Section 1502.25 of the regulations requires that draft EISs be prepared concurrently and integrated with environmental analyses and
studies required by other federal statutes. In addition, Section 1506.4 allows any environmental document prepared in compliance with
NEPA to be combined with any other agency document to reduce duplication and paperwork. However, these provisions were not
intended to authorize the preparation of a short summary or outline EIS, attached to a detailed project report or land use plan containing
the required environmental impact data. In such circumstances, the reader would have to refer constantly to the detailed report to
understand the environmental impacts and alternatives which should have been found in the EIS itself.
The EIS must stand on its own as an analytical document which fully informs decisionmakers and the public of the environmental effects
of the proposal and those of the reasonable alternatives. Section 1502.1. But, as long as the EIS is clearly identified and is
self-supporting, it can be physically included in or attached to the project report or land use plan, and may use attached report material
as technical backup.
Forest Service environmental impact statements for forest management plans are handled in this manner. The EIS identifies the
agency's preferred alternative, which is developed in detail as the proposed management plan. The detailed proposed plan
accompanies the EIS thorough the review process, and the documents are appropriately cross-referenced. The proposed plan is useful
for EIS readers as an example, to show how one choice of management options translates into effects on natural resources. This
procedure permits initiation of the 90-day public review of proposed forest plans, which is required by the National Forest Management
All the alternatives are discussed in the EIS, which can be read as an independent document. The details of the management plan are
not repeated in the EIS and vice versa. This is a reasonable functional separation of the documents: the EIS contains information
relevant to the choice among alternatives; the plan is a detailed description of proposed management activities suitable for use by land
managers. This procedure provides for concurrent compliance with the public review requirements of both NEPA and the National
Forest Management Act.
Under some circumstances, a project report or management plan may be totally merged with the EIS, and the one document labeled as
both "EIS" and "management plan" or "project report". This may be reasonable where the documents are short, or where the EIS format
and the regulations for clear, analytical EISs also satisfy the requirements for a project report.