NEPA and the Public's role in Resource Development Proposals

This web site explains how the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) works by providing formal opportunities for Alaska residents to participate in the shaping of resource development proposals near their communities. It also outlines some more informal opportunities to interface with developers and regulatory agencies early in the project planning process to work together to create projects that are mutually beneficial. 

Role of CES Natural Resources and Community Development

NEPA meetingNatural Resources and Community Development is one of Extension’s newest program areas. It provides outreach education regarding forest resources, mineral resources and mining, water resources, and rural communities. Program faculty and staff partner with a wide variety of local, state and federal government agencies, local and regional Native Alaskan tribal organizations and non-governmental organizations to address such issues as resource management, economic analysis, public policy education, and rural development.

Community Need Identified

Recently many of our outreach education program providers in rural Alaska have heard requests from villagers for more educational resources on how community members can be involved in the permitting process for new resource development proposals. Specifically, community leaders have requested more background on NEPA, the National Environmental Policy Act. Community members hear NEPA referred to repeatedly by regulatory agencies as important in defining the communities’ role in the development decision-making process.

Goal of This Website

This website, including the web links and resources it references, will provide rural Alaskans with the background knowledge that they need to effectively participate in the NEPA process, the process that ultimately determines whether or how a proposed development project will or will not be permitted.