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Speak up now. Preserve public involvement.

Big changes are being proposed to the country’s first major environmental law — the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA. This act, and the environmental reviews that are subject to them, are a cornerstone for gathering public input for projects taking place on federal land. Some of the proposed changes would drastically roll back public comment periods, eliminating voices of hikers like you in proposals that impact our public lands, and the activities we enjoy on them.

  Steven Robinson.jpg
Photo by Steven Robinson.

Since it was signed into law, the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA, has been a vital way for the American public can have their voice heard in environmental decisions.

Recently, the U.S. Forest Service proposed amending NEPA regulations. One of the proposed changes would greatly expand the number and type of Categorical Exclusions (CEs) available to the Forest Service. (CEs are activities that agencies have found from research and experience that do not have a significant environmental impact and don’t need extensive environmental analysis.) 

This means many projects would no longer require public comment. Hikers like you and organizations like WTA would be shut out.

The outcome? About 93% of all Forest Service decisions will no longer require advance notice and public comment periods. Learn more about the details in our blog.

Make your voice heard now — before you no longer can. The deadline for comment submission is this Sunday, Aug. 26. Please take two minutes to sign and add your perspective and concerns to the drafted letter provided. If you prefer to submit comment directly through the Forest Service portal, you can do so here.

Note: In the third paragraph of the draft letter, be sure to replace "INSERT WHY YOU RECREATE HERE" with your personal stories and concerns. For example: "I hike in our national forests to get away from the stress of everyday life and reconnect with nature. Comment periods ensure that I am able to make my concerns about proposals for these special areas are heard by decision-makers." Personalizing the letter will ensure that your comment is considered.