Comment on Timber Sales & Other Projects!

Action Alert! The Trump Administration is launching unprecedented attacks on bedrock environmental laws. Your comments are urgently needed on both proposals. Please voice your support for imperiled species and for key environmental protections. 

The Trump Administration is attacking the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as well as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The public can comment on both the proposed changes to the ESA and to NEPA.

Attacks on the Endangered Species Act:

Please submit comments in opposition of proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Imperiled species need more protections, not less!

The Trump administration has proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act which would put hundreds of species at increased risk of extinction. The proposed changes would make it more difficult for species to be listed under the ESA, weaken requirements for consultations designed to limit or mitigate harm to listed species, eviscerate protections for species listed as “Threatened”, decrease the habitat considered necessary for species recovery for most ESA-listed species, and severely weaken protections for newly listed species. Proposed changes would also allow agencies to consider and make decisions based on economic considerations, rather than relying on science-based factors. You can read more about the proposed changes in this Washington Post article.

Here is the link to comment on the administration’s proposed changes. Comments are due by September 24th. The link also includes a summary of the proposed changes. Please submit comments to let the administration know that you are opposed to the proposed changes, and to any weakening of the Endangered Species Act!

In addition to these changes proposed by the administration, there are numerous additional attacks on the ESA coming out of congress. This Voxx article discusses some of these.

Please contact your Congressional Representatives to let them know that you support the Endangered Species Act and oppose any weakening or currently proposed changes to the Act.

You can also read about the public’s very strong support of the ESA here. Four out of five members of the public support the ESA.

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PLEASE SUBMIT COMMENTS IN DEFENSE OF NEPA!

The National Environmental Policy Act is a bedrock environmental law, and has been essential in ensuring environmental review of projects on public lands (such as mining operations and timber sales), and ensuring transparency and public involvement. NEPA was enacted in 1970, and was passed under the Nixon administration against the backdrop of environmental disasters and issues that were causing extreme ecological destruction and creating public health crises across the nation– examples included a massive oil spill off the coast of California, rivers catching on fire in the eastern US, widespread concerns about asthma due to bad air quality, nonexistent or poor sewage treatment resulting in extremely polluted rivers, and pesticides and other contaminants killing off massive numbers of wildlife. The public was outraged over these many other environmental disasters and issues, and at the time had little to no influence over projects or their environmental outcomes– even projects on public lands or those funded with tax dollars. Out of this crisis, NEPA was born in order to give the pubic a voice and to provide clear and transparent environmental analyses upon which to base decisions.

NEPA requires that agencies analyze the effects of their actions on the environment, and that they do so in a science-based and transparent manner, and that they include the public in the decision-making process.

Under the Trump administration, the Council of Environmental Quality is now proposing changes that would severely weaken NEPA, and result in less agency accountability and transparency. Given the current ecological crises regarding climate change, widespread habitat loss, precipitous drops in biodiversity, and many species on the brink of extirpation or extinction, we simply cannot afford to have our bedrock environmental laws weakened.  We are already seeing this administrations efforts to obfuscate and lessen transparency and weaken numerous environmental laws and protections. Weakening NEPA would greatly accelerate that process, and allow for the evisceration of key protections.

SAY NO to proposals to gut NEPA! 

Be sure to tell the Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ):

  • You support leaving NEPA as it is; no changes are needed.
  • NEPA is a successful and important bedrock environmental law that must be protected– not weakened.
  • You are opposed to eliminating, restricting, or changing current requirements for including the public in the decision making process and considering public comments. Agencies must also continue with their requirements and obligations to respond to public comments.
  • You are opposed to changing current regulations regarding the implementation of NEPA. This includes any proposed changes to regulations regarding the range of alternatives, purpose and need, or other aspects of current regulations for environmental analyses or environmental impact statements.
  • NEPA implementation must continue to require agencies to use best available science, carefully analyze direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of their projects, and agency conclusions should be based on these reasoned analyses.

The comment deadline has been extended to August 20th, 2018. To comment on CEQ overhaul of NEPA, click here. You can also read more about CEQ’s proposed changes here.

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Don’t forget to support the ecological protection work of Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project! You can click here to donate and help keep our ecological protection work going with Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project! You can also send donations to: Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project, 27803 Williams Lane, Fossil, OR 97830.

Call us at (541) 385-9167 if you want to volunteer with us by helping us field-survey proposed timber sales this summer.

Check out our 2017 annual work report by clicking here.