It is not Christmas, but Congress has a big gift for the timber industry in its newly proposed must pass (by this Friday, March 23rd at midnight no less) Omnibus Appropriations Bill which contains anti-environmental policy provisions that would expedite Logging on National Forests – exempting, through a Categorical Exclusion (“CE”) logging projects as large as 3,000 acres (an area three times the size of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park and almost four times the size of New York’s Central Park) from the environmental analysis requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) – the nations charter for environmental protection.
THE EFFECT OF THIS ROLLBACK OF NEPA :There is no limit on the number of 3,000 acre logging projects that can be planned right next to one other, no requirement that the Forest Service look at the cumulative effects from these projects (even if they are adjacent or in the same watershed), no requirement that the Forest Service consider a reasonable range of alternatives to their proposed destructive action (hey maybe there is a better way to do things. Too bad, we don’t have to look at that so we will never know!), no requirement that the Forest Service respond to public comment or dissenting scientific opinion (i.e. scientists who are experts in their field telling the Forest Service that what they are doing is not supported by the best available science), and finally no requirement that the Forest Service ensure the scientific accuracy and integrity of their decision to degrade and destroy habitat by logging our public forest lands.
This new Categorical Exclusion for so-called “hazardous fuels reduction” is bad for the environment, bad for forests, bad for wildlife, bad for climate mitigation, and will not help protect communities from wildland fire. It should be stripped from the 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Bill. If you cannot remove the provisions from this bill, then please stand up for our forests and vote Against the FY2018 Appropriations package
So what can you do? Well the final votes have not taken place so please call your Senators and the Democrat Party Leaders TODAY!
Calls to DC are best, as time is short and we want them to know how you feel before they vote. If the line is busy, please keep calling!
You can find contact information for your Senators HERE:
What to Say:
This new Categorical Exclusion for so-called “hazardous fuels reduction” is bad for the environment, bad for forests, bad for wildlife, bad for climate mitigation, and will not help protect communities from wildland fire, and is unacceptable. It should be stripped from the 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Bill. If you cannot remove the provisions from this bill, then please stand up for our forests and our planet and vote Against the FY2018 Appropriations package!
You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter – where we will be posting Action Alerts and Updates on this issue.
For More Information on Issues Related to Categorical Exclusion from NEPA , See our MEMO: CEDisasterForForestsMemo
Thank you for standing up for the environment,
Rachel M. Fazio
John Muir Project