The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was the first major environmental law in the United States. The environmental review process under NEPA provides an opportunity for the public to be involved in the Federal agency decisionmaking process. NEPA requires Federal agencies to consider environmental effects that include, among others, impacts on social, cultural, and economic resources, as well as natural resources.
Projects are proposed actions that are analyzed through the NEPA process (EIS, EA, or CE) that involves analyzing different alternatives to the proposed action, requires public notice and comment, and results in a NEPA decision (ROD, DN, or DM) which, subject to an administrative appeals process, and is implemented on the ground. Each forest maintains project details and documentation.
The Schedule of Proposed Actions (SOPA) is published in January, April, July, and October. It contains a list of proposed actions that will soon begin or are currently undergoing environmental analysis and documentation. It provides information so that you can become aware of and indicate your interest in specific proposals. We encourage your early and ongoing involvement in any proposals of interest to you.
An appeal is a request to an agency higher authority for review of an environmental decision. The public's rights and responsibilities for filing an appeal are defined in specific appeal regulations. Usually, all administrative processes must be exhausted before a person can bring a court action (litigation) associated with an environmental decision.
An opportunity for administrative review of unresolved public concerns over a proposed decision, termed an objection process, is available for certain forest plan amendments and revisions, and for hazardous fuel reduction projects authorized by the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 (HFRA). In such instances, individuals or organizations may file written objections after an environmental analysis document is completed and before a decision document has been signed.