USDA Forest Service
Joe Walsh, 202-205-1134
EXTENDED FOR ROADS PROPOSAL
WASHINGTON, April 28, 2000 --
USDA Forest Service today announced a 15-day extension
to the public comment period for the proposed road
management policy, which aims to deal with the agency's
more than 380,000 miles of roads throughout the
nation's 155 national forests and 20 grasslands.
The extension gives interested individuals and groups
the opportunity to provide comments until May 17,
2000. The internet, electronic mail, postal and
facsimile systems in place since the Forest Service
published the proposed rule March 3, 2000, remain
available to register comment.
The Forest Service has at least an $8.4 billion
maintenance and reconstruction backlog and receives
only about 20 percent of the annual funding needed
to maintain the existing road system to current
environmental and safety standards. The new policy
is designed to help the Forest Service prioritize
its road maintenance and reconstruction work so
that the national forest road system will be more
affordable to manage in the future.
The previous comment period, which was due to end
May 2, 2000, was extended in part because of public
difficulty in obtaining copies of the proposed policy
and accompanying documents, and the agency's determination
that a 15-day extension would not impede adoption
of the final rule. The road management policy is
expected to be final by Sept. 1, 2000.
Comments may be sent to: CAET, Roads Project, PO.
Box 22300, Salt Lake City, UT 84122. The facsimile
number is (801) 517-1021. Electronic mail may be
sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and the internet
address is http://www.fs.fed.us/news/roads.
To order a copy of the draft environmental assessment,
which is also available for public comment, contact
Heidi Valetkevitch at (202) 205-0914 or at email@example.com.