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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Feb 3, 2017.
Emergency Forest Restoration Act
This bill allows the Department of Agriculture (USDA), regarding National Forest System lands, or the Department of the Interior, regarding public lands, to develop and carry out a forest management activity on lands of the department concerned in a state when the activity's primary purpose is to address an insect or disease infestation that has been declared an emergency by the state governor.
With specified exceptions, a categorical exclusion shall be available to USDA or Interior for these purposes.
A "categorical exclusion" is an exception to the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 for a project or activity relating to the management of National Forest System lands or public lands that would otherwise be considered a major federal action.
Beginning in FY2019, USDA shall identify the amount of funds, if any, appropriated in the previous fiscal year pursuant to the authorization of appropriations specified in this bill.
Within five years of the end of the fiscal year in which an identification is made, USDA shall sell an amount of timber the sale of which is sufficient to recoup the identified amount and any associated costs.
The bill prescribes requirements for the deposit of sales proceeds.