Western Governors submitted recommendations to U.S. Forest Service Chief Tony Tooke about the agency’s proposal to revise its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) procedures to improve the efficiency of environmental analysis.
The governors acknowledged the challenges faced by the agency, including budget and staff shortfalls. They also cited the need for restoration to address wildfire, insects, and disease and permitting backlogs that have become expensive and time consuming for National Forest managers and can dis-incentivize actions that would fulfill ecological, social and economic objectives.
The comments, submitted on January 26, 2018, note that federal agencies must: cooperate with states when implementing NEPA and provide guidance on how to promote consultation with states; reduce duplication; create pilot projects; develop metrics; utilize technology and more. Read, download the comments.