"This rule will help us improve the resiliency, health and diversity of our forests and grasslands," said USFS Chief Tom Tidwell. "We will now be able to move forward with our partners to focus more energy on action, and less on paperwork, to restore more acres in less time."
When the Forest Service sought public comments on the proposal in 2012, the AMA expressed concerns that the proposed rule would "allow a categorical exclusion from the current environmental review to accelerate the pace of road and trail deconstruction. In other words, these new categorical exclusions will make it much easier for the Forest Service to reduce the number and mileage of trails."
The AMA at the time also asked why a categorical exclusion wasn't proposed for instances when the Forest Service restores trails for the safety of users.