Last week in Washington, D.C., President Donald Trump, alongside Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, announced proposed changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Attending that ceremony was Ravalli County Commissioner Greg Chilcott, who was representing the National Association of Counties, where he's on on the environment committee.

The administrative changes would add limits to the length of time and the size of reports of NEPA reviews. The White House estimates that NEPA is involved yearly with about 170 environmental impact statements and 10,000 environmental assessments. Chilcott, in a KLYQ interview, said the lengthy review process has affected the Bitterroot Valley, with Bitterroot National Forest fire mitigation projects that were still awaiting approval when forest fires occurred, such as the Roaring Lion fire. The NEPA proposal was posted to the Federal Register and is now in a 60-day comment period. A number of organizations are already challenging the proposal.