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Letter: Proposed U.S. Forest Service policy is government overreach
07072018 FOREST SERVICE
U.S. Forest Service - photo by Ben Hendren

A long-standing policy protecting our National Forest is under threat. The policy, National Environmental Policy Act, requires the U.S. Forest Service to consider public input and environmental analysis in making decisions on its proposed projects. 

Now, the Forest Service is trying to change NEPA to essentially eliminate public input and environmental analysis.

Why does this matter to you? Living as we do on the border of the Chattahoochee National Forest, Forest Service decisions have the potential to impact everything from our local economies to our property values. Projects like logging, road building and closing, powerline rights-of-way, recreational changes and mining could be implemented without your knowledge and opportunity to comment. In addition, vital scientific analysis would also not take place.

If you are hiker, biker, hunter, fisherman or wildlife watcher, you won’t know what’s coming until logging trucks or closed gates show up at your favorite trailheads, streams, hunting grounds, or roads and trails.

Shutting the public out of these decisions is just the latest example of government overreach. If you care about the future of your National Forest, let the Forest Service and your congressmen know that you are opposed to the NEPA rule changes that will silence your voice.

Email comments to nepa-procedures-revisions@fs.fed.us and call Rep. Doug Collins, 202-225-9893, Sen. Johnny Isakson, 202-224-3643, Sen. David Perdue, 202-224-3521, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, 202-720-2791, the U.S. Forest Service Southern Region office, 404-347-4177, and the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest office, 770-297-3000. The 60-day public comment period on this new rule ends Aug. 12. Make your voice heard — while you still can.

Larry Winslett

Dahlonega


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