The Trump administration recently announced its proposed rollback and rewrite of our bedrock environmental protection law, the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). Colorado Wild Public Lands (COWPL) would like to encourage the community to learn more and take action regarding the importance of maintaining NEPA.

COWPL is a 501(c)3 organization in Basalt, dedicated to the protection of integrity of our public lands, with a focus on proposed public to private land exchanges. NEPA is the key tool that allows us to do our work. NEPA requires public input and detailed analysis of proposed actions affecting public lands, e.g. forest service lands.

In general, the administration’s rollback proposal would allow more projects (e.g. extraction activities) to occur without NEPA review; when reviews are required, they’d be cursory, with less opportunity for public involvement. Fewer alternatives to a proposed action would be studied and cumulative effects would not be considered. Tighter required timelines would limit opportunities for accurate scientific study and public comment.

These rollbacks appear to only have negative consequences compared with the scientifically informed and publicly accessible process that NEPA has provided over the last 50 years, resulting in better decisions for local communities’ health and safety as well as for the environment.

Please take a few minutes to learn more at ceq.doe.gov/laws-regulations/regulations.html and make your voice heard by March 10. Stay tuned for further information at http://coloradowildpubliclands.org/

Thanks for your consideration on this important legislation that affects us all.

Suzanne Jackson

Staff for Colorado Wild Public Lands