NEPA : What’s it to Ya?


Warning: We are exploring the hinterlands of NEPA-Nerd country here… but if people are really interested…

Bob Berwyn raised some points about NEPA in this comment, which reminded me of many discussions the FS NEPA folks have had about “when we talk about NEPA do we mean section 101 of the statute (promote harmony,etc.), do we mean a document, a process, or a framework for decision-making?

I remembered lots of conversations about that among NEPA practitioners, especially during the A-76 process. A-76, for those of you blessed to not know what it is, was the bureaucratic equivalent of “which of your children will you sacrifice to the Gods.” This God being the theological proposition that all things contracted are cheaper and more effective than all things in-house. Somehow it was decided that people involved with NEPA would be sacrificed (err.. sacrifice would be “studied” by a group of Beltway Bandits who were seen to be experts in “Competitive Sourcing.”)

I may remember some of the details incorrectly, but that’s my memory. Any other survivors of this period are invited to comment.

Another blog contributor remembered this article, which I think lays some of the ideas out (for the record, I neither agree with Dave Iverson nor Susan Y-S (who was the Director of EMC, possibly at that time). But I think it’s worth all interested parties hearing this more or less internal discussion.

Here’s the link. This links to the Forest Policy-Forest Practice site, which was in many ways the antecedent of this blog.

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