Defend the Public’s Role in Western NC’s Public Lands – Mountain True – Protecting the Places We Share
The U.S. Forest Service has released an extreme set of proposed changes that would cut the public almost entirely ouf of decisions affecting our public lands. Will you speak out against the Forest Service’s proposal and remind them that public lands belong to all of us?
The proposal would make dramatic changes to the National Environmental Policy Act, also known as NEPA, which allows the public to have a say about the plans for government projects like new roads and timber sales. By requiring public input and a review of the environmental impacts of government projects, NEPA keeps these decisions from being made behind closed doors.
Here are just a few of the Forest Service’s proposed changes to NEPA:
- A loophole to allow logging up to 4,200 acres at one time (6.6 square miles!) without environmental review or public input. In Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest, that’s the same as five years worth of logging at current levels all at once.
- Cutting the public out of decisions to build up to five new miles of road at a time, as well as decisions to close roads used by the public to access hunting areas, streams for fishing, and trails.
- No longer requiring mining projects affecting fewer than 640 acres, along with impacts to Potential Wilderness Areas and Inventoried Roadless Areas, to have environmental review.
Western North Carolinians deserve to have a say about government projects affecting our communities. Take action here to protect the public’s role in public lands in WNC.
Josh Kelly, Public Lands Field Biologist for MountainTrue
Tags: environmental policy, national forests, sustainability, wnc public lands, wnc womens magazine
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