed into law the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires all federal agencies to begin considering the environmental impacts of any projects they undertake. Part of that is a requirement to solicit public input and look for less impactful alternatives. NEPA is one of the mechanisms that makes federal management of public lands so much more robust and democratic than state management. Everyone with a stake in national-forest management, including local users, has a right to comment. And the agency is supposed to be accountable to those people…”