HTML _ RS20834 - The President's Forest / Roadless Area Initiative
28-Oct-1999; Pamela Baldwin; 4 p.

Abstract: On October 13, 1999, President Clinton announced a new approach to the management of the roadless areas in the National Forest System that may prohibit new road construction and certain other activities in inventoried readless areas and extend some protections to non-inventoried roadless areas as well. An environmental impact statement will be prepared to explore management alternatives prior to issuance of new regulations. These regulations have not yet been proposed, but this report describes the new initiative and offers preliminary analysis of the authority to implement it. This report will be updated as circumstances may require.

On October 13, 1999, President Clinton issued a memorandum directing the Secretary of Agriculture to take certain steps with respect to the National Forest System (NFS). Simultaneous with the President's memorandum and remarks, a draft Notice of Intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (Notice) was released, which then was published on October 19.1 The memorandum, Presidential remarks, and Notice begin a new initiative for managing the roadless areas of the NFS that apparently will impose new restrictions on such areas and that raises several policy and legal issues. The changes would be accomplished through a two-part rulemaking: the first part would impose restrictions on inventoried roadless areas that would be effective as soon as regulations are finalized; the second part would address non-inventoried roadless areas and accomplish changes through the plan amendment and revision processes set out in law. Before turning to the details of the President's initiative, some background on the relevant portions of the statutes that govern the management of the national forests may be helpful. [read report]

Topics: Forests

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