2001 Legislation
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SENATE JOINT MEMORIAL NO. 103 – Roadless areas/regulatns/moratorium


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SJM103.........................................by RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT
ROADLESS AREAS - REGULATIONS - Stating findings of the Legislature and
requesting that President Bush impose a moratorium on roadless area
02/08    Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing
02/09    Rpt prt - to 10th Ord
02/13    10th Ord - ADOPTED - 33-2-0
      AYES -- Andreason, Boatright, Branch, Brandt, Bunderson, Burtenshaw,
      Cameron, Danielson, Darrington, Davis, Deide, Frasure, Geddes,
      Goedde, Hawkins, Ingram, Ipsen, Keough, King-Barrutia, Lee, Lodge,
      Noh, Richardson, Risch, Sandy, Schroeder, Sims, Sorensen, Stegner,
      Thorne, Wheeler, Whitworth, Williams,
      NAYS -- Dunklin, Stennett
      Absent and excused -- None
    Floor Sponsor -- Danielson
    Title apvd - to House
02/14    House intro - 1st rdg - to Res/Con
03/02    Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
03/05    2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
03/06    3rd rdg - ADOPTED - 56-1-13
      AYES -- Barrett, Bedke, Bell, Bieter, Black, Boe, Bolz, Bradford,
      Bruneel, Campbell, Chase, Clark, Collins, Cuddy, Denney, Ellis,
      Ellsworth, Eskridge, Field(13), Gagner, Gould, Hadley, Hammond,
      Harwood, Henbest, Higgins, Hornbeck, Kellogg, Kendell, Lake,
      Loertscher, Mader, Marley, McKague, Meyer, Montgomery, Moss, Moyle,
      Pearce, Pischner, Pomeroy, Ridinger, Roberts, Robison, Sali,
      Schaefer, Sellman, Shepherd, Smith, Smylie, Stone, Swan(Hansen),
      Tilman, Trail, Wheeler, Young
      NAYS -- Jaquet
      Absent and excused -- Barraclough(Barraclough), Callister, Crow,
      Deal, Field(20), Jones, Kunz, Langford, Mortensen, Raybould,
      Stevenson, Wood, Mr. Speaker
    Floor Sponsor -- Cuddy
    Title apvd - to Senate
03/07    To enrol
03/08    Rpt enrol - Pres signed
03/09    Sp signed
03/12    To Secretary of State

Bill Text

  ||||              LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO             ||||
 Fifty-sixth Legislature                  First Regular Session - 2001
                                       IN THE SENATE
                               SENATE JOINT MEMORIAL NO. 103
  1                                   A JOINT MEMORIAL
  6        We,  your Memorialists, the Senate and the House of Representatives of the
  7    State of Idaho assembled in the First Regular Session of the Fifty-sixth Idaho
  8    Legislature, do hereby respectfully represent that:
  9        WHEREAS, on October 19, 1999, the United States Forest Service announced a
 10    vast "rulemaking process to propose the protection of the  remaining  roadless
 11    areas  within  the  National  Forest  System."  (64  FR 56306) This rulemaking
 12    purportedly includes two draft environmental impact statements, at  least  one
 13    set of draft regulations and a draft environmental assessment; and
 14        WHEREAS,  the  Notice  of Intent (NOI) solicited comments "on the scope of
 15    the analysis that should be conducted" and on "the identification of  alterna-
 16    tives  to  the proposal" that would be set out in this multitude of documents.
 17    The NOI provided prospective commentators with slightly more than  sixty  days
 18    to  comment on this enormous and poorly defined proposal. The NOI was an unac-
 19    ceptable affront to the promise of meaningful public participation that is the
 20    centerpiece of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA); and
 21        WHEREAS, more than forty million acres  of  land  in  the  West  could  be
 22    affected  by  the  actions  contemplated in the NOI. A permanent moratorium on
 23    Forest Service road development would have a devastating impact on timber com-
 24    munities in the West.  The  proposed  moratorium  would  destroy  attempts  to
 25    develop  recreational  economies  in the West and deny access to huge areas of
 26    the West to all but the able bodied. In sum, the moratorium would  deny  thou-
 27    sands of citizens the opportunity to use, enjoy and benefit from the land; and
 28        WHEREAS,  the process used by the Forest Service to consider such a poten-
 29    tially severe decision must reflect absolute fairness  and  deliberation.  The
 30    NOI  demonstrated  neither of those traits. No specific proposals were identi-
 31    fied and no preliminary findings were referenced; and
 32        WHEREAS, these failures violated  one  of  NEPA's  primary  objectives  of
 33    encouraging and facilitating "public involvement in decisions which affect the
 34    quality of the human environment." (40 CFR 1500.2(d)); and
 35        WHEREAS,  the  NOI  stated that it initiated "the scoping process." (64 FR
 36    56307) However, the NOI does not identify "the significant issues  related  to
 37    [the] proposed action," as is required by federal regulations. (40 CFR 1501.7)
 38    The  NOI  did  not encourage "the participation of affected federal, state and
 39    local agencies" as the  regulations  implementing  NEPA  anticipate.  (40  CFR
 40    1501.7(a)(1)); and
 41        WHEREAS,  the  ambiguity  and confusion that characterize the NOI was com-
 42    pounded by the fact that the  comment  period  was  so  brief.  Title  40  CFR
 43    1501.8(b)(1)(i)-(viii)  specifically  set  out  considerations that the Forest
 44    Service should be using in determining the time limits for soliciting comments
  1    on the NOI.
  2        "(b)  The agency may:
  3        (1)  Consider the following factors in determining time limits:
  4             (i)    Potential for environmental harm.
  5             (ii)   Size of the proposed action.
  6             (iii)  State of the art of analytic techniques.
  7             (iv)   Degree of public need for the proposed action,  including  the
  8             consequences of delay.
  9             (v)    Number of persons and agencies affected.
 10             (vi)   Degree to which relevant information is known and if not known
 11             the time required for obtaining it.
 12             (vii)  Degree to which the action is controversial.
 13             (viii) Other time limits imposed on the agency by law, regulations or
 14             executive order."; and
 15        WHEREAS, it is obvious that all of these factors support a careful, delib-
 16    erate  consideration  of  the  environmental impacts of the proposed permanent
 17    moratorium. The expedited deadline in the NOI was completely inconsistent with
 18    40 CFR 1501.8(b); and
 19        WHEREAS, in an October  28,  1999,  letter  to  Forest  Service  managers,
 20    Michael  Dombeck,  Chief  of the U.S. Forest Service suggested that the Forest
 21    Service attempted to complete the environmental analysis of a permanent  mora-
 22    torium  in a "short time frame." The U.S. Forest Service continued to ramrod a
 23    decision that would shut down forty million acres of  western  lands  into  "a
 24    short  time  frame."  The  spirit, in addition to the clear mandate of NEPA is
 25    accomplished by providing meaningful opportunity for public participation  and
 26    careful, principled, environmental analysis; and
 27        WHEREAS,  on  December 30, 1999, the State of Idaho brought suit to extend
 28    the comment period beyond that mandated by the NOI. The State alleged that  it
 29    did  not,  to  that point, have a meaningful opportunity to participate in the
 30    process, in addition to claiming that the National Forest Management  Act  and
 31    the Administrative Procedure Act had been violated.
 32        WHEREAS,  in  dismissing  the State's suit because it was brought prior to
 33    the final agency action, the U.S. district judge noted that  the  U.S.  Forest
 34    Service  "should  make  every  effort  to  ensure that the process is properly
 35    implemented with reasonable time frames to allow meaningful  participation  by
 36    the  public,"  and  that Idaho's concern "over access to and management of its
 37    endowment and state forest lands that may be  surrounded  by  national  forest
 38    land are legitimate concerns of state and local governments and its citizens."
 39    Finally,  the  court declared "Time is not of the essence on an issue that has
 40    been studied for over 30 years."
 41        WHEREAS, the closing date for public comments was  set  for  December  20,
 42    1999.  With decisions on the management of over forty million acres of land in
 43    the West at stake, the time was clearly not adequate  time  for  officials  to
 44    thoroughly  review and analyze the proposal, and to provide the Forest Service
 45    with informed and substantive comment;
 46        WHEREAS, on January 5, 2001, only 15 days before  President  Clinton  left
 47    office,  in  an  obvious rush to enact flawed and politically motivated policy
 48    through the administrative rulemaking process, President Clinton finalized and
 49    implemented the roadless rule; and
 50        WHEREAS, on January 9, 2001, the Governor, the Attorney General of  Idaho,
 51    the  Idaho  Board of Land Commissioners, and the Idaho Department of Lands, on
 52    behalf of the State of Idaho filed suit against the U.S.  Forest  Service  for
 53    making  a  decision  to  implement  the roadless regulation, which regulations
 54    implementation creates a potential violation  of  the  National  Environmental
 55    Policy Act (NEPA) which will cause irreparable injury to the state of Idaho.
  1        NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the members of the First Regular Session
  2    of  the Fifty-sixth Idaho Legislature, the Senate and the House of Representa-
  3    tives concurring therein, that we respectfully  request  that  President  Bush
  4    impose  a  moratorium  on  the roadless regulations pending careful review and
  5    study.
  6        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of the Senate  be,  and  she  is
  7    hereby authorized and directed to forward a copy of this Memorial to the Pres-
  8    ident of the United States, the Chief of the United States Forest Service, the
  9    President  of  the  Senate  and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of
 10    Congress, and the congressional delegation representing the State of Idaho  in
 11    the Congress of the United States.