The following is adopted with permission from www.skyislandalliance.org.
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires that the lead agency – in this case, the US Forest Service – prepare responses to all substantive comments received on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) during the public comment period and include those responses in the Final EIS. The more specific and focused your comments are, the more detailed the response must be from the agency.
More specific comments are the most desirable and will require a more detailed response to the agency. An example would be: “I am concerned that the DEIS does not identify a mill site, transportation route, or communities potentially impacted from transportation of uranium ore. The agency needs to analyze these impacts.”
Comments that simply say, “I am concerned about water quality” or “I am opposed to this project” will not, by themselves, require a response from the agency.
To the extent you can, direct your comments to specific sections, pages or topics in the DEIS, recognizing that some comments may be addressing missing or incomplete information, or even missing topics, that you feel should be addressed.
Your personal connection to Mt. Taylor is an incredibly important part of your comment letter. How will you be personally impacted if this proposal moves forward? This is a great way to start your letter and to frame the rest of your comments, and will help get the agency’s attention.