Comments to the Groundwater Resource Management Directive proposed by the United States Forest Service to modify Chapter 2560 of the Forest Service Manual are due September 3, 2014. The proposed directive was published in the Federal Register on May 6, 2014 (a copy of the directive may be found here). The original 90-day comment period was extended 30 days to allow for additional public review and comment.
According to the Forest Service, the purpose of the directive is to help the Forest Service maintain and enhance water resources on national forests and grasslands. The Forest Service claims that the directive is needed in order to “establish a consistent approach for addressing both surface and groundwater issues that appropriately protects water resources, recognizes existing water uses, and responds to the growing societal need for high-quality water supplies.”
The proposed directive would modify how the Forest Service manages water resources, which could have a direct and wide-ranging impact on current and future water uses both within and outside of Forest Service lands. Various state and local agencies, industry associations and private water users have filed or will file comments to the directive. All comments to the directive, including joinders to other parties’ comments, must be filed by September, 3, 2014, at 11:59 PM ET.