The Forest Service’s proposed changes to internal Agency directives for Watershed and Air Management will include groundwater resources on National Forest System (NFS) lands as an integral component of watershed management. Key points:
THE PROPOSED DIRECTIVE WILL
- Provide for consideration of groundwater resources in agency activities.
- Encourage source water protection and water conservation.
- Establish procedures for reviewing new proposals for groundwater withdrawals on NFS land.
- Require the evaluation of potential impacts from groundwater withdrawals on NFS natural resources.
- Provide for measurement and reporting to help build our understanding of groundwater resources on NFS land.
THE PROPOSED DIRECTIVE WILL NOT
- Affect procedures or impose any new conditions on state-issued water rights.
- Affect existing or future tribal water rights settlements or water compacts.
- Impose any new regulations or requirements on locatable, leasable, geothermal, or mineral material operations.
- Change the way state water quality regulations or tribal water quality standards are promulgated or administered.
- Give the Forest Service any new authorities.
Opportunity for Public Comment
The Forest Service welcomes public comment within 90 days from the date of publication of the notice in the Federal Register (published May 6, 2014). Comments must be received electronically. Electronic comments may be submitted by following the instructions at regulations.gov or via email to email@example.com.
May 20, 2014 Webinar: USDA Forest Service Proposed Groundwater Management Directives
The Forest Service will host a national webinar at 1 p.m. EST May 20 to discuss the components of the proposed policy to manage groundwater resources on the country’s national forests and grasslands. Forest Service leaders and technical specialists will provide an overview on groundwater issues and information on the intent of the agency’s directives.
You can register for the webinar at:
See links below for more details: