Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources From Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment

Editor's Note: I have reviewed the below Presidential Memorandum and left scratching my head.  On one level it appears worthless; but, left to a bureaucract with idle time, I believe will create opportunities for obstructionists inside the agencies to further stall projects.  Structurally, this seems to create another level of review within, or independent of, NEPA, that requires screening AND substantive direction to "avoid and then minimize harmful effects…and to ensure that any remaining harmful effects are effectively addressed…."
 
Derivations of the word “minimize” are littered throughout, starting with the second paragraph. Minimize is a very subjective term....

Presidential Memorandum of November 3, 2015
 
Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources From Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment
 
    Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense[,] the Secretary of the Interior[,] the Secretary of Agriculture[,] the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency[, and] the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
 
    We all have a moral obligation to the next generation to leave America's natural resources in better condition than when we inherited them. It is this same obligation that contributes to the strength of our economy and quality of life today. American ingenuity has provided the tools that we need to avoid damage to the most special places in our Nation and to find new ways to restore areas that have been degraded.

USDA Proposes Bold Moves to Improve Forests Management, Grasslands

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(Washington, D.C., June 12, 2019) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Forest Service (USFS) released proposed changes to modernize how the agency complies with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The proposed updates would not only give the Forest Service the tools and flexibility to manage the land and tackle critical challenges like wildfire, insects, and disease but also improve service to the American people. Revising the rules will improve forest conditions and make it simpler for people to use and enjoy their national forests and grasslands at lower cost to the taxpayer. The revised rules will also make it easier to maintain and repair the infrastructure people need to use and enjoy their public lands—the roads, trails, campgrounds, and other facilities.

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