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 Department of Interior – Bureau of Land Management  USDA – Forest Service  CEQ – Council on Environmental Quality.

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Presentation on theme: " Department of Interior – Bureau of Land Management  USDA – Forest Service  CEQ – Council on Environmental Quality."— Presentation transcript:

1  Department of Interior – Bureau of Land Management  USDA – Forest Service  CEQ – Council on Environmental Quality

2  NEPA – National Environmental Policy Act  FLPMA – Federal Land Policy Management Act  NFMA – National Forest Management Act

3 Conservation Movement – end of the 19 th Century  Establishment of the Public Lands Environmental Movement – Post World War II  1960’s- 1970’s : Largest number of environmental laws passed in US History

4  1860’s – National Concern over Western Public Lands – Trans-Continental Railroad and the Homestead Acts.  During the 1800’s one half of the Nation would be transferred into private ownership.  In all, about 1.1 billion acres were transferred  1976, Federal Land Policy Management Act ◦ Statement of policy to retain remaining lands in Federal ownership

5  Realization that natural resources are finite


7  Post World War II  Increase in Industrialization  Rapid increase in population  Rapid demand for goods and services produced from natural resources

8 Cuyahoga River Fires 1952




12  The Santa Barbara oil spill occurred in January and February 1969 in the Santa Barbara Channel near the city of Santa Barbara in Southern California. It was the largest oil spill in United States Waters at the time, and now ranks third after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon and 1989 Exxon Valdez spills. It remains the largest oil spill to have occurred in the waters off California.

13  Multiple Use Sustained Yield Act  National Environmental Policy Act  Clean Air Act  Clean Water Act  Endangered Species Act  Wild and Scenic Rivers Act  Wilderness Act  Federal Land Policy Management Act  National Forest Management Act

14 ◦ Forest Plans National Environmental Policy Act Forest Planning Project planning

15  Became Law in 1976 ◦ Guiding law on how national forests will be managed. ◦ Requires Every National Forest and Grassland to develop and maintain a Land Management Plan.  Forest Service is operating a new Planning Rule finalized in 2012. All existing Forest Plans were developed under the original 1982 Planning Rule.

16  Forest Plans set priorities for management, allocate resources, and make recommendations for special areas.  They are on a 15-year revision cycle.  Counties must have an active role in their development and revisions.  New requirements for Forest Service to Cooperate and Coordinate with Counties

17  Forest Service officials must: Notify State and County officials of planning actions early in the process. Where appropriate, invite States and Counties to be Cooperating Agencies. Include officials on interdisciplinary teams. Consult with tribal governments

18  Forest Service has significantly increased requirements and direction for Coordinating with Counties.  The new planning rule recognizes the desire by counties to have goals and objectives in their local plans considered

19  Coordinating Forest Service planning efforts with the planning efforts of State, Counties, and other Federal agencies.  For Forest Planning efforts, review land use policies of Federal, State, local, and tribal governments for: ◦ Consideration of local objectives ◦ Compatibility of these plans and policies ◦ Opportunities for the Forest Plan to address impacts identified ◦ Opportunities to resolve or reduce conflicts

20  Forest Service direction to managers has been strengthened to include State and local governments as cooperating agencies for projects.  Requirements for Coordination are similar to those for Forest Plan development and revision.

21 NEPA Documentation Overview

22  Notice of Intent  Scoping  Draft Environmental Impact Statement  Final Environmental Impact Statement  Record of Decision  Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement

23  The early and open process to determine scope of issues and identify the significant issues related to a proposed action. ◦ Invite affected Federal, State, and local agencies, affected Indian Tribes, and other interested parties to participate ◦ Determine the scope of the analysis and the significant issues ◦ Allocate responsibilities among all government agencies ◦ Develop the structure and process

24 The Role for local governments and Federally designated Tribes

25  Cooperating agencies were involved in approximately 49% of Environmental Impact Statements and approximately 6% of environmental assessments during fiscal years 2006-2011.

26 1. Lack of capacity or resources (i.e., training, time, personnel) continues to be a major reason. 2. Lack of another agency with expertise to engage with a specific environmental review. 3. Agencies choosing to participate on an informal basis rather than through a formal cooperating agency status designation.

27  In the case of an action with effects primarily of local concern the notice may include:  Notice to State and area wide clearinghouses...  Notice to Indian tribes when effects may occur on reservations.  Following the affected State's public notice procedures for comparable actions.  Publication in local newspapers (in papers of general circulation rather than legal papers).  Notice to potentially interested community organizations including small business associations.  Publication in newsletters that may be expected to reach potentially interested persons.  Direct mailing to owners and occupants of nearby or affected property.  Posting of notice on and off site in the area where the action is to be located.

28  Provides a list of proposed projects  Describes the type of action by National Forest  Describes the timing  Provides the responsible person to contact  Web-based information:

29 Special Expertise  Expertise needed to help the lead agency meet a statutory responsibility  Expertise developed to carry out an agency mission  Related program expertise or experience  Expertise regarding the proposed actions’ relationship to the objectives of a region, or State

30  Becoming a cooperating agency requires a significant amount of time, resources, technical expertise, and funding.  Local governments in other states caution against applying to become a cooperating agency on every possible EIS

31  Participate in the NEPA process at the earliest time  Participate in “Scoping”  Develop information and prepare environmental analyses  Provide staff support  Normally use its own funds

32  An MOU is not required under NEPA – Options include an exchange of letters  Is the local government entering into a binding legal agreement?  Use MOU (or other document) because personnel and priorities change. Address: ◦ Roles and responsibilities ◦ Expectations (timeliness; quality)

33  Establish a mechanism for addressing intergovernmental issues- a “seat at the table” that does not diminish or enhance authority.  Receive relevant information early in the analytical process  Apply available technical expertise and staff support  Avoid duplication with other federal, State, tribal, and local procedures  Foster intra and intergovernmental trust. Establish a relationship that improves overall working environments.

34  Full disclosure can be frustrating – FOIA and Sunshine laws  Expectations are not always clearly outlined in the MOU  Not always a clear understanding of NEPA and agency planning processes and local, State, and Tribal planning  Effectiveness – involving the right people from the very beginning will save time and money in the end – dealing with changes in personnel  Some local governments have been rejected several times before they were finally accepted as a cooperating agency on a project. Do not give up. AGENCIES MUST REPORT TO CEQ WHEN THEY REJECT A REQUEST FROM ANOTHER AGENCY OR ORGANIZATION TO BE A COOPERATING AGENCY.

35  Although the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations require scoping only for environmental impact statement (EIS) preparation, the Forest Service has broadened the concept to apply to all proposed actions.Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations  Scoping includes refining the proposed action, determining the responsible official and lead and cooperating agencies, identifying preliminary issues, and identifying interested and affected persons

36  Whenever invited Federal, State, Tribal and local agencies elect not to become cooperating agencies, they should still be considered for inclusion in interdisciplinary teams engaged in the NEPA process and on distribution lists for review and comment on NEPA documents.

37  To better integrate environmental impact statements into State or local planning processes, statements shall discuss any inconsistency of a proposed action with any approved State or local plan and laws (whether or not federally sanctioned).  Where an inconsistency exists, the statement should describe the extent to which the agency would reconcile its proposed action with the plan or law  Any environmental document in compliance with NEPA may be combined with any other agency document to reduce duplication and paperwork.

38  Randy Phillips, USDA Forest Service ◦ Liaison to the National Association of Counties ◦ ◦ 703.887.3239

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