The U.S. Forest Service is proposing to make the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process more streamlined in an effort to speed up the process. I believe the public has to be wary of this. The national forests belong to all of us. You may have seen Forest Service signs and literature that state: “Your national forest.” That is a fact, and the public has a role in the management of these lands. The Forest Service is accepting comments on this proposal until Monday. I wrote them and stated the following: “Any changes in the NEPA process must not come at the cost to public involvement or conservation of natural resources. In addition CE’s (categorical exclusions) must be consistent with Forest Land Management Plans.”

If you would like to comment on the NEPA process, mail your comments to: U.S. Forest Service, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington DC, 20250-0003.

Tom Heffernan