The United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, is proposing to supplement its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations (36 CFR Part 220) with three new categorical exclusions for activities that restore lands negatively impacted by water control structures, natural and human caused events, and roads and trails. These categorical exclusions will allow the Forest Service to more efficiently analyze and document the potential environmental effects of soil and water restoration projects that are intended to restore the flow of waters into natural channels and floodplains by removing water control structures, such as dikes, ditches, culverts and pipes; restore lands and habitat to pre-disturbance conditions, to the extent practicable, by removing debris, sediment, and hazardous conditions following natural or human-caused events; and restore lands occupied by roads and trails to natural conditions. The proposed road and trail restoration category would be used for restoring lands impacted by non-system roads and trails that are no longer needed and no longer maintained. This category would not be used to make access decisions about which roads and trails are to be designated for public use.
Agency Contact: Peter Gaulke, Ecosystem Management Coordination Staff, (202) 205-1521. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at (800) 877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. eastern standard time, Monday through Friday.
This is a proposed regulation. Comments were due on August 13, 2012.