Each federal agency has some leeway but the Forest Service’s newly proposed rules would instead circumvent it, creating loopholes for logging projects, road construction and even permits for pipelines & other utilities. At stake is how it complies (or doesn’t) with the National Environmental Policy Act, our nation’s most important environmental law. The law requires every government agency to look for less harmful ways of meeting its goals. Agency decisions must be based on solid science and made in the sunlight of public accountability. Public participation is important because our national forests are as vast and complex as they are beloved. Just over 75 percent of nat'l forests are found in the arid West, where logging practices can either exacerbate or mitigate the risk of wildfire.'