The U.S. Forest Service updated the agency’s National Environmental Policy Act regulations, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council are pleased with the changes.
Kaitlynn Glover is the NCBA Director of Natural Resources and Executive Director of the Public Lands Council. She says the announcement is the product of decades of work by livestock producers who have told the Forest Service and other federal agencies for years that NEPA regulations needed serious improvement. “This rule formalizes changes that will allow the U.S. Forest Service to be better partners to ranchers and stakeholders who depend on healthy forests and grasslands,” Glover says. “These are common-sense changes that add clarity by streamlining NEPA processes and ensuring that agencies are not spending time on unnecessarily duplicative NEPA reviews.”
Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says, “these changes will ensure we do the appropriate level of environmental analysis to fit the work, locations, and conditions.” Perdue notes that the new categorical exclusions will ultimately improve our ability to maintain and repair the infrastructure people depend on to use and enjoy their national forests.”