SOURCE: National Association of State Foresters

National Association of State Foresters

September 05, 2012 07:34 ET

NASF Joins Forest Roads Brandeis Brief

State Foresters Join Professional Foresters and Forestry Academics to Inform Supreme Court Ahead of NEDC v. Decker Decision

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Sep 5, 2012) - Today, the National Association of State Foresters joined the Society of American Foresters, Association of Consulting Foresters, and many scientists in the academic community in filing a Brandeis Brief with the United States Supreme Court. This brief provides factual information to inform the Court as it prepares to review a May 2011 decision in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that determined forest roads used for timber harvest are "point sources" requiring special industrial discharge permits under the Clean Water Act.

Today's brief does not focus on the legal questions before the Court, but does explain the scientific basis for forestry best management practices, the relationships between forest roads and water quality, and the success of state managed forestry Best Management Practices (BMP) programs. It affirms that the current EPA approach that relies on state-based BMPs has a proven track record of success in controlling stormwater runoff from forest roads that has been confirmed in the scientific literature and by practical experience.

"We join many others in the forestry community in encouraging the Supreme Court to reject the Ninth Circuit decision as it ignores nearly 40 years of successful treatment of forestry activities and forest roads as non-point sources best addressed through BMPs," said WV State Forester and NASF President Randy Dye. "Based on state foresters' experiences delivering BMP programs, we believe that a national requirement to issue permits for forestry activities will not measurably improve water quality."

The brief was filed the same day EPA formally published proposed revisions to its Phase I stormwater regulations to clarify that a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit is not required for stormwater runoff from forest roads.

The National Association of State Foresters is comprised of the directors of state and territorial forestry agencies and the District of Columbia. State Foresters have the primary responsibility for administering forestry best management practices designed to address nonpoint source pollution from forestry activities under the Clean Water Act.

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