Summary: S.2068 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.2068. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (11/02/2017)

Wildfire Prevention and Mitigation Act of 2017

This bill prohibits any further consultation from being required by the Departments of Agriculture (USDA) or the Interior after the approval of land and resource management plans for National Forest System (NFS) lands or land use plans for public lands, respectively, with respect to: (1) the listing of a species as threatened or endangered or a designation of a critical habitat, if such a plan has already been adopted; or (2) any provision of such plan.

Interior shall develop one or more categorical exclusions, from requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 to conduct environmental assessment and environmental impact statements, for specified vegetative management activities that are carried out to establish or improve habitat for the greater sage-grouse or mule deer.

The Forest Service shall prepare an environmental assessment for each ecosystem restoration project, stewardship contracting project, and project under a good neighbor agreement on certain NFS land. Under the assessment, it shall study and describe in each project both the proposed action and a no-action alternative.

The Forest Service shall establish an arbitration pilot program as an alternative dispute resolution process in lieu of judicial review for such projects.

The Forest Service shall prioritize and carry out ecosystem restoration projects to accomplish one or more of specified objectives.

A categorical exclusion is made available for certain forest management activities in order to: (1) expedite specified critical response actions, (2) meet forest plan goals for early seral and early successional forests, (3) improve wildlife habitats, and (4) thin forests.

The bill makes permanent USDA's authority to designate treatment areas that are experiencing an insect or disease epidemic.