Following are some of the federal and state regulations that affect forest management and harvest practices in Idaho.
Clean Water Act:
This federal law was passed in 1972 to ensure that America’s streams, rivers, and lakes retain high water quality. It requires state governments fo develop state programs to protect water quality in forest streams.
Endangered Species Act:
The federal version of this law was passed in 1973. It was intended to protect threateded or endangered species until they are out of danger of extinction.There are almost 800 “listed species,” and another 3,000 candidated for designation throughout the nation. In 1994, Idaho had 14 species under ESA protection, ranging from grizzly bears, salmon, and eagles to snails and even a flower.
Idaho Forest Practices Act:
Enacted by the Idaho state legislature in 1974, this law requires forest practices that protect soil and water, and that ensure reforestation.
Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act of 1960:
This federal law requires the “harmonious and coordinated management” of the national forests for outdoor recreation, range, timber, watershed, wildlife, and fish purposes, with harvest in balance with growth.
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA):
Passed into federal law in 1969, this act requires all federal agencies to present a wide range of alternative management decisions to the public and to write an environmental impact statement (EIS) when any action they take “will significantly affect the human environment.”
National Forest Management Act (NFMA):
A federal law passed by Congress in 1976 as an amendment to the Resources Planning Act. The NFMA requires that wach national forest develop a 10-15 year plan describing how that forest will be managed. By law, plans are developed by interdisciplinary teams and must include public participation.
Resources Planning Act (RPA):
Passed by Congress in 1974, this federal law requires a complete national assessment or inventory of all forest, rangeland resources, and public needs every ten years, along with a plan to meet those needs.
This 1964 federal law defines wilderness as an area where “man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” No roads, logging, motorized vehicles, or other developments that would show a sign of man’s activities are allowed in a wilderness area.