Forest Road Bills Introduced
In our July 8 Fast Facts, we reported on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that effectively struck down the Silvicultural Exemption that has been a successful component of EPA’s regulation of water since 1976. Under the court ruling, private forest land owners would be forced to obtain a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit for roads on their land. EPA’s definition of a “forest road” is still not known.
In response to this onerous ruling, both chambers of Congress have introduced legislation to reverse this decision. In the Senate and House, the Silviculture Regulatory Consistency Act would codify, or make law, "the silvicultural exemption"—thereby restoring the 35 year old common sense exemption.
FLA will continue to work with Congressional leaders and our allies on this important issue and anticipate a call to action from FLA members in the very near future.
The Senate bill (S. 1369) is originally co-sponsored by Ron Wyden (D-OR), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Mark Begich (D-AK) and James Risch (R-ID and in the House (HR 2541) by Representatives Herrera Butler (R-WA), Kurt Schrader (D-WA) Mike Michaud (D-ME), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), and Greg Walden (R-OR).
For more information of this issue you may wish to contact Frank Stewart (703-549-0347, FMS@Washington-Resource.com).