Washington, DC

The Trump administration is poised to finalize a rule tomorrow that would make it easier to pursue the administration’s goal to ramp up logging and other harmful extractive activities within America’s treasured national forests. The final U.S. Forest Service National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations limit public engagement and environmental review of Forest Service land management decisions and roll back longstanding protocols that the administration considers as barriers to accelerated timber production on national forests.

One of many controversial changes would allow the Forest Service to log large blocks of national forest land – up to 4.3 square miles – without substantive public input or environmental review, using what the agency calls a “categorical exclusion.” Authorizing large logging projects without significant environmental review could have devastating implications for imperiled wildlife; for example, the average home range of the federally threatened Mexican spotted owl is less than 4 square miles, meaning that under this rule, entire core habitat areas could be degraded without critical review.

Statement by Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO, Defenders of Wildlife:

“The final Forest Service NEPA rule epitomizes the Trump administration’s disastrous approach to the environment – it shuts out the public, ignores the science, and delivers favors to special interests, regardless of the harm to forests, water, wildlife and the climate. Our national forests are a national treasure and act as strongholds for endangered species conservation. Defenders of Wildlife will not sit idly by and witness the willful degradation of forest lands.”
 

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With over 1.8 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit defenders.org/newsroom and follow us on Twitter @Defenders.

Media Contact

Gwen Dobbs
Gwen Dobbs
Director of Media Relations
gdobbs@defenders.org
(202) 772-0269

News

Washington, DC

International Conferences Canceled, Leaving Species with Less Protections

As with many events worldwide in 2020, the conferences that create stronger international wildlife policies have been canceled too. These cancelations mean that imperiled wildlife will have to wait another year for new recommendations, measures, and decisions when a million species are already under threat of extinction and have yet to receive protection.
Anchorage, AK

Groups Praise Army Corps Denial of Pebble Mine Permit, Call for Lasting Protections

Groups advocating for the protection of Bristol Bay waterways, salmon, and communities applaud the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decision today to deny a Clean Water Act permit for the proposed Pebble mine.