NEPA

Anna Rader


Medicine Bow National Forest is a popular area for recreation in Southeastern Wyoming, covering about one million acres of mountains, lakes, and more.

The National Forest Service is launching a plan for restoration in Medicine Bow. The Landscape Vegetation Analysis, or LaVA project, gives the Forest Service the ability to treat over two hundred thousand acres of the forest with prescribed burns and logging and build up to 600 miles of temporary roads. Although the Forest Service said the goal of the project is to create a healthier forest, environmental groups are critical of the plan.

National Forest Service

The National Forest Service is launching a new restoration project in Medicine Bow National Forest.

Hana Vizcarra

Several policies that affect the west and the energy landscape here are back in the news, including proposed changes to the National Environmental Policy Act, the Bureau of Land Management Waste Prevention Rule, and the Great American Outdoors Act.

On August 4, President Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act into law. On July 29, three coalitions of environmental groups filed lawsuits challenging the final NEPA regulations. On July 29, the EPA made changes to how coal ash will be treated, including extending a deadline for discarding the waste in unlined ponds. On July 23, EPA the Nuclear Regulatory Commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding hoping to boost production of uranium.

Hana Vizcarra, staff attorney at Harvard Law School's Environmental & Energy Law Program, spoke with Wyoming Public Radio's Cooper Mckim about why so much action is happening right now.

The deadline is tonight to submit public comment on sweeping changes to one of the nation’s bedrock environmental laws.

First page screenshot of the 194 page updates
Council on Environmental Quality

The Trump Administration has proposed comprehensive updates to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). According to the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), which oversees NEPA implementation, they would the biggest changes made in over 40 years.

NEPA, established in 1970, requires all federally-related developments to show what environmental impacts they will have. There are three types of reviews: Environmental Impact Statements (EIS), Environmental Assessments (EA), and Categorical Exclusions (CE).

Stephanie Joyce

In 2016, the Obama administration halted new leasing of coal on federal lands with a goal to reexamine the environmental impacts of the program. Just a year later, the Trump administration lifted that moratorium. In a report, Interior Department secretary Ryan Zinke wrote, "given the critical importance of the Federal coal leasing program to energy security, job creation, and proper conservation stewardship, this Order directs efforts to enhance and improve the Federal coal leasing program." 

Melodie Edwards

The sun is coming up lavender and peach as we drive out onto Wyoming's eastern plains. Defenders of Wildlife's Chamois Anderson is taking me out in search of prairie dogs.

A congressional committee is focusing on a little known environmental law Thursday.

 


House Committee on Natural Resources Logo
House Committee on Natural Resources

The House Committee on Natural Resources held an oversight hearing to discuss “modernizing” the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA.

The National Park Service has released a report that summarizes public comments on Grand Teton’s Moose-Wilson Corridor management strategies.

The corridor is a heavily traveled, single lane road, in the southern area of the park, from Moose toward Teton Village. The management plan would include road alignment, trailhead location, and access, among other considerations. During a 30-day period, the park received over 25-hundred comments.

Park official Andrew White says many of the comments will affect the next draft of the alternatives. One example, he says, is horses.