Forest Service Publishes Final Rule on NEPA

11/19/2020 1:59 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

The Forest Service has published its final rule regarding regulations for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). From the summary published in the Federal Register:

The amendments in the final rule will increase efficiency in the Agency's environmental analysis and decision-making while meeting NEPA's requirements and fully honoring the Agency's environmental stewardship responsibilities. The final rule adds a Determination of NEPA Adequacy provision, which outlines a process for determining whether a previously completed Forest Service NEPA analysis can satisfy NEPA's requirements for a subsequently proposed action. The final rule also establishes six new CEs, consolidates two existing CEs into one, and expands two existing CEs. The six new CEs include activities related to recreation special uses, administrative sites, recreation sites, and restoration and resilience projects, along with two CEs for certain road management projects. Two existing CEs are consolidated into one covering clerical modification or reauthorization of existing special uses. The two expanded CEs cover (1) approval, modification, or continuation of special use authorizations on up to 20 acres of NFS lands and (2) decommissioning of both unauthorized roads and trails and National Forest System roads and trails. These CEs are described in greater detail in the comment responses below and in the document titled, “Supporting Statement: Categorical Exclusions For Certain Special Uses, Infrastructure, and Restoration Projects,” available at​emc/​nepa/​revisions/​index.shtml.

You can view the full rule here. ACRA is analyzing the rule and will update this post with additional information on how CRM is affected.

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