IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
August 10, 2021
Ms. Lummis introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works
To establish a categorical exclusion to improve or restore National Forest System land or public land or reduce the risk of wildfire, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Stop Causing Alarming Tree, Air, and Soil Trauma Resulting from Obstructive Progressives’ and Hypocritical Environmentalists’ Schemes Act or the
Stop CATASTROPHES Act.
In this Act:
Forest management activity
The term forest management activity means a project or activity carried out by the Secretary concerned on National Forest System land or public land consistent with the forest plan covering the land.
The term forest plan means—
a land use plan prepared by the Bureau of Land Management for public land pursuant to section 202 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1712); and
a land and resource management plan prepared by the Forest Service for a unit of the National Forest System pursuant to section 6 of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. 1604).
Hazardous fuel management
The term hazardous fuel management means any vegetation management activity that reduces the risk of wildfire.
The term late-season grazing means a grazing activity that occurs—
after an invasive species and native perennial species have each completed the current-year annual growth cycle; and
until new plant growth begins to appear in the following year.
National forest system
The term National Forest System means the land described in section 11(a) of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. 1609(a)).
The term noxious weed includes juniper trees, medusahead rye, conifer trees, piñon pine trees, cheatgrass, and other noxious or invasive weeds specified on a Federal or State noxious weed list.
The term public land—
has the meaning given the term
public lands in section 103 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1702); and
includes Coos Bay Wagon Road Grant land and Oregon and California Railroad Grant land.
The term Secretary concerned means—
the Secretary of Agriculture, with respect to National Forest System land; and
the Secretary of the Interior, with respect to public land.
Targeted livestock grazing
The term targeted livestock grazing means grazing used for purposes of hazardous fuel management.
Categorical exclusion to improve or restore national forest system lands or public land or reduce the risk of wildfire
Categorical exclusion established
Forest management activities described in subsection (b) are designated as a category of actions categorically excluded from the preparation of an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement under section 102 of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332).
Forest management activities designated for categorical exclusion
The category of forest management activities designated under this section for a categorical exclusion are forest management activities described in paragraph (2)—
carried out by the Secretary concerned on National Forest System land or public land; and
the primary purpose of which is—
to improve or restore the National Forest System land or public land; or
to reduce the risk of wildfire on the National Forest System land or public land.
The following forest management activities may be carried out pursuant to the categorical exclusion established under subsection (a):
Removal of noxious weeds through—
late-season livestock grazing;
targeted livestock grazing;
prescribed burns; and
Performance of hazardous fuel management.
Creation of fuel and fire breaks.
Modification of existing fences to distribute livestock and improve wildlife habitat.
Installation of erosion control devices.
Construction of new permanent infrastructure and maintenance of existing permanent infrastructure, including stock ponds, water catchments, and water spring boxes used to benefit livestock and improve wildlife habitat.
Performance of soil treatments, native and nonnative seeding, and planting and transplanting of sagebrush, grass, forb, shrub, and other species of grass.
Use of herbicides, if the Secretary concerned determines that the activity is otherwise conducted consistent with any forest plan applicable to the area covered by the activity.
Availability of categorical exclusion
On and after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary concerned may use the categorical exclusion established under subsection (a) in accordance with this section.
A forest management activity covered by the categorical exclusion established under subsection (a) may not exceed 10,000 acres.
The categorical exclusion established under subsection (a) shall not apply to a forest management activity described in subsection (b)(2) that is carried out on National Forest System land or public land—
that is a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System;
that is located within a national or State-specific inventoried roadless area established by the Secretary of Agriculture through regulation, unless—
the forest management activity to be carried out under on the National Forest System land or public land is consistent with the forest plan applicable to the area; or
the Secretary concerned determines that the forest management activity is allowed under the applicable roadless rule; or
on which timber harvesting for any purpose is prohibited by Federal law.