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Potential Changes to NEPA Eliminate Public Process

Potential Changes to NEPA Eliminate Public Process

The public process protects great places to ride mountain bikes

Posted: August 26, 2019

Almost anytime there’s a chance for you to weigh in with land managers about an important decision—like regaining mountain bike access in the Bitterroot or protecting mountain bike access in the Lionhead—that opportunity exists because of a law called the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA. Right now, the Forest Service is proposing big changes to the way it implements the law that could drastically roll back your say in how public lands are managed. The proposed changes would roll back the public process from about 93% of all Forest Service projects, and in some cases, eliminate public notice altogether.

Today is the last day to comment on these changes, and the Forest Service has said it dismissed 33,000 public comments on this issue received via form letters.

We need dedicated advocates like you to submit a comment now—right now. It is critical to add a few sentences of personal perspective to make sure your comment is not dismissed.


Use our joint Outdoor Alliance comment form and be sure to add a few sentences of personal perspective to your comment. IMBA helped found Outdoor Alliance in 2007, and we continue to work with the D.C.-based human-powered advocacy organization to represent our interests.

At its core, NEPA does two main things. First, it requires that major federal actions are analyzed for their effects on the environment and on recreation—basically just requiring informed decision making. Second, NEPA ensures that the American people get to have a say in those decisions—public participation. NEPA is arguably the most important law for environmental quality and public lands management in the U.S. since it requires that we measure the impact of big changes to public lands—like building a new mine or enlarging a parking lot—and study the potential impacts on air and water quality, recreation access, potential pollution, and more.

While there are some legitimate reasons for the Forest Service to pursue modest reforms to NEPA to increase efficiency, public participation is a bedrock portion of this process that we rely on to protect great places to ride mountain bikes.

Read more about the potential changes to NEPA on the Outdoor Alliance blog. Thank you for being an awesome advocate!


About the author
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Eleanor (she/her) wants everyone to have a safe and welcoming space to ride bikes. While working in journalism and nonprofits in the Midwest, Eleanor led volunteer efforts with Big Marsh Bike Park, co-founded the Chicago Women’s CX Fund, and worked with city youth programs to get more kids on…

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