Washington Journal of Environmental Law & Policy


Aurora R. Janke


Current Forest Service fire management policies restrict NEPA’s application to fire suppression actions and contribute to a lack of detailed information about the effectiveness and environmental impact of suppression efforts. Decisions by the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana in the Forest Service for Environmental Ethics v. U.S. Forest Service litigation suggest that NEPA review applies to commonly used fire suppression tactics and that the Forest Service should conduct this review before fires occur. Other recent federal district court decisions and congressional concern with current fire suppression efforts support the need for NEPA review in the fire suppression context. This comment explores this case law and analyzes Forest Service compliance with NEPA procedures in its fire suppression practices.

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