4FRI and the NEPA Process

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Annette Fredette

The Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) is the largest collaborative, landscape-scale restoration initiative in the country, the largest initiative of its kind ever endeavored. This initiative’s goal is nothing less than the restoration of the ponderosa pine forest stretching across northern Arizona. It seeks to reduce the threat of destructive wildfire to thriving forest communities, restore forest ecosystems with natural fire regimes and functioning populations of native plants and animals, and build and sustain forest industries that strengthen local economies.

4FRI as an initiative stretches across four national forests: the Kaibab, Coconino, Apache-Sitgreaves, and Tonto. This initiative is a large umbrella that not only includes the project area analyzed in the first Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), but also restoration projects already approved in other National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analyses that are already being implemented, as well as other restoration projects currently being analyzed or planned to go through the NEPA process. Basically, any restoration project, large or small, within the 4FRI footprint on these four national forests, is considered part of 4FRI.

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