|Posted by nationalforestlawblog at 09:32 PM on December 20, 2009|
Oregon - The Senate is considered a forest bill aimed at the National Forests in eastern Oregon. The bill would make the Forest Service consider landscape-sized projects and would streamline the administrative process needed to approve the projects. On the other hand the bill would preserve trees with diameters over 21 inches and limit road building and associated disturbances. You can read more about this bill, which has support from both industry and environmental groups at the NY Times. You can also access the full text Senate Bill here.
This is the second recent bill to address National Forest issues on a single state basis. (the other being Montana). Might this be the new trend in congressional forest management. Instead of passing amendments to NFMA or allowing the Forest Service to implement new rules, forest management will be addressed on a federal level on a state-by-state basis. I think its an interesting legislative tactic and quite possibly the only way these bills can get bipartisan support. After all, sweeping amendments that affect forests all across the country would likely face stiffer opposition. Instead, by breaking the process down into manageable areas, it seems to be easier to build broad support and, thus, bipartisan backing from Washington.