On February 19, 2015, Ranger Stephaney Church signed the Elk Post-Fire Restoration Reforestation Project Decision Memo. The Decision Memo is available on the Elk Post-Fire Restoration Reforestation Project web page.
Ranger Church determined that this action falls within categorical exclusion 36 CFR 220.6(e)(5). The Elk Post-Fire Restoration Reforestation Project was reviewed in accordance with the categorical exclusion guidelines at FSH 1909.15(30), as updated on May 28, 2014. Following review of the resource conditions identified at 36 CFR 220.6(b), Ranger Church determined that no extraordinary circumstances exist. In addition, the Interdisciplinary Team’s analysis did not identify any other unusual circumstances or uncertainties about environmental effects associated with the action that would preclude use of a categorical exclusion.
On January 17, 2014, the President signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 (Pub. L. No. 113-76). Section 431 of that Act directs that the 1992 and 2012 legislation establishing the 36 CFR 215 (post-decisional appeals) and 36 CFR 218 (pre-decisional objections) processes “shall not apply to any project or activity implementing a land and resource management plan … that is categorically excluded ….under the National Environmental Policy Act [NEPA].” On February 7, 2014, the President signed into law the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill) (Pub. L. No. 113-79). Section 8006 of the 2014 Farm Bill repealed the Appeals Reform Act (ARA) (Pub. L. No. 102-381). The ARA’s implementing regulation was 36 CFR 215. The 2014 Farm Bill also directs that the pre-decisional objection process established in the Consolidated Appropriation Act of 2012 shall not be applicable to categorically excluded projects or activities. As a result of these two statutes, the Forest Service no longer offers notice, comment and appeal opportunities pursuant to 36 CFR 215 for categorically excluded projects.
Implementation of this decision is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2016.
Please contact Scott Bodle, Team Leader, at 208-587-7961 for additional information about this project.
South Zone NEPA Coordinator
Boise National Forest
1249 S. Vinnell Way
Boise, ID 83709