The U.S. Forest Service has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to revise its procedures for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The NPRM describes a number of proposals that would streamline the environmental review process for a variety of forest management actions. Most notably for the guiding community, the NPRM includes the creation of a new “categorical exclusion” that would significantly streamline the process for issuing outfitter and guide permits when no significant environmental impacts are expected. However, other components of the NPRM would exempt a host of potentially damaging forest management activities from environmental review and reduce opportunities for public comment. The AMGA has submitted comments to advocate for policies that maintain public participation in the land management process, ensure strong environmental review standards remain in place for land-disturbing extractive activities, and improve efficiency in the permitting process for outfitters and guides. You can view the AMGA comments and submit your own comments on the Forest Service website. Comments are due by August 12, 2019.
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