National Environmental Policy Act ( Usfs )

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In 2002, President Bush established the Healthy Forest Initiative. This was his response to a multitude of forest fires during the year 2000. The initiative would allow for swift responses to the threats of wildfires. The process in which the United States Forest Service (USFS) goes about reducing the forest fires includes the thinning of forests by timbering, and removal of hazardous materials such as small trees, species of brush and shrub, logs, stumps, and whatever material could lead to an increase in forest fires or their severity. Most materials that could lead to an increase in forest fires are seen and defined as hazardous fuels. Reducing forest fires seems like a noble idea, especially when seeing the damaged caused after that fire season during the year 2000; however, the way in which the U.S. Forest Service is going about the removing of these hazardous fuels has come under much scrutiny. Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), with additions from after the enactment of the Healthy Forest Initiative, the U.S. Forest Service is allowed to remove hazardous fuels or reduce the threat of wildfires without doing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or an Environmental Analysis (EA) under a categorical exclusion. A categorical exclusion being defined under NEPA §1.3 as “a category of actions that have no potential for significant environmental impacts, you may categorically exclude the action from analysis in an EA or EIS before deciding to implement
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