Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has announced a major streamlining of regulatory processes under the management of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). In a June 12 memorandum to the Chief of the Forest Service Perdue directed that the USFS increase the productivity of National Forests and Grasslands, increase access to National Forests, and expedite environmental reviews. The memo comes 8 days after President Trump’s June 4 Executive Order directing department and agency heads to accelerate regulatory actions – particularly those benefiting energy projects – as part of the economic recovery from the Covid019 pandemic. Among specific directives included in Secretary Perdue’s memorandum to the Forest Service are:
- streamline processes and identify new opportunities to increase America’s energy dominance and reduce reliance on foreign countries for critical minerals;
- modernize management practices and reduce regulatory burdens to promote active management on Forest Service lands to support and protect rural communities, critical watersheds, and species habitat; and
- expedite broadband development on Forest Service lands to increase internet connectivity in rural America.
For a link to the Secretary’s press release announcing the Forest Service directive, which includes within it a link to his memorandum, click here.