A new summary and analysis of S. 879, the “National Forest Ecosystem Improvement Act” – which Senator Barrasso (R-WY) introduced on April 6 – is available here. It was put together by Mike Anderson at The Wilderness Society.
Below is Mr. Anderson’s summary of the bill.
“S. 879 would greatly increase logging of national forest lands, while reducing environmental safeguards and opportunities for public involvement in national forest management. Annual acreage mandates for mechanical treatments would compel the Forest Service to prioritize logging over all other uses and resources. Large expanses of forest up to 15,000 acres in size could be logged with no consideration of the impacts to water quality, wildlife habitat, or recreational opportunities. The legality of Forest Service management activities would be essentially unchallengeable in court, removing an essential check on federal agency compliance with the law. Two bedrock environmental laws – NEPA and ESA – would be undermined. In sum, the bill poses a serious threat to environmental stewardship, public involvement, wildlife conservation, and the rule of law in the national forests.”