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Title 36 – Parks, Forests, and Public Property–Volume 2

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Title 36 – Parks, Forests, and Public Property–Volume 2


Part


chapter ii – Forest Service, Department of Agriculture

200


Abbreviations Used in This Chapter:

A.O. = Administrative order. P.L.O. = Public Land order.

CHAPTER II – FOREST SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

PART 200 – ORGANIZATION, FUNCTIONS, AND PROCEDURES


Authority:5 U.S.C. 552; 7 U.S.C. 6706; 16 U.S.C. 472, 521, 1603, and 2101 et seq.

Subpart A – Organization

§ 200.1 Central organization.

(a) Central office. The national office of the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, is located in the Auditors Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW. Washington, DC. It consists of the Office of the Chief and Associate Chief, and a Deputy Chief for each of the following five activities: Programs and Legislation, National Forest System, Research, State and Private Forestry, and Administration. All communications should be addressed to the Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 96090, Washington, DC 20090-6090.


(b) Chief of the Forest Service. The Chief of the Forest Service, under the direction of the Secretary of Agriculture, administers the formulation, direction, and execution of Forest Service policies, programs, and activities.


(c) Deputy Chiefs. The major activities of the Forest Service at the headquarters level are divided into five Deputy Chief areas with each further divided into staff units. The programs and functions of staff units are directed by staff directors and may be subdivided into groups headed by group leaders. A description of the major activities of each Deputy Chief follows:


(1) Programs and legislation. Overall planning of Forest Service programs, policy formulation and analysis, budgeting, legislative development, reporting and liaison, and environmental coordination.


(2) National Forest System. Administration of National Forest System lands and management of natural resources within the principle of multiple use and sustained yield. Management includes planning, coordinating, and directing the national resource programs of timber, range, wildlife, recreation, watershed, and mineral areas; and support activities of fire, engineering, lands, aviation, and computer systems. The National Forest System includes:



155 Proclaimed or designated National Forests

20 National Grasslands

51 Purchase Units

8 Land Utilization Projects

20 Research and Experimental Areas

33 Other Areas

The first four classifications listed above are administered as 121 Forest Service Administrative Units, each headed by a Forest Supervisor. National Recreation Areas, National Forest Wildernesses, and Primitive Areas are included in the above land classifications.

(3) Research. Plan, coordinate, and direct research programs to learn how man can best use and protect the plant, animal, soil, water, and esthetic resources of nonagricultural rural and exurban lands for his well-being and enjoyment. These programs include research on timber management, forest products and engineering, forest economics and marketing, watersheds, wildlife and fish habitat, range, recreation and other environmental concerns, forest insects and disease, forest fire and atmospheric science. Plans and directs international forestry activities and disseminates forestry research information throughout the world.


(4) State and private forestry. Coordinate and provide leadership for intergovernmental resource programs for technical and financial assistance to improve and protect State and privately-owned forest resources and urban and community forestry. Carries out this action through cooperative forestry, area planning and development, cooperative fire protection, forest insect and disease management, cooperative tree planting, and overall Forest Service participation in rural development and environmental concern, including civil defense and other emergency activities.


(5) Administration. Provide support for Forest Service programs through management improvement, fiscal and accounting, administrative services, personnel management, manpower and youth conservation, antipoverty programs, communication and electronics, internal review system, external audits, coordination of civil rights activities, public information, and Service-wide management of systems and computer applications.


[41 FR 24350, June 16, 1976, as amended at 42 FR 32230, June 24, 1977; 43 FR 27190, June 23, 1978; 44 FR 5660, Jan. 29, 1979; 62 FR 33366, June 19, 1997]


§ 200.2 Field organization.

The field organization of the Forest Service consists of regions, stations, and areas as described below:


(a) Regions of the National Forest System. For the purpose of managing the lands administered by the Forest Service, the United States is divided into nine geographic regions of the National Forest System. Each region has a headquarters office and is supervised by a Regional Forester who is responsible to the Chief for the activities assigned to that region. Within each region are located national forests and other lands of the Forest Service.


(1) National Forests. Each Forest has a headquarters office and is supervised by a Forest Supervisor who is responsible to the Regional Forester. Two or more proclaimed or designated National Forests, or all of the Forests in a State, may be combined into one Forest Service Administrative Unit headed by one Forest Supervisor. Each Forest is divided into Ranger Districts. The Alaska Region is composed of two National Forests without Ranger Districts; with one Forest divided into three areas, each administered by a Forest Supervisor.


(2) Ranger districts. Each district may include a portion of a national forest, a national grassland or portion thereof, a national recreation area, a wilderness or primitive area, and other lands administered by the Forest Service. Each district has a headquarters office and is supervised by a District Ranger (or Area Ranger in some cases) who is responsible to the Forest Supervisor.


(b) Forest and rangeland research coordination. The field research program is coordinated by six research stations, the national Forest Products Laboratory, and the International Institute of Tropical Forestry. Each has a headquarters office and a Director who is responsible to the Chief for all research activities within a geographical area of the United States or its territories. Scientists are based at Research Work Units with laboratories located in 36 lower States, Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico. Scientists primarily conduct their work within a given geographical area, but due to the integrated and cooperative nature of the research program, they make work nationwide and internationally.


(c) State and private forestry cooperation. Field level cooperation between the Forest Service, States, and the private sector on forestry activities is accomplished by the Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry for the Northeastern States; and by the National Forest Regional Offices in the Southeastern and Western States. The Northeastern Area is supervised by an Area Director who is responsible to the Chief for State and private forestry activities within the Area. Regional Foresters in Regions 1 through 8 and Region 10 are responsible for State and private forestry activities within those regions.


(d) International Institute of Tropical Forestry. The Institute is managed by a Director who is the senior Forest Service official in Puerto Rico. The Director is responsible to the Chief for planning and directing research, science and technology exchange, technical assistance to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and international cooperation on natural resources concerning tropical forestry.


(e) Field addresses. The addresses of Regional Foresters, Station Directors, and Area Directors are given below. Under each Regional Office address is a list of National Forest Administrative Units by States with locations of Forest Supervisor headquarters. Headquarters locations for Ranger Districts, National Grasslands, and National Recreation Areas are not listed but may be obtained from Forest Supervisors or Regional Foresters.


National Forests by Region

State in which forest is located
National forest administration unit
Headquarters location of forest supervisor
Region 1, Northern Region (Regional Forester, Federal Bldg., P.O. Box 7669, Missoula, MT 59807):
IdahoClearwaterOrofino.
Idaho Panhandle National Forests (Kaniksu-Coeur ‘dAlene-St. JoeCoeur d’Alene.
NezperceGrangeville.
MontanaBeaverheadDillon.
BitterrootHamilton.
CusterBillings.
DeerlodgeButte.
FlatheadKalispell.
GallatinBozeman.
HelenaHelena.
KootenaiLibby.
Lewis and ClarkGreat Falls.
LoloMissoula.
Region 2, Rocky Mountain Region (Regional Forester, 740 Simms Street, P. O. Box 25127, Lakewood, CO 80225):
ColoradoArapaho-RooseveltFort Collins.
Grand Mesa-Uncompahgre and GunnisonDelta.
Pike-San IsabelPueblo.
San Juan-Rio GrandeMonte Vista.
White RiverGlenwood Springs.
NebraskaNebraska (Samuel R. McKelvie)Chadron.
South DakotaBlack HillsCuster.
WyomingBighornSheridan.
Medicine Bow-RouttLaramie.
ShoshoneCody.
Region 3, Southwestern Region (Regional Forester, Federal Bldg., 517 Gold Ave. SW., Albuquerque, NM 87102):
ArizonaApache-SitgreavesSpringerville.
CoconinoFlagstaff.
CoronadoTucson.
KaibabWilliams.
PrescottPrescott.
TontoPhoenix.
New MexicoCarsonTaos.
CibolaAlbuquerque.
GilaSilver City.
LincolnAlamogordo.
Santa FeSanta Fe.
Region 4, Intermountain Region (Regional Forester, 324 25th St., Ogden, UT 84401):
IdahoBoiseBoise.
Caribou (Cache-Idaho portion)Pocatello.
ChallisChallis.
PayetteMcCall.
SalmonSalmon.
SawtoothTwin Falls.
TargheeSt. Anthony.
NevadaHumboldtElko.
Toiyabe, except the Lake Tahoe basin management unitSparks.
UtahAshleyVernal.
DixieCedar City.
FishlakeRichfield.
Manti-La SalPrice.
UintaProvo.
Wasatch (Cache-Utah portion)Salt Lake City.
WyomingBridger-TetonJackson.
Region 5, Pacific Southwest Region (Regional Forester, 630 Sansome St., San Francisco, CA 94111):
CaliforniaAngelesArcadia.
ClevelandSan Diego.
Eldorado, except the Lake Tahoe basin management unitPlacerville.
InyoBishop.
KlamathYreka.
LassenSusanville.
Los PadresGoleta.
MendocinoWillows.
ModocAlturas.
PlumasQuincy.
San BernardinoSan Bernardino.
SequoiaPorterville.
Shasta-TrinityRedding.
SierraFresno.
Six RiversEureka.
Stanislaus (Calaveras Bigtree)Sonora.
Tahoe, except the Lake Tahoe basin management unitNevada City.
Lake Tahoe basin management unit (portions of Toiyabe, Eldorado, and Tahoe National Forests)South Lake Tahoe (headed by an administrator).
Region 6, Pacific Northwest Region (Regional Forester, 333 S.W. 1st Avenue, P.O. Box 3623, Portland, OR 97208):
OregonDeschutesBend
FremontLakeview.
MalheurJohn Day.
Mount HoodGresham.
OchocoPrineville.
Rogue RiverMedford.
SiskiyouGrants Pass.
SiuslawCorvallis.
UmatillaPendleton.
UmpquaRoseburg.
Wallowa-WhitmanBaker.
WillametteEugene.
WinemaKlamath Falls.
WashingtonColvilleColville.
Gifford PinchotVancouver.
Mount Baker-SnoqualmieMountain Terrace.
OkanoganOkanogan.
OlympicOlympia.
WenatcheeWenatchee.
Region 8, Southern Region (Regional Forester, 1720 Peachtree Rd. NW., Atlanta, GA 30367):
AlabamaNational forests in Alabama (William B. Bankhead, Conecuh, Talladega, Tuskegee)Montgomery.
ArkansasOuachitaHot Springs.
Ozark-St. FrancisRussellville.
FloridaNational forests in Florida (Apalachicola, Ocala, Osceola)Tallahassee.
GeorgiaChattahoochee-OconeeGainesville.
KentuckyDaniel BooneWinchester.
LouisianaKisatchiePineville.
MississippiNational Forests in Mississippi (Bienville, Delta, De Soto, Holly Springs, Homochitto, Tombigbee)Jackson.
North CarolinaNational forests in North Carolina (Croatan, Nantahala, Pisgah, Uwharrie)Asheville.
Puerto RicoCaribbeanRio Piedras, PR.
South CarolinaFrancis Marion and SumterColumbia.
TennesseeCherokeeCleveland.
TexasNational forests in Texas (Angelina, Davy Crockett, Sabine, Sam Houston)Lufkin.
VirginiaGeorge Washington-JeffersonRoanoke.
Region 9, Eastern Region (Regional Forester, 310 West Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203):
IllinoisShawneeHarrisburg.
Indiana and OhioWayne-HoosierBedford, IN.
MichiganHiawathaEscanaba.
Huron-ManisteeCadillac.
OttawaIronwood.
MinnesotaChippewaCass Lake.
SuperiorDuluth.
MissouriMark TwainRolla.
New Hampshire and MaineWhite MountainLaconia, NH.
PennsylvaniaAlleghenyWarren.
VermontGreen MountainRutland.
West VirginiaMonongahelaElkins.
WisconsinChequamegonPark Falls.
NicoletRhinelander.
Region 10, Alaska Region (Regional Forester, Federal Office Bldg., P.O. Box 21628, Juneau, AK 99802-1628):
AlaskaChugachAnchorage.
Tongass:
Chatham areaSitka.
Ketchikan areaKetchikan.
Sitkine areaPetersburg.


Forest and Range Experiment Stations, Laboratories, and Institutes Name of Unit and Headquarters of Director

North Central Research Station – 1995 Folwell Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108.

Northeastern Research Station – 100 Matsonford Road, 5 Radnor Corporate Center, Suite 200, P.O. Box 6775, Radnor, PA 19087-4585.

Pacific Northwest Research Station – 333 S.W. 1st Avenue, P.O. Box 3890, Portland, OR 97208-3890.

Pacific Southwest Research Station – 800 Buchanan Street, West Building, Albany, CA 94710-0011.

Rocky Mountain Research Station – 240 West Prospect Street, Fort Collins, CO 80526-2098.

Southern Research Station – 200 Weaver Boulevard, P.O. Box 2680, Asheville, NC 28802.

Laboratory

Forest Products Laboratory – One Gifford Pinchot Drive, Madison, WI 53705-2398.

Institute

International Institute of Tropical Forestry – Call Box 25000, UPR Experimental Station Grounds, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico 00928-2500.

State and Private Forestry Area Office

Director, Northeastern Area – 100 Matsonford Road, P.O. Box 6775, Radnor, PA 19087-4585.


Note:

In Regions 1 through 8 and 10, State and Private Forestry activities are directed from Regional headquarters.


[41 FR 24350, June 16, 1976, as amended at 42 FR 32230, June 24, 1977; 42 FR 40438, Aug. 10, 1977; 43 FR 27190, June 23, 1978; 44 FR 5660, Jan. 29, 1979; 62 FR 33366, 33367, June 19, 1997]


Subpart B – Functions and Procedures

§ 200.3 Forest Service functions.

(a) Legislative authority. The basic laws authorizing activities of the Forest Service are set forth in the U.S.C. in title 7 (Agriculture), chapters 14, 17, 33, 55, 59, and 61; title 16 (Conservation), chapters 2, 3, 4, 5C, 6, 23, 27, 28, 30, 36, and 37; title 29 (Labor), chapter 17; and title 43 (Public Lands), chapters 22 and 35.


(b) Work of the Forest Service. Under delegated authority from the Secretary of Agriculture, the broad responsibilities of the Forest Service are:


(1) Leadership in forestry. The Forest Service provides overall leadership in forest and forest-range conservation, development, and use. This involves determination of forestry conditions and requirements, and recommendations of policies and programs needed to keep the Nation’s private and public lands fully productive.


(2) National Forest System administration. (i) The Forest Service administers and manages the National Forest System lands in accordance with the Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act of June 12, 1960 (16 U.S.C. 528-531); the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of August 17, 1974 (16 U.S.C. 1600-1614); and the National Forest Management Act of October 22, 1976 (16 U.S.C. 472a, 476, 500, 513-516, 521b; 576b, 1600-1602, 1604, 1606, 1608-1614).


(ii) The National Forest System comprises about 188 million acres of land in the National Forests, National Grasslands, and other areas which have been transferred to the Forest Service for administration. On these public lands:


(A) Forestry methods are applied in growing and harvesting timber,


(B) Forage is scientifically managed for the use of domestic livestock whose numbers are kept in balance with the carrying capacity of the range,


(C) Wildlife habitat and species are managed,


(D) Watersheds are managed to safeguard the water supply and stabilize streamflow,


(E) Recreation resources are managed for public enjoyment and benefit,


(F) Many forms of land and resource use are granted under permit or lease, and


(G) Physical and resource improvements needed to develop, protect, and use all resources are built and maintained.


(3) Cooperative forestry. The Forest Service carries out cooperative forestry programs for public benefit through programs initiated by State, county, and other Federal agencies in accordance with the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of July 1, 1978 (16 U.S.C. 2101-2111). These programs are directed at the protection, development, and sustained production of all forestry resources, both public and private.


(4) Forest research. The Forest Service conducts research on problems involving protection, development, management, renewal, and continuous use of all resources, products, values, and services of forest lands in accordance with the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Research Act of June 30, 1978 (16 U.S.C. 1641-1647). Research is conducted on:


(i) Forest and range management, including the five basic resources of timber, forest soil and water, range forage, wildlife and fish habitat, and forest recreation,


(ii) Forest protection from fire, insects, and disease,


(iii) Forest products and engineering, and


(iv) Forest resource economics including forest survey, forest economics, and forest products marketing.


[44 FR 37505, June 27, 1979]


§ 200.4 Administrative issuances.

(a) The regulations of the Secretary of Agriculture governing the protection and administration of National Forest System lands and other programs of the Forest Service are set forth in Chapter 2 of Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations.


(b) Administrative policy, procedure, and guidance to Forest Service employees for the conduct of Forest Service activities are issued as directives, or through correspondence, by the office of the Chief of the Forest Service and by the field officers listed in § 200.2.


(1) Directives are issued through the Forest Service Directive System, which is comprised of the Forest Service Manual and related Forest Service Handbooks. The Directive System codifies the agency’s policy, practice, and procedure affecting more than one unit and the delegations of continuing authority and assignment of continuing responsibilities; serves as the primary administrative basis for the internal management and control of all programs; and is the primary source of administrative direction to Forest Service employees.


(2) In contrast to direction issued through the Directive System, guidance issued to one or more organizational units through letters and memoranda relate to decisions or interpretations on specific activities, cases, or incidents or to other matters of agency business, especially those matters of short-term duration or immediate interest.


(c) Forest Service Directive System issuances are published under delegated authority as follows:


(1) The Forest Service Manual and Forest Service Handbook issuances to all Forest Service units are published by the Office of the Chief.


(2) Forest Service Manual and Forest Service Handbook issuances may be supplemented as needed for field office use by a Regional Forester, a Regional Special Agent in Charge of Law Enforcement and Investigations, a Research Station Director, the International Institute for Tropical Forestry Director, the Area Director, or a Forest Supervisor.


(d) Guidance issued through letters and memoranda must be issued in accordance with signing authorities delegated through issuances to the Forest Service Directive System.


(e) An alphabetical index of the contents of the Forest Service Manual and related Forest Service Handbooks is published in Forest Service Handbook 1109.12, Directive System Handbook. The index contains a listing of all Series, Titles, and Chapters in the Forest Service Manual and a listing of all Forest Service Handbooks in the Directive System.


(f) Forest Service Handbook 6209.11, Records Management Handbook, outlines and indexes the filing system for all correspondence and other records.


(g) Forms and reports used by the agency are listed in, and instructions for their use are issued throughout, the Forest Service Directive System and are collated in Forest Service Handbook 1309.14, Information Requirements Handbook.


[62 FR 33367, June 19, 1997, as amended at 74 FR 19143, Apr. 28, 2009]


§ 200.5 Indexes.

Publication of the indexes described in § 200.4 is deemed both unnecessary and impractical because of the large volume of material involved. However, copies of the indexes are available for public review in the Forest Service headquarters office in Washington, DC, and at field offices listed under § 200.2(d). The Forest Service will provide copies of any index upon request at a cost not to exceed the direct cost of duplication.


[40 FR 12790, Mar. 21, 1975. Redesignated at 62 FR 13540, Mar. 21, 1997]


§ 200.6 Information available; inspection, copying, and charges.

(a) In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 7 CFR 1.2, the Forest Service shall make available for public inspection and copying all published or unpublished directives, forms, records, and final opinions, including concurring or dissenting opinions and orders made in the adjudication of cases. Charges for information requested from the Forest Service are set out in paragraph (d) of this section and vary according to the type of information requested.


(b) Information made available pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section may be obtained at the Office of the Chief, or the office of any Regional Forester, Research Station Director, Area Director, Institute Director, Forest Supervisor, or District Ranger. The addresses of these offices are set forth in §§ 200.1 and 200.2. Forest Service personnel at these offices will assist members of the public seeking Forest Service records. However, Research Station and Institute Directors and District Rangers may not have all volumes of the Forest Service Manual and Handbooks. When the information requested is not available at a given location, the personnel where the request is received will direct the requester to another office where the information may be obtained.


(c) Inspection and copying availability is as follows:


(1) Facilities for inspection and copying are available at the offices listed in §§ 200.1 and 200.2, during established office hours for the particular location, usually 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Copying facilities may not be available at all Forest Service offices.


(2) Requesters for information may make copies of available information without charge if they elect to bring their own copy equipment to the appropriate offices listed in §§ 200.1 and 200.2.


(3) Requesters should make prior arrangements for using agency copying facilities or for bringing in copying equipment and, in the later case, should get advance approval from the office.


(d) Any request for information pursuant to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act must be submitted in accordance with §§ 200.7 and 200.8. The Forest Service charges a fee for copies of records not generally made available to the public but released pursuant to a FOIA request in accordance with a schedule of fees established by the Department of Agriculture at 7 CFR Part 1, Subpart A, Appendix A. These fees do not apply to information that is generally and routinely made available to the public upon request, such as recreational brochures, pamphlets, maps, and technical guides as well as agency directive issuances. Separate charges for such general information are established in the agency’s Directive System (§ 200.4). For example, some pamphlets and small segments of the Forest Service Manual and Handbook may be provided at no cost, but maps of the National Forest System and larger sections of the Manual and Handbook are available for a charge. Current charges are explained at the time the request is made.


[62 FR 13540, Mar. 21, 1997]


§ 200.7 Request for records.

Requests for records and the processing of those records are governed by the rules at 7 CFR 1.6. Agency officials are authorized to receive and act on requests for records as follows:


(a) The Regional Forester, Regional Special Agent in charge, Research Station Director, Area Director, and Institute Director at the field locations and addresses listed in § 200.2; the Director of Law Enforcement and Investigations, other Staff Directors, or other officials whom the Chief may authorize, located in the Washington Office, are authorized to receive requests for such records, to make determinations regarding whether records exist, and to grant or deny requests for records exempt from disclosure under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552(b).


(b) Each of the officials listed in paragraph (a) of this section also is authorized to take the following actions:


(1) Extend the 10-day administrative deadline for reply pursuant to 7 CFR 1.14;


(2) Make discretionary releases pursuant to 7 CFR 1.17(b) of records exempt from mandatory disclosure;


(3) Deny records pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(b); and


(4) Make determinations regarding the charges of fees pursuant to 7 CFR 1.8(a).


[62 FR 33368, June 19, 1997, as amended at 63 FR 53811, Oct. 7, 1998]


§ 200.8 Appeals.

(a) Appeals from denials of requests submitted under § 200.7 shall be submitted in accordance with U.S. Department of Agriculture rules at 7 CFR part 1, subpart A, and the appendix to subpart A to the Chief, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Auditors Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, S.W., P.O. Box 96090, Washington, DC 20090-6090.


(b) The Chief, or other official to whom such authority is delegated, shall determine whether to grant or deny the appeal and make all necessary determinations relating to an extension of the 20-day administrative deadline for reply, discretionary release of records exempt from mandatory disclosure under 5 U.S.C. 552(b), and charging the appropriate fees, pursuant to U.S. Department of Agriculture rules at 7 CFR part 1, subpart A, and the appendix to subpart A.


(c) The Forest Service Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act Officer must review all proposed responses to appeals prior to signature.


[63 FR 53812, Oct. 7, 1998, as amended at 63 FR 60049, Nov. 6, 1998]


§ 200.12 Land status and title records.

(a) Land Status Records System. The Land Status Records System is the official, permanent repository for all agency realty records and land title documents for National Forest System lands. It includes an automated database which contains an accurate account of: acreage, condition of title, administrative jurisdiction, rights held by the United States, administrative and legal use restrictions, encumbrances, and access rights on land or interests in land in the National Forest System.


(1) Components. The system shall include, but is not limited to, the following components:


(i) A current and accurate Land Status Atlas for each National Forest, National Grassland, and other proclaimed or designated administrative unit, which shall graphically portray on maps keyed to a tabular summary the following categories of information:


(A) Jurisdiction of and condition of title to lands administered as part of the National Forest System.


(B) All encumbrances on National Forest System lands.


(C) All partial interests administered by the Forest Service on other lands.


(D) All use restrictions, withdrawals, and special designated areas on National Forest System lands.


(E) The acreage of National Forest System lands, including riparian lands.


(ii) A master Land Status File, from which the agency data for the Atlas is derived and which includes the following:


(A) Discrete title files of each landownership adjustment.


(B) The original authorizing documents establishing or adjusting National Forest System lands and interests therein.


(C) Withdrawals, use restrictions, and special designated areas on National Forest System lands.


(D) Other information as deemed necessary.


(iii) Such reporting systems as are needed to provide title or status reports.


(2) Display of Information. Information in the system may be collected and maintained in narrative, graphic, tabular, or other form and may be entered into and maintained in automated systems as well as produced in paper form in accordance with such administrative direction as the Chief of the Forest Service or Regional Foresters may establish.


(b) Availability. A Land Status Atlas shall be maintained at each National Forest administrative unit or subunit, such as Ranger Districts or National Recreation Area offices. Each Regional Office shall maintain copies of the Atlas for all National Forests within that Region. Related land title and realty records for each National Forest System unit shall be maintained at the administrative headquarters of that unit. The Land Status Atlas and such title and realty records as are held at an administrative unit shall be available for public inspection.


[56 FR 29181, June 26, 1991, as amended at 59 FR 2987, Jan. 20, 1994]


PART 211 – ADMINISTRATION


Authority:16 U.S.C. 472, 498, 551.

Subpart A – Cooperation

§§ 211.1-211.2 [Reserved]

§ 211.3 Cooperation with State officers.

All forest officers will cooperate with State officials, insofar as practicable, to enforce State fire, game, and health laws. They are authorized to accept appointments, without compensation, as deputy State fire wardens, game wardens, and/or health officers whenever in the judgment of the Chief of the Forest Service the performance of the duties required by these offices will not interfere with their duties as Federal forest officers.


[1 FR 1261, Aug. 15, 1936]


§ 211.4 Cooperation for fire prevention and control.

The Forest Service shall, whenever possible, and is hereby authorized to enter into such agreements with private owners of timber, with railroads, and with other industrial concerns operating in or near the national forests as will result in mutual benefit in the prevention and suppression of forest fires: Provided, That the service required of each party by such agreements shall be in proportion to the benefits conferred.


[1 FR 1261, Aug. 15, 1936]


§ 211.5 Emergency fire suppression assistance.

(a) Definitions. For the purpose of this subpart these definitions apply:


(1) Prescribed fire means a fire burning under a set of specified conditions which will accomplish certain planned resource management objectives.


(2) Escaped prescribed fire means a prescribed fire which has either exceeded the prescription or has rekindled after it has been declared to be out.


(b) In the absence of a written reciprocal agreement with any fire organization or in situations outside the scope of an agreement, the Forest Service is authorized to render emergency assistance in suppressing fires and in preserving life and property from the threat of fire within the vicinity of Forest Service fire protection facilities under the following conditions:


(1) If a prescribed fire initiated on lands administered by the Forest Service escapes onto lands not administered by the Forest Service, the Forest Service may commit personnel, materials, and equipment without reimbursement or consideration of the fire’s continuing threat to National Forest System lands or resources.


(2) When requested, the Forest Service may commit personnel, materials, and equipment on a reimbursable basis on lands not administered by the Forest Service without regard to the fire’s threat to National Forest System lands or resources.


[48 FR 44537, Sept. 29, 1983]


§ 211.6 Cooperation in forest investigations or the protection, management, and improvement of the National Forest System.

(a) Purpose and scope. Forest Service officers, when engaged in cooperative activities otherwise authorized, may receive monies from cooperators only for cooperative work in forest investigations or for the protection, management, and improvement of the National Forest System and only in accordance with written cooperative agreements. Management of the National Forest System may include such work as planning, analysis, and related studies, as well as resource activities.


(b) Reimbursements. Agency expenditures for work undertaken in accordance with this section may be made from Forest Service appropriations available for such work, with subsequent reimbursement from the cooperator, in accordance with established written agreements. Forest Service officers shall issue written bills for collection for cooperator reimbursement payments within the same fiscal year as Forest Service expenditures.


(c) Bonding. Each written agreement involving a non-Government cooperator’s total contribution of $25,000 or more to the Forest Service on a reimbursable basis, must include a provision requiring a payment bond to guarantee the cooperator’s reimbursement payment. Acceptable security for a payment bond includes Department of the Treasury approved corporate sureties, Federal Government obligations, and irrevocable letters of credit. For the purposes of this section, a non-Government cooperator is an entity that is not a member, division, or affiliate of a Federal, State, local government, a federally recognized Indian Tribe (as defined by the Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of 1994 [25 U.S.C. 479a]), or other organizations funding a Forest Service agreement with pass through funding from an entity that is a member, division, or affiliate of a Federal, State, local government, or federally recognized Indian Tribe.


(d) Avoiding conflict of interest. Forest Service officers shall avoid acceptance of contributions from cooperators when such contributions would reflect unfavorably upon the ability of the Forest Service to carry out its responsibilities and duties. Forest Service officers shall be guided by the provisions of 18 U.S.C. parts 201-209, 5 CFR part 2635, and applicable Department of Agriculture regulations, in determining if a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest exists in a proposed cooperative effort. Forest Service ethics officials or the designated Department of Agriculture ethics official should be consulted on conflict of interest issues.


[64 FR 60678, Nov. 8, 1999, as amended at 73 FR 62443, Oct. 21, 2008]


Subpart B [Reserved]

PART 212 – TRAVEL MANAGEMENT

Subpart A – Administration of the Forest Transportation System


Authority:16 U.S.C. 551, 23 U.S.C. 205.

§ 212.1 Definitions.

For the purpose of this part the following terms, respectively, shall mean:


Administrative unit. A National Forest, a National Grassland, a purchase unit, a land utilization project, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Land Between the Lakes, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, or other comparable unit of the National Forest System.


Area. A discrete, specifically delineated space that is smaller, and, except for over-snow vehicle use, in most cases much smaller, than a Ranger District.


Chief. The Chief, Forest Service, Department of Agriculture.


Construction engineering. All work and expense of setting out, controlling, inspecting, and measuring the construction or reconstruction of a forest transportation facility including:


(1) Construction surveys to establish line and grade for the work, to control the work, and to measure quantities;


(2) Redesigning, adjusting, and changing the plans, specifications, and materials to meet conditions;


(3) Inspecting, directing, and controlling operations for compliance with plans and specifications;


(4) Inspecting, testing, and accepting materials and equipment to be installed in the work; and


(5) Inspecting, measuring, and accepting completed work.


Designation of over-snow vehicle use. Designation of a National Forest System road, a National Forest System trail, or an area on National Forest System lands where over-snow vehicle use is allowed pursuant to § 212.81.


Federal airport funds. Discretionary funds available for airfields in National Forests under section 6(b)(3) of the Act of May 13, 1946 (60 Stat. 173), as amended; 49 U.S.C. 1105(b)(3).


Forest road and trail funds. Funds authorized or appropriated for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of section 205 of the Act of August 27, 1958 (72 Stat. 907), as amended; 23 U.S.C. 205.


Forest road or trail. A road or trail wholly or partly within or adjacent to and serving the National Forest System that the Forest Service determines is necessary for the protection, administration, and utilization of the National Forest System and the use and development of its resources.


Forest transportation atlas. A display of the system of roads, trails, and airfields of an administrative unit.


Forest transportation facility. A forest road or trail or an airfield that is displayed in a forest transportation atlas, including bridges, culverts, parking lots, marine access facilities, safety devices, and other improvements appurtenant to the forest transportation system.


Forest transportation system. The system of National Forest System roads, National Forest System trails, and airfields on National Forest System lands.


Maintenance. The upkeep of the entire forest transportation facility including surface and shoulders, parking and side areas, structures, and such traffic-control devices as are necessary for its safe and efficient utilization.


Motor vehicle. Any vehicle which is self-propelled, other than:


(1) A vehicle operated on rails; and


(2) Any wheelchair or mobility device, including one that is battery-powered, that is designed solely for use by a mobility-impaired person for locomotion, and that is suitable for use in an indoor pedestrian area.


Motor vehicle use map. A map reflecting designated roads, trails, and areas on an administrative unit or a Ranger District of the National Forest System.


National Forest System. As defined in the Forest Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act, the “National Forest System” includes all National Forest lands reserved or withdrawn from the public domain of the United States, all National Forest lands acquired through purchase, exchange, donation, or other means, the National Grasslands and land utilization projects administered under title III of the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tennant Act (50 Stat. 525, 7 U.S.C. 1010-1012), and other lands, waters or interests therein which are administered by the Forest Service or are designated for administration through the Forest Service as a part of the system.


National Forest System road. A forest road other than a road which has been authorized by a legally documented right-of-way held by a State, county, or other local public road authority.


National Forest System trail. A forest trail other than a trail which has been authorized by a legally documented right-of-way held by a State, county, or other local public road authority.


Off-highway vehicle. Any motor vehicle designed for or capable of cross-country travel on or immediately over land, water, sand, snow, ice, marsh, swampland, or other natural terrain.


Over-snow vehicle. A motor vehicle that is designed for use over snow and that runs on a track or tracks and/or a ski or skis, while in use over snow.


Over-snow vehicle use map. A map reflecting roads, trails, and areas designated for over-snow vehicle use on an administrative unit or a Ranger District of the National Forest System.


Preconstruction engineering. All work and expense of preparing for construction or reconstruction of a forest transportation facility including:


(1) Engineering and economic investigations, studies, and reports;


(2) Reconnaissance surveys;


(3) Preliminary surveys;


(4) Preliminary location surveys;


(5) Soils, foundations, and materials investigations, surveys, and tests;


(6) Preliminary and final designs;


(7) Preliminary and final plans, drawings, specifications, and estimates of quantities and cost;


(8) Final location surveys staked on the ground; and


(9) Rights-of-way surveys, plans, and descriptions.


Regional forester. A regional forester of the Forest Service.


Road. A motor vehicle route over 50 inches wide, unless identified and managed as a trail.


Road and trail 10 percent funds. Funds available from the permanent appropriation “Roads and Trails for States” under the Act of March 4, 1913 (37 Stat. 843), as amended; 16 U.S.C. 501.


Road construction or reconstruction. Supervising, inspecting, actual building, and incurrence of all costs incidental to the construction or reconstruction of a road.


Road Decommissioning. Activities that result in the stabilization and restoration of unneeded roads to a more natural state.


Temporary road or trail. A road or trail necessary for emergency operations or authorized by contract, permit, lease, or other written authorization that is not a forest road or trail and that is not included in a forest transportation atlas.


Trail. A route 50 inches or less in width or a route over 50 inches wide that is identified and managed as a trail.


Travel management atlas. An atlas that consists of a forest transportation atlas and a motor vehicle use map or maps.


Unauthorized road or trail. A road or trail that is not a forest road or trail or a temporary road or trail and that is not included in a forest transportation atlas.


(25 Stat. 357, 26 Stat. 1103, 30 Stat. 35-36, 1233, 38 Stat. 430, 46 Stat. 1421 64 Stat. 82, 72 Stat. 885, as amended, 74 Stat. 215, 78 Stat. 1089; 16 U.S.C. 471, 478, 498, 525, 528, 531, 532, 538, 551, 572, 23 U.S.C. 101, 205, 40 U.S.C. 257, 258a, et seq., 42 Atty. Gen. Op. No. 7, Comp. Gen. B-65972, May 19, 1947; 40 Comp. Gen. 372; 41 Comp. Gen. 1; 41 Comp. Gen. 576, and 42 Comp. Gen. 590)

[30 FR 5476, Apr. 16, 1965, as amended at 66 FR 3216, 3217, Jan. 12, 2001; 70 FR 68287, Nov. 9, 2005; 80 FR 4511, Jan. 28, 2015]


§ 212.2 Forest transportation program.

(a) Travel management atlas. For each administrative unit of the National Forest System, the responsible official must develop and maintain a travel management atlas, which is to be available to the public at the headquarters of that administrative unit.


(b) Forest transportation atlas. A forest transportation atlas may be updated to reflect new information on the existence and condition of roads, trails, and airfields of the administrative unit. A forest transportation atlas does not contain inventories of temporary roads, which are tracked by the project or activity authorizing the temporary road. The content and maintenance requirements for a forest transportation atlas are identified in the Forest Service directives system.


(c) Program of work for the forest transportation system. A program of work for the forest transportation system shall be developed each fiscal year in accordance with procedures prescribed by the Chief.


[62 FR 58654, Oct. 30, 1997, as amended at 66 FR 3216, 3217, Jan. 12, 2001; 70 FR 68288, Nov. 9, 2005; 73 FR 74613, Dec. 9, 2008]


§ 212.3 Cooperative work.

(a) Cooperative agreements for all projects which involve financial contributions from cooperators shall be negotiated, approved, and executed in accordance with procedures prescribed by the Chief.


(b) Cooperative funds contributed in advance shall be deposited in the United States Treasury to the credit of the Forest Service Cooperative Fund authorized by the Act of June 30, 1914 (38 Stat. 430), as amended; 16 U.S.C. 498, or the Act of March 3, 1925 (43 Stat. 1132), as amended; 16 U.S.C. 572, which deposits will be made available for expenditure from the appropriation “Cooperative Work, Forest Service.” If a State, county or other governmental agency is unable to contribute funds under the Act of March 3, 1925, as amended, in advance but is able to pay its share subsequent to performance of the work, the subsequent payment of such funds will be deposited to the credit of the Forest Service appropriation from which the expenditures were made or to appropriations for similar purposes currently available at the time of deposit.


[25 FR 6360, July 7, 1960. Redesignated at 62 FR 58654, Oct. 30, 1997]


§ 212.4 Construction and maintenance.

(a) Construction and maintenance work on forest transportation facilities with appropriated funds shall be directed to what is necessary and economically justified for protection, administration, development, and multiple-use management of the federally owned lands and resources served.


(b) Preliminary engineering and the construction and maintenance of forest transportation facilities shall be performed by force account or let to contract, unless otherwise approved by the Chief. The contract method shall be employed for roads and trails in accordance with section 205(c) of the Act of August 27, 1958 (72 Stat. 907); 23 U.S.C. 205, and for all other facilities when it is advantageous and in the interest of the Government.


(c) No construction work shall be started by force account or let to contract until all necessary rights of way have been secured, and approved by the Attorney General, if required, and cooperative agreements, if any, approved and executed.


[24 FR 10256, Dec. 18, 1959, as amended at 25 FR 6360, July 7, 1960. Redesignated at 62 FR 58654, Oct. 30, 1997; 66 FR 3216, Jan. 12, 2001]


§ 212.5 Road system management.

(a) Traffic rules. Rules set forth under 36 CFR part 261 and this section shall apply to all National Forest System roads under the jurisdiction of the Forest Service except when in conflict with written agreement.


(1) General. Traffic on roads is subject to State traffic laws where applicable except when in conflict with designations established under subpart B of this part or with the rules at 36 CFR part 261.


(2) Specific. The following specific traffic rules shall apply unless different rules are established in 36 CFR part 261.


(i) The load, weight, length, height, and width limitations of vehicles shall be in accordance with the laws of the States wherein the road is located. Greater or lesser limits may be imposed and these greater or lesser limits shall be established as provided in 36 CFR part 261.


(ii) Roads, or segments thereof, may be restricted to use by certain classes of vehicles or types of traffic as provided in 36 CFR part 261. Classes of vehicles may include but are not limited to distinguishable groupings such as passenger cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, 4-wheel drive vehicles, off-highway vehicles, and trailers. Types of traffic may include but are not limited to groupings such as commercial hauling, recreation, and administrative.


(iii) Roads, or segments thereof, may be closed to all vehicle use as provided in 36 CFR part 261.


(iv) Additional rules may be imposed as provided in 36 CFR part 261.


(b) Road system – (1) Identification of road system. For each national forest, national grassland, experimental forest, and any other units of the National Forest System (§ 212.1), the responsible official must identify the minimum road system needed for safe and efficient travel and for administration, utilization, and protection of National Forest System lands. In determining the minimum road system, the responsible official must incorporate a science-based roads analysis at the appropriate scale and, to the degree practicable, involve a broad spectrum of interested and affected citizens, other state and federal agencies, and tribal governments. The minimum system is the road system determined to be needed to meet resource and other management objectives adopted in the relevant land and resource management plan (36 CFR part 219), to meet applicable statutory and regulatory requirements, to reflect long-term funding expectations, to ensure that the identified system minimizes adverse environmental impacts associated with road construction, reconstruction, decommissioning, and maintenance.


(2) Identification of unneeded roads. Responsible officials must review the road system on each National Forest and Grassland and identify the roads on lands under Forest Service jurisdiction that are no longer needed to meet forest resource management objectives and that, therefore, should be decommissioned or considered for other uses, such as for trails. Decommissioning roads involves restoring roads to a more natural state. Activities used to decommission a road include, but are not limited to, the following: reestablishing former drainage patterns, stabilizing slopes, restoring vegetation, blocking the entrance to the road, installing water bars, removing culverts, reestablishing drainage-ways, removing unstable fills, pulling back road shoulders, scattering slash on the roadbed, completely eliminating the roadbed by restoring natural contours and slopes, or other methods designed to meet the specific conditions associated with the unneeded road. Forest officials should give priority to decommissioning those unneeded roads that pose the greatest risk to public safety or to environmental degradation.


(c) Cost recovery on National Forest System roads. The Chief may determine that a share of the cost of acquisition, construction, reconstruction, improvement, or maintenance of a road, or segment thereof, used or to be used for commercial hauling of non-Federal forests products and other non-Federal products, commodities and materials, should be borne by the owners or haulers thereof. The Chief may condition the permission to use a road, or segment thereof, upon payment to the United States of the proportionate share of the cost and bearing proportionate maintenance as determined to be attributable to the owner’s or hauler’s use in accordance with § 212.9. This condition to use roads would apply where the owners or haulers:


(1) Have not shared in the cost of acquisition, construction, reconstruction, or improvements, and


(2) Have not made contributions to pay their proportionate share of the costs.


(d) Maintenance and reconstruction of National Forest System roads by users – (1) Maintenance. The Chief may require, but not in conflict with an existing permit, easement, contract, or other agreement, the user or users of a road, including purchasers of Government timber and other products, to maintain the roads in a satisfactory condition commensurate with the particular use requirements of each. The maintenance to be borne by each user shall be proportionate to total use and no individual user shall be required to perform or bear the costs of maintenance other than that commensurate with his use.


(2) Reconstruction. The Chief may require, but not in conflict with an existing permit, easement, contract, or other agreement, the user or users of a road to reconstruct it when, at the time the use is requested, reconstruction is determined to be necessary to accommodate his use.


(3) Deposits in lieu of performance. If the maintenance or reconstruction cannot be so provided or if the Chief determines that maintenance or reconstruction by a user would not be practical, the Chief may require that sufficient funds be deposited by the user to provide his portion of the total maintenance or reconstruction costs. Deposits made to cover maintenance or reconstruction of roads shall be used for the purposes deposited, except that:


(i) Deposits received for work on adjacent and overlapping areas may be combined when it is the most practicable and efficient manner of performing the work, and cost thereof may be determined by estimates, and


(ii) Unexpended balances upon accomplishment of the purposes for which deposited shall be transferred to miscellaneous receipts or refunded.


(e) Deposits for making delayed payments to cooperator. Any fees or other collections received by the Chief under the terms of an agreement or other document providing for delayed payments to the Government’s cooperator for use of a road shall be placed in a fund available for making these payments.


[39 FR 27649, July 31, 1974, as amended at 42 FR 2957, Jan. 14, 1977; 43 FR 20007, May 10, 1978; 62 FR 58654, Oct. 30, 1997. Redesignated and amended at 62 FR 58654, Oct. 30, 1997; 66 FR 3217, Jan. 12, 2001; 70 FR 68288, Nov. 9, 2005]


§ 212.6 Ingress and egress.

(a) Policy in acquiring and granting access. To assure effective protection, management, and utilization of lands administered by the Forest Service and intermingled and adjacent private and public lands, and for the use and development of the resources upon which communities within or adjacent to the National Forests are dependent, the Chief shall as promptly as is feasible obtain needed access thereto and shall grant appropriate access across National Forest and other lands and easements administered by the Forest Service to intermingled or adjacent landowners. Construction, reconstruction or maintenance of a road or highway requires written authorization.


(b) Actual settlers and other persons residing within the National Forests and other areas administered by the Forest Service. Actual settlers and other persons residing within the National Forests and other areas administered by the Forest Service shall be permitted ingress and egress over the same and use of existing National Forest System roads and trails in order to reach their homes and to utilize their property: Provided, such ingress and egress or use shall conform to rules and regulations governing the protection and administration of the lands and the roads or trails to be used.


(c) Others. Entering upon the National Forests and other lands administered by the Forest Service and use of existing National Forest System roads and trails shall be permitted for all proper and lawful purposes subject to compliance with rules and regulations governing the lands and the roads or trails to be used.


(25 Stat. 357, 26 Stat. 1103, 30 Stat. 35-36, 1233 38 Stat. 430, 46 Stat. 1421, 64 Stat. 82, 72 Stat. 885; as amended, 74 Stat. 215, 78 Stat. 1089; 16 U.S.C. 471, 478, 498, 525, 528-531, 532, 538, 551, 572, 23 U.S.C. 101, 205, 40 U.S.C. 257, 258a et seq.; 42 Atty. Gen. Op. No. 7; Comp. Gen. B-65972, May 19, 1947; 40 Comp. Gen. 372; 41 Comp. Gen. 1; 41 Comp. Gen. 576, and 42 Comp. Gen. 590)

[40 FR 52611, Nov. 11, 1975, as amended at 42 FR 2957, Jan. 14, 1977. Redesignated at 62 FR 58654, Oct. 30, 1997; 66 FR 3217, Jan. 12, 2001]


§ 212.7 Access procurement by the United States.

(a) Existing or proposed forest roads that are or will be part of a transportation system of a State, county, or other local public road authority. Forest roads that are or will be part of a transportation system of a State, county, or other local public road authority and are on rights-of-way held by a State, county, or other local public road authority may be constructed, reconstructed, improved, or maintained by the Forest Service when there is an appropriate agreement with the State, county, or other local public road authority under 23 U.S.C. 205 and the construction, reconstruction, improvement, or maintenance is essential to provide safe and economical access to National Forest System lands.


(b) Acquisition of easements and rights of use. Except as otherwise provided in the regulations of this part, easements for road and trail construction across non-Federal lands and easements or rights of use over non-Federal roads and trails will be acquired in the name of the United States of America and its assigns. The easements or rights of use may be acquired by purchase, condemnation, donation, or as a reciprocal for permits or easements for roads or trails to be constructed or for easements over or permits to use existing roads or trails.


(c) Methods of compensation for easements and rights of use acquired by the United States. Compensation in negotiated acquisitions may be:


(1) By payment from appropriated funds;


(2) Pursuant to reservation in the grant of easement to the United States whereby the grantor reserves the right to require haulers of Federal timber or other Federal products over the road conveyed or thereafter constructed by the grantor to make payments to the grantor in accordance with the terms of the reservation;


(3) By granting reciprocal rights; or


(4) By a combination of these methods.


(d) Cooperative construction and use agreements. Where areas, partly lands administered by the Forest Service and partly private or other ownership are undeveloped or inadequately developed by roads, the Chief will, to the extent feasible and advantageous to the United States, join in planning, constructing, reconstructing, improving, maintaining, and using an adequate road system on the basis of each party bearing the proportion of the cost attributable to the anticipated benefits as set forth in § 212.9.


(e) Condemnation. Where access across non-Federal land or over a non-Federal road or trail cannot be obtained through negotiations with reasonable promptness, condemnation will be undertaken.


(f) Access over non-Federal land and use of non-Federal roads or trails on a temporary basis. The Chief may negotiate a temporary agreement for access over non-Federal land and for use of an existing non-Federal road or trail where there is immediate need for temporary access for limited purposes that can be economically met by such procedure, or where the foreseeable need does not justify the expenditures necessary to provide a permanent road or trail.


(g) Use and control of interests in roads, trails, and easements acquired by the United States. Interests in roads, trails, and easements acquired by the United States shall be under the control of the United States, subject to approved reservations, limitations and other provisions set forth in the easement, permit, or other indenture. This control by the United States may include restricting or conditioning the use of the interest owned by the United States in the road, trail, or easement where necessary.


(25 Stat. 357, 26 Stat. 1103, 30 Stat. 35-36, 1233, 38 Stat. 430, 46 Stat. 1421, 64 Stat. 82, 72 Stat. 885, as amended, 74 Stat. 215, 78 Stat. 1089; 16 U.S.C. 471, 478, 498, 525, 528-531, 532, 551, 572, 23 U.S.C. 101, 205, 40 U.S.C. 257, 258a et seq.; 42 Atty. Gen. Op. No. 7; Comp. Gen. B-65972, May 19, 1947; 40 Comp. Gen. 372; 41 Comp. Gen. 1; 41 Comp. Gen. 576, and 42 Comp. Gen. 590)

[30 FR 5476, Apr. 16, 1965, as amended at 39 FR 27650, July 31, 1974; 62 FR 58654, Oct. 30, 1997. Redesignated and amended at 62 FR 58654, Oct. 30, 1997; 66 FR 3217, Jan. 12, 2001; 70 FR 68288, Nov. 9, 2005]


§ 212.8 Permission to cross lands and easements owned by the United States and administered by the Forest Service.

(a) Permission to construct or use roads across lands and assignable easements owned by the United States and administered by the Forest Service. If a reciprocal benefit is needed by the United States, permission to construct or use a road across lands and across assignable easements owned by the United States and administered by the Forest Service will be conditioned, except as provided in this section, for any applicant who seeks a permit to construct or use a road across the same, upon the grant to the United States of a reciprocal benefit. Such benefit shall bear:


(1) A reasonable relation to the management of lands administered by the Forest Service; and


(2) A value substantially similar to the value of the estate or interest in lands or easements applied for. In those instances where the values of the interests needed by the United States exceed those applied for by the applicant, the additional interests required by the United States will be acquired as provided in § 212.7(b) and (c). Where values needed by the applicant exceed those needed by the United States, the difference in values will be determined under principles set forth below and in §§ 212.5(c) and 212.9. If a reciprocal benefit is not needed by the United States, or the applicant shows good cause why the reciprocal benefit needed by the United States cannot or should not be granted by him, or the applicant declines to grant the reciprocal benefit requested by the United States or if a bona fide emergency exists, permission to construct or use a road across lands owned by the United States may be conditioned for any applicant upon reasonable charges and all other terms and conditions required by the Chief to protect the interests of the United States. Permits for such road construction or use will be non-exclusive and will be conditioned upon compliance with their terms and conditions and with the rules and regulations governing the protection and administration of the lands and those applicable to such roads.


(b) [Reserved]


(c) Replacement of prior grants. (1) Upon application to the Chief, an easement under the Act of March 3, 1899 (30 Stat. 1233, 16 U.S.C. 525), shall be replaced by an easement under paragraph (d) of this section.


(2) Upon application to the Chief, an easement shall be granted under paragraph (d) of this section as a replacement for any stipulations for ingress and egress issued under the Act of June 4, 1897 or permit or other document evidencing the applicant’s right to use a road: Provided, The applicant has met the requirements for obtaining such easement as set forth in paragraph (d) of this section.


(d) Easements for roads crossing lands or easements administered by the Forest Service. (1) Applications for permanent or temporary easements for specified periods or otherwise to be granted under the Act of October 13, 1964 (78 Stat. 1039, 16 U.S.C. 533), over lands or easements administered by the Forest Service, or over roads thereon will be approved by the Chief for those applicants who have conveyed or provided appropriate easements over roads, assignable easements and lands owned or controlled by them to the United States of America and its assigns and who have already constructed, or will, as scheduled by agreement, construct their proportionate share of the road or road system of which the segments described in the application are parts. The Chief, after approval of the application and the grant of the easement, will cause the same to be entered in the records of the Forest Service, and delivered to the applicant.


(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (d)(1) of this section, the Chief may grant to the applicant a permanent or temporary easement for specified periods or otherwise upon such exchange of easements or share-cost arrangement or other reasonable consideration as he may deem appropriate.


(3) The Chief may grant to a State or local subdivision thereof; easements for roads over lands or easements administered by the Forest Service and over roads thereon, when the roads thereon or roads to be constructed thereon will serve said lands and are, or will become a part of the road system maintained by such State or local subdivision for general public use: Provided, That easements shall not be granted under authority of this act (78 Stat. 1089), 16 U.S.C. 533 which may be granted under the Highway Act (72 Stat. 916, 23 U.S.C. 317), as amended. The easements shall contain such provisions, terms, and conditions as the Chief may determine are necessary to retain and protect the interests needed by the United States.


(4) All instruments affecting permanent interests in land executed pursuant to this paragraph (d) of this section shall be recorded in each county where the lands are located. Copies of all instruments affecting interests in lands reserved from public domain shall be furnished by the Chief to the Secretary of the Interior.


(5)(i) The Chief may revoke any easement granted under the provisions of the Act of October 13, 1964 (78 Stat. 1089, 16 U.S.C. 534):


(A) By consent of the owner of the easement;


(B) By condemnation; or


(C) Upon abandonment after a 5-year period of nonuse by the owner of the easement.


(ii) Before any easement is revoked upon abandonment, the owner of the easement shall be given notice and, upon the owner’s request made within 60 days after receipt of the notice, shall be given an appeal in accordance with the provisions of 36 CFR part 214.


(25 Stat. 357, 26 Stat. 1103, 30 Stat. 35-36, 1233, 38 Stat. 430, 46 Stat. 1421, 64 Stat. 82, 72 Stat. 885, as amended, 74 Stat. 215, 78 Stat. 1089; 16 U.S.C. 471, 478, 498, 525, 528-531, 532, 538, 551, 572, 23 U.S.C. 101, 205, 40 U.S.C. 257, 258a et seq.; 42 Atty. Gen. Op. No. 7; Comp. Gen. B-65972, May 19, 1947; 40 Comp. Gen. 372; 41 Comp. Gen. 1; 41 Comp. Gen. 576, and 42 Comp. Gen. 590)

[30 FR 5476, Apr. 16, 1965, as amended at 39 FR 27650, July 31, 1974; 48 FR 28638, June 23, 1983. Redesignated and amended at 62 FR 58654, Oct. 30, 1997; 78 FR 33717, June 5, 2013]


§ 212.9 Principles for sharing use of roads.

The use of roads under arrangements for sharing costs or performance shall be in accordance with the following:


(a) Road improvement. Use of a road for commercial hauling, except occasional or minor amounts, will be conditioned upon improvement or supplemental construction of the road to safety and economically serve the contemplated use, unless the Chief determines that the safety and economy of the established and foreseeable use by the United States, its users and cooperators will not be impaired by the use for which application is being made. With the consent of the Chief the applicant may deposit funds in the estimated amount required for the improvements or supplemental construction in lieu of performance. Such funds will be used by the Forest Service to do the planned work. The cost of the improvements or supplemental construction will be taken into account in determining any otherwise required contribution to cover the proportionate share of the cost of road acquisition, construction, reconstruction or improvement attributable to the use.


(b) Corresponding benefits. Corresponding benefits which may be accepted by the Chief for sharing road use will be those which bear a reasonable relation to the management of lands administered by the Forest Service. They may be in the form of:


(1) Deposit of funds with the Forest Service for use in paying the cost of road construction, reconstruction, or improvement to be borne by the user;


(2) The grant of a reciprocal right of substantially similar value to the road use sought;


(3) Construction, reconstruction, or improvement by applicant of a road needed for access to and use of lands administered by the Forest Service; or (4) any combination of these.


(c) Cost determinations for roads cooperatively constructed under agreements. When roads are constructed under cooperative agreements to meet mutual needs of the United States and others for access, determinations of the shares of costs to be borne by the United States and the cooperating parties will include consideration of:


(1) The standard of road required for the planned hauling;


(2) The share of planned use;


(3) The location and volume of tributary timber owned by each party and expected to be hauled over the road or roads;


(4) The tributary areas owned or controlled by each party;


(5) Expected use by the public; and


(6) Other appropriate considerations.


(d) Cost recovery by the United States from others. When roads are used under permit for commercial hauling instead of under cooperative agreement, any cost to be recovered by the United States will be calculated in proportion to the planned use of the road. The road cost used in such calculation will be the amount or estimated amount expended in the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, and improvement of that capacity of the road required to serve the use needs of all parties that are or reasonably can be expected to use the road. The road costs shall not exceed the replacement value of the road. Such road share-cost payments will be through deposits in advance of use unless the user provides a payment bond satisfactory to the Chief guaranteeing that payments will be made promptly upon billing by the Forest Service.


(e) Cost sharing with a cooperator. The costs to achieve the agreed upon road or road system may be met by:


(1) Use of appropriated funds;


(2) Construction, reconstruction, or improvement of roads or segments of roads by purchasers of products from lands administered by the Forest Service or other users;


(3) Use of deposits made by cooperator with the Forest Service to cover cooperator’s agreed share;


(4) Agreement with cooperator pursuant to which cooperator does more than his agreed share of constructing, reconstructing, or improving a road and recovers costs incurred in excess of his agreed share by charging purchasers of products from lands administered by the Forest Service an equitable amount within the limits and to the total amount specified in the agreement; or


(5) A combination of the aforementioned methods.


(f) Road maintenance and resurfacing. Cooperators will share the road maintenance and resurfacing costs under suitable agreements to perform, arrange for performance by others, or by making deposits with the Forest Service which will be used to pay the cost of work necessary to keep such roads in satisfactory condition commensurate with use requirements of each cooperator. No cooperator shall be required to perform or bear such costs other than those occasioned by its individual use. Other users will bear costs in accordance with § 212.5(d).


(g) Interests to be acquired by the United States in roads or easements therefor. Where the United States is to bear or share the cost of constructing or improving, or acquiring a road system, a road, or a segment thereof, or acquires an easement therefor, the interest acquired will:


(1) Be for perpetual use unless the road use falls within the limited classes where temporary roads or roads for limited periods are acceptable;


(2) Provide adequately for foreseeable management, protection, and utilization needs of lands administered by the Forest Service and intermingled and adjacent private and public lands and for the use and development of the resources upon which communities within or adjacent to the National Forest are dependent; and


(3) not be subject to conditions, reservations, or convenants unrelated to the road use, or which seek or might tend to direct or limit policies and procedures for management of lands administered by the Forest Service.


(25 Stat. 357, 26 Stat. 1103, 30 Stat. 35-36, 1233, 38 Stat. 430, 46 Stat. 1421, 64 Stat. 82, 72 Stat. 885, as amended, 74 Stat. 215, 78 Stat. 1089; 16 U.S.C. 471, 478, 498, 525, 528-531, 532, 538, 551, 572, 23 U.S.C. 101, 205, 40 U.S.C. 257, 258a et seq.; 42 Atty. Gen. Op. No. 7; Comp. Gen. B-65972, May 19, 1947; 40 Comp. Gen. 372; 41 Comp. Gen. 1; 41 Comp. Gen. 576, and 42 Comp. Gen. 590)

[30 FR 5478, Apr. 16, 1965, as amended at 39 FR 27650, July 31, 1974. Redesignated and amended at 62 FR 58654, Oct. 30, 1997]


§ 212.10 Maximum economy National Forest System roads.

The Chief may acquire, construct, reconstruct, improve, and maintain National Forest System roads within and near the National Forests and other lands administered by the Forest Service in locations and according to specifications which will permit maximum economy in harvesting timber from such lands tributary to such roads and at the same time meet the requirements for protection, development, and management thereof and for utilization of the other resources thereof. Financing of such roads may be accomplished –


(a) By the Chief utilizing appropriated funds,


(b) By requirements on purchasers of National Forest timber and other products, including provisions for amortization of road costs in contracts,


(c) By cooperative financing with other public agencies and with private agencies or persons, or


(d) By a combination of these methods, provided that where roads are to be constructed at a higher standard than the standard – consistent with applicable environmental laws and regulations – that is sufficient for harvesting and removal of National Forest timber and other products covered by a particular sale, the purchaser of the timber and other products shall not be required to bear the part of the cost necessary to meet the higher standard, and the Chief may make such arrangements to achieve this end as may be appropriate.


(25 Stat. 357, 26 Stat. 1103, 30 Stat. 35-36, 1233, 38 Stat. 430, 46 Stat. 1421, 64 Stat. 82, 72 Stat. 885, as amended, 74 Stat. 215, 78 Stat. 1089; 16 U.S.C. 471, 478, 498, 525, 528-531, 532, 538, 551, 572, 23 U.S.C. 101, 205, 40 U.S.C. 257, 258a et seq.; 42 Atty. Gen. Op. No. 7; Comp. Gen. B-65972, May 19, 1947; 40 Comp. Gen. 372; 41 Comp. Gen. 1; 41 Comp. Gen. 576, and 42 Comp. Gen. 590)

[30 FR 5479, Apr. 16, 1965. Redesignated at 62 FR 58654, Oct. 30, 1997; 66 FR 3217, Jan. 12, 2001; 70 FR 68288, Nov. 9, 2005]


§§ 212.11-212.20 [Reserved]

§ 212.21 Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail.

The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail as defined by the National Trails Systems Act, 82 Stat. 919, shall be administered primarily as a footpath and horseback riding trail by the Forest Service in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior. The use of motorized vehicles may be authorized by the Federal Agency administering the segment of trail involved when use of such vehicles is necessary to meet emergencies or to enable landowners or land users to have reasonable access to their lands or timber rights.


(82 Stat. 919 (16 U.S.C. 1241 et seq.))

[43 FR 20007, May 10, 1978]


Subpart B – Designation of Roads, Trails, and Areas for Motor Vehicle Use


Authority:7 U.S.C. 1011(f), 16 U.S.C. 551, E.O. 11644, 11989 (42 FR 26959).


Source:70 FR 68288, Nov. 9, 2005, unless otherwise noted.

§ 212.50 Purpose, scope, and definitions.

(a) Purpose. This subpart provides for a system of National Forest System roads, National Forest System trails, and areas on National Forest System lands that are designated for motor vehicle use. After these roads, trails, and areas are designated, motor vehicle use, including the class of vehicle and time of year, not in accordance with these designations is prohibited by 36 CFR 261.13. Motor vehicle use off designated roads and trails and outside designated areas is prohibited by 36 CFR 261.13.


(b) Scope. The responsible official may incorporate previous administrative decisions regarding travel management made under other authorities, including designations and prohibitions of motor vehicle use, in designating National Forest System roads, National Forest System trails, and areas on National Forest System lands for motor vehicle use under this subpart.


(c) For definitions of terms used in this subpart, refer to § 212.1 in subpart A of this part.


§ 212.51 Designation of roads, trails, and areas.

(a) General. Motor vehicle use on National Forest System roads, on National Forest System trails, and in areas on National Forest System lands shall be designated by vehicle class and, if appropriate, by time of year by the responsible official on administrative units or Ranger Districts of the National Forest System, provided that the following vehicles and uses are exempted from these designations:


(1) Aircraft;


(2) Watercraft;


(3) Over-snow vehicles (see § 212.81);


(4) Limited administrative use by the Forest Service;


(5) Use of any fire, military, emergency, or law enforcement vehicle for emergency purposes;


(6) Authorized use of any combat or combat support vehicle for national defense purposes;


(7) Law enforcement response to violations of law, including pursuit; and


(8) Motor vehicle use that is specifically authorized under a written authorization issued under Federal law or regulations.


(b) Motor vehicle use for dispersed camping or big game retrieval. In designating routes, the responsible official may include in the designation the limited use of motor vehicles within a specified distance of certain forest roads or trails where motor vehicle use is allowed, and if appropriate within specified time periods, solely for the purposes of dispersed camping or retrieval of a downed big game animal by an individual who has legally taken that animal.


[70 FR 68288, Nov. 9, 2005, as amended at 73 FR 74613, Dec. 9, 2008]


§ 212.52 Public involvement.

(a) General. The public shall be allowed to participate in the designation of National Forest System roads, National Forest System trails, and areas on National Forest System lands and revising those designations pursuant to this subpart. Advance notice shall be given to allow for public comment, consistent with agency procedures under the National Environmental Policy Act, on proposed designations and revisions. Public notice with no further public involvement is sufficient if a National Forest or Ranger District has made previous administrative decisions, under other authorities and including public involvement, which restrict motor vehicle use over the entire National Forest or Ranger District to designated routes and areas, and no change is proposed to these previous decisions and designations.


(b) Absence of public involvement in temporary, emergency closures – (1) General. Nothing in this section shall alter or limit the authority to implement temporary, emergency closures pursuant to 36 CFR part 261, subpart B, without advance public notice to provide short-term resource protection or to protect public health and safety.


(2) Temporary, emergency closures based on a determination of considerable adverse effects. If the responsible official determines that motor vehicle use on a National Forest System road or National Forest System trail or in an area on National Forest System lands is directly causing or will directly cause considerable adverse effects on public safety or soil, vegetation, wildlife, wildlife habitat, or cultural resources associated with that road, trail, or area, the responsible official shall immediately close that road, trail, or area to motor vehicle use until the official determines that such adverse effects have been mitigated or eliminated and that measures have been implemented to prevent future recurrence. The responsible official shall provide public notice of the closure pursuant to 36 CFR 261.51, including reasons for the closure and the estimated duration of the closure, as soon as practicable following the closure.


§ 212.53 Coordination with Federal, State, county, and other local governmental entities and tribal governments.

The responsible official shall coordinate with appropriate Federal, State, county, and other local governmental entities and tribal governments when designating National Forest System roads, National Forest System trails, and areas on National Forest System lands pursuant to this subpart.


§ 212.54 Revision of designations.

Designations of National Forest System roads, National Forest System trails, and areas on National Forest System lands pursuant to § 212.51 may be revised as needed to meet changing conditions. Revisions of designations shall be made in accordance with the requirements for public involvement in § 212.52, the requirements for coordination with governmental entities in § 212.53, and the criteria in § 212.55, and shall be reflected on a motor vehicle use map pursuant to § 212.56.


§ 212.55 Criteria for designation of roads, trails, and areas.

(a) General criteria for designation of National Forest System roads, National Forest System trails, and areas on National Forest System lands. In designating National Forest System roads, National Forest System trails, and areas on National Forest System lands for motor vehicle use, the responsible official shall consider effects on National Forest System natural and cultural resources, public safety, provision of recreational opportunities, access needs, conflicts among uses of National Forest System lands, the need for maintenance and administration of roads, trails, and areas that would arise if the uses under consideration are designated; and the availability of resources for that maintenance and administration.


(b) Specific criteria for designation of trails and areas. In addition to the criteria in paragraph (a) of this section, in designating National Forest System trails and areas on National Forest System lands, the responsible official shall consider effects on the following, with the objective of minimizing:


(1) Damage to soil, watershed, vegetation, and other forest resources;


(2) Harassment of wildlife and significant disruption of wildlife habitats;


(3) Conflicts between motor vehicle use and existing or proposed recreational uses of National Forest System lands or neighboring Federal lands; and


(4) Conflicts among different classes of motor vehicle uses of National Forest System lands or neighboring Federal lands.


In addition, the responsible official shall consider:


(5) Compatibility of motor vehicle use with existing conditions in populated areas, taking into account sound, emissions, and other factors.


(c) Specific criteria for designation of roads. In addition to the criteria in paragraph (a) of this section, in designating National Forest System roads, the responsible official shall consider:


(1) Speed, volume, composition, and distribution of traffic on roads; and


(2) Compatibility of vehicle class with road geometry and road surfacing.


(d) Rights of access. In making designations pursuant to this subpart, the responsible official shall recognize:


(1) Valid existing rights; and


(2) The rights of use of National Forest System roads and National Forest System trails under § 212.6(b).


(e) Wilderness areas and primitive areas. National Forest System roads, National Forest System trails, and areas on National Forest System lands in wilderness areas or primitive areas shall not be designated for motor vehicle use pursuant to this section, unless, in the case of wilderness areas, motor vehicle use is authorized by the applicable enabling legislation for those areas.


§ 212.56 Identification of designated roads, trails, and areas.

Designated roads, trails, and areas shall be identified on a motor vehicle use map. Motor vehicle use maps shall be made available to the public at the headquarters of corresponding administrative units and Ranger Districts of the National Forest System and, as soon as practicable, on the website of corresponding administrative units and Ranger Districts. The motor vehicle use maps shall specify the classes of vehicles and, if appropriate, the times of year for which use is designated.


§ 212.57 Monitoring of effects of motor vehicle use on designated roads and trails and in designated areas.

For each administrative unit of the National Forest System, the responsible official shall monitor the effects of motor vehicle use on designated roads and trails and in designated areas under the jurisdiction of that responsible official, consistent with the applicable land management plan, as appropriate and feasible.


Subpart C – Over-Snow Vehicle Use


Authority:7 U.S.C. 1011(f), 16 U.S.C. 551, E.O. 11644, 11989 (42 FR 26959).


Source:70 FR 68290, Nov. 9, 2005, unless otherwise noted.

§ 212.80 Purpose, scope, and definitions.

(a) Purpose. This subpart provides for a system of National Forest System roads, National Forest System trails, and areas on National Forest System lands that are designated for over-snow vehicle use. After these roads, trails, and areas are designated, over-snow vehicle use not in accordance with these designations is prohibited by 36 CFR 261.14. Over-snow vehicle use off designated roads and trails and outside designated areas is prohibited by 36 CFR 261.14.


(b) Scope. The Responsible Official may incorporate previous administrative decisions regarding over-snow vehicle use made under other authorities in designating National Forest System roads, National Forest System trails, and areas on National Forest System lands for over-snow vehicle use under this subpart.


(c) Definitions. For definitions of terms used in this subpart, refer to § 212.1.


[80 FR 4511, Jan. 28, 2015]


§ 212.81 Over-snow vehicle use.

(a) General. Over-snow vehicle use on National Forest System roads, on National Forest System trails, and in areas on National Forest System lands shall be designated by the Responsible Official on administrative units or Ranger Districts, or parts of administrative units or Ranger Districts, of the National Forest System where snowfall is adequate for that use to occur, and, if appropriate, shall be designated by class of vehicle and time of year, provided that the following uses are exempted from these decisions:


(1) Limited administrative use by the Forest Service;


(2) Use of any fire, military, emergency, or law enforcement vehicle for emergency purposes;


(3) Authorized use of any combat or combat support vehicle for national defense purposes;


(4) Law enforcement response to violations of law, including pursuit; and


(5) Over-snow vehicle use that is specifically authorized under a written authorization issued under Federal law or regulations.


(b) Previous over-snow vehicle decisions. Public notice with no further public involvement is sufficient if an administrative unit or a Ranger District has made previous administrative decisions, under other authorities and including public involvement, which restrict over-snow vehicle use to designated routes and areas over the entire administrative unit or Ranger District, or parts of the administrative unit or Ranger District, where snowfall is adequate for OSV use to occur, and no change is proposed to these previous decisions.


(c) Identification of roads, trails, and areas for over-snow vehicle use. Designation of National Forest System roads, National Forest System trails, and areas on National Forest System lands for over-snow vehicle use shall be reflected on an over-snow vehicle use map. Over-snow vehicle use maps shall be made available to the public at headquarters of corresponding administrative units and Ranger Districts of the National Forest System and, as soon as practicable, on the Web site of the corresponding administrative units and Ranger Districts. Over-snow vehicle use maps shall specify the classes of vehicles and the time of year for which use is designated, if applicable.


(d) Decision-making process. Except as modified in paragraph (b) of this section, the requirements governing designation of National Forest System roads, National Forest System trails, and areas on National Forest System lands in §§ 212.52 (public involvement), 212.53 (coordination), 212.54 (revision), 212.55 (designation criteria (including minimization)), and 212.57 (monitoring), shall apply to decisions made under this subpart. In making decisions under this subpart, the Responsible Official shall recognize the provisions concerning rights of access in sections 811(b) and 1110(a) of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 3121(b) and 3170(a), respectively).


[80 FR 4511, Jan. 28, 2015]


PART 213 – ADMINISTRATION OF LANDS UNDER TITLE III OF THE BANKHEAD-JONES FARM TENANT ACT BY THE FOREST SERVICE


Authority:50 Stat. 525, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 1010-1012.

§ 213.1 Designation, administration, and development of National Grasslands.

(a) The land utilization projects administered by Department of Agriculture designated in paragraph (e) of this section hereafter shall be named and referred to as National Grasslands.


(b) The National Grasslands shall be a part of the National Forest system and permanently held by the Department of Agriculture for administration under the provisions and purposes of title III of the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act.


(c) The National Grasslands shall be administered under sound and progressive principles of land conservation and multiple use, and to promote development of grassland agriculture and sustained-yield management of the forage, fish and wildlife, timber, water and recreational resources in the areas of which the National Grasslands are a part.


(d) In the administration of the National Grasslands the resources shall be managed so as to maintain and improve soil and vegetative cover, and to demonstrate sound and practical principles of land use for the areas in which they are located. The Chief of the Forest Service shall, to the extent such action is feasible provide that policies for management of the Federally-owned lands exert a favorable influence for securing sound land conservation practices on associated private lands.


(e) National Grasslands in the following States and counties are hereby grouped and designated as indicated:


State in which grassland is located
National grassland
Counties where located
CaliforniaButte ValleySiskiyou.
ColoradoPawneeWeld.
ComancheBaca, Los Animas, Otero.
IdahoCurlewOneida, Power.
KansasCimarronMorton, Stevens.
NebraskaOglalaDawes, Sioux.
New MexicoKiowaColfax, Harding, Mora, Union.
North DakotaCedar RiverGrant, Sioux.
SheyenneRansom, Richland.
Little MissouriBillings, Golden Valley, McKenzie, Slope.
OklahomaRita BlancaCimarron.
Oklahoma-TexasBlack KettleRoger Mills (Okla.), Hemphill (Tex.).
OregonCrooked RiverJefferson.
South DakotaBuffalo GapCuster, Fall River, Jackson, Pennington.
Grand RiverCorson, Perkins, Ziebach.
Fort PierreJones, Lyman, Stanley.
TexasLyndon B. JohnsonMontague, Wise.
Rita BlancaDallas.
CaddoFannin.
McClellan CreekGray.
WyomingThunder BasinCampbell, Converse, Crook, Niobrara, Weston.

[25 FR 5845, June 24, 1960, as amended at 27 FR 12217, Dec. 11, 1962; 28 FR 6268, June 19, 1963; 41 FR 38164, Sept. 9, 1976; 56 FR 8280, Feb. 28, 1991]


§ 213.2 Authority for Chief, Forest Service, to group, define, and name national grasslands.

The Chief, Forest Service, is authorized to group the national grasslands into administrative units, define, change or modify their boundaries, and to provide such specific designations therefor as he finds necessary and desirable for effective and economical administration thereof and for public and official reference thereto.


[33 FR 12370, Sept. 4, 1968]


§ 213.3 Protection, occupancy, use, administration, and exercise of reservations.

(a) The rules and regulations applicable to the national forests as set forth in title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, or as hereafter amended, supplemented, or promulgated, are hereby adopted as the rules and regulations to govern the exercise of reservations in conveyances to the United States and to prevent trespasses on and otherwise regulate the protection, use, occupancy, and administration of the National Grasslands and all other lands administered by the Forest Service under the provisions of title III of the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act insofar as is practical and consistent with said act: Provided, That Forest Service officers may continue under delegated authority to acquire lands, to make exchanges, to grant easements and enter into leases, permits, agreements, contracts and memoranda of understanding involving such lands under such terms and conditions and for such consideration, fees or rentals as authorized by title III of the said Act.


(b) Existing valid rights, reservations easements, leases, permits, agreements, contracts and memoranda of understanding affecting these lands shall continue in full force and effect so long as they remain valid in accordance with the terms thereof.


[27 FR 9217, Sept. 18, 1962]


§ 213.4 Prior rules and regulations superseded.

Except as provided in § 213.3, the rules and regulations heretofore issued for the land utilization projects are hereby superseded as to all such projects administered by the Forest Service, but not as to such project lands administered by other agencies.


[27 FR 9217, Sept. 18, 1962]


PART 214 – POSTDECISIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW PROCESS FOR OCCUPANCY OR USE OF NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM LANDS AND RESOURCES


Authority:7 U.S.C. 1011(f); 16 U.S.C. 472, 551.


Source:78 FR 33717, June 5, 2013, unless otherwise noted.

§ 214.1 Purpose and scope.

(a) Purpose. This part provides a fair and deliberate process by which holders, operators, and solicited applicants may appeal certain written decisions issued by Responsible Officials involving written instruments authorizing the occupancy or use of National Forest System lands and resources.


(b) Scope. This part specifies who may appeal, decisions that are appealable and not appealable, the responsibilities of parties to an appeal, and the time periods and procedures that govern the conduct of appeals under this part.


§ 214.2 Definitions.

Appeal. A document filed with an Appeal Deciding Officer in which an individual or entity seeks review of a Forest Service decision under this part.


Appeal Deciding Officer. The Forest Service line officer who is one organizational level above the Responsible Official or the respective Deputy Forest Supervisor, Deputy Regional Forester, or Associate Deputy Chief with the delegation of authority relevant to the provisions of this part.


Appeal decision. The final written decision issued by an Appeal Deciding Officer on an appeal filed under this part which affirms or reverses a Responsible Official’s appealable decision in whole or in part, explains the basis for the decision, and provides additional instructions to the parties as necessary.


Appeal record. Documentation and other information filed with the Appeal Deciding Officer within the relevant time period by parties to the appeal and upon which review of an appeal is conducted.


Appellant. An individual or entity that has filed an appeal under this part.


Cancellation. The invalidation, in whole or in part, of a term grazing permit or an instrument for the disposal of mineral materials.


Discretionary Reviewing Officer. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) or Forest Service official authorized to review an appeal decision by an Appeal Deciding Officer or a decision by the Chief under this part.


Holder. An individual or entity that holds a valid written authorization.


Intervenor. An individual or entity whose request to intervene has been granted by the Appeal Deciding Officer.


Modification. A Responsible Official’s written revision of the terms and conditions of a written authorization.


Operator. An individual or entity conducting or proposing to conduct mineral operations.


Oral presentation. An informal meeting conducted by the Appeal Deciding Officer during which parties to an appeal may present information in support of their position.


Prospectus. An announcement published by the Forest Service soliciting competitive applications for a written authorization.


Responsible Official. The Forest Service line officer who has the delegated authority to make and implement a decision that may be appealed under this part.


Responsive statement. The document filed by the Responsible Official with the Appeal Deciding Officer that addresses the issues raised and relief requested in an appeal.


Revocation. The cessation, in whole or in part, of a written authorization, other than a grazing permit or an instrument for the disposal of mineral materials, by action of Responsible Official before the end of the specified period of occupancy or use.


Solicited applicant. An individual or entity that has submitted a competitive application in response to a prospectus.


Suspension. A temporary revocation or cancellation of a written authorization.


Termination. The cessation of a written authorization by operation of law or by operation of a fixed or agreed-upon condition, event, or time as specified in the authorization, which does not require a decision by a Responsible Official to take effect.


Written authorization. A term grazing permit, plan of operations, special use authorization, mineral material contract or permit, or other type of written instrument issued by the Forest Service or a lease or permit for leasable minerals issued by the U.S. Department of the Interior that authorizes the occupancy or use of National Forest System lands or resources and specifies the terms and conditions under which the occupancy or use may occur.


§ 214.3 Parties to an appeal.

Parties to an appeal under this part are limited to the holder, operator, or solicited applicants who are directly affected by an appealable decision, intervenors, and the Responsible Official.


§ 214.4 Decisions that are appealable.

To be appealable under this part, a decision must be issued by a Responsible Official in writing and must fall into one of the following categories:


(a) Livestock grazing. (1) Modification of a term grazing permit issued under 36 CFR part 222, subpart A. Issuance of annual operating instructions does not constitute a permit modification and is not an appealable decision;


(2) Suspension or cancellation, other than cancellation resulting from the permittee’s waiver to the United States, of a term grazing permit issued under 36 CFR part 222, subpart A;


(3) Denial of reauthorization of livestock grazing under a term grazing permit if the holder files an application for a new permit before the existing permit expires; or


(4) Denial of a term grazing permit to a solicited applicant under 36 CFR part 222, subpart C.


(b) Minerals. (1) Approval or denial of an initial, modified, or supplemental plan of operations or operating plan; requirement of an increase in bond coverage; requirement of measures to avoid irreparable injury, loss, or damage to surface resources pending modification of a plan of operations or operating plan; or issuance of a notice of noncompliance pursuant to 36 CFR part 228, subpart A or D, or part 292, subpart D, F, or G;


(2) Approval or denial of an operating plan, issuance of a notice of noncompliance, or extension, suspension, or cancellation, other than cancellation by mutual agreement, for or of contracts, permits, or prospecting permits for mineral materials issued under 36 CFR part 228, subpart C;


(3) Approval or denial of a surface use plan of operations, request to supplement a surface use plan of operations, suspension of oil and gas operations, or issuance of a notice of noncompliance pursuant to 36 CFR part 228, subpart E;


(4) Consent or denial of consent to the U.S. Department of the Interior’s administration of previously issued leases or permits for leasable minerals other than oil and gas resources;


(5) Suspension or revocation of an operating plan for Federal lands within the Sawtooth National Recreation Area pursuant to 36 CFR part 292, subpart D;


(6) Suspension of locatable mineral operations on National Forest System lands within the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area pursuant to 36 CFR part 292, subpart F;


(7) Suspension of locatable mineral operations on National Forest System lands within the Smith River National Recreation Area or approval of an initial or amended operating plan for exercise of outstanding mineral rights on National Forest System lands within the Smith River National Recreation Area pursuant to 36 CFR part 292, subpart G;


(8) Except as provided in paragraph (7), determinations of the acceptability of an initial or amended operating plan for exercise of outstanding mineral rights on National Forest System lands; or


(9) Determinations of the acceptability of an initial or amended operating plan for exercise of reserved mineral rights located on National Forest System lands.


(c) Special uses. (1) Modification, suspension, or revocation of a special use authorization, other than acceptance of an operating plan, including:


(i) A special use authorization issued under 36 CFR part 251, subpart B or D, other than modification, suspension or revocation of a noncommercial group use permit, suspension or revocation of an easement issued pursuant to 36 CFR 251.53(e) or 251.53(l), or revocation with the consent of the holder;


(ii) A special use authorization issued under 36 CFR part 212, subpart A, for ingress and egress to private lands that are intermingled with or adjacent to National Forest System lands;


(iii) A special use authorization issued under 36 CFR part 251, subpart A, that authorizes the exercise of rights reserved in conveyances to the United States;


(iv) A permit and occupancy agreement issued under 36 CFR 213.3 for national grasslands and other lands administered under Title III of the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act;


(v) A permit issued under 36 CFR 293.13 for access to valid occupancies entirely within a wilderness in the National Forest System.


(vi) A permit issued under the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 and 36 CFR part 296 for excavation or removal of archaeological resources; and


(vii) A special use authorization governing surface use associated with the exercise of outstanding mineral rights;


(2) Denial of a special use authorization to a solicited applicant based on the process used to select a successful applicant;


(3) Implementation of new land use fees for a special use authorization, other than:


(i) Revision or replacement of a land use fee system or schedule that is implemented through public notice and comment; and


(ii) Annual land use fee adjustments based on an inflation factor that are calculated under an established fee system or schedule in accordance with the terms and conditions of a written authorization;


(4) Assignment of a performance rating that affects reissuance or extension of a special use authorization; or


(5) Denial of renewal of a special use authorization if it specifically provides for renewal and if the holder requests renewal of the authorization before it expires.


(d) Other land uses. Denial or revocation of a certification of compliance issued under 36 CFR part 292, subpart C, related to the use, subdivision, and development of privately owned property within the boundaries of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.


(e) Paleontological resources. An authorization or permit issued under the Paleontological Resources Preservation Act of 2009 and 36 CFR part 291 for collection of paleontological resources.


[78 FR 33717, June 5, 2013, as amended at 80 FR 21629, Apr. 17, 2015]


§ 214.5 Decisions that are not appealable.

Holders, operators, and solicited applicants may not appeal under this part any decisions issued by a Responsible Official that are not expressly set forth in § 214.4.


§ 214.6 Notice of an appealable decision.

(a) The Responsible Official shall promptly give written notice of decisions subject to appeal under this part to the affected holder, operator, or solicited applicants and to any holder of a similar written authorization who has made a written request to be notified of a specific decision.


(b) If the decision is appealable, the notice must specify the contents of an appeal, the name and mailing address of the Appeal Deciding Officer, and the filing deadline. The notice shall also include a statement indicating the Responsible Official’s willingness to meet with the affected holder, operator, or solicited applicants to discuss any issues related to the decision and, where applicable, informing term grazing permit holders of the opportunity to request mediation in accordance with 36 CFR 222.20 through 222.26.


(c) If the decision is not appealable, the Responsible Official must include a statement in the written decision informing the affected holder, operator, or solicited applicants that further administrative review of the decision is not available.


§ 214.7 Levels of review.

(a) Appeal. (1) One level of appeal is available for appealable decisions made by District Rangers, Forest or Grassland Supervisors, and Regional Foresters. If a District Ranger is the Responsible Official, the appeal is filed with the Forest or Grassland Supervisor. If a Forest or Grassland Supervisor is the Responsible Official, the appeal is filed with the Regional Forester. If a Regional Forester is the Responsible Official, the appeal is filed with the Chief of the Forest Service.


(2) No appeal is available for decisions made by the Chief.


(b) Discretionary review. (1) Appeal decisions issued by Forest or Grassland Supervisors, Regional Foresters, or the Chief are eligible for discretionary review. If a Forest or Grassland Supervisor is the Appeal Deciding Officer, discretionary review is conducted by the Regional Forester. If a Regional Forester is the Appeal Deciding Officer, discretionary review is conducted by the Chief. If the Chief is the Appeal Deciding Officer, discretionary review is conducted by the Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment.


(2) Decisions made by the Chief that fall into one of the categories enumerated in 36 CFR 214.4 are eligible for discretionary review by the Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment.


§ 214.8 Appeal content.

(a) General requirements for the contents of an appeal. All appeals must include:


(1) The appellant’s name, mailing address, daytime telephone number, and email address, if any;


(2) A brief description of the decision being appealed, including the name and title of the Responsible Official and the date of the decision;


(3) The title or type and, if applicable, identification number for the written authorization and the date of application for or issuance of the written authorization, if applicable;


(4) A statement of how the appellant is adversely affected by the decision being appealed;


(5) A statement of the relevant facts underlying the decision being appealed;


(6) A discussion of issues raised by the decision being appealed, including identification of any laws, regulations, or policies that were allegedly violated in reaching the decision being appealed;


(7) A statement as to whether and how the appellant has attempted to resolve the issues under appeal with the Responsible Official and the date and outcome of those efforts;


(8) A statement of the relief sought;


(9) Any documents and other information upon which the appellant relies; and


(10) The appellant’s signature and the date.


(b) Specific requirements for the contents of an appeal. In addition to the general requirements in § 214.8(a), the following specific requirements must be included in an appeal, where applicable:


(1) A request for an oral presentation under § 214.16;


(2) A request for a stay under § 214.13; and


(3) A request to participate in a state mediation program regarding certain term grazing permit disputes under 36 CFR part 222, subpart B.


§ 214.9 Filing of an appeal.

(a) Timeframe for filing an appeal. An appeal must be filed with the Appeal Deciding Officer within 45 days of the date of the decision.


(b) Method of filing. Appeal documents may be filed in person or by courier, by mail or private delivery service, by facsimile, or by electronic mail. Parties to an appeal are responsible for ensuring timely filing of appeal documents.


§ 214.10 Dismissal of an appeal.

(a) The Appeal Deciding Officer shall dismiss an appeal without review when one or more of the following applies:


(1) The appeal is not filed within the required time period.


(2) The person or entity that filed the appeal is not a holder, an operator, or a solicited applicant of a written authorization that is the subject of the appealable decision.


(3) The decision is not appealable under this part.


(4) The appeal does not meet the content requirements specified in § 214.8(a), provided that an appeal may not be dismissed for failure to include an appraisal report which has not been completed by the filing deadline.


(5) The appellant withdraws the appeal.


(6) The Responsible Official withdraws the written decision that was appealed.


(7) An informal resolution of the dispute is reached pursuant to § 214.15 or a mediated agreement of a term grazing dispute is achieved pursuant to 36 CFR part 222, subpart B.


(8) The requested relief cannot be granted under applicable facts, laws, regulations, or policies.


(b) The Appeal Deciding Officer shall give written notice of the dismissal of an appeal and shall set forth the reasons for dismissal.


§ 214.11 Intervention.

(a) Eligibility to intervene. To participate as an intervenor in appeals under this part, a party must:


(1) Be a holder, an operator, or a solicited applicant who claims an interest relating to the subject matter of the decision being appealed and is so situated that disposition of the appeal may impair that interest; and


(2) File a written request to intervene with the Appeal Deciding Officer within 15 days after an appeal has been filed.


(b) Request to intervene. A request to intervene must include:


(1) The requester’s name, mailing address, daytime telephone number, and email address, if any;


(2) A brief description of the decision being appealed, including the name and title of the Responsible Official and the date of the decision;


(3) The title or type and, if applicable, identification number for the written authorization and the date of application for or issuance of the written authorization, if applicable;


(4) A description of the requester’s interest in the appeal and how disposition of the appeal may impair that interest;


(5) A discussion of the factual and legal allegations in the appeal with which the requester agrees or disagrees;


(6) A description of additional facts and issues that are not raised in the appeal that the requester believes are relevant and should be considered;


(7) A description of the relief sought, particularly as it differs from the relief sought by the appellant;


(8) Where applicable, a response to the appellant’s request for a stay of the decision being appealed;


(9) Where applicable, a response to the appellant’s request for an oral presentation;


(10) Where applicable, a response to the appellant’s request for mediation of a term grazing permit dispute under 36 CFR part 222, subpart B; and


(11) The requester’s signature and the date.


(c) Response to a request to intervene. The appellant and Responsible Official shall have 5 days from receipt of a request to intervene to file a written response with the Appeal Deciding Officer.


(d) Intervention decision. The Appeal Deciding Officer shall have 5 days after the date a response to a request to intervene is due to issue a decision granting or denying the request. The Appeal Deciding Officer’s decision shall be in writing and shall briefly explain the basis for granting or denying the request. The Appeal Deciding Officer shall deny a request to intervene or shall withdraw a decision granting intervenor status as moot if the corresponding appeal is dismissed under § 214.10.


§ 214.12 Responsive statement and reply.

(a) Responsive statement. The Responsible Official shall prepare a responsive statement addressing the factual and legal allegations in the appeal. The responsive statement and any supporting documentation shall be filed with the Appeal Deciding Officer within 20 days of receipt of the appeal or the unsuccessful conclusion of mediation conducted pursuant to 36 CFR part 222, subpart B, whichever is later.


(b) Reply. Within 10 days of receipt of the responsive statement, the appellant and intervenors, if any, may file a reply with the Appeal Deciding Officer addressing the contentions in the responsive statement.


§ 214.13 Stays.

(a) Implementation. An appealable decision shall be implemented unless an authorized stay is granted under § 214.13(b) or an automatic stay goes into effect under § 214.13(c).


(b) Authorized stays. Except where a stay automatically goes into effect under § 214.13(c), the Appeal Deciding Officer may grant a written request to stay the decision that is the subject of an appeal under this part.


(1) Stay request. To obtain a stay, an appellant must include a request for a stay in the appeal pursuant to § 214.8(b)(2) and a statement explaining the need for a stay. The statement must include, at a minimum:


(i) A description of the adverse impact on the appellant if a stay is not granted;


(ii) A description of the adverse impact on National Forest System lands and resources if a stay is not granted; or


(iii) An explanation as to how a meaningful decision on the merits of the appeal could not be achieved if a stay is not granted.


(2) Stay response. The Responsible Official may support, oppose, or take no position in the responsive statement regarding the appellant’s stay request. Intervenors may support, oppose, or take no position in the intervention request regarding the appellant’s stay request.


(3) Stay decision. The Appeal Deciding Officer shall issue a decision granting or denying a stay request within 10 days after a responsive statement or an intervention request is filed, whichever is later. The stay decision shall be in writing and shall briefly explain the basis for granting or denying the stay request.


(c) Automatic stays. The following decisions are automatically stayed once an appeal is filed by a holder, operator, or solicited applicant:


(1) Decisions to issue a written authorization pursuant to a prospectus;


(2) Decisions to recalculate revenue-based land use fees for a special use authorization pursuant to an audit issued after June 5, 2013; and


(3) Decisions to cancel or suspend a term grazing permit subject to mediation under 36 CFR 222.20 and for which mediation is requested in accordance with that provision.


(d) Stay duration. Authorized stays and automatic stays under § 214.13(c)(1) and (c)(2) shall remain in effect until a final administrative decision is issued in the appeal, unless they are modified or lifted in accordance with § 214.13(e). Automatic stays under § 214.13(c)(3) shall remain in effect for the duration of the mediation period as provided in 36 CFR 222.22.


(e) Modification or lifting of a stay. The Appeal Deciding Officer or a Discretionary Reviewing Officer may modify or lift an authorized stay based upon a written request by a party to the appeal who demonstrates that the circumstances have changed since the stay was granted and that it is unduly burdensome or unfair to maintain the stay.


§ 214.14 Conduct of an appeal.

(a) Evidence of timely filing. The Appeal Deciding Officer shall determine the timeliness of an appeal by the following indicators:


(1) The date of the U.S. Postal Service postmark for an appeal received before the close of the fifth business day after the appeal filing date;


(2) The electronically generated posted date and time for email and facsimiles;


(3) The shipping date for delivery by private carrier for an appeal received before the close of the fifth business day after the appeal filing date; or


(4) The official agency date stamp showing receipt of hand delivery.


(b) Computation of time. (1) A time period in this part begins on the first day following the event or action triggering the time period.


(2) All time periods shall be computed using calendar days, including Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays. However, if a time period ends on a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday, the time period is extended to the end of the next Federal business day.


(c) Extensions of time – (1) In general. Parties to an appeal, Appeal Deciding Officers, and Discretionary Reviewing Officers shall meet the time periods specified in this part, unless an extension of time has been granted under paragraph (c)(3) of this section. Extension requests from parties to an appeal shall be made in writing, shall explain the need for the extension, and shall be transmitted to the Appeal Deciding Officer.


(2) Time periods that may not be extended. The following time periods may not be extended:


(i) The time period for filing an appeal;


(ii) The time period to decide whether to conduct discretionary review of an appeal decision or a Chief’s decision; and


(iii) The time period to issue a discretionary review decision.


(3) Time periods that may be extended. Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, all time periods in this part may be extended upon written request by a party to an appeal and a finding of good cause for the extension by the Appeal Deciding Officer. Written requests for extensions of time will be automatically granted by the Appeal Deciding Officer where the parties to an appeal represent that they are working in good faith to resolve the dispute and that additional time would facilitate negotiation of a mutually agreeable resolution.


(4) Decision. The Appeal Deciding Officer shall have 10 days to issue a decision granting or denying the extension request. The decision shall be in writing and shall briefly explain the basis for granting or denying the request.


(5) Duration. Ordinarily, extensions that add more than 60 days to the appeal period should not be granted.


(d) Procedural orders. The Appeal Deciding Officer may issue procedural orders as necessary for the orderly, expeditious, and fair conduct of an appeal under this part.


(e) Consolidation of appeals. (1) The Appeal Deciding Officer may consolidate multiple appeals of the same decision or of similar decisions involving common issues of fact and law and issue one appeal decision.


(2) The Responsible Official may prepare one responsive statement for consolidated appeals.


(f) Requests for additional information. The Appeal Deciding Officer may ask parties to an appeal for additional information to clarify appeal issues. If necessary, the Appeal Deciding Officer may extend appeal time periods per paragraph (c)(3) of this section to allow for submission of the additional information and to give the other parties an opportunity to review and comment on it.


(g) Service of documents. (1) Parties to an appeal shall send a copy of all documents filed in the appeal to all other parties, including the appellant’s sending a copy of the appeal to the Responsible Official, at the same time the original is filed with the Appeal Deciding Officer. All filings in an appeal must be accompanied by a signed and dated certificate of service attesting that all other parties have been served. Prospective intervenors shall send a copy of their request to intervene to all parties to the appeal at the same time the original is filed with the Appeal Deciding Officer. Each party and prospective intervenor is responsible for identifying the parties to the appeal and may contact the Appeal Deciding Officer for assistance regarding their names and addresses. Filings in an appeal shall not be considered by the Appeal Deciding Officer unless they are accompanied by a certificate of service.


(2) All decisions and orders issued by the Appeal Deciding Officer and the Discretionary Reviewing Officer related to the appeal shall be in writing and shall be sent to all parties to the appeal.


(h) Posting of final decisions. Once a final appeal decision or discretionary review decision has been issued, its availability shall be posted on the Web site of the national forest or national grassland or region that issued the appealable decision or on the Web site of the Washington Office for Chief’s decisions.


(i) Expenses. Each party to an appeal shall bear its own expenses, including costs associated with preparing the appeal, participating in an oral presentation, obtaining information regarding the appeal, and retaining professional consultants or counsel.


§ 214.15 Resolution of issues prior to an appeal decision.

(a) The Responsible Official may discuss an appeal with a party or parties to narrow issues, agree on facts, and explore opportunities to resolve one or more of the issues in dispute by means other than issuance of an appeal decision.


(b) The Responsible Official who issued a decision under appeal may withdraw the decision, in whole or in part, during an appeal to resolve one or more issues in dispute. The Responsible Official shall notify the parties to the appeal and the Appeal Deciding Officer of the withdrawal. If the withdrawal of the decision eliminates all the issues in dispute in the appeal, the Appeal Deciding Officer shall dismiss the appeal under § 214.10.


§ 214.16 Oral presentation.

(a) Purpose. The purpose of an oral presentation is to provide parties to an appeal with an opportunity to discuss their concerns regarding the appealable decision with the Appeal Deciding Officer.


(b) Procedure. Oral presentations are not evidentiary proceedings involving examination and cross-examination of witnesses and are not subject to formal rules of procedure.


(c) Scope. Oral presentations shall be conducted in an informal manner and shall be limited to clarifying or elaborating upon information that has already been filed with the Appeal Deciding Officer. New information may be presented only if it could not have been raised earlier in the appeal and if it would be unfair and prejudicial to exclude it.


(d) Requests. A request for an oral presentation included in an appeal shall be granted by the Appeal Deciding Officer unless the appeal has been dismissed under § 214.10.


(e) Availability. Oral presentations may be conducted during appeal of a decision, but not during discretionary review.


(f) Scheduling and rules. The Appeal Deciding Officer shall conduct the oral presentation within 10 days of the date a reply to the responsive statement is due. The Appeal Deciding Officer shall notify the parties of the date, time, and location of the oral presentation and the procedures to be followed.


(g) Participation. All parties to an appeal are eligible to participate in the oral presentation. At the discretion of the Appeal Deciding Officer, non-parties may observe the oral presentation, but are not eligible to participate.


(h) Summaries and transcripts. A summary of an oral presentation may be included in the appeal record only if it is submitted to the Appeal Deciding Officer by a party to the appeal at the end of the oral presentation. A transcript of an oral presentation prepared by a certified court reporter may be included in the appeal record if the transcript is filed with the Appeal Deciding Officer within 10 days of the date of the oral presentation and if the transcript is paid for by those who requested it.


§ 214.17 Appeal record.

(a) Location. The Appeal Deciding Officer shall maintain the appeal record in one location.


(b) Contents. The appeal record shall consist of information filed with the Appeal Deciding Officer, including the appealable decision, appeal, intervention request, responsive statement, reply, oral presentation summary or transcript, procedural orders and other rulings, and any correspondence or other documentation related to the appeal as determined by the Appeal Deciding Officer.


(c) Closing of the record. (1) The Appeal Deciding Officer shall close the appeal record on:


(i) The day after the date the reply to the responsive statement is due if no oral presentation is conducted;


(ii) The day after the oral presentation is conducted if no transcript of the oral presentation is being prepared; or


(iii) The day after the date a transcript of the oral presentation is due if one is being prepared.


(2) The Appeal Deciding Officer shall notify all parties to the appeal of closing of the record.


(d) Inspection by the public. The appeal record is open for public inspection in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, and 7 CFR part 1.


§ 214.18 Appeal decision.

(a) Appeal decisions made by the Appeal Deciding Officer shall be issued within 30 days of the date the appeal record is closed.


(b) The appeal decision shall be based solely on the appeal record and oral presentation, if one is conducted.


(c) The appeal decision shall conform to all applicable laws, regulations, policies, and procedures.


(d) The appeal decision may affirm or reverse the appealable decision, in whole or in part. The appeal decision must specify the basis for affirmation or reversal and may include instructions for further action by the Responsible Official.


(e) Except where a decision to conduct discretionary review has been made and a discretionary review decision has been issued, the appeal decision shall constitute USDA’s final administrative decision.


§ 214.19 Procedures for discretionary review.

(a) Initiation. (1) One day after issuance of an appeal decision, the Appeal Deciding Officer shall send a copy of the appeal decision, appeal, and appealable decision to the Discretionary Reviewing Officer to determine whether discretionary review of the appeal decision should be conducted.


(2) One day after issuance of a Chief’s decision that is eligible for discretionary review under § 214.7(b)(2), the Chief shall send the decision to the Discretionary Reviewing Officer to determine whether discretionary review should be conducted.


(b) Criteria for determining whether to conduct discretionary review. In deciding whether to conduct discretionary review, the Discretionary Reviewing Officer should, at a minimum, consider the degree of controversy surrounding the decision, the potential for litigation, and the extent to which the decision establishes precedent or new policy.


(c) Time period. Upon receipt of the appeal decision, appeal, and appealable decision or Chief’s decision, the Discretionary Reviewing Officer shall have 30 days to determine whether to conduct discretionary review and may request the appeal record or the record related to the Chief’s decision during that time to assist in making that determination. If a request for the record is made, it must be transmitted to the Discretionary Reviewing Officer within 5 days.


(d) Notification. The Discretionary Reviewing Officer shall notify the parties and the Appeal Deciding Officer in writing of a decision to conduct discretionary review. The Discretionary Reviewing Officer may notify the parties and the Appeal Deciding Officer of a decision not to conduct discretionary review within 30 days. If the Discretionary Reviewing Officer takes no action within 30 days of receipt of the appeal decision, appeal, and appealable decision or Chief’s decision, the appeal decision or Chief’s decision shall constitute USDA’s final administrative decision.


(e) Scope of discretionary review and issuance of a discretionary review decision. Discretionary review shall be limited to the record. No additional information shall be considered by the Discretionary Reviewing Officer. The Discretionary Reviewing Officer shall have 30 days to issue a discretionary review decision after notification of the parties and Appeal Deciding Officer has occurred pursuant to § 214.19(d). The Discretionary Reviewing Officer’s decision shall constitute USDA’s final administrative decision. If a discretionary review decision is not issued within 30 days following the notification of the decision to conduct discretionary review, the appeal decision or Chief’s decision shall constitute USDA’s final administrative decision.


§ 214.20 Exhaustion of administrative remedies.

Per 7 U.S.C. 6912(e), judicial review of a decision that is appealable under this part is premature unless the plaintiff has exhausted the administrative remedies under this part.


§ 214.21 Information collection requirements.

The rules of this part governing appeal of decisions relating to occupancy or use of National Forest System lands and resources specify the information that an appellant must provide in an appeal. Therefore, these rules contain information collection requirements as defined in 5 CFR part 1320. These information collection requirements are assigned Office of Management and Budget Control Number 0596-0231.


§ 214.22 Applicability and effective date.

This part prescribes the procedure for administrative review of appealable decisions and Chief’s decisions set forth in § 214.4 issued on or after June 5, 2013.


PART 215 [RESERVED]

PART 216 – PUBLIC NOTICE AND COMMENT FOR STANDARDS, CRITERIA, AND GUIDANCE APPLICABLE TO FOREST SERVICE PROGRAMS


Authority:16 U.S.C. 1612(a).


Source:83 FR 13649, March 30, 2018, unless otherwise noted.

§ 216.1 Purpose and scope.

(a) This part sets forth the process that the Forest Service will use to ensure adequate notice and an opportunity for comment from the public, Tribal, State and local governments, and other Federal agencies with respect to the formulation in Forest Service directives of standards, criteria, and guidelines applicable to Forest Service programs. Nothing in this Part restricts the Forest Service from providing additional public participation opportunities, including public hearings, where appropriate.


(b) This part applies to the formulation in Forest Service directives of standards, criteria, and guidelines applicable to Forest Service programs. This part does not apply to Forest Service directives pertaining to law enforcement and investigations; personnel matters; procurement; administrative support activities such as budget and finance; business operations; and activities undertaken by the Forest Service on behalf of other Federal agencies. To the extent that any other part in this chapter of the Code of Federal Regulations requires greater opportunities for the public to participate with respect to policymaking or the issuance of directives than are required by this part, the other Part shall be controlling.


§ 216.2 Definition.

Directive means the contents of the Forest Service Manual and Forest Service Handbooks issued as described at 36 CFR 200.4(c).


[85 FR 2864, Jan. 16, 2020]


§ 216.3 Notice and an opportunity for public comment.

(a) Prior to issuing a final directive subject to this part, the Forest Service shall:


(1) Provide notice to the public of a proposed directive or interim directive and provide an opportunity to submit comments during a comment period of not less than 30 days in accordance with the requirements this section; and,


(2) Review, consider and respond to timely comments received.


(b) Notices required by paragraph (a) of this section shall:


(1) Be published on a schedule for proposed directives and interim directives maintained by the Forest Service in a centralized repository on the Forest Service website.


(2) Provide a physical mailing address and an internet address or similar online resource for submitting comments.


(c) Notices of final directives shall be published on a schedule on the Forest Service website.


[83 FR 13649, March 30, 2018, as amended at 85 FR 2864, Jan. 16, 2020]


§ 216.4 Interim directives.

Upon a finding of good cause that an exigency exists, an interim directive may be effective in advance of providing notice and an opportunity for public comment. As described in § 216.3, opportunity will be given for public comment before the interim directive is made final. The basis for the determination that good cause exists for the issuance of an interim directive shall be published at the time the directive is issued.


PART 218 – PROJECT-LEVEL PREDECISIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW PROCESS


Authority:Pub. L. 108-148, 117 Stat 1887 (16 U.S.C. 6515 note); Sec. 428, Pub. L. 112-74 125 Stat 1046; Sec. 431, Pub. L. 113-76; Sec. 8006, Pub. L. 113-79.



Source:78 FR 18497, Mar. 27, 2013, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A – General Provisions

§ 218.1 Purpose and scope.

This subpart establishes a predecisional administrative review (hereinafter referred to as “objection”) process for proposed actions of the Forest Service concerning projects and activities implementing land and resource management plans documented with a Record of Decision or Decision Notice, including proposed authorized hazardous fuel reduction projects as defined in the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 (HFRA). The objection process is the sole means by which administrative review of qualifying projects.


(a) This subpart A provides the general provisions of the objection process, including who may file objections to proposed projects and activities, the responsibilities of the participants in an objection, and the procedures that apply for review of the objection.


(b) Subpart B of this part includes provisions that are specific to proposed projects and activities implementing land and resource management plans documented with a Record of Decision or Decision Notice, except those authorized under the HFRA.


(c) Subpart C of this part includes provisions that are specific to proposed hazardous fuel reduction projects authorized under the HFRA.


§ 218.2 Definitions.

The following definitions apply to this part:


Address. An individual’s or organization’s current physical mailing address. An email address alone is not sufficient.


Authorized hazardous fuel reduction project. A hazardous fuel reduction project authorized by the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 (HFRA).


Decision notice (DN). A concise written record of a responsible official’s decision when an environmental assessment and a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) have been prepared (36 CFR 220.3). The draft decision notice made available pursuant to § 218.7(b) will include a draft FONSI unless an environmental impact statement is expected to be prepared.


Entity. For purposes of eligibility to file an objection (§ 218.5), an entity includes non-governmental organizations, businesses, partnerships, state and local governments, Alaska Native Corporations, and Indian Tribes.


Environmental assessment (EA). A concise public document for which a Federal agency is responsible that provides sufficient evidence and analysis for determining whether to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) or a finding of no significant impact (FONSI), aids an agency’s compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) when no EIS is necessary, and facilitates preparation of a statement when one is necessary (40 CFR 1508.9(a)).


Environmental impact statement (EIS). A detailed written statement as required by Section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 (40 CFR 1508.11).


Forest Service line officer. The Chief of the Forest Service or a Forest Service official who serves in the direct line of command from the Chief.


Lead objector. For an objection submitted with multiple individuals and/or entities listed, the individual or entity identified to represent all other objectors for the purposes of communication, written or otherwise, regarding the objection.


Name. The first and last name of an individual or the complete name of an entity. An electronic username is insufficient for identification of an individual or entity.


National Forest System land. All lands, waters, or interests therein administered by the Forest Service (36 CFR 251.51).


Newspaper(s) of record. Those principal newspapers of general circulation annually identified in a list and published in the Federal Register by each regional forester to be used for publishing notices of projects and activities implementing land management plans.


Objection. The written document filed with a reviewing officer by an individual or entity seeking predecisional administrative review of a proposed project or activity implementing a land management plan, including proposed HFRA-authorized hazardous fuel reduction projects, and documented with an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.


Objection filing period. The period following publication of the legal notice in the newspaper of record of an environmental assessment and draft Decision Notice, or final environmental impact statement and draft Record of Decision, for a proposed project or activity during which an objection may be filed with the reviewing officer (§ 218.7(c)(2)(iii) and § 218.6(a) and (b)). When the Chief is the responsible official the objection period begins following publication of a notice in the Federal Register (§ 218.7(c)(2)(iii)). The objection filing period closes at 11:59 p.m. in the time zone of the receiving office on the last day of the filing period (§ 218.6(a)).


Objection process. The procedures established in this subpart for predecisional administrative review of proposed projects or activities implementing land management plans, including proposed HFRA-authorized hazardous fuel reduction projects.


Objector. An individual or entity filing an objection who submitted written comments specific to the proposed project or activity during scoping or other opportunity for public comment. The use of the term “objector” applies to all persons or entities who meet eligibility requirements associated with the filed objection (§ 218.5).


Record of decision (ROD). A document signed by a responsible official recording a decision that was preceded by preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) (see 40 CFR 1505.2).


Responsible official. The Agency employee who has the authority to make and implement a decision on a proposed action subject to this part.


Specific written comments. Written comments are those submitted to the responsible official or designee during a designated opportunity for public participation (§ 218.5(a)) provided for a proposed project. Written comments can include submission of transcriptions or other notes from oral statements or presentation. For the purposes of this rule, specific written comments should be within the scope of the proposed action, have a direct relationship to the proposed action, and must include supporting reasons for the responsible official to consider.


§ 218.3 Reviewing officer.

(a) The reviewing officer is the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) or Forest Service official having the delegated authority and responsibility to review an objection filed under this part. For project or activity proposals made below the level of the Chief, the reviewing officer is the Forest Service line officer at the next higher administrative level above the responsible official, or the respective Associate Deputy Chief, Deputy Regional Forester, or Deputy Forest Supervisor with the delegation of authority relevant to the provisions of this part. When a project or activity proposal is made by the Chief, the Secretary of Agriculture or Under Secretary, Natural Resources and Environment is the reviewing officer.


(b) The reviewing officer determines procedures to be used for processing objections when the procedures are not specifically described in this part, including, to the extent practicable, such procedures as needed to be compatible with the administrative review processes of other Federal agencies, when projects are proposed jointly. Such determinations are not subject to further administrative review.


§ 218.4 Proposed projects and activities not subject to objection.

Proposed projects and activities are not subject to objection when no timely, specific written comments regarding the proposed project or activity (see § 218.2) are received during any designated opportunity for public comment (see § 218.5(a)). The responsible official must issue a statement in the Record of Decision or Decision Notice that the project or activity was not subject to objection.


§ 218.5 Who may file an objection.

(a) Individuals and entities as defined in § 218.2 who have submitted timely, specific written comments regarding a proposed project or activity that is subject to these regulations during any designated opportunity for public comment may file an objection. Opportunity for public comment on a draft EIS includes request for comments during scoping, the 40 CFR 1506.10 comment period, or other public involvement opportunity where written comments are requested by the responsible official. Opportunity for public comment on an EA includes during scoping or any other instance where the responsible official seeks written comments.


(b) Federally-recognized Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations are also eligible to file an objection when specific written comments as defined in § 218.2 are provided during Federal-Tribal consultations.


(c) Comments received from an authorized representative(s) of an entity are considered those of the entity only. Individual members of that entity do not meet objection eligibility requirements solely on the basis of membership in an entity. A member or an individual must submit timely, specific written comments independently in order to be eligible to file an objection in an individual capacity.


(d) When an objection lists multiple individuals or entities, each individual or entity must meet the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section. If the objection does not identify a lead objector as required at § 218.8(d)(3), the reviewing officer will delegate the first eligible objector on the list as the lead objector. Individuals or entities listed on an objection that do not meet eligibility requirements will not be considered objectors. Objections from individuals or entities that do not meet the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section will not be accepted and will be documented as such in the objection record.


(e) Federal agencies may not file objections.


(f) Federal employees who otherwise meet the requirements of this subpart for filing objections in a non-official capacity must comply with Federal conflict of interest statutes at 18 U.S.C. 202-209 and with employee ethics requirements at 5 CFR part 2635. Specifically, employees must not be on official duty nor use Government property or equipment in the preparation or filing of an objection. Further, employees must not use or otherwise incorporate information unavailable to the public, such as Federal agency documents that are exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552(b)).


§ 218.6 Computation of time periods.

(a) Computation. All time periods are computed using calendar days, including Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays. However, when the time period expires on a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday, the time is extended to the end of the next Federal working day as stated in the legal notice (11:59 p.m. in the time zone of the receiving office for objections filed by electronic means such as email or facsimile).


(b) Starting date. The day after publication of the legal notice required by § 218.7(c) is the first day of the objection-filing period.


(c) Publication date. The publication date of the legal notice of the EA or final EIS in the newspaper of record or, when the Chief is the responsible official, the Federal Register, is the exclusive means for calculating the time to file an objection. Objectors may not rely on dates or timeframe information provided by any other source.


(d) Extensions. Time extensions are not permitted except as provided at paragraph (a) of this section, and § 218.26(b).


§ 218.7 Giving notice of objection process for proposed projects and activities subject to objection.

(a) In addition to the notification required in paragraph (c) of this section, the responsible official must disclose during scoping and in the EA or EIS that the proposed project or activity is:


(1) A hazardous fuel reduction project as defined by the HFRA, section 101(2), that is subject to subparts A and C of this part, or


(2) A project or activity implementing a land management plan and not authorized under the HFRA, that is subject to subparts A and B of this part.


(b) The responsible official must promptly make available the final EIS or the EA, and a draft Record of Decision (ROD) or draft Decision Notice (DN) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), to those who have requested the documents or are eligible to file an objection in accordance with § 218.5(a).


(c) Upon distribution, legal notice of the opportunity to object to a proposed project or activity must be published in the applicable newspaper of record identified as defined in § 218.2 for the National Forest System unit. When the Chief is the responsible official, notice must be published in the Federal Register. The legal notice or Federal Register notice must:


(1) Include the name of the proposed project or activity, a concise description of the draft decision and any proposed land management plan amendments, name and title of the responsible official, name of the forest and/or district on which the proposed project or activity will occur, instructions for obtaining a copy of the final EIS or EA and draft ROD or DN as defined in § 218.2, and instructions on how to obtain additional information on the proposed project or activity.


(2) State that the proposed project or activity is subject to the objection process pursuant to 36 CFR part 218; identify whether the special procedures of subpart B or subpart C of this part are applicable; and include the following:


(i) Name and address of the reviewing officer with whom an objection is to be filed. The notice must specify a street, postal, fax, and email address, the acceptable format(s) for objections filed electronically, and the reviewing officer’s business hours for those filing hand-delivered objections.


(ii) A statement that objections will be accepted only from those who have previously submitted specific written comments regarding the proposed project during scoping or other designated opportunity for public comment in accordance with § 218.5(a). The statement must also specify that issues raised in objections must be based on previously submitted timely, specific written comments regarding the proposed project unless based on new information arising after designated opportunities.


(iii) A statement that the publication date of the legal notice in the newspaper of record or Federal Register notice is the exclusive means for calculating the time to file an objection (see §§ 218.26(a) and 218.32(a)), and that those wishing to object should not rely upon dates or timeframe information provided by any other source. A specific date must not be included in the notice.


(iv) A statement that an objection, including attachments, must be filed (regular mail, fax, email, hand-delivery, express delivery, or messenger service) with the appropriate reviewing officer (see §§ 218.3 and 218.8) within 30 days of the date of publication of the legal notice for the objection process if the proposal is an authorized hazardous fuel reduction project, or within 45 days if the proposal is otherwise a project or activity implementing a land management plan. The statement must also describe the evidence of timely filing in § 218.9.


(v) A statement describing the minimum content requirements of an objection (see § 218.8(d)) and identify that incorporation of documents by reference is permitted only as provided for at § 218.8(b).


(d) Within 4 calendar days of the date of publication of the legal notice in the newspaper of record or, when applicable, the Federal Register, a digital image of the legal notice or Federal Register publication, or the exact text of the notice, must be made available on the Web. Such postings must clearly indicate the date the notice was published in the newspaper of record or Federal Register, and the name of the publication.


(e) Through notice published annually in the Federal Register, each regional forester must advise the public of the newspaper(s) of record utilized for publishing legal notice required by this part.


§ 218.8 Filing an objection.

(a) Objections must be filed with the reviewing officer in writing. All objections are available for public inspection during and after the objection process.


(b) Incorporation of documents by reference is not allowed, except for the following list of items that may be referenced by including date, page, and section of the cited document, along with a description of its content and applicability to the objection. All other documents must be included with the objection.


(1) All or any part of a Federal law or regulation.


(2) Forest Service directives and land management plans.


(3) Documents referenced by the Forest Service in the proposed project EA or EIS that is subject to objection.


(4) Comments previously provided to the Forest Service by the objector during public involvement opportunities for the proposed project where written comments were requested by the responsible official.


(c) Issues raised in objections must be based on previously submitted specific written comments regarding the proposed project or activity and attributed to the objector, unless the issue is based on new information that arose after the opportunities for comment. The burden is on the objector to demonstrate compliance with this requirement for objection issues (see paragraph (d)(6) of this section).


(d) At a minimum, an objection must include the following:


(1) Objector’s name and address as defined in § 218.2, with a telephone number, if available;


(2) Signature or other verification of authorship upon request (a scanned signature for electronic mail may be filed with the objection);


(3) When multiple names are listed on an objection, identification of the lead objector as defined in § 218.2. Verification of the identity of the lead objector must be provided upon request or the reviewing officer will designate a lead objector as provided in § 218.5(d);


(4) The name of the proposed project, the name and title of the responsible official, and the name(s) of the national forest(s) and/or ranger district(s) on which the proposed project will be implemented;


(5) A description of those aspects of the proposed project addressed by the objection, including specific issues related to the proposed project; if applicable, how the objector believes the environmental analysis or draft decision specifically violates law, regulation, or policy; suggested remedies that would resolve the objection; supporting reasons for the reviewing officer to consider; and


(6) A statement that demonstrates the connection between prior specific written comments on the particular proposed project or activity and the content of the objection, unless the objection concerns an issue that arose after the designated opportunity(ies) for comment (see paragraph (c) of this section).


§ 218.9 Evidence of timely filing.

(a) It is the objector’s responsibility to ensure timely filing of a written objection with the reviewing officer. Timeliness must be determined by the following indicators:


(1) The date of the U.S. Postal Service postmark for an objection received before the close of the fifth business day after the objection filing period;


(2) The agency’s electronically generated posted date and time for email and facsimiles;


(3) The shipping date for delivery by private carrier for an objection received before the close of the fifth business day after the objection filing period; or


(4) The official agency date stamp showing receipt of hand delivery.


(b) For emailed objections, the sender should receive an automated electronic acknowledgement from the agency as confirmation of receipt. If the sender does not receive an automated acknowledgment of receipt of the objection, it is the sender’s responsibility to ensure timely filing by other means.


§ 218.10 Objections set aside from review.

(a) The reviewing officer must set aside and not review an objection when one or more of the following applies:


(1) Objections are not filed in a timely manner (see §§ 218.7(c)(2)(v) and 218.9).


(2) The proposed project is not subject to the objection procedures in §§ 218.1, 218.4, 218.20, and 218.31.


(3) The individual or entity did not submit timely and specific written comments regarding the proposed project or activity during scoping or another designated opportunity for public comment (see § 218.5(a)).


(4) Except for issues that arose after the opportunities for comment, none of the issues included in the objection are based on previously submitted specific written comments and the objector has not provided a statement demonstrating a connection between the comments and objection issues (see §§ 218.8(c) and 218.8(d)(6)).


(5) The objection does not provide sufficient information as required by § 218.8(d)(5) and (6) for the reviewing officer to review.


(6) The objector withdraws the objection.


(7) An objector’s identity is not provided or cannot be determined from the signature (written or electronically scanned) and a reasonable means of contact is not provided (see § 218.8(d)(1) and (2)).


(8) The objection is illegible for any reason, including submissions in an electronic format different from that specified in the legal notice.


(9) The responsible official cancels the objection process underway to reinitiate the objection procedures at a later date or withdraw the proposed project or activity.


(b) The reviewing officer must give prompt written notice to the objector and the responsible official when an objection is set aside from review and must state the reasons for not reviewing the objection. If the objection is set aside from review for reasons of illegibility or lack of a means of contact, the reasons must be documented and a copy placed in the objection record.


§ 218.11 Resolution of objections.

(a) Meetings. Prior to the issuance of the reviewing officer’s written response, either the reviewing officer or the objector may request to meet to discuss issues raised in the objection and potential resolution. The reviewing officer has the discretion to determine whether adequate time remains in the review period to make a meeting with the objector practical, the appropriate date, duration, agenda, and location for any meeting, and how the meeting will be conducted to facilitate the most beneficial dialogue; e.g., face-to-face office meeting, project site visit, teleconference, video conference, etc. The responsible official should be a participant along with the reviewing officer in any objection resolution meeting. Meetings are not required to be noticed but are open to attendance by the public, and the reviewing officer will determine whether those other than objectors may participate.


(b) Reviewing officer’s response to objections. (1) A written response must set forth the reasons for the response, but need not be a point-by-point response and may contain instructions to the responsible official, if necessary. In cases involving more than one objection to a proposed project or activity, the reviewing officer may consolidate objections and issue one or more responses.


(2) No further review from any other Forest Service or USDA official of the reviewing officer’s written response to an objection is available.


§ 218.12 Timing of project decision.

(a) The responsible official may not sign a ROD or DN subject to the provisions of this part until the reviewing officer has responded in writing to all pending objections (see § 218.11(b)(1)).


(b) The responsible official may not sign a ROD or DN subject to the provisions of this part until all concerns and instructions identified by the reviewing officer in the objection response have been addressed.


(c) When no objection is filed within the objection filing period (see §§ 218.26 and 218.32):


(1) The reviewing officer must notify the responsible official.


(2) Approval of the proposed project or activity documented in a ROD in accordance with 40 CFR 1506.10, or in a DN may occur on, but not before, the fifth business day following the end of the objection filing period.


(d) When a proposed project or activity is not subject to objection because no timely, specific written comments regarding the proposal were received during a designated opportunity for public comment (see § 218.4), the approval of a proposed project or activity documented in a ROD must be in accordance with 40 CFR 1506.10 and 36 CFR 220.5(g), and the approval of a proposed project or activity documented in a DN must be made in accordance with 36 CFR 220.7(c) and (d).


§ 218.13 Secretary’s authority.

(a) Nothing in this section shall restrict the Secretary of Agriculture from exercising any statutory authority regarding the protection, management, or administration of National Forest System lands.


(b) Projects and activities proposed by the Secretary of Agriculture or the Under Secretary, Natural Resources and Environment, are not subject to the procedures set forth in this part. Approval of projects and activities by the Secretary or Under Secretary constitutes the final administrative determination of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


§ 218.14 Judicial proceedings.

(a) The objection process set forth in this subpart fully implements Congress’ design for a predecisional administrative review process. These procedures present a full and fair opportunity for concerns to be raised and considered on a project-by-project basis. Individuals and groups must structure their participation so as to alert the local agency officials making particular land management decisions of their positions and contentions.


(b) Any filing for Federal judicial review of a decisions covered by this subpart is premature and inappropriate unless the plaintiff has exhausted the administrative review process set forth in this part (see 7 U.S.C. 6912(e) and 16 U.S.C. 6515(c)).


§ 218.15 Information collection requirements.

The rules of this part specify the information that objectors must provide in an objection to a proposed project (see § 218.8). As such, these rules contain information collection requirements as defined in 5 CFR part 1320. These information requirements are assigned OMB Control Number 0596-0172.


§ 218.16 Effective dates.

(a) Effective dates for HFRA-authorized projects. (1) Provisions of this part that are applicable to hazardous fuel reduction projects authorized under the HFRA are in effect as of March 27, 2013 for projects where scoping begins on or after this date.


(2) Hazardous fuel reduction project proposals under the HFRA for which public scoping began prior to March 27, 2013 may use the predecisional objection procedures posted at http://www.fs.fed.us/objections.


(3) Hazardous fuel reduction project proposals that are re-scoped with the public or re-issued for notice and comment after March 27, 2013 are subject to this part.


(b) Effective dates for non-HFRA-authorized projects. (1) Project proposals with public scoping completed, but that have not had legal notice published. The applicable provisions of this part are in effect as of March 27, 2013 where public scoping was previously initiated for project proposals, but legal notice of the opportunity to comment has not yet been published; unless scoping or other public notification of the project (e.g. Schedule of Proposed Actions) has clearly indicated the project to be under the former 36 CFR part 215 appeal process.


(2) Project proposals which have legal notice published, but a Decision Notice or Record of Decision has not been signed. If a Decision Notice or Record of Decision is signed within 6 months of March 27, 2013, it will be subject to the 36 CFR part 215 appeal process. If the Decision Notice or Record of Decision is to be signed more than 6 months beyond March 27, 2013, the project proposal will be subject to the requirements of this part. In this case, the responsible official will notify all interested and affected parties who participated during scoping or provided specific written comment regarding the proposed project or activity during the comment period initiated with a legal notice that the project proposal will be subject to the predecisional objection regulations at 36 CFR part 218. All interested and affected parties who provided written comment as defined in § 218.2 during scoping or the comment period will be eligible to participate in the objection process.


(3) Project proposals are subject to the requirements of this part when initial public scoping, re-scoping with the public, or re-issuance of notice and comment begins on or after March 27, 2013.


Subpart B – Provisions Specific to Project-Level Proposals Not Authorized Under Healthy Forests Restoration Act

§ 218.20 Applicability and scope.

This subpart includes provisions that are specific to proposed projects and activities implementing land and resource management plans and documented with a Record of Decision or Decision Notice, except those authorized under the Healthy Forests Restoration Act (HFRA). The sections of this subpart must be considered in combination with the general provisions of subpart A of this part for the full complement of regulatory direction pertaining to predecisional administrative review of the applicable projects and activities.


§ 218.21 Emergency situations.

(a) Authority. The Chief and the Associate Chief of the Forest Service are authorized to make the determination that an emergency situation exists as defined in this section.


(b) Emergency situation definition. A situation on National Forest System (NFS) lands for which immediate implementation of a decision is necessary to achieve one or more of the following: Relief from hazards threatening human health and safety; mitigation of threats to natural resources on NFS or adjacent lands; avoiding a loss of commodity value sufficient to jeopardize the agency’s ability to accomplish project objectives directly related to resource protection or restoration.


(c) Determination. The determination that an emergency situation exists shall be based on an examination of the relevant information. During the consideration by the Chief or Associate Chief, additional information may be requested from the responsible official. The determination that an emergency situation does or does not exist is not subject to administrative review under this part.


(d) Implementation. When it is determined that an emergency situation exists with respect to all or part of the proposed project or activity, the proposed action shall not be subject to the predecisional objection process and implementation may proceed as follows:


(1) Immediately after notification (see 36 CFR 220.7(d)) when the decision is documented in a Decision Notice (DN).


(2) Immediately after complying with the timeframes and publication requirements described in 40 CFR 1506.10(b)(2) when the decision is documented in a Record of Decision (ROD).


(e) Notification. The responsible official shall identify any emergency situation determination made for a project or activity in the notification of the decision (see 36 CFR 220.5(g) and 220.7(d)).


§ 218.22 Proposed projects and activities subject to legal notice and opportunity to comment.

The legal notice and opportunity to comment procedures of this subpart apply only to:


(a) Proposed projects and activities implementing land management plans for which an environmental assessment (EA) is prepared;


(b) Proposed projects and activities implementing land management plans for which a draft or supplemental environmental impact statement (EIS) is prepared and notice and comment procedures are governed by 40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508;


(c) Proposed amendments to a land management plan that are included as part of a proposed project or activity covered in paragraphs (a) or (b) of this section which are applicable only to that proposed project or activity;


(d) A proposed project or activity for which a supplemental or revised EA or EIS is prepared based on consideration of new information or changed circumstances; and


(e) Proposed research activities to be conducted on National Forest System land for which an EA or EIS is prepared.


§ 218.23 Proposed projects and activities not subject to legal notice and opportunity to comment.

The legal notice and opportunity to comment procedures of this subpart do not apply to:


(a) Any project or activity categorically excluded from documentation in an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.


(b) Proposed land management plans, plan revisions, and plan amendments that are subject to the objection process set out in 36 CFR part 219, subpart B;


(c) Proposed plan amendments associated with a project or activity where the amendment applies not just to the particular project or activity but to all future projects and activities (see 36 CFR 219.59(b));


(d) Proposed projects and activities not subject to the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act and the implementing regulations at 40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508 and 36 CFR part 220;


(e) Determinations by the responsible official, after consideration of new information or changed circumstances, that a correction, supplement, or revision of the EA or EIS is not required;


(f) Rules promulgated in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 551 et seq.) or policies and procedures issued in the Forest Service Manual and Handbooks (36 CFR part 216); and


(g) Proposed hazardous fuel reduction projects authorized under the Healthy Forests Restoration Act.


[78 FR 18497, Mar. 27, 2013, as amended at 79 FR 44293, July 31, 2014]


§ 218.24 Notification of opportunity to comment on proposed projects and activities.

(a) Responsible official. The responsible official shall:


(1) Provide legal notice of the opportunity to comment on a proposed project or activity implementing a land management plan.


(2) Determine the most effective timing and then publish the legal notice of the opportunity to comment as provided for in paragraph (c)(2) of this section.


(3) Promptly provide notice about the proposed project or activity to any individual or entity who has requested it and to those who have participated in planning for that project.


(4) Accept all written comments on the proposed project or activity as provided for in § 218.25(a)(4).


(b) Content of legal notice. All legal notices shall include the following:


(1) The title and brief description of the proposed project or activity.


(2) A general description of the proposed project or activity’s location with sufficient information to allow the interested public to identify the location.


(3) When applicable, a statement that the responsible official is requesting an emergency situation determination or it has been determined that an emergency situation exists for the proposed project or activity as provided for in § 218.21.


(4) For a proposed project or activity to be analyzed and documented in an environmental assessment (EA), a statement that the opportunity to comment ends 30 days following the date of publication of the legal notice in the newspaper of record (see § 218.25(a)(2)); as newspaper publication dates may vary, legal notices shall not contain the specific date.


(5) For a proposed project or activity that is analyzed and documented in a draft environmental impact statement (EIS), a statement that the opportunity to comment ends 45 days following the date of publication of the notice of availability (NOA) in the Federal Register (see § 218.25(a)(2)). The legal notice must be published after the NOA and contain the NOA publication date.


(6) A statement that only those who submit timely and specific written comments regarding the proposed project or activity during a public comment period established by the responsible official are eligible to file an objection.


(7) The responsible official’s name, title, telephone number, and addresses (street, postal, facsimile, and email) to whom comments are to be submitted and the responsible official’s office business hours for those submitting hand-delivered comments (see § 218.25(a)(4)(ii)).


(8) A statement indicating that for objection eligibility each individual or representative from each entity submitting timely and specific written comments regarding the proposed project or activity must either sign the comments or verify identity upon request.


(9) The acceptable format(s) for electronic comments.


(10) Instructions on how to obtain additional information on the proposed project or activity.


(c) Publication. (1) Through notice published annually in the Federal Register, each Regional Forester shall advise the public of the newspaper(s) of record used for publishing legal notices required by this part.


(2) Legal notice of the opportunity to comment on a proposed project or activity shall be published in the applicable newspaper of record identified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section for each National Forest System unit. When the Chief is the responsible official, notice shall also be published in the Federal Register. The publication date of the legal notice in the newspaper of record is the exclusive means for calculating the time to submit written comments on a proposed project or activity to be analyzed and documented in an EA. The publication date of the NOA in the Federal Register is the exclusive means for calculating the time to submit written comments on a proposed project or activity that is analyzed and documented in a draft EIS.


(3) Within 4 calendar days of the date of publication of the legal notice in the newspaper of record or, when applicable, the Federal Register, a digital image of the legal notice or Federal Register publication, or the exact text of the notice, must be made available on the Web. Such postings must clearly indicate the date the notice was published in the newspaper of record or Federal Register, and the name of the publication.


§ 218.25 Comments on proposed projects and activities.

(a) Opportunity to comment. (1) Time period for submission of comments


(i) Comments on a proposed project or activity to be documented in an environmental assessment shall be accepted for 30 days beginning on the first day after the date of publication of the legal notice.


(ii) Comments on a proposed project or activity to be documented in an environmental impact statement shall be accepted for a minimum of 45 days beginning on the first day after the date of publication in the Federal Register of the notice of availability of the draft EIS.


(iii) Comments. It is the responsibility of all individuals and organizations to ensure that their comments are received in a timely manner as provided for in paragraph (a)(4) of this section.


(iv) Extension. The time period for the opportunity to comment on a proposed project or activity to be documented with an environmental assessment shall not be extended.


(2) Computation of the comment period. The time period is computed using calendar days, including Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays. However, when the time period expires on a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday, comments shall be accepted until the end of the next Federal working day (11:59 p.m. in the time zone of the receiving office for comments filed by electronic means such as email or facsimile).


(3) Requirements. To be eligible to submit an objection, individuals and entities must have provided the following during the comment period:


(i) Name and postal address. Email address in addition is recommended but not required.


(ii) Title of the proposed project or activity.


(iii) Specific written comments as defined in § 218.2 regarding the proposed project or activity, along with supporting reasons.


(iv) Signature or other verification of identity upon request and identification of the individual or entity who authored the comment(s). For comments listing multiple entities or multiple individuals, a signature or other means of verification must be provided for the individual authorized to represent each entity and for each individual in the case of multiple names. A scanned signature or other means of verifying the identity of the individual or entity representative may be used for electronically submitted comments.


(v) Individual members of an entity must submit their own comments to establish personal eligibility; comments received on behalf of an entity are considered as those of the entity only.


(4) Evidence of timely submission. When there is a question about timely submission of comments, timeliness shall be determined as follows:


(i) Written comments must be postmarked by the Postal Service, emailed, faxed, or otherwise submitted (for example, express delivery service) by 11:59 p.m. in the time zone of the receiving office on the 30th calendar day following publication of the legal notice for proposed projects or activities to be analyzed and documented in an EA or the 45th calendar day following publication of the NOA in the Federal Register for a draft EIS.


(ii) Hand-delivered comments must be time and date imprinted at the correct responsible official’s office by the close of business on the 30th calendar day following publication of the legal notice for proposed projects or activities to be analyzed and documented in an EA or the 45th calendar day following publication of the NOA in the Federal Register for a draft EIS.


(iii) For emailed comments, the sender should normally receive an automated electronic acknowledgment from the agency as confirmation of receipt. If the sender does not receive an automated acknowledgment of the receipt of the comments, it is the sender’s responsibility to ensure timely receipt by other means.


(b) Consideration of comments. (1) The responsible official shall consider all written comments submitted in compliance with paragraph (a) of this section.


(2) All written comments received by the responsible official shall be placed in the project file and shall become a matter of public record.


§ 218.26 Objection time periods.

(a) Time to file an objection. Written objections, including any attachments, must be filed with the reviewing officer within 45 days following the publication date of the legal notice of the EA or final EIS in the newspaper of record or the publication date of the notice in the Federal Register when the Chief is the responsible official (see § 218.7(c)). It is the responsibility of objectors to ensure that their objection is received in a timely manner.


(b) Time for responding to an objection. The reviewing officer must issue a written response to the objector(s) concerning their objection(s) within 45 days following the end of the objection filing period. The reviewing officer has the discretion to extend the time for up to 30 days when he or she determines that additional time is necessary to provide adequate response to objections or to participate in resolution discussions with the objector(s).


Subpart C – Provisions Specific to Proposed Projects Authorized Under the Healthy Forests Restoration Act

§ 218.30 Applicability and scope.

This subpart includes provisions that are specific to proposed hazardous fuel reduction projects documented with a Record of Decision or Decision Notice, and authorized under the Healthy Forests Restoration Act (HFRA). The sections of this subpart must be considered in combination with the general provisions of subpart A of this part for the full complement of regulatory direction pertaining to predecisional administrative review of the applicable projects and activities.


§ 218.31 Authorized hazardous fuel reduction projects subject to objection.

(a) Only authorized hazardous fuel reduction projects as defined by the HFRA, section 101(2), occurring on National Forest System land that have been analyzed in an EA or EIS are subject to this subpart. Authorized hazardous fuel reduction projects processed under the provisions of the HFRA are not subject to the requirements in subpart B of this part.


(b) When authorized hazardous fuel reduction projects are approved contemporaneously with a plan amendment that applies only to that project, the objection process of this subpart applies to both the plan amendment and the project.


§ 218.32 Objection time periods.

(a) Time to file an objection. Written objections, including any attachments, must be filed with the reviewing officer within 30 days following the publication date of the legal notice of the EA or final EIS in the newspaper of record or the publication date of the notice in the Federal Register when the Chief is the responsible official (see § 218.6(c)). It is the responsibility of objectors to ensure that their objection is received in a timely manner.


(b) Time for responding to an objection. The reviewing officer must issue a written response to the objector(s) concerning their objection(s) within 30 days following the end of the objection filing period.


PART 219 – PLANNING


Authority:5 U.S.C. 301; 16 U.S.C. 1604, 1613.


Source:77 FR 21260, Apr. 9, 2012, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A – National Forest System Land Management Planning

§ 219.1 Purpose and applicability.

(a) This subpart sets out the planning requirements for developing, amending, and revising land management plans (also referred to as plans) for units of the National Forest System (NFS), as required by the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974, as amended by the National Forest Management Act of 1976 (16 U.S.C. 1600 et seq.) (NFMA). This subpart also sets out the requirements for plan components and other content in land management plans. This part is applicable to all units of the NFS as defined by 16 U.S.C. 1609 or subsequent statute.


(b) Consistent with the Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act of 1960 (16 U.S.C. 528-531) (MUSYA), the Forest Service manages the NFS to sustain the multiple use of its renewable resources in perpetuity while maintaining the long-term health and productivity of the land. Resources are managed through a combination of approaches and concepts for the benefit of human communities and natural resources. Land management plans guide sustainable, integrated resource management of the resources within the plan area in the context of the broader landscape, giving due consideration to the relative values of the various resources in particular areas.


(c) The purpose of this part is to guide the collaborative and science-based development, amendment, and revision of land management plans that promote the ecological integrity of national forests and grasslands and other administrative units of the NFS. Plans will guide management of NFS lands so that they are ecologically sustainable and contribute to social and economic sustainability; consist of ecosystems and watersheds with ecological integrity and diverse plant and animal communities; and have the capacity to provide people and communities with ecosystem services and multiple uses that provide a range of social, economic, and ecological benefits for the present and into the future. These benefits include clean air and water; habitat for fish, wildlife, and plant communities; and opportunities for recreational, spiritual, educational, and cultural benefits.


(d) This part does not affect treaty rights or valid existing rights established by statute or legal instruments.


(e) During the planning process, the responsible official shall comply with Section 8106 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (25 U.S.C. 3056), Executive Order 13007 of May 24, 1996, Executive Order 13175 of November 6, 2000, laws, and other requirements with respect to disclosing or withholding under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) certain information regarding reburial sites or other information that is culturally sensitive to an Indian Tribe or Tribes.


(f) Plans must comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including NFMA, MUSYA, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Wilderness Act, and the Endangered Species Act.


(g) The responsible official shall ensure that the planning process, plan components, and other plan content are within Forest Service authority, the inherent capability of the plan area, and the fiscal capability of the unit.


§ 219.2 Levels of planning and responsible officials.

Forest Service planning occurs at different organizational levels and geographic scales. Planning occurs at three levels – national strategic planning, NFS unit planning, and project or activity planning.


(a) National strategic planning. The Chief of the Forest Service is responsible for national planning, such as preparation of the Forest Service strategic plan required under the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010 (5 U.S.C. 306; 31 U.S.C. 1115-1125; 31 U.S.C. 9703-9704), which is integrated with the requirements of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974, as amended by the NFMA. The strategic plan establishes goals, objectives, performance measures, and strategies for management of the NFS, as well as the other Forest Service mission areas: Research and Development, State and Private Forestry, and International Programs.


(b) National Forest System unit planning. (1) NFS unit planning results in the development, amendment, or revision of a land management plan. A land management plan provides a framework for integrated resource management and for guiding project and activity decisionmaking on a national forest, grassland, prairie, or other administrative unit. A plan reflects the unit’s expected distinctive roles and contributions to the local area, region, and Nation, and the roles for which the plan area is best suited, considering the Agency’s mission, the unit’s unique capabilities, and the resources and management of other lands in the vicinity. Through the adaptive planning cycle set forth in this subpart, a plan can be changed to reflect new information and changing conditions.


(2) A plan does not authorize projects or activities or commit the Forest Service to take action. A plan may constrain the Agency from authorizing or carrying out projects and activities, or the manner in which they may occur. Projects and activities must be consistent with the plan (§ 219.15). A plan does not regulate uses by the public, but a project or activity decision that regulates a use by the public under 36 CFR Part 261, Subpart B, may be made contemporaneously with the approval of a plan, plan amendment, or plan revision. Plans should not repeat laws, regulations, or program management policies, practices, and procedures that are in the Forest Service Directive System.


(3) The supervisor of the national forest, grassland, prairie, or other comparable administrative unit is the responsible official for development and approval of a plan, plan amendment, or plan revision for lands under the responsibility of the supervisor, unless a regional forester; the Chief; the Under Secretary, Natural Resources and Environment; or the Secretary acts as the responsible official. Two or more responsible officials may undertake joint planning over lands under their respective jurisdictions.


(4) A plan for a unit that contains an experimental area may not be approved without the concurrence of the appropriate research station director with respect to the direction applicable to that area, and a plan amendment applicable to an experimental area may not be approved without the concurrence of the appropriate research station director.


(5) The Chief is responsible for leadership and direction for carrying out the NFS land management planning program under this part. The Chief shall:


(i) Establish planning procedures for this part in the Forest Service Directive System in Forest Service Manual 1920 – Land Management Planning and in Forest Service Handbook 1909.12 – Land Management Planning Handbook.


(ii) Establish and administer a national oversight process for accountability and consistency of NFS land management planning under this part.


(iii) Establish procedures in the Forest Service Directive System for obtaining inventory data on the various renewable resources, and soil and water.


(c) Project and activity planning. The supervisor or district ranger is the responsible official for project and activity decisions, unless a higher-level official acts as the responsible official. Requirements for project or activity planning are established in the Forest Service Directive System. Except as provided in the plan consistency requirements in § 219.15, none of the requirements of this part apply to projects or activities.


§ 219.3 Role of science in planning.

The responsible official shall use the best available scientific information to inform the planning process required by this subpart for assessment; developing, amending, or revising a plan; and monitoring. In doing so, the responsible official shall determine what information is the most accurate, reliable, and relevant to the issues being considered. The responsible official shall document how the best available scientific information was used to inform the assessment, the plan or amendment decision, and the monitoring program as required in §§ 219.6(a)(3) and 219.14(a)(3). Such documentation must: Identify what information was determined to be the best available scientific information, explain the basis for that determination, and explain how the information was applied to the issues considered.


[81 FR 90737, Dec. 15, 2016]


§ 219.4 Requirements for public participation.

(a) Providing opportunities for participation. The responsible official shall provide opportunities to the public for participating in the assessment process; developing a plan proposal, including the monitoring program; commenting on the proposal and the disclosure of its environmental impacts in accompanying National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents; and reviewing the results of monitoring information. When developing opportunities for public participation, the responsible official shall take into account the discrete and diverse roles, jurisdictions, responsibilities, and skills of interested and affected parties; the accessibility of the process, opportunities, and information; and the cost, time, and available staffing. The responsible official should be proactive and use contemporary tools, such as the Internet, to engage the public, and should share information in an open way with interested parties. Subject to the notification requirements in § 219.16, the responsible official has the discretion to determine the scope, methods, forum, and timing of those opportunities. The Forest Service retains decisionmaking authority and responsibility for all decisions throughout the process.


(1) Outreach. The responsible official shall engage the public – including Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations, other Federal agencies, State and local governments, individuals, and public and private organizations or entities – early and throughout the planning process as required by this part, using collaborative processes where feasible and appropriate. In providing opportunities for engagement, the responsible official shall encourage participation by:


(i) Interested individuals and entities, including those interested at the local, regional, and national levels.


(ii) Youth, low-income populations, and minority populations.


(iii) Private landowners whose lands are in, adjacent to, or otherwise affected by, or whose actions may impact, future management actions in the plan area.


(iv) Federal agencies, States, counties, and local governments, including State fish and wildlife agencies, State foresters and other relevant State agencies. Where appropriate, the responsible official shall encourage States, counties, and other local governments to seek cooperating agency status in the NEPA process for development, amendment, or revision of a plan. The responsible official may participate in planning efforts of States, counties, local governments, and other Federal agencies, where practicable and appropriate.


(v) Interested or affected federally recognized Indian Tribes or Alaska Native Corporations. Where appropriate, the responsible official shall encourage federally recognized Tribes to seek cooperating agency status in the NEPA process for development, amendment, or revision of a plan. The responsible official may participate in planning efforts of federally recognized Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations, where practicable and appropriate.


(2) Consultation with federally recognized Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations. The Department recognizes the Federal Government has certain trust responsibilities and a unique legal relationship with federally recognized Indian Tribes. The responsible official shall honor the government-to-government relationship between federally recognized Indian Tribes and the Federal Government. The responsible official shall provide to federally recognized Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations the opportunity to undertake consultation consistent with Executive Order 13175 of November 6, 2000, and 25 U.S.C. 450 note.


(3) Native knowledge, indigenous ecological knowledge, and land ethics. As part of tribal participation and consultation as set forth in paragraphs (a)(1)(v) and (a)(2) of this section, the responsible official shall request information about native knowledge, land ethics, cultural issues, and sacred and culturally significant sites.


(b) Coordination with other public planning efforts. (1) The responsible official shall coordinate land management planning with the equivalent and related planning efforts of federally recognized Indian Tribes, Alaska Native Corporations, other Federal agencies, and State and local governments.


(2) For plan development or revision, the responsible official shall review the planning and land use policies of federally recognized Indian Tribes (43 U.S.C. 1712(b)), Alaska Native Corporations, other Federal agencies, and State and local governments, where relevant to the plan area. The results of this review shall be displayed in the environmental impact statement (EIS) for the plan (40 CFR 1502.16(c), 1506.2). The review shall include consideration of:


(i) The objectives of federally recognized Indian Tribes, Alaska Native Corporations, other Federal agencies, and State and local governments, as expressed in their plans and policies;


(ii) The compatibility and interrelated impacts of these plans and policies;


(iii) Opportunities for the plan to address the impacts identified or to contribute to joint objectives; and


(iv) Opportunities to resolve or reduce conflicts, within the context of developing the plan’s desired conditions or objectives.


(3) Nothing in this section should be read to indicate that the responsible official will seek to direct or control management of lands outside of the plan area, nor will the responsible official conform management to meet non-Forest Service objectives or policies.


[77 FR 21260, Apr. 9, 2012, as amended at 77 FR 44144, July 27, 2012]


§ 219.5 Planning framework.

(a) Planning for a national forest, grassland, prairie, or other comparable administrative unit of the NFS is an iterative process that includes assessment (§ 219.6); developing, amending, or revising a plan (§§ 219.7 and 219.13); and monitoring (§ 219.12). These three phases of the framework are complementary and may overlap. The intent of this framework is to create a responsive planning process that informs integrated resource management and allows the Forest Service to adapt to changing conditions, including climate change, and improve management based on new information and monitoring.


(1) Assessment. Assessments rapidly evaluate existing information about relevant ecological, economic, and social conditions, trends, and sustainability and their relationship to the land management plan within the context of the broader landscape. The responsible official shall consider and evaluate existing and possible future conditions and trends of the plan area, and assess the sustainability of social, economic, and ecological systems within the plan area, in the context of the broader landscape (§ 219.6).


(2) Plan development, plan amendment, or plan revision.


(i) The process for developing or revising a plan includes: Assessment, preliminary identification of the need to change the plan based on the assessment, development of a proposed plan, consideration of the environmental effects of the proposal, providing an opportunity to comment on the proposed plan, providing an opportunity to object before the proposal is approved, and, finally, approval of the plan or plan revision. A new plan or plan revision requires preparation of an environmental impact statement.


(ii) The process for amending a plan includes: Preliminary identification of the need to change the plan, development of a proposed amendment, consideration of the environmental effects of the proposal, providing an opportunity to comment on the proposed amendment, providing an opportunity to object before the proposal is approved, and, finally, approval of the plan amendment. The appropriate NEPA documentation for an amendment may be an environmental impact statement, an environmental assessment, or a categorical exclusion, depending upon the scope and scale of the amendment and its likely effects.


(3) Monitoring. Monitoring is continuous and provides feedback for the planning cycle by testing relevant assumptions, tracking relevant conditions over time, and measuring management effectiveness (§ 219.12). The monitoring program includes plan-level and broader-scale monitoring. The plan-level monitoring program is informed by the assessment phase; developed during plan development, plan amendment, or plan revision; and implemented after plan decision. The regional forester develops broader-scale monitoring strategies. Biennial monitoring evaluation reports document whether a change to the plan or change to the monitoring program is warranted based on new information, whether a new assessment may be needed, or whether there is no need for change at that time.


(b) Interdisciplinary team(s). The responsible official shall establish an interdisciplinary team or teams to prepare assessments; new plans, plan amendments, and plan revisions; and plan monitoring programs.


§ 219.6 Assessment.

The responsible official has the discretion to determine the scope, scale, and timing of an assessment described in § 219.5(a)(1), subject to the requirements of this section.


(a) Process for plan development or revision assessments. An assessment must be completed for the development of a new plan or for a plan revision. The responsible official shall:


(1) Identify and consider relevant existing information in governmental or non-governmental assessments, plans, monitoring reports, studies, and other sources of relevant information. Such sources of information may include State forest assessments and strategies, the Resources Planning Act assessment, ecoregional assessments, non-governmental reports, State comprehensive outdoor recreation plans, community wildfire protection plans, public transportation plans, State wildlife data and action plans, and relevant Agency or interagency reports, resource plans or assessments. Relevant private information, including relevant land management plans and local knowledge, will be considered if publicly available or voluntarily provided.


(2) Coordinate with or provide opportunities for the regional forester, agency staff from State and Private Forestry and Research and Development, federally recognized Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations, other governmental and non-governmental parties, and the public to provide existing information for the assessment.


(3) Document the assessment in a report available to the public. The report should document information needs relevant to the topics of paragraph (b) of this section. Document in the report how the best available scientific information was used to inform the assessment (§ 219.3). Include the report in the planning record (§ 219.14).


(b) Content of the assessment for plan development or revision. In the assessment for plan development or revision, the responsible official shall identify and evaluate existing information relevant to the plan area for the following:


(1) Terrestrial ecosystems, aquatic ecosystems, and watersheds;


(2) Air, soil, and water resources and quality;


(3) System drivers, including dominant ecological processes, disturbance regimes, and stressors, such as natural succession, wildland fire, invasive species, and climate change; and the ability of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems on the plan area to adapt to change;


(4) Baseline assessment of carbon stocks;


(5) Threatened, endangered, proposed and candidate species, and potential species of conservation concern present in the plan area;


(6) Social, cultural, and economic conditions;


(7) Benefits people obtain from the NFS planning area (ecosystem services);


(8) Multiple uses and their contributions to local, regional, and national economies;


(9) Recreation settings, opportunities and access, and scenic character;


(10) Renewable and nonrenewable energy and mineral resources;


(11) Infrastructure, such as recreational facilities and transportation and utility corridors;


(12) Areas of tribal importance;


(13) Cultural and historic resources and uses;


(14) Land status and ownership, use, and access patterns; and


(15) Existing designated areas located in the plan area including wilderness and wild and scenic rivers and potential need and opportunity for additional designated areas.


(c) Plan amendment assessments. Where the responsible official determines that a new assessment is needed to inform an amendment, the responsible official has the discretion to determine the scope, scale, process, and content for the assessment depending on the topic or topics to be addressed.


[77 FR 21260, Apr. 9, 2012, as amended at 77 FR 44145, July 27, 2012]


§ 219.7 New plan development or plan revision.

(a) Plan revisions. A plan revision creates a new plan for the entire plan area, whether the plan revision differs from the prior plan to a small or large extent. A plan must be revised at least every 15 years. But, the responsible official has the discretion to determine at any time that conditions on a plan area have changed significantly such that a plan must be revised (16 U.S.C. 1604(f)(5)).


(b) New plan development. New plan development is required for new NFS units. The process for developing a new plan is the same as the process for plan revision.


(c) Process for plan development or revision. (1) The process for developing or revising a plan includes: Public notification and participation (§§ 219.4 and 219.16), assessment (§§ 219.5 and 219.6), developing a proposed plan, considering the environmental effects of the proposal, providing an opportunity to comment on the proposed plan, providing an opportunity to object before the proposal is approved (subpart B), and, finally, approving the plan or plan revision. A new plan or plan revision requires preparation of an environmental impact statement.


(2) In developing a proposed new plan or proposed plan revision, the responsible official shall:


(i) Review relevant information from the assessment and monitoring to identify a preliminary need to change the existing plan and to inform the development of plan components and other plan content.


(ii) Consider the goals and objectives of the Forest Service strategic plan (§ 219.2(a)).


(iii) Identify the presence and consider the importance of various physical, biological, social, cultural, and historic resources on the plan area (§ 219.6), with respect to the requirements for plan components of §§ 219.8 through 219.11.


(iv) Consider conditions, trends, and stressors (§ 219.6), with respect to the requirements for plan components of §§ 219.8 through 219.11.


(v) Identify and evaluate lands that may be suitable for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System and determine whether to recommend any such lands for wilderness designation.


(vi) Identify the eligibility of rivers for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, unless a systematic inventory has been previously completed and documented and there are no changed circumstances that warrant additional review.


(vii) Identify existing designated areas other than the areas identified in paragraphs (c)(2)(v) and (c)(2)(vi) of this section, and determine whether to recommend any additional areas for designation. If the responsible official has the delegated authority to designate a new area or modify an existing area, then the responsible official may designate such area when approving the plan, plan amendment, or plan revision.


(viii) Identify the suitability of areas for the appropriate integration of resource management and uses, with respect to the requirements for plan components of §§ 219.8 through 219.11, including identifying lands that are not suitable for timber production (§ 219.11).


(ix) Identify the maximum quantity of timber that may be removed from the plan area (§ 219.11(d)(6)).


(x) Identify questions and indicators for the plan monitoring program (§ 219.12).


(xi) Identify potential other content in the plan (paragraph (f) of this section).


(3) The regional forester shall identify the species of conservation concern for the plan area in coordination with the responsible official.


(d) Management areas or geographic areas. Every plan must have management areas or geographic areas or both. The plan may identify designated or recommended designated areas as management areas or geographic areas.


(e) Plan components. Plan components guide future project and activity decisionmaking. The plan must indicate whether specific plan components apply to the entire plan area, to specific management areas or geographic areas, or to other areas as identified in the plan.


(1) Required plan components. Every plan must include the following plan components:


(i) Desired conditions. A desired condition is a description of specific social, economic, and/or ecological characteristics of the plan area, or a portion of the plan area, toward which management of the land and resources should be directed. Desired conditions must be described in terms that are specific enough to allow progress toward their achievement to be determined, but do not include completion dates.


(ii) Objectives. An objective is a concise, measurable, and time-specific statement of a desired rate of progress toward a desired condition or conditions. Objectives should be based on reasonably foreseeable budgets.


(iii) Standards. A standard is a mandatory constraint on project and activity decisionmaking, established to help achieve or maintain the desired condition or conditions, to avoid or mitigate undesirable effects, or to meet applicable legal requirements.


(iv) Guidelines. A guideline is a constraint on project and activity decisionmaking that allows for departure from its terms, so long as the purpose of the guideline is met. (§ 219.15(d)(3)). Guidelines are established to help achieve or maintain a desired condition or conditions, to avoid or mitigate undesirable effects, or to meet applicable legal requirements.


(v) Suitability of lands. Specific lands within a plan area will be identified as suitable for various multiple uses or activities based on the desired conditions applicable to those lands. The plan will also identify lands within the plan area as not suitable for uses that are not compatible with desired conditions for those lands. The suitability of lands need not be identified for every use or activity. Suitability identifications may be made after consideration of historic uses and of issues that have arisen in the planning process. Every plan must identify those lands that are not suitable for timber production (§ 219.11).


(2) Optional plan component: goals. A plan may include goals as plan components. Goals are broad statements of intent, other than desired conditions, usually related to process or interaction with the public. Goals are expressed in broad, general terms, but do not include completion dates.


(3) Requirements for the set of plan components. The set of plan components must meet the requirements set forth in this part for sustainability (§ 219.8), plant and animal diversity (§ 219.9), multiple use (§ 219.10), and timber (§ 219.11).


(f) Other content in the plan. (1) Other required content in the plan. Every plan must:


(i) Identify watershed(s) that are a priority for maintenance or restoration;


(ii) Describe the plan area’s distinctive roles and contributions within the broader landscape;


(iii) Include the monitoring program required by § 219.12; and


(iv) Contain information reflecting proposed and possible actions that may occur on the plan area during the life of the plan, including: the planned timber sale program; timber harvesting levels; and the proportion of probable methods of forest vegetation management practices expected to be used (16 U.S.C. 1604(e)(2) and (f)(2)). Such information is not a commitment to take any action and is not a “proposal” as defined by the Council on Environmental Quality regulations for implementing NEPA (40 CFR 1508.23, 42 U.S.C. 4322(2)(C)).


(2) Optional content in the plan. A plan may include additional content, such as potential management approaches or strategies and partnership opportunities or coordination activities.


[77 FR 21260, Apr. 9, 2012, as amended at 77 FR 44145, July 27, 2012]


§ 219.8 Sustainability.

A plan developed or revised under this part must provide for social, economic, and ecological sustainability within Forest Service authority and consistent with the inherent capability of the plan area, as follows:


(a) Ecological sustainability. (1) Ecosystem Integrity. The plan must include plan components, including standards or guidelines, to maintain or restore the ecological integrity of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and watersheds in the plan area, including plan components to maintain or restore structure, function, composition, and connectivity, taking into account:


(i) Interdependence of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in the plan area.


(ii) Contributions of the plan area to ecological conditions within the broader landscape influenced by the plan area.


(iii) Conditions in the broader landscape that may influence the sustainability of resources and ecosystems within the plan area.


(iv) System drivers, including dominant ecological processes, disturbance regimes, and stressors, such as natural succession, wildland fire, invasive species, and climate change; and the ability of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems on the plan area to adapt to change.


(v) Wildland fire and opportunities to restore fire adapted ecosystems.


(vi) Opportunities for landscape scale restoration.


(2) Air, soil, and water. The plan must include plan components, including standards or guidelines, to maintain or restore:


(i) Air quality.


(ii) Soils and soil productivity, including guidance to reduce soil erosion and sedimentation.


(iii) Water quality.


(iv) Water resources in the plan area, including lakes, streams, and wetlands; ground water; public water supplies; sole source aquifers; source water protection areas; and other sources of drinking water (including guidance to prevent or mitigate detrimental changes in quantity, quality, and availability).


(3) Riparian areas. (i) The plan must include plan components, including standards or guidelines, to maintain or restore the ecological integrity of riparian areas in the plan area, including plan components to maintain or restore structure, function, composition, and connectivity, taking into account:


(A) Water temperature and chemical composition;


(B) Blockages (uncharacteristic and characteristic) of water courses;


(C) Deposits of sediment;


(D) Aquatic and terrestrial habitats;


(E) Ecological connectivity;


(F) Restoration needs; and


(G) Floodplain values and risk of flood loss.


(ii) Plans must establish width(s) for riparian management zones around all lakes, perennial and intermittent streams, and open water wetlands, within which the plan components required by paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section will apply, giving special attention to land and vegetation for approximately 100 feet from the edges of all perennial streams and lakes.


(A) Riparian management zone width(s) may vary based on ecological or geomorphic factors or type of water body; and will apply unless replaced by a site-specific delineation of the riparian area.


(B) Plan components must ensure that no management practices causing detrimental changes in water temperature or chemical composition, blockages of water courses, or deposits of sediment that seriously and adversely affect water conditions or fish habitat shall be permitted within the riparian management zones or the site-specific delineated riparian areas.


(4) Best management practices for water quality. The Chief shall establish requirements for national best management practices for water quality in the Forest Service Directive System. Plan components must ensure implementation of these practices.


(b) Social and economic sustainability. The plan must include plan components, including standards or guidelines, to guide the plan area’s contribution to social and economic sustainability, taking into account:


(1) Social, cultural, and economic conditions relevant to the area influenced by the plan;


(2) Sustainable recreation; including recreation settings, opportunities, and access; and scenic character;


(3) Multiple uses that contribute to local, regional, and national economies in a sustainable manner;


(4) Ecosystem services;


(5) Cultural and historic resources and uses; and


(6) Opportunities to connect people with nature.


[77 FR 21260, Apr. 9, 2012, as amended at 81 FR 90737, Dec. 15, 2016]


§ 219.9 Diversity of plant and animal communities.

This section adopts a complementary ecosystem and species-specific approach to maintaining the diversity of plant and animal communities and the persistence of native species in the plan area. Compliance with the ecosystem requirements of paragraph (a) of this section is intended to provide the ecological conditions to both maintain the diversity of plant and animal communities and support the persistence of most native species in the plan area. Compliance with the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section is intended to provide for additional ecological conditions not otherwise provided by compliance with paragraph (a) of this section for individual species as set forth in paragraph (b) of this section. A plan developed or revised under this part must provide for the diversity of plant and animal communities, within Forest Service authority and consistent with the inherent capability of the plan area, as follows:


(a) Ecosystem plan components. (1) Ecosystem integrity. As required by § 219.8(a), the plan must include plan components, including standards or guidelines, to maintain or restore the ecological integrity of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and watersheds in the plan area, including plan components to maintain or restore their structure, function, composition, and connectivity.


(2) Ecosystem diversity. The plan must include plan components, including standards or guidelines, to maintain or restore the diversity of ecosystems and habitat types throughout the plan area. In doing so, the plan must include plan components to maintain or restore:


(i) Key characteristics associated with terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem types;


(ii) Rare aquatic and terrestrial plant and animal communities; and


(iii) The diversity of native tree species similar to that existing in the plan area.


(b) Additional, species-specific plan components. (1) The responsible official shall determine whether or not the plan components required by paragraph (a) of this section provide the ecological conditions necessary to: contribute to the recovery of federally listed threatened and endangered species, conserve proposed and candidate species, and maintain a viable population of each species of conservation concern within the plan area. If the responsible official determines that the plan components required in paragraph (a) are insufficient to provide such ecological conditions, then additional, species-specific plan components, including standards or guidelines, must be included in the plan to provide such ecological conditions in the plan area.


(2) If the responsible official determines that it is beyond the authority of the Forest Service or not within the inherent capability of the plan area to maintain or restore the ecological conditions to maintain a viable population of a species of conservation concern in the plan area, then the responsible official shall:


(i) Document the basis for that determination (§ 219.14(a)); and


(ii) Include plan components, including standards or guidelines, to maintain or restore ecological conditions within the plan area to contribute to maintaining a viable population of the species within its range. In providing such plan components, the responsible official shall coordinate to the extent practicable with other Federal, State, Tribal, and private land managers having management authority over lands relevant to that population.


(c) Species of conservation concern. For purposes of this subpart, a species of conservation concern is a species, other than federally recognized threatened, endangered, proposed, or candidate species, that is known to occur in the plan area and for which the regional forester has determined that the best available scientific information indicates substantial concern about the species’ capability to persist over the long-term in the plan area.


[77 FR 21260, Apr. 9, 2012, as amended at 81 FR 90737, Dec. 15, 2016]


§ 219.10 Multiple use.

While meeting the requirements of §§ 219.8 and 219.9, a plan developed or revised under this part must provide for ecosystem services and multiple uses, including outdoor recreation, range, timber, watershed, wildlife, and fish, within Forest Service authority and the inherent capability of the plan area as follows:


(a) Integrated resource management for multiple use. The plan must include plan components, including standards or guidelines, for integrated resource management to provide for ecosystem services and multiple uses in the plan area. When developing plan components for integrated resource management, to the extent relevant to the plan area and the public participation process and the requirements of §§ 219.7, 219.8, 219.9, and 219.11, the responsible official shall consider:


(1) Aesthetic values, air quality, cultural and heritage resources, ecosystem services, fish and wildlife species, forage, geologic features, grazing and rangelands, habitat and habitat connectivity, recreation settings and opportunities, riparian areas, scenery, soil, surface and subsurface water quality, timber, trails, vegetation, viewsheds, wilderness, and other relevant resources and uses.


(2) Renewable and nonrenewable energy and mineral resources.


(3) Appropriate placement and sustainable management of infrastructure, such as recreational facilities and transportation and utility corridors.


(4) Opportunities to coordinate with neighboring landowners to link open spaces and take into account joint management objectives where feasible and appropriate.


(5) Habitat conditions, subject to the requirements of § 219.9, for wildlife, fish, and plants commonly enjoyed and used by the public; for hunting, fishing, trapping, gathering, observing, subsistence, and other activities (in collaboration with federally recognized Tribes, Alaska Native Corporations, other Federal agencies, and State and local governments).


(6) Land status and ownership, use, and access patterns relevant to the plan area.


(7) Reasonably foreseeable risks to ecological, social, and economic sustainability.


(8) System drivers, including dominant ecological processes, disturbance regimes, and stressors, such as natural succession, wildland fire, invasive species, and climate change; and the ability of the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems on the plan area to adapt to change (§ 219.8);


(9) Public water supplies and associated water quality.


(10) Opportunities to connect people with nature.


(b) Requirements for plan components for a new plan or plan revision. (1) The plan must include plan components, including standards or guidelines, to provide for:


(i) Sustainable recreation; including recreation settings, opportunities, and access; and scenic character. Recreation opportunities may include non-motorized, motorized, developed, and dispersed recreation on land, water, and in the air.


(ii) Protection of cultural and historic resources.


(iii) Management of areas of tribal importance.


(iv) Protection of congressionally designated wilderness areas as well as management of areas recommended for wilderness designation to protect and maintain the ecological and social characteristics that provide the basis for their suitability for wilderness designation.


(v) Protection of designated wild and scenic rivers as well as management of rivers found eligible or determined suitable for the National Wild and Scenic River system to protect the values that provide the basis for their suitability for inclusion in the system.


(vi) Appropriate management of other designated areas or recommended designated areas in the plan area, including research natural areas.


(2) Other plan components for integrated resource management to provide for multiple use as necessary.


[77 FR 21260, Apr. 9, 2012, as amended at 81 FR 90737, Dec. 15, 2016]


§ 219.11 Timber requirements based on the NFMA.

While meeting the requirements of §§ 219.8 through 219.10, a plan developed or revised under this part must include plan components, including standards or guidelines, and other plan content regarding timber management within Forest Service authority and the inherent capability of the plan area, as follows:


(a) Lands not suited for timber production. (1) The responsible official shall identify lands within the plan area as not suited for timber production if any one of the following factors applies:


(i) Statute, Executive order, or regulation prohibits timber production on the land;


(ii) The Secretary of Agriculture or the Chief has withdrawn the land from timber production;


(iii) Timber production would not be compatible with the achievement of desired conditions and objectives established by the plan for those lands;


(iv) The technology is not currently available for conducting timber harvest without causing irreversible damage to soil, slope, or other watershed conditions;


(v) There is no reasonable assurance that such lands can be adequately restocked within 5 years after final regeneration harvest; or


(vi) The land is not forest land.


(2) The responsible official shall review lands identified in the plan as not suited for timber production at least once every 10 years, or as otherwise prescribed by law, to determine whether conditions have changed so that they have become suitable for timber production. As a result of this 10-year review, the plan may be amended to identify any such lands as suitable for timber production, if warranted by changed conditions.


(b) Timber harvest for purposes of timber production. A plan that identifies lands as suitable for timber production must include plan components, including standards or guidelines, to guide timber harvest for timber production or for other multiple use purposes on such lands.


(c) Timber harvest for purposes other than timber production. Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, the plan may include plan components to allow for timber harvest for purposes other than timber production throughout the plan area, or portions of the plan area, as a tool to assist in achieving or maintaining one or more applicable desired conditions or objectives of the plan in order to protect other multiple-use values, and for salvage, sanitation, or public health or safety. Examples of using timber harvest to protect other multiple use values may include improving wildlife or fish habitat, thinning to reduce fire risk, or restoring meadow or savanna ecosystems where trees have invaded.


(d) Limitations on timber harvest. Whether timber harvest would be for the purposes of timber production or other purposes, plan components, including standards or guidelines, must ensure the following:


(1) No timber harvest for the purposes of timber production may occur on lands not suited for timber production.


(2) Timber harvest would occur only where soil, slope, or other watershed conditions would not be irreversibly damaged;


(3) Timber harvest would be carried out in a manner consistent with the protection of soil, watershed, fish, wildlife, recreation, and aesthetic resources.


(4) Where plan components will allow clearcutting, seed tree cutting, shelterwood cutting, or other cuts designed to regenerate an even-aged stand of timber, the plan must include standards limiting the maximum size for openings that may be cut in one harvest operation, according to geographic areas, forest types, or other suitable classifications. Except as provided in paragraphs (d)(4)(i) through (iii) of this section, this limit may not exceed 60 acres for the Douglas-fir forest type of California, Oregon, and Washington; 80 acres for the southern yellow pine types of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Oklahoma, and Texas; 100 acres for the hemlock-Sitka spruce forest type of coastal Alaska; and 40 acres for all other forest types.


(i) Plan standards may allow for openings larger than those specified in paragraph (d)(4) of this section to be cut in one harvest operation where the responsible official determines that larger harvest openings are necessary to help achieve desired ecological conditions in the plan area. If so, standards for exceptions shall include the particular conditions under which the larger size is permitted and must set a maximum size permitted under those conditions.


(ii) Plan components may allow for size limits exceeding those established in paragraphs (d)(4) introductory text and (d)(4)(i) of this section on an individual timber sale basis after 60 days public notice and review by the regional forester.


(iii) The plan maximum size for openings to be cut in one harvest operation shall not apply to the size of openings harvested as a result of natural catastrophic conditions such as fire, insect and disease attack, or windstorm (16 U.S.C. 1604(g)(3)(F)(iv)).


(5) Timber will be harvested from NFS lands only where such harvest would comply with the resource protections set out in sections 6(g)(3)(E) and (F) of the NFMA (16 U.S.C. 1604(g)(3)(E) and (F)). Some of these requirements are listed in paragraphs (d)(2) to (d)(4) of this section.


(6) The quantity of timber that may be sold from the national forest is limited to an amount equal to or less than that which can be removed from such forest annually in perpetuity on a sustained yield basis. This limit may be measured on a decadal basis.


(i) The plan may provide for departures from this limit as provided by the NFMA when departure would be consistent with the plan’s desired conditions and objectives. Exceptions for departure from this limit on the quantity sold may be made only after a public review and comment period of at least 90 days.


(ii) This limit may be based upon increases in harvest levels based on intensified management practices, such as reforestation, thinning, and tree improvement if such practices justify increasing the harvests in accordance with the Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act of 1960. The plan must require that such harvest levels be decreased at the end of each planning period if such practices cannot be successfully implemented or funds are not received to permit such practices to continue substantially as planned.


(iii) The Chief must include in the Forest Service Directive System procedures for estimating the quantity of timber that can be removed annually in perpetuity on a sustained-yield basis, and exceptions, consistent with 16 U.S.C. 1611.


(7) The regeneration harvest of even-aged stands of trees is limited to stands that generally have reached the culmination of mean annual increment of growth. This requirement would apply only to regeneration harvest of even-aged stands on lands identified as suitable for timber production and where timber production is the primary purpose for the harvest. Plan components may allow for exceptions, set out in 16 U.S.C. 1604(m), only if such harvest is consistent with the other plan components of the land management plan.


[77 FR 21260, Apr. 9, 2012, as amended at 77 FR 44145, July 27, 2012; 78 FR 23492, Apr. 19, 2013; 81 FR 90737, Dec. 15, 2016; 86 FR 68149, Dec. 1, 2021]


§ 219.12 Monitoring.

(a) Plan monitoring program. (1) The responsible official shall develop a monitoring program for the plan area and include it in the plan. Monitoring information should enable the responsible official to determine if a change in plan components or other plan content that guide management of resources on the plan area may be needed. The development of the plan monitoring program must be coordinated with the regional forester and Forest Service State and Private Forestry and Research and Development. Responsible officials for two or more administrative units may jointly develop their plan monitoring programs.


(2) The plan monitoring program sets out the plan monitoring questions and associated indicators. Monitoring questions and associated indicators must be designed to inform the management of resources on the plan area, including by testing relevant assumptions, tracking relevant changes, and measuring management effectiveness and progress toward achieving or maintaining the plan’s desired conditions or objectives. Questions and indicators should be based on one or more desired conditions, objectives, or other plan components in the plan, but not every plan component needs to have a corresponding monitoring question.


(3) The plan monitoring program should be coordinated and integrated with relevant broader-scale monitoring strategies (paragraph (b) of this section) to ensure that monitoring is complementary and efficient, and that information is gathered at scales appropriate to the monitoring questions.


(4) Subject to the requirements of paragraph (a)(5) of this section, the responsible official has the discretion to set the scope and scale of the plan monitoring program, after considering:


(i) Information needs identified through the planning process as most critical for informed management of resources on the plan area; and


(ii) The financial and technical capabilities of the Agency.


(5) Each plan monitoring program must contain one or more monitoring questions and associated indicators addressing each of the following:


(i) The status of select watershed conditions.


(ii) The status of select ecological conditions including key characteristics of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.


(iii) The status of focal species to assess the ecological conditions required under § 219.9.


(iv) The status of a select set of the ecological conditions required under § 219.9 to contribute to the recovery of federally listed threatened and endangered species, conserve proposed and candidate species, and maintain a viable population of each species of conservation concern.


(v) The status of visitor use, visitor satisfaction, and progress toward meeting recreation objectives.


(vi) Measurable changes on the plan area related to climate change and other stressors that may be affecting the plan area.


(vii) Progress toward meeting the desired conditions and objectives in the plan, including for providing multiple use opportunities.


(viii) The effects of each management system to determine that they do not substantially and permanently impair the productivity of the land (16 U.S.C. 1604(g)(3)(C)).


(6) A range of monitoring techniques may be used to carry out the monitoring requirements in paragraph (a)(5) of this section.


(7) This section does not apply to projects or activities. Project and activity monitoring may be used to gather information for the plan monitoring program, and information gathered through plan monitoring may be used to inform development of projects or activities. But, the monitoring requirements of this section are not a prerequisite for making a decision to carry out a project or activity.


(b) Broader-scale monitoring strategies. (1) The regional forester shall develop a broader-scale monitoring strategy for plan monitoring questions that can best be answered at a geographic scale broader than one plan area.


(2) When developing a monitoring strategy, the regional forester shall coordinate with the relevant responsible officials, Forest Service State and Private Forestry and Research and Development, partners, and the public. Two or more regional foresters may jointly develop broader-scale monitoring strategies.


(3) Each regional forester shall ensure that the broader-scale monitoring strategy is within the financial and technical capabilities of the region and complements other ongoing monitoring efforts.


(4) Projects and activities may be carried out under plans developed, amended, or revised under this part before the regional forester has developed a broader-scale monitoring strategy.


(c) Timing and process for developing the plan monitoring program and broader-scale strategies. (1) The responsible official shall develop the plan monitoring program as part of the planning process for a new plan development or plan revision. Where a plan’s monitoring program has been developed under the provisions of a prior planning regulation and the unit has not initiated plan revision under this part, the responsible official shall modify the plan monitoring program within 4 years of the effective date of this part, or as soon as practicable, to meet the requirements of this section.


(2) The regional forester shall develop a broader-scale monitoring strategy as soon as practicable.


(3) To the extent practicable, appropriate, and relevant to the monitoring questions in the plan monitoring program, plan monitoring programs and broader-scale strategies must be designed to take into account:


(i) Existing national and regional inventory, monitoring, and research programs of the Agency, including from the NFS, State and Private Forestry, and Research and Development, and of other governmental and non-governmental entities;


(ii) Opportunities to design and carry out multi-party monitoring with other Forest Service units, Federal, State or local government agencies, scientists, partners, and members of the public; and


(iii) Opportunities to design and carry out monitoring with federally recognized Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations.


(d) Biennial evaluation of the monitoring information. (1) The responsible official shall conduct a biennial evaluation of new information gathered through the plan monitoring program and relevant information from the broader-scale strategy, and shall issue a written report of the evaluation and make it available to the public.


(i) The first monitoring evaluation for a plan or plan revision developed in accordance with this subpart must be completed no later than 2 years from the effective date of plan decision.


(ii) Where the monitoring program developed under the provisions of a prior planning regulation has been modified to meet the requirements of paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the first monitoring evaluation must be completed no later than 2 years from the date the change takes effect.


(iii) The monitoring evaluation report may be postponed for 1 year in case of exigencies, but notice of the postponement must be provided to the public prior to the date the report is due for that year (§ 219.16(c)(6)).


(2) The monitoring evaluation report must indicate whether or not a change to the plan, management activities, or the monitoring program, or a new assessment, may be warranted based on the new information. The monitoring evaluation report must be used to inform adaptive management of the plan area.


(3) The monitoring evaluation report may be incorporated into other planning documents if the responsible official has initiated a plan revision or relevant amendment.


(4) The monitoring evaluation report is not a decision document representing final Agency action, and is not subject to the objection provisions of subpart B.


§ 219.13 Plan amendment and administrative changes.

(a) Plan amendment. A plan may be amended at any time. Plan amendments may be broad or narrow, depending on the need for change, and should be used to keep plans current and help units adapt to new information or changing conditions. The responsible official has the discretion to determine whether and how to amend the plan and to determine the scope and scale of any amendment. Except as provided by paragraph (c) of this section, a plan amendment is required to add, modify, or remove one or more plan components, or to change how or where one or more plan components apply to all or part of the plan area (including management areas or geographic areas).


(b) Amendment requirements. For every plan amendment, the responsible official shall:


(1) Base an amendment on a preliminary identification of the need to change the plan. The preliminary identification of the need to change the plan may be based on a new assessment; a monitoring report; or other documentation of new information, changed conditions, or changed circumstances. When a plan amendment is made together with, and only applies to, a project or activity decision, the analysis prepared for the project or activity may serve as the documentation for the preliminary identification of the need to change the plan.


(2) Provide opportunities for public participation as required in § 219.4 and public notification as required in § 219.16. The responsible official may combine processes and associated public notifications where appropriate, considering the scope and scale of the need to change the plan. The responsible official must include information in the initial notice for the amendment (§ 219.16(a)(1)) about which substantive requirements of §§ 219.8 through 219.11 are likely to be directly related to the amendment (§ 219.13(b)(5)).


(3) Amend the plan consistent with Forest Service NEPA procedures. The appropriate NEPA documentation for an amendment may be an environmental impact statement, an environmental assessment, or a categorical exclusion, depending upon the scope and scale of the amendment and its likely effects. Except for an amendment that applies only to one project or activity, a proposed amendment that may create a significant environmental effect and thus requires preparation of an environmental impact statement is considered a significant change in the plan for the purposes of the NFMA and therefore requires a 90-day comment period for the proposed plan and draft environmental impact statement (§ 219.16(a)(2)), in addition to meeting the requirements of this section.


(4) Follow the applicable format for plan components set out at § 219.7(e) for the plan direction added or modified by the amendment, except that where an amendment to a plan developed or revised under a prior planning regulation would simply modify the area to which existing direction applies, the responsible official may retain the existing formatting for that direction.


(5) Determine which specific substantive requirement(s) within §§ 219.8 through 219.11 are directly related to the plan direction being added, modified, or removed by the amendment and apply such requirement(s) within the scope and scale of the amendment. The responsible official is not required to apply any substantive requirements within §§ 219.8 through 219.11 that are not directly related to the amendment.


(i) The responsible official’s determination must be based on the purpose for the amendment and the effects (beneficial or adverse) of the amendment, and informed by the best available scientific information, scoping, effects analysis, monitoring data or other rationale.


(ii) When basing the determination on adverse effects:


(A) The responsible official must determine that a specific substantive requirement is directly related to the amendment when scoping or NEPA effects analysis for the proposed amendment reveals substantial adverse effects associated with that requirement, or when the proposed amendment would substantially lessen protections for a specific resource or use.


(B) If the appropriate NEPA documentation for an amendment is a categorical exclusion or an environmental assessment accompanied by a finding of no significant impact (§ 219.13(b)(3)), there is a rebuttable presumption that the amendment will not have substantial adverse effects.


(6) For an amendment to a plan developed or revised under a prior planning regulation, if species of conservation concern (SCC) have not been identified for the plan area and if scoping or NEPA effects analysis for the proposed amendment reveals substantial adverse impacts to a specific species, or if the proposed amendment would substantially lessen protections for a specific species, the responsible official must determine whether such species is a potential SCC, and if so, apply section § 219.9(b) with respect to that species as if it were an SCC.


(c) Administrative changes. An administrative change is any change to a plan that is not a plan amendment or plan revision. Administrative changes include corrections of clerical errors to any part of the plan, conformance of the plan to new statutory or regulatory requirements, or changes to other content in the plan (§ 219.7(f)).


(1) A substantive change to the monitoring program made outside of the process for plan revision or amendment may be made only after notice to the public of the intended change and consideration of public comment (§ 219.16(c)(6)).


(2) All other administrative changes may be made following public notice (§ 219.16(c)(6)).


[77 FR 21260, Apr. 9, 2012, as amended at 81 FR 90738, Dec. 15, 2016]


§ 219.14 Decision document and planning records.

(a) Decision document approving a new plan, plan amendment, or revision. The responsible official shall record approval of a new plan, plan amendment, or revision in a decision document prepared according to Forest Service NEPA procedures (36 CFR part 220). The decision document must include:


(1) The rationale for approval;


(2) A statement of how the plan, plan amendment, or plan revision applies to approved projects and activities (§ 219.15);


(3) The documentation of how the best available scientific information was used to inform planning, the plan components, and other plan content, including the plan monitoring program (§ 219.3);


(4) The concurrence by the appropriate research station director with any part of the plan applicable to any experimental forests or experimental ranges (§ 219.2(b)(4)); and


(5) The effective date of the plan, amendment, or revision.


(b) Decision document for a new plan or plan revision. In addition to meeting the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section, the decision document must include an explanation of how the plan components meet the sustainability requirements of § 219.8, the diversity requirements of § 219.9, the multiple use requirements of § 219.10, and the timber requirements of § 219.11.


(c) Decision document for a plan amendment. In addition to meeting the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section, the decision document must explain how the responsible official determined:


(1) The scope and scale of the plan amendment; and


(2) Which specific requirements within §§ 219.8 through 219.11 apply to the amendment and how they were applied.


(d) Planning records. (1) The responsible official shall keep the following documents readily accessible to the public by posting them online and through other means: assessment reports (§ 219.6); the plan, including the monitoring program; the proposed plan, plan amendment, or plan revision; public notices and environmental documents associated with a plan; plan decision documents; and monitoring evaluation reports (§ 219.12).


(2) The planning record includes documents that support analytical conclusions made and alternatives considered throughout the planning process. The responsible official shall make the planning record available at the office where the plan, plan amendment, or plan revision was developed.


[77 FR 21260, Apr. 9, 2012, as amended at 81 FR 90738, Dec. 15, 2016]


§ 219.15 Project and activity consistency with the plan.

(a) Application to existing authorizations and approved projects or activities. Every decision document approving a plan, plan amendment, or plan revision must state whether authorizations of occupancy and use made before the decision document may proceed unchanged. If a plan decision document does not expressly allow such occupancy and use, the permit, contract, and other authorizing instrument for the use and occupancy must be made consistent with the plan, plan amendment, or plan revision as soon as practicable, as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, subject to valid existing rights.


(b) Application to projects or activities authorized after plan decision. Projects and activities authorized after approval of a plan, plan amendment, or plan revision must be consistent with the plan as provided in paragraph (d) of this section.


(c) Resolving inconsistency. When a proposed project or activity would not be consistent with the applicable plan components, the responsible official shall take one of the following steps, subject to valid existing rights:


(1) Modify the proposed project or activity to make it consistent with the applicable plan components;


(2) Reject the proposal or terminate the project or activity;


(3) Amend the plan so that the project or activity will be consistent with the plan as amended; or


(4) Amend the plan contemporaneously with the approval of the project or activity so that the project or activity will be consistent with the plan as amended. This amendment may be limited to apply only to the project or activity.


(d) Determining consistency. Every project and activity must be consistent with the applicable plan components. A project or activity approval document must describe how the project or activity is consistent with applicable plan components developed or revised in conformance with this part by meeting the following criteria:


(1) Goals, desired conditions, and objectives. The project or activity contributes to the maintenance or attainment of one or more goals, desired conditions, or objectives, or does not foreclose the opportunity to maintain or achieve any goals, desired conditions, or objectives, over the long term.


(2) Standards. The project or activity complies with applicable standards.


(3) Guidelines. The project or activity:


(i) Complies with applicable guidelines as set out in the plan; or


(ii) Is designed in a way that is as effective in achieving the purpose of the applicable guidelines (§ 219.7(e)(1)(iv)).


(4) Suitability. A project or activity would occur in an area:


(i) That the plan identifies as suitable for that type of project or activity; or


(ii) For which the plan is silent with respect to its suitability for that type of project or activity.


(e) Consistency of resource plans within the planning area with the land management plan. Any resource plans (for example, travel management plans) developed by the Forest Service that apply to the resources or land areas within the planning area must be consistent with the plan components. Resource plans developed prior to plan decision must be evaluated for consistency with the plan and amended if necessary.


§ 219.16 Public notifications.

The following public notification requirements apply to plan development, amendment, or revision. Notifications may be combined where appropriate.


(a) When formal public notification is required. Public notification must be provided as follows:


(1) To initiate the development of a proposed plan, plan amendment, or plan revision;


(2) To invite comments on a proposed plan, plan amendment, or plan revision, and associated environmental analysis. For a new plan, plan amendment, or a plan revision for which a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) is prepared, the comment period is at least 90 days, except for an amendment that applies only to one project or activity. For an amendment that applies only to one project or activity for which a draft EIS is prepared, the comment period is at least 45 days unless a different time period is required by law or regulation or authorized pursuant to 40 CFR 1506.10(d). For an amendment for which a draft EIS is not prepared, the comment period is at least 30 days;


(3) To begin the objection period for a plan, plan amendment, or plan revision before approval (§ 219.52);


(4) To approve a final plan, plan amendment, or plan revision; or


(5) To announce whenever a plan, plan amendment, or plan revision process initiated under the provisions of a previous planning regulation will be conformed to meet the provisions of this part (§ 219.17(b)(3)).


(b) Project or activity plan amendments. When a plan amendment is approved in a decision document approving a project or activity and the amendment applies only to the project or activity, the notification requirements of 36 CFR part 215 or part 218, subpart A, applies instead of this section.


(c) How public notice is provided. The responsible official should use contemporary tools to provide notice to the public. At a minimum, all public notifications required by this part must be posted online, and:


(1) When the Chief, the Under Secretary, or the Secretary is the responsible official, notice must be published in the Federal Register.


(2) For a new plan or plan revision, when an official other than the Chief, the Under Secretary, or the Secretary is the responsible official, notice must be published in the Federal Register and the applicable newspaper(s) of record.


(3) When the notice is for the purpose of inviting comments on a proposed plan, plan amendment, or plan revision for which a draft EIS is prepared, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Federal Register notice of availability of a draft EIS shall serve as the required Federal Register notice.


(4) For a plan amendment when an official other than the Chief, the Under Secretary, or the Secretary is the responsible official, and for which a draft EIS is not prepared, notices must be published in the newspaper(s) of record.


(5) If a plan, plan amendment, or plan revision applies to two or more units, notices must be published in the Federal Register and the newspaper(s) of record for the applicable units.


(6) Additional public notice of administrative changes, changes to the monitoring program, opportunities to provide information for assessments, assessment reports, monitoring evaluation reports, or other notices not listed in paragraph (a) of this section may be made in any way the responsible official deems appropriate.


(d) Content of public notices. Public notices required by this section except for notices applicable to paragraph (c)(3) of this section, must clearly describe the action subject to notice and the nature and scope of the decisions to be made; identify the responsible official; describe when, where, and how the responsible official will provide opportunities for the public to participate in the planning process; and explain how to obtain additional information.


[77 FR 21260, Apr. 9, 2012, as amended at 81 FR 90739, Dec. 15, 2016]


§ 219.17 Effective dates and transition.

(a) Effective dates. (1) A plan or plan revision is effective 30 days after publication of notice of its approval.


(2) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, a plan amendment for which an environmental impact statement (EIS) has been prepared is effective 30 days after publication of notice of its approval; a plan amendment for which an EIS has not been prepared is effective immediately.


(3) A plan amendment that applies to only one specific project or activity is effective on the date the project may be implemented in accordance with administrative review regulations at 36 CFR parts 215 and 218.


(b) Plan amendment and plan revision transition. For the purposes of this section, initiation means that the Agency has issued a notice of intent or other notice announcing the beginning of the process to develop a proposed plan, plan amendment, or plan revision.


(1) Initiating plan development and plan revisions. Plan development and plan revisions initiated after May 9, 2012 must conform to the requirements of this part.


(2) Initiating plan amendments. All plan amendments initiated after May 9, 2012, are subject to the objection process in subpart B of this part. With respect to plans approved or revised under a prior planning regulation, including the transition provisions of the reinstated 2000 rule (36 CFR part 219, published at 36 CFR parts 200 to 299, revised as of July 1, 2010), plan amendments may be initiated under the provisions of the prior planning regulation for 3 years after May 9, 2012, and may be completed and approved under those provisions (except for the optional appeal procedures of the prior planning regulation); or may be initiated, completed, and approved under the requirements of this part. After the 3-year transition period, all plan amendments must be initiated, completed, and approved under the requirements of this part.


(3) Plan development, plan amendments, or plan revisions initiated before this part. For plan development, plan amendments, or plan revisions that were initiated before May 9, 2012, the responsible official may complete and approve the plan, plan amendment, or plan revision in conformance with the provisions of the prior planning regulation, including its transition provisions (36 CFR part 219, published at 36 CFR parts 200 to 299, revised as of July 1, 2010), or may conform the plan, plan amendment, or plan revision to the requirements of this part. If the responsible official chooses to complete an ongoing planning process under the provisions of the prior planning regulation, but chooses to allow for an objection rather than an administrative appeal, the objection process in subpart B of this part shall apply. When the responsible official chooses to conform an ongoing planning process to this part, public notice must be made (§ 219.16(a)(5)). An objection process may be chosen only if the public is provided the opportunity to comment on a proposed plan, plan amendment, or plan revision, and associated environmental analysis.


(c) Plans developed, amended, or revised under a prior planning regulation. This part supersedes any prior planning regulation. No obligations remain from any prior planning regulation, except those that are specifically included in a unit’s existing plan. Existing plans will remain in effect until revised. This part does not compel a change to any existing plan, except as required in § 219.12(c)(1). None of the requirements of this part apply to projects or activities on units with plans developed or revised under a prior planning rule until the plan is revised under this part, except that projects or activities on such units must comply with the consistency requirement of § 219.15 with respect to any amendments that are developed and approved pursuant to this part.


[77 FR 21260, Apr. 9, 2012, as amended at 77 FR 44145, July 27, 2012]


§ 219.18 Severability.

In the event that any specific provision of this part is deemed by a court to be invalid, the remaining provisions shall remain in effect.


§ 219.19 Definitions.

Definitions of the special terms used in this subpart are set out as follows.


Alaska Native Corporation. One of the regional, urban, and village native corporations formed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971.


Assessment. For the purposes of this subpart, an assessment is the identification and evaluation of existing information to support land management planning. Assessments are not decisionmaking documents, but provide current information on select topics relevant to the plan area, in the context of the broader landscape.


Best management practices for water quality (BMPs). Methods, measures, or practices selected by an agency to meet its nonpoint source control needs. BMPs include but are not limited to structural and nonstructural controls and operation and maintenance procedures. BMPs can be applied before, during, and after pollution-producing activities to reduce or eliminate the introduction of pollutants into receiving waters.


Candidate species. (1) For U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service candidate species, a species for which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service possesses sufficient information on vulnerability and threats to support a proposal to list as endangered or threatened, but for which no proposed rule has yet been published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


(2) For National Marine Fisheries Service candidate species, a species that is:


(i) The subject of a petition to list and for which the National Marine Fisheries Service has determined that listing may be warranted, pursuant to section 4(b)(3)(A) of the Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1533(b)(3)(A)), or


(ii) Not the subject of a petition but for which the National Marine Fisheries Service has announced in the Federal Register the initiation of a status review.


Collaboration or collaborative process. A structured manner in which a collection of people with diverse interests share knowledge, ideas, and resources while working together in an inclusive and cooperative manner toward a common purpose. Collaboration, in the context of this part, falls within the full spectrum of public engagement described in the Council on Environmental Quality’s publication of October 2007: Collaboration in NEPA – A Handbook for NEPA Practitioners.


Connectivity. Ecological conditions that exist at several spatial and temporal scales that provide landscape linkages that permit the exchange of flow, sediments, and nutrients; the daily and seasonal movements of animals within home ranges; the dispersal and genetic interchange between populations; and the long-distance range shifts of species, such as in response to climate change.


Conservation. The protection, preservation, management, or restoration of natural environments, ecological communities, and species.


Conserve. For purposes of § 219.9, to protect, preserve, manage, or restore natural environments and ecological communities to potentially avoid federally listing of proposed and candidate species.


Culmination of mean annual increment of growth. See mean annual increment of growth.


Designated area. An area or feature identified and managed to maintain its unique special character or purpose. Some categories of designated areas may be designated only by statute and some categories may be established administratively in the land management planning process or by other administrative processes of the Federal executive branch. Examples of statutorily designated areas are national heritage areas, national recreational areas, national scenic trails, wild and scenic rivers, wilderness areas, and wilderness study areas. Examples of administratively designated areas are experimental forests, research natural areas, scenic byways, botanical areas, and significant caves.


Disturbance. Any relatively discrete event in time that disrupts ecosystem, watershed, community, or species population structure and/or function and changes resources, substrate availability, or the physical environment.


Disturbance regime. A description of the characteristic types of disturbance on a given landscape; the frequency, severity, and size distribution of these characteristic disturbance types; and their interactions.


Ecological conditions. The biological and physical environment that can affect the diversity of plant and animal communities, the persistence of native species, and the productive capacity of ecological systems. Ecological conditions include habitat and other influences on species and the environment. Examples of ecological conditions include the abundance and distribution of aquatic and terrestrial habitats, connectivity, roads and other structural developments, human uses, and invasive species.


Ecological integrity. The quality or condition of an ecosystem when its dominant ecological characteristics (for example, composition, structure, function, connectivity, and species composition and diversity) occur within the natural range of variation and can withstand and recover from most perturbations imposed by natural environmental dynamics or human influence.


Ecological sustainability. See sustainability.


Ecological system. See ecosystem.


Economic sustainability. See sustainability.


Ecosystem. A spatially explicit, relatively homogeneous unit of the Earth that includes all interacting organisms and elements of the abiotic environment within its boundaries. An ecosystem is commonly described in terms of its:


(1) Composition. The biological elements within the different levels of biological organization, from genes and species to communities and ecosystems.


(2) Structure. The organization and physical arrangement of biological elements such as, snags and down woody debris, vertical and horizontal distribution of vegetation, stream habitat complexity, landscape pattern, and connectivity.


(3) Function. Ecological processes that sustain composition and structure, such as energy flow, nutrient cycling and retention, soil development and retention, predation and herbivory, and natural disturbances such as wind, fire, and floods.


(4) Connectivity. (see connectivity above).


Ecosystem diversity. The variety and relative extent of ecosystems.


Ecosystem services. Benefits people obtain from ecosystems, including:


(1) Provisioning services, such as clean air and fresh water, energy, fuel, forage, fiber, and minerals;


(2) Regulating services, such as long term storage of carbon; climate regulation; water filtration, purification, and storage; soil stabilization; flood control; and disease regulation;


(3) Supporting services, such as pollination, seed dispersal, soil formation, and nutrient cycling; and


(4) Cultural services, such as educational, aesthetic, spiritual and cultural heritage values, recreational experiences, and tourism opportunities.


Environmental assessment (EA). See definition in § 219.62.


Environmental document. For the purposes of this part: an environmental assessment, environmental impact statement, finding of no significant impact, categorical exclusion, and notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement.


Environmental impact statement (EIS). See definition in § 219.62.


Even-aged stand. A stand of trees composed of a single age class.


Federally recognized Indian Tribe. An Indian or Alaska Native Tribe, band, nation, pueblo, village, or community that the Secretary of the Interior acknowledges to exist as an Indian Tribe under the Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of 1994, 25 U.S.C. 479a.


Focal species. A small subset of species whose status permits inference to the integrity of the larger ecological system to which it belongs and provides meaningful information regarding the effectiveness of the plan in maintaining or restoring the ecological conditions to maintain the diversity of plant and animal communities in the plan area. Focal species would be commonly selected on the basis of their functional role in ecosystems.


Forest land. Land at least 10 percent occupied by forest trees of any size or formerly having had such tree cover and not currently developed for non-forest uses. Lands developed for non-forest use include areas for crops, improved pasture, residential or administrative areas, improved roads of any width and adjoining road clearing, and power line clearings of any width.


Geographic area. A spatially contiguous land area identified within the planning area. A geographic area may overlap with a management area.


Inherent capability of the plan area. The ecological capacity or ecological potential of an area characterized by the interrelationship of its physical elements, its climatic regime, and natural disturbances.


Integrated resource management. Multiple use management that recognizes the interdependence of ecological resources and is based on the need for integrated consideration of ecological, social, and economic factors.


Landscape. A defined area irrespective of ownership or other artificial boundaries, such as a spatial mosaic of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, landforms, and plant communities, repeated in similar form throughout such a defined area.


Maintain. In reference to an ecological condition: To keep in existence or continuance of the desired ecological condition in terms of its desired composition, structure, and processes. Depending upon the circumstance, ecological conditions may be maintained by active or passive management or both.


Management area. A land area identified within the planning area that has the same set of applicable plan components. A management area does not have to be spatially contiguous.


Management system. For purposes of this subpart, a timber management system including even-aged management and uneven-aged management.


Mean annual increment of growth and culmination of mean annual increment of growth. Mean annual increment of growth is the total increment of increase of volume of a stand (standing crop plus thinnings) up to a given age divided by that age. Culmination of mean annual increment of growth is the age in the growth cycle of an even-aged stand at which the average annual rate of increase of volume is at a maximum. In land management plans, mean annual increment is expressed in cubic measure and is based on the expected growth of stands, according to intensities and utilization guidelines in the plan.


Monitoring. A systematic process of collecting information to evaluate effects of actions or changes in conditions or relationships.


Multiple use. The management of all the various renewable surface resources of the NFS so that they are utilized in the combination that will best meet the needs of the American people; making the most judicious use of the land for some or all of these resources or related services over areas large enough to provide sufficient latitude for periodic adjustments in use to conform to changing needs and conditions; that some land will be used for less than all of the resources; and harmonious and coordinated management of the various resources, each with the other, without impairment of the productivity of the land, with consideration being given to the relative values of the various resources, and not necessarily the combination of uses that will give the greatest dollar return or the greatest unit output, consistent with the Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act of 1960 (16 U.S.C. 528-531).


National Forest System. See definition in § 219.62.


Native knowledge. A way of knowing or understanding the world, including traditional ecological and social knowledge of the environment derived from multiple generations of indigenous peoples’ interactions, observations, and experiences with their ecological systems. Native knowledge is place-based and culture-based knowledge in which people learn to live in and adapt to their own environment through interactions, observations, and experiences with their ecological system. This knowledge is generally not solely gained, developed by, or retained by individuals, but is rather accumulated over successive generations and is expressed through oral traditions, ceremonies, stories, dances, songs, art, and other means within a cultural context.


Native species. An organism that was historically or is present in a particular ecosystem as a result of natural migratory or evolutionary processes; and not as a result of an accidental or deliberate introduction into that ecosystem. An organism’s presence and evolution (adaptation) in an area are determined by climate, soil, and other biotic and abiotic factors.


Newspaper(s) of record. See definition in § 219.62.


Objection. See definition in § 219.62.


Online. See definition in § 219.62.


Participation. Activities that include a wide range of public involvement tools and processes, such as collaboration, public meetings, open houses, workshops, and comment periods.


Persistence. Continued existence.


Plan area. The NFS lands covered by a plan.


Plan or land management plan. A document or set of documents that provide management direction for an administrative unit of the NFS developed under the requirements of this part or a prior planning rule.


Plant and animal community. A naturally occurring assemblage of plant and animal species living within a defined area or habitat.


Productivity. The capacity of NFS lands and their ecological systems to provide the various renewable resources in certain amounts in perpetuity. For the purposes of this subpart, productivity is an ecological term, not an economic term.


Project. An organized effort to achieve an outcome on NFS lands identified by location, tasks, outputs, effects, times, and responsibilities for execution.


Proposed Species. Any species of fish, wildlife, or plant that is proposed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service in the Federal Register to be listed under Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act.


Recovery. For the purposes of this subpart, and with respect to threatened or endangered species: The improvement in the status of a listed species to the point at which listing as federally endangered or threatened is no longer appropriate.


Recreation. See Sustainable recreation.


Recreation opportunity. An opportunity to participate in a specific recreation activity in a particular recreation setting to enjoy desired recreation experiences and other benefits that accrue. Recreation opportunities include non-motorized, motorized, developed, and dispersed recreation on land, water, and in the air.


Recreation setting. The social, managerial, and physical attributes of a place that, when combined, provide a distinct set of recreation opportunities. The Forest Service uses the recreation opportunity spectrum to define recreation settings and categorize them into six distinct classes: primitive, semi-primitive non-motorized, semi-primitive motorized, roaded natural, rural, and urban.


Responsible official. See definition in § 219.62.


Restoration. The process of assisting the recovery of an ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged, or destroyed. Ecological restoration focuses on reestablishing the composition, structure, pattern, and ecological processes necessary to facilitate terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems sustainability, resilience, and health under current and future conditions.


Restore. To renew by the process of restoration (see restoration).


Riparian Areas. Three-dimensional ecotones of interaction that include terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems that extend down into the groundwater, up above the canopy, outward across the floodplain, up the near-slopes that drain to the water, laterally into the terrestrial ecosystem, and along the water course at variable widths.


Riparian management zone. Portions of a watershed where riparian-dependent resources receive primary emphasis, and for which plans include plan components to maintain or restore riparian functions and ecological functions.


Risk. A combination of the likelihood that a negative outcome will occur and the severity of the subsequent negative consequences.


Scenic character. A combination of the physical, biological, and cultural images that gives an area its scenic identity and contributes to its sense of place. Scenic character provides a frame of reference from which to determine scenic attractiveness and to measure scenic integrity.


Social sustainability. See sustainability.


Sole source aquifer. Underground water supply designated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the “sole or principle” source of drinking water for an area as established under section 1424(e) of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300h-3(e)).


Source water protection areas. The area delineated by a State or Tribe for a public water system (PWS) or including numerous PWSs, whether the source is ground water or surface water or both, as part of a State or tribal source water assessment and protection program (SWAP) approved by the Environmental Protection Agency under section 1453 of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300h-3(e)).


Stressors. For the purposes of this subpart: Factors that may directly or indirectly degrade or impair ecosystem composition, structure or ecological process in a manner that may impair its ecological integrity, such as an invasive species, loss of connectivity, or the disruption of a natural disturbance regime.


Sustainability. The capability to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. For purposes of this part, “ecological sustainability” refers to the capability of ecosystems to maintain ecological integrity; “economic sustainability” refers to the capability of society to produce and consume or otherwise benefit from goods and services including contributions to jobs and market and nonmarket benefits; and “social sustainability” refers to the capability of society to support the network of relationships, traditions, culture, and activities that connect people to the land and to one another, and support vibrant communities.


Sustainable recreation. The set of recreation settings and opportunities on the National Forest System that is ecologically, economically, and socially sustainable for present and future generations.


Timber harvest. The removal of trees for wood fiber use and other multiple-use purposes.


Timber production. The purposeful growing, tending, harvesting, and regeneration of regulated crops of trees to be cut into logs, bolts, or other round sections for industrial or consumer use.


Viable population. A population of a species that continues to persist over the long term with sufficient distribution to be resilient and adaptable to stressors and likely future environments.


Watershed. A region or land area drained by a single stream, river, or drainage network; a drainage basin.


Watershed condition. The state of a watershed based on physical and biogeochemical characteristics and processes.


Wild and scenic river. A river designated by Congress as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System that was established in the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968 (16 U.S.C. 1271 (note), 1271-1287).


Wilderness. Any area of land designated by Congress as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System that was established in the Wilderness Act of 1964 (16 U.S.C. 1131-1136).


[77 FR 21260, Apr. 9, 2012, as amended at 77 FR 44145, July 27, 2012]


Subpart B – Pre-Decisional Administrative Review Process

§ 219.50 Purpose and scope.

This subpart establishes a pre-decisional administrative review (hereinafter referred to as objection) process for plans, plan amendments, or plan revisions. This process gives an individual or entity an opportunity for an independent Forest Service review and resolution of issues before the approval of a plan, plan amendment, or plan revision. This subpart identifies who may file objections to a plan, plan amendment, or plan revision; the responsibilities of the participants in an objection; and the procedures that apply to the review of the objection.


§ 219.51 Plans, plan amendments, or plan revisions not subject to objection.

(a) A plan, plan amendment, or plan revision is not subject to objection when the responsible official receives no substantive formal comments (§ 219.62) on that proposal during the opportunities for public comment (§ 219.53(a)).


(b) Plans, plan amendments, or plan revisions proposed by the Secretary of Agriculture or the Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment are not subject to the procedures set forth in this section. A decision by the Secretary or Under Secretary constitutes the final administrative determination of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


(c) A plan, plan amendment, or plan revision is not subject to objection under this subpart if another administrative review process is used consistent with § 219.59.


(d) When a plan, plan amendment, or plan revision is not subject to objection under this subpart, the responsible official shall include an explanation with the signed decision document.


§ 219.52 Giving notice of a plan, plan amendment, or plan revision subject to objection before approval.

(a) The responsible official shall disclose during the NEPA scoping process and in the appropriate NEPA documents that the proposed plan, plan amendment, or plan revision is subject to the objection procedures in this subpart. This disclosure is in addition to the public notice that begins the objection filing period, as required at § 219.16. When a responsible official chooses to use the objection process of this subpart for a plan, plan amendment, or plan revision process initiated before the effective date of this rule, notice that the objection process will be used must be given prior to an opportunity to provide substantive formal comment on a proposed plan, plan amendment, or revision and associated environmental analysis.


(b) The responsible official shall make available the public notice for the beginning of the objection period for a plan, plan amendment, or plan revision (§ 219.16(a)(3)) to those who have requested the environmental documents or are eligible to file an objection consistent with § 219.53.


(c) The content of the public notice for the beginning of the objection period for a plan, plan amendment, or plan revision before approval (§ 219.16(a)(3)) must:


(1) Inform the public of the availability of the plan, plan amendment, or plan revision, the appropriate final environmental documents, the draft plan decision document, and any relevant assessment or monitoring evaluation report; the commencement of the objection filing period under 36 CFR part 219 Subpart B; and the process for objecting. The documents in this paragraph will be made available online at the time of public notice.


(2) Include the name of the plan, plan amendment, or plan revision, the name and title of the responsible official, and instructions on how to obtain a copy of the appropriate final environmental documents; the draft plan decision document; and the plan, plan amendment, or plan revision.


(3) Include the name and address of the reviewing officer with whom an objection is to be filed. The notice must specify a street, postal, fax, and email address; the acceptable format(s) for objections filed electronically; and the reviewing officer’s office business hours for those filing hand-delivered objections.


(4) Include a statement that objections will be accepted only from those who have previously submitted substantive formal comments specific to the proposed plan, plan amendment, or plan revision during any opportunity for public comment as provided in subpart A.


(5) Include a statement that the publication date of the public notice in the applicable newspaper of record (or the Federal Register, if the responsible official is the Chief) is the exclusive means for calculating the time to file an objection (§ 219.56).


(6) Include a statement that an objection, including attachments, must be filed with the appropriate reviewing officer (§ 219.62) within 60 days, if an environmental impact statement has been prepared, otherwise within 45 days of the date of publication of the public notice for the objection process.


(7) Include a statement describing the minimum content requirements of an objection (§ 219.54(c)).


§ 219.53 Who may file an objection.

(a) Individuals and entities who have submitted substantive formal comments related to a plan, plan amendment, or plan revision during the opportunities for public comment as provided in subpart A during the planning process for that decision may file an objection. Objections must be based on previously submitted substantive formal comments attributed to the objector unless the objection concerns an issue that arose after the opportunities for formal comment. The burden is on the objector to demonstrate compliance with requirements for objection. Objections that do not meet the requirements of this paragraph may not be accepted; however, objections not accepted must be documented in the planning record.


(b) Formal comments received from an authorized representative(s) of an entity are considered those of the entity only. Individual members of that entity do not meet objection eligibility requirements solely based on membership in an entity. A member or an individual must submit substantive formal comments independently to be eligible to file an objection in an individual capacity.


(c) When an objection lists multiple individuals or entities, each individual or entity must meet the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section. Individuals or entities listed on an objection that do not meet eligibility requirements may not be considered objectors, although an objection must be accepted (if not otherwise set aside for review under § 219.55) if at least one listed individual or entity meets the eligibility requirements.


(d) Federal agencies may not file objections.


(e) Federal employees who otherwise meet the requirements of this subpart for filing objections in a non-official capacity must comply with Federal conflict of interest statutes at 18 U.S.C. 202-209 and with employee ethics requirements at 5 CFR part 2635. Specifically, employees may not be on official duty nor use government property or equipment in the preparation or filing of an objection. Further, employees may not include information unavailable to the public, such as Federal agency documents that are exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552(b)).


§ 219.54 Filing an objection.

(a) All objections must be filed, in writing, with the reviewing officer for the plan. All objections must be open to public inspection during the objection process.


(b) Including documents by reference is not allowed, except for the following list of items that may be referenced by including the name, date, page number (where applicable), and relevant section of the cited document. All other documents or Web links to those documents, or both must be included with the objection, if referenced in the objection.


(1) All or any part of a Federal law or regulation.


(2) Forest Service Directive System documents and land management plans or other published Forest Service documents.


(3) Documents referenced by the Forest Service in the planning documentation related to the proposal subject to objection.


(4) Formal comments previously provided to the Forest Service by the objector during the proposed plan, plan amendment, or plan revision comment period.


(c) At a minimum, an objection must include the following:


(1) The objector’s name and address (§ 219.62), along with a telephone number or email address if available;


(2) Signature or other verification of authorship upon request (a scanned signature for electronic mail may be filed with the objection);


(3) Identification of the lead objector, when multiple names are listed on an objection (§ 219.62). Verification of the identity of the lead objector if requested;


(4) The name of the plan, plan amendment, or plan revision being objected to, and the name and title of the responsible official;


(5) A statement of the issues and/or the parts of the plan, plan amendment, or plan revision to which the objection applies;


(6) A concise statement explaining the objection and suggesting how the proposed plan decision may be improved. If applicable, the objector should identify how the objector believes that the plan, plan amendment, or plan revision is inconsistent with law, regulation, or policy; and


(7) A statement that demonstrates the link between prior substantive formal comments attributed to the objector and the content of the objection, unless the objection concerns an issue that arose after the opportunities for formal comment (§ 219.53(a)).


§ 219.55 Objections set aside from review.

(a) The reviewing officer shall set aside and not review an objection when one or more of the following applies:


(1) Objections are not filed in a timely manner (§ 219.56);


(2) The proposed plan, plan amendment, or plan revision is not subject to the objection procedures of this subpart pursuant to §§ 219.51 and 219.59;


(3) The individual or entity did not submit substantive formal comments (§ 219.53) during opportunities for public comment on the proposed decision (§ 219.16(a)(1) and (a)(2));


(4) None of the issues included in the objection is based on previously submitted substantive formal comments unless one or more of those issues arose after the opportunities for formal comment;


(5) The objection does not provide sufficient information as required by § 219.54(c);


(6) The objector withdraws the objection in writing;


(7) The objector’s identity is not provided or cannot be determined from the signature (written or electronically scanned), and a reasonable means of contact is not provided (§ 219.54(c)); or


(8) The objection is illegible for any reason and a legible copy cannot easily be obtained.


(b) When an objection includes an issue that is not based on previously submitted substantive formal comments and did not arise after the opportunities for formal comment, that issue will be set aside and not reviewed. Other issues raised in the objection that meet the requirements of this subpart will be reviewed.


(c) The reviewing officer shall give written notice to the objector and the responsible official when an objection or part of an objection is set aside from review and shall state the reasons for not reviewing the objection in whole or part. If the objection is set aside from review for reasons of illegibility or lack of a means of contact, the reasons must be documented in the planning record.


§ 219.56 Objection time periods and process.

(a) Time to file an objection. For a new plan, plan amendment, or plan revision for which an environmental impact statement (EIS) is prepared, written objections, including any attachments, must be filed within 60 days following the publication date of the public notice for a plan, plan amendment, or plan revision before approval (§§ 219.16 and 219.52). For an amendment for which an EIS is not prepared, the time to file an objection is within 45 days. It is the responsibility of the objector to ensure that the reviewing officer receives the objection in a timely manner.


(b) Computation of time periods. (1) All time periods are computed using calendar days, including Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays in the time zone of the reviewing officer. However, when the time period expires on a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday, the time is extended to the end of the next Federal working day (11:59 p.m. for objections filed by electronic means such as email or facsimile machine).


(2) The day after publication of the public notice for a plan, plan amendment, or plan revision before approval (§§ 219.16 and 219.52), is the first day of the objection filing period.


(3) The publication date of the public notice for a plan, plan amendment, or plan revision before approval (§§ 219.16 and 219.52), is the exclusive means for calculating the time to file an objection. Objectors may not rely on dates or timeframe information provided by any other source.


(c) Evidence of timely filing. The objector is responsible for filing the objection in a timely manner. Timeliness must be determined by one of the following indicators:


(1) The date of the U.S. Postal Service postmark for an objection received before the close of the fifth business day after the objection filing date;


(2) The electronically generated posted date and time for email and facsimiles;


(3) The shipping date for delivery by private carrier for an objection received before the close of the fifth business day after the objection filing date; or


(4) The official agency date stamp showing receipt of hand delivery.


(d) Extensions. Time extensions for filing are not permitted except as provided at paragraph (b)(1) of this section.


(e) Reviewing officer role and responsibilities. The reviewing officer is the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) or Forest Service official having the delegated authority and responsibility to review an objection filed under this subpart. The reviewing officer is a line officer at the next higher administrative level above the responsible official; except that:


(1) For a plan amendment, that next higher-level line officer may delegate the reviewing officer authority and responsibility to a line officer at the same administrative level as the responsible official. Any plan amendment delegation of reviewing officer responsibilities must be made prior to the public notification of an objection filing period (§ 219.52).


(2) For an objection or part of an objection specific to the identification of species of conservation concern, the regional forester who identified the species of conservation concern for the plan area may not be the reviewing officer. The Chief may choose to act as the reviewing officer or may delegate the reviewing officer authority to a line officer at the same administrative level as the regional forester. The reviewing officer for the plan will convey any such objections or parts thereof to the appropriate line officer.


(f) Notice of objections filed. Within 10 days after the close of the objection period, the responsible official shall publish a notice of all objections in the applicable newspaper of record and post the notice online.


(g) Response to objections. The reviewing officer must issue a written response to the objector(s) concerning their objection(s) within 90 days of the end of the objection-filing period. The reviewing officer has the discretion to extend the time when it is determined to be necessary to provide adequate response to objections or to participate in discussions with the parties. The reviewing officer must notify all parties (lead objectors and interested persons) in writing of any extensions.


§ 219.57 Resolution of objections.

(a) Meetings. Prior to the issuance of the reviewing officer’s written response, either the reviewing officer or the objector may request to meet to discuss issues raised in the objection and potential resolution. The reviewing officer must allow other interested persons to participate in such meetings. An interested person must file a request to participate in an objection within 10 days after publication of the notice of objection by the responsible official (§ 219.56(f)). The responsible official shall be a participant in all meetings involving the reviewing officer, objectors, and interested persons. During meetings with objectors and interested persons, the reviewing officer may choose to use alternative dispute resolution methods to resolve objections. All meetings are open to observation by the public.


(b) Response to objections. (1) The reviewing officer must render a written response to the objection(s) within 90 days of the close of the objection-filing period, unless the allowable time is extended as provided at § 219.56(g). A written response must set forth the reasons for the response but need not be a point-by-point response, and may contain instructions to the responsible official. In cases involving more than one objection to a plan, plan amendment, or plan revision, the reviewing officer may consolidate objections and issue one or more responses. The response must be sent to the objecting party(ies) by certified mail, return receipt requested, and posted online.


(2) The reviewing officer’s review of and response to the objection(s) is limited to only those issues and concerns submitted in the objection(s).


(3) The response of the reviewing officer will be the final decision of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the objection.


§ 219.58 Timing of a plan, plan amendment, or plan revision decision.

(a) The responsible official may not issue a decision document concerning a plan, plan amendment, or plan revision subject to the provisions of this subpart until the reviewing officer has responded in writing to all objections.


(b) A decision by the responsible official approving a plan, plan amendment, or plan revision must be consistent with the reviewing officer’s response to objections.


(c) When no objection is filed within the allotted filing period, the reviewing officer must notify the responsible official. The responsible official’s approval of the plan, plan amendment, or plan revision in a plan decision document consistent with § 219.14, may occur on, but not before, the fifth business day following the end of the objection-filing period.


§ 219.59 Use of other administrative review processes.

(a) Where the Forest Service is a participant in a multi-federal agency effort that would otherwise be subject to objection under this subpart, the responsible official may waive the objection procedures of this subpart and instead adopt the administrative review procedure of another participating Federal agency. As a condition of such a waiver, the responsible official for the Forest Service must have agreement with the responsible official of the other agency or agencies that a joint agency response will be provided to those who file for administrative review of the multi-agency effort. When such an agreement is reached, the responsible official for the Forest Service shall ensure public notice required in § 219.52 sets forth which administrative review procedure is to be used.


(b) When a plan amendment is approved in a decision document approving a project or activity and the amendment applies only to the project or activity, the administrative review process of 36 CFR part 215 or part 218, subpart A, applies instead of the objection process established in this subpart. When a plan amendment applies to all future projects or activities, the objection process established in this subpart applies only to the plan amendment decision; the review process of 36 CFR part 215 or part 218 would apply to the project or activity part of the decision.


§ 219.60 Secretary’s authority.

Nothing in this subpart restricts the Secretary of Agriculture from exercising any statutory authority regarding the protection, management, or administration of NFS lands.


§ 219.61 Information collection requirements.

This subpart specifies the information that objectors must give in an objection to a plan, plan amendment, or plan revision (§ 219.54(c)). As such, this subpart contains information collection requirements as defined in 5 CFR part 1320 and have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget and assigned control number 0596-0158.


§ 219.62 Definitions.

Definitions of the special terms used in this subpart are set out as follows.


Address. An individual’s or entity’s current mailing address used for postal service or other delivery services. An email address is not sufficient.


Decision memo. A concise written record of the responsible official’s decision to implement an action that is categorically excluded from further analysis and documentation in an environmental impact statement (EIS) or environmental assessment (EA), where the action is one of a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment, and does not give rise to extraordinary circumstances in which a normally excluded action may have a significant environmental effect.


Environmental assessment (EA). A public document that provides sufficient evidence and analysis for determining whether to prepare an EIS or a finding of no significant impact, aids an agency’s compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) when no EIS is necessary, and facilitates preparation of a statement when one is necessary (40 CFR 1508.9; FSH 1909.15, Chapter 40).


Environmental impact statement (EIS). A detailed written statement as required by section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 (40 CFR 1508.11; 36 CFR 220).


Formal comments. See substantive formal comments.


Lead objector. For an objection submitted with multiple individuals, multiple entities, or combination of individuals and entities listed, the individual or entity identified to represent all other objectors for the purposes of communication, written or otherwise, regarding the objection.


Line officer. A Forest Service official who serves in a direct line of command from the Chief.


Name. The first and last name of an individual or the name of an entity. An electronic username is insufficient for identification of an individual or entity.


National Forest System. The National Forest System includes national forests, national grasslands, and the National Tallgrass Prairie.


Newspaper(s) of record. The newspaper(s) of record is (are) the principal newspaper(s) of general circulation annually identified and published in the Federal Register by each regional forester to be used for publishing notices as required by 36 CFR 215.5. The newspaper(s) of record for projects in a plan area is (are) the newspaper(s) of record for notices related to planning.


Objection. The written document filed with a reviewing officer by an individual or entity seeking pre-decisional administrative review of a plan, plan amendment, or plan revision.


Objection period. The allotted filing period following publication of a public notice in the applicable newspaper of record (or the Federal Register, if the responsible official is the Chief) of the availability of the appropriate environmental documents and draft decision document, including a plan, plan amendment, or plan revision during which an objection may be filed with the reviewing officer.


Objection process. Those procedures established for pre-decisional administrative review of a plan, plan amendment, or plan revision.


Objector. An individual or entity who meets the requirements of § 219.53, and files an objection that meets the requirements of §§ 219.54 and 219.56.


Online. Refers to the appropriate Forest Service Web site or future electronic equivalent.


Responsible official. The official with the authority and responsibility to oversee the planning process and to approve a plan, plan amendment, and plan revision.


Reviewing officer. The USDA or Forest Service official having the delegated authority and responsibility to review an objection filed under this subpart.


Substantive formal comments. Written comments submitted to, or oral comments recorded by, the responsible official or his designee during an opportunity for public participation provided during the planning process (§§ 219.4 and 219.16), and attributed to the individual or entity providing them. Comments are considered substantive when they are within the scope of the proposal, are specific to the proposal, have a direct relationship to the proposal, and include supporting reasons for the responsible official to consider.


PART 220 – NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT (NEPA) COMPLIANCE


Authority:42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.; E. O. 11514; 40 CFR parts 1500-1508; 7 CFR part 1b.


Source:73 FR 43093, July 24, 2008, unless otherwise noted.

§ 220.1 Purpose and scope.

(a) Purpose. This part establishes Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) procedures for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508).


(b) Scope. This part supplements and does not lessen the applicability of the CEQ regulations, and is to be used in conjunction with the CEQ regulations and USDA regulations at 7 CFR part 1b.


§ 220.2 Applicability.

This part applies to all organizational elements of the Forest Service. Consistent with 40 CFR 1500.3, no trivial violation of this part shall give rise to any independent cause of action.


§ 220.3 Definitions.

The following definitions supplement, by adding to, the terms defined at 40 CFR parts 1500-1508.


Adaptive management. A system of management practices based on clearly identified intended outcomes and monitoring to determine if management actions are meeting those outcomes; and, if not, to facilitate management changes that will best ensure that those outcomes are met or re-evaluated. Adaptive management stems from the recognition that knowledge about natural resource systems is sometimes uncertain.


Decision document. A record of decision, decision notice or decision memo.


Decision memo. A concise written record of the responsible official’s decision to implement an action categorically excluded from further analysis and documentation in an environmental impact statement (EIS) or environmental assessment (EA).


Decision notice. A concise written record of the responsible official’s decision when an EA and finding of no significant impact (FONSI) have been prepared.


Environmentally preferable alternative. The environmentally preferable alternative is the alternative that will best promote the national environmental policy as expressed in NEPA’s section 101 (42 U.S.C. 4321). Ordinarily, the environmentally preferable alternative is that which causes the least harm to the biological and physical environment; it also is the alternative which best protects and preserves historic, cultural, and natural resources. In some situations, there may be more than one environmentally preferable alternative.


Reasonably foreseeable future actions. Those Federal or non-Federal activities not yet undertaken, for which there are existing decisions, funding, or identified proposals. Identified proposals for Forest Service actions are described in § 220.4(a)(1).


Responsible official. The Agency employee who has the authority to make and implement a decision on a proposed action.


Schedule of proposed actions (SOPA). A Forest Service document that informs the public about those proposed and ongoing Forest Service actions for which a record of decision, decision notice or decision memo would be or has been prepared. The SOPA also identifies a contact for additional information on any proposed actions.


§ 220.4 General requirements.

(a) Proposed actions subject to the NEPA requirements. As required by 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., a Forest Service proposal is subject to the NEPA requirements when all of the following apply:


(1) The Forest Service has a goal and is actively preparing to make a decision on one or more alternative means of accomplishing that goal and the effects can be meaningfully evaluated (see 40 CFR 1508.23);


(2) The proposed action is subject to Forest Service control and responsibility (see 40 CFR 1508.18);


(3) The proposed action would cause effects on the natural and physical environment and the relationship of people with that environment (see 40 CFR 1508.14); and


(4) The proposed action is not statutorily exempt from the requirements of section 102(2)(C) of the NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C)).


(b) Emergency responses. When the responsible official determines that an emergency exists that makes it necessary to take urgently needed actions before preparing a NEPA analysis and any required documentation in accordance with the provisions in §§ 220.5, 220.6, and 220.7 of this part, then the following provisions apply.


(1) The responsible official may take actions necessary to control the immediate impacts of the emergency and are urgently needed to mitigate harm to life, property, or important natural or cultural resources. When taking such actions, the responsible official shall take into account the probable environmental consequences of the emergency action and mitigate foreseeable adverse environmental effects to the extent practical.


(2) If the responsible official proposes emergency actions other than those actions described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, and such actions are not likely to have significant environmental impacts, the responsible official shall document that determination in an EA and FONSI prepared in accord with these regulations. If the responsible official finds that the nature and scope of proposed emergency actions are such that they must be undertaken prior to preparing any NEPA analysis and documentation associated with a CE or an EA and FONSI, the responsible official shall consult with the Washington Office about alternative arrangements for NEPA compliance. The Chief or Associate Chief of the Forest Service may grant emergency alternative arrangements under NEPA for environmental assessments, findings of no significant impact and categorical exclusions (FSM 1950.41a). Consultation with the Washington Office shall be coordinated through the appropriate regional office.


(3) If the responsible official proposes emergency actions other than those actions described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section and such actions are likely to have significant environmental impacts, then the responsible official shall consult with CEQ, through the appropriate regional office and the Washington Office, about alternative arrangements in accordance with CEQ regulations at 40 CFR 1506.11 as soon as possible.


(c) Agency decisionmaking. For each Forest Service proposal (§ 220.4(a)), the responsible official shall coordinate and integrate NEPA review and relevant environmental documents with agency decisionmaking by:


(1) Completing the environmental document review before making a decision on the proposal;


(2) Considering environmental documents, public and agency comments (if any) on those documents, and agency responses to those comments;


(3) Including environmental documents, comments, and responses in the administrative record;


(4) Considering the alternatives analyzed in environmental document(s) before rendering a decision on the proposal; and


(5) Making a decision encompassed within the range of alternatives analyzed in the environmental documents.


(d) Schedule of proposed actions (SOPA). The responsible official shall ensure the SOPA is updated and notify the public of the availability of the SOPA.


(e) Scoping (40 CFR 1501.7). (1) Scoping is required for all Forest Service proposed actions, including those that would appear to be categorically excluded from further analysis and documentation in an EA or an EIS (§ 220.6).


(2) Scoping shall be carried out in accordance with the requirements of 40 CFR 1501.7. Because the nature and complexity of a proposed action determine the scope and intensity of analysis, no single scoping technique is required or prescribed.


(3) The SOPA shall not to be used as the sole scoping mechanism for a proposed action.


(f) Cumulative effects considerations of past actions. Cumulative effects analysis shall be carried out in accordance with 40 CFR 1508.7 and in accordance with “The Council on Environmental Quality Guidance Memorandum on Consideration of Past Actions in Cumulative Effects Analysis” dated June 24, 2005. The analysis of cumulative effects begins with consideration of the direct and indirect effects on the environment that are expected or likely to result from the alternative proposals for agency action. Agencies then look for present effects of past actions that are, in the judgment of the agency, relevant and useful because they have a significant cause-and-effect relationship with the direct and indirect effects of the proposal for agency action and its alternatives. CEQ regulations do not require the consideration of the individual effects of all past actions to determine the present effects of past actions. Once the agency has identified those present effects of past actions that warrant consideration, the agency assesses the extent that the effects of the proposal for agency action or its alternatives will add to, modify, or mitigate those effects. The final analysis documents an agency assessment of the cumulative effects of the actions considered (including past, present, and reasonable foreseeable future actions) on the affected environment. With respect to past actions, during the scoping process and subsequent preparation of the analysis, the agency must determine what information regarding past actions is useful and relevant to the required analysis of cumulative effects. Cataloging past actions and specific information about the direct and indirect effects of their design and implementation could in some contexts be useful to predict the cumulative effects of the proposal. The CEQ regulations, however, do not require agencies to catalogue or exhaustively list and analyze all individual past actions. Simply because information about past actions may be available or obtained with reasonable effort does not mean that it is relevant and necessary to inform decisionmaking. (40 CFR 1508.7)


(g) Classified information. To the extent practicable, the responsible official shall segregate any information that has been classified pursuant to Executive order or statute. The responsible official shall maintain the confidentiality of such information in a manner required for the information involved. Such information may not be included in any publicly disclosed documents. If such material cannot be reasonably segregated, or if segregation would leave essentially meaningless material, the responsible official must withhold the entire analysis document from the public; however, the responsible official shall otherwise prepare the analysis documentation in accord with applicable regulations. (40 CFR 1507.3(c))


(h) Incorporation by reference. Material may be incorporated by reference into any environmental or decision document. This material must be reasonably available to the public and its contents briefly described in the environmental or decision document. (40 CFR 1502.21)


(i) Applicants. The responsible official shall make policies or staff available to advise potential applicants of studies or other information foreseeably required for acceptance of their applications. Upon acceptance of an application as provided by 36 CFR 251.54(g) the responsible official shall initiate the NEPA process.


(j) Determination of NEPA Adequacy (DNA). (1) An existing environmental analysis prepared pursuant to NEPA and the Council on Environmental Quality regulations may be used in its entirety for a new proposed action if the Responsible Official determines that the existing NEPA analysis adequately assesses the environmental effects of the proposed action and reasonable alternatives. The responsible official must determine and document that each of the following elements is met:


(i) The new proposed action is substantially the same as a previously analyzed proposed action or alternative analyzed in detail in the existing NEPA analysis.


(ii) The range of alternatives analyzed in the existing NEPA document(s) is appropriate with respect to the new proposed action.


(iii) Any new information or circumstances relevant to environmental concerns would not substantially change the analysis in an existing NEPA document(s).


(iv) The environmental effects that would result from implementation of the new proposed action are similar to those analyzed in the existing NEPA document(s).


(2) A DNA for a new proposed action shall be included in the project record for the new proposed action. Proposed actions undergoing a DNA review shall:


(i) Be included on the SOPA;


(ii) Be subject to scoping;


(iii) Be subject to pre-decisional administrative review, if applicable; and


(iv) Include issuance of a new decision document (decision memo, decision notice, or record of decision) when approved.


[73 FR 43093, July 24, 2008, as amended at 85 FR 73630, Nov. 19, 2020]


§ 220.5 Environmental impact statement and record of decision.

(a) Classes of actions normally requiring environmental impact statements – (1) Class 1: Proposals to carry out or to approve aerial application of chemical pesticides on an operational basis. Examples include but are not limited to:


(i) Applying chemical insecticides by helicopter on an area infested with spruce budworm to prevent serious resource loss.


(ii) Authorizing the application of herbicides by helicopter on a major utility corridor to control unwanted vegetation.


(iii) Applying herbicides by fixed-wing aircraft on an area to release trees from competing vegetation.


(2) Class 2: Proposals that would substantially alter the undeveloped character of an inventoried roadless area or a potential wilderness area. Examples include but are not limited to:


(i) Constructing roads and harvesting timber in an inventoried roadless area where the proposed road and harvest units impact a substantial part of the inventoried roadless area.


(ii) Constructing or reconstructing water reservoir facilities in a potential wilderness area where flow regimens may be substantially altered.


(iii) Approving a plan of operations for a mine that would cause considerable surface disturbance in a potential wilderness area.


(b) Notice of intent. Normally, a notice of intent to prepare an EIS shall be published in the Federal Register as soon as practicable after deciding that an EIS will be prepared. Where there is a lengthy period between the agency’s decision to prepare an environmental impact statement and the time of actual preparation, the notice of intent may be published at a reasonable time in advance of preparation of the draft statement. A notice must meet the requirements of 40 CFR 1508.22, and in addition, include the following:


(1) Title of the responsible official(s);


(2) Any permits or licenses required to implement the proposed action and the issuing authority;


(3) Lead, joint lead, or cooperating agencies if identified; and


(4) Address(es) to which comments may be sent.


(c) Withdrawal notice. A withdrawal notice must be published in the Federal Register if, after publication of the notice of intent or notice of availability, an EIS is no longer necessary. A withdrawal notice must refer to the date and Federal Register page number of the previously published notice(s).


(d) Environmental impact statement format and content. The responsible official may use any EIS format and design as long as the statement is in accord with 40 CFR 1502.10.


(e) Alternative(s). The EIS shall document the examination of reasonable alternatives to the proposed action. An alternative should meet the purpose and need and address one or more significant issues related to the proposed action. Since an alternative may be developed to address more than one significant issue, no specific number of alternatives is required or prescribed. The following procedures are available to the responsible official to develop and analyze alternatives:


(1) The responsible official may modify the proposed action and alternative(s) under consideration prior to issuing a draft EIS. In such cases, the responsible official may consider the incremental changes as alternatives considered. The documentation of these incremental changes to a proposed action or alternatives shall be included or incorporated by reference in accord with 40 CFR 1502.21.


(2) The proposed action and one or more alternatives to the proposed action may include adaptive management. An adaptive management proposal or alternative must clearly identify the adjustment(s) that may be made when monitoring during project implementation indicates that the action is not having its intended effect, or is causing unintended and undesirable effects. The EIS must disclose not only the effect of the proposed action or alternative but also the effect of the adjustment. Such proposal or alternative must also describe the monitoring that would take place to inform the responsible official during implementation whether the action is having its intended effect.


(f) Circulating and filing draft and final environmental impact statements. (1) The draft and final EISs shall be filed with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Federal Activities in Washington, DC (see 40 CFR 1506.9).


(2) Requirements at 40 CFR 1506.9 “Filing requirements,” 40 CFR 1506.10 “Timing of agency action,” and 40 CFR 1502.19 “Circulation of the environmental impact statement” shall only apply to the last draft and final EIS and not apply to material produced prior to the draft EIS or between the draft and final EIS which are filed with EPA.


(3) When the responsible official determines that an extension of the review period on a draft EIS is appropriate, notice shall be given in the same manner used for inviting comments on the draft.


(g) Distribution of the record of decision. The responsible official shall notify interested or affected parties of the availability of the record of decision as soon as practical after signing.


§ 220.6 Categorical exclusions.

(a) General. A proposed action may be categorically excluded from further analysis and documentation in an EIS or EA only if there are no extraordinary circumstances related to the proposed action and if:


(1) The proposed action is within one of the categories established by the Secretary at 7 CFR part 1b.3; or


(2) The proposed action is within a category listed in § 220.6(d) and (e).


(b) Resource conditions. (1) Resource conditions that should be considered in determining whether extraordinary circumstances related to a proposed action warrant further analysis and documentation in an EA or an EIS are:


(i) Federally listed threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitat, species proposed for Federal listing or proposed critical habitat, or Forest Service sensitive species;


(ii) Flood plains, wetlands, or municipal watersheds;


(iii) Congressionally designated areas, such as wilderness, wilderness study areas, or national recreation areas;


(iv) Inventoried roadless area or potential wilderness area;


(v) Research natural areas;


(vi) American Indians and Alaska Native religious or cultural sites; and


(vii) Archaeological sites, or historic properties or areas.


(2) The mere presence of one or more of these resource conditions does not preclude use of a categorical exclusion (CE). It is the existence of a cause-effect relationship between a proposed action and the potential effect on these resource conditions, and if such a relationship exists, the degree of the potential effect of a proposed action on these resource conditions that determines whether extraordinary circumstances exist.


(c) Scoping. If the responsible official determines, based on scoping, that it is uncertain whether the proposed action may have a significant effect on the environment, prepare an EA. If the responsible official determines, based on scoping, that the proposed action may have a significant environmental effect, prepare an EIS.


(d) Categories of actions for which a project or case file and decision memo are not required. A supporting record and a decision memo are not required, but at the discretion of the responsible official, may be prepared for the following categories:


(1) Orders issued pursuant to 36 CFR part 261 – Prohibitions to provide short-term resource protection or to protect public health and safety. Examples include but are not limited to:


(i) Closing a road to protect bighorn sheep during lambing season, and


(ii) Closing an area during a period of extreme fire danger.


(2) Rules, regulations, or policies to establish servicewide administrative procedures, program processes, or instructions. Examples include but are not limited to:


(i) Adjusting special use or recreation fees using an existing formula;


(ii) Proposing a technical or scientific method or procedure for screening effects of emissions on air quality related values in Class I wildernesses;


(iii) Proposing a policy to defer payments on certain permits or contracts to reduce the risk of default;


(iv) Proposing changes in contract terms and conditions or terms and conditions of special use authorizations;


(v) Establishing a servicewide process for responding to offers to exchange land and for agreeing on land values; and


(vi) Establishing procedures for amending or revising forest land and resource management plans.


(3) Repair and maintenance of administrative sites. Examples include but are not limited to:


(i) Mowing lawns at a district office;


(ii) Replacing a roof or storage shed;


(iii) Painting a building; and


(iv) Applying registered pesticides for rodent or vegetation control.


(4) Repair and maintenance of roads, trails, and landline boundaries. Examples include but are not limited to:


(i) Authorizing a user to grade, resurface, and clean the culverts of an established NFS road;


(ii) Grading a road and clearing the roadside of brush without the use of herbicides;


(iii) Resurfacing a road to its original condition;


(iv) Pruning vegetation and cleaning culverts along a trail and grooming the surface of the trail; and


(v) Surveying, painting, and posting landline boundaries.


(5) Repair and maintenance of recreation sites and facilities. Examples include but are not limited to:


(i) Applying registered herbicides to control poison ivy on infested sites in a campground;


(ii) Applying registered insecticides by compressed air sprayer to control insects at a recreation site complex;


(iii) Repaving a parking lot; and


(iv) Applying registered pesticides for rodent or vegetation control.


(6) Acquisition of land or interest in land. Examples include but are not limited to:


(i) Accepting the donation of lands or interests in land to the NFS, and


(ii) Purchasing fee, conservation easement, reserved interest deed, or other interests in lands.


(7) Sale or exchange of land or interest in land and resources where resulting land uses remain essentially the same. Examples include but are not limited to:


(i) Selling or exchanging land pursuant to the Small Tracts Act;


(ii) Exchanging NFS lands or interests with a State agency, local government, or other non-Federal party (individual or organization) with similar resource management objectives and practices;


(iii) Authorizing the Bureau of Land Management to issue leases on producing wells when mineral rights revert to the United States from private ownership and there is no change in activity; and


(iv) Exchange of administrative sites involving other than NFS lands.


(8) Approval, modification, or continuation of minor, short-term (1 year or less) special uses of NFS lands. Examples include, but are not limited to:


(i) Approving, on an annual basis, the intermittent use and occupancy by a State-licensed outfitter or guide;


(ii) Approving the use of NFS land for apiaries; and


(iii) Approving the gathering of forest products for personal use.


(9) Issuance of a new permit for up to the maximum tenure allowable under the National Forest Ski Area Permit Act of 1986 (16 U.S.C. 497b) for an existing ski area when such issuance is a purely ministerial action to account for administrative changes, such as a change in ownership of ski area improvements, expiration of the current permit, or a change in the statutory authority applicable to the current permit. Examples include, but are not limited to:


(i) Issuing a permit to a new owner of ski area improvements within an existing ski area with no changes to the master development plan, including no changes to the facilities or activities for that ski area;


(ii) Upon expiration of a ski area permit, issuing a new permit to the holder of the previous permit where the holder is not requesting any changes to the master development plan, including changes to the facilities or activities; and


(iii) Issuing a new permit under the National Forest Ski Area Permit Act of 1986 to the holder of a permit issued under the Term Permit and Organic Acts, where there are no changes in the type or scope of activities authorized and no other changes in the master development plan.


(10) [Reserved]


(11) Issuance of a new special use authorization to replace an existing or expired special use authorization, when such issuance is to account only for administrative changes, such as a change in ownership of authorized improvements or expiration of the current authorization, and where there are no changes to the authorized facilities or increases in the scope or magnitude of authorized activities. The applicant or holder must be in compliance with all the terms and conditions of the existing or expired special use authorization. Subject to the foregoing conditions, examples include but are not limited to:


(i) Issuing a new authorization to replace a powerline facility authorization that is at the end of its term;


(ii) Issuing a new permit to replace an expired permit for a road that continues to be used as access to non-NFS lands; and


(iii) Converting a transitional priority use outfitting and guiding permit to a priority use outfitting and guiding permit.


(12) Issuance of a new authorization or amendment of an existing authorization for recreation special uses that occur on existing roads or trails, in existing facilities, in existing recreation sites, or in areas where such activities are allowed. Subject to the foregoing condition, examples include but are not limited to:


(i) Issuance of an outfitting and guiding permit for mountain biking on NFS trails that are not closed to mountain biking;


(ii) Issuance of a permit to host a competitive motorcycle event;


(iii) Issuance of an outfitting and guiding permit for backcountry skiing;


(iv) Issuance of a permit for a one-time use of existing facilities for other recreational events; and


(v) Issuance of a campground concession permit for an existing campground that has previously been operated by the Forest Service.


(e) Categories of actions for which a project or case file and decision memo are required. A supporting record is required and the decision to proceed must be documented in a decision memo for the categories of action in paragraphs (e)(1) through (25) of this section. As a minimum, the project or case file should include any records prepared, such as: The names of interested and affected people, groups, and agencies contacted; the determination that no extraordinary circumstances exist; a copy of the decision memo; and a list of the people notified of the decision. If the proposed action is approval of a land management plan, plan amendment, or plan revision, the plan approval document required by 36 CFR part 219 satisfies the decision memo requirements of this section.


(1) Construction and reconstruction of trails. Examples include, but are not limited to:


(i) Constructing or reconstructing a trail to a scenic overlook, and


(ii) Reconstructing an existing trail to allow use by handicapped individuals.


(2) Additional construction or reconstruction of existing telephone or utility lines in a designated corridor. Examples include, but are not limited to:


(i) Replacing an underground cable trunk and adding additional phone lines, and


(ii) Reconstructing a power line by replacing poles and wires.


(3) Approval, modification, or continuation of special uses that require less than 20 acres of NFS lands. Subject to the preceding condition, examples include but are not limited to:


(i) Approving the construction of a meteorological sampling site;


(ii) Approving the use of land for a one-time group event;


(iii) Approving the construction of temporary facilities for filming of staged or natural events or studies of natural or cultural history;


(iv) Approving the use of land for a utility corridor that crosses a national forest;


(v) Approving the installation of a driveway or other facilities incidental to use of a private residence; and


(vi) Approving new or additional communication facilities, associated improvements, or communication uses at a site already identified as available for these purposes.


(4) [Reserved]


(5) Regeneration of an area to native tree species, including site preparation that does not involve the use of herbicides or result in vegetation type conversion. Examples include, but are not limited to:


(i) Planting seedlings of superior trees in a progeny test site to evaluate genetic worth, and


(ii) Planting trees or mechanical seed dispersal of native tree species following a fire, flood, or landslide.


(6) Timber stand and/or wildlife habitat improvement activities that do not include the use of herbicides or do not require more than 1 mile of low standard road construction. Examples include, but are not limited to:


(i) Girdling trees to create snags;


(ii) Thinning or brush control to improve growth or to reduce fire hazard including the opening of an existing road to a dense timber stand;


(iii) Prescribed burning to control understory hardwoods in stands of southern pine; and


(iv) Prescribed burning to reduce natural fuel build-up and improve plant vigor.


(7) Modification or maintenance of stream or lake aquatic habitat improvement structures using native materials or normal practices. Examples include, but are not limited to:


(i) Reconstructing a gabion with stone from a nearby source;


(ii) Adding brush to lake fish beds; and


(iii) Cleaning and resurfacing a fish ladder at a hydroelectric dam.


(8) Short-term (1 year or less) mineral, energy, or geophysical investigations and their incidental support activities that may require cross-country travel by vehicles and equipment, construction of less than 1 mile of low standard road, or use and minor repair of existing roads. Examples include, but are not limited to:


(i) Authorizing geophysical investigations which use existing roads that may require incidental repair to reach sites for drilling core holes, temperature gradient holes, or seismic shot holes;


(ii) Gathering geophysical data using shot hole, vibroseis, or surface charge methods;


(iii) Trenching to obtain evidence of mineralization;


(iv) Clearing vegetation for sight paths or from areas used for investigation or support facilities;


(v) Redesigning or rearranging surface facilities within an approved site;


(vi) Approving interim and final site restoration measures; and


(vii) Approving a plan for exploration which authorizes repair of an existing road and the construction of
1/3 mile of temporary road; clearing vegetation from an acre of land for trenches, drill pads, or support facilities.


(9) Implementation or modification of minor management practices to improve allotment condition or animal distribution when an allotment management plan is not yet in place. Examples include, but are not limited to:


(i) Rebuilding a fence to improve animal distribution;


(ii) Adding a stock watering facility to an existing water line; and


(iii) Spot seeding native species of grass or applying lime to maintain forage condition.


(10) [Reserved]


(11) Post-fire rehabilitation activities, not to exceed 4,200 acres (such as tree planting, fence replacement, habitat restoration, heritage site restoration, repair of roads and trails, and repair of damage to minor facilities such as campgrounds), to repair or improve lands unlikely to recover to a management approved condition from wildland fire damage, or to repair or replace minor facilities damaged by fire. Such activities:


(i) Shall be conducted consistent with Agency and Departmental procedures and applicable land and resource management plans;


(ii) Shall not include the use of herbicides or pesticides or the construction of new permanent roads or other new permanent infrastructure; and


(iii) Shall be completed within 3 years following a wildland fire.


(12) Harvest of live trees not to exceed 70 acres, requiring no more than
1/2 mile of temporary road construction. Do not use this category for even-aged regeneration harvest or vegetation type conversion. The proposed action may include incidental removal of trees for landings, skid trails, and road clearing. Examples include, but are not limited to:


(i) Removal of individual trees for sawlogs, specialty products, or fuelwood, and


(ii) Commercial thinning of overstocked stands to achieve the desired stocking level to increase health and vigor.


(13) Salvage of dead and/or dying trees not to exceed 250 acres, requiring no more than
1/2 mile of temporary road construction. The proposed action may include incidental removal of live or dead trees for landings, skid trails, and road clearing. Examples include, but are not limited to:


(i) Harvest of a portion of a stand damaged by a wind or ice event and construction of a short temporary road to access the damaged trees, and


(ii) Harvest of fire-damaged trees.


(14) Commercial and non-commercial sanitation harvest of trees to control insects or disease not to exceed 250 acres, requiring no more than
1/2 mile of temporary road construction, including removal of infested/infected trees and adjacent live uninfested/uninfected trees as determined necessary to control the spread of insects or disease. The proposed action may include incidental removal of live or dead trees for landings, skid trails, and road clearing. Examples include, but are not limited to:


(i) Felling and harvest of trees infested with southern pine beetles and immediately adjacent uninfested trees to control expanding spot infestations, and


(ii) Removal and/or destruction of infested trees affected by a new exotic insect or disease, such as emerald ash borer, Asian long horned beetle, and sudden oak death pathogen.


(15) [Reserved]


(16) Land management plans, plan amendments, and plan revisions developed in accordance with 36 CFR part 219 et seq. that provide broad guidance and information for project and activity decisionmaking in a NFS unit. Proposals for actions that approve projects and activities, or that command anyone to refrain from undertaking projects and activities, or that grant, withhold or modify contracts, permits or other formal legal instruments, are outside the scope of this category and shall be considered separately under Forest Service NEPA procedures.


(17) Approval of a Surface Use Plan of Operations for oil and natural gas exploration and initial development activities, associated with or adjacent to a new oil and/or gas field or area, so long as the approval will not authorize activities in excess of any of the following:


(i) One mile of new road construction;


(ii) One mile of road reconstruction;


(iii) Three miles of individual or co-located pipelines and/or utilities disturbance; or


(iv) Four drill sites.


(18) Restoring wetlands, streams, riparian areas or other water bodies by removing, replacing, or modifying water control structures such as, but not limited to, dams, levees, dikes, ditches, culverts, pipes, drainage tiles, valves, gates, and fencing, to allow waters to flow into natural channels and floodplains and restore natural flow regimes to the extent practicable where valid existing rights or special use authorizations are not unilaterally altered or canceled. Examples include but are not limited to:


(i) Repairing an existing water control structure that is no longer functioning properly with minimal dredging, excavation, or placement of fill, and does not involve releasing hazardous substances;


(ii) Installing a newly-designed structure that replaces an existing culvert to improve aquatic organism passage and prevent resource and property damage where the road or trail maintenance level does not change;


(iii) Removing a culvert and installing a bridge to improve aquatic and/or terrestrial organism passage or prevent resource or property damage where the road or trail maintenance level does not change; and


(iv) Removing a small earthen and rock fill dam with a low hazard potential classification that is no longer needed.


(19) Removing and/or relocating debris and sediment following disturbance events (such as floods, hurricanes, tornados, mechanical/engineering failures, etc.) to restore uplands, wetlands, or riparian systems to pre-disturbance conditions, to the extent practicable, such that site conditions will not impede or negatively alter natural processes. Examples include but are not limited to:


(i) Removing an unstable debris jam on a river following a flood event and relocating it back in the floodplain and stream channel to restore water flow and local bank stability;


(ii) Clean-up and removal of infrastructure flood debris, such as, benches, tables, outhouses, concrete, culverts, and asphalt following a hurricane from a stream reach and adjacent wetland area; and


(iii) Stabilizing stream banks and associated stabilization structures to reduce erosion through bioengineering techniques following a flood event, including the use of living and nonliving plant materials in combination with natural and synthetic support materials, such as rocks, riprap, geo-textiles, for slope stabilization, erosion reduction, and vegetative establishment and establishment of appropriate plant communities (bank shaping and planting, brush mattresses, log, root wad, and boulder stabilization methods).


(20) Activities that restore, rehabilitate, or stabilize lands occupied by roads and trails, including unauthorized roads and trails and National Forest System roads and National Forest System trails, to a more natural condition that may include removing, replacing, or modifying drainage structures and ditches, reestablishing vegetation, reshaping natural contours and slopes, reestablishing drainage-ways, or other activities that would restore site productivity and reduce environmental impacts. Examples include but are not limited to:


(i) Decommissioning a road to a more natural state by restoring natural contours and removing construction fills, loosening compacted soils, revegetating the roadbed and removing ditches and culverts to reestablish natural drainage patterns;


(ii) Restoring a trail to a natural state by reestablishing natural drainage patterns, stabilizing slopes, reestablishing vegetation, and installing water bars; and


(iii) Installing boulders, logs, and berms on a road segment to promote naturally regenerated grass, shrub, and tree growth.


(21) Construction, reconstruction, decommissioning, relocation, or disposal of buildings, infrastructure, or other improvements at an existing administrative site, as that term is defined in section 502(1) of Public Law 109-54 (119 Stat. 559; 16 U.S.C. 580d note). Examples include but are not limited to:


(i) Relocating an administrative facility to another existing administrative site;


(ii) Construction, reconstruction, or expansion of an office, a warehouse, a lab, a greenhouse, or a fire-fighting facility;


(iii) Surface or underground installation or decommissioning of water or waste disposal system infrastructure;


(iv) Disposal of an administrative building; and


(v) Construction or reconstruction of communications infrastructure.


(22) Construction, reconstruction, decommissioning, or disposal of buildings, infrastructure, or improvements at an existing recreation site, including infrastructure or improvements that are adjacent or connected to an existing recreation site and provide access or utilities for that site. Recreation sites include but are not limited to campgrounds and camping areas, picnic areas, day use areas, fishing sites, interpretive sites, visitor centers, trailheads, ski areas, and observation sites. Activities within this category are intended to apply to facilities located at recreation sites managed by the Forest Service and those managed by concessioners under a special use authorization. Examples include but are not limited to:


(i) Constructing, reconstructing, or expanding a toilet or shower facility;


(ii) Constructing or reconstructing a fishing pier, wildlife viewing platform, dock, or other constructed feature at a recreation site;


(iii) Installing or reconstructing a water or waste disposal system;


(iv) Constructing or reconstructing campsites;


(v) Disposal of facilities at a recreation site;


(vi) Constructing or reconstructing a boat landing;


(vii) Replacing a chair lift at a ski area;


(viii) Constructing or reconstructing a parking area or trailhead; and


(ix) Reconstructing or expanding a recreation rental cabin.


(23) Road management activities on up to 8 miles of NFS roads and associated parking areas. Activities under this category cannot include construction or realignment. Examples include but are not limited to:


(i) Rehabilitating an NFS road or parking area where management activities go beyond repair and maintenance;


(ii) Shoulder-widening or other safety improvements within the right-of-way for an NFS road; and


(iii) Replacing a bridge along an NFS road.


(24) Construction and realignment of up to 2 miles of NFS roads and associated parking areas. Examples include but are not limited to:


(i) Constructing an NFS road to improve access to a trailhead or parking area;


(ii) Rerouting an NFS road to minimize resource impacts; and


(iii) Improving or upgrading the surface of an NFS road to expand its capacity.


(25) Forest and grassland management activities with a primary purpose of meeting restoration objectives or increasing resilience. Activities to improve ecosystem health, resilience, and other watershed and habitat conditions may not exceed 2,800 acres.


(i) Activities to meet restoration and resilience objectives may include, but are not limited to:


(A) Stream restoration, aquatic organism passage rehabilitation, or erosion control;


(B) Invasive species control and reestablishment of native species;


(C) Prescribed burning;


(D) Reforestation;


(E) Road and/or trail decommissioning (system and non-system);


(F) Pruning;


(G) Vegetation thinning; and


(H) Timber harvesting.


(ii) The following requirements or limitations apply to this category:


(A) Projects shall be developed or refined through a collaborative process that includes multiple interested persons representing diverse interests;


(B) Vegetation thinning or timber harvesting activities shall be designed to achieve ecological restoration objectives, but shall not include salvage harvesting as defined in Agency policy; and


(C) Construction and reconstruction of permanent roads is limited to 0.5 miles. Construction of temporary roads is limited to 2.5 miles, and all temporary roads shall be decommissioned no later than 3 years after the date the project is completed. Projects may include repair and maintenance of NFS roads and trails to prevent or address resource impacts; repair and maintenance of NFS roads and trails is not subject to the above mileage limits.


(f) Decision memos. The responsible official shall notify interested or affected parties of the availability of the decision memo as soon as practical after signing. While sections may be combined or rearranged in the interest of clarity and brevity, decision memos must include the following content:


(1) A heading, which must identify:


(i) Title of document: Decision Memo;


(ii) Agency and administrative unit;


(iii) Title of the proposed action; and


(iv) Location of the proposed action, including administrative unit, county, and State.


(2) Decision to be implemented and the reasons for categorically excluding the proposed action including:


(i) The category of the proposed action;


(ii) The rationale for using the category and, if more than one category could have been used, why the specific category was chosen;


(iii) A finding that no extraordinary circumstances exist;


(3) Any interested and affected agencies, organizations, and persons contacted;


(4) Findings required by other laws such as, but not limited to findings of consistency with the forest land and resource management plan as required by the National Forest Management Act; or a public interest determination (36 CFR 254.3(c));


(5) The date when the responsible official intends to implement the decision and any conditions related to implementation;


(6) Whether the decision is subject to review or appeal, the applicable regulations, and when and where to file a request for review or appeal;


(7) Name, address, and phone number of a contact person who can supply further information about the decision; and


(8) The responsible official’s signature and date when the decision is made.


[73 FR 43093, July 24, 2008, as amended at 78 FR 56163, Sept. 12, 2013; 85 FR 73631, Nov. 19, 2020]


§ 220.7 Environmental assessment and decision notice.

(a) Environmental assessment. An environmental assessment (EA) shall be prepared for proposals as described in § 220.4(a) that are not categorically excluded from documentation (§ 220.6) and for which the need of an EIS has not been determined (§ 220.5). An EA may be prepared in any format useful to facilitate planning, decisionmaking, and public disclosure as long as the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section are met. The EA may incorporate by reference information that is reasonably available to the public.


(b) An EA must include the following:


(1) Need for the proposal. The EA must briefly describe the need for the project.


(2) Proposed action and alternative(s). The EA shall briefly describe the proposed action and alternative(s) that meet the need for action. No specific number of alternatives is required or prescribed.


(i) When there are no unresolved conflicts concerning alternative uses of available resources (NEPA, section 102(2)(E)), the EA need only analyze the proposed action and proceed without consideration of additional alternatives.


(ii) The EA may document consideration of a no-action alternative through the effects analysis by contrasting the impacts of the proposed action and any alternative(s) with the current condition and expected future condition if the proposed action were not implemented.


(iii) The description of the proposal and alternative(s) may include a brief description of modifications and incremental design features developed through the analysis process to develop the alternatives considered. The documentation of these incremental changes to a proposed action or alternatives may be incorporated by reference in accord with 40 CFR 1502.21.


(iv) The proposed action and one or more alternatives to the proposed action may include adaptive management. An adaptive management proposal or alternative must clearly identify the adjustment(s) that may be made when monitoring during project implementation indicates that the action is not having its intended effect, or is causing unintended and undesirable effects. The EA must disclose not only the effect of the proposed action or alternative but also the effect of the adjustment. Such proposal or alternative must also describe the monitoring that would take place to inform the responsible official whether the action is having its intended effect.


(3) Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action and Alternative(s). The EA:


(i) Shall briefly provide sufficient evidence and analysis, including the environmental impacts of the proposed action and alternative(s), to determine whether to prepare either an EIS or a FONSI (40 CFR 1508.9);


(ii) Shall disclose the environmental effects of any adaptive management adjustments;


(iii) Shall describe the impacts of the proposed action and any alternatives in terms of context and intensity as described in the definition of “significantly” at 40 CFR 1508.27;


(iv) May discuss the direct, indirect, and cumulative impact(s) of the proposed action and any alternatives together in a comparative description or describe the impacts of each alternative separately; and


(v) May incorporate by reference data, inventories, other information and analyses.


(4) Agencies and Persons Consulted.


(c) Decision notice. If an EA and FONSI have been prepared, the responsible official must document a decision to proceed with an action in a decision notice unless law or regulation requires another form of decision documentation (40 CFR 1508.13). A decision notice must document the conclusions drawn and the decision(s) made based on the supporting record, including the EA and FONSI. A decision notice must include:


(1) A heading, which identifies the:


(i) Title of document;


(ii) Agency and administrative unit;


(iii) Title of the project; and


(iv) Location of the action, including county and State.


(2) Decision and rationale;


(3) Brief summary of public involvement;


(4) A statement incorporating by reference the EA and FONSI if not combined with the decision notice;


(5) Findings required by other laws and regulations applicable to the decision at the time of decision;


(6) Expected implementation date;


(7) Administrative review or appeal opportunities and, when such opportunities exist, a citation to the applicable regulations and directions on when and where to file a request for review or an appeal;


(8) Contact information, including the name, address, and phone number of a contact person who can supply additional information; and


(9) Responsible Official’s signature, and the date the notice is signed.


(d) Notification. The responsible official shall notify interested and affected parties of the availability of the EA, FONSI and decision notice, as soon as practicable after the decision notice is signed.


PART 221 – TIMBER MANAGEMENT PLANNING


Authority:30 Stat. 34, 44 Stat. 242; 16 U.S.C. 475, 616.

§ 221.3 Disposal of national forest timber according to management plans.

(a) Management plans for national forest timber resources shall be prepared and revised, as needed, for working circles or other practicable units of national forest. Such plans shall:


(1) Be designed to aid in providing a continuous supply of national forest timber for the use and necessities of the citizens of the United States.


(2) Be based on the principle of sustained yield, with due consideration to the condition of the area and the timber stands covered by the plan.


(3) Provide, so far as feasible, an even flow of national forest timber in order to facilitate the stabilization of communities and of opportunities for employment.


(4) Provide for coordination of timber production and harvesting with other uses of national forest land in accordance with the principles of multiple use management.


(5) Establish the allowable cutting rate which is the maximum amount of timber which may be cut from the national forest lands within the unit by years or other periods.


(6) Be approved by the Chief, Forest Service, unless authority for such approval shall be delegated to subordinates by the Chief.


(b) When necessary to promote better utilization of national forest timber or to facilitate protection and management of the national forests, a management plan may include provisions for requirements of purchasers for processing the timber to at least a stated degree within the working circle, or within a stated area, and, when appropriate, by machinery of a stated type; and agreements for cutting in accordance with the plan may so require.


[13 FR 7711, Dec. 14, 1948, as amended at 28 FR 723, Jan. 26, 1963; 34 FR 743, Jan. 17, 1969]


PART 222 – RANGE MANAGEMENT


Authority:7 U.S.C. 1010-1012, 5101-5106; 16 U.S.C. 551, 572, 5801; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 43 U.S.C. 1751, 1752, 1901; E.O. 12548 (51 FR 5985).

Subpart A – Grazing and Livestock Use on the National Forest System


Authority:92 Stat. 1803, as amended (43 U.S.C. 1901), 85 Stat. 649, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1331-1340); sec. 1, 30 Stat. 35, as amended (18 U.S.C. 551); sec. 32, 50 Stat. 522, as amended (7 U.S.C. 1011).


Source:42 FR 56732, Oct. 28, 1977, unless otherwise noted.

§ 222.1 Authority and definitions.

(a) Authority. The Chief, Forest Service, shall develop, administer and protect the range resources and permit and regulate the grazing use of all kinds and classes of livestock on all National Forest System lands and on other lands under Forest Service control. He may redelegate this authority.


(b) Definitions. (1) An allotment is a designated area of land available for livestock grazing.


(2) An allotment management plan is a document that specifies the program of action designated to reach a given set of objectives. It is prepared in consultation with the permittee(s) involved and:


(i) Prescribes the manner in and extent to which livestock operations will be conducted in order to meet the multiple-use, sustained yield, economic, and other needs and objectives as determined for the lands, involved; and


(ii) Describes the type, location, ownership, and general specifications for the range improvements in place or to be installed and maintained on the lands to meet the livestock grazing and other objectives of land management; and


(iii) Contains such other provisions relating to livestock grazing and other objectives as may be prescribed by the Chief, Forest Service, consistent with applicable law.


(3) Base property is land and improvements owned and used by the permittee for a farm or ranch operation and specifically designated by him to qualify for a term grazing permit.


(4) Cancel means action taken to permanently invalidate a term grazing permit in whole or in part.


(5) A grazing permit is any document authorizing livestock to use National Forest System or other lands under Forest Service control for the purpose of livestock production including:


(i) Temporary grazing permits for grazing livestock temporarily and without priority for reissuance.


(ii) Term permits for up to 10 years with priority for renewal at the end of the term.


(6) Land subject to commercial livestock grazing means National Forest System lands within established allotments.


(7) Lands within National Forest in the 16 contiguous western States means lands designated as National Forest within the boundaries of Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming (National Grasslands are excluded).


(8) Livestock means animals of any kind kept or raised for use or pleasure.


(9) Livestock use permit means a permit issued for not to exceed one year where the primary use is for other than grazing livestock.


(10) Modify means to revise the terms and conditions of an issued permit.


(11) National Forest System lands, are the National Forests, National Grasslands, Land Utilization Projects, and other Federal lands for which the Forest Service has administrative jurisdiction.


(12) On-and-off grazing permits are permits with specific provisions on range only part of which is National Forest System lands or other lands under Forest Service control.


(13) On-the-ground expenditure means payment of direct project costs of implementing an improvement or development, such as survey and design, equipment, labor and material (or contract) costs, and on-the-ground supervision.


(14) Other lands under Forest Service control are non-Federal public and private lands over which the Forest Service has been given control through lease, agreement, waiver, or otherwise.


(15) Private land grazing permits are permits issued to persons who control grazing lands adjacent to National Forest System lands and who waive exclusive grazing use of these lands to the United States for the full period the permit is to be issued.


(16) Permittee means any person who has been issued a grazing permit.


(17) Permitted livestock is livestock authorized by a written permit.


(18) Person means any individual, partnership, corporation, association, organization, or other private entity, but does not include Government Agencies.


(19) Range betterment means rehabilitation, protection and improvement of National Forest System lands to arrest range deterioration and improve forage conditions, fish and wildlife habitat, watershed protection, and livestock production.


(20) Range betterment fund means the fund established by title IV, section 401(b)(1), of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976. This consists of 50 percent of all monies received by the United States as fees for grazing livestock on the National Forests in the 16 contiguous western States.


(21) Range Improvement means any activity or program designed to improve production of forage and includes facilities or treatments constructed or installed for the purpose of improving the range resource or the management of livestock and includes the following types:


(i) Non-structural which are practices and treatments undertaken to improve range not involving construction of improvements.


(ii) Structural which are improvements requiring construction or installation undertaken to improve the range or to facilitate management or to control distribution and movement of livestock.


(A) Permanent which are range improvements installed or constructed and become a part of the land such as: dams, ponds, pipelines, wells, fences, trails, seeding, etc.


(B) Temporary which are short-lived or portable improvements that can be removed such as: troughs, pumps and electric fences, including improvements at authorized places of habitation such as line camps.


(22) Suspend means temporary withholding of a term grazing permit privilege, in whole or in part.


(23) Term period means the period for which term permits are issued, the maximum of which is 10 years.


(24) Transportation livestock is livestock used as pack and saddle stock for travel on the National Forest System.


(Sec. 1, 30 Stat. 35, as amended (16 U.S.C. 551); sec. 1, 33 Stat. 628 (16 U.S.C. 472); sec. 32, 50 Stat. 525, as amended (7 U.S.C. 1011); sec. 19, 64 Stat. 88 (16 U.S.C. 580l); Title IV, Pub. L. 94, 90 Stat. 2771 (43 U.S.C. 1751, et seq.); 92 Stat. 1803 (43 U.S.C. 1901))

[42 FR 56732, Oct. 28, 1977, as amended at 44 FR 61345, Oct. 25, 1979]


§ 222.2 Management of the range environment.

(a) Allotments will be designated on the National Forest System and on other lands under Forest Service control where the land is available for grazing. Associated private and other public lands should, but only with the consent of the landowner, lessee, or agency, be considered in such designations to form logical range management units.


(b) Each allotment will be analyzed and with careful and considered consultation and cooperation with the affected permittees, landowners, and grazing advisory boards involved, as well as the State having land within the area covered, and an allotment management plan developed. The plan will then be approved and implemented. The analysis and plan will be updated as needed.


(c) Forage producing National Forest System lands will be managed for livestock grazing and the allotment management plans will be prepared consistent with land management plans.


(Sec. 1, 30 Stat. 35, as amended (16 U.S.C. 551); sec. 1, 33 Stat. 628 (16 U.S.C. 472); sec. 32, 50 Stat. 525, as amended (7 U.S.C. 1011); sec. 19, 64 Stat. 88 (16 U.S.C. 5801); Title IV, Pub. L. 94, 90 Stat. 2771 (43 U.S.C. 1751, et seq.); 92 Stat. 1803 (43 U.S.C. 1901))

[42 FR 56732, Oct. 28, 1977, as amended at 44 FR 61346, Oct. 25, 1979; 46 FR 42449, Aug. 21, 1981]


§ 222.3 Issuance of grazing and livestock use permits.

(a) Unless otherwise specified by the Chief, Forest Service, all grazing and livestock use on National Forest System lands and on other lands under Forest Service control must be authorized by a grazing or livestock use permit.


(b) Grazing permits and livestock use permits convey no right, title, or interest held by the United States in any lands or resources.


(c) The Chief, Forest Service, is authorized to issue permits for livestock grazing and other use by livestock of the National Forest System and on other lands under Forest Service control as follows:


(1) Grazing permits with priority for renewal may be issued as follows: On National Forests in the 16 contiguous western States 10-year term permits will be issued unless the land is pending disposal, or will be devoted to other uses prior to the end of ten years, or it will be in the best interest of sound land management to specify a shorter term. On National Forest System lands other than National Forests in the 16 contiguous western States, the permit term shall be for periods of 10 years or less. Term grazing permits for periods of 10 years or less in the form of grazing agreements may be issued to cooperative grazing associations or similar organizations incorporated or otherwise established pursuant to State law. Such an agreement will make National Forest System lands and improvements available to the association for grazing in accordance with provisions of the grazing agreement and Forest Service policies. Term permits authorized in this paragraph may be in the form of private land or on-and-off grazing permits where the person is qualified to hold such permits under provisions the Chief may require. Permits issued under this paragraph are subject to the following:


(i) Except as provided for by the Chief, Forest Service, paid term permits will be issued to persons who own livestock to be grazed and such base property as may be required, provided the land is determined to be available for grazing purposes by the Chief, Forest Service, and the capacity exists to graze specified numbers of animals.


(ii) A term permit holder has first priority for receipt of a new permit at the end of the term period provided he has fully complied with the terms and conditions of the expiring permit.


(iii) In order to update terms and conditions, term permits may be cancelled at the end of the calendar year of the midyear of the decade (1985, 1995, etc.), provided they are reissued to the existing permit holder for a new term of 10 years.


(iv) New term permits may be issued to the purchaser of a permittee’s permitted livestock and/or base property, provided the permittee waives his term permit to the United States and provided the purchaser is otherwise eligible and qualified.


(v) If the permittee chooses to dispose of all or part of his base property or permitted livestock (not under approved nonuse) but does not choose to waive his term permit, the Forest Supervisor will give written notice that he no longer is qualified to hold a permit, provided he is given up to one year to reestablish his qualifications before cancellation action is final.


(vi) The Chief, Forest Service, shall prescribe provisions and requirements under which term permits will be issued, renewed, and administered, including:


(A) The amount and character of base property and livestock the permit holder shall be required to own.


(B) Specifying the period of the year the base property shall be capable of supporting permitted livestock.


(C) Acquisition of base property and/or permitted livestock.


(D) Conditions for the approval of nonuse of permit for specified periods.


(E) Upper and special limits governing the total number of livestock for which a person is entitled to hold a permit.


(F) Conditions whereby waiver of grazing privileges may be confirmed and new applicants recognized.


(2) Permits with no priority for reissuance, subject to terms and conditions as the Chief, Forest Service, may prescribe, are authorized as follows:


(i) Temporary grazing permits for periods not to exceed one year, and on a charge basis, may be issued:


(A) To allow for use of range while a term grazing permit is held in suspension.


(B) To use forage created by unusually favorable climatic conditions.


(C) To use the forage available when the permit of the normal user’s livestock is in nonuse status for reasons of personal convenience.


(D) To allow a person to continue to graze livestock for the remainder of the grazing season where base property has been sold, the permit waived, and a new term permit issued.


(E) To allow grazing use in the event of drought or other emergency of National or Regional scope where such use would not result in permanent resource damage.


(ii) Livestock use permits for not to exceed one year may be issued under terms and conditions prescribed by the Chief, Forest Service, as follows:


(A) Paid permits for transportation livestock to persons engaged in commercial packing, dude ranching, or other commercial enterprises which involve transportation livestock including mining, ranching, and logging, activities.


(B) Paid or free permits for research purposes and administrative studies.


(C) Paid or free permits to trail livestock across National Forest System lands.


(D) Free permits to persons who reside on ranch or agricultural lands within or contiguous to National Forest System lands for not to exceed 10 head of livestock owned or kept and whose products are consumed or whose services are used directly by the family of the resident, and who distinctly need such National Forest System lands to support such animals.


(E) Free permits to campers and travelers for the livestock actually used during the period of occupancy. This may be authorized without written permit.


(F) Paid or free permits for horses, mules, or burros to persons who clearly need National Forest System land to support the management of permitted livestock.


(G) Free permits for horses, mules, or burros to cooperators who clearly need National Forest System land to support research, administration or other work being conducted. This may be authorized without written permit.


(H) Paid permits to holders of grazing permits for breeding animals used to service livestock permitted to graze on lands administered by the Forest Service.


(I) Paid permits or cooperative agreements entered into as a management tool to manipulate revegetation on a given parcel of land.


[42 FR 56732, Oct. 28, 1977, as amended at 43 FR 27532, June 26, 1978; 44 FR 61345, Oct. 25, 1979; 46 FR 42449, Aug. 21, 1981]


§ 222.4 Changes in grazing permits.

(a) The Chief, Forest Service, is authorized to cancel, modify, or suspend grazing and livestock use permits in whole or in part as follows:


(1) Cancel permits where lands grazed under the permit are to be devoted to another public purpose including disposal. In these cases, except in an emergency, no permit shall be cancelled without two years’ prior notification.


(2) Cancel the permit in the event the permittee:


(i) Refuses to accept modification of the terms and conditions of an existing permit.


(ii) Refuses or fails to comply with eligibility or qualification requirements.


(iii) Waives his permit back to the United States.


(iv) Fails to restock the allotted range after full extent of approved personal convenience non-use has been exhausted.


(v) Fails to pay grazing fees within established time limits.


(3) Cancel or suspend the permit if the permittee fails to pay grazing fees within established time limit.


(4) Cancel or suspend the permit if the permittee does not comply with provisions and requirements in the grazing permit or the regulations of the Secretary of Agriculture on which the permit is based.


(5) Cancel or suspend the permit if the permittee knowingly and willfully makes a false statement or representation in the grazing application or amendments thereto.


(6) Cancel or suspend the permit if the permit holder is convicted for failing to comply with Federal laws or regulations or State laws relating to protection of air, water, soil and vegetation, fish and wildlife, and other environmental values when exercising the grazing use authorized by the permit.


(7) Modify the terms and conditions of a permit to conform to current situations brought about by changes in law, regulation, executive order, development or revision of an allotment management plan, or other management needs.


(8) Modify the seasons of use, numbers, kind, and class of livestock allowed or the allotment to be used under the permit, because of resource condition, or permittee request. One year’s notice will be given of such modification, except in cases of emergency.


(b) Association permits or grazing agreements may be canceled for noncompliance with title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Department of Agriculture regulation promulgated thereunder.


[42 FR 56732, Oct. 28, 1977, as amended at 46 FR 42449, Aug. 21, 1981]


§ 222.6 Compensation for permittees’ interest in authorized permanent improvements.

(a) Whenever a term permit for grazing livestock on National Forest land in the 16 contiguous western States is canceled in whole or in part to devote the lands covered by the permit to another public purpose, including disposal, the permittee shall receive from the United States a reasonable compensation for the adjusted value of his interest in authorized permanent improvements placed or constructed by him on the lands covered by the canceled permit. The adjusted value is to be determined by the Chief, Forest Service. Compensation received shall not exceed the fair market value of the terminated portion of the permittee’s interest therein.


(b) In the event a permittee waives his grazing permit in connection with sale of his base property or permitted livestock, he is not entitled to compensation.


(Sec. 1, 30 Stat. 35, as amended (16 U.S.C. 551); sec. 1, 33 Stat. 628 (16 U.S.C. 472); sec. 32, 50 Stat. 525, as amended (7 U.S.C. 1011); sec. 19, 64 Stat. 88 (16 U.S.C. 5801); Title IV, Pub. L. 94, 90 Stat. 2771 (43 U.S.C. 1751, et seq.); 92 Stat. 1803 (43 U.S.C. 1901))

[42 FR 56732, Oct. 28, 1977, as amended at 44 FR 61345, Oct. 25, 1979]


§ 222.7 Cooperation in management.

(a) Cooperation with local livestock associations – (1) Authority. The Chief, Forest Service, is authorized to recognize, cooperate with, and assist local livestock associations in the management of the livestock and range resources on a single range allotment, associated groups of allotments, or other association-controlled lands on which the members’ livestock are permitted to graze.


(2) Purposes. These associations will provide the means for the members to:


(i) Manage their permitted livestock and the range resources.


(ii) Meet jointly with Forest officers to discuss and formulate programs for management of their livestock and the range resources.


(iii) Express their wishes through their designated officers or committees.


(iv) Share costs for handling of livestock, construction and maintenance of range improvements or other accepted programs deemed needed for proper management of the permitted livestock and range resources.


(v) Formulate association special rules needed to ensure proper resource management.


(3) Requirements for recognition. The requirements for receiving recognition by the Forest Supervisor are:


(i) The members of the association must constitute a majority of the grazing permittees on the range allotment or allotments involved.


(ii) The officers of the association must be elected by a majority of the association members or of a quorum as specified by the association’s constitution and bylaws.


(iii) The officers other than the Secretary and Treasurer must be grazing permittees on the range allotment or allotments involved.


(iv) The association’s activities must be governed by a constitution and bylaws acceptable to the Forest Supervisor and approved by him.


(4) Withdrawing recognition. The Forest Supervisor may withdraw his recognition of the association whenever:


(i) The majority of the grazing permittees request that the association be dissolved.


(ii) The association becomes inactive, and does not meet in annual or special meetings during a consecutive 2-year period.


(b) Cooperation with national, State, and county livestock organizations. The policies and programs of national, State, and county livestock organizations give direction to, and reflect in, the practices of their members. Good working relationships with these groups is conducive to the betterment of range management on both public and private lands. The Chief, Forest Service, will endeavor to establish and maintain close working relationships with National livestock organizations who have an interest in the administration of National Forest System lands, and direct Forest officers to work cooperatively with State and county livestock organizations having similar interests.


(c) Interagency cooperation. The Chief, Forest Service, will cooperate with other Federal agencies which have interest in improving range management on public and private lands.


(d) Cooperation with others. The Chief, Forest Service, will cooperate with other agencies, institutions, organizations, and individuals who have interest in improvement of range management on public and private lands.


§ 222.8 Cooperation in control of estray or unbranded livestock, animal diseases, noxious farm weeds, and use of pesticides.

(a) Insofar as it involves National Forest System lands and other lands under Forest Service control or the livestock which graze thereupon, the Chief, Forest Service, will cooperate with:


(1) State, county, and Federal agencies in the application and enforcement of all laws and regulations relating to livestock diseases, sanitation and noxious farm weeds.


(2) The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and other Federal or State agencies and institutions in surveillance of pesticides spray programs; and


(3) State cattle and sheep sanitary or brand boards in control of estray and unbranded livestock to the extent it does not conflict with the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of December 15, 1971.


(b) The Chief, Forest Service, will cooperate with county or other local weed control districts in analyzing noxious farm weed problems and developing control programs in areas of which the National Forests and National Grasslands are a part.


(85 Stat. 649 (16 U.S.C. 1331-1340))


§ 222.9 Range improvements.

(a) The Chief, Forest Service, is authorized to install and maintain structural and nonstructural range improvements needed to manage the range resource on National Forest System lands and other lands controlled by the Forest Service.


(b) Such improvements may be constructed or installed and maintained, or work performed by individuals, organizations or agencies other than the Forest Service subject to the following:


(1) All improvements must be authorized by cooperative agreement or memorandum of understanding, the provisions of which become a part of the grazing permit(s).


(2) Title to permanent structural range improvements shall rest in the United States.


(3) Title to temporary structural range improvements may be retained by the Cooperator where no part of the cost for the improvement is borne by the United States.


(4) Title to nonstructural range improvements shall vest in the United States.


(5) Range improvement work performed by a cooperator or permittee on National Forest System lands shall not confer the exclusive right to use the improvement or the land influenced.


(c) A user of the range resource on National Forest System lands and other lands under Forest Service control may be required by the Chief, Forest Service, to maintain improvements to specified standards.


(d) Grazing fees or the number of animal months charged shall not be adjusted to compensate permittees for range improvement work performed on National Forest System lands: Provided, That, in accordance with section 32(c), title III, Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act, the cost to grazing users in complying with requirements of a grazing permit or agreement may be considered in determining the annual grazing fee on National Grasslands or land utilization projects if it has not been used in establishing the grazing base value.


§ 222.10 Range betterment fund.

In addition to range development which is accomplished through funds from the rangeland management budget line item and the Granger-Thye Act, and deposited and nondeposited cooperative funds, range development may also be accomplished through use of the range betterment fund as follows:


(a) On National Forest land within the 16 contiguous western States, the Chief, Forest Service, shall implement range improvement programs where necessary to arrest range deterioration and improve forage conditions with resulting benefits to wildlife, watershed protection, and livestock production. One-half of the available funds will be expended on the National Forest where derived. The remaining one-half of the fund will be allocated for range rehabilitation, protection and improvements on National Forest lands within the Forest Service Regions where they were derived. During the planning process there will be consultation with grazing permittees who will be affected by the range rehabilitation, protection and improvements, and other interested persons or organizations.


(b) Range betterment funds shall be utilized only for on-the-ground expenditure for range land betterment, including, but not limited to, seeding and reseeding, fence construction, water development, weed and other plant control, and fish and wildlife habitat enhancement within allotments.


(Sec. 1, 30 Stat. 35, as amended (16 U.S.C. 551); sec. 1, 33 Stat. 628 (16 U.S.C. 472); sec. 32, 50 Stat. 525, as amended (7 U.S.C. 1011); sec. 19, 64 Stat. 88 (16 U.S.C. 5801); Title IV, Pub. L. 94, 90 Stat. 2771 (43 U.S.C. 1751, et seq.); 92 Stat. 1803 (43 U.S.C. 1901))

[42 FR 56732, Oct. 28, 1977, as amended at 44 FR 61345, Oct. 25, 1979]


§ 222.11 Grazing advisory boards.

(a) Establishment. Persons holding term permits to graze livestock on National Forest System lands with headquarters, office in the 16 contiguous western States having jurisdiction over more than 500,000 acres of land subject to commercial livestock grazing may petition the Forest Supervisor for establishment of a statutory grazing advisory board in accordance with provisions of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976.


(1) Upon being properly petitioned by a simple majority (more than 50 percent) of term grazing permittees under the jurisdiction of such headquarters office, the Secretary shall establish and maintain at least one grazing advisory board.


(2) The Chief, Forest Service, shall determine the number of such boards, the area to be covered, and the number of advisers on each board.


(3) Processing Petitions. Upon receiving a proper petition from the grazing permittees, the Forest Supervisor will request the Chief, Forest Service, through the Regional Forester, to initiate action to establish grazing advisory boards in accordance with regulations of the Secretary of Agriculture. Grazing advisory boards will comply with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.


(b) Membership. Grazing advisory boards established under this authority shall consist of members who are National Forest System term permittees under the jurisdiction of a National Forest headquarters office in the 16 contiguous western States, provided board members shall be elected by term grazing permittees in the area covered by the board.


(c) Elections. The Forest Supervisor of the headquarters office shall prescribe and oversee the manner in which permittees are nominated and board members are elected. Nominations will be made by petition with all term grazing permittees under the jurisdiction of such headquarters office being eligible for membership on the board. All members of the board will be elected by secret ballot with each term grazing permittee in the area covered by the board being qualified to vote. No person shall be denied the opportunity to serve as a grazing advisory board member because of race, color, sex, religion, or national origin. No board member shall concurrently serve on another USDA advisory committee. The Forest Supervisor shall determine and announce the results of the election of the members of the board and shall recognize the duly elected board as representing National Forest System term grazing permittees in the areas for which it is established. Board members will be elected to terms not to exceed 2 years.


(d) Charter and bylaws. (1) The Forest Supervisor will prepare a charter to be filed with the Department and the Congress as required by Section 9(c) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.


(2) A duly recognized grazing advisory board may, with the concurrence of a majority of its members and the Forest Supervisor, adopt bylaws to govern its proceedings.


(e) Function. The function of grazing advisory boards will be to offer advice and make recommendations concerning the development of allotment management plans and the utilization of range betterment funds.


(f) Meetings. The Forest Supervisor shall call at least one meeting of each board annually, and call additional meetings as needed to meet the needs of the permittees and the Forest Service. Each meeting shall be conducted in accordance with an agenda approved by the Forest Supervisor and in the presence of a Forest officer.


(g) Termination. (1) Grazing advisory boards established under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 shall continue until December 31, 1985, unless terminated earlier.


(2) The Forest Supervisor may withdraw recognition of any board whenever:


(i) A majority of the term grazing permittees for the area which the board represents requests that the board be dissolved.


(ii) The board becomes inactive and does not meet at least once each calendar year.


(86 Stat. 770 (5 U.S.C., App. 1); sec. 1, 30 Stat. 35, as amended (16 U.S.C. 551); sec. 1, 33 Stat. 628 (16 U.S.C. 472); sec. 32, 50 Stat. 525, as amended (7 U.S.C. 1011); sec. 19, 64 Stat. 88 (16 U.S.C. 5801); Title IV, Pub. L. 94, 90 Stat. 2771 (43 U.S.C. 1751, et seq.); 92 Stat. 1803 (43 U.S.C. 1901))

[42 FR 56732, Oct. 28, 1977, as amended at 43 FR 27532, June 26, 1978; 44 FR 61345, Oct. 25, 1979]


Subpart B – Mediation of Term Grazing Permit Disputes


Authority:7 U.S.C. 5101-5106; 16 U.S.C. 472, 551.


Source:78 FR 33723, June 5, 2013, unless otherwise noted.

§ 222.20 Decisions subject to mediation.

The holder of a term grazing permit issued in a State with a mediation program certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture may request mediation of a dispute relating to a decision to suspend or cancel the permit as authorized by 36 CFR 222.4(a)(2)(i), (ii), (iv), and (v) and (a)(3) through (6). Any request for mediation must be included in an appeal of the decision to suspend or cancel the permit filed in accordance with 36 CFR part 214.


§ 222.21 Parties.

Only the following may be parties to mediation of a term grazing permit dispute:


(a) A mediator authorized to mediate under a State mediation program certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture;


(b) The Chief, Forest Service, or other Forest Service employee who made the decision being mediated or his or her designee;


(c) The holder whose term grazing permit is the subject of the decision and who has requested mediation in an appeal filed in accordance with the procedures at 36 CFR part 214;


(d) That holder’s creditors, if applicable; and


(e) Legal counsel, if retained. The Forest Service will have legal representation in the mediation only if the holder has legal representation in the mediation.


§ 222.22 Stay of appeal.

If an appellant requests mediation of a decision subject to mediation under § 222.20 in an appeal filed under 36 CFR part 214, the Appeal Deciding Officer shall immediately notify all parties to the appeal that all appeal deadlines are automatically stayed for 45 days to allow for mediation. If a mediated agreement is not reached in 45 days, the Appeal Deciding Officer may extend the automatic stay for another 15 days if there is a reasonable possibility that a mediated agreement can be achieved within that timeframe. If an agreement is not achieved at the end of the 45- or 60-day mediation process, the Appeal Deciding Officer shall immediately notify all parties to the appeal that mediation was unsuccessful, that the stay has expired, and that the time periods and procedures applicable to an appeal under 36 CFR part 214 are reinstated.


§ 222.23 Confidentiality.

Mediation sessions and dispute resolution communications as defined in 5 U.S.C. 571(5) shall be confidential. Any mediation agreement signed by a Forest Service official and the holder of a term grazing permit is subject to public disclosure.


§ 222.24 Records.

Notes taken or factual material shared during mediation sessions shall not be included in the appeal record prepared in accordance with the procedures at 36 CFR part 214.


§ 222.25 Costs.

The Forest Service shall cover only those costs incurred by its own employees in mediation sessions.


§ 222.26 Ex parte communications.

The Chief of the Forest Service or other Forest Service employee who made the decision being mediated, or his or her designee, shall not discuss mediation with the Appeal Deciding Officer, except to request an extension of time or to communicate the results of mediation.


Subpart C – Grazing Fees


Authority:16 U.S.C. 551; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 43 U.S.C. 1751, 1752, 1901; E.O. 12548 (51 FR 5985).

§ 222.50 General procedures.

(a) Fees shall be charged for all livestock grazing or livestock use of National Forest system lands, or other lands under Forest Service control. An exception is livestock authorized free of charge under provisions of § 222.3(c)(2)(ii) (B) through (G).


(b) Guiding establishment of fees are the law and general governmental policy as established by Bureau of the Budget (now, Office of Management and Budget) Circular A-25 of September 23, 1959, which directs that a fair market value be obtained for all services and resources provided the public through establishment of a system of reasonable fee charges, and that the users be afford equitable treatment. This policy precludes a monetary consideration in the fee structure for any permit value that may be capitalized into the permit holder’s private ranching operation.


(c) A grazing fee shall be charged for each head month of livestock grazing or use. A head month is a month’s use and occupancy of range by one animal, except for sheep or goats. A full head month’s fee is charged for a month of grazing by adult animals; if the grazing animal is weaned or 6 months of age or older at the time of entering National Forest System lands; or will become 12 months of age during the permitted period of use. For fee purposes 5 sheep or goats, weaned or adult, are equivalent to one cow, bull, steer, heifer, horse, or mule.


(d) No additional charge will be made for the privilege of lambing upon National Forest System lands, or other lands under Forest Service control.


(e) Transportation livestock may be charged for at a special rate, and at a minimum established for such use. Fees for horses, mules, or burros associated with management of permitted livestock on an allotment, or for research purposes and administrative studies, and authorized on a charge basis, are determined under provisions of paragraph (b) of this section.


(f) The fees for trailing livestock across National Forest System lands will conform with the rates established for other livestock. Where practicable, fees for trailing permitted livestock will be covered in the regular grazing fee and the crossing period covered in the regular grazing period.


(g) All fees for livestock grazing or livestock use of National Forest System lands or other lands under Forest Service control are payable in advance of the opening date of the grazing period, entry, or livestock use unless otherwise authorized by the Chief, Forest Service.


(h) Unauthorized grazing use rate will be determined by establishing a base value without giving consideration for those contributions normally made by the permittee under terms of the grazing permit. The base will be adjusted annually by the same indexes used to adjust the regular fee. This rate will also apply to excess number of livestock grazing by permittees; to livestock grazed outside the permitted grazing season; or to livestock grazed under an unvalidated permit.


(i) Refunds or credits may be allowed under justifiable conditions and circumstances as the Chief, Forest Service, may specify.


(j) The fee year for the purpose of charging grazing fees will be March 1 through the following February.


(k) The data year for the purpose of collecting beef cattle price data for computing indexes will be November 1 through the following October and apply to the following fee year.


[44 FR 24843, Apr. 27, 1979, as amended at 46 FR 42450, Aug. 21, 1981; 53 FR 2984, Feb. 2, 1988]


§ 222.51 National Forests in 16 Western States.

(a) Grazing fees are established on lands designated National Forests and Land Utilization Projects in the 16 contiguous Western States of Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. (National Grasslands are excluded, see § 222.52.)


(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of § 222.50, paragraph (b), the calculated grazing fee for 1988 and subsequent grazing fee years represents the economic value of the use of the land to the user and is the product of multiplying the base fair market value of $1.23 by the result of the annual Forage Value Index, added to the sum of the Beef Cattle Price Index minus the Prices Paid Index and divided by 100; provided, that the annual increase or decrease in such fee for any given year shall be limited to not more than plus or minus 25 percent of the previous year’s fee, and provided further, that the fee shall not be less than $1.35 per head per month. The indexes used in this formula are as follows:


(1) Forage Value Index means the weighted average estimate of the annual rental charge per head per month for pasturing cattle on private rangelands in the 11 Western States (Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming) (computed by the National Agricultural Statistics Service) from the June Enumerative Survey) divided by $3.65 per head month and multiplied by 100;


(2) Beef Cattle Price Index means the weighted average annual selling price for beef cattle (excluding calves) in the 11 Western States (Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming) (computed by the National Agricultural Statistics Service) for November through October (computed by the National Agricultural Statistics Service) divided by $22.04 per hundred weight and multiplied by 100; and


(3) Prices Paid Index means the following selected components from the National Agricultural Statistics Service “Annual National Index of Prices Paid by Farmers for Goods and Services” adjusted by the weights indicated in parentheses to reflect livestock production costs in the Western States:



1. Fuels and Energy (14.5);

2. Farm and Motor Supplies (12.0);

3. Autos and Trucks (4.5);

4. Tractors and Self-Propelled Machinery (4.5);

5. Other Machinery (12.0);

6. Building and Fencing Materials (14.5);

7. Interest (6.0);

8. Farm Wage Rates (14.0);

9. Farm Services (18.0).

[44 FR 24843, Apr. 27, 1979, as amended at 53 FR 2984, Feb. 2, 1988]


§ 222.52 National Grasslands.

Grazing fees for National Grasslands will be established under concepts and principles similar to those in § 222.51(b).


[44 FR 24843, Apr. 27, 1979]


§ 222.53 Grazing fees in the East – noncompetitive procedures.

(a) Scope. Except as provided in § 222.54 of this subpart, the fee charged for commercial livestock grazing use and occupancy on National Forest System (NFS) lands in the States of New York, Missouri, Vermont, West Virginia, and in the Southern Region shall be determined through noncompetitive, fair market value procedures. These rules do not apply to grazing fees on National Forest System lands in Oklahoma or National Grasslands in Texas. Grazing permits under the noncompetitive fee method in the East are subject to the rules governing grazing permit administration in Subpart A of this part.


(b) Applicability. The rules of this section apply to the establishment of grazing fees for existing permittees in the Eastern and Southern Regions on National Forest System lands, including grazing associations in New York and Missouri as of March 1, 1990, to any livestock on-and-off permits defined in Subpart A of this part; and to any allotments advertised for competitive bidding which were not bid on (§ 222.54(h)). Noncompetitive permits vacated or terminated by an existing permittee and any new allotments created after the effective date of this rule shall be offered on a competitive bid basis as specified in § 222.54 of this subpart. As provided in subpart A of this part, holders of term permits have first priority for receipt of a new permit.


(c) Fee System. The grazing fee charged under this section shall be based on fair market value, as determined by: Using comparable private grazing lease rates, adjusted for the difference in the costs of grazing comparable private leased lands and National Forest System lands, or by reference to prevailing prices in competitive markets for other Federal or State leased grazing lands that are the same or substantially similar to grazing lands offered or administered by the Forest Service in the East with comparability adjustments as appropriate. Comparable grazing lease rates shall be adjusted for the difference between the total costs of operating on leased grazing lands and the total costs (other than grazing fee costs) of operating on National Forest System lands.


(1) Establishing Base Grazing Value. (i) The Chief of the Forest Service, or an authorized officer to whom such authority has been delegated, shall determine an estimated base market value of grazing use and occupancy on National Forest System lands in the Eastern States for the following designated subregions:


(A) Corn Belt (Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Ohio);


(B) Lake States (Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin);


(C) Northeast (Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont);


(D) Appalachia (Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia);


(E) Southeast/Delta (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas); and


(F) Florida.


(ii) The Chief or authorized officer shall revise or update estimated market values of grazing use and occupancy, as necessary to respond to significant changes in the agricultural economy in the East, and to ensure that fees represent fair market value.


(iii) The Chief, or an authorized officer to whom authority has been delegated, where sufficient market data exist, may establish the base grazing value for grazing allotments using comparable, local lease rates for private grazing lands.


(2) Annual Adjustment of Base Grazing Value. To maintain currency with the private grazing lease market, the respective base grazing value(s) established for grazing permits under this section shall be annually adjusted through a hay price index, by respective subregion. The hay price index means the weighted average selling price of “other baled hay,” computed by the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, by designated State and subregion. This index shall be based on 3-year average hay prices and annually reflect the percentage change in the cost of alternative livestock feed.


(3) Computation of Annual Grazing Fee – (i) Annual Fee Basis. The annual grazing fee shall equal the base grazing value, adjusted by the current period’s hay price index, less the value of any agency required range improvements.


(ii) Grazing Fee Credits for Range Improvements. Any requirements for permittee construction or development of range improvements shall be identified through an agreement and incorporated into the grazing permit, with credits for such improvements to be allowed toward the annual grazing fee. Fee credits shall be allowed only for range improvements which the Forest Service requires an individual permittee to construct or develop on a specific allotment to meet the management direction and prescriptions in the relevant forest land and resource management plan and allotment management plan. These improvements must involve costs which the permittee would not ordinarily incur under the grazing permit, must be of tangible public benefit, and must enhance management of vegetation for resource protection, soil productivity, riparian, watershed, and wetland values, wildlife and fishery habitat, or outdoor recreation values. Maintenance of range improvements specified in allotment management planning documents or the grazing permit, and other costs incurred by the permittee in the ordinary course of permitted livestock grazing, do not qualify for grazing fee credits.


(4) Implementation. The grazing fee formula provided by this section shall be used to calculate fees for the 1990 grazing fee year. Where implementation would raise fees, the increase shall be phased in over a 5-year period. Full fair market value will be reached in 5 years, beginning in 1990.


[55 FR 2650, Jan. 26, 1990]


§ 222.54 Grazing fees in the East – competitive bidding.

(a) General Procedures – (1) Applicability. The rules of this section apply to grazing fees for any allotment established or vacated on National Forest System lands in the Eastern or Southern Regions, as of February 26, 1990 as well as to grazing fees for existing allotments for such lands that have already been established under competitive procedures as of the date of this rule. Permits offered for competitive bidding in the East are subject to the rules governing grazing permit administration in subpart A of this part. The rules of this section do not apply to negotiated livestock use permits or permits with on-and-off grazing provisions as authorized in subpart A of this part. Holders of term permits have first priority for receipt of a new term grazing permit in accordance with subpart A of this part. These rules also do not apply to grazing fees on National Forest System lands in Oklahoma or National Grasslands in Texas.


(2) Allowable Bidders. Bids for grazing permits shall be accepted from individuals, partnerships, grazing associations (formed after February 26, 1990), joint ventures, corporations, and organizations.


(b) Establishment of Minimum Bid Price. Authorized officers shall establish a minimum bid price for each available allotment as described in § 222.53 of this subpart.


(c) Prospectus. (1) At such time as allotments are vacated, as new allotments are established, or as existing competitively bid permits expire, the authorized officer shall prepare and advertise a prospectus for those allotments on which grazing will be permitted.


(2) The prospectus shall include the terms and conditions of occupancy and use under the grazing permit to be issued, as well as document existing improvements and their condition. The prospectus shall also disclose the following:


(i) Estimated market value of the forage per head month of grazing use;


(ii) The minimum bid price the agency will accept;


(iii) Any required range improvements; and


(iv) The minimum qualifications that applicants must meet to be eligible for a permit.


(3) Copies of the applicable grazing permit, allotment management planning documents and allotment maintenance requirements, and the latest annual permittee instructions shall be made available to all prospective bidders upon request.


(d) Submission of bid. Each applicant shall submit an application for the grazing permit, along with a sealed bid for the grazing fee, and a bid deposit of 10 percent of the total amount of the bid.


(e) Qualifications and Deposit Refunds. Upon opening applicants bids, the authorized officer shall determine whether each bidder meets the qualifications to hold a permit as set forth in Subpart A of this part; and shall refund the deposit to any applicant who is not qualified or who does not offer the high bid.


(f) Permit Issuance. The authorized officer shall issue the grazing permit to the qualified high bidder, except as provided in paragraphs (f)(1) and (2) of this section. The successful bidder receives the privilege of obtaining or renewing a grazing permit and is billed for the occupancy offered and forage sold.


(1) Priority for Reissuance. On allotments where a current permit is expiring and competition has been held on a new grazing permit, the current grazing permittee shall have priority for retaining the permit. Accordingly, an applicant who holds the permit on the allotment under bid, who has a satisfactory record of performance under that permit, and who is not the higher bidder for the future grazing privileges in the specified allotment shall be offered the opportunity to match the high bid and thereby retain the permit. Should there be more than one existing permittee in the allotment under bid, each shall be offered the option of meeting the high bid; if only one current permittee opts to meet the high bid, the remaining allowable grazing use, if any, shall be awarded to the initial high bidder.


(2) Identical Bids. In cases of identical bids, the selection of the successful applicant shall be made through a drawing.


(g) Computation of Successful Bidder’s Annual Fee – (1) Annual Fee Basis. The highest bid received shall establish the base grazing value in the initial year of the grazing permit for each allotment offered. The annual grazing fee shall equal the base grazing value, adjusted by the current period’s hay price index for the relevant subregion as described in § 222.53(c)(1), and (c)(3), less the value of any agency required range improvements. This hay price index shall be based on 3-year average hay prices and annually reflect the percent change in the cost of alternative livestock feed.


(2) Grazing Fee Credits for Range Improvements. Any requirements for permittee construction or development of range improvements shall be identified through an agreement and incorporated into the grazing permit, with credits for such improvements to be allowed toward the annual grazing fee. Fee credits shall be allowed only for range improvements which the Forest Service requires an individual permittee to construct or develop on a specific allotment to meet the management direction and prescriptions in the relevant forest land and resource management plan and allotment management plan. These improvements must involve costs which the permittee would not ordinarily incur under the grazing permit, must be of tangible public benefit, and must enhance management of vegetation for resource protection, soil productivity, riparian, watershed, and wetland values, wildlife and fishery habitat, or outdoor recreation values. Maintenance of range improvements specified in allotment management planning documents or the grazing permit, and other costs incurred by the permittee in the ordinary course of permitted livestock grazing, do not qualify for grazing fee credits.


(h) No Bids Received. If qualified sealed bids are not received, the authorized officer reserves the right to conduct an oral auction using the minimum bid price established under paragraph (b) of this section or to establish grazing fees through noncompetitive grazing fee procedures specified in § 222.53 of this subpart.


[55 FR 2651, Jan. 26, 1990]


Subpart D – Management of Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros


Authority:7 U.S.C. 1011; 16 U.S.C. 551, 1331-1340; 43 U.S.C. 1901 note.


Source:45 FR 24135, Apr. 9, 1980, unless otherwise noted. Redesignated at 78 FR 33723, June 5, 2013

§ 222.60 Authority and definitions.

(a) Authority. The Chief, Forest Service, shall protect, manage, and control wild free-roaming horses and burros on lands of the National Forest System and shall maintain vigilance for the welfare of wild free-roaming horses and burros that wander or migrate from the National Forest System. If these animals also use lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management as a part of their habitat, the Chief, Forest Service, shall cooperate to the fullest extent with the Department of the Interior through the Bureau of Land Management in administering the animals.


(b) Definitions. (1) Act means the Act of December 15, 1971 (85 Stat. 649, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 1331-1340).


(2) Captured animal means a wild free-roaming horse or burro taken and held in the custody of an authorized officer, his delegate, or agent. This term does not apply to an animal after it is placed in private custody through a Private Maintenance and Care agreement.


(3) Excess animals means wild free-roaming horses and burros which have been removed by authorized personnel pursuant to applicable law or which must be removed from an area in order to preserve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance in coordination with other resources and activities.


(4) Herd means one or more stallions and their mares, or jacks and their jennies.


(5) Humane treatment means kind and merciful treatment, without causing unnecessary stress or suffering to the animal.


(6) Inhumane treatment means causing physical stress to an animal through any harmful action or omission that is not compatible with standard animal husbandry practices; causing or allowing an animal to suffer from a lack of necessary food, water, or shelter; using any equipment, apparatus, or technique during transportation, domestication, or handling that causes undue injury to an animal; or failing to treat or care for a sick or injured animal.


(7) Lame means a wild free-roaming horse or burro with malfunctioning muscles, ligaments or limbs that impair freedom of movement.


(8) Malicious harassment means any intentional act demonstrating deliberate disregard for the well-being of wild free-roaming horses and burros and which creates a likelihood of injury or is detrimental to normal behavior pattern of wild free-roaming horses or burros including feeding, watering, resting, and breeding. Such acts include, but are not limited to, unauthorized chasing, pursuing, herding, roping, or attempting to gather wild free-roaming horses or burros. It does not apply to activities conducted by or on behalf of the Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management in implementation or performance of duties and responsibilities under the Act.


(9) National Advisory Board means the Advisory Board as established jointly by the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior under the provisions of the Act.


(10) National Forest System includes the National Forests, National Grasslands, and other Federal lands for which the Forest Service has administrative jurisdiction.


(11) Old means a wild free-roaming horse or burro characterized by inability to fend for itself because of age, physical deterioration, suffering or closeness to death.


(12) Sick means a wild free-roaming horse or burro with failing health, infirmness, or disease from which there is little chance of recovery.


(13) Wild free-roaming horses and burros mean all unbranded and unclaimed horses and burros and their progeny that have used lands of the National Forest System on or after December 15, 1971, or do hereafter use these lands as all or part of their habitat, but does not include any horse or burro introduced onto the National Forest System on or after December 15, 1971, by accident, negligence, or willful disregard of private ownership. Unbranded, claimed horses and burros for which the claim is found to be erroneous, are also considered as wild and free-roaming if they meet the criteria above.


(14) Wild-horse and burro range means an area of National Forest System specifically so designated by the Chief, Forest Service, from wild horse and burro territory, for the purpose of sustaining an existing herd or herds of wild free-roaming horses and burros, provided the range does not exceed known territorial limits and is devoted principally, but not necessarily exclusively, to the welfare of the wild horses and burros, in keeping with the multiple-use management concept for the National Forest System.


(15) Wild horse and burro territory means lands of the National Forest System which are identified by the Chief, Forest Service, as lands which were territorial habitat of wild free-roaming horses and/or burros at the time of the passage of the Act.


§ 222.61 Administration of wild free-roaming horses and burros and their environment.

(a) The Chief, Forest Service, shall:


(1) Administer wild free-roaming horses and burros and their progeny on the National Forest System in the areas where they now occur (wild horse and burro territory) to maintain a thriving ecological balance considering them an integral component of the multiple use resources, and regulating their population and accompanying need for forage and habitat in correlation with uses recognized under the Multiple-Use Sustained Yield Act of 1960 (70 Stat. 215; 16 U.S.C. 528-531);


(2) Provide direct administration for the welfare of wild free-roaming horses and burros that are located on the National Forest System by use of the Forest Service organization rather than by the granting of leases and permits for maintenance of these animals to individuals and organizations;


(3) Establish wild horse and burro territories in accordance with the Act and continue recognition of such territories where it is determined that horses and/or burros will be recognized as part of the natural system, and designate areas within these territories as a specific wild horse and burro range in those situations where he determines such designation as especially fitting to meet the purposes of the Act and the Multiple Use Sustained-Yield Act, after consultation with the appropriate State agencies where such range is proposed and with the National Advisory Board;


(4) Analyze each wild horse or burro territory and, based on the analysis, develop and implement a management plan, which analysis and plans will be updated, whenever needed, as determined by conditions on each territory;


(5) Maintain a current inventory of wild free-roaming horses and burros on each territory to determine whether and where excess animals exists;


(6) Based on paragraphs (a) (4) and (5) of this section, determine appropriate management levels, whether action should be taken to remove excess animals and what actions are appropriate to achieve the removal or destruction of excess animals; and


(7) In making determinations cited in this section, the authorized officer shall consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, wildlife agencies in the State, individuals and organizations independent of Federal or State Government recommended by the National Academy of Sciences, and any other individual or organizations determined to have scientific expertise or special knowledge of wild horse and burro protection, wildlife management and animal husbandry as related to range management.


§ 222.62 Ownership claims.

(a) Any person claiming ownership under State branding and estray laws of branded or unbranded horses or burros within a wild horse or burro territory or range on the National Forest System where such animals are not authorized must present evidence of ownership to justify a roundup before permission will be granted to gather such animals. Claims of ownership with supporting evidence were required to be filed during a claiming period which expired November 15, 1973. Unauthorized privately owned horses or burros entering the National Forest System after November 15, 1973, which become intermingled with wild horses or burros, may be claimed by filing an application with the District Ranger. All authorizations to gather claimed animals shall be in writing in accordance with instructions as the Chief, Forest Service, may prescribe. After such public notice as an authorized officer deems appropriate to inform interested parties, gathering operations may be authorized. The authorization shall provide that the gathering or roundup be consistent with regulations, and will (1) establish a specific reasonable period of time to allow the gathering of claimed animals and (2) stipulate other conditions, including visual observation by Forest Service personnel deemed necessary to ensure humane treatment of associated wild free-roaming horses and burros and to protect other resources involved.


(b) Prior to removal of claimed animals which have been captured from the National Forest System, claimants shall substantiate their claim of ownership in accordance with whatever criteria are cooperatively agreed to between the Forest Service and the State agency administering the State estray laws. In the absence of an agreement, ownership claims shall be substantiated in accordance with State law and subject to approval of the Forest Service.


§ 222.63 Removal of other horses and burros.

Horses and burros not within the definition in § 222.20(b)(13) which are introduced onto Wild Horse and Burro Territories or ranges after December 15, 1971, by accident, negligence, or willful disregard of private ownership, and which do not become intermingled with wild free-roaming horses or burros shall be considered as unauthorized livestock and treated in accordance with provisions in 36 CFR 261.7 and 262.10.


[61 FR 35959, July 9, 1996]


§ 222.64 Use of helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft and motor vehicles.

The Chief, Forest Service, is authorized to use helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft, and motor vehicles in a manner that will ensure humane treatment of wild free-roaming horses and burros as provided by the following paragraphs:


(a) Prior to using helicopters in capture operations and/or using motor vehicles for the purpose of transporting captured animals, a public meeting will be held in the proximity of the territory where the capture operation is proposed.


(b) Helicopters may be used in all phases of the administration of the Act including, but not limited to, inventory, observation, surveillance, and capture operations. In capture operations, helicopters may be used to locate the animals involved to assist ground crews in moving the animals and for related purposes, such as, to transport personnel and equipment. The condition of the animals shall be continuously observed by the authorized officer and, should signs of harmful stress be noted, the source of stress shall be removed so as to allow recovery. Helicopters may be used in round-ups or other capture operations subject to the following procedures.


(1) Helicopters shall be used in such a manner that bands or herds will tend to remain together.


(2) Horses or burros will not be moved at a rate which exceeds limitations set by the authorized officer who shall consider terrain, weather, distance to be traveled, and condition of the animals.


(3) Helicopters shall be used to observe the presence of dangerous areas and may be used to move animals away from hazards during capture operations.


(4) During capture operations, animals shall be moved in such a way as to prevent harmful stress or injury.


(5) The authorized officer shall supervise all helicopter uses as follows:


(i) Have means to communicate with the pilot and be able to direct the use of the helicopter; and


(ii) Be able to observe effects of the use of the helicopters on the well-being of the animals.


(c) Fixed-wing aircraft may be used for inventory, observation, and surveillance purposes necessary in administering the Act. Such use shall be consistent with the Act of September 8, 1959, as amended (18 U.S.C. 41 et seq.). Fixed-wing aircraft shall not be used in connection with capture operations except as support vehicles.


(d) Motor vehicles may be used in the administration of the Act except that such vehicles shall not be used for driving or chasing wild horses or burros in capture operations. Motor vehicles may also be used for the purpose of transporting captured animals subject to the following humane procedures.


(1) Such transportation shall comply with appropriate State and Federal laws and regulations applicable to humane transportation of horses and burros.


(2) Vehicles shall be inspected by an authorized officer prior to use to ensure vehicles are in good repair and of adequate rate capacity.


(3) Vehicles shall be carefully operated to ensure that captured animals are transported without undue risk or injury.


(4) Where necessary and practical, animals shall be sorted as to age, temperament, sex, size, and condition so as to limit, to the extent possible, injury due to fighting and trampling.


(5) The authorizing officer shall consider the condition of the animals, weather conditions, type of vehicle, and distance to be traveled when planning for transportation of captured animals.


(6) Unless otherwise approved by the authorized officer, the transportation of wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be limited in sequence, to a maximum of 24 hours in transit followed by a minimum of 5 hours of on-the-ground rest with adequate feed and water.


§ 222.65 Protection of wild free-roaming horses and burros when they are upon other than the National Forest System or public lands.

Individual animals and herds of wild free-roaming horses and burros will be under the protection of the Chief, Forest Service, even though they may thereafter move to lands of other ownership or jurisdiction as a part of their annual territorial habitat pattern or for other reasons. The Chief will exercise surveillance of these animals through the use of cooperative agreements and as otherwise authorized by law and act immediately through appropriate administrative or criminal and civil judicial procedures to provide them the protective measures of the Act at any time he has cause to believe its provisions are being violated.


§ 222.66 Removal of wild free-roaming horses and burros from private lands.

Owners of land upon which wild free-roaming horses and burros have strayed from the National Forest System may request their removal by calling the nearest office of either the Forest Service or Federal Marshall.


§ 222.67 Maintenance of wild free-roaming horses and burros on privately-owned lands.

Owners of land who wish to maintain wild free-roaming horses and burros which have strayed onto their lands from the National Forest System may do so by notifying the nearest office of the Forest Service in a timely fashion and providing such information on a continuing basis as the Chief, Forest Service, may require. Such owners shall protect the wild free-roaming horses and burros on their lands. They may not, in so maintaining these animals, impede their return to National Forest System lands unless authorized by agreement with the Forest Service.


§ 222.68 Agreements.

The Chief, Forest Service, may enter into agreements as he deems necessary to further the protection, management, and control of wild free-roaming horses and burros.


§ 222.69 Relocation and disposal of animals.

(a) The Chief, Forest Service, shall, when he determines over-population of wild horses and burros exists and removal is required, take immediate necessary action to remove excess animals from that particular territory. Such action shall be taken until all excess animals have been removed so as to restore a thriving natural ecological balance to the range, and protect the range from deterioration associated with over-population.


(b) No person except an authorized Forest Service officer or his agent shall destroy, remove, or relocate any wild free-roaming horse or burro located on the National Forest System.


(c) Wild horses and burros shall be relocated or removed in the following order of priority:


(1) In the most humane manner possible, sick, lame, or old animals shall be destroyed;


(2) Relocate animals to other National Forest System lands which were identified as 1971 wild horse or burro territory, providing suitable habitat exists and relocation of animals will not jeopardize vegetation condition;


(3) Relocate animals to other federally-owned lands which were identified as 1971 wild horse or burro occupied lands, providing suitable habitat exists and relocation of animals will not jeopardize vegetation condition and animals are requested by the appropriate land manager having jurisdiction;


(4) Place animals under private maintenance and care agreements where there is an adoption demand by qualified individuals, groups, or Government agency, and for which there is assurance of humane treatment and care, provided not more than four animals are placed under private maintenance and care agreements per year to any individual, organization, or government agency unless there is a determination expressed otherwise in writing, by an authorized Forest Service Officer; and


(5) Excess animals, for which an adoption demand by qualified applicants does not exist, shall be destroyed in the most humane manner possible, and if several methods are equally humane, select the most cost efficient.


(d) Where excess animals have been placed under private maintenance and care agreements after December 15, 1971, as provided for in paragraph (c)(4) of this section, and animals have been provided humane conditions, treatment, and care, for a period of one year, the Chief, Forest Service, may grant title to not more than four animals per year to each individual, organization, or government agency.


(e) The applicants must make written application for title and/or adoption, must be of legal age in the State in which they reside, and must pay fees for adoption and transportation as follows:


(1) The application must be accompanied by a nonrefundable advance payment of $25 by guaranteed remittance. If custody of a wild, free-roaming horse or burro is granted by the authorized Forest Service officer, the advance payment shall be applied against the adoption fee required to be paid at the time the maintenance and care agreement § 222.29(c)(4) is executed.


(2) The Forest Service shall charge an adoption fee of $125 for each horse and $75 for each burro, except that there shall be no adoption fee for an unweaned offspring under 6 months of age accompanying its mother.


(3) Any transportation costs incurred for the transportation of the animal(s) to the point of pickup must be paid before an approved individual, group, or government agency takes custody of the animal(s).


(f) Humane conditions, treatment, and care must have been provided for no less that one year preceding the filing of the application for title. The conveyance of title shall include a written statement by an authorized officer attesting that the animal is in good condition.


[45 FR 24135, Apr. 9, 1980, as amended at 46 FR 42450, Aug. 21, 1981; 48 FR 25188, June 6, 1983]


§ 222.70 Disposal of carcasses.

Carcasses of animals that have lost their status as wild free-roaming horses or burros may be disposed of in any customary manner acceptable under applicable State sanitary statutes including disposal through a rendering plant.


§ 222.71 Loss of status.

Wild free-roaming horses and burros or their remains shall lose their status under the 1971 Wild Horses and Burros Act.


(a) Upon passage of title pursuant to § 222.29 (d) and (e).


(b) Upon transfer to private maintenance and care pursuant to § 222.29(c)(4) and die of natural causes before passage of title;


(c) Upon destruction by an authorized Forest officer pursuant to § 222.29(c)(5).


(d) Upon death by natural causes or accident on the National Forest System or on private lands where maintained thereon pursuant to § 222.27 and disposal is authorized by a Forest officer; and


(e) Upon destruction or death for purposes of or incident to the program authorized in § 222.20(a).


§ 222.72 Use of non-Forest Service personnel.

The Chief, Forest Service, may authorize the use of non-Forest Service personnel to assist in specific situations of short duration.


§ 222.73 Management coordination.

All management activities by the Chief, Forest Service, shall be carried out in consultation with the appropriate agencies of the State involved. The expert advice of qualified scientists in the fields of biology and ecology shall also be sought in administering wild free-roaming horses and burros. The advice and suggestions of agencies, qualified scientists, and other qualified interest groups shall be made available to the National Advisory Board for their use and consideration. Actions taken in connection with private ownership claims shall be coordinated to the fullest extent possible with the State agency responsible for livestock estray law administration.


§ 222.74 National Advisory Board.

The Chief, Forest Service, shall appoint a representative to attend meetings of the National Advisory Board for Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros and to function as prescribed by the Memorandum of Agreement between the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture and the Joint Charter issued by the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture. Policies and guidelines relative to proposals for the establishment of ranges, adjustments in number, relocation and disposal of animals, and other matters relating generally to the protection, management, and control of wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be presented to the National Advisory Board for recommendations.


§ 222.75 Studies.

The Chief, Forest Service, is authorized and directed to undertake those studies of the habits and habitat of wild free-roaming horses and burros that he may deem necessary. In doing so, he shall consult with the appropriate agencies of the State(s) involved and the National Academy of Sciences.


§ 222.76 Arrest.

Any employee designated by the Chief, Forest Service, shall have the power to arrest without warrant, any person committing in the presence of the employee a violation of the Act and to take such person immediately for examination or trial before an officer or court of competent jurisdiction. Any employee so designated shall have power to execute any warrant or other process issued by an officer or court of competent jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of the Act.


PART 223 – SALE AND DISPOSAL OF NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM TIMBER

Link to an amendment published at 73 FR 79386, Dec. 29, 2008.
Link to an amendment published at 73 FR 79386, Dec. 29, 2008.
This amendment was delayed until Mar. 30, 2009 at 74 FR 5107, Jan. 29, 2009.
This amendment was further delayed until May 29, 2009 at 74 FR 14049, Mar. 30, 2009.
This amendment was delayed indefinitely at 74 FR 26091, June 1, 2009.

Authority:90 Stat. 2958, 16 U.S.C. 472a; 98 Stat. 2213, 16 U.S.C. 618, 104 Stat. 714-726, 16 U.S.C. 620-620j, 25 U.S.C. 3055 and 3057, 113 Stat. 1501a, 16 U.S.C. 528 note; unless otherwise noted.


Source:42 FR 28252, June 2, 1977, unless otherwise noted. Redesignated at 49 FR 2760, Jan. 23, 1984.

Subpart A – General Provisions

§ 223.1 Authority to sell timber.

Trees, portions of trees, and other forest products on National Forest System lands may be sold for the purpose of achieving the policies set forth in the Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act of 1960, as amended (74 Stat. 215; 16 U.S.C. 528-531), and the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974, as amended (88 Stat. 476; as amended, 16 U.S.C. 1600-1614), and the Program thereunder.


§ 223.2 Disposal of timber for administrative use.

Trees, portions of trees, or other forest products in any amount on National Forest System lands may be disposed of for administrative use, by sale or without charge, as may be most advantageous to the United States, subject to the maximum cut fixed in accordance with established policies for management of the National Forests. Such administrative use shall be limited to the following conditions and purposes:


(a) For construction, maintenance or repair of roads, bridges, trails, telephone lines, fences, recreation areas or other improvements of value for the protection or the administration of Federal lands.


(b) For fuel in Federal camps, buildings and recreation areas.


(c) For research and demonstration projects.


(d) For use in disaster relief work conducted by public agencies.


(e) For disposal when removal is desirable to protect or enhance multiple-use values in a particular area.


§ 223.3 Sale of seized material.

Seized material (trees, portions of trees or other forest products cut in trespass from National Forest System lands) may be sold to the highest bidder under specific authorization from the Regional Forester. If advertisement is impractical, sales of material with an appraised value of less than $10,000 will be made on informal bids.


§ 223.4 Exchange of trees or portions of trees.

Trees or portions of trees may be exchanged for land under laws authorizing the exchange of National Forest timber. Cutting of exchange timber must comply with the purposes cited in § 223.1.


(42 Stat. 465, 16 U.S.C 485; 43 Stat. 1215, 16 U.S.C. 516)


§ 223.5 Scope of free use granted to individuals.

(a) Free use may be granted to individuals for firewood for personal use, except that such use may be limited to bona fide settlers, miners, residents and prospectors living within or immediately adjacent to the National Forest when the available supply is insufficient to meet the total demand. Free use may be granted to such bona fide settlers, miners, residents and prospectors for minerals, for fencing, building, mining, prospecting and domestic purposes.


(Sec. 1, 30 Stat. 35, as amended; 16 U.S.C. 477, 551)

(b) Free use will be granted individuals primarily to aid in the protection and silvicultural improvement of the forests. Except in unusual cases, the material will be restricted to dead, insect-infested, or diseased timber, logging debris, and thinnings. Other material may be granted in unusual cases where its refusal would cause unwarranted hardship. Where limited supply or other conditions justify such action, the free use of green material may be refused.


§ 223.6 Cutting and removal of timber in free-use areas.

Supervisors may designate portions or all of a National Forest as free-use areas where such action is compatible with land management plans and shall give public notice of their action. Within such free-use areas, any dead timber or any green timber previously marked or designated by forest officers may be cut and removed for personal use for domestic purposes. Cutting and removal of timber in free-use areas shall be in accordance with such rules as may be prescribed by the district ranger to prevent fires, minimize damage to uncut trees and other resources, and to avoid confusion among users.


[42 FR 28252, June 2, 1977, as amended at 44 FR 73029, Dec. 17, 1979. Redesignated at 49 FR 2760, Jan. 23, 1984]


§ 223.7 Permission for free use of timber outside free-use areas.

Similar material may be cut outside of a free-use area without permit in cases of emergency, but the person taking such material shall promptly notify the district ranger. Small quantities of material needed by transients while in the forest may also be taken without permit; subject to such rules as may be prescribed pursuant to § 261.70. In all other cases permits will be required for green material.


§ 223.8 Delegations of authority to approve free use by individuals.

(a) Forest officers whom the supervisor may designate are authorized to grant free use of timber to individuals up to $200 in value in any one fiscal year. Supervisors may grant permits for material not exceeding $5,000 in value. Regional Foresters may approve permits for larger amounts, and in times of emergency may delegate authority to supervisors for not over $10,000 in value. Prior review by the Chief of the Forest Service will be given if the amount involved exceeds $10,000 in value.


(b) Regional Foresters may authorize supervisors to permit the removal of specific classes of material without scaling or measurement.


[42 FR 28252, June 2, 1977. Redesignated at 49 FR 2760, Jan. 23, 1984, as amended at 71 FR 525, Jan. 4, 2006]


§ 223.9 Free use to owners of certain mining claims.

Free use will be granted to an owner of a mining claim located subsequent to July 23, 1955, or of a mining claim which is otherwise subject to Section 4 of the Act of July 23, 1955 (69 Stat. 367), if at any time said claim owner requires more timber for his mining operations, in connection with that claim, than is available on that claim because of Forest Service timber disposal therefrom subsequent to location of that claim. He will be granted, free of charge, timber from the nearest National Forest land which is ready for harvesting under the applicable management plan, substantially equivalent in kind and quantity to that estimated by the Forest Service to have been cut under Forest Service authorization from the claim subsequent to its location, Forest officers may be delegated authority to grant amounts of timber not in excess of those which these officers are authorized to sell in commercial sales.


(Sec. 4, 69 Stat. 368, 16 U.S.C. 612)


§ 223.10 Free use to Alaskan settlers, miners, residents, and prospectors.

Bona fide settlers, miners, residents, and prospectors for minerals in Alaska may take free of charge green or dried timber from the National Forests in Alaska for personal use but not for sale. Permits will be required for green saw timber. Other material may be taken without permit. The amount of material granted to any one person in 1 year shall not exceed 10,000 board feet of saw timber and 25 cords of wood, or an equivalent volume in other forms. Persons obtaining materials shall, on demand, forward to the supervisor a statement of the quantity taken and the location from which it was removed.


(Sec. 1, 30 Stat. 35, 16 U.S.C. 477)


§ 223.11 Free use to other Federal agencies.

(a) National Forest timber will be granted free of charge to other branches of the Federal Government when authorized by law. Permits may be approved by forest officers for amounts not greater than they are otherwise authorized to sell.


(b) Permits for timber issued hereunder shall be in accordance with the conditions prescribed in § 223.30. The permittee may be required to report to the supervisor the amount of timber, by species, actually cut or may be required to furnish scalers for work under the direction of the forest officers in charge or, if authorized, to provide funds for the employment by the Forest Service of scalers to scale or measure the timber cut. The permittee may be required to dispose of the slash as cutting proceeds, or to employee people to work under the direction of a forest officer in disposing of the slash, or, if authorized, to provide funds for the employment of people for slash disposal under the direction of a forest officer.


(38 Stat. 1100, as amended; 16 U.S.C. 492)


§ 223.12 Permission to cut, damage, or destroy trees without advertisement.

Permission may be granted to cut, damage, or destroy trees, portions of trees, or other forest products on National Forest System lands without advertisement when necessary for the occupancy of a right-of-way or other authorized use of National Forest System land. Payment for timber of merchantable size and quality will be required at its appraised value, but at not less than applicable minimum prices established by Regional Foresters, and payment will be required for young growth timber below merchantable size at its damage appraisal value. Payment will not be required:


(a) For timber necessarily killed or cut in connection with land uses which are of substantial benefit to the National Forests;


(b) For timber necessarily killed or cut and used by the permittee which would have been granted free under other applicable regulations; or


(c) For timber which will be cut by the permittee which the Forest Service retains for sale in log or other product form.


(Sec. 1, 30 Stat. 35, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 551)


§ 223.13 Compliance.

Forest officers authorizing free use shall ensure that such use is in compliance with applicable land management plans and is conducted in a manner which protects National Forest System resource values.


(92 Stat. 1301, Pub. L. 95-465)


§ 223.14 Where timber may be cut.

(a) The cutting of trees, portions of trees or other forest products may be authorized on any National Forest System lands, except for:


(1) Timber reserved by a grantor of land, during the life of such reservation.


(2) Timber reserved from cutting under other regulations.


(3) Timber on unpatented mining claims located prior to July 23, 1955, unless the claimant has executed a waiver pursuant to section 6 of the Act of July 23, 1955 (69 Stat. 367), or unless pursuant to a proceeding under Section 5 of that Act, the claimant has failed to file a verified statement or has failed to establish the validity and effectiveness of his asserted rights.


(4) Timber on lands identified in land management plans as not suited for timber production, except that salvage sales or sales necessitated to protect other multiple-use values may be made.


(b) The cutting of timber on mining claims shall be conducted in such manner as not to endanger or materially interfere with prospecting, mining or processing operations.


(c) Timber on an unpatented claim to which the United States does not otherwise have disposal rights may be disposed of with the written consent of the claimant, or, in emergencies without the consent of the claimant.


(d) Timber on an unpatented claim may be cut by the claimant only for the actual development of the claim or for uses consistent with the purposes for which the claim was entered. Any severance or removal of timber, other than severance or removal to provide clearance, shall be in accordance with plan of operations required by Part 252 of this chapter, and with sound principles of forest management.


(e) With prior approval by the Regional Forester, timber on lands under option by the United States or on offered lands included in an approved land exchange agreement may be sold. Before the sale is made, a cooperative agreement must be made with the owner of the land authorizing the Forest Service to conduct the sale and providing for return of stumpage receipts to the owner if title to the land is not accepted by the United States.


(f) With prior approval by the Regional Forester, cutting of exchange timber described in § 223.4 may be authorized in advance of the acceptance of title to the non-Federal land offered in exchange.


§ 223.15 Provision of trees, portions of trees, or forest products to Indian tribes for traditional and cultural purposes.

(a) Pursuant to section 8105 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-246, 122 Stat. 1651) [hereinafter the “2008 Farm Bill”], Regional Foresters or designated Forest Officers may, at their discretion, provide trees, portions of trees, or forest products to Indian tribes free of charge for traditional and cultural purposes provided that:


(1) The trees, portions of trees, or forest products are provided to tribal officials on behalf of an Indian tribe for traditional and cultural purposes; and


(2) The trees, portions of trees, or forest products will not be used for commercial purposes.


(b) The following definitions apply to this section:


Indian tribe. The term “Indian tribe” means any Indian or Alaska Native tribe, band, nation, pueblo, village, or other community the name of which is included on a list published by the Secretary of the Interior pursuant to section 104 of the Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of 1994 (25 U.S.C. 479a-1).


Traditional and cultural purpose. The term “traditional and cultural purpose,” with respect to a definable use, area, or practice, means that the use, area, or practice is identified by an Indian tribe as traditional or cultural because of the long-established significance or ceremonial nature of the use, area, or practice to the Indian tribe.


Tribal officials: The term “tribal officials” means elected or duly appointed officials of Indian tribal governments.


(c) Requests for trees, portions of trees, or forest products made under this section must be submitted to the local Forest Service District Ranger’s Office(s) in writing. Requests may be made:


(1) Directly by a tribal official(s) who has been authorized by the Indian tribe to make such requests; or


(2) By providing a copy of a formal resolution approved by the tribal council or other governing body of the Indian tribe.


(d) Requests for trees, portions of trees, and forest products made under this section must be directed to the appropriate Forest Service District Ranger(s)’ Office from which the items are being requested. Tribal officials are encouraged to explain their requests to the Regional Forester or designated Forest Officer and, if necessary, describe how the request fits a traditional and cultural purpose. When an Indian tribe requests forest products located on two or more National Forests, authorized tribal officials should notify each of the affected Forest Service District Ranger’s Offices of the requests made on other forests.


(e) Agency Line Officers and managers (who have been authorized by name through official Forest Service correspondence) are authorized to provide trees, portions of trees, and forest products under this section subject to the following limitations:


(1) District Rangers and Forest Officers may provide material not exceeding $25,000 in value in any one fiscal year to an Indian tribe;


(2) Forest Supervisors may provide material not exceeding $50,000 in value in any one fiscal year to an Indian tribe;


(3) Regional Foresters may provide material not exceeding $100,000 in value in any one fiscal year to an Indian tribe; and


(4) The Chief of the Forest Service may provide material exceeding $100,000 in value to an Indian tribe.


(f) A request for trees, portions of trees, or forest products under this section may be conditioned or denied for reasons including, but not limited to the following:


(1) Protecting public health and safety;


(2) Preventing interference with Forest Service and/or commercial operations;


(3) Complying with Federal and State laws and regulations;


(4) Ensuring sustainability; or


(5) Otherwise protecting National Forest System land and resources.


(g) All decisions made under this section must comply with the National Forest Management Act, relevant land management plans, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, all other applicable laws and regulations, and are subject to tribal treaty and other reserved rights and the savings provisions of the Cultural and Heritage Cooperation Authority (25 U.S.C. 3057(b)).


[81 FR 65896, Sept. 26, 2016]


Subpart B – Timber Sale Contracts

Contract Conditions and Provisions

§ 223.30 Consistency with plans, environmental standards, and other management requirements.

The approving officer will insure that each timber sale contract, permit or other authorized form of National Forest timber disposal is consistent with applicable land and resource management plans and environmental quality standards and includes, as appropriate, requirements for:


(a) Fire protection and suppression;


(b) Protection of residual timber;


(c) Regeneration of timber as may be made necessary by harvesting operations;


(d) Minimizing increases in soil erosion;


(e) Providing favorable conditions of water flow and quality;


(f) Utilization of the timber resource to provide for the optimum practical use of the wood material as may be obtained with available technology, considering opportunities to promote more efficient wood utilization, regional conditions and species characteristics;


(g) Reduction of the likelihood of loss to destructive agencies; and


(h) Minimizing adverse effects on, or providing protection for and enhancing other National Forest resources, uses and improvements.


§ 223.31 Duration of contracts.

Sale contracts shall not exceed 10 years in duration, unless there is a finding by the Chief, Forest Service, that better utilization of the various forest resources (consistent with the provisions of the Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act of 1960) will result.


§ 223.32 Timber sale operating plan.

Sale contracts with a term of 2 years or more shall provide for the filing of an operating plan as soon as practicable after execution of the contract, such plan shall be a part of the contract. The plan of operation shall be general in nature, outlining the expected timing and order of sale development, including such major operations as road construction, felling and removal of timber, distribution of timber, and contractual requirements for erosion prevention and slash disposal. The plan of operation and revisions thereto shall be subject to concurrence by the Forest Service.


§ 223.33 Redetermination of stumpage rates and deposits.

Sale contracts exceeding 7 years in duration, and those of shorter duration to the extent found desirable by the approving officer, will provide for the redetermination of rates for stumpage and for required deposits at intervals of not more than 5 years, exclusive of any period allowed for the construction of improvements.


§ 223.34 Advance payment.

Sale contracts shall provide that timber and forest products be paid for in advance of cutting, unless the contract authorizes the purchaser to furnish a payment guarantee satisfactory to the Forest Service. Advance payments found to be in excess of amounts due the United States shall be refunded to the current holder of the contract or to successors in interest. (90 Stat. 2959; 16 U.S.C. 472a.)


[43 FR 38008, Aug. 25, 1978. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984]


§ 223.35 Performance bond.

Timber sale contracts may require the purchaser to furnish a performance bond for satisfactory compliance with its terms.


§ 223.36 Volume determination.

(a) Timber sale contracts may provide for volume determination by scaling, measuring, weighing, or counting the logs or other products, or by measuring the trees before cutting. If the contract or permit provides for the determination of volume by tree measurement and the timber has been paid for, the marking or otherwise designating of the tree authorizes cutting and removal. Otherwise no timber cut under any contract shall be removed from the place designated until it has been scaled, measured or counted as provided in the timber sale contract, unless such removal is specifically authorized in the contract.


(b) National Forest timber sold on board foot scale shall be scaled by the Scribner Decimal C Log Rule, or if the advertisement and contract or permit so state, by the International
1/4-inch log rule or by the International
1/4-inch Decimal log rule. National Forest timber may also be sold by the cubic volume rule or by cords, each as used by the Forest Service.


§ 223.37 Revegetation of temporary roads.

Timber sale contracts, permits and other documents authorizing the cutting or removal of timber or forest products shall require the purchaser to treat temporary roads constructed or used thereunder so as to permit the reestablishment by artificial or natural means, or vegetative cover on the roadway and areas where the vegetative cover was disturbed by the construction or use of the road, as necessary to minimize erosion from the disturbed area. Such treatment shall be designed to reestablish vegetative cover as soon as practicable, but at least within 10 years after the termination of the contract.


§ 223.38 Standards for road design and construction.

Road construction authorized under timber sale contracts, permits and other documents authorizing the cutting or removal of timber or forest products shall be designed to standards appropriate for the intended uses, considering safety, cost of transportation, and impacts on land and resources. If the sale contract provides for road design standards in excess of those needed for the harvest and removal of timber from that sale, including measures to protect adjacent resource values, provision shall be made in the contract for compensating the purchaser for the additional costs, unless the purchaser elects Government construction under section 14(i) of the National Forest Management Act of 1976.


§ 223.39 [Reserved]

§ 223.40 Cancellation for environmental protection or inconsistency with plans.

Timber sale contracts, permits, and other such instruments, authorizing the harvesting of trees or other forest products, with terms of longer than 2 years, shall provide for cancellation in order to prevent serious environmental damage or when they are significantly inconsistent with land management plans adopted or revised in accordance with section 6 of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974, as amended. Such provision shall provide for reasonable compensation to the purchaser for unrecovered costs incurred under the contract and for the difference between the current contract value and the average value of comparable National Forest timber sold during the preceding 6-month period.


§ 223.41 Payment when purchaser elects government road construction.

Each contract having a provision for construction of specified roads with total estimated construction costs of $50,000 or more shall include a provision to ensure that if the purchaser elects government road construction, the purchaser shall pay, in addition to the price paid for the timber or other forest products, an amount equal to the estimated cost of the roads.


[71 FR 11510, Mar. 8, 2006]


§ 223.42 Transfer of effective purchaser credits.

The Forest Service may permit transfer of unused effective purchaser credit earned after December 16, 1975, from one timber sale account to another timber sale account of the same purchaser within the same National Forest, provided the sale contracts provide procedures for the use of purchaser credit. Approval for transfer shall not be granted for amounts needed to satisfy unfulfilled payment obligations or claims for damages due the United States. Purchaser credit transferred under this paragraph is subject to such additional restrictions as may be necessary for its orderly use.


(Pub. L. 94-154, 89 Stat. 823 (16 U.S.C. 535)

[42 FR 63777, Dec. 20, 1977. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984]


§ 223.43 Limitation on amounts of transferred purchaser credit.

(a) The amount of purchaser credit which may be transferred into a given sale shall be limited to the difference between remaining current contract value and the total of:


(1) Remaining base rate value needs,


(2) Salvage sale fund needs plus sale area improvement needs in excess of base rate value needs, and


(3) Total purchaser credit limit on the given sale.


(b) This calculation shall be made as of the date of sale award for sales made on or after January 1, 1978. For sales made prior to January 1, 1978, the calculation shall be made as of December 31, 1977, except that if the amount actually transferred in as of December 31, 1977, exceeds the calculated limit, the actual transfers as of that date shall be the established limit. Purchaser credit earned on a sale and subsequently transferred out may be replaced without regard to the transfer in limit. Sale area improvement needs shall be based on the original sale area betterment plan or revisions thereto approved prior to July 1, 1976. Salvage sale fund needs shall be based on the original salvage sale fund plan.


(Pub. L. 94-154, 89 Stat. 823 (16 U.S.C. 535)

[42 FR 63777, Dec. 20, 1977. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984]


§ 223.44 Collection rights on contracts involved in transfer of purchase credit.

To assure protection of the United States in connection with the implementation of this regulation, contract provisions shall not prevent the Forest Service from carrying out collection rights, authorized by the Federal Claims Collection Act of 1966 (80 Stat. 309), between contracts involved in the transfer of purchaser credit. Such claims against the contract receiving the transferred purchaser credit shall be limited to the amount transferred.


(Pub. L. 94-154, 89 Stat. 823 (16 U.S.C. 535)

[42 FR 63777, Dec. 20, 1977. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984]


§ 223.45 Definitions applicable to transfer of purchaser credit.

As used in §§ 223.42 and 223.43, the term Purchaser includes any single individual, corporation, company, firm, partnership, joint venture, or other business entity or the successor in interest of any of the foregoing business entities having timber sale contracts on the same National Forest. The term National Forest shall be considered as a unit of the National Forest System, regardless of how it was established, which maintains a separate identity with respect to the distribution of receipts earned thereon to the States and counties. The term Effective Purchaser Credit means unused purchaser credit which does not exceed current contract value minus base rate value. The term base rate value is the sum of the products of base rates and estimated remaining unscaled (unreported on tree measurement contracts) volumes by species of timber included in a timber sale contract.


(Pub. L. 94-154, 89 Stat. 823 (16 U.S.C. 535)

[42 FR 63777, Dec. 20, 1977. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984]


§ 223.46 Adjustment of contract termination date.

Timber sale contracts may provide for adjustment of the termination date to provide additional time to compensate for delays in road construction and timber removal due to those causes beyond the purchaser’s control, which may include but are not limited to acts of God, acts of the public enemy, acts of the Government, labor disputes, fires, insurrections or floods.


§ 223.47 Date of completion of permanent road construction.

(a) The date of completion of permanent road construction obligations as set forth in the Notice of Sale shall be incorporated into the timber sale contract.


(b) This date is applicable to construction by both the Forest Service and the timber purchaser.


(c) The date is not applicable to roads not needed by the purchaser for timber removal.


(d) The date for completion may be revised, if additional time is needed, under guidelines provided by the Chief, Forest Service, including but not limited to (1) default of contractors or (2) design changes, physical changes, or catastrophic damages which necessitate modification of specified road construction work.


(e) If Forest Service failure to perform results in delay in road completion, the termination date shall be adjusted in accordance with the contract term adjustment provisions of the timber sale contract. If there is substantial delay in performance by the Forest Service, the contract shall provide that rates of payment may be redetermined, at the request of the purchaser, in accordance with guidelines established by the Chief, Forest Service.


(f) If the purchaser retains responsibility for road construction, the date of completion for permanent roads may be modified to conform to the approved plan of operation.


§ 223.48 Restrictions on export and substitution of unprocessed timber.

(a) Contracts for the sale of unprocessed timber from National Forest System lands located west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States and Alaska, awarded before August 20, 1990, shall include provisions implementing the Secretary’s timber export and substitution regulations at subpart D of this part in effect prior to that data. Such contracts shall also require purchasers to:


(1) Submit annually, until all unprocessed timber is accounted for, a certified report on the disposition of any unprocessed timber harvested from the sale including a description of unprocessed timber which is sold, exchanged or otherwise disposed of to another person and a description of the relationship with the other person;


(2) Submit annually, until all unprocessed timber from the sale is accounted for, a certified report on the sale of any unprocessed timber from private lands in the tributary area which is exported or sold for export; and


(3) Maintain records of all such transactions involving unprocessed timber and to make such records available for inspection and verification by the Forest Service for up to three (3) years after the sale is terminated.


(b) Contracts for the sale of unprocessed timber from National Forest System lands located west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States, awarded on or after August 20, 1990, shall include provisions implementing the requirements of the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 620 et seq.).


(c) The reporting and recordkeeping procedures in this section constitute information collection requirements as defined in 5 CFR part 1320. These requirements have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget and assigned clearance number 0596-0021.


[56 FR 65842, Dec. 19, 1991]


§ 223.49 Downpayments.

(a) For the purposes of this section, the terms listed in this paragraph shall have the following meaning:


(1) Total bid value is the sum of the products obtained by multiplying the rate the purchaser bid for each species by the estimated volume listed in the contract.


(2) Bid premium is the amount in excess of the advertised value that a purchaser bids for timber offered.


(3) Lump sum timber sales are premeasured sales where the entire value of the sale is paid in one payment at time of release for cutting.


(4) Affiliate. Concerns or individuals are affiliates if directly or indirectly, either one controls or has the power to control the other, or a third party controls or has the power to control both. In determining whether or not affiliation exists, the Forest Service shall consider all appropriate factors, including, but not limited to, common ownership, common management, and contractual relationships.


(b) Timber sale contracts shall include provisions that require purchasers to make a downpayment in cash at the time a timber sale contract is executed, except that a downpayment is not required for stewardship contracts unless the contracting officer determines that a downpayment is needed to ensure the government’s financial security.


(c) The minimum downpayment shall be equivalent to 10 percent of the total advertised value of each sale, plus 20 percent of the bid premium, except in those geographic areas where the Chief of the Forest Service determines that it is necessary to increase the amount of the downpayment in order to deter speculation. The amount of the downpayment shall be redetermined when contract rates for timber are redetermined under the terms of the contract for environmental modification; catastrophic damage; market change; or an emergency rate redetermination. For the purpose of recalculating the minimum downpayment, total advertised value shall be replaced with total redetermined value.


(d) A purchaser cannot apply the amount deposited as a downpayment to cover other obligations due on that sale until:


(1) On scaled sales, stumpage value representing 25 percent of the total bid value of the sale has been charged and paid for, or the estimated value of unscaled timber is equal to or less than the amount of the downpayment; or


(2) On tree measurement sales, stumpage value representing 25 percent of the total bid value of the sale is shown on the timber sale statement of account to have been cut, removed, and paid for, or the estimated value of timber remaining to be cut, removed and paid for as shown on the timber sale statement of account is equal to or less than the amount of the downpayment. On lump sum sales, the downpayment amount may be applied to payment for release of the single payment unit.


(e) A purchaser or any affiliate of that purchaser awarded a Forest Service timber sale contract must meet the additional downpayment requirements of paragraph (g) of this section under the following circumstances:


(1) The purchaser or its affiliate after September 29, 1988, has failed to perform in accordance with the terms of a Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management timber sale contract and is notified by a Contracting Officer that a contract has expired uncompleted or is terminated for cause; and


(2) The estimated value of the unscaled timber on scaled sales, or the estimated value of the timber outstanding on tree measurement sales, included in those terminated or expired contracts exceeds $100,000; and


(3) Unpaid damages claimed by the Government remain outstanding prior to award of the new sale at issue and corrective action has not been taken to avoid future deficient performance.


(f) A subsequent final determination by the Contracting Officer or by a court of competent jurisdiction that a contract was improperly classified under the criteria in paragraph (e) of this section will result in the refund or credit of any unobligated portion of the amount of downpayment exceeding that required by paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section and the limitations of paragraph (h) of this section on application of downpayment shall no longer apply.


(g) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, a purchaser meeting the criteria of paragraph (e) of this section must make a minimum downpayment equal to 20 percent of the total advertised value of that sale, plus 40 percent of the total bid premium. This higher downpayment requirement applies throughout the National Forest System, except in those areas where the Chief of the Forest Service determines, before advertisement of the sale, that another downpayment rate is necessary to achieve the management objectives of the National Forest System. The amount of the downpayment shall be redetermined in accordance with this paragraph when contract rates for timber are redetermined under the terms of the contract for environmental modification; catastrophic damage; market change; or an emergency rate redetermination. For the purpose of redetermining the downpayment, total advertised value shall be replaced with total redetermined value.


(h) A purchaser subject to the additional downpayment requirements of paragraph (g) of this section cannot apply the amount deposited as a downpayment to other uses until:


(1) On scaled sales, the estimated value of the unscaled timber is equal to or less than the amount of the downpayment; or


(2) On tree measurement sales, the estimated value remaining to be cut and removed as shown on the timber sale statement of account is equal to or less than the amount of the downpayment.


(i) For the purpose of releasing funds deposited as downpayment by a purchaser subject to paragraph (f) of this section, the Forest Service shall compute the estimated value of timber as follows:


(1) On scaled sales, the estimated value of the unscaled timber is the sum of the products obtained by multiplying the current contract rate for each species by the difference between the advertised volume and the volume that has been scaled of that species.


(2) On tree measurement sales, the estimated value of the timber outstanding (i.e., not shown on the timber sale statement of account as cut and removed) is the sum of the products obtained by multiplying the current contract rate for each species by the difference between the advertised volume and the volume that has been shown on the timber sale statement to have been cut and removed of the species. The current contract rate for each species is that specified in the Forest Service timber sale contract.


(j) In order to deter speculation, the Chief of the Forest Service may increase the period for retention of the downpayment and/or preclude temporary reduction of the downpayment under paragraphs (k)(2) and (k)(3) of this section for future contracts subject to such criteria as the Chief may adopt after giving the public notice and opportunity to comment.


(k) The Forest Service may temporarily reduce the downpayment when a purchaser’s scheduled operations are delayed, interrupted, or extended for 30 or more consecutive days for any of the following reasons:


(1) Forest Service requests or orders purchaser to delay or interrupt operations for reasons other than breach;


(2) A contract term addition pursuant to purchaser shifting operations to a sale designated by the Forest Service as in urgent need of harvesting; or


(3) An extension of the contract term authorized upon a determination of substantial overriding public interest, including a market-related contract term addition, or an urgent removal contract term extension under 36 CFR 223.53.


(l) When purchaser is not cutting or removing timber under contract during a qualifying period of delay, interruption, or extension listed in paragraph (k) of this section, the downpayment may be reduced to $1000 or 2 percent of the downpayment amount stated in the contract, whichever is greater. The purchaser must restore the downpayment to the full amount stated in the contract within 15 days from receipt of the bill for collection and written notice from the contracting officer that the basis for temporarily reducing the downpayment no longer exists. Purchaser shall not cut or remove timber on a contract where the downpayment has been temporarily reduced until the downpayment amount stated in the contract is fully restored.


[74 FR 40743, Aug. 13, 2009]


§ 223.50 Periodic payments.

(a) For the purposes of this section, the following terms have the meaning given:


(1) Total contract value is the product of the estimated volume of the sale multiplied by the rates bid by the purchaser. Total contract value excludes required deposits and is determined at bid date.


(2) Current contract value is the sum of the products of the current contract rates and, in a scaled sale, estimated remaining unscaled volume or, in a tree measurement sale, the estimated remaining quantities by species of included timber meeting utilization standards.


(3) Normal operating season is the period so specified in a timber sale contract.


(4) Periodic payment(s) is/are amount(s) specified in a timber sale contract that a purchaser must pay by the periodic payment determination date(s) unless reduced by amounts paid as stumpage for volume removed.


(5) A periodic payment determination date is a date specified in a timber sale contract upon which the Forest Service will compare the payments made by the timber sale purchaser for timber charges (stumpage), exclusive of required deposits, with the periodic payment amount required as of that date in the contract.


(b) Except for lump sum sales, each timber sale contract of more than one full normal operating season shall provide for periodic payments. The number of periodic payments required will be dependent upon the number of normal operating seasons within the contract, but shall not exceed two such payments during the course of the contract. Periodic payments must be made by the periodic payment determination date, except that the amount of the periodic payment shall be reduced to the extent that timber has been removed and paid for by the periodic payment determination date. Should the payment fall due on a date other than normal billing dates, the contract shall provide that the payment date will be extended to coincide with the next timber sale statement of account billing date.


(1) At a minimum, each such contract shall require an initial periodic payment at the midpoint between the specified road completion date and the termination date. If there is no road construction requirement, payment shall be due at the midpoint between award date and the termination date.


(2) Contracts exceeding 2 full operating seasons shall require an additional periodic payment to be due no later than the midpoint of the last normal operating season or 12 months from the initial periodic payment whichever date is first.


(3) Notwithstanding this paragraph (b), periodic payments are not required for stewardship contracts unless the contracting officer determines that periodic payments are needed to ensure the Government’s financial security.


(c) Each timber sale contract shall require the initial periodic payment to equal 35 percent of the total contract value or 50 percent of the bid premium, whichever is greater. The amount of this periodic payment will be reduced if the payment would result in the purchaser’s credit balance for timber charges exceeding the current contract value.


(d) Where an additional periodic payment is required by the timber sale contract, this payment will equal 75 percent of the total contract value. The amount of this periodic payment will be reduced if the payment would result in the purchaser’s credit balance for timber charges exceeding the current contract value.


(e) Dates for determining future periodic payments shall be adjusted as follows:


(1) When contract term adjustments are granted under § 223.46,


(2) When market-related contract term additions are granted under § 223.52,


(3) When urgent removal extensions are granted under § 223.53, or


(4) When extensions in the substantial overriding public interest are granted under § 223.115(b). Periodic payment determination dates shall not be adjusted when a contract term extension is granted under the general authority of § 223.115(a).


(f) The amount of any periodic payment(s) not yet reached shall be revised when rates are redetermined under the contract. The revised periodic payment amounts shall be based on a recalculated total contract value using the same procedures described in (c) and (d) of this section. The recalculated total contract value is the current contract value following the rate redetermination plus:


(1) The total value of timber scaled prior to establishing redetermined rates in a scaled sale; or


(2) The total value of timber shown on the timber sale statement of account as having been cut, removed and paid for.


[56 FR 36104, July 31, 1991, as amended at 56 FR 55822, Oct. 30, 1991; 67 FR 70169, Nov. 21, 2002; 74 FR 40744, Aug. 13, 2009]


§ 223.51 Bid monitoring.

Each Regional Forester shall monitor bidding patterns on timber sales to determine if speculative bidding is occurring or if Purchasers are bidding in such a way that they would be unable to perform their obligations under the timber sale contract. A Regional Forester shall propose to the Chief changes in service wide timber sale procedures, as they appear necessary, to discourage speculative bidding.


[50 FR 41500, Oct. 11, 1985]


§ 223.52 Market-related contract term additions.

(a) Contract provision. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, each timber sale contract exceeding 1 year in length shall contain a provision for the addition of time to the contract term, under the following conditions:


(i) The Chief of the Forest Service has determined that adverse wood products market conditions have resulted in a drastic reduction in wood product prices applicable to the sale; and


(ii) The purchaser makes a written request for additional time to perform the contract.


(2) The contract term addition provision of the contract must specify the index to be applied to each sale. The Forest Supervisor shall determine and select from paragraph (b) of this section, the index to be used for each sale based on the species and product characteristics, by volume, being harvested on the sale. The index specified shall represent more than one-half of the advertised volume. If none of the indices in paragraph (b) of this section represent more than one-half of the advertised volume, the index specified shall represent the species product combination representing the highest percentage of volume for which there is an index. When the Forest Supervisor determines that the species and potential product characteristics are such that more than one index could be used, the prospectus will state that the Contracting Officer may, upon the purchaser’s written request, select an alternative index from paragraph (b) of this section, and may modify the contract by mutual agreement, at time of contract execution, to include an alternative index that the Contracting Officer has determined represents the highest percentage of products the purchaser intends to produce or have produced from the sale. Purchasers seeking a change of index at time of award must substantiate the need for an alternative index by providing the Contracting Officer with a written request that includes a list of products by volume the purchaser intends to produce or expects will be produced from the timber on that sale. In the event a mutual agreement to modify a contract to include an alternative index is not reached at time of contract execution, the index specified in the sample contract shall apply.


(3) A market-related contract term addition provision shall not be included in contracts where the primary management objective requires prompt removal of the timber, such as, timber is subject to rapid deterioration, timber is in a wildland-urban interface area, or hazard trees adjacent to developed sites.


(b) Determination of drastic wood product price reductions. (1) The Forest Service shall monitor and use Producer Price Indices, as prepared by the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), adjusted to a constant dollar base, to determine if market-related contract term additions are warranted.


(i) The Forest Service shall monitor and use only the following indices:


BLS producer price index
Index

series
Index code
Hardwood LumberCommodity0812
Softwood LumberCommodity0811
Wood ChipsIndustry3211135

(ii) Preliminary index values will be revised when final index values become available, however, determination of a qualifying quarter will not be revised when final index values become available.


(2) For PPI index codes 0811 and 0812, the Chief of the Forest Service shall determine that a drastic reduction in wood prices has occurred when, for any 2 or more consecutive qualifying quarters, the applicable adjusted price index is less than 88.5 percent of the average of such index for the 4 highest of the 8 calendar quarters immediately prior to the qualifying quarter. A qualifying quarter is a quarter, following the contract award date, where the applicable adjusted index is more than 11.5 percent below the average of such index for the 4 highest of the previous 8 calendar quarters. For PPI index code 3211135, the Chief of the Forest Service shall determine that a drastic reduction in wood prices has occurred when, for any 2 or more consecutive qualifying quarters, the adjusted price index is less than 85 percent of the average of such index for the 4 highest of the 8 calendar quarters immediately prior to the qualifying quarter. A qualifying quarter is a quarter, following the contract award date, where the adjusted index is more than 15 percent below the average of such index for the 4 highest of the previous eight calendar quarters. Qualifying quarter determinations will be made using the Producer Price Indices for the months of March, June, September, and December.


(3) A determination, made pursuant to paragraph (b)(2) of this section, that a drastic reduction in wood product prices has occurred, shall constitute a finding that the substantial overriding public interest justifies the contract term addition.


(c) Granting market-related contract term additions. When the Chief of the Forest Service determines, pursuant to this section, that a drastic reduction in wood product prices has occurred, the Forest Service is to notify affected timber sale purchasers. For any contract which has been awarded and has not been terminated, the Forest Service, upon a purchaser’s written request, will add 1 year to the contract’s terms, except as provided in paragraphs (c)(1) through (4) of this section. This 1-year addition includes time outside of the normal operating season.


(1) Additional contract time may not be granted for those portions of the contract:


(i) With a required completion date;


(ii) Where the Forest Service determines that the timber is in need of urgent removal;


(iii) Where timber deterioration or resource damage may result from delay; or


(iv) Where included timber is designated by diameter and delay may change the treatment as a result of trees growing into or out of the specified diameter range(s).


(2) For each additional consecutive quarter in which a contract qualifies for market-related contract term addition, the Forest Service will, upon the purchaser’s written request, add an additional 3 months during the normal operating season to the contract, except that no single 3-month addition shall extend the term of a contract by more than 1 year.


(3) No more than 3 years shall be added to a contract’s term by market-related contract term addition unless the following conditions are met:


(i) The sale was awarded after December 31, 2006;


(ii) A drastic reduction in wood product prices occurred in at least ten of twelve consecutive quarters during the contract term, but not including the quarter in which the contract was awarded; and


(4) For each qualifying quarter meeting the criteria in paragraph (c)(3)(ii) of this section, the Forest Service will, upon the purchaser’s written request, add an additional 3 months during the normal operating season to the contract, except no single 3-month addition shall extend the term of a contract by more than 1 year.


(5) In no event shall a revised contract term exceed 10 years as a result of market-related contract term addition.


(d) Recalculation of periodic payments. Where a contract is lengthened as a result of market conditions, any subsequent periodic payment dates shall be delayed 1 month for each month added to the contract’s term.


[63 FR 24114, May 1, 1998, as amended at 70 FR 37269, June 29, 2005; 71 FR 3411, Jan. 23, 2006; 73 FR 65551, Nov. 4, 2008]


§ 223.53 Urgent removal contract extensions.

(a) Finding. There is substantial, overriding public interest in extending National Forest System timber sale contracts for undamaged (green) timber not requiring expeditious removal in order to facilitate the rapid harvest of catastrophically damaged timber requiring expeditious removal on private or other non-National Forest System lands. Such an extension may be granted when a specific catastrophic event beyond the control of the landowner occurs on non-National Forest System lands that poses a threat to general forest health, public safety, and property. Catastrophic events include, but are not limited to, severe wildfire, wind, floods, insects and disease infestation, and drought.


(b) Regional Forester determination. If the Regional Forester determines that adequate cause for urgent removal extensions exists, Contracting Officers may extend National Forest System timber sale contracts, up to a maximum of 1 year, for the estimated amount of time required to harvest and process the damaged timber on non-National Forest System lands. Contracting Officers may grant urgent removal extensions only when the Regional Forester verifies in writing that:


(1) A specific catastrophe occurred for which urgent removal extensions should be granted;


(2) The manufacturing facilities or logging equipment capacity available to purchasers are insufficient to provide for both the rapid harvest of damaged non-National Forest System timber in need of expeditious removal and the continued harvest of undamaged (green) timber under contract with the Forest Service; and


(3) Failure to harvest the damaged non-National Forest System timber promptly could result in the following:


(i) Pose a threat to public safety,


(ii) Create a threat of an insect or disease epidemic to National Forest System or other lands or resources, or


(iii) Significant private or other public resource loss.


(c) Purchaser request. To obtain an urgent removal extension on a National Forest System timber sale contract, a purchaser must make a written request to the Contracting Officer, which includes the following:


(1) An explanation of why the harvest of undamaged (green) National Forest System timber within the term of the existing National Forest System contract(s) will prevent or otherwise impede the removal of damaged non-National Forest System timber in need of expeditious removal; and


(2) Documentation that the manufacturing facilities or logging equipment capacity available to a purchaser would be insufficient to provide for both the rapid salvage of damaged non-National Forest System timber in need of expeditious removal and continued harvest of undamaged (green) National Forest System timber under contract with the Forest Service.


(d) Contracting Officer determination. To grant an urgent removal extension, the timber sale Contracting Officer must verify the following:


(1) That it is likely that the undamaged (green) timber from National Forest System land would be delivered to the same manufacturing facilities as are needed to process the damaged non-National Forest System timber or the National Forest System timber sale contract would require the use of the same logging equipment as is needed to remove the damaged non-National Forest System timber from the area affected by the catastrophe;


(2) That extension of the National Forest System contract will not be injurious to the United States and will protect, to the extent possible, the health of the National Forest System lands, including:


(i) That urgent removal extension does not adversely affect other resource management objectives to be implemented by the National Forest System timber sale being extended; and


(ii) That the National Forest System timber sale contract to be extended is not a sale containing damaged, dead, or dying timber subject to rapid deterioration.


(3) That the purchaser has not been granted a previous urgent removal extension on the same National Forest System timber sale contract based on the current catastrophic event. Subsequent urgent removal extensions may be granted if there are subsequent Regional Forester determinations on other catastrophic events.


(4) That the revised National Forest System timber sale contract term will not exceed 10 years from the date the National Forest System contract was awarded; and


(5) That the purchaser is not in breach of the National Forest System contract, and all work items, payments, and deposits are current.


(e) Execution of contract extension. An urgent removal extension of a National Forest System timber sale contract is executed through a mutual agreement contract modification pursuant to § 223.112, which must include specific contract provisions. An agreement to modify a contract must identify the specific provision(s) of the contract being modified and must include the requirement that purchasers make cash payment to cover the costs of remarking timber on the sale area or reestablishing cutting unit boundaries if the Contracting Officer determines such work is necessary.


(f) Information collection. The information required of a purchaser to request an extension of an National Forest System timber sale contract, as outlined in paragraph (c) of this section, to facilitate expeditious removal of timber from non-National Forest System lands constitutes an information collection requirement as defined in 5 CFR Part 1320 and has been assigned Office of Management and Budget control number 0596-0167.


[67 FR 70169, Nov. 21, 2002, as amended at 69 FR 33, Jan. 2, 2004]


Appraisal and Pricing

§ 223.60 Determining fair market value.

The objective of Forest Service timber appraisals is to determine fair market value. Fair market value is estimated by such methods as are authorized by the Chief, Forest Service, through issuance of agency directives (36 CFR 200.4). Valid methods to determine fair market value include, but are not limited to, transaction evidence appraisals, analytical appraisals, comparison appraisals, and independent estimates based on average investments. Pertinent factors affecting market value also considered include, but are not limited to, prices paid and valuations established for comparable timber, selling value of products produced, estimated operating costs, operating difficulties, and quality of timber. Considerations and valuations may recognize and adjust for factors which are not normal market influences.


[61 FR 5685, Feb. 14, 1996]


§ 223.61 Establishing minimum stumpage rates.

The Chief, Forest Service, shall establish minimum stumpage rates, i.e., “base rates,” for species and products on individual National Forests, or groups of National Forests. Timber shall be sold for appraised value or minimum stumpage rates, whichever is higher. No timber may be sold or cut under timber sale contracts for less than minimum stumpage rates except to provide for the removal of insect-infested, diseased, dead or distressed timber or in accordance with contract provisions specifically providing for catastrophically-affected timber and incidental amounts of material not meeting utilization standards of the timber sale contract. For any timber sale offering where deposits are to be required for reforestation under the Act of June 9, 1930, as amended (46 Stat. 527; 16 U.S.C. 576-576b) which exceed the value of the established minimum stumpage rates, the minimum rates may be increased by the approving officer as necessary to the amount of such required reforestation deposits and a minimum deposit to the Treasury. Minimum rates in timber sale contracts will not be set higher than established minimum rates for purposes other than assuring adequate funds for reforestation.


§ 223.62 Timber purchaser road construction credit.

Appraisal may also establish stumpage value as if unconstructed roads or other developments needed by the purchaser for removal of the timber were in place. When timber is appraised and sold on such basis, purchaser credit for road construction, not to exceed the estimated construction cost of such roads or other developments specified in the timber sale contract, shall, when such construction is accomplished by purchaser, be deducted from stumpage payments made by or due from purchaser under the timber sale contract for other than minimum stumpage rates and required deposits for slash disposal and road maintenance. As used in this section estimated construction costs means the total cost of constructing all permanent roads specified in the timber sale contract, estimated as if construction is to be accomplished by an independent contractor who is not the timber purchaser. In determining the purchaser credit amount applicable against timber payments, the estimated construction cost may be reduced for the effect of differences in applicable wage rates.


§ 223.63 Advertised rates.

Timber shall be advertised for sale at its appraised value. The road construction cost used to develop appraised value means the total estimated cost of constructing all permanent roads specified in the timber sale contract, estimated as if construction is to be accomplished by the timber purchaser. The advertised rates shall be not less than minimum stumpage rates, except that sales of insect-infested, diseased, dead, or distressed timber may be sold at less than minimum rates when harvest of such timber is necessary to protect or improve the forest or prevent waste of usable wood fiber.


[71 FR 11510, Mar. 8, 2006]


§ 223.64 Appraisal on a lump-sum value or rate per unit of measure basis.

Timber may be appraised and sold at a lump-sum value or at a rate per unit of measure which rate may be adjusted during the period of the contract and as therein specified in accordance with formulas or other equivalent specifications for the following reasons:


(a) Variations in lumber or other product value indices between the price index base specified in the contract and the price index actually experienced during the cutting of the timber;


(b) Variance between advertised rates and rates redetermined by appraisal at dates specified in the contract;


(c) Variance between redetermined rates and rates appropriate for changes in costs or selling values subsequent to the rate redetermination which reduce conversion value to less than such redetermined rates; and


(d) Substantial loss of value due to physical deterioration of green timber or other physical damage to the sale area or access to the timber.


§ 223.65 Appraisal of timber for land exchange; right-of-way, or other authorized use.

The value of timber in land exchange or the value of timber required to be cut for occupancy of a right-of-way or other authorized use of National Forest System land for which payment will be made is to be determined by the appraisal methods in § 223.60 of this part.


[61 FR 48625, Sept. 16, 1996]


§ 223.66 [Reserved]

§ 223.80 When advertisement is required.

Except as otherwise provided in this part each sale in which the appraised value of the timber or other forest products exceeds $10,000 will be made only after advertisement for a period of 30 days or, if in the opinion of the officer authorizing the sale, the quantity, value or other conditions justify, a longer period; and any sale of smaller appraised value will be advertised or informal bids solicited from potential purchasers if, in the judgment of the officer authorizing the sale, such action is deemed advisable.


§ 223.81 Shorter advertising periods in emergencies.

In emergency situations where prompt removal of timber included in a sale is essential to avoid deterioration or to minimize the likelihood of the spread of insects, the approving officer may authorize shortening the formal advertising period to not less than 7 days. In other emergency situations, or for timber sold under 36 CFR 223.2 the Regional Forester or Chief may authorize shortening the formal advertising period to not less than 7 days.


[44 FR 73029, Dec. 17, 1979. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984]


§ 223.82 Contents of advertisement.

(a) A timber sale advertisement shall include the following information:


(1) The location and estimated quantities of timber or other forest products offered for sale.


(2) The time and place at which sealed bids will be opened in public or at which sealed bids will be opened in public followed by an oral auction.


(3) A provision asserting the agency’s right to reject any and all bids.


(4) The place where complete information on the offering may be obtained.


(5) Notice that a prospectus is available to the public and to interested potential bidders.


(b) For each timber sale which includes specified road construction with total estimated construction costs of $50,000 or more, the advertisement shall also include:


(1) The total estimated construction cost of the permanent roads.


(2) A statement extending to small business concerns qualified for preferential bidding on timber sales, under the Small Business Act, as amended, and the regulations issued thereunder, the option to elect, when submitting a bid, to have all permanent roads constructed by the Forest Service.


(3) Notice that the prospectus referred to in paragraph (a)(5) of this section contains additional information concerning the options to have all permanent roads constructed by the Forest Service.


(c) When timber or other forest products are offered for preferential bidding in accordance with the Small Business Act, as amended, the advertisement shall state that the offering is set-aside for competitive bidding by small business concerns.


[50 FR 32696, Aug. 14, 1985, as amended at 71 FR 523, Jan. 4, 2006; 71 FR 11510, Mar. 8, 2006]


§ 223.83 Contents of prospectus.

(a) A timber sale prospectus shall specify, as a minimum:


(1) The minimum acceptable stumpage or other unit prices and the amount or rate of any additional required deposits.


(2) The amount of bid guarantee which must accompany each bid.


(3) The amount of cash deposit or down payment to be made promptly by the successful bidder.


(4) The location and area of the sale, including harvest acreage.


(5) The estimated volumes, quality, size or age class of timber.


(6) A description of special logging requirements for the sale.


(7) The status of marking at time of advertisement.


(8) The method of bidding which will be used.


(9) The contract form to be used.


(10) The estimated deposits for reforestation and stand improvement work.


(11) The contract termination date and normal operating period.


(12) The date and amount of periodic payments which are to be made.


(13) The discount of payment rates for early harvest, if appropriate.


(14) The amount of performance bond required.


(15) The road standards for specified roads to be constructed.


(16) The estimated road construction cost and the estimated public works construction cost.


(17) For deficit sales:


(i) An estimate of the difference between fair market value and advertised value, that is, the amount by which the advertised value exceeds the appraised value.


(ii) The amount of Forest Service funds or materials to be used to offset the deficit.


(18) Status of financial assistance available to small business purchasers.


(19) Notification of preferential award to small business firms and certification requirements for set-aside sales.


(20) Notification of log export and substitution restrictions.


(21) Notification of Equal Employment Opportunity compliance review requirements.


(22) General or special information concerning the sale which are deemed appropriate to furnish sufficient information to prospective purchasers to warrant further investigation.


(b) For each advertisement which extends to small concerns the option to have all permanent roads constructed by the Forest Service, the prospectus shall also include:


(1) The road standards applicable to construction of permanent roads or a reference to the source of such information.


(2) The date of final completion for all permanent roads.


(3) A statement explaining how the Forest Service intends to perform road construction by force account or contract, if the high bidder elects Forest Service construction.


(4) The maximum period for which timber sale contract award will be delayed while the Forest Service seeks a satisfactory construction bid. The period stated shall not exceed 120 days unless the Regional Forester approves a longer period.


[50 FR 32696, Aug. 14, 1985, as amended at 71 FR 523, Jan. 4, 2006; 71 FR 11510, Mar. 8, 2006]


§ 223.84 Small business bid form provisions on sales with specified road construction.

For each sale described in § 223.82(b), the bid form must include provision for a small business concern:


(a) To elect road construction by the Forest Service and where such election is made;


(b) To certify as to small business status, and


(c) To indicate knowledge –


(1) Of the road construction completion date,


(2) That the Forest Service expects to contract for road construction with a third party,


(3) That the timber sale contract will not be awarded unless a satisfactory road construction bid is received or, if the Forest Service fails to receive such a bid within a maximum period stated in the advertisement, the bidder agrees to perform road construction,


(4) That the Forest Service may extend the maximum award delay time by the amount of time needed to confirm the bidder’s size status or by any time in excess of 40 days from timber sale bid opening needed to begin solicitation of construction bids, and


(5) That if the Forest Service extends the maximum award delay period because solicitation of the road contract is delayed, the bidder may withdraw his bid without penalty.


[42 FR 28252, June 2, 1977. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984. Redesignated and amended at 50 FR 32696, Aug. 14, 1985]


§ 223.85 Noncompetitive sale of timber.

(a) Forest officers may sell, within their authorization, without further advertisement, at not less than appraised value, any timber previously advertised for competitive bids but not sold because of lack of bids and any timber on uncut areas included in a contract which has been terminated by abandonment, cancellation, contract period expiration, or otherwise if such timber would have been cut under the contract. This authority shall not be utilized if there is evidence of competitive interest in the product.


(b) Extraordinary conditions, as provided for in 16 U.S.C. 472a(d), are defined to include the potential harm to natural resources, including fish and wildlife, and related circumstances arising as a result of the award or release of timber sale contracts pursuant to section 2001(k) of Public Law 104-19 (109 Stat. 246). Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section or any other regulation in this part, for timber sale contracts that have been or will be awarded or released pursuant to section 2001(k) of Public Law 104-19 (109 Stat. 246), the Secretary of Agriculture may allow forest officers to, without advertisement, modify those timber sale contracts by substituting timber from outside the sale area specified in the contract for timber within the timber sale contract area.


(c) Extraordinary conditions, as provided for in 16 U.S.C. 472a(d), includes those conditions under which contracts for the sale or exchange of timber or other forest products must be suspended, modified, or terminated under the terms of such contracts to prevent environmental degradation or resource damage, or as the result of administrative appeals, litigation, or court orders. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section or any other regulation in this part, when such extraordinary conditions exist on sales not addressed in paragraph (b) of this section, the Secretary of Agriculture may allow forest officers to, without advertisement, modify those contracts by substituting timber or other forest products from outside the contract area specified in the contract for timber or forest products within the area specified in the contract. When such extraordinary conditions exist, the Forest Service and the purchaser shall make good faith efforts to identify replacement timber or forest products of similar volume, quality, value, access, and topography. When replacement timber or forest products agreeable to both parties is identified, the contract will be modified to reflect the changes associated with the substitution, including a rate redetermination. Concurrently, both parties will sign an agreement waiving any future claims for damages associated with the deleted timber or forest products, except those specifically provided for under the contract up to the time of the modification. If the Forest Service and the purchaser cannot reach agreement on satisfactory replacement timber or forest products, or the proper value of such material, either party may opt to end the search. Replacement timber or forest products must come from the same National Forest as the original contract. The term National Forest in this paragraph refers to an administrative unit headed by a single Forest Supervisor. Only timber or forest products for which a decision authorizing its harvest has been made and for which any applicable appeals or objection process has been completed may be considered for replacement pursuant to this paragraph. The value of replacement timber or forest products may not exceed the value of the material it is replacing by more than $10,000, as determined by standard Forest Service appraisal methods.


[61 FR 14621, Apr. 3, 1996, as amended at 71 FR 34826, June 16, 2006; 72 FR 59190, Oct. 19, 2007]


§ 223.86 Bid restriction on resale of noncompleted contract.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, no bid will be considered in the resale of timber remaining from any uncompleted timber sale contract from any person, or from an affiliate of such person, who failed to complete the original contract:


(1) Because of termination for purchaser’s branch or; or


(2) Through failure to cut designated timber on portions of the sale area by the termination date, unless acceptance of such bid is determined to be in the public interest.


(b) The no bid restriction in the preceding paragraph:


(1) Shall only apply when 50 percent or more of the timber included in the resale is timber remaining from the uncompleted contract and the resale is advertised within 3 years of the date the uncompleted contract terminated;


(2) When imposed because of failure to cut designated timber on portions of the sale area by the termination date, shall not apply to resales of timber for which the original contract was awarded prior to April 30, 1972, unless the contract is extended thereafter; and


(3) Shall not apply to:


(i) Resales of timber within a sustained yield unit unless competition may be invited under the policy statement for the unit,


(ii) Resales of timber on contract which would ordinarily have been awarded prior to April 30, 1972, if award was delayed through no fault of the purchaser, and


(iii) Resales of timber on contracts not extended because of environmental considerations.


(c) Where a third-party agreement has been approved in accordance with § 223.114; the original purchaser shall not be affected by this section unless such purchaser is an affiliate of the third party.


(d) As used in this section, person includes any individual, corporation, company, association, firm, partnership, society, joint stock company, or other business entity or the successor in interest of any of the foregoing business entities. A person is an affiliate when either directly or indirectly:


(1) A person controls or has the power to control the other, or


(2) A third person or persons control or has the power to control both.


[42 FR 28252, June 2, 1977. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984 and 50 FR 32696, Aug. 14, 1985]


§ 223.87 Requirements of bidders concerning exports.

In order to have a bid considered responsive for a sale of timber from National Forest System lands, each bidder must certify that the bidder is eligible to purchase timber from National Forest System lands consistent with the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.) and its implementing regulations at 36 CFR part 223, and that the bidder’s timber purchase and export activities are in compliance with the timber export and substitution provisions of the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.) and its implementing regulations at 36 CFR part 223.


[60 FR 46920, Sept. 8, 1995]


§ 223.88 Bidding methods.

(a) Competitive sales of National Forest timber shall be offered through either sealed or oral auction bidding. The method chosen for each sale will:


(1) Insure open and fair competition,


(2) Insure that the Federal Government receives not less than fair market value for the public resource,


(3) Consider the economic stability of communities whose economies are dependent upon National Forest timber, and


(4) Be consistent with the objectives of the National Forest Management Act of 1976, as amended, and other Federal Statutes.


(b) As a prerequisite to participation in an oral auction, bidders shall submit a written sealed bid at least equal to the minimum acceptable bid prices specified in the prospectus. No price subsequently bid at oral auction shall be accepted if it is less than the written sealed bid.


(c) The Chief, Forest Service, shall specify the use of sealed bids or a mix of bidding methods in areas where he has reasonable belief that collusive bidding may be occurring or where he determines that less than normal competitive bidding is occurring.


(d) Sealed bids shall be used for sales within Federal Sustained Yield Units, except where the policy statement for the Unit restricts purchasers of timber within the Unit from buying National Forest timber outside the Unit and the Chief determines that oral bidding will protect individual communities within the Unit.


(e) The Chief, Forest Service, may authorize departures from the requirements of paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section when he determines that departures are necessary to protect the public interest.


(f) The Chief, Forest Service, may authorize the testing and evaluation of alternative bidding methods for National Forest timber.


[43 FR 21882, May 22, 1978. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984. Further redesignated and amended at 50 FR 32696, Aug. 14, 1985]


§ 223.89 Relation to other bidders.

Any bidder or applicant for a sale may be required to furnish a statement of his relation to other bidders or operators, including, if desired by the supervisor or Regional Forester, a certified statement of stockholders or members of the firm, and the holders of bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness, so far as known, so that the statement will show the extent of the interest of each in the bidder or applicant.


[44 FR 73029, Dec. 17, 1979. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984 and 50 FR 32696, Aug. 14, 1985]


Award of Contracts

§ 223.100 Award to highest bidder.

The sale of advertised timber shall be awarded to the responsible bidder submitting the highest bid that conforms to the conditions of the sale as stated in the prospectus unless:


(a) Determination is made to reject all bids.


(b) Two or more bidders, all of whom meet the requirements, submit equal bids which are the highest bids, in which case award may be by the drawing of lots. Equal bids from parties having direct or indirect common control or association in logging, processing or marketing may be consolidated to the extent deemed necessary by the awarding officer in order to give to any others who have bid the same amount an equitable opportunity in the drawing of lots.


(c) The highest bidder is notoriously or habitually careless with fire.


(d) Monopoly, injurious to the public welfare, would result from the control of large amounts of public or of public and private timber.


(e) The high bidder has elected Forest Service road construction in response to an advertisement extending such an option, the Forest Service cannot perform the construction and in response to solicitation has not received a satisfactory bid for such construction within the period stated in the prospectus and the high timber sale bidder is unwilling to perform the construction.


[44 FR 73029, Dec. 17, 1979. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984, and amended at 50 FR 32696, Aug. 14, 1985; 53 FR 33132, Aug. 30, 1988]


§ 223.101 Determination of purchaser responsibility.

(a) A Contracting Officer shall not award a timber sale contract unless that officer makes an affirmative determination of purchaser responsibility. In the absence of information clearly indicating that the prospective purchaser is responsible, the Contracting Officer shall conclude that the prospective purchaser does not qualify as a responsible purchaser.


(b) To determine a purchaser to be responsible, a Contracting Officer must find that:


(1) The purchaser has adequate financial resources to perform the contract or the ability to obtain them;


(2) The purchaser is able to perform the contract within the contract term taking into consideration all existing commercial and governmental business commitments;


(3) The purchaser has a satisfactory performance record on timber sale contracts. A prospective purchaser that is or recently has been seriously deficient in contract performance shall be presumed not to be responsible, unless the Contracting Officer determines that the circumstances were beyond the purchaser’s control and were not created through improper actions by the purchaser or affiliate, or that the purchaser has taken appropriate corrective action. Past failure to apply sufficient tenacity and perseverance to perform acceptably under a contract is strong evidence that a purchaser is not a responsible contractor. The Contracting Officer shall consider the number of contracts involved and extent of deficiency of each in making this evaluation;


(4) The purchaser has a satisfactory record of integrity and business ethics;


(5) The purchaser has or is able to obtain equipment and supplies suitable for logging the timber and for meeting the resource protection provisions of the contract;


(6) The purchaser is otherwise qualified and eligible to receive an award under applicable laws and regulations.


(c) If the prospective purchaser is a small business concern and the Contracting Officer determines that the purchaser does not qualify as a responsible purchaser on an otherwise acceptable bid, the Contracting Officer shall refer the matter to the Small Business Administration which will decide whether or not to issue a Certificate of Competency.


(d) Affiliated concerns, as defined in § 223.49(a)(5) of this subpart are normally considered separate entities in determining whether the concern that is to perform the contract meets the applicable standards for responsibility. However, the Contracting Officer shall consider an affiliate’s past performance and integrity when they may adversely affect the prospective purchaser’s responsibility.


[53 FR 33132, Aug. 30, 1988]


§ 223.102 Procedures when sale is not awarded to highest bidder.

If the highest bid is not accepted and the sale is still deemed desirable, all bids may be rejected and the timber readvertised; or, if the highest bidder cannot meet the requirements under which the timber was advertised or the withholding of award to him is based on one or more of paragraphs (c), (d), and (e) of § 223.100, award at the highest price bid may be offered to the next highest qualified bidder or to the other qualified bidders in order of their bids until the award is accepted by one or refused by all of the qualified bidders.


(92 Stat. 1301, Pub. L. 95-465)

[44 FR 73029, Dec. 17, 1979. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984, and 53 FR 33132, Aug. 30, 1988]


§ 223.103 Award of small business set-aside sales.

If timber is advertised as set aside for competitive bidding by small business concerns, award will be made to the highest bidder who qualifies as a small business concern and who has not been determined by the Small Business Administration to be ineligible for preferential award of set-aside sales. If there are no qualified small business bidders any readvertisement shall be without restriction on the size of bidders.


(92 Stat. 1301, Pub. L. 95-465)

[44 FR 73029, Dec. 17, 1979. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984, and 53 FR 33132, Aug. 30, 1988]


Contract Administration

§ 223.110 Delegation to regional forester.

The Chief, Forest Service, after approval of conditions of sale, may authorize Regional Foresters formally to execute timber sale contracts and related papers in sales exceeding the volume which the Regional Forester has been authorized to sell.


§ 223.111 Administration of contracts in designated disaster areas.

This section is to implement the provisions of section 242 (a), (b), and (c) of the Disaster Relief Act of 1970 (84 Stat. 1956) which relate to contracts for the sale of National Forest timber in connection with areas damaged by major disaster as designated by the President pursuant to the Act.


(a) Where an existing contract for the sale of National Forest timber does not provide relief from major physical change not due to purchaser’s negligence prior to approval of construction of any section of specified road or other specified development facility and, as a result of a major disaster in a designated area a major physical change results in additional construction work by the purchaser in connection with such a road or facility, the United States shall bear such increased construction cost if, as determined by the Chief, Forest Service, the estimated cost is –


(1) More than $1,000 for sales under 1 million board feet, or


(2) More than $1 per thousand board feet for sales of 1 to 3 million board feet, or


(3) More than $3,000 for sales over 3 million board feet.


(b) Where the Chief, Forest Service, determines that damages are so great that restoration, reconstruction, or construction is not practical under the cost-sharing arrangement in paragraph (a) of this section, he may allow cancellation of the contract notwithstanding provisions therein or in § 223.116.


(c) The Chief, Forest Service, is authorized to reduce to 7 days the minimum time to advertise the sale of National Forest timber whenever he determines that –


(1) The sale of such timber will assist in the construction of any area of a State damaged by a major disaster,


(2) The sale of such timber will assist in sustaining the economy of such area, or


(3) The sale of such timber is necessary to salvage the value of timber damaged in such major disaster or to protect undamaged timber.


(d) Any request for relief under paragraph (a) or (b) of this section shall be made in writing to the Forest Supervisor having administrative responsibility for the land involved.


(Sec. 242 (a), (b), and (c), 84 Stat. 1756, 42 U.S.C. 4461)


§ 223.112 Modification of contracts.

(a) Timber sale contracts may be modified only when the modification will apply to unexecuted portions of the contract and will not be injurious to the United States. Modifications may be made by the officer approving the sale, by his successor, or by his superior, except as provided in § 223.110.


(b) Timber sale contracts awarded after October 1, 1995, that have been suspended for more than 90 days, during the normal operating season, at no fault of the purchaser, because of administrative appeals or litigation, that did not include contract provisions for rate redeterminations may be modified at the request of the timber sale purchaser to include a rate redetermination for the remaining unharvested volume to reflect significant decreases in market value during the period of delay. Rates in effect at the time of the suspension will be redetermined in accordance with the standard Forest Service methods in effect 45 days prior to the rate redetermination.


[42 FR 28252, June 2, 1977. Redesignated at 49 FR 2760, Jan. 23, 1984, as amended at 69 FR 18814, Apr. 9, 2004]


§ 223.113 Modification of contracts to prevent environmental damage or to conform to forest plans.

Timber sale contract, permits, and other such instruments may be modified to prevent environmental damage or to make them consistent with amendments or revisions of land and resource management plans adopted subsequent to award or issuance of a timber sale contract, permit, or other such instrument. Compensation to the purchaser, if any, for modifications to a contract shall be made in accordance with provisions set forth in the timber sale contract. When determining compensation under a contract, timber payment rates shall be redetermined in accordance with appraisal methods in § 223.60 of this subpart.


[61 FR 64816, Dec. 9, 1996]


§ 223.114 Acquisition by third party.

No agreement permitting a third party to acquire the rights of a purchaser under a timber sale contract may be recognized and approved by the Forest Service except in writing, signed by the officer approving the sale, his successor, or superior officer. Such approval shall not relieve the purchaser of his responsibilities or liabilities under the timber sale contract and may be given only if –


(a) The third party is acceptable to the Forest Service as a purchaser of timber under the conditions and requirements then in effect for similar timber sales and assumes in writing all of the obligations to the Forest Service under the terms of the timber sale contract as to the uncompleted portion thereof, or


(b) The rights are acquired in trust as security and subject to such conditions as may be necessary for the protection of the public interests.


§ 223.115 Contract extensions.

The term of any contract or permit shall not be extended unless the approving officer finds:


(a) That the purchaser has diligently performed in accordance with contract provisions and an approved plan of operation; or


(b) That the substantial overriding public interest justifies the extension.


§ 223.116 Cancellation.

(a) Timber sale contracts and permits may be canceled:


(1) For serious or continued violation of their terms.


(2) Upon application, or with the consent of the purchaser, when such action is of advantage to the United States or not prejudicial to its interests.


(3) Upon application of the purchaser if the value of the timber remaining to be cut is diminished materially because of catastrophic damage caused by forces beyond the control of the purchaser resulting in (i) physical change in the sale area or access to it, or (ii) damage to timber remaining to be cut.


(4) For conviction of violation of criminal statutes or, following final agency or judicial determination, of violation of civil standards, orders, permits, or others regulations for the protection of environmental quality issued by a Federal agency, State agency, or political subdivision thereof, in the conduct of operations thereunder, on National Forest System land, unless compliance with such laws or regulations would preclude performance of other contractual requirements.


(5) Upon determination by the Chief, Forest Service, that operations thereunder would result in serious environmental degradation or resource damage and with reasonable compensation to the purchaser for unrecovered costs incurred under the contract and the difference between the current contract value and the average value of comparable National Forest timber sold during the preceding 6-month period.


(b) Cancellation will be by the Chief, Forest Service. Authority to cancel contracts under paragraph (a)(1) through (4) of this section may be delegated to Regional Foresters for sales within their authorization. All contract cancellations under paragraph (a)(5) of this section shall be by the Chief, Forest Service, whose decision shall be the final agency decision.


[42 FR 28252, June 2, 1977, as amended at 48 FR 23819, May 27, 1983. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984]


§ 223.117 Administration of cooperative or Federal sustained yield units.

With respect to sustained yield units established pursuant to the provisions of the Act of March 29, 1944 (58 Stat. 132; 16 U.S.C. 583-583l), the Chief, Forest Service, with authority to delegate to other officers and employees of the Forest Service:


(a) Shall provide that National Forest timber in any sustained yield unit shall be available in sufficient amounts to meet the needs of bona fide farmers, settlers, miners, residents and prospectors for minerals for personal and domestic use as provided by law and by regulation.


(b) May offer for sale to cooperators, without competition but at not less than appraised value, timber on National Forest lands within an approved cooperative sustained yield unit; or, if the approved sustained yield unit consists entirely of federally owned or administered forest land and if necessary for the maintenance of a stable community or communities, may offer National Forest timber for sale to responsible operators within such community or communities, at not less than appraised value but without competition or with competition restricted to responsible operators who will manufacture the timber to at least a stated degree within the community or communities to be maintained. Each such sale which involves more than $500 in stumpage value may be made only after notice has been given in advance by such means as may be deemed effective in informing the public of the proposed action, including in any event, publication, once weekly for four consecutive weeks and with additional insertions if needed, in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the vicinity of the place where the timber is located, of a notice of the proposed sale stating at least:


(1) The location, estimated quantity and appraised value of the timber to be cut;


(2) The name and address of the proposed purchaser or those of the operators among whom bidding is to be restricted;


(3) The time and place of a public advisory hearing on the proposed sale, to be held not earlier than 30 days after the first publication of said notice, if requested by the State or county where the timber is located or by any other person deemed to have a reasonable interest in the proposed sale or in its terms; and


(4) The title and address of the officer of the Forest Service to whom any request for such hearing should be made.


Such requests need be considered only if received at the place designated in the notice not later than 15 days after the first publication of such notice. If a public advisory hearing is to be held, notice of it shall be published in the same newspaper or newspapers as the original notice, stating the place where it will be held and the time, which shall not be earlier than 10 days after the first publication of the said notice of hearing, and shall appear once each week, but not for more than four successive weeks in any event, until the date set for the hearing. Any such hearing shall be conducted by the Chief or by any officer designated by him as his representative, except that if the amount of the proposed sale is not in excess of that which the Regional Forester has been authorized to sell without prior approval of the Chief the hearing may be held by the Regional Forester concerned or by his representative and decision may be by the Regional Forester. At any such hearing, opportunity shall be given to those having a reasonable interest to make oral statements or to file written statements discussing the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed sale; and the officer holding the hearing may, in his discretion, permit the filing of such statements within a reasonable period after the close of the hearing to become part of the record for consideration before a decision is made.

(c) Shall keep available for public inspection,


(1) During the life of any sustained yield unit, the minutes or other record of the hearing held on the establishment thereof, and the determination of action taken following the hearing including any modification of the proposals as submitted at the hearing; and


(2) During the life of any cooperative agreement for coordinated management the similar record of the hearings and actions determined upon; and


(3) During the life of any sustained yield unit the similar record of any public hearing which may be held on a sale made without competition or with restricted competition and the action determined upon. Such records of any case may be kept in any office of the Forest Service designated by the Chief as being suitable and convenient of access for probably interested persons.


(d) Shall make provision, in any contract for the purchase of timber without competition or with restricted competition, if that contract is of more than 7 years’ duration and in his discretion in any case of shorter duration, for the redetermination of rates for stumpage and for required deposits to be paid by the purchasers, such redetermination to be effective at intervals or dates stated in the contract; but the sum of such redetermined rates for stumpage and sale area betterment shall not be less than the base rates in the published notice of the proposed sale.


(e) May modify and revise existing cooperative agreements entered into under said act after taking appropriate action.


§ 223.118 Appeal process for small business timber sale set-aside program share recomputation decisions.

(a) Decisions subject to appeal. The rules of this section govern appeal of recomputation decisions related to structural, special, or market changes or the scheduled 5-year recomputations of the small business share of National Forest System timber sales. Certain decisions related to recomputation of shares, such as structural change and carryover volume, may require two decisions, one to determine that a recomputation is needed and the other to recompute the shares. Decisions made both at the earlier stage as well as the later stage are appealable.


(b) Manner of giving notice – (1) Predecisional notice and comment. The Responsible Official shall provide qualifying timber sale purchasers, as defined in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, 30 days for predecisional review and comment on any draft decision to reallocate shares, including the data used in making the proposed recomputation decision.


(2) Notice of decision. Upon close of the 30-day predecisional review period, the Responsible Official shall consider any comments received. Within 15 days of the end of the comment period, the Responsible Official shall make a decision on the small business shares and shall give prompt written notice to all parties on the national forest timber sale bidders list for the affected area. The notice of decision must identify the name of the Appeal Deciding Officer, the address, the date by which an appeal must be filed, and a source for obtaining the appeal procedures information.


(c) Who may appeal or file written comments as an interested party. (1) Only timber sale purchasers, or their representatives, who are affected by recomputations of the small business share of timber sales as described in paragraph (a) of this section and who have submitted predecisional comments pursuant to paragraph (b)(1) of this section, may appeal recomputation decisions under this section or may file written comments as an interested party.


(2) Interested parties are defined as the Small Business Administration and those timber sale purchasers, or their representatives, who are affected by recomputations of the small business share of timber sales as described in paragraph (a) of this section and who have individually, or through an association to which they belong, submitted predecisional comments pursuant to paragraph (b)(1) of this section.


(i) A timber sale purchaser may submit comments on an appeal as an interested party if an association to which the purchaser belongs filed predecisional comment but later decides not to appeal or not to file comments as an interested party.


(ii) A timber sale purchaser, who is a member of an association that appeals a decision, may not file a separate appeal unless that purchaser filed separate predecisional comment under paragraph (b)(1).


(3) Interested parties who submit written comments on an appeal filed by another party may not continue an appeal if the appellant withdraws the appeal.


(d) Level of appeal. Only one level of review is available for appeal of decisions pertaining to recomputations under the Small Business Timber Sale Set-aside Program. The Appeal Deciding Officer is the official one level above the level of the Responsible Official who made the recomputation of shares decision. The Responsible Official is normally the Forest Supervisor; thus, the Appeal Deciding Officer is normally the Regional Forester. However, when the Regional Forester makes recomputation decisions, the Appeal Deciding Officer is the Chief or such officer at the National headquarters level as the Chief may designate.


(e) Filing procedures. In order to file an appeal under this section, an appellant must file a notice of appeal, as specified in the notice of decision, with the Appeal Deciding Officer within 20 days of the date on the notice of the decision. This date must be specified in the notice of decision given pursuant to paragraph (b)(2) of this section. Written comments filed by an interested party in response to an appeal must be filed within 15 days after the close of the appeal filing period.


(f) Content of notice of appeal. (1) It is the responsibility of the appellant to provide sufficient narrative evidence and argument to show why a recomputation decision by the Responsible Official should be reversed or changed.


(2) An appellant must include the following information in a notice of appeal:


(i) The appellant’s name, mailing address, and daytime telephone number;


(ii) The title or type of recomputation decision involved, the date of the decision, and the name of the Responsible Official;


(iii) A brief description and date of the decision being appealed:


(iv) A statement of how the appellant is adversely affected by the decision being appealed;


(v) A statement of the facts in dispute regarding the issue(s) raised by the appeal;


(vi) If relevant, any specific references to any law, regulation, or policy that the appellant believes to have been violated and the basis for such an allegation;


(vii) A statement as to whether and how the appellant has tried to resolve with the Responsible Official the issue(s) being appealed, including evidence of submission of written comments at the predecisional stage as provided by paragraph (a) of this section, the date of any discussion, and the outcome of that meeting or contact; and


(viii) A statement of the relief the appellant seeks.


(g) Time periods and timeliness. (1) All time periods applicable to this section will begin on the first day following a decision or action related to the appeal.


(2) Time periods applicable to this section are computed using calendar days. Saturdays, Sundays, or Federal holidays are included in computing the time allowed for filing an appeal; however, when the filing period would expire on a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday, the filing time is automatically extended to the end of the next Federal working day.


(3) It is the responsibility of those filing an appeal to file the notice of appeal by the end of the filing period. In the event of questions, legible postmarks on a mailed appeal or the time and date imprint on a facsimile appeal will be considered evidence of timely filing. Where postmarks or facsimile imprints are illegible, the Appeal Deciding Officer shall rule on the timeliness of the notice of appeal.


(4) The time period for filing a notice of appeal is not extendable.


(h) Dismissal without decision. The Appeal Deciding Officer shall dismiss an appeal and close the record without a decision in any of the following circumstances:


(1) The appellant is not on the timber sale bidders list for the area affected by the recomputation decision;


(2) The appellant’s notice of appeal is not filed within the required time period;


(3) The appellant’s notice of appeal does not contain responses required by paragraphs (f)(2)(i) through (f)(2)(viii) of this section; or


(4) The appellant did not submit written comments on the proposed decision of the new recomputed shares as described in paragraph (c) of this section.


(i) Appeal record. The appeal record consists of the written decision being appealed, any predecisional comments received, any written comments submitted by interested parties, any other supporting data used to make the decision, the notice of appeal, and, if prepared, a responsive statement by the Responsible Official which addresses the issues raised in the notice of appeal. The Responsible Official must forward the record to the Appeal Deciding Officer within 7 days of the date the notice of appeal is received. A copy of the appeal record must be sent to the appellant at the same time.


(j) Appeal decision – (1) Responsive statement for appeal decision. The Appeal Deciding Officer may request the Responsible Official to prepare a responsive statement. However, if the information in the files clearly demonstrates the rationale for the Responsible Official’s decision, then a responsive statement addressing the points of the appeal is not necessary.


(2) Appeal issue clarification. For clarification of issues raised in the appeal, the Appeal Deciding Officer may request additional information from either the Responsible Official, the appellant, or an interested party who has submitted comments on the appeal. At the discretion of the Appeal Deciding Officer, an appellant or interested party may be invited to discuss data relevant to the appeal. Information provided to clarify issues or facts in the appeal must be based upon information previously documented in the file or appeal. Any information provided as a result of the Appeal Deciding Officer’s request for more information must be made available to all parties, that is, to the Responsible Official, the appellant, and interested parties who have submitted comments on the appeal. All parties will have 5 days after the Appeal Deciding Officer receives the additional information to review and comment on the information, and the appeal decision period will be extended 5 additional days.


(3) Issuance of final decision. The Appeal Deciding Officer shall review the decision and appeal record and issue a written appeal decision to the parties within 30 days of the close of the appeal period except that this period must be extended to 35 days when additional information is requested by the Appeal Deciding Officer. The Appeal Officer may affirm or reverse the Responsible Official’s decision, in whole or in part. There is no extension of the time period for rendering an appeal decision.


(k) Implementation of decisions during pendency of appeal. Recomputation of shares arising from a scheduled 5-year recomputation are effective on April 1 following the end of the 5-year period being considered. If an appeal that may affect the shares for the next 5-year period is not resolved by the April 1 date, the share decision announced by the Responsible Official must be implemented. If an appeal decision results in a change in the shares, the revised total share of the Small Business Timber Sale Set-aside Program must be accomplished during the remaining portion of the 5-year period.


(l) Timber sale set-aside policy changes. Timber purchasers shall receive an opportunity, in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations, to review and comment on significant changes in the Small Business Timber Sale Set-aside Program or policy prior to adoption and implementation.


(m) Information collection requirements. The provisions of paragraph (f) of this section specify the information that appellants must provide when appealing decisions pertaining to recomputation of shares. As such, these rules contain information requirements as defined in 5 CFR Part 1320. These information requirements have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget and assigned control number 0596-0141.


[64 FR 411, Jan. 5, 1999]


Subpart C – Suspension and Debarment of Timber Purchasers


Source:52 FR 43329, Nov. 12, 1987, unless otherwise noted.

§ 223.130 Scope.

(a) This subpart prescribes policies and procedures governing the debarment and suspension of purchasers of National Forest System timber. This subpart further prescribes policies and procedures governing those persons who violate the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.).


(b) It provides for the listing of debarred and suspended purchasers.


(c) It sets forth the causes and procedures for debarment and suspension and for determining the scope, duration, and treatment to be accorded to purchasers listed as debarred or suspended.


[52 FR 43329, Nov. 12, 1987, as amended at 60 FR 46921, Sept. 8, 1995]


§ 223.131 Applicability.

These regulations apply to purchasers of National Forest System timber as well as to those persons who violate the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.). These regulations do not apply to Forest Service procurement contracts which are governed by regulations at 41 CFR 4-1.6.


[60 FR 46921, Sept. 8, 1995]


§ 223.132 Policy.

(a) The Forest Service shall solicit and consider timber sale bids from and award contracts only to responsible business concerns and individuals. Debarment and suspension by the Forest Service are discretionary actions that, taken in accordance with these regulations, are appropriate means to effectuate this policy.


(b) Debarment and suspension shall be imposed only for the causes and in accordance with the procedures set forth in this subpart. The serious nature of debarment and suspension requires that these actions be imposed only in the public interest, for the Government’s protection, and not for the purpose of punishment.


(c) Debarment and suspension actions taken under this subpart shall be based on the administrative record, including any submissions and argument made by the purchaser or named affiliate in accordance with this subpart, and shall be limited in scope and duration to that necessary to protect the Government’s interest.


§ 223.133 Definitions.

As used in this subpart, the following terms shall have the meanings set forth below:


Adequate evidence means information sufficient to support the reasonable belief that a particular act or omission has occurred.


Affiliates are business concerns or persons, whose relationship entails the following:


(a) Either party directly or indirectly controls or has the power to control the other; or


(b) A third party directly or indirectly controls or has the power to control both. In determining whether affiliation exists, the Forest Service shall consider all appropriate factors, including, but not limited to, common ownership, common management, common facilities, and contractual relationships. Further guidelines to be used in determining affiliation are found in the Small Business Administration regulation in 13 CFR 121.401.


Civil judgment means a judgment or finding of a civil offense by any court of competent jurisdiction.


Control means the power to exercise, directly or indirectly, a controlling influence over the management, policies, or activities of an individual or business concern, whether through ownership of voting securities, through one or more intermediary individuals or business concerns, or otherwise.


Conviction means a judgment or conviction of a criminal offense by any court of competent jurisdiction, whether entered upon a verdict or a plea, and includes a conviction entered upon a plea of nolo contendere.


Debarment means action taken by a debarring official under §§ 223.136 through 223.140 to exclude a purchaser from Forest Service timber sale contracts for a reasonable, specified period of time. A purchaser so excluded is “debarred.” Debarment pursuant to the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 620, et seq. means action taken by a debarring official under §§ 223.136-223.140 to exclude persons from entering into any contract for the purchase of unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands and from taking delivery of unprocessed Federal timber purchased by another party for the period of debarment.


Debarring official means the Chief of the Forest Service or the Deputy Chief, National Forest System, or the Associate Deputy Chief, Resources Divisions, National Forest System.


Federal lands means, for the purposes of the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.), lands that are owned by the United States, but does not include any lands the title to which is:


(a) Held in trust by the United States for the benefit of any Indian tribe or individual,


(b) Held by any Indian tribe or individual subject to a restriction by the United States against alienation, or


(c) Held by any Native Corporation as defined in section 3 of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1602).


Indictment means indictment for a criminal offense. An information or other filing by competent authority charging a criminal offense shall be given the same effect as an indictment.


Legal proceedings means any civil judicial proceeding to which the Government is a party or any criminal proceeding. The term includes appeals from such proceedings.


Notice means a written communication served in person or sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, or its equivalent, to the last known address of a party, its identified counsel, or agent for service of process. In the case of an organization, such notice may be sent to any partner, principal officer, director, owner or co-owner, or joint venturer.


Person means any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity, and includes any subsidiary, subcontractor, parent company, and business affiliates.


Preponderance of the evidence means proof by information that, compared with that opposing it, leads to the conclusion that the fact at issue is more probably true than not.


Purchaser means any person, who:


(a) Submits bids for, is awarded, or reasonably may be expected to submit bids for or be awarded, a Forest Service timber sale contract;


(b) Conducts business with the Forest Service as an agent or representative of another timber sale purchaser; or


(c) For the purposes of the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.) (Act), any person who violates the Act or any regulation or contract issued under the Act, or any person who may reasonably be expected to enter into a contract to purchase or receive delivery of unprocessed Federal timber in violation of the Act or its implementing regulations.


Suspending official means the Chief of the Forest Service or the Deputy Chief, National Forest System or the Associate Deputy Chief, Resources Divisions, National Forest System.


Suspension means action taken by a suspending official under §§ 223.141 through 223.145 to immediately exclude a purchaser from bidding on or purchasing National Forest System timber for a temporary period of time pending completion of an investigation and such legal or debarment proceedings as may ensue; a purchaser so excluded is suspended.


[52 FR 43329, Nov. 12, 1987, as amended at 60 FR 46921, Sept. 8, 1995]


§ 223.134 List of debarred and suspended purchasers.

(a) The Deputy Chief, National Forest System, shall compile and maintain a current list of National Forest System timber purchasers and affiliates who are debarred, suspended, or proposed for debarment. This list shall be distributed to all Regional Foresters and Forest Supervisors, the General Services Administration, the General Accounting Office, the Bureau of Land Management and other Federal agencies requesting said list.


(b) The Forest Service list shall contain the following information:


(1) The purchaser’s name and address, and the name and address of any affiliate of the purchaser included pursuant to §§ 223.140(a) or § 223.145.


(2) The cause(s) for the action (see §§ 223.137 and 223.142).


(3) Any limitations to or deviations from the normal effect of debarment or suspension.


(4) The effective date of the action and, in the case of debarment, the expiration date.


(5) The name and telephone number of the point of contact in the Forest Service regarding the action.


§ 223.135 Effect of listing.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this section, purchasers debarred or suspended in accordance with this subpart shall be excluded from bidding on or award of Forest Service timber sale contracts. The Forest Service shall not knowingly solicit or consider bids from, award contracts to, approve a third party agreement with, or renew or otherwise extend, except pursuant to the terms of a contract term adjustment, an existing timber sale contract with these purchasers, unless the Chief of the Forest Service or authorized representative determines, in writing, that there is a compelling reason for such action.


(b) In addition to the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section, persons debarred pursuant to § 223.137(g) shall be prohibited from entering into any contract to purchase unprocessed timber from Federal lands and shall also be precluded from taking delivery of Federal timber purchased by another person for the period of debarment.


[60 FR 46921, Sept. 8, 1995]


§ 223.136 Debarment.

(a) General. In accordance with the procedures in § 223.138, the debarring official may in the public interest, debar a purchaser for any of the causes listed in § 223.137. However, the existence of a cause for debarment does not necessarily require that the purchaser be debarred. In making any debarment decision, the debarring official shall consider the seriousness of the purchaser’s acts or omissions and any mitigating factors.


(b) Effect of proposed debarment. (1) Upon issuance of a notice of proposed debarment by the debarring official and until the final debarment decision is rendered, the Forest Service shall not solicit or consider bids from, award contracts to, approve a third party agreement with, renew or otherwise extend, except pursuant to the terms of a contract term adjustment, any contract with that purchaser. The Chief of the Forest Service or authorized representative may waive this exclusion upon a written determination identifying compelling reasons to continue doing business with that purchaser pending completion of debarment proceedings.


(2) In addition to paragraph (b)(1) of this section, issuance of a notice of proposed debarment under § 223.137(g) shall preclude such person from entering into any contract to purchase unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands, and from taking delivery of unprocessed Federal timber from any other party who purchased such timber.


[52 FR 43329, Nov. 12, 1987, as amended at 60 FR 46921, Sept. 8, 1995]


§ 223.137 Causes for debarment.

The debarring official may debar a purchaser for any of the following causes:


(a) Conviction of or civil judgment for:


(1) Theft, forgery, bribery, embezzlement, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements, or receiving stolen property;


(2) Fraud, a criminal offense, or violation of Federal or State antitrust laws, any of which occurred in connection with obtaining, attempting to obtain, or performing a public contract or subcontract.


(3) Any other offense indicating a lack of business integrity or honesty that seriously and directly affects the present responsibility of the purchaser.


(b) A purchaser’s debarment from the purchase of timber by another Federal agency which sells timber.


(c) Cutting and/or removal of more than incidental volumes of timber not designated for the purchaser’s cutting from a national forest.


(d) Substantial violation of the terms of one or more Forest Service timber sale contracts so serious as to justify debarment, such as:


(1) Willful failure to perform in accordance with contract; or


(2) A history of failure to perform contract terms; or of unsatisfactory performance of contract terms.


(e) Among actions the Forest Service regards as so serious as to justify debarment under paragraph (d) of this section are willful violation or repeated failure to perform National Forest System timber sale contract provisions relating to the following:


(1) Fire suppression, fire prevention, and the disposal of slash;


(2) Protection of soil, water, wildlife, range, cultural, and timber resources and protection of improvements when such failure causes significant environmental, resource, or improvements damage;


(3) Removal of designated timber when such failure causes substantial product deterioration or conditions favorable to insect epidemics;


(4) Observance of restrictions on exportation of timber;


(5) Observance of restrictions on the disposal of timber from small business set-aside sales;


(6) Providing access to the Forest Service upon its request to purchaser’s books and accounts;


(7) Payment of monies due under terms of a Forest Service timber sale contract, including payment of damages relating to failure to cut designated timber by the contract termination date;


(8) Performance of contract by the contract termination date.


(f) Any other cause so serious or compelling that if affects the present responsibility of a purchaser of Government timber.


(g) Violation of the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.) (Act) or any regulation or contract issued under the Act.


[52 FR 43329, Nov. 12, 1987, as amended at 60 FR 46921, Sept. 8, 1995]


§ 223.138 Procedures for debarment.

(a) Investigation and referral. Information which may be sufficient cause for debarment of a timber sale purchaser and affiliates shall be reported to the Forest Service Debarring Official. Generally, such information should be referred through the Forest Supervisor and the Regional Forester. The referral shall be accompanied by a complete statement of the facts supported by appropriate exhibits and a recommendation for action. Where the statement of facts indicates a possible criminal offense, except possible antitrust violations, the debarring official shall notify the Office of Inspector General, USDA. Where the statement of facts indicates a possible antitrust violation, the debarring official shall notify the Antitrust Division, Department of Justice.


(b) Decisionmaking process – (1) Notice of proposal to debar. The debarring official shall initiate debarment by advising the purchaser and any specifically named affiliate, by certified mail, return receipt requested. The notice document shall include the following information:


(i) That debarment is being considered.


(ii) The reasons for the proposed debarment in terms sufficient to put the recipient on notice of the conduct or transaction(s) upon which it is based.


(iii) The cause(s) relied upon under § 223.137 for proposing debarment.


(iv) The specific procedures governing debarment decisionmaking in § 223.138 (b)(1) through (b)(8).


(v) The effect of the issuance of the notice of proposed debarment pending a final debarment decision (see § 223.136(b)).


(vi) The potential effect of a debarment.


(2) Submission in opposition. Within 30 calendar days after receipt of the notice of proposed debarment, the respondent my submit, in person, in writing, or through a representative, information and argument in opposition to and/or in mitigation of the proposed debarment, including any additional specific information that raises a genuine dispute over the material facts.


(3) Informal hearing. Pursuant to paragraph (b)(2) of this section, a respondent may request an informal hearing with the debarring official. The informal hearing shall be held within 20 calendar days from the date the request is received. The debarring official may postpone the date of the hearing if the respondent requests a postponement in writing. At the hearing, the respondent, appearing personally or through an attorney or other authorized representative, may informally present and explain evidence that causes for debarment do not exist, evidence of any mitigating factors, and arguments concerning the imposition, scope, duration or effects of proposed debarment or debarment. A transcript of the informal hearing shall not be required.


(4) Additional proceedings as to disputed material facts. In actions not based upon a conviction or civil judgment, if the debarring official finds that and gives notice that the submission in opposition raises a genuine dispute over facts material to the proposed debarment, respondent(s) may request a fact-finding conference on those disputed material facts. Such a conference shall be held within 20 calendar days from the date the request is received unless mutually agreed otherwise. The fact-finding conference shall conform with the following requirements:


(i) At least 10 days before the fact-finding conference, the debarring official shall send the respondent a copy of all documents in the administrative record as of the date of transmittal and not objected to by the Department of Justice.


(ii) At the conference, the respondent shall have the opportunity to appear with counsel, submit documentary evidence, present witnesses, and confront any person the Forest Service presents.


(iii) A transcribed record of any additional proceedings shall be made available at cost to the respondent upon request, unless the respondent and the Forest Service, by mutual agreement, waive the requirement for a transcript.


(5) Debarring official’s decision – (i) No additional proceedings necessary. In actions based upon a conviction or civil judgement or in which there is no genuine dispute over material facts, the debarring official shall make a decision on the basis of all the information in the administrative record, including any submission made by the purchaser or any specifically named affiliate. The decision shall be made within 30 working days after receipt of any information and argument submitted, unless the debarring official extends this period for good cause.


(ii) Additional proceedings necessary. (A) In actions in which additional proceedings are necessary to determine disputed material facts, the debarring official shall promptly prepare written findings of fact. The debarring official shall base the decision on the facts as found, together with any information and argument submitted by the purchaser or any specifically named affiliate and any other information in the administrative record.


(B) The debarring official may refer matters involving disputed material facts to another official for findings of fact. The debarring official may reject any such findings, in whole or in part, only after specifically determining them to be arbitrary and capricious or clearly erroneous.


(C) The debarring official’s decision shall be made after the conclusion of the proceedings with respect to disputed facts.


(6) Standard of evidence. In any action in which the proposed debarment is not based upon a conviction or civil judgment, the cause for debarment must be established by a preponderance of the evidence. In any action in which the proposed debarment is based upon a conviction or civil judgment, the standard shall be deemed to have been met.


(7) Notice of debarring official’s decision. (i) The purchaser and any affiliates involved shall be given prompt notice of the debarring official’s decision by certified mail, return receipt requested. If the debarring official decides to impose debarment, the notice shall:


(A) Refer to the notice of proposed debarment:


(B) Specify the reasons for debarment;


(C) State the period of debarment, including effective dates (see § 223.139); and


(D) Specify any limitations on the terms of the debarment.


(ii) The debarring official shall also promptly notify Regional Foresters and Forest Supervisors of the decision.


[52 FR 43329, Nov. 12, 1987, as amended at 72 FR 31438, June 7, 2007]


§ 223.139 Period of debarment.

(a) Debarment shall be for a period commensurate with the seriousness of the cause(s):


(1) The debarring official shall consider any suspension period or period since issuance of the notice of proposed debarment in determining the debarment period.


(2) Generally, a debarment for those causes listed at § 223.137 (a)-(f) of this subpart should not exceed three (3) years, except as otherwise provided by law.


(3) A debarment for the causes listed at § 223.137(g) shall not exceed five (5) years.


(b) The debarring official may extend the debarment for those causes listed at § 223.137 (a)-(f) of this subpart for an additional period if that official determines that an extension is necessary to protect the Government’s interest. However:


(1) A debarment may not be extended solely on the basis of the facts and circumstances upon which the initial debarment action was based;


(2) If debarment for an additional period is necessary, the debarring official shall initiate and follow the procedures in § 223.138 to extend the debarment.


(c) The debarring official may consider terminating the debarment or reducing the period or extent of debarment, upon the purchaser’s request, supported by documentation, for reasons such as:


(1) Newly discovered material evidence;


(2) Reversal of the conviction or judgment upon which the debarment was based;


(3) Bona fide change in ownership or management;


(4) Elimination of other causes for which the debarment was imposed; or


(5) Other reasons the debarring official deems appropriate.


(d) The debarring official shall make final disposition of a reconsideration request under paragraph (c) of this section in writing within 30 working days of receipt of the reconsideration request and supporting documentation, unless the debarring official extends this period for good cause. The notice of the decision shall set forth the reasons for granting or denying the request.


[52 FR 43329, Nov. 12, 1987, as amended at 60 FR 46921, Sept. 8, 1995]


§ 223.140 Scope of debarment.

(a) Scope in general. (1) Debarment of a purchaser constitutes debarment of all divisions or other organizational elements of the purchaser, unless the debarment decision is limited by its terms to specific divisions, organizational elements, or classes of sales.


(2) The debarring official may extend a debarment decision to include any affiliates of the purchaser, if they are –


(i) Specifically named and


(ii) Given written notice of the proposed debarment and provided an opportunity to respond (see § 223.138(b)).


(b) Imputing conduct. For purposes of determining the scope of debarment, conduct may be imputed as follows:


(1) The fraudulent, criminal, or other seriously improper conduct of any officer, director, shareholder, partner, employee, or other individual associated with a purchaser may be imputed to a purchaser when the conduct occurred in connection with the individual’s performance of duties for or on behalf of the purchaser, or with the purchaser’s knowledge, approval, or acquiescence. The purchaser’s acceptance of the benefits derived from the conduct shall be evidence of such knowledge, approval, or acquiescence.


(2) The fraudulent, criminal, or other seriously improper conduct of a purchaser may be imputed to any officer, director, shareholder, partner, employee, or other individual associated with the purchaser who participated in, knew of, or has reason to know of the purchaser’s conduct.


(3) The fraudulent, criminal, or other seriously improper conduct of one purchaser participating in a joint venture or similar arrangement may be imputed to other participating purchasers if the conduct occurred for or on behalf of the joint venture or similar arrangement or with the knowledge, approval, or acquiescence of those purchasers. Acceptance of the benefits derived from the conduct shall be evidence of such knowledge, approval or acquiescence.


§ 223.141 Suspension.

(a) The suspending official may, in the public interest, suspend a purchaser on the basis of adequate evidence for any of the causes in § 223.142, using the procedures in § 223.143. However, the existence of a cause for suspension does not necessarily require that the purchaser be suspended. In making any suspension decision, the suspending official shall consider the seriousness of the purchaser’s acts or omissions and any mitigating factors.


(b) Suspension is a serious action to be imposed, pending the completion of investigation or legal proceedings, when it has been determined that immediate action is necessary to protect the Government’s interest. In assessing the adequacy of the evidence, consideration shall be given to how much information is available, how credible it is given the circumstances, whether or not important allegations are corroborated and what inferences can reasonably be drawn as a result. This assessment shall include an examination of basic documents such as contracts, bids, awards, inspection reports, and correspondence, as appropriate.


§ 223.142 Causes for suspension.

(a) The suspending official may suspend a purchaser suspected, upon adequate evidence, of the following:


(1) Commission of:


(i) Theft, forgery, bribery, embezzlement, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements, or receiving stolen property;


(ii) Fraud, a criminal offense, or violation of Federal or State antitrust laws, any of which occurred in connection with obtaining, attempting to obtain; or performing a public contract or subcontract; or


(iii) Any other offense indicating a lack of business integrity or business honesty that seriously and directly affects the present responsibility of a purchase of Government timber.


(2) Indictment for any of the causes listed in paragraph (a) of this section constitutes adequate evidence for suspension.


(3) A purchaser’s suspension from the purchaser of timber by another Federal agency which sells timber.


(b) The suspending official may, upon adequate evidence, also suspend a purchaser for any other cause so serious or compelling that it affects the present responsibility or a purchaser of Government timber.


§ 223.143 Procedures for suspension.

(a) Investigation and referral. Information which may be sufficient cause for suspension under § 223.142 shall be reported to the Forest Service Suspending Official. Generally, such information should be referred through the Forest Supervisor and the Regional Forester. The referral shall be accompanied by a complete statement of the facts supported by appropriate exhibits and a recommendation for action. Where the statement of facts indicates a possible criminal offense, except possible antitrust violations, the suspending official shall notify the Office of Inspector General, USDA. Where the statement of facts indicates a possible antitrust violation, the suspending official shall notify the Antitrust Division, Department of Justice.


(b) Decisionmaking process – (1) Notice of suspension. When a purchaser and any specifically named affiliates are suspended, the suspending official shall so advise the purchaser and any specifically named affiliate immediately by certified mail, return receipt requested. Such notice shall specify:


(i) That they have been suspended as of the date of the notice;


(ii) That the suspension is based on an indictment or other adequate evidence that the purchaser has committed irregularities,


(A) Of a serious nature in business dealings with the Government, or


(B) Seriously reflecting on the propriety of further Government dealings with the recipient;


(iii) Any such irregularities shall be described in terms sufficient to place the recipient on notice without disclosing the Government’s evidence;


(iv) That the suspension is for a temporary period of time pending the completion of an investigation and such legal proceedings as may ensue;


(v) The cause(s) relied upon under § 223.142 for imposing suspension;


(vi) The effect of the suspension (see § 223.135);


(vii) The specific procedures governing suspension decisionmaking in § 223.143 (b)(1) through (b)(6).


(2) Submission in opposition. Within 30 calendar days after receipt of the notice of suspension, the purchaser or any specifically named affiliate may submit, in person, in writing, or through a representative, information and argument in opposition to the suspension, including any additional specific information that raises a genuine dispute over material facts.


(3) Informal hearing. Pursuant to paragraph (b)(2) of this section, respondent may request an informal hearing with the suspending official. The informal hearing shall be held within 20 calendar days from the date the request is received. The suspending official may postpone the date of the hearing if the respondent requests a postponement in writing. At the hearing, the respondent, appearing personally or through an attorney or other authorized representative, may informally present and explain evidence that causes for suspension do not exist, evidence of any mitigating factors, and arguments concerning the imposition, scope, duration or effects of suspension. A transcript of the informal hearing shall not be required.


(4) Additional proceedings as to disputed material facts. (i) If the suspending official finds that there exists a genuine dispute over facts material to the suspension, respondent(s) shall be afforded an opportunity to appear with counsel, submit documentary evidence, present witnesses, and confront any person the Forest Service presents, unless –


(A) The action is based on an indictment; or


(B) A determination is made, on the basis of Department of Justice advice, that the substantial interests of the Government in pending or contemplated legal proceedings based on the same facts as the suspension would be prejudiced.


(ii) If appropriate, the respondent may request a fact-finding conference on disputed material facts. Such a conference shall be held within 20 calendar days from the date the request is received unless mutually agreed otherwise. The fact-finding conference shall conform with the following requirements:


(A) At least 10 days before the fact-finding conference, the suspending official shall send the respondent a copy of all documents in the administrative record as of the date of transmittal and not objected to by the Department of Justice.


(B) At the conference, the respondent shall have the opportunity to appear with counsel, submit documentary evidence, present witnesses, and confront any person the Forest Service presents.


(iii) A transcribed record of any additional proceedings shall be prepared and made available at cost to the respondent upon request, unless the respondent and the Forest Service, by mutual agreement, waive the requirement for a transcript.


(5) Suspending official’s decision. The suspending official may modify or terminate the suspension or leave it in force for the same reasons as for terminating or reducing the period or extent of debarment (see § 223.139(c)). The decision shall be made in accordance with the following provisions:


(i) No additional proceedings necessary. In actions based on an indictment, in which the respondent’s submission does not raise a genuine dispute over material facts; or in which additional proceedings to determine disputed material facts have been denied on the basis of Department of Justice advice, the suspending official’s decision shall be based on all the information in the administrative record, including any submissions and argument made by the respondent. The decision shall be made within 30 working days after receipt of any information and argument submitted by the respondent, unless the suspending official extends this period for good cause.


(ii) Additional proceedings necessary. (A) In actions in which additional proceedings are necessary as to disputed material facts, written findings of fact shall be promptly prepared. The suspending official shall base the decision on the facts as found, together with any information and argument submitted by the respondent and any other information in the administrative record.


(B) The suspending official may refer matters involving disputed material facts to another official for findings of fact. The suspending official may reject any such findings, in whole or in part, only after specifically determining them to be arbitrary and capricious or clearly erroneous.


(C) The suspending official’s decision shall be made only after the conclusion of any proceedings with respect to disputed facts.


(6) Notice of suspending official’s decision. The purchaser and any affiliates involved shall be given prompt written notice of the suspending officer’s decision to continue or not continue the suspension by certified mail, return receipt requested.


§ 223.144 Period of suspension.

(a) Suspension shall be for a temporary period pending the completion of investigation and any ensuing legal proceedings unless sooner terminated by the suspending official or as provided in paragraph (b) of this section.


(b) If legal proceedings are not initiated within 12 months after the date of the suspension notice, the suspension shall be terminated unless an Assistant Attorney General requests its extension, in which case it may be extended for an additional 6 months. In no event may a suspension extend beyond 18 months, unless legal proceedings have been initiated within that period.


(c) The suspending official shall notify the Department of Justice of the proposed termination of any suspension, at least 30 days before the 12-month period expires, to give the Department an opportunity to request an extension.


§ 223.145 Scope of suspension.

The scope of suspension shall be the same as that for debarment (see § 223.140), except that the procedures in § 223.143 shall be used in imposing suspension.


Subpart D – Timber Export and Substitution Restrictions

§ 223.159 Scope and applicability.

The rules of this subpart apply to all timber sale contracts awarded before August 20, 1990, the date of enactment of the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.). The rules at § 223.162 shall remain in effect for all contracts awarded on or after August 20, 1990, until September 8, 1995. Contracts awarded on or after August 20, 1990 are subject to the rules of subpart F of this part, unless otherwise noted. Contracts awarded on or after September 8, 1995 are governed in full by subpart F.


[60 FR 46922, Sept. 8, 1995]


§ 223.160 Definitions.

The following definitions apply to the provisions of this section:


(a) Export means either direct or indirect export to a foreign country and occurs on the date that a person enters into a contract or other binding transaction for the export of unprocessed timber or, if that date cannot be established, when unprocessed timber is found in an export yard or pond, bundled or otherwise prepared for shipment, or aboard an ocean-going vessel. An export yard or pond is an area where sorting and/or bundling of logs for shipment outside the United States is accomplished. Unprocessed timber, whether from National Forest System or private lands, is exported directly when exported by the National Forest timber purchaser. Timber is exported indirectly when export occurs as a result of a sale to another person or as a consequence of any subsequent transaction.


(b) Historic level means the average annual volume of unprocessed timber purchased or exported in calendar years 1971, 1972, and 1973.


(c) Private lands mean lands held or owned by a private person. Nonprivate lands include, but are not limited to, lands held or owned by the United States, a State or political subdivision thereof, or any other public agency, or lands held in trust by the United States for Indians.


(d) Substitution means the purchase of unprocessed timber from National Forest System lands to be used as replacement for unprocessed timber from private lands which is exported by the purchaser. Substitution occurs when (1) a person increases purchases of National Forest timber in any Calendar year more than 10 percent above their historic level and in the same calendar year exports unprocessed timber from private land in the tributary area; or (2) a person increases exports of unprocessed timber from private land in any tributary area more than 10 percent above their historic level in any calendar year while they have National Forest timber under contract.


(e) Tributary area means the geographic area from which unprocessed timber is delivered to a specific processing facility or complex. A tributary area is expanded when timber outside an established tributary area is hauled to the processing facility or complex.


(f) Unprocessed timber, except western red cedar in the contiguous 48 States, means trees or portions of trees having a net scale content not less than 33
1/3 percent of the gross volume, or the minimum piece specification set forth in the timber sale contract, in material meeting the peeler and sawmill log grade requirements published in the January 1, 1980 – Official Log Scaling and Grading Rules used by Log Scaling and Grading Bureaus on the West Coast; cants to be subsequently remanufactured exceeding 8
3/4 inches in thickness; cants of any thickness reassembled into logs; and split or round bolts, except for aspen, or other roundwood not processed to standards and specifications suitable for end-product use. Unprocessed timber shall not mean pulp (utility) grade logs and Douglas-fir special cull logs or timber processed into the following:


(1) Lumber and construction timbers, regardless of size, sawn on four sides;


(2) Chips, pulp, and pulp products;


(3) Green veneer and plywood;


(4) Poles, posts, or piling cut or treated for use as such;


(5) Cants cut for remanufacture, 8
3/4 inches in thickness or less;


(6) Aspen bolts, not exceeding 4 feet in length.


(g) Unprocessed western red cedar timber in the contiguous 48 States means trees or portions of trees of that species which have not been processed into –


(1) Lumber of American Lumber Standards Grades of Number 3 dimension or better, or Pacific Lumber Inspection Bureau Export R-List Grades of Number 3 Common or better;


(2) Chips, pulp, and pulp products;


(3) Veneer and plywood;


(4) Poles, posts, or piling cut or treated with preservatives for use as such and not intended to be further processed; or


(5) Shakes and shingles; provided that lumber from private lands manufactured to the standards established in the lumber grading rules of the American Lumber Standards Association or the Pacific Lumber Inspection Bureau and manufactured lumber authorized to be exported under license by the Department of Commerce shall be considered processed.


(h) Person means an individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity and includes any subsidiary, subcontractor, parent company, or other affiliate. Business entities are considered affiliates for the entire calendar year when one controls or has the power to control the other or when both are controlled directly or indirectly by a third person during any part of the calendar year.


(i) Purchase occurs when a person is awarded a contract to cut National Forest timber or through the approval of a third party agreement by the Forest Service.


(j) Purchaser means a person that has purchased a National Forest timber sale.


(Sec. 14, Pub. L. 95-588, 90 Stat. 2958, as amended (16 U.S.C. 472a); sec. 301, Pub. L. 96-126, 93 Stat. 979; sec. 1, 30 Stat. 35, as amended (16 U.S.C. 55.1); sec. 301, 90 Stat. 1063, Pub. L. 94-373; sec. 1, 30 Stat. 35, as amended (16 U.S.C. 551))

[45 FR 80528, Dec. 5, 1980, as amended at 46 FR 2611, Jan. 12, 1981; 46 FR 22581, Apr. 20, 1981; 47 FR 746, Jan. 7, 1982. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984]


§ 223.161 [Reserved]

§ 223.162 Limitations on timber harvested from all other states.

Unprocessed timber from National Forest System lands west of the 100th Meridian in the contiguous 48 States may not:


(a) Be exported from the United States;


(b) Be used in substitution for unprocessed timber from private lands which is exported by the purchaser; or


(c) Be sold, traded, exchanged, or otherwise given to any person who does not agree to manufacture it to meet the processing requirements of this section and/or require such a processing agreement in any subsequent resale or other transaction. This limitation on export or substitution does not apply to species of timber previously found to be surplus to domestic needs or to any additional species, grades, or quantities of timber which may be found by the Secretary to be surplus to domestic needs.


(Sec. 14, Pub. L. 95-588, 90 Stat. 2958, as amended (16 U.S.C. 472a); sec. 301, Pub. L. 96-126, 93 Stat. 979; sec. 1, 30 Stat. 35, as amended (16 U.S.C. 55.1); sec. 301, 90 Stat. 1063, Pub. L. 94-373; sec. 1, 30 Stat. 35, as amended (16 U.S.C. 551))

[45 FR 80528, Dec. 5, 1980, as amended at 46 FR 2611, Jan. 12, 1981; 47 FR 746, Jan. 7, 1982. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984]


§ 223.163 [Reserved]

§ 223.164 Penalty for falsification.

For false certification of documents relating to export or substitution and/or other violations of export and substitution requirements by the purchaser of timber from National Forest System lands, the Forest Service may cancel the subject contract, debar the involved person or persons from bidding on National Forest timber, or initiate other action as may be provided by law or regulation.


(Sec. 14, Pub. L. 94-588, 90 Stat. 2958, as amended (16 U.S.C. 472a); Sec. 301, Pub. L. 96-126, 93 Stat. 979; Sec. 1, 30 Stat. 35, as amended (16 U.S.C. 55.1); Sec. 301, 90 Stat. 1063, Pub. L. 94-373; Sec. 1, 30 Stat. 35, as amended (16 U.S.C. 551); (44 U.S.C. 3506))

[45 FR 80528, Dec. 5, 1980. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984, and amended at 51 FR 40316, Nov. 6, 1986]


Subpart E [Reserved]

Subpart F – The Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 Program


Source:60 FR 46922, Sept. 8, 1995, unless otherwise noted.

§ 223.185 Scope and applicability.

This subpart implements provisions of the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.) that became effective upon enactment or as otherwise specified in the Act. As of September 8, 1995, this subpart applies to unprocessed timber originating from private lands west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States that requires domestic processing. Except as provided later in this paragraph, this subpart applies to all unprocessed timber originating from National Forest System lands west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States acquired from timber sale contracts awarded on or after August 20, 1990. The rules regarding substitution at § 223.162 of subpart D apply to unprocessed timber acquired from timber sale contracts awarded between August 20, 1990, and September 8, 1995, as provided in § 490(a)(2)(A) of the Act. The rules regarding reporting the acquisition and disposition of unprocessed Federal timber at § 223.193 of this subpart apply to all transfers of unprocessed Federal timber originating from National Forest System lands west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States regardless of timber sale contract award date.


§ 223.186 Definitions.

The following definitions apply to the provisions of this subpart:


Acquire means to come into possession of, whether directly or indirectly, through a sale, trade, exchange, or other transaction. The term “acquisition” means the act of acquiring. The terms “acquire” and “purchase” are synonymous and are used interchangeably.


Act means the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (Pub. L. No. 101-382, 104 Stat. 714-726; 16 U.S.C. 620-620j).


Area of operations refers to the geographic area within which logs from any origin have neither been exported nor transported to an area where export occurs. The area of operations will be determined for individual Forest Service Administrative Units or groups of Administrative Units by the Regional Foresters of Regions 1, 2, 3, and 4 on an as-needed basis, and used as part of the criteria for evaluating requests to waive the identifying and marking requirements for unprocessed Federal logs.


Cants or Flitches are synonymous, and mean trees or portions of trees, sawn on one or more sides, intended for remanufacture into other products elsewhere.


Civil penalties:


Willful disregard means a person knew or showed reckless disregard for the matter of whether the person’s conduct is prohibited by the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990, 16 U.S.C. 620, et seq. with regard to the prohibition against exporting unprocessed Federal timber (including causing unprocessed timber to be exported).


Willfully means a person knew or showed reckless disregard for the matter of whether the person’s conduct is prohibited by the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990, 16 U.S.C. et seq., or regulations issued under the Act, even though such violation may not have caused the export of unprocessed Federal timber in violation of the Act.


Disregard means to ignore, overlook, or fail to observe any provision of the Act or a regulation issued under this Act, even though such violation may not have caused the export of unprocessed Federal timber in violation of the Act.


Should have known means committing an act that a reasonable person in the timber industry would have known violates a provision of the Act or regulations issued under the Act, even though the violation may not have caused the export of unprocessed Federal timber in violation of the Act.


Each violation refers to any violation under the Act or its implementing regulations with regard to a single act, which includes but is not limited to a single marking (or lack thereof) on a single log, the export of a single log, or a single entry on a document.


Export means transporting, or causing to be transported, either directly or through another party, unprocessed timber to a foreign country. Export occurs:


(1) On the date that a person enters into an agreement to sell, trade, exchange or otherwise convey such timber to a person for delivery to a foreign country;


(2) When unprocessed timber is placed in an export facility in preparation (sorting, bundling, container loading etc.) for shipment outside the United States; or,


(3) When unprocessed timber is placed on board an ocean-going vessel, rail car, or other conveyance destined for a foreign country.


Federal lands means lands that are owned by the United States west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States, but do not include any land the title to which is;


(1) Held in trust by the United States for the benefit of any Indian tribe or individual;


(2) Held by any Indian tribe or individual subject to a restriction by the United States against alienation; or


(3) Held by any Native Corporation as defined in section 3 of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1602).


Finished products means products from trees, portions of trees or other roundwood products processed to standards and specifications intended for end product use.


Fiscal year means the Federal fiscal year beginning October 1, and ending the following September 30.


Gross value means the total value a person received from the transfer of unprocessed Federal timber involved in a violation, before production, delivery, agent fees, overhead, or other costs are removed.


Hammer brand refers to an identifying mark or brand composed of numbers, letters, characters, or a combination of numbers, letters, or characters permanently attached to a hammer, or other similar striking tool. The hammer brand must make a legible imprint of the brand in the end of a log when struck.


Highway yellow paint refers to an oil base or equivalent yellow paint of lasting quality comparable to the yellow paint used to mark highways.


Log refers to an unprocessed portion of a tree that is transported to a manufacturing facility or other location for processing, transferring to another person, or exporting. “Logs” is synonymous with “timber”.


Manufacturing facility means a permanently located processing plant used to convert unprocessed timber into products.


Non-manufacturer means a person who does not own or operate a manufacturing facility.


Person means any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity and includes any subsidiary, subcontractor, parent company, and business affiliates. Persons are affiliates of each other when either directly or indirectly, one person controls or has the power to control the other or a third party or parties control or have the power to control both. In determining whether or not affiliation exists, consideration shall be given to all appropriate factors, including but not limited to common ownership, common management, common facilities, and contractual relationships.


Private lands means lands, located west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States held or owned by a person. Such term does not include Federal lands or public lands, or any land the title to which is;


(1) Held in trust by the United States for the benefit of any Indian tribe or individual;


(2) Held by any Indian tribe or individual subject to a restriction by the United States against alienation; or


(3) Held by any Native Corporation as defined in section 3 of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1602).


Processed means timber processed into products listed in § 223.187 of these regulations.


Purchase has the same meaning as acquire. The terms are used interchangeably.


Same geographic and economic area means the land within the boundaries of an approved sourcing area.


Sourcing area means the geographic area approved by the Secretary which includes a person’s timber manufacturing facility and the private and Federal lands from which the person acquires or intends to acquire unprocessed timber to supply such manufacturing facility; a sourcing area must be geographically and economically separate from any area from which that person harvests for export any unprocessed timber originating from private lands.


Substitution occurs when:


(1) A person acquires, directly or indirectly, unprocessed timber from Federal lands west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States and engages in exporting or selling for export, unprocessed timber originating from private lands within the same geographic and economic area; or


(2) A person acquires, directly or indirectly, unprocessed timber from Federal lands west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States and, during the preceding 24-month period, exported unprocessed timber originating from private lands; or


(3) A person exports or sells for export, unprocessed timber originating from private lands within the same geographic and economic area in the same calendar year that the person has unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands in the person’s possession or under contract; or


(4) A person purchases, directly or indirectly, unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands if such person sells or otherwise transfers unprocessed timber that originates from private lands west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States and that requires domestic processing, to a third party if that third party or successive parties export that unprocessed private timber. A third party or successive parties who acquire such unprocessed timber that originates from private lands west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States and that requires domestic processing may not export such timber.


Transaction means an arrangement involving the transfer of unprocessed timber.


Transaction statement is a signed copy of one of the transaction reporting forms in 36 CFR 223.193 and 223.194.


Transfer means to pass title, sell, trade, exchange, or otherwise convey unprocessed timber to another person.


Unprocessed timber means trees or portions of trees or other roundwood not processed to standards and specifications suitable for end product use and intended for remanufacture. Unprocessed timber does not include products intended for remanufacture that meet the criteria listed in § 223.187(a) (2) or (3). For the purposes of reporting and identifying under §§ 223.193, 223.194 and 223.195, unprocessed timber also means timber products listed in § 223.187 of these regulations, and other timber products including house logs that are part of a structure kit, that are indistinguishable from other unprocessed timber.


§ 223.187 Determinations of unprocessed timber.

(a) All species except western red cedar. Unprocessed timber, as defined in § 223.186 of this Subpart, does not include timber processed into any one of the following:


(1) Lumber or construction timbers, except western red cedar, meeting current American Lumber Standards Grades or Pacific Lumber Inspection Bureau Export R or N list grades, sawn on 4 sides, not intended for remanufacture. To determine whether such lumber or construction timbers meet this grade and intended use standard, the shipper of record must have in its possession for each shipment or order, and available for inspection upon the request of the Forest Service:


(i) A legible copy of a lumber inspection certificate certified by a lumber inspection/grading organization generally recognized by the industry as setting a selling standard; and,


(ii) A statement by the manufacturer certifying under the penalties provided in section 492 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 620d) and the False Statements Act (18 U.S.C. 1001) that the products in the shipment or order are intended to be used as shipped, are manufactured into products, or processed into pulp, and are not to be manufactured into other products. The certification statements shall be made in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section. The certification statements in paragraph (b) of this section are not required if the lumber or construction timbers described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section or the pulpwood bolts described in paragraph (a)(8) of this section otherwise may be exported without regard to an intent to remanufacture or process into pulp. For instance, because the timber originates from private land from which timber may be exported.


(2) Lumber, construction timbers, or cants for remanufacture, except western red cedar, meeting current American Lumber Standards Grades or Pacific Lumber Inspection Bureau Export R or N list clear grades, sawn on 4 sides, not to exceed 12 inches (30.5 cm) thick. To determine whether such lumber, timbers, or cants meet this grading standard, the shipper of record must have in its possession for each shipment or order and available for inspection, upon the request of the Forest Service, a legible copy of a lumber inspection certificate certified by a lumber inspection/grading organization generally recognized by the industry as setting a selling standard.


(3) Lumber, construction timbers, or cants for remanufacture, except western red cedar, that do not meet the grades referred to in paragraph (a)(2) of this section and are sawn on 4 sides, with wane less than
1/4 of any face, not exceeding 8
3/4 inches (22.2 cm) thick.


(4) Chips, pulp, or pulp products.


(5) Veneer or plywood.


(6) Poles, posts, or piling cut or treated with preservatives for use as such.


(7) Shakes or shingles.


(8) Aspen or other pulpwood bolts, not exceeding 100 inches in length, exported for processing into pulp. Shippers of record of such pulpwood bolts must have in their possession, and available for inspection upon request of the Forest Service, in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section, a manufacturer’s certificate that such bolts are intended for processing into pulp.


(9) Pulp logs or cull logs processed at domestic pulp mills, domestic chip plants, or other domestic operations for the purpose of conversion of logs into chips.


(b) Export product certifications. (1) Manufacturers of lumber or construction timbers described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section and pulpwood bolts described in paragraph (a)(8) of this section, shall certify to the following statements:


(2) Lumber or construction timbers; “I certify that the products in the shipment identified by my shipping order number ____ dated ____, are manufactured in accordance with the attached order from (buyer) of (address), numbered ____ and dated ____, are intended to be used as shipped and are not to be remanufactured into other products. I make this certification with full knowledge and understanding of the export and substitution restrictions of the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 620 et seq.) (Act) and its implementing regulations. I fully understand that exporting unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands or unprocessed timber from private lands which is required to be processed domestically is a violation of this Act, its implementing regulations, and the False Statements Act (18 U.S.C. 1001), and may subject me to the penalties and remedies provided for such violations.”


(3) Pulpwood bolts. “I certify that the pulpwood bolts in the shipment identified by my shipping order number ____ dated ____, are manufactured in accordance with the attached order from (buyer) of (address), numbered ____ and dated ____, are intended to be processed into pulp and are not to be remanufactured into other products. I make this certification with full knowledge and understanding of the export and substitution restrictions of the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.) (Act) and its implementing regulations. I fully understand that exporting unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands or unprocessed timber from private lands which is required to be processed domestically is a violation of this Act, its implementing regulations, and the False Statements Act (18 U.S.C. 1001), and may subject me to the penalties and remedies provided for such violations.”


(4) Signatory procedures. Certificates shall be on company letterhead, and signed by the person manufacturing the shipment. In the case of a corporation, the certificates must be signed by a person authorized, in writing, by the Chief Executive Officer pursuant to 36 CFR 223.187(b)(4), to sign the certificates in 36 CFR 223.187(b) on behalf of the corporation.


(5) Chief Executive Officer Authorization. The authorization by the Chief Executive Officer shall be on company letterhead, shall be notarized, and shall read as follows:



“I authorize ____ to sign the certificates in 36 CFR 223.187(b) on behalf of (name of corporation). I make this authorization with full knowledge and understanding of the export and substitution restrictions of the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 620 et seq.) (Act) and its implementing regulations. I fully understand that exporting unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands or unprocessed timber originating from private lands which is required to be processed domestically is a violation of this Act, its implementing regulations, and the False Statements Act (18 U.S.C. 1001), and may subject me to the penalties and remedies provided for such violation.”


(6) Exporters of other timber products originating from Federal lands not specifically listed in § 223.187 which may develop export markets in the future may also require similar certification statements. Such statements will be provided by the Forest Service.


(c) Western red cedar. Unprocessed western red cedar timber does not include manufactured lumber authorized for export under license by the Department of Commerce, and lumber from private lands processed to standards established in the lumber grading rules of the American Lumber Standards Association or the Pacific Lumber Inspection Bureau, or timber processed into any of the following products:


(1) Lumber of American Lumber Standards Grades of Number 3 dimension or better, or Pacific Lumber Inspection Bureau Export R-List Grades of Number 3 common or better, with a maximum cross section of 2,000 square centimeters (310 square inches) for any individual piece of processed western red cedar, regardless of grade. To determine whether such lumber meets these established standards, grades and size restrictions, the shipper of record must have in its possession for each shipment, and available for inspection upon the request of the Forest Service, a legible copy of a lumber inspection certificate certified by a lumber inspection/grading organization generally recognized by the industry as setting a selling standard. Export restrictions governing western red cedar timber harvested from Federal, State or other public lands are found in 7(i) of the Export Administration Act of 1979 as amended (50 U.S.C. appendix 2406(i)), and implementing regulations at 15 CFR 777.7.


(2) Chips, pulp, and pulp products;


(3) Veneer and plywood;


(4) Poles, posts, pilings cut or treated with preservatives for use as such and not intended to be further processed; and


(5) Shakes and shingles.


(d) Finished Products. Shippers of record of products manufactured from unprocessed western red cedar originating from Federal lands, acquired by the manufacturer under the exemption from the prohibition against indirect substitution at § 223.189(e)(1), must have in their possession for each shipment a certificate from the manufacturer that such products are finished products as defined in § 223.186 of this subpart. The certification statement shall read as follows:


(1) “I certify that the products in the shipment identified by my shipping order number ___, dated ___, are manufactured in accordance with the attached order from __ (buyer) __ of ___ (address) ___, numbered __ and dated ___, are intended for end product use. I understand that only western red cedar products that are finished products are exempt from the prohibition against indirect substitution in the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 620b(b)(1)) and its implementing regulations. I make this certification with full knowledge and understanding of the export and substitution restrictions of the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.) (Act) and its implementing regulations. I fully acknowledge and understand that to acquire western red cedar under the indirect substitution exemption in 16 U.S.C. 620b(b)(1) for purposes other than domestic processing into finished products will be a violation of this Act, its implementing regulations, and the False Statements Act (18 U.S.C. 1001) and may subject me to the penalties and remedies provided for such violation.”


(2) Signatory procedures. Certificates shall be on company letterhead, and signed by the person manufacturing the shipment. In the case of a corporation, the certificate must be signed by a person authorized, in writing, by the Chief Executive Officer, pursuant to 36 CFR 223.187(d)(3), to sign the certificate in 36 CFR 223.187(d)(1) on behalf of the corporation.


(3) Chief Executive Officer Authorization. The authorization by the Chief Executive Officer shall be on company letterhead, shall be notarized, and shall read as follows:



“I authorize ____ to sign the certificate in 36 CFR 223.187(d)(1) on behalf of (name of corporation). I make this authorization with full knowledge and understanding of the export and substitution restrictions of the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.) (Act) and its implementing regulations. I fully understand that exporting unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands or unprocessed timber originating from private lands which is required to be processed domestically is a violation of this Act, its implementing regulations, and the False Statements Act (18 U.S.C. 1001), and may subject me to the penalties and remedies provided for such violation.”


§ 223.188 Prohibitions against exporting unprocessed Federal timber.

No person who acquires unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States may export such timber from the United States, or sell, trade, exchange, or otherwise convey such timber to any other person for the purpose of exporting such timber from the United States. This prohibition does not apply to specific quantities of grades and species of such unprocessed Federal timber that the Secretary of Agriculture determines to be surplus to domestic manufacturing needs.


§ 223.189 Prohibitions against substitution.

(a) Direct substitution prohibition. Except as otherwise provided by this section:


(1) No person may purchase directly from any department or agency of the United States unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States if:


(i) Such person acquires unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States and engages in exporting or selling for export, unprocessed timber originating from private lands within the same geographic and economic area; or


(ii) Such person has, during the preceding 24-month period, exported unprocessed timber originating from private lands.


(2) No person may export or sell for export, unprocessed timber originating from private lands within the same geographic and economic area in the same calendar year that the person has unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands in the person’s possession or under contract.


(3) No person may purchase unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands if such person sells or otherwise transfers unprocessed timber that originates from private lands west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States and that requires domestic processing, to a third party if that third party or successive parties export that unprocessed private timber. A third party or successive parties who acquire such unprocessed timber that originates from private lands west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States and that requires domestic processing may not export such timber.


(4) The prohibitions in paragraphs (a) (1)-(3) of this section shall not apply to specific quantities of grades and species of unprocessed timber which the Secretary of Agriculture has determined to be surplus to domestic manufacturing needs.


(b) Exemptions. (1) Pursuant to section 490(c) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 620b), all persons who applied for a sourcing area by December 20, 1990, in accordance with § 223.190 of this subpart, were exempt from the prohibitions against substitution, in accordance with § 223.189(a)(1) of this subpart, until such time that the approving official approved or disapproved the application.


(2) Pursuant to Section 490(a) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 620b), an exemption to the prohibition in § 223.189(a)(1)(B) of this subpart is provided to:


(i) A person with a historic export quota who submitted a certification in accordance with § 223.189 (c) and (d) of this subpart; and


(ii) A non-manufacturer who submitted a certification in accordance with § 223.192 of this subpart.


(3) Pursuant to § 490(c) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 620b), the prohibitions against direct substitution in § 223.189(a) (1) and (2) of this subpart do not apply to a person who acquires unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands within an approved sourcing area, does not export unprocessed timber originating from private lands within the approved sourcing area while the approval is in effect, and, if applicable, received a waiver of the prohibition against exporting unprocessed timber originating from private lands within the sourcing area during the preceding 24 months, in accordance with § 223.189 (f) and (g) of this subpart.


(c) Historic export quota exemption. The prohibition against the purchase of Federal timber for a person who has exported unprocessed timber originating from private lands, within the preceding 24-month period, shall not apply to a person with a historic export quota approved by the Secretary and who has been exporting unprocessed private timber in accordance with the log export and substitution regulations of the Secretary of Agriculture at 36 CFR part 223, subpart D, in effect before August 20, 1990, if:


(1) That person certified in writing to the Regional Forester of the Region administering the historic export quota, on or before November 20, 1990, that the person would cease exporting unprocessed timber originating from private lands on or before February 20, 1991, and


(2) The exporting ceased in accordance with such certification.


(d) Application for historic export quota exemption. To obtain an exemption from the prohibition against export within the preceding 24-month period for purchasing Federal timber based on an approved historic export quota described in paragraph (c) of this section, a person must have applied in writing to the applicable Regional Forester on or before November 20, 1990. The certificate must have been notarized. The application was required to be on company letterhead and must have included:


(1) An agreement to retain records of all transactions involving acquisition and disposition of unprocessed timber from both private and Federal lands within the area(s) involved in the certification, for a period of three (3) years beginning November 20, 1990, and to make such records available for inspection upon the request of the Regional Forester, or other official to whom such authority has been delegated.


(2) A signed certification which reads as follows:



“I have purchased, under an historic export quota approved by the Secretary of Agriculture, unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands located west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States during the preceding 24 months in direct substitution for exported unprocessed timber originating from private lands. I desire to purchase directly from a Department or agency of the United States, unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands located in such area of the United States. I make this certification for the exemption from the prohibition against export within the preceding 24-month period for purchasing Federal timber required by the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990, (Pub. L. No. 101-382, August 20, 1990, 16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.) (Act). I hereby certify that I will cease all exporting of such unprocessed private timber from lands west of the 100th meridian in the 48 contiguous States of the United States by February 20, 1991. I make this certification with full knowledge and understanding of the requirements of this Act and do fully understand that failure to cease such exporting as certified will be a violation of this Act (16 U.S.C. 620d) and the False Statements Act (18 U.S.C. 1001), and may subject me to the penalties and remedies provided from such violation.”


(3) The certification must have been signed by the person making such certification or, in the case of a corporation, by its Chief Executive Officer.


(e) Indirect substitution prohibition. No person may purchase from any other person unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States if such person would be prohibited by paragraph (a) of this section from purchasing such timber directly from a Department or agency of the United States, pursuant to § 490(b) of the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.). The prohibition in this paragraph does not apply to the following:


(1) To the acquisition of western red cedar, which is domestically processed into finished products.


(2) To a person who acquires unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands within an approved sourcing area, does not export unprocessed timber originating from private lands within the approved sourcing area while the approval is in effect, and, if applicable, receives a waiver of the prohibition against exporting unprocessed timber originating from private lands within the sourcing area during the preceding 24 months in accordance with § 223.189 (f) and (g) of this subpart.


(3) To the limited amount of unprocessed National Forest System timber within Washington State that is exempt from the prohibition against indirect substitution, pursuant to § 223.203.


(f) Waiver within a sourcing area. The prohibitions in § 223.189(a) (1) and (2) against direct and indirect acquisition of unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands do not apply if:


(1) A person acquires such timber from within an approved sourcing area located west of the 100th meridian in the 48 contiguous States;


(2) Has not exported unprocessed timber originating from private lands located within the approved sourcing area during the preceding 24 months;


(3) Does not export such private timber from within the approved sourcing area during the period the sourcing area is in effect; and


(4) Does not export such private timber during any calendar year in the same geographic and economic area that unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States is under contract or in possession, if the sourcing area is no longer in effect, pursuant to the definition of substitution in 36 CFR 223.186.


(5) The appropriate Regional Forester could waive, in writing, the prohibition against export within the preceding 24-month period for any person who certified in writing, on or before November 20, 1990, that on or before February 20, 1991, that person would cease exporting unprocessed timber originating from private lands within the approved sourcing area for a period of not less than three (3) years. Signatories of this certificate who received an approved sourcing area, like all holders of sourcing areas, are subject to the prohibition against exporting unprocessed timber originating from private lands within the sourcing area boundaries, pursuant to this paragraph.


(g) Application for waiver within a sourcing area. To obtain a waiver of the prohibition against export within the preceding 24-month period for purchasing Federal timber described in paragraph (f) of this section, a person must have submitted a request for waiver, in writing, to the Regional Forester of the region in which the manufacturing facility being sourced is located, which must have been received by the Regional Forester on or before November 20, 1990, and which must have been signed by the person making such request or, in the case of a corporation, by its Chief Executive Officer. The request for waiver must be notarized and, in the case of a corporation, with its corporate seal affixed. The request shall be on company letterhead with its corporate seal affixed and must include:


(1) An agreement to retain records of all transactions involving acquisition and disposition of unprocessed timber from both private and Federal lands within the area(s) involved in the waiver request, for a period of three (3) years beginning November 20, 1990, and to make such records available for inspection upon the request of the Regional Forester, or other official to whom such authority has been delegated.


(2) A signed certification statement which reads as follows:



“I have engaged in exporting of unprocessed timber originating from private land located within the sourcing area for which I am applying. I desire to purchase directly from a department or agency of the United States unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands located within the desired sourcing area. I hereby request waiver of the prohibition against export within the preceding 24-month period for purchasing Federal timber required by the forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (Pub. L. No. 101-382, August 20, 1990, 16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.) (Act). I hereby certify that I will cease all exporting of such unprocessed private timber from within the desired sourcing area by February 20, 1991, and will not resume such exporting for a period of not less than three (3) years. I make this certification with full knowledge and understanding of the requirements of this Act and do fully understand that failure to cease such exporting as certified will be a violation of Section 492 of this Act (16 U.S.C. 620d) and the False Statements Act (18 U.S.C. 1001), and may subject me to the penalties and remedies provided for such violation.”


§ 223.190 Sourcing area application procedures.

(a) Subject to the restrictions described in § 223.189 of this subpart and, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, a person who owns or operates a manufacturing facility and who exports unprocessed timber originating from private lands may apply for a sourcing area in accordance with the procedures of this section. However, an owner/operator of a manufacturing facility who exports unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands may not possess or acquire unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands unless the acquisition is within an approved sourcing area. A person who intends to acquire or become affiliated with a manufacturing facility that processes Federal timber and who is an exporter may apply for a sourcing area. Written proof of the intent to acquire or affiliate must be included in the sourcing area application, signed by the applicant and the person or, in the case of a corporation, the Chief Executive Officer, whose company the applicant intends to acquire or affiliate with. This certification must be on letterhead and must be notarized. A sourcing area application that the Secretary determines would be approved will be granted tentative approval pending final notification by the applicant of acquisition of or affiliation with the manufacturing facility. The tentative approval of the sourcing area will lapse unless the acquisition or affiliation occurs within 30 days of the tentative approval of the sourcing area. A sourcing area is not valid until final approval of the sourcing area. The direct substitution prohibition did not apply to a person who applied for a sourcing area on or before December 20, 1990. A request for modification of an existing sourcing area shall trigger a review pursuant to the procedures and restrictions in § 223.191(e).


(b) As provided in the Act, a person who has requested an exemption or waiver of the prohibition against export within the preceding 24-month period, pursuant to § 223.189 of this subpart, must have applied for the desired sourcing area on or before December 20, 1990.


(c) Applications. Sourcing area applications shall include:


(1) A map of sufficient scale and detail to clearly show:


(i) The applicant’s desired sourcing area boundary. This boundary will include both the private and Federal lands from which the applicant intends to acquire unprocessed timber for sourcing its manufacturing facilities;


(ii) The location of the timber manufacturing facilities owned or operated by the applicant within the proposed sourcing area where the person intends to process timber originating from Federal land;


(iii) The location of private lands within and outside the desired sourcing area where the person has, within the 24 months immediately preceding the date of the application, acquired unprocessed timber originating from private land which was exported, sold, traded, exchanged, or otherwise conveyed to another person for the purpose of exporting such timber;


(2) A list of other persons with timber manufacturing facilities located within the same general vicinity as the applicant’s facilities;


(3) Any other information the applicant may believe is appropriate to support approval of the requested sourcing area; and


(4) A statement signed by the person certifying under the penalties provided in Section 492 of this Act (16 U.S.C. 620d) and the False Statements Act (18 U.S.C. 1001) that the information provided in support of the application is true, complete, and accurate to the best of the applicant’s knowledge. The statement shall read as follows:



“I certify under penalties of 16 U.S.C. 620d and 18 U.S.C. 1001, that the information provided in support of this application, is true, complete, and accurate to the best of my knowledge concerning my timber purchasing and export patterns. I certify that the information provided concerning my timber purchasing and export patterns fully and accurately reflects, to the best of my knowledge, the boundaries of the sourcing area for which I am applying. I make this certification with full knowledge and understanding of the export and substitution restrictions of the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.) (Act) and its implementing regulations. I certify that I have not exported unprocessed timber originating from private lands within the boundaries of the sourcing area that is the subject of this application in the previous 24 months. I fully understand that, if this application is approved, exporting unprocessed private timber originating from within the approved sourcing area will be a violation of this Act (16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.) its implementing regulations, and the False Statements Act (18 U.S.C. 1001), and may subject me to the penalties and remedies provided for such violation.”


(d) Confidential information. Applications are not considered confidential. However, if a person does submit confidential information as part of an application, the information should be marked confidential. Information so marked will be afforded the rights and protection provided under the Freedom of Information Act.


(e) Where to submit the application. A sourcing area applicant shall send the application to the Office of Administrative Law Judges and shall, simultaneously, send a copy of the sourcing area application to the Forest Service Regional Forester of the region in which the manufacturing facility being sourced is located. Where the sourcing area application will cover purchases from more than one agency, application is to be made to the agency from which the applicant expects to purchase the preponderance of its Federal timber. The sourcing area applicant must also send a complete copy of the application to each agency concerned. The lead agency shall make the decision in consultation with, and upon co-signature of, the other agencies concerned.


(f) Signatory procedures. Sourcing area applications must be signed by the person making the request, or in the case of a corporation, by its Chief Executive Officer, and must be notarized. The application shall be on company letterhead.


(g) The sourcing area application and review process will be conducted pursuant to the Rules of Practice Governing the Adjudication of Sourcing Area Applications and Formal Review of Sourcing Areas Pursuant to the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.), found at 7 CFR part 1, subpart M.


(h) A final decision on a sourcing area application or a formal sourcing area review will be issued within four (4) months of the receipt of the application or initiation of the review.


(i) The following criteria must be met for sourcing area approval:


(1) The Administrative Law Judge, or, on appeal, the Judicial Officer must find that the proposed sourcing area is geographically and economically separate from any area that the applicant harvests or expects to harvest for export any unprocessed timber originating from private lands. In making such a finding, the Administrative Law Judge, or, on appeal, the Judicial Officer shall consider the timber purchasing patterns of the applicant on private and Federal lands equally with those of other persons in the same local vicinity and the relative similarity of such purchasing patterns.


(2) The “same local vicinity” will normally be manufacturing facilities located within 30 miles of the community where the applicant’s manufacturing facility is located, but may include more distant communities if manufacturing facilities in those communities depend on the same source of timber and have similar purchasing patterns.


(3) The relative similarity of purchasing patterns of other mills shall be determined by considering the location and similarity of unprocessed timber being acquired by those facilities.


(4) Lines defining the geographic area shall be based on major natural and cultural features, including, but not limited to, prominent ridge systems, main roads or highways, rivers, political subdivisions, and not characterized by random lines.


(j) Comments. Persons may submit comments on sourcing area applications pursuant to the Rules of Practice Governing the Adjudication of Sourcing Area Applications and Formal Review of Sourcing Areas Pursuant to the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.), found at 7 CFR part 1, subpart M. Persons submitting a comment must certify at the end of the comment, but before the signature, to the following: “I certify that the information provided by me is true and accurate, to the best of my knowledge, and I understand that failure to provide true and accurate information could be violation of the False Statements Act (18 U.S.C. 1001).”


(k) Transporting or causing to be transported unprocessed private timber from outside of a sourcing area into a sourcing area by the holder of the sourcing area is prohibited as a violation of the sourcing area boundary. Such violation will cause a review of the sourcing area, and could subject the sourcing area holder to the penalties and remedies for violations of the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990, 16 U.S.C. 620, et seq., and its implementing regulations.


(l) A person with an approved sourcing area may relinquish the sourcing area at any time provided the person certifies to the following:



“I am relinquishing the approved sourcing area, described in the Secretary’s determination in FSAA ____ on ____, 19__. I understand that I may not export unprocessed timber originating from private lands west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States during the fiscal year in which I have unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States in my possession or under contract, pursuant to the prohibition against substitution in the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.) (“Act”) and its implementing regulations. I also understand that I may not purchase unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States within 24 months of having exported unprocessed timber originating from private lands west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States, pursuant to the prohibitions against substitution in the Act and its implementing regulations. I make this certification with full knowledge and understanding of the Act and its implementing regulations and do fully understand that exporting unprocessed timber originating from private lands west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States during a fiscal year in which I have unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States in possession or under contract, or purchasing unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States within 24 months of having exported unprocessed timber originating from private lands west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States is a violation of the substitution provisions of the Act and the False Statements Act (18 U.S.C. 1001), and may subject me to the penalties and remedies provided for such violation.”


The certificate must be signed by the person making such certification or, in the case of a corporation, by its Chief Executive Officer; must be on company letterhead; and must be notarized.


(m) A sourcing area is in effect until it is relinquished by the sourcing area holder, or is disapproved upon review of the sourcing area.


§ 223.191 Sourcing area disapproval and review procedures.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an applicant whose sourcing area application was submitted by December 20, 1990, and was disapproved could either phase out of purchasing Federal timber or phase out of exporting unprocessed timber originating from private lands within the sourcing area that would have been approved, as follows:


(1) Phase-out of Federal timber purchasing. The applicant could purchase, in the 9-month period after receiving the application disapproval, unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands in the disapproved sourcing area, in an amount not to exceed 75 percent of the annual average of such person’s purchases of unprocessed Federal timber in such area during the 5 full fiscal years immediately prior to the date of submission of the application. In the 6-month period immediately following the 9-month period, such person could purchase not more than 25 percent of such annual average, after which time the prohibitions against direct substitution, set forth in § 223.189 of this subpart, shall apply; or


(2) Phase-out of private timber exporting. The applicant could continue to purchase unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands within the disapproved sourcing area without being subject to the phase-out of Federal timber purchasing procedures described in paragraph (a) of this section, if the following requirements were met:


(i) The applicant certified to the Regional Forester or the approving official to whom such authority has been delegated, within 90 days after receiving the disapproval decision, as follows:


(A) An applicant that has exported unprocessed timber originating from private lands from the geographic area that would have been approved provided a signed certification that reads as follows:



“I have engaged in the exporting of unprocessed private timber originating from private lands located within the geographic area the approving official would have approved as a sourcing area for my manufacturing facility. I desire to continue purchasing unprocessed Federal timber from within such area. I hereby certify that I will cease all exporting of unprocessed timber from private lands located within the area that would have been approved by [the applicant shall insert date 15 months from date of receipt of the disapproval decision]. I agree to retain records of all transactions involving acquisition and disposition of unprocessed timber from both private and Federal lands within the area involved in the certification, for a period of three (3) years beginning on the date of receipt of the disapproval notification, and to make such records available for inspection upon the request of the Regional Forester, or other official to whom such authority has been delegated. I make this certification with full knowledge and understanding of the requirements of the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.) (Act) and do fully understand that failure to cease such exporting as certified will be a violation of the Act and may subject me to the penalties and remedies for such violation. Further, I fully understand that such violation may subject me to the penalty of perjury pursuant to the False Statements Act (18 U.S.C. 1001). I certify that the information in this certificate is true, complete, and accurate to the best of my knowledge and belief.”;


or,

(B) An applicant who has not exported unprocessed timber originating from private lands from the geographic area that the Secretary would have approved provided a signed certification that reads as follows:



“I have not exported timber originating from private lands within both the sourcing area that the Secretary would have approved and the disapproved sourcing area in the past 24 months, pursuant to the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.), and I am accepting the area that the Secretary would have approved as my sourcing area. I certify that the information in this certificate is true, complete, and accurate to the best of my knowledge and belief.”


(ii) Each certification statement set forth in paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section must have been signed by the person making such certification or, in the case of a corporation, by its Chief Executive Officer; must have been on company letterhead; must have been notarized; and must have had a corporate seal attached.


(iii) The person signing such certification set forth in paragraph (a)(2)(i)(A) of this section must have provided to the Regional Forester the annual volume of timber exported by that person during the five (5) full fiscal years immediately preceding submission of the application, originating from private lands in the geographic area for which the application would have been approved.


(iv) When the applicant submitted the certificate, the area the Secretary would have approved, as shown on the sourcing area map provided by the Secretary, became an approved sourcing area. If the certificate was not submitted, the sourcing area that would have been approved did not become an approved sourcing area.


(3) The phase-out of Federal timber purchasing and the phase-out of private timber exporting procedures provided by paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section do not apply to persons submitting sourcing area applications after December 20, 1990, or to persons requesting review of disapproved sourcing areas.


(b) Limits on purchases and exports. (1) During the 15-month period following disapproval of a sourcing area, a person who elects to phase-out of private timber exporting as described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, may not:


(i) Purchase more than 125 percent of the person’s annual average purchases of unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands within the person’s disapproved sourcing area during the five (5) full fiscal years immediately prior to submission of the application; and,


(ii) Export unprocessed timber originating from private lands in the geographic area determined by the approving official for which the application would have been approved, in amounts that exceed 125 percent of the annual average of that person’s exports of unprocessed timber from such private land during the five (5) full years immediately prior to submission of the application.


(2) At the conclusion of the 15-month export phase-out period, the prohibition against exporting private timber originating from within the area shall be in full force and effect as long as the sourcing area remains approved, pursuant to this subpart F of this part 223.


(c) Presentation of map to applicant whose sourcing area is disapproved. The area determined by the deciding official that would have been approved shall be drawn on a map and presented to the applicant by the deciding official with the notice of disapproval of the application.


(d) Effect of prior certification to cease exporting. An applicant’s previous certification to cease exporting beginning February 20, 1991, for a period of three (3) years from within the disapproved sourcing area pursuant to paragraphs (f) and (g) in § 223.189 of this subpart shall remain in full force and effect for persons with approved and disapproved sourcing areas.


(e) Review process and frequency. (1) Approved sourcing areas shall be reviewed not less often than every five (5) years. A tentative date for a review shall be included in the Administrative Law Judge’s, or, on appeal, the Judicial Officer’s determination or stated in writing by the Regional Forester following the determination. At least 60 days prior to the tentative review date, the Regional Forester or other such reviewing official shall notify the person holding the sourcing area of the pending review, publish notice of such review in newspapers of general circulation within the sourcing area, and invite comments, to be received no later than 30 days from the date of the notice, from all interested persons, including the person holding the sourcing area. For 10 working days following the comment period, any person submitting a written comment and the person with the sourcing area may review the comments. If there is disagreement among the persons who submitted written comments regarding the proper sourcing area, the reviewing official shall convene an informal meeting convenient to the persons that all interested persons may attend. If an agreement cannot be reached among the persons, formal administrative adjudication shall occur. The Administrative Law Judge, or, on appeal, the Judicial Officer shall, on the record and after opportunity for a hearing, approve or disapprove the sourcing area being reviewed, pursuant to the Rules of Practice Governing the Adjudication of Sourcing Area Applications and Formal Review of Sourcing Areas Pursuant to the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.), found at 7 CFR part 1, subpart M.


(2) Disapproved sourcing areas shall be reviewed using the process described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section upon resubmission of an application, provided the applicant has accepted the area the Secretary would have approved as a sourcing area pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of this section.


(3) The Department reserves the right to schedule a review, at the request of the Forest Service or the person holding the sourcing area, at any time prior to the scheduled tentative review date, with 60 days notice.


(4) Sourcing areas being reviewed shall continue in full force and effect pending the final review determination.


(f) Reporting and record keeping procedures. The reporting and record keeping procedures in this section constitute information collection requirements as defined in 5 CFR part 1320. These requirements have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget and assigned clearance number 0596-0115.


§ 223.192 Procedures for a non-manufacturer.

(a) Persons who do not own or operate a manufacturing facility (non-manufacturer) are not eligible to apply for or be granted a sourcing area.


(b) The prohibition against the purchase of Federal timber for a person who has exported unprocessed timber originating from private lands within the preceding 24-month period shall not apply, if the person certified in writing to the Regional Forester of the region(s) in which the person purchases National Forest System timber by November 20, 1990, that the person would cease exporting unprocessed timber originating from private lands by February 20, 1991, for a period of three (3) years, and the exporting did cease in accordance with such certification.


(c) To obtain an exemption from the prohibition against export within the preceding 24-month period for purchasing Federal timber described in § 223.189 (a) and (b) of this subpart, a person must have applied in writing to the applicable Regional Forester on or before November 20, 1990. The application was required to be on company letterhead and, in the case of a corporation, with its corporate seal affixed, and must have included:


(1) An agreement to retain records of all transactions involving acquisition and disposition of unprocessed timber from both private and Federal lands within the area(s) involved in the certification, for a period of three (3) years beginning November 20, 1990, and to make such records available for inspection upon the request of the Regional Forester, or other official to whom such authority has been delegated.


(2) A signed certification which reads as follows:



“I have engaged in the exporting of unprocessed timber originating from private lands located west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States during the preceding 24 months. I desire to purchase directly from a department or agency of the United States, unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands located in such area of the United States. I make this certification for the exemption from the prohibition against export within the preceding 24-month period for purchasing Federal timber required by the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (Pub. L. No. 101-382, August 20, 1990, 16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.) (Act). I hereby certify that I will cease all exporting of such unprocessed private timber from west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States of the United States by February 20, 1991. I make this certification with full knowledge and understanding of the requirements of this Act and do fully understand that failure to cease such exporting as certified will be a violation of this Act (16 U.S.C. 620d) and the False Statements Act (18 U.S.C. 1001), and may subject me to the penalties and remedies provided for such violation.”


(3) The certification must have been signed by the person making such certification or, in the case of a corporation, by its Chief Executive Officer. The certificate must have been notarized.


§ 223.193 Procedures for reporting acquisition and disposition of unprocessed Federal timber.

(a) Annual report. Each person who directly or indirectly acquires or possesses unprocessed timber originating from National Forest System lands located west of the 100th meridian in the 48 contiguous States shall submit an annual report on a form provided by the Forest Service on the acquisition and disposition of such timber. Such report shall be on a calendar year basis and shall be sent to the Regional Forester, or other official to whom such authority is delegated, who administers the National Forest System lands from which the majority of timber originated, not later than March 1 of each year, beginning March 1, 1997. The form shall include:


(1) A summary for the calendar year listing, by company, from whom the timber was acquired; the date of acquisition; the origin of National Forest System timber acquired; the sale name; the contract number(s); brand registration number(s) of brands registered by a state or agency or a pictorial representation of sale brand(s) if brands not registered by a state or agency; to whom the timber was sold, transferred or otherwise conveyed to another person; and the date of disposal;


(2) An accounting by origin, in net board feet Scribner or cubic feet, of the volume of National Forest System timber acquired, the volume domestically processed by the purchaser or affiliates, and the volume sold or transferred for domestic processing;


(3) The volume by species of National Forest System surplus species timber acquired and exported or sold for export;


(4) The volume (MBF Net Scribner or cubic) of the unprocessed timber originating from private lands west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States that was exported, and


(5) A certificate stating that:


(i) The certifier has read and understands the form;


(ii) The certifier is eligible to acquire unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands in accordance with the Act;


(iii) The information supplied is a true, accurate, current, and complete statement of the receipt and disposition of unprocessed timber originating from National Forest System lands to the best of the certifier’s knowledge;


(iv) The certifier agrees to retain a copy of the form and records of all transactions involving unprocessed Federal timber and to make such records available for inspection upon request of an authorized official of the United States for three (3) years from the date of disposal by manufacture or transfer; and


(v) The certifier acknowledges that failure to report completely and accurately the receipt and disposition of timber will subject the certifier to the penalties and remedies in the Act and the penalties in the False Statements Act (18 U.S.C. 1001).


(6) The information provided is presumed to be not confidential, unless specifically marked confidential, in which case confidentiality will be evaluated under applicable laws.


(b) Transfer of unprocessed National Forest System timber. Each person who transfers to another person unprocessed timber originating from National Forest System lands shall undertake the following:


(1) Before completing such transfer, provide to such other person a written notice of origin, species, estimated volume or actual volume if the transfer is based on log scale volume, from whom acquired, sale name, contract number, and log brand of unprocessed National Forest System timber being transferred on a form provided by the Forest Service;


(2) Before completing such transfer, certify that the information supplied is a true, accurate, current, and complete statement to the best of his or her knowledge. As part of the certification, the certifier shall:


(i) Agree to send a signed copy of the form required in paragraph (b)(1) of this section within 10 calendar days of such transfer, which shall include all notices, acknowledgments, and agreements, required by this section, to the appropriate Regional Forester who administers the National Forest System lands from which this timber originates, or other official to whom such authority is delegated, and to retain a copy for the certifier’s records;


(ii) Acknowledge that the transfer of unprocessed Federal timber to a person for export or to a person who may not purchase timber directly from the Federal government is a violation of the Act;


(iii) Agree to obtain full completed notice of origin form from the transferee;


(iv) Agree to retain records of all transactions involving unprocessed Federal timber for a period of three (3) years from the date of transfer and to make all records involving log transactions available to an appropriate Federal official upon request. Records include all forms and certificates required by these regulations;


(v) Acknowledge that failure to report completely and accurately the receipt and disposition and/or transfer of unprocessed National Forest System timber will subject the certifier to the penalties and remedies in the Act (16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.) and the penalties in the False Statements Act (18 U.S.C. 1001); and


(vi) Certify that he or she has read and understands the form.


(3) Before completing such transfer, obtain from the person acquiring such timber on the same form provided by the Forest Service.


(i) An agreement to retain for a period of three (3) years from date of transfer the records of all sales, exchanges, or other disposition of such timber, and make such records available for inspection upon the request of an authorized official of the United States;


(ii) An agreement to allow Federal officials access to log storage and processing facilities for the purpose of monitoring compliance with the Act and implementing regulations;


(iii) An agreement to maintain and/or replace all brands and paint identifying the Federal origin of each piece of unprocessed Federal timber as described in § 223.195;


(iv) An agreement to submit, by March 1, the annual report required in § 223.193(a);


(v) An agreement to submit a completed notice of origin form for the Federal timber received and to receive an agreement to comply with the Act and regulations in such form if the person transfers any or all of the timber listed in the document;


(vi) An acknowledgment of the prohibition against acquiring unprocessed Federal timber from a person who is prohibited by the Act from purchasing the timber directly from the United States;


(vii) An acknowledgment of the prohibitions against exporting unprocessed Federal timber and against acquiring such timber in substitution for unprocessed private timber west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States;


(viii) A declaration of its business size and manufacturing classification, as defined under the Small Business Administration Regulations at 13 CFR part 121; and


(ix) A certificate stating that the certifier has read and understands the form; is eligible to acquire unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands in accordance with the Act; has been notified that some or all of the unprocessed timber included in this transfer is subject to export and substitution restrictions; supplied information is a true, accurate, current, and complete statement of the receipt and disposition of the unprocessed timber originating from National Forest System lands to the best of the certifier’s knowledge; and acknowledges that failure to report completely and accurately the transfer of unprocessed Federal timber will subject the certifier to the penalties and remedies in the Act (16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.) and the penalties in the False Statements Act (18 U.S.C. 1001). The information provided is presumed to be not confidential, unless specifically marked confidential, in which case confidentiality will be evaluated under applicable laws.


(4) Except as otherwise provided by law, a person who transfers unprocessed Federal timber to another person and meets all notice, certification, acknowledgment, reporting and record keeping requirements contained in this section shall be relieved from further liability for such timber pursuant to the Act.


§ 223.194 Procedures for reporting the acquisition and disposition of unprocessed private timber.

(a) Notice of domestic processing requirement. Each person who acquires unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands located west of the 100th meridian in the 48 contiguous States, and who also possesses or acquires unprocessed timber from private lands located west of the 100th meridian in the 48 contiguous States that requires domestic processing, including unprocessed timber originating within an approved sourcing area, and in turn sells, trades or otherwise conveys such unprocessed private timber to another person, must include a statement notifying the person acquiring the unprocessed private timber that such private timber must be domestically processed. Unprocessed timber originating from private lands located outside of a sourcing area may be transferred by the holder of the sourcing area, or by persons acquiring such unprocessed timber who are eligible to export such timber, without including such a statement.


(b) The notification statement, pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, shall accompany each transaction involving unprocessed private timber that requires domestic processing. The statement shall be on a form provided by the Forest Service or a legible copy of such form.


(1) On such form, described in paragraph (b) of this section, the person transferring the timber shall:


(i) Give notice to the person receiving the unprocessed private timber that exporting that timber would violate the Act and its implementing regulations;


(ii) Give notice to the person receiving the unprocessed private timber that the timber has been identified for domestic manufacturing by a spot of highway yellow paint on each log end that must be retained on the timber;


(iii) Agree to send a signed copy of the transaction statement to the Regional Forester within 10 calendar days of the transaction;


(iv) Agree to retain records of all transactions involving the acquisition and disposition of unprocessed timber for a period of three (3) years from the date of disposal by manufacturing or transfer and to make such records available for inspection upon the request of an authorized official of the United States;


(v) Acknowledge that failure to completely and accurately report and identify unprocessed timber is a violation of the Act, and regulations issued under the Act, and the False Statements Act (18 U.S.C. 1001); and


(vi) Certify that the form has been read and understood.


(2) On such form, described in paragraph (b), the person acquiring the timber shall:


(i) Acknowledge receipt of the notice of requirement to domestically process timber originating from private land;


(ii) Certify that a statement pursuant to paragraph (b)(1) will be included in any subsequent transaction documents;


(iii) Agree to maintain yellow paint markings on each log end until the timber is domestically processed or transferred;


(iv) Agree to retain records of all transactions involving the acquisition and disposition of unprocessed timber for a period of three (3) years from the date of disposal by manufacturing or transfer and to make such records available for inspection upon the request of an authorized official of the United States;


(v) Agree to send a signed copy of the transaction statement to the Regional Forester within 10 calendar days of the transaction;


(vi) Agree to allow authorized officials access to log storage and processing facilities for the purpose of monitoring compliance with the Act and its implementing regulations;


(vii) Acknowledge that failure to comply with the domestic manufacturing requirements for unprocessed timber or failure to notify subsequent persons of this requirement may subject the certifier to the civil penalties and administrative remedies provided in the Act and regulations issued under the Act;


(viii) Acknowledge that failure to completely and accurately report and identify unprocessed timber is a violation of the Act, and regulations issued under the Act, and the False Statements Act (18 U.S.C. 1001); and


(ix) Certify that the form has been read and understood.


(c) Except as otherwise provided by law, a person who transfers unprocessed private timber to another person and meets all notice, certification, acknowledgement, distribution, reporting and record keeping requirements contained in this section shall be relieved from further liability for such timber with regard to the export and substitution restrictions pursuant to the Act.


§ 223.195 Procedures for identifying and marking unprocessed timber.

(a) Highway yellow paint. The use of highway yellow paint on unprocessed logs west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States shall be reserved for identifying logs requiring domestic manufacturing.


(b) Preserving identification. All identifying marks placed on an unprocessed log to identify the National Forest System origin of that log and/or to identify the log as requiring domestic processing shall be retained on the log until the log is domestically processed. If the identifying marks are lost, removed, or become unreadable, they shall be replaced. If the log is cut into two or more segments, each segment shall be identified in the same manner as the original log.


(1) A generic log hammer brand, known as a “catch brand”, used to identify ownership, may be used to replace lost, removed, unreadable or otherwise missing brands where such use is authorized by the Regional Forester and approved by the Contracting Officer. Use of such a catch brand on a log or log segment will signify Federal origin.


(2) The requirement to preserve identification of log pieces shall not apply to logs cut into two or more segments as a part of the mill in-feed process immediately before processing. Log segments that are returned to or placed in storage must be marked on both ends with yellow paint.


(c) National Forest System logs. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, all unprocessed logs originating from National Forest System timber sales west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States shall, before being removed from the timber sale area, be marked on each end as follows:


(1) Painted on each end with a spot of highway yellow paint not less than three square inches in size; and,


(2) Branded on each end with a hammer brand approved for use by the Forest Supervisor of the National Forest from which the logs originate. The brand pattern may not be used to mark logs from any other source for a period of 24 months after all logs have been removed from the sale area and until such brand pattern is released in writing by the Forest Supervisor.


(d) Private logs. All unprocessed logs originating from private lands west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States that require domestic manufacturing pursuant to § 223.194 of this subpart, shall be painted on each end with a spot of highway yellow paint not less than three (3) square inches in size before removal from the harvest area. If private logs are acquired by a person who may not export such logs, the logs must be marked by the person acquiring the logs at the time of the acquisition.


(e) Waiver of painting requirements. The log painting requirements pursuant to paragraphs (c)(1) and (d) of this section may be waived if the Chief of the Forest Service determines that alternate methods for identifying logs required to be domestically processed are equal to or better than the procedures required herein.


(f) Waiver of branding requirements. Regional Foresters may waive the branding requirements pursuant to paragraph (c)(2) of this section as follows:


(1) Regions 1, 2, 3, and 4. On an individual timber sale basis, all or a portion of the branding requirements pursuant to paragraph (c)(2) of this section may be waived, if:


(i) Unprocessed logs from any origin are not known to have been exported by any person from the person’s area of operations within the previous 5; years.


(ii) The person certifies as follows:



“I hereby request waiver of the requirements to brand each end of individual logs originating from the ____ timber sale, Forest Service contract number ____ pursuant to 36 CFR 223.195. I certify that I have not exported or sold for export unprocessed timber from private lands within my area of operations in five years. I certify that I understand, that if granted, the waiver applies only to unprocessed logs being processed within my area of operations. I certify that any unprocessed logs to which this waiver applies that are transferred, or sold for transfer, outside my area of operations will be branded on both ends in full compliance with 36 CFR 223.195. I make this certification with full knowledge and understanding of the requirement of the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.) (Act) and its implementing regulations at 36 CFR part 223. I fully understand that failure to abide by the terms of the waiver will be a violation of this Act (16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.) and the False Statements Act (18 U.S.C. 1001) and may subject me to the penalties and remedies provided for such violation.”;


and,

(iii) The person otherwise complies with the regulations relating to transfers of logs between persons.


(iv) If the Regional Forester determines that unprocessed logs from my origin are being exported, or are known to have been exported within the previous 5 years, by any person from the person’s area of operations, the Regional Forester shall revoke the waiver.


(2) Regions 5 and 6. On an individual timber sale basis, the branding requirement pursuant to paragraph (c)(2) of this section may be waived for logs ten (10) inches or less in diameter inside bark on the large end may be waived if:


(i) One end of each log is branded;


(ii) The person certifies as follows:



“I hereby request waiver of the requirement to brand each end of individual logs ten (10) inches or less in diameter inside bark on the large end, originating from the ____ timber sale, U.S. contract number ____ pursuant to 36 CFR 223.195. I certify that I understand, if granted, that the waiver applies only to unprocessed logs being processed at ____, and further certify that any and all unprocessed logs to which waiver would apply that are transferred, or sold for transfer, will be branded on both ends in full compliance 36 CFR 223.195. I make this certification with full knowledge and understanding of the requirements of the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (Pub. L. No. 101-382, August 20, 1990; 16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.) (Act) and its implementing regulations at 36 CFR Part 223. I fully understand that failure to abide by the terms of the waiver will be a violation of this Act (16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.) and the False Statements Act (18 U.S.C. 1001) and may subject me to the penalties and remedies provided for such violation.”;


and,

(iii) The purchaser otherwise complies with the regulations relating to transfers of logs between persons.


(iv) If the Regional Forester determines that logs ten (10) inches or less in diameter inside bark on the large end are being exported in the Region, the Regional Forester shall revoke the waiver.


(3) The Chief of the Forest Service may authorize the testing of alternative methods of branding for consideration in future amendment of these regulations. Such alternative methods and logs marked under those methods shall be closely monitored.


§ 223.196 Civil penalties for violation.

(a) Exporting Federal timber. If the Secretary of Agriculture finds, on the record and after providing an opportunity for a hearing, that a person, with willful disregard for the prohibition in the Act exporting unprocessed Federal timber, exported or caused to be exported unprocessed timber originating from Federal lands in violation of the Act, the Secretary may assess against such person a civil penalty of not more than $500,000 for each violation, or 3 times the gross value of the unprocessed timber involved in the violation, whichever amount is greater.


(b) Other violations. If the Secretary of Agriculture finds, on the record and after providing an opportunity for a hearing, that a person has violated any provision of the Act, or any regulation issued under the Act relating to National Forest System lands, even though that the violation may not have caused the export of unprocessed Federal timber in violation of such Act, the Secretary may:


(1) Assess against such person a civil penalty of not more than $500,000, if the Secretary determines that the person committed such violation willfully;


(2) Assess against such person a civil penalty of not more than $75,000 for each violation, if the Secretary determines that the person committed such violation in disregard of such provision or regulation; or


(3) Assess against such person a civil penalty of not more than $50,000 for each violation, if the Secretary determines that the person should have known that the action constituted a violation.


(c) Penalties not exclusive and judicial review. A penalty assessed under paragraph (a) or (b) of this section shall not be exclusive of any other penalty provided by law, and shall be subject to review in an appropriate United States district court.


§ 223.197 Civil penalty assessment procedures.

Adjudicatory procedures for hearing alleged violations of this Act and its implementing regulations and assessing penalties shall be conducted under the rules of practice governing formal adjudicatory proceedings instituted by the Secretary. Such procedures are found at 7 CFR 1.130, et seq.


§ 223.198 Administrative remedies.

In addition to possible debarment action provided under subpart C of this part, the Chief of the Forest Service, or other official to whom such authority is delegated, may cancel any timber sale contract entered into with a person found to have violated the Act or regulations issued under the Act. Such a finding shall constitute a serious violation of contract terms pursuant to § 223.116(a)(1) of this part.


§ 223.199 Procedures for cooperating with other agencies.

The Regional Foresters may enter into agreements to cooperate with the Department of the Interior, the Department of Defense, and other Federal, State and local agencies for monitoring, surveillance and enforcing the Act.


§ 223.200 Determinations of surplus species.

(a) Determinations that specific quantities of grades and species are surplus to domestic manufacturing needs and withdrawals of such determinations shall be made in accordance with title 5, United States Code, section 553.


(b) Review of a determination shall be made at least once in every 3-year period. Notice of such review shall be published in the Federal Register. The public shall have no less than 30 days to submit comments on the review.


(c) Alaska yellow cedar and Port Orford cedar, which the Secretary of Agriculture found to be surplus to domestic processing needs pursuant to 36 CFR 223.163, the rules in effect before August 20, 1990, shall continue in that status until new determinations are published.


§ 223.201 Limitations on unprocessed timber harvested in Alaska.

Unprocessed timber from National Forest System lands in Alaska may not be exported from the United States or shipped to other States without prior approval of the Regional Forester. This requirement is necessary to ensure the development and continued existence of adequate wood processing capacity in Alaska for the sustained utilization of timber from the National Forests which are geographically isolated from other processing facilities. In determining whether consent will be given for the export of timber, consideration will be given to, among other things, whether such export will:


(a) Permit more complete utilization on areas being logged primarily for local manufacture,


(b) Prevent loss or serious deterioration of logs unsalable locally because of an unforeseen loss of market,


(c) Permit the salvage of timber damaged by wind, insects, fire or other catastrophe,


(d) Bring into use a minor species of little importance to local industrial development, or


(e) Provide material required to meet urgent and unusual needs of the Nation. (16 U.S.C. 472a; 16 U.S.C. 551; 16 U.S.C. 616)


§ 223.202 Information requirements.

(a) The procedures in §§ 223.189 and 223.192, and some of the procedures in § 223.190 were approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and assigned Control Number 0596-0114 upon issuance of the interim rule. Control Number 0596-0114 has been reapproved by OMB for use through May 31, 1997. OMB approved the information collection requirements in §§ 223.191 and 223.203 for use through August 31, 1995, and assigned them Control Number 0596-0115. OMB approved the information collection requirements in §§ 223.48 and 223.87 for use through March 31, 1997 and assigned them Control Number 0596-0021; the information collection requirements in §§ 223.48 and 223.87 have been revised. OMB Control Numbers 0596-0114, 0596-0115, and 0596-0021 have been consolidated under OMB Control Number 0596-0114.


(b) The application and reporting procedures in §§ 223.187, 223.193, 223.194, 223.195, and some of the procedures in § 223.190 of this final rule contain new record keeping and reporting requirements as defined in 5 CFR part 1320 and, therefore, impose additional paperwork burdens on the affected public. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved these requirements, and assigned them Control Number 0596-0114.


§ 223.203 Indirect substitution exception for National Forest System timber from within Washington State.

(a) Exception limits. A limited amount of unprocessed National Forest System timber originating from within Washington State could have been acquired by a person otherwise covered by the prohibition against indirect substitution, pursuant to § 490(b) of the Act and § 223.189(e) of this subpart.


(1) The amount of such unprocessed timber was limited to whichever is less:


(i) The higher of the applicant’s actual purchase receipts for unprocessed timber originating from National Forest System lands within Washington State or the Department’s records, during fiscal years 1988, 1989, and 1990, divided by 3; or


(ii) 15 million board feet.


(2) Such limit shall not exceed such person’s proportionate share of 50 million board feet.


(b) Application, review and approval process. To obtain a share of the 50 million board feet exempted from the prohibition against indirect substitution in section 490(b) of the Act, a person must have submitted an application. Applications were required to include at least the following:


(1) The amount of volume exception being requested, in thousand board feet (MBF);


(2) A signed certification that reads as follows:



“I certify that, except for an approved share of unprocessed Federal timber, in accordance with 36 CFR 223.203, the prohibition contained in section 490(b) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 620b) applies to me. I have exported unprocessed timber originating from private lands from west of the 100th meridian in the 48 contiguous States and have acquired unprocessed timber from National Forest System lands located within Washington State in 1988, 1989 and/or 1990. I certify that the information provided in support of this application is a true, accurate, current and complete statement, to the best of my knowledge and belief. I agree to retain records of all transactions involving the acquisition and disposition of unprocessed timber from Federal lands within the area involved in this application for a period of 3 years beginning on the date the application is approved, and to make such records available for inspection upon the request of the Regional Forester or other official to whom such authority has been delegated. I make this certification with full knowledge and understanding of the requirements of the Act and do fully understand that if this application is approved, the amount of exception granted under this approval may not be exceeded in any one fiscal year, and do fully understand that if such exception is exceeded I will be in violation of the Act (16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.), and I may be subject to the penalties and remedies provided for such violation. Further, I do fully understand that such violation may subject me to the penalty of perjury pursuant to the False Statements Act (18 U.S.C. 1001).”;


and

(3) The application listed under this section must have been signed by the person making such application or, in the case of a corporation, by its Chief Executive Officer. The application must have been on the company’s letterhead and must have been notarized.


(4) The application made under this section must have been mailed to the Regional Forester in Portland, Oregon, no later than January 8, 1992. Applicants were notified of the approving official’s decision by letter. If approved, the amount of the exception becomes effective upon publication in the Federal Register.


(5) Prospective applicants could review Department records upon request prior to the deadline for submitting applications. An applicant could voluntarily submit information documenting the amount of purchases of unprocessed timber originating from National Forest System lands within Washington State. The Department then determined which amount is higher, verified by either the Department’s records or the applicant’s records. The Department then determined the applicant’s portion of the 50 million board feet by determining the lesser of the amount verified by the records or 15 million board feet. Applicants could submit the information documenting the amount of purchases in the following manner:


(i) Actual receipts for purchasing unprocessed timber from National Forest System lands within Washington State; or


(ii) A statement by a certified public accountant of:


(A) A summary by fiscal year for 1988, 1989 and 1990 of the applicant’s acquisitions of timber originating from National Forest System lands in the State of Washington, listing total volume for each of the three fiscal years; and


(B) The average volume for the three fiscal years. The volumes to be reported were the harvest volumes, except in the case of open sales. Advertised volumes had to be reported for open sales.


(C) The certified public accountant must have certified to the following:



“I certify that under the penalties and remedies provided in § 492 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 620d) and the penalty of perjury provided in the False Statements Act (18 U.S.C. 1001) that the information provided in support of this application is, to the best of my knowledge and belief, a true, accurate, current, and complete statement of [applicant’s company’s name] National Forest System timber acquisitions originating from within the State of Washington for fiscal years 1988, 1989 and/or 1990.”


(D) The certified public accountant’s statement and certification must have been on the accountant’s company letterhead, must have been notarized, and must have accompanied the applicant’s application.


(c) Selling and trading rights. The purchase limit right obtained under this rule may be sold, traded, or otherwise exchanged with any other person subject to the following conditions:


(1) Such rights may not be sold, traded, or otherwise exchanged to persons already in possession of such rights:


(2) Any person selling, trading, or exchanging any or all of the rights obtained under this rule shall advise the Regional Forester of the amount being traded and the name(s) of the person(s) acquiring such rights within 15 days of the transaction; and


(3) No person may have or acquire more than 15 million board feet in one fiscal year.


(d) Information collection. The application procedures in this section constitute information collection requirements as defined in 5 CFR part 1320. These requirements have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget and assigned clearance number 0596-0114.


(e) Persons with approved shares. The application period for shares of the indirect substitution exception for acquiring unprocessed timber originating from National Forest Systems lands within the State of Washington closed on January 8, 1992. Persons with approved shares are responsible for monitoring and controlling their acquisitions of National Forest System timber originating from within the State of Washington to assure approved share amounts are not exceeded in any Federal fiscal year. Unused portions of annual shares may not be “banked” for use in future fiscal years. The acquisition of such National Forest System timber must be reported to the Forest Service in accordance with § 223.193 of this subpart. The following shares are approved as of September 8, 1995:


(1) Cavenham Forest Industries, Portland, OR, 1,048,000 board feet.


(2) Weyerhauser, Tacoma, WA, 15,000,000 board feet.


Subpart G – XXX

Link to an amendment published at 73 FR 79386, Dec. 29, 2008.
This amendment was delayed until Mar. 30, 2009, at 74 FR 5107, Jan. 29, 2009.
This amendment was further delayed until May 29, 2009, at 74 FR 14049, Mar. 30, 2009.
This amendment was further delayed indefinitely at 74 FR 26091, June 1, 2009.

Subpart H – XXX

Link to an amendment published at 73 FR 79386, Dec. 29, 2008.
This amendment was delayed until Mar. 30, 2009, at 74 FR 5107, Jan. 29, 2009.
This amendment was further delayed until May 29, 2009, at 74 FR 14049, Mar. 30, 2009.
This amendment was delayed indefinitely at 74 FR 26091, June 1, 2009.

Subpart I – Stewardship End Result Contracting Projects


Source:81 FR 3721, Jan. 22, 2016, unless otherwise noted.

§ 223.300 Applicability.

(a) This part sets forth the regulations applicable to the implementation of section 604 of the Healthy Forest Restoration Act of 2003, “Stewardship End Result Contracting Projects” 16 U.S.C. 6591c. This section provides for the use of contracts and agreements to achieve land management goals for the national forests and the public lands that meet local and rural community needs. In the fulfillment of these activities, the Forest Service may apply the value of timber or other forest products removed from the project site as an offset against the cost of services received under such contracts or agreements.


(b)(1) Procurement of service contracts. If the Forest Service makes a determination as provided under section 223.301(b)(1) of this subpart that a stewardship contract is a contract for the procurement of services, the Forest Service will utilize the contracting procedures set forth in the Federal Acquisition Regulations, Title 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations including the regulations issued by the Department of Agriculture set forth in Chapter 4 of Title 48 as well as requirements included in § 223.303.


(2) Sale of property contracts. If the Forest Service makes a determination under § 223.301(b)(2) of this subpart that a stewardship contract is to be a contract for the sale of property, the regulations set forth in subparts A and B of this part are generally applicable, except as provided in § 223.304.


(3) Agreements. Agreements entered into under this subpart are not subject to grant regulations found in 2 CFR part 200 as adopted and supplemented by the USDA in 2 CFR parts 400, 416, and 422.


(4) Other provisions. Additional terms and conditions for contracts and agreements may be added to a contract or agreement entered into under this subpart, in accordance with applicable law and to the extent determined to be necessary by the Forest Service.


(c) Parties to contracts and agreements. The Forest Service may enter into contracts and agreements under this part with private persons, private entities and public entities.


§ 223.301 Determination of type of contract or agreement.

(a) Use of a contract or agreement. When the Forest Service initiates a project under this subpart, a determination will be made whether to use a contract or an agreement to implement the project.


(b) Type of contract. If the Forest Service determines that a contract will be utilized:


(1) Procurement of service contracts. When the value of timber or other forest products removed through the contract will be less than the total value of the service work items received by the Forest Service, the activity shall be considered a procurement of a service and a contract, for a period not to exceed 10 years, will be utilized as provided in § 223.303 or


(2) Sale of property contracts. When the value of timber or other forest products removed through the contract is equal to or exceeds the total value of the service work items received by the Forest Service, the activity shall be considered a sale of property and a contract, for a period not to exceed 10 years, will be utilized as provided in § 223.304.


(c) Best interest of the government determination. The Forest Service official who makes a determination under paragraph (b) of this section shall document in the contract file the basis for the determination that:


(1) It is in the best interest of the government that a sale of property contract is more suitable for a contract that would otherwise be subject to paragraph (b)(1) of this section; or


(2) It is in the best interest of the government that a procurement of service contract is more suitable for a contract that would otherwise be subject to paragraph (b)(2) of this section.


§ 223.302 Award of contracts and agreements.

Section 604(d) of HFRA requires that a source for performance of a stewardship agreement or contract be selected on a best-value basis. A stewardship agreement or contract may also be entered into notwithstanding subsections (d) and (g) of section 14 of the National Forest Management Act of 1976 (16 U.S.C. 472a).


§ 223.303 Procurement of service contacts.

All contracts determined under § 223.301(b)(1) to be a contract for receipt of a service shall:


(a) Be administered under the Federal Acquisition Regulations, Title 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations including the regulations issued by the Department of Agriculture set forth in Chapter 4 of Title 48; and


(b) Provide for a fire liability provision. All contracts under this section shall contain a fire liability provision that is in substantially the same form as the fire liability provision contained in integrated resource timber contracts, as described in Forest Service contract numbered 2400-13, part H, section 4.


(c) Utilize the following provisions of subparts A and B of this part:


(1) Section 223.1 Authority to sell timber.


(2) Section 223.3 Sale of seized material.


(3) Section 223.14 Where timber may be cut.


(4) Section 223.30 Consistency with plans, environmental standards, and other management requirements.


(5) Section 223.34 Advance payment.


(6) Section 223.36 Volume determination.


(7) Section 223.37 Revegetation of temporary roads.


(8) Section 223.38 Standards for road design and construction.


(9) Section 223.40 Cancellation for environmental protection or inconsistency with plans.


(10) Section 223.48 Restrictions on export and substitution of unprocessed timber.


(11) Section 223.60 Determining fair market value.


(12) Section 223.61 Establishing minimum stumpage rates.


(13) Section 223.87 Requirements of bidders concerning exports.


(14) Section 223.113 Modification of contracts to prevent environmental damage or to conform to forest plans.


(d) Products may be valued on a per acre basis.


(e) Such other provisions as are necessary to carry out the provisions of section 604 of the Healthy Forest Restoration Act of 2003 (16 U.S.C. 6591c).


§ 223.304 Sale of property contracts.

All contracts determined under § 223.301(b) to be a contract for a sale of property shall:


(a) Utilize the provisions of subparts A and B of this part, except that the following provisions will not be applicable:


(1) Section 223.4 Exchange of trees or portions of trees.


(2) Section 223.31 Duration of contracts.


(3) Section 223.42 Transfer of effective purchaser credits.


(4) Section 223.43 Limit on amounts of transferred purchaser credits.


(5) Section 223.44 Collection rights on contracts involved in transfer of purchaser credit.


(6) Section 223.44 Collection rights on contracts involved in transfer of purchaser credit.


(7) Section 223.45 Definitions applicable to transfer of purchaser credit.


(8) Section 223.49 Downpayments. Paragraph (d).


(9) Section 223.62 Timber purchaser road construction credit.


(10) Section 223.65 Appraisal of timber for land exchange; right-of-way, or other authorized use.


(11) Section 223.80 When advertisement is required.


(12) Section 223.82 Contents of advertisement.


(13) Section 223.83 Contents of prospectus.


(14) Section 223.84 Small business bid form provisions on sales with specified road construction.


(15) Section 223.88 Bidding methods.


(16) Section 223.100 Award to highest bidder.


(17) Section 223.102 Procedure when sale is not awarded to highest bidder.


(18) Section 223.103 Award of small business set aside sales.


(19) Section 223.118 Appeal process for small business timber sale set-aside program share recomputation decisions.


(b) Include the following additional provisions:


(1) If determined by the Forest Service to be necessary to protect the interests of the United States, a performance and payment bond, as described on February 7, 2014, in section 28-103-2 and 28-103-3 of Part 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations, in an amount sufficient to protect the investment in receipts by the United States generated by the contractor from the estimated value of the forest products to be removed under the contract;


(2) Provide for a fire liability provision.


(3) Redetermination of stumpage rates and deposits: The cost of service work included in stewardship contracts will be evaluated along with stumpage values at the time of a rate determination in accordance with normal rate determination procedures.


(4) Products may be valued on a per acre basis.


(5) Such other provisions as are necessary to carry out the provisions of section 604 of the Healthy Forest Restoration Act of 2003 (16 U.S.C. 6591c).


§ 223.305 Agreements.

The Forest Service may enter into an agreement under this subpart in lieu of a contract.


(a) The regulations governing Federal financial assistance relationships are not applicable to such agreements.


(b) All agreements under this section shall contain a fire liability provision that is in substantially the same form as the fire liability provision contained in integrated resource timber contracts, as described in Forest Service contract numbered 2400-13, part H, section 4.


PART 228 – MINERALS


Authority:16 U.S.C. 478, 551; 30 U.S.C. 226, 352, 601, 611; 94 Stat. 2400.


Source:39 FR 31317, Aug. 28, 1974, unless otherwise noted. Redesignated at 46 FR 36142, July 14, 1981.

Subpart A – Locatable Minerals

§ 228.1 Purpose.

It is the purpose of these regulations to set forth rules and procedures through which use of the surface of National Forest System lands in connection with operations authorized by the United States mining laws (30 U.S.C. 21-54), which confer a statutory right to enter upon the public lands to search for minerals, shall be conducted so as to minimize adverse environmental impacts on National Forest System surface resources. It is not the purpose of these regulations to provide for the management of mineral resources; the responsibility for managing such resources is in the Secretary of the Interior.


§ 228.2 Scope.

These regulations apply to operations hereafter conducted under the United States mining laws of May 10, 1872, as amended (30 U.S.C. 22 et seq.), as they affect surface resources on all National Forest System lands under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Agriculture to which such laws are applicable: Provided, however, That any area of National Forest lands covered by a special Act of Congress (16 U.S.C. 482a-482q) is subject to the provisions of this part and the provisions of the special act, and in the case of conflict the provisions of the special act shall apply.


§ 228.3 Definitions.

For the purposes of this part the following terms, respectively, shall mean:


(a) Operations. All functions, work, and activities in connection with prospecting, exploration, development, mining or processing of mineral resources and all uses reasonably incident thereto, including roads and other means of access on lands subject to the regulations in this part, regardless of whether said operations take place on or off mining claims.


(b) Operator. A person conducting or proposing to conduct operations.


(c) Person. Any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity.


(d) Mining claim. Any unpatented mining claim or unpatented millsite authorized by the United States mining laws of May 10, 1872, as amended (30 U.S.C. 22 et seq.).


(e) Authorized officer. The Forest Service officer to whom authority to review and approve operating plans has been delegated.


§ 228.4 Plan of operations – notice of intent – requirements.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, a notice of intent to operate is required from any person proposing to conduct operations which might cause significant disturbance of surface resources. Such notice of intent to operate shall be submitted to the District Ranger having jurisdiction over the area in which the operations will be conducted. Each notice of intent to operate shall provide information sufficient to identify the area involved, the nature of the proposed operations, the route of access to the area of operations, and the method of transport.


(1) A notice of intent to operate is not required for:


(i) Operations which will be limited to the use of vehicles on existing public roads or roads used and maintained for National Forest System purposes;


(ii) Prospecting and sampling which will not cause significant surface resource disturbance and will not involve removal of more than a reasonable amount of mineral deposit for analysis and study which generally might include searching for and occasionally removing small mineral samples or specimens, gold panning, metal detecting, non-motorized hand sluicing, using battery operated dry washers, and collecting of mineral specimens using hand tools;


(iii) Marking and monumenting a mining claim;


(iv) Underground operations which will not cause significant surface resource disturbance;


(v) Operations, which in their totality, will not cause surface resource disturbance which is substantially different than that caused by other users of the National Forest System who are not required to obtain a Forest Service special use authorization, contract, or other written authorization;


(vi) Operations which will not involve the use of mechanized earthmoving equipment, such as bulldozers or backhoes, or the cutting of trees, unless those operations otherwise might cause a significant disturbance of surface resources; or


(vii) Operations for which a proposed plan of operations is submitted for approval;


(2) The District Ranger will, within 15 days of receipt of a notice of intent to operate, notify the operator if approval of a plan of operations is required before the operations may begin.


(3) An operator shall submit a proposed plan of operations to the District Ranger having jurisdiction over the area in which operations will be conducted in lieu of a notice of intent to operate if the proposed operations will likely cause a significant disturbance of surface resources. An operator also shall submit a proposed plan of operations, or a proposed supplemental plan of operations consistent with § 228.4(d), to the District Ranger having jurisdiction over the area in which operations are being conducted if those operations are causing a significant disturbance of surface resources but are not covered by a current approved plan of operations. The requirement to submit a plan of operations shall not apply to the operations listed in paragraphs (a)(1)(i) through (v). The requirement to submit a plan of operations also shall not apply to operations which will not involve the use of mechanized earthmoving equipment, such as bulldozers or backhoes, or the cutting of trees, unless those operations otherwise will likely cause a significant disturbance of surface resources.


(4) If the District Ranger determines that any operation is causing or will likely cause significant disturbance of surface resources, the District Ranger shall notify the operator that the operator must submit a proposed plan of operations for approval and that the operations can not be conducted until a plan of operations is approved.


(b) Any person conducting operations on the effective date of these regulations, who would have been required to submit a plan of operations under § 228.4(a), may continue operations but shall within 120 days thereafter submit a plan of operations to the District Ranger having jurisdiction over the area within which operations are being conducted: Provided, however, That upon a showing of good cause the authorized officer will grant an extension of time for submission of a plan of operations, not to exceed an additional 6 months. Operations may continue according to the submitted plan during its review, unless the authorized officer determines that the operations are unnecessarily or unreasonably causing irreparable damage to surface resources and advises the operator of those measures needed to avoid such damage. Upon approval of a plan of operations, operations shall be conducted in accordance with the approved plan. The requirement to submit a plan of operations shall not apply: (1) To operations excepted in § 228.4(a) or (2) to operations concluded prior to the effective date of the regulations in this part.


(c) The plan of operations shall include:


(1) The name and legal mailing address of the operators (and claimants if they are not the operators) and their lessees, assigns, or designees.


(2) A map or sketch showing information sufficient to locate the proposed area of operations on the ground, existing and/or proposed roads or access routes to be used in connection with the operations as set forth in § 228.12 and the approximate location and size of areas where surface resources will be disturbed.


(3) Information sufficient to describe or identify the type of operations proposed and how they would be conducted, the type and standard of existing and proposed roads or access routes, the means of transportation used or to be used as set forth in § 228.12, the period during which the proposed activity will take place, and measures to be taken to meet the requirements for environmental protection in § 228.8.


(d) The plan of operations shall cover the requirements set forth in paragraph (c) of this section, as foreseen for the entire operation for the full estimated period of activity: Provided, however, That if the development of a plan for an entire operation is not possible at the time of preparation of a plan, the operator shall file an initial plan setting forth his proposed operation to the degree reasonably foreseeable at that time, and shall thereafter file a supplemental plan or plans whenever it is proposed to undertake any significant surface disturbance not covered by the initial plan.


(e) At any time during operations under an approved plan of operations, the authorized officer may ask the operator to furnish a proposed modification of the plan detailing the means of minimizing unforeseen significant disturbance of surface resources. If the operator does not furnish a proposed modification within a time deemed reasonable by the authorized officer, the authorized officer may recommend to his immediate superior that the operator be required to submit a proposed modification of the plan. The recommendation of the authorized officer shall be accompanied by a statement setting forth in detail the supporting facts and reasons for his recommendations. In acting upon such recommendation, the immediate superior of the authorized officer shall determine:


(1) Whether all reasonable measures were taken by the authorized officer to predict the environmental impacts of the proposed operations prior to approving the operating plan,


(2) Whether the disturbance is or probably will become of such significance as to require modification of the operating plan in order to meet the requirements for environmental protection specified in § 228.8 and


(3) Whether the disturbance can be minimized using reasonable means. Lacking such determination that unforeseen significant disturbance of surface resources is occurring or probable and that the disturbance can be minimized using reasonable means, no operator shall be required to submit a proposed modification of an approved plan of operations. Operations may continue in accordance with the approved plan until a modified plan is approved, unless the immediate superior of the authorized officer determines that the operations are unnecessarily or unreasonably causing irreparable injury, loss or damage to surface resources and advises the operator of those measures needed to avoid such damage.


(f) Upon completion of an environmental analysis in connection with each proposed operating plan, the authorized officer will determine whether an environmental statement is required. Not every plan of operations, supplemental plan or modification will involve the preparation of an environmental statement. Environmental impacts will vary substantially depending on whether the nature of operations is prospecting, exploration, development, or processing, and on the scope of operations (such as size of operations, construction required, length of operations and equipment required), resulting in varying degrees of disturbance to vegetative resources, soil, water, air, or wildlife. The Forest Service will prepare any environmental statements that may be required.


(g) The information required to be included in a notice of intent or a plan of operations, or supplement or modification thereto, has been assigned Office of Management and Budget Control #0596-0022. The public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to vary from a few minutes for an activity involving little or no surface disturbance to several months for activities involving heavy capital investments and significant surface disturbance, with an average of 2 hours per individual response. This includes time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. Send comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to Chief (2800), Forest Service, USDA, P.O. Box 96090, Washington, DC 20090-6090 and to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503.


[39 FR 31317, Aug. 28, 1974. Redesignated at 46 FR 36142, July 14, 1981, and amended at 54 FR 6893, Feb. 15, 1989; 69 FR 41430, July 9, 2004; 70 FR 32731, June 6, 2005]


§ 228.5 Plan of operations – approval.

(a) Operations shall be conducted in accordance with an approved plan of operations, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section and in § 228.4 (a), (b), and (e). A proposed plan of operation shall be submitted to the District Ranger, who shall promptly acknowledge receipt thereof to the operator. The authorized officer shall, within thirty (30) days of such receipt, analyze the proposal, considering the economics of the operation along with the other factors in determining the reasonableness of the requirements for surface resource protection, and;


(1) Notify the operator that he has approved the plan of operations; or


(2) Notify the operator that the proposed operations are such as not to require an operating plan; or


(3) Notify the operator of any changes in, or additions to, the plan of operations deemed necessary to meet the purpose of the regulations in this part; or


(4) Notify the operator that the plan is being reviewed, but that more time, not to exceed an additional sixty (60) days, is necessary to complete such review, setting forth the reasons why additional time is needed: Provided, however, That days during which the area of operations is inaccessible for inspection shall not be included when computing the sixty (60) day period; or


(5) Notify the operator that the plan cannot be approved until a final environmental statement has been prepared and filed with the Council on Environmental Quality as provided in § 228.4(f).


(b) Pending final approval of the plan of operations, the authorized officer will approve such operations as may be necessary for timely compliance with the requirements of Federal and State laws, so long as such operations are conducted so as to minimize environmental impacts as prescribed by the authorized officer in accordance with the standards contained in § 228.8.


(c) A supplemental plan or plans of operations provided for in § 228.4(d) and a modification of an approved operating plan as provided for in § 228.4(e) shall be subject to approval by the authorized officer in the same manner as the initial plan of operations: Provided, however, That a modification of an approved plan of operations under § 228.4(e) shall be subject to approval by the immediate superior of the authorized officer in cases where it has been determined that a modification is required.


(d) In the provisions for review of operating plans, the Forest Service will arrange for consultation with appropriate agencies of the Department of the Interior with respect to significant technical questions concerning the character of unique geologic conditions and special exploration and development systems, techniques, and equipment, and with respect to mineral values, mineral resources, and mineral reserves. Further, the operator may request the Forest Service to arrange for similar consultations with appropriate agencies of the U.S. Department of the Interior for a review of operating plans.


§ 228.6 Availability of information to the public.

Except as provided herein, all information and data submitted by an operator pursuant to the regulations in this part shall be available for examination by the public at the Office of the District Ranger in accordance with the provisions of 7 CFR 1.1-1.6 and 36 CFR 200.5-200.10. Specifically identified information and data submitted by the operator as confidential concerning trade secrets or privileged commercial or financial information will not be available for public examination. Information and data to be withheld from public examination may include, but is not limited to, known or estimated outline of the mineral deposits and their location, attitude, extent, outcrops, and content, and the known or planned location of exploration pits, drill holes, excavations pertaining to location and entry pursuant to the United States mining laws, and other commercial information which relates to competitive rights of the operator.


§ 228.7 Inspection, noncompliance.

(a) Forest Officers shall periodically inspect operations to determine if the operator is complying with the regulations in this part and an approved plan of operations.


(b) If an operator fails to comply with the regulations or his approved plan of operations and the noncompliance is unnecessarily or unreasonably causing injury, loss or damage to surface resources the authorized officer shall serve a notice of noncompliance upon the operator or his agent in person or by certified mail. Such notice shall describe the noncompliance and shall specify the action to comply and the time within which such action is to be completed, generally not to exceed thirty (30) days: Provided, however, That days during which the area of operations is inaccessible shall not be included when computing the number of days allowed for compliance.


§ 228.8 Requirements for environmental protection.

All operations shall be conducted so as, where feasible, to minimize adverse environmental impacts on National Forest surface resources, including the following requirements:


(a) Air Quality. Operator shall comply with applicable Federal and State air quality standards, including the requirements of the Clean Air Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 1857 et seq.).


(b) Water Quality. Operator shall comply with applicable Federal and State water quality standards, including regulations issued pursuant to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended (33 U.S.C. 1151 et seq.).


(c) Solid Wastes. Operator shall comply with applicable Federal and State standards for the disposal and treatment of solid wastes. All garbage, refuse, or waste, shall either be removed from National Forest lands or disposed of or treated so as to minimize, so far as is practicable, its impact on the environment and the forest surface resources. All tailings, dumpage, deleterious materials, or substances and other waste produced by operations shall be deployed, arranged, disposed of or treated so as to minimize adverse impact upon the environment and forest surface resources.


(d) Scenic Values. Operator shall, to the extent practicable, harmonize operations with scenic values through such measures as the design and location of operating facilities, including roads and other means of access, vegetative screening of operations, and construction of structures and improvements which blend with the landscape.


(e) Fisheries and Wildlife Habitat. In addition to compliance with water quality and solid waste disposal standards required by this section, operator shall take all practicable measures to maintain and protect fisheries and wildlife habitat which may be affected by the operations.


(f) Roads. Operator shall construct and maintain all roads so as to assure adequate drainage and to minimize or, where practicable, eliminate damage to soil, water, and other resource values. Unless otherwise approved by the authorized officer, roads no longer needed for operations:


(1) Shall be closed to normal vehicular traffic,


(2) Bridges and culverts shall be removed,


(3) Cross drains, dips, or water bars shall be constructed, and


(4) The road surface shall be shaped to as near a natural contour as practicable and be stabilized.


(g) Reclamation. Upon exhaustion of the mineral deposit or at the earliest practicable time during operations, or within 1 year of the conclusion of operations, unless a longer time is allowed by the authorized officer, operator shall, where practicable, reclaim the surface disturbed in operations by taking such measures as will prevent or control onsite and off-site damage to the environment and forest surface resources including:


(1) Control of erosion and landslides;


(2) Control of water runoff;


(3) Isolation, removal or control of toxic materials;


(4) Reshaping and revegetation of disturbed areas, where reasonably practicable; and


(5) Rehabilitation of fisheries and wildlife habitat.


(h) Certification or other approval issued by State agencies or other Federal agencies of compliance with laws and regulations relating to mining operations will be accepted as compliance with similar or parallel requirements of these regulations.


§ 228.9 Maintenance during operations, public safety.

During all operations operator shall maintain his structures, equipment, and other facilities in a safe, neat and workmanlike manner. Hazardous sites or conditions resulting from operations shall be marked by signs, fenced or otherwise identified to protect the public in accordance with Federal and State laws and regulations.


§ 228.10 Cessation of operations, removal of structures and equipment.

Unless otherwise agreed to by the authorized officer, operator shall remove within a reasonable time following cessation of operations all structures, equipment and other facilities and clean up the site of operations. Other than seasonally, where operations have ceased temporarily, an operator shall file a statement with the District Ranger which includes:


(a) Verification of intent to maintain the structures, equipment and other facilities,


(b) The expected reopening date, and


(c) An estimate of extended duration of operations. A statement shall be filed every year in the event operations are not reactivated. Operator shall maintain the operating site, structures, equipment and other facilities in a neat and safe condition during nonoperating periods.


§ 228.11 Prevention and control of fire.

Operator shall comply with all applicable Federal and State fire laws and regulations and shall take all reasonable measures to prevent and suppress fires on the area of operations and shall require his employees, contractors and subcontractors to do likewise.


§ 228.12 Access.

An operator is entitled to access in connection with operations, but no road, trail, bridge, landing area for aircraft, or the like, shall be constructed or improved, nor shall any other means of access, including but not limited to off-road vehicles, be used until the operator has received approval of an operating plan in writing from the authorized officer when required by § 228.4(a). Proposals for construction, improvement or use of such access as part of a plan of operations shall include a description of the type and standard of the proposed means of access, a map showing the proposed route of access, and a description of the means of transportation to be used. Approval of the means of such access as part of a plan of operations shall specify the location of the access route, design standards, means of transportation, and other conditions reasonably necessary to protect the environment and forest surface resources, including measures to protect scenic values and to insure against erosion and water or air pollution.


§ 228.13 Bonds.

(a) Any operator required to file a plan of operations shall, when required by the authorized officer, furnish a bond conditioned upon compliance with § 228.8(g), prior to approval of such plan of operations. In lieu of a bond, the operator may deposit into a Federal depository, as directed by the Forest Service, and maintain therein, cash in an amount equal to the required dollar amount of the bond or negotiable securities of the United States having market value at the time of deposit of not less than the required dollar amount of the bond. A blanket bond covering nationwide or statewide operations may be furnished if the terms and conditions thereof are sufficient to comply with the regulations in this part.


(b) In determining the amount of the bond, consideration will be given to the estimated cost of stabilizing, rehabilitating, and reclaiming the area of operations.


(c) In the event that an approved plan of operations is modified in accordance with § 228.4 (d) and (e), the authorized officer will review the initial bond for adequacy and, if necessary, will adjust the bond to conform to the operations plan as modified.


(d) When reclamation has been completed in accordance with § 228.8(g), the authorized officer will notify the operator that performance under the bond has been completed: Provided, however, That when the Forest Service has accepted as completed any portion of the reclamation, the authorized officer shall notify the operator of such acceptance and reduce proportionally the amount of bond thereafter to be required with respect to the remaining reclamation.


[39 FR 31317, Aug. 28, 1974; 39 FR 32029, Sept. 4, 1974]


§ 228.14 Appeals.

Appeal of decisions of an authorized officer made pursuant to this subpart is governed by 36 CFR part 214 or 215.


[78 FR 33724, June 5, 2013]


§ 228.15 Operations within National Forest Wilderness.

(a) The United States mining laws shall extend to each National Forest Wilderness for the period specified in the Wilderness Act and subsequent establishing legislation to the same extent they were applicable prior to the date the Wilderness was designated by Congress as a part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Subject to valid existing rights, no person shall have any right or interest in or to any mineral deposits which may be discovered through prospecting or other information-gathering activity after the legal date on which the United States mining laws cease to apply to the specific Wilderness.


(b) Holders of unpatented mining claims validly established on any National Forest Wilderness prior to inclusion of such unit in the National Wilderness Preservation System shall be accorded the rights provided by the United States mining laws as then applicable to the National Forest land involved. Persons locating mining claims in any National Forest Wilderness on or after the date on which said Wilderness was included in the National Wilderness Preservation System shall be accorded the rights provided by the United States mining laws as applicable to the National Forest land involved and subject to provisions specified in the establishing legislation. Persons conducting operations as defined in § 228.3 in National Forest Wilderness shall comply with the regulations in this part. Operations shall be conducted so as to protect National Forest surface resources in accordance with the general purposes of maintaining the National Wilderness Preservation System unimpaired for future use and enjoyment as wilderness and to preserve its wilderness character, consistent with the use of the land for mineral location, exploration, development, drilling, and production and for transmission lines, water lines, telephone lines, and processing operations, including, where essential, the use of mechanized transport, aircraft or motorized equipment.


(c) Persons with valid mining claims wholly within National Forest Wilderness shall be permitted access to such surrounded claims by means consistent with the preservation of National Forest Wilderness which have been or are being customarily used with respect to other such claims surrounded by National Forest Wilderness. No operator shall construct roads across National Forest Wilderness unless authorized in writing by the Forest Supervisor in accordance with § 228.12.


(d) On all mining claims validly established on lands within the National Wilderness Preservation System, the operator shall take all reasonable measures to remove any structures, equipment and other facilities no longer needed for mining purposes in accordance with the provisions in § 228.10 and restore the surface in accordance with the requirements in § 228.8(g).


(e) The title to timber on patented claims validly established after the land was included within the National Wilderness Preservation System remains in the United States, subject to a right to cut and use timber for mining purposes. So much of the mature timber may be cut and used as is needed in the extraction, removal, and beneficiation of the mineral deposits, if needed timber is not otherwise reasonably available. The cutting shall comply with the requirements for sound principles of forest management as defined by the National Forest rules and regulations and set forth in stipulations to be included in the plan of operations, which as a minimum incorporate the following basic principles of forest management:


(1) Harvesting operations shall be so conducted as to minimize soil movement and damage from water runoff; and


(2) Slash shall be disposed of and other precautions shall be taken to minimize damage from forest insects, disease, and fire.


(f) The Chief, Forest Service, shall allow any activity, including prospecting, for the purpose of gathering information about minerals in National Forest Wilderness except that any such activity for gathering information shall be carried on in a manner compatible with the preservation of the wilderness environment as specified in the plan of operations.


Subpart B – Leasable Minerals

§§ 228.20-228.39 [Reserved]

Subpart C – Disposal of Mineral Materials


Source:49 FR 29784, July 24, 1984, unless otherwise noted.

§ 228.40 Authority.

Authority for the disposal of mineral materials is provided by the Materials Act of July 31, 1947 (30 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), as amended by the Acts of August 31, 1950 (30 U.S.C. 603-604), July 23, 1955 (30 U.S.C. 601, 603), and September 25, 1962 (30 U.S.C. 602), and by the following: the Act of June 4, 1897 (16 U.S.C. 477); the Act of March 4, 1917 (16 U.S.C. 520); the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act of July 22, 1937 (7 U.S.C. 1010); the Act of September 1, 1949 (section 3) (30 U.S.C. 192c); the Act of June 30, 1950 (16 U.S.C. 508b); the Act of June 28, 1952 (section 3) (66 Stat. 285); the Act of September 2, 1958 (16 U.S.C. 521a); the Act of June 11, 1960 (74 Stat. 205); the Federal Highway Act of August 27, 1958 (23 U.S.C. 101 et seq.); and the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of December 2, 1980 (section 502) (16 U.S.C. 539a).


§ 228.41 Scope.

(a) Lands to which this subpart applies. This subpart applies to all National Forest System lands reserved from the public domain of the United States, including public domain lands being administered under the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act of July 22, 1937 (7 U.S.C. 1010); to all National Forest System lands acquired pursuant to the Weeks Act of March 1, 1911 (36 Stat. 961); to all National Forest System lands with Weeks Act status as provided in the Act of September 2, 1958 (16 U.S.C. 521a); and to public lands within the Copper River addition to the Chugach National Forest (16 U.S.C. 539a). For ease of reference and convenience to the reader, these lands are referred to, throughout this subpart, as National Forest lands.


(b) Restrictions. Disposal of mineral materials from the following National Forest lands is subject to certain restrictions as described below:


(1) Segregation or withdrawals in aid of other agencies. Disposal of mineral materials from lands segregated or withdrawn in aid of a function of another Federal agency, State, territory, county, municipality, water district, or other governmental subdivision or agency may be made only with the written consent of the governmental entity.


(2) Segregated or withdrawn National Forest lands. Mineral materials may not be removed from segregated or withdrawn lands where removal is specifically prohibited by statute or by public land order. Where not specifically prohibited, removal of mineral materials may be allowed if the authorized officer determines that the removal is not detrimental to the values for which the segregation or withdrawal was made, except as provided in paragraph (b)(1) of this section. Where operations have been established prior to the effective date of this Subpart and where not prohibited by statute, they may be permitted to continue. Nothing in this subparagraph is intended to prohibit the exercise of valid existing rights.


(3) Unpatented mining claims. Provided that claimants are given prior notice and it has been determined that removal will neither endanger nor materially interfere with prospecting, mining, or processing operations or uses reasonably incident thereto on the claims, disposal of mineral materials may be allowed from:


(i) Unpatented mining claims located after July 23, 1955; and/or


(ii) Unpatented mining claims located before July 23, 1955, and on which the United States has established the right to manage the vegetative and other surface resources in accordance with the Multiple Use Mining Act of July 23, 1955 (30 U.S.C. 601, 603, 611-615).


(4) Acquired Bankhead-Jones lands. Mineral materials on lands which were acquired under the authority of the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act of July 22, 1937 (7 U.S.C. 1010-1012), and which lie outside the exterior boundaries of National Forests, or on acquired lands which are being administered under the Act and which also lie outside the exterior boundaries of National Forests, may be disposed of under these regulations only to public authorities and agencies, and only on condition that the mineral materials are used for public purposes (7 U.S.C. 1011(c)).


(c) Mineral materials to which this subpart applies. This subpart applies to mineral materials which consist of petrified wood and common varieties of sand, gravel, stone, pumice, pumicite, cinders, clay, and other similar materials. Such mineral materials include deposits which, although they have economic value, are used for agriculture, animal husbandry, building, abrasion, construction, landscaping, and similar uses. This subpart also applies to other materials which may not be minerals but are produced using mining methods, such as peat. The categories of these materials, including representative examples, are:


(1) Agricultural supply and animal husbandry materials. This category includes, but is not limited to, minerals and vegetative materials used as or for: Soil conditioners or amendments applied to physically alter soil properties such as direct applications to the soil of carbonate rocks, soil containing “trace elements” and peat; animal feed supplements; and other animal care products.


(2) Building materials. Except for minerals identified as Uncommon Varieties, this category includes, but is not limited to, minerals used as or for: Paint fillers or extenders; flagstone, ashlar, rubble, mortar, brick, tile, pipe, pottery, earthenware, stoneware, terrazzo, and other nonstructural components in floors, walls, roofs, fireplaces, and the like; and similar building uses.


(3) Abrasive materials. This category includes, but is not limited to, minerals used for: Filing; scouring; polishing; sanding; and sandblasting.


(4) Construction materials. This category includes, but is not limited to, minerals such as sand, gravel, clay, crushed rock and cinders used as or for fill; borrow; rip-rap; ballast (including all ballast for railroad use); road base; road surfacing; concrete aggregate; clay sealants; and similar construction uses.


(5) Landscaping materials: This category includes, but is not limited to minerals and peat used as or for: Chips, granules, sand, pebbles, scoria, cinders, cobbles, boulders, slabs, and other components in retaining walls, walkways, patios, yards, gardens, and the like; and similar landscaping uses.


(d) Minerals not covered by this subpart. Mineral materials do not include any mineral used in manufacturing, industrial processing, or chemical operations for which no other mineral can be substituted due to unique properties giving the particular mineral a distinct and special value; nor do they include block pumice which in nature occurs in pieces having one dimension of two inches or more which is valuable and used for some application that requires such dimensions. Disposal of minerals not covered by this subpart is subject to the terms of the United States Mining Laws, as amended (30 U.S.C. 22 et seq.), on those portions of the National Forest System where those laws apply. Such minerals may include:


(1) Mineral suitable and used as soil amendment because of a constituent element other than calcium or magnesium carbonate that chemically alters the soil;


(2) Limestone suitable and used, without substantial admixtures, for cement manufacture, metallurgy, production of quicklime, sugar refining, whiting, fillers, paper manufacture, and desulfurization of stack gases;


(3) Silica suitable and used for glass manufacture, production of metallic silicon, flux, and rock wool;


(4) Alumino-silicates or clays having exceptional qualities suitable and used for production of aluminum, ceramics, drilling mud, taconite binder, foundry castings, and other purposes for which common clays cannot be used;


(5) Gypsum suitable and used for wallboard, plaster, or cement.


(6) Block pumice which occurs in nature in pieces having one dimension of two inches or more and which is valuable and used for some application that requires such dimensions; and


(7) Stone recognized through marketing factors for its special and distinct properties of strength and durability making it suitable for structural support and used for that purpose.


(e) Limitations on applicability. (1) The provisions of paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section shall not apply to any mining claims for which a Mineral Entry Final Certificate was issued on or before January 16, 1991. Nor shall these provisions apply to any mining claim located on or before July 23, 1955, which has satisfied the marketability test for locatable minerals from on or before July 23, 1955, until the present date.


(2) A use which qualifies a mineral as an uncommon variety under paragraph (d) overrides classification of that mineral as a common variety under paragraph (c) of this section.


[49 FR 29784, July 24, 1984, as amended at 55 FR 51706, Dec. 17, 1990]


§ 228.42 Definitions.

For the purposes of this subject, the following terms are defined:


Acquired National Forest lands. National Forest System lands acquired under the Weeks Act of March 1, 1911 (36 Stat. 961), and National Forest System lands with Weeks Act status as provided in the Act of September 2, 1958 (16 U.S.C. 521a).


Authorized officer. Any Forest Service officer to whom authority for disposal of mineral materials has been delegated.


Common-use area. Generally, a broad geographic area from which nonexclusive disposals of mineral materials available on the surface may be made to low volume and/or noncommercial users.


Community site. A site noted on appropriate Forest records and posted on the ground from which nonexclusive disposals of mineral materials may be made to low volume and/or noncommercial users.


Contract. A signed legal agreement between the Forest Service and a purchaser of mineral materials, which specifies (among other things) the conditions of a competitive, negotiated, or preference right sale of mineral materials to the purchaser.


Mineral materials. A collective term used throughout this subpart to describe petrified wood and common varieties of sand, gravel, stone, pumice, pumicite, cinders, clay, and other similar materials. Common varieties do not include deposits of those materials which are valuable because of some property giving them distinct and special value, nor do they include “so-called ‘block pumice’ ” which occurs in nature in pieces having one dimension of two inches or more and which is valuable and used for some application that requires such dimensions.


Permit. A signed legal document between the Forest Service and one who is authorized to remove mineral materials free of charge, which specifies (among other things) the conditions of removal by the permittee.


Preference right negotiated sale. A negotiated sale which may be awarded in response to the finding and demonstration of a suitable deposit of mineral material on acquired National Forest lands as the result of exploratory activity conducted under the authority of a prospecting permit.


Prospecting permit. A written instrument issued by the Forest Service which authorizes prospecting for a mineral material deposit on acquired National Forest lands within specific areas, under stipulated conditions, and for a specified period of time.


Single entry source. A source of mineral materials which is expected to be depleted under a single contract or permit or which is reserved for Forest Service use.


Unpatented mining claim. A lode or placer mining claim or a millsite located under the General Mining Law of 1872, as amended (30 U.S.C. 21-54), for which a patent under 30 U.S.C. 29 and regulations of the Department of the Interior has not been issued.


Withdrawn National Forest lands. National Forest System lands segregated or otherwise withheld from settlement, sale, location, or entry under some or all of all of the general land laws (43 U.S.C. 1714).


[49 FR 29784, July 24, 1984, as amended at 55 FR 51706, Dec. 17, 1990]


§ 228.43 Policy governing disposal.

(a) General. Forest Service policy is to make mineral materials on National Forest lands available to the public and to local, State, and Federal government agencies where reasonable protection of, or mitigation of effects on, other resources in assured, and where removal is not prohibited.


(1) A contract or permit limits processing of the mineral material onsite to the first salable product.


(2) Additional onsite processing may be authorized by a separate permit (36 CFR 251.50).


(3) The authorized officer must ensure that an environmental analysis is conducted for all planned disposals of mineral materials.


(4) Decisions to authorize the disposal of mineral materials must conform to approved land and resource management plans (36 CFR 219.22).


(b) Price. Mineral materials may not be sold for less than the appraised value. The authorized officer may assess a fee to cover costs of issuing and administering a contract or permit.


(c) Conservation. Adequate measures must be taken to protect, and minimize damage to the environment. Mineral materials may be disposed of only if the authorized officer determines that the disposal is not detrimental to the public interest.


(d) Ownership. Title to the mineral materials vests in the purchaser or permittee immediately before excavation, subject to the provisions of §§ 228.47 through 228.56 and other provisions of the contract or permit. Title to excavated material not removed within the time provided revests in the United States.


(e) Decisions. All decisions as to whether or not to grant disposals proposed under this subpart shall be made in writing by the authorized officer. Such decisions must specify their factual and legal basis.


(f) Option for mining claimants. All mining claimants holding mining claims which are located for a mineral classified in accordance with this subpart as a mineral material have the option of maintaining that the mineral is locatable and filing for patent. All mining claimants holding mining claims located in good faith on or before January 16, 1991, for a mineral classified in accordance with this subpart as a mineral material may accept the classification and, if appropriate, receive a sale by negotiated contract for that mineral material under 36 CFR 228.57(b)(2) of this subpart.


[49 FR 29784, July 24, 1984, as amended at 55 FR 51706, Dec. 17, 1990]


§ 228.44 Disposal on existing Federal leased areas.

Mineral material contracts or permits may be issued within existing areas leased or under permit under the 1920 Mineral Leasing Act, as amended (30 U.S.C. 181-187); section 402 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1946 (5 U.S.C. Appendix); the 1947 Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired Lands, as amended (30 U.S.C. 351 et seq.); and the 1970 Geothermal Steam Act (30 U.S.C. 1001-1025), provided that it has been determined that removal will neither endanger nor unreasonably interfere with lease operations, and provided further that the lease terms do not prohibit disposal.


§ 228.45 Qualifications of applicants.

The authorized officer may require applicants for prospecting permits, negotiated contracts, or free-use permits or bidders for the sale of mineral materials to furnish information necessary to determine their ability to perform the obligations of the contract or permit.


§ 228.46 Application of other laws and regulations.

All mining operations for removal of mineral materials from National Forest lands must meet or exceed applicable Federal standards for the protection of public safety, health, and the environment, and must also meet or exceed State and local standards for the protection of public safety, health, and the environment, to the extent that such standards are not in conflict with Federal purposes and functions.


General Provisions

§ 228.47 General terms and conditions of contracts and permits.

(a) Disposal of designated mineral materials. Only those specified mineral materials found within the area designated in the contract or permit may be extracted and removed.


(b) Unauthorized removal (trespass) of mineral materials. The removal of mineral materials from National Forest lands, except when authorized in accordance with applicable law and regulations of the Department of Agriculture, is prohibited (36 CFR 261.9).


(c) Conservation. Mineral material contracts and permits must contain provisions to ensure the efficient removal and conservation of the mineral material.


(d) Improvements. Contracts and permits must contain provisions for removal or Government retention of improvements.


(e) Use of existing National Forest development roads. The authorized officer may require purchasers and permittees to obtain appropriate road-use permits, make deposits for or perform their commensurate share of road maintenance, and comply with road-use rules contained in 36 CFR part 212, depending upon their planned extent of road use.


(f) Reclamation. Requirements for reclamation of areas disturbed by mineral material operations must be included in contracts and permits, except for disposals from community sites and common-use areas.


§ 228.48 Appraisal and measurement.

(a) Appraisal. All mineral materials for sale must be appraised to determine fair market value. Appraisals must be based on knowledge of the extent of the deposit, quality of material, and economic value. A sale must not be made at less than the appraised value which may be expressed as either price per cubic yard or weight equivalent. In all cases the units of measurement must correspond to the units used in the appraisal. The authorized officer must estimate and record the amount and value of minerals to be disposed of by free-use permit.


(b) Measurement. The amount of mineral material actually removed may be measured by volume, weight, truck tally, by combination of these methods, or by such other form of measurement as the authorized officer determines to be appropriate and in the public interest.


§ 228.49 Reappraisal.

If an extension of time is granted as provided in § 228.53(b), the authorized officer must reappraise or reestimate the mineral materials covered by the contract or permit and which remain unexcavated at the time of extension. The recalculated unit value becomes the new unit value for the remaining unexcavated material; excavated and stockpiled material is not subject to reappraisal.


§ 228.50 Production records.

At least annually, the purchaser or permittee must furnish a record of the volume extracted, in cubic yards or weight equivalent, to the authorized officer. The units of measurement must correspond to the units used in the appraisal or estimate.


§ 228.51 Bonding.

(a) Bond requirements. Before operations may begin under any contract or permit, a bond must be furnished to the authorized officer to ensure performance of payment (as necessary), reclamation, and other conditions of the contract or permit, except as noted in paragraphs (a) (1) and (3) of this section, where the authorized officer may waive such bonding. If an extension of time is granted as provided in § 228.53(b), the bond requirements must be recalculated and changed accordingly.


(1) For advance payment contracts for 10,000 cubic yards or more in volume (or weight equivalent), a bond of not less than 10 percent of the total contract price or the value of the estimated annual production (whichever is less), plus the reclamation cost for the area covered by annual mining, is required. When the total volume is less than 10,000 cubic yards, bond requirements, if any, are at the discretion of the authorized officer.


(2) For any deferred payment contract, a bond equaling the value of the estimated annual production plus the reclamation cost for the area covered by annual mining is required.


(3) For free use, the authorized officer may require a reclamation bond which must be sufficient to cover the cost of reclamation of the anticipated annual work.


(b) Types of bonding. A bond must be one of the following:


(1) A bond of a corporate surety shown on the latest approved list issued by the U.S. Treasury Department and executed on an approved standard form;


(2) A cash bond;


(3) Negotiable securities of the United States;


(4) An irrevocable letter of credit acceptable to the Forest Service;


(5) A performance bond required by other Forest Service contracts or permits, provided the bond covers the performance and reclamation requirements related to the removal of mineral material from a designated pit or area for use in the performance of the contract or permit; or


(6) Any other types of bond specified in the Forest Service Manual.


§ 228.52 Assignments.

(a) Limitations. A purchaser or permittee may not assign the contract or permit, or any interest therein, without the written approval of the authorized officer.


(b) Requirements of assignee. The authorized officer will not approve any proposed assignment involving contract or permit performance unless the assignee:


(1) Submits information necessary to assure the authorized officer of the assignee’s ability to meet the same requirements as the original purchaser or permittee (assignor); and


(2) Furnishes a bond or obtains a commitment from the previous surety to be bound by the assignment when approved.


(c) Rights and obligations. Once the authorized officer approves an assignment, the assignee is entitled to all the rights and is subject to all of the obligations under the contract or permit, and the original purchaser or permittee may be released from any further responsiblity under the contract or permit.


§ 228.53 Term.

(a) Time allowed. Except as provided in § 228.61(f), § 228.62(b), and elsewhere in this paragraph, a contract or permit may not exceed 1 year from the effective date of the contract or permit unless a written extension is obtained. For those mineral materials sold under a duration of production contract or under a contract for the sale of all mineral material within a specified area, or under a construction contract where removal cannot reasonably take place before completion of other work under the same contract, the authorized officer will establish a reasonable time period for removal.


(b) Extension of time. If it is shown that a delay in removal was due to causes beyond the control of the purchaser or permittee, the authorized officer may grant an extension, not to exceed 1 year, upon written request. Written requests for extensions of contracts must be received between 30 and 90 days before the expiration date of the contract. Written requests for extensions of permits must be received between 15 and 90 days before the permit expiration date. The authorized officer may grant a total of two extensions for contracts and permits.


§ 228.54 Single entry sales or permits.

The purchaser or permittee is required to reclaim a single entry source in accordance with an approved operating plan which describes operating procedures and reclamation measures, unless the requirement is waived by the authorized officer.


§ 228.55 Cancellation or suspension.

The authorized officer may cancel or suspend a contract, permit, or prospecting permit if the purchaser or permittee fails to comply with its terms and conditions. If the noncompliance is unnecessarily or unreasonably causing injury, loss, or damage to surface resources, the authorized officer may cancel or suspend the contract, permit, or prospecting permit immediately. In cases where noncompliance is of a less serious nature, the authorized officer may cancel or suspend a contract, permit, or prospecting permit if such noncompliance continues for 30 days after service of written notice by the authorized officer. If the noncompliance is not corrected, the authorized officer may attach the bond to ensure compliance with the provisions of the contract, permit, or prospecting permit.


§ 228.56 Operating plans.

Any surface-disturbing operation under a contract, permit, or prospecting permit is subject to prior approval by the authorized officer of an operating plan and to reasonable conditions as may be required to ensure proper protection of the environment and improvements, including timely reclamation of disturbed lands. Significant changes to operations require prior approval of an amended operating plan. The operating plan must include, as a minimum, a map and explanation of the nature of the access, anticipated activity, surface disturbance, and intended reclamation including removal or retention of structures and facilities. Operating plans must be submitted by the purchaser, permittee, or prospecting permittee, except as noted in § 228.64(b).


Types and Methods of Disposal

§ 228.57 Types of disposal.

Except as provided in § 228.41(b), disposal of mineral materials may be made by:


(a) Competitive sale to the highest qualified bidder after formal advertising and other appropriate public notice;


(b) Sale by negotiated contract. (1) For removal of materials to be used in connection with a public works improvement program on behalf of a Federal, State, or local government agency if the public exigency will not permit delays incident to advertising, or


(2) For the removal of mineral materials for which it is impracticable to obtain competition;


(c) Preference right negotiated sale to the holder of a Forest Service-issued prospecting permit under which a suitable mineral material deposit has been demonstrated on acquired National Forest lands;


(d) Free use when a permit is issued to any nonprofit association, corporation, individual, or others listed in § 228.62(d), for other than commercial purposes, resale, or barter, or to any Federal, State, county, local unit, subdivision, municipality, or county road district for use in public projects; or


(e) Forest Service force account or by contract where the material is to be used to carry out various Forest Service programs involving construction and maintenance of physical improvements.


§ 228.58 Competitive sales.

(a) Invitation for bid. Sales must be conducted as described below after inviting competitive bids through publication and posting. The authorized officer may not offer a competitive sale unless there is a right-of-way or other access to the sale area which is available to anyone qualified to bid.


(b) Advertising – (1) Sales over 25,000 cubic yards. Mineral material sales offered by competitive bidding and which exceed 25,000 cubic yards must be advertised on the same day once a week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the area where the material is located, and in a trade or industrial newspaper when considered appropriate. Notice of the sale must be posted in a conspicuous place in the office where bids are to be submitted. In addition, the authorized officer may send the advertisement directly to known interested persons. Bids may be received but not evaluated before the end of the advertising period, which may be extended at the discretion of the authorized officer.


(2) Content of advertising. The advertisement of sale must specify the location by legal description of the tract or tracts or by any other means identify the location of the mineral material deposit being offered, the kind of material, estimated quantities, the unit of measurement, appraised price (which sets the minimum acceptable bid), time and place for receiving and opening of bids, minimum deposit required, major special constraints due to environmental considerations, available access, maintenance required over haul routes, traffic controls, required use permits, required qualifications of bidders, the method of bidding, bonding requirement, notice of the right to reject any or all bids, the office where a copy of the contract and additional information may be obtained, and additional information the authorized officer deems necessary.


(3) Advertising smaller sales. Advertisement of mineral materials amounting to 25,000 cubic yards in volume (or weight equivalent) or less must be published and/or posted. The methods of advertisement are at the discretion of the authorized officer.


(c) Conduct of sales. (1) Bidding at competitive sales may be conducted by the submission of written sealed bids, oral bids, or a combination of both as directed by the authorized officer. In the event of a tie in high sealed bids, the highest bidder will be determined by oral auction among those tied bidders; when no oral bid is higher that the sealed bids, the selected bidder will be determined by lot, the purchase price being the amount of the tied bid. For all oral auctions, including those used to break sealed-bid ties, the high bidder must confirm the bid in writing immediately upon being declared the high bidder. The authorized officer must mail notification of the bidding results to all bidders within 10 days.


(2) The authorized officer may require bidders to furnish evidence of qualification at the time of award or, if such evidence has already been furnished and is still valid, make appropriate reference to the record containing it.


(3) When it is in the interest of the United States to do so, the authorized officer may reject any or all bids.


(d) Bid deposits and award of contract. Sealed bids must be accompanied by a deposit. For mineral materials offered at oral auction, bidders must make the deposit before opening of the bidding.


(1) Bid deposits must be equal to 10 percent of the appraised value but not less than $100.00.


(2) Bid deposits must be in the form of cash, money order, bank drafts, cashier’s or certified checks made payable to the Forest Service, or bonds acceptable to the Forest Service (§ 228.51(b)).


(3) Upon conclusion of the bidding, the authorized officer will return the deposits of all unsuccessful bidders. The successful bidder’s deposit will be applied toward the purchase price. If the contract is not awarded to the high bidder due to an inability to perform the obligations of the contract, the deposit, less expenses and damages incurred by the United States, may be returned. The return of a deposit does not prejudice any other rights or remedies of the United States. The contract may be offered and awarded to the next successive qualified high bidder, or, at the discretion of the authorized officer, the sale may be either readvertised or negotiated if it is determined that a competitive sale is impracticable.


(4) Within 30 days after receipt of the contract, the successful bidder must sign and return the contract, together with any required bond, unless the authorized officer has granted an extension for an additional 30 days. The bidder must apply for the extension in writing within the first 30-day period. If the successful bidder fails to return the contract within the first 30-day period or within an approved extension, the bid deposit, less the costs of readvertising and damages, may be returned without prejudice to any other rights or remedies of the United States.


(5) All sales must be processed on Forest Service-approved contract forms. The authorized officer may add provisions to the contract to cover conditions peculiar to the sale area. Such additional provisions must be made available for inspection by prospective bidders during the advertising period.


§ 228.59 Negotiated or noncompetitive sales.

(a) Volume limitations. When it is determined by the authorized officer to be in the public interest and when it is impracticable to obtain competition, mineral materials not exceeding 100,000 cubic yards in volume (or weight equivalent) may be sold in any one sale at not less than the appraised value, without advertising or calling for bids, except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section. The authorized officer may not approve noncompetitive sales that exceed the total of 200,000 cubic yards (or weight equivalent) made in any one State for the benefit of any applicant in any period of 12 consecutive months.


(b) Government programs. In connection with a public works improvement project on behalf of a Federal, State, or local governmental agency, the authorized officer may sell to an applicant, at not less than the appraised value, without advertising or calling for bids, a volume of mineral materials not to exceed 200,000 cubic yards (or weight equivalent) when the public exigency will not permit delays incident to advertising (30 U.S.C. 602).


(c) Appropriation for highway purposes. For interstate and/or Federal aid highways, the Secretary of Transportation may appropriate any volume in accordance with 23 U.S.C. 107 and 317.


(d) Use in development of Federal mineral leases. When it is determined to be impracticable to obtain competition and the mineral materials are to be used in connection with the development of mineral leases issued by the United States (§ 228.44), the authorized officer may sell to a leaseholder a volume of mineral material not to exceed 200,000 cubic yards (or weight equivalent) in one State in any period of 12 consecutive months. No charge will be made for materials which must be moved in the process of extracting the mineral under lease, as long as the materials remain stockpiled within the boundaries of the leased area.


(e) Exceptions. (1) The Chief of the Forest Service may authorize the noncompetitive sale of mineral materials in excess of the volume limitations in paragraphs (a), (b), and (d) of this section when necessary to:


(i) Respond to an emergency affecting public health, safety or property;


(ii) Prevent the curtailment of operations conducted under the United States mining laws of May 10, 1872, as amended (30 U.S.C. 22 et seq.) which generate large volumes of mineral materials as a by-product; or


(iii) Respond to a critical public need for the prompt development of a mineral lease issued by the United States or a mining claim located under the United States mining laws of May 10, 1872, as amended (30 U.S.C. 22 et seq.).


(2) Any noncompetitive sale of mineral materials in excess of the volume limitations in paragraphs (a), (b), and (d) shall be subject to such restrictions as the Chief of the Forest Service determines to be in the public interest.


(3) Nothing in this paragraph shall otherwise alter the requirements of paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section.


[49 FR 29784, July 24, 1984, as amended at 52 FR 10565, Apr. 2, 1987; 53 FR 43691, Oct. 28, 1988]


§ 228.60 Prospecting permits.

(a) Right conferred. On acquired National Forest lands, prospecting permits may be issued which grant the permittee the exclusive right to explore for and to demonstrate the existence of a suitable mineral material deposit when existing information is insufficient. After the demonstration of a suitable deposit and confirmation of this by the authorized officer, the permittee will have a preference right to apply for a negotiated sale.


(b) Limitations. Mineral material may be removed from lands under a prospecting permit only to the extent necessary for testing and analysis or for the demonstration of the existence of a suitable deposit.


(c) Environmental analysis. Prospecting permits will be issued only after submission by applicant and approval by the authorized officer of a detailed operating plan. The authorized officer may require a bond in accordance with § 228.51. The authorized officer must ensure compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).


(d) Acreage and permit limitations. A prospecting permit may not cover more than 640 acres. No individual or group may have an interest at any one time in more than three prospecting permits on Forest Service lands administered by one Forest Supervisor.


(e) Duration and extension of permits. Prospecting permits may be issued for a period not to exceed 24 months, but they may be extended once for up to an additional 24 months if necessary to complete prospecting. Any application for extension must be submitted no later than 30 days before the expiration of the permit. The application for extension must provide evidence of diligence and state the reasons why additional time is considered necessary to complete prospecting work.


(f) Refusal to extend permits. The authorized officer may reject applications for extension of prospecting permits for the following reasons:


(1) Failure to perform. Failure of the permittee to perform prospecting or exploration work without adequate justification may result in the denial of an extension; or


(2) Failure to apply. If an application for extension is not submitted within the specified period, the permit may expire without notice to the permittee.


(3) Public interest. If the authorized officer determines that an extension may not be in the public interest, the application may be rejected.


§ 228.61 Preference right negotiated sales.

(a) Qualification for sale. When applying for a preference right negotiated sale, the permittee must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the authorized officer that a suitable deposit of mineral material has been discovered within the area covered by the prospecting permit. Information concerning trade secrets and financial matters submitted by the permittee and identified as confidential will not be available for public examination except as otherwise agreed upon by the permittee.


(b) Application for sale. The application must be submitted to the District Ranger’s office on or before the expiration date of the prospecting permit or its extension. The authorized officer may grant 30 additional days for submitting the application if requested in writing by the permittee before expiration of the prospecting permit or its extension.


(c) Terms and conditions of contract. The terms and conditions will be evaluated on an individual case basis. Only those mineral materials specified in the contract may be removed by the purchaser. Before a preference right negotiated contract is awarded, the authorized officer must ensure that an environmental analysis is conducted. All contracts are subject to the conditions under §§ 228.47 through 228.56.


(d) Acreage limitations. The authorized officer will determine the amount of acreage in the preference right negotiated sale based on a presentation of the permittee’s needs. The maximum acreage allowable to any individual or group must not exceed 320 acres on National Forest lands administered by one Forest Supervisor. The allowable acreage may be in one or more units which are not necessarily contiguous.


(e) Volume limitations. Preference right negotiated sales are exempt from volume limitations.


(f) Contract time allowable. A contract or a renewal must not exceed 5 years; however, the purchaser may have renewal options at the end of each contract or renewal period. The authorized officer may renew a contract if it is determined that the renewal is not detrimental to the public interest and that the purchaser has demonstrated diligence in conducting operations. The authorized officer may cancel the contract, or the purchaser may forfeit the contract, if no substantial commercial production occurs during any continuous 2-year period after the award of the contract or if the contract terms and conditions are breached. However, if a delay is caused by conditions beyond the purchaser’s control, the authorized officer may grant an extension equal to the lost time.


(g) Contract renewal reappraisal. At the time of contract renewal, the authorized officer will reappraise the mineral material deposit in accordance with § 228.49.


§ 228.62 Free use.

(a) Application. An application for a free-use permit must be made with the appropriate District Ranger’s office.


(b) Term. Permits may be issued for periods not to exceed 1 year and will terminate on the expiration date unless extended by the authorized officer as in § 228.53(b). However, the authorized officer may issue permits to any local, State, Federal, or Territorial agency, unit or subdivision, including municipalities and county road districts, for periods up to 10 years.


(c) Removal by agent. A free-use permittee may extract the mineral materials through a designated agent provided that the conditions of the permit are not violated. No part of the material may be used as payment for the services of an agent in obtaining or processing the material. A permit may be issued in the name of a designated agent for those entities listed in § 228.62(d)(1), at the discretion of the authorized officer, provided there is binding agreement in which the entity retains responsibility for ensuring compliance with the conditions of the permit.


(d) Conditions. Free-use permits may be issued for mineral materials to settlers, miners, residents, and prospectors for uses other than commercial purposes, resale, or barter (16 U.S.C. 477). Free-use permits may be issued to local, State, Federal, or Territorial agencies, units, or subdivisions, including municipalities, or any association or corporation not organized for profit, for other than commercial or industrial purposes or resale (30 U.S.C. 601). Free-use permits may not be issued when, in the judgment of the authorized officer, the applicant owns or controls an adequate supply of mineral material in the area of demand. The free-use permit, issued on a Forest Service-approved form, must include the basis for the free-use as well as the provisions governing the selection, removal, and use of the mineral materials. No mineral material may be removed until the permit is issued. The permittee must notify the authorized officer upon completion of mineral material removal. The permittee must complete the reclamation prescribed in the operating plan (§ 228.56).


(1) A free-use permit may be issued to any local, State, Federal, or Territorial agency, unit, or subdivision, including municipalities and county road districts, without limitation on the number of permits or on the value of the mineral materials to be extracted or removed.


(2) A free-use permit issued to a nonprofit association, corporation, or individual may not provide for the removal of mineral materials having a volume exceeding 5,000 cubic yards (or weight equivalent) during any period of 12 consecutive months.


(e) Petrified wood. A free-use permit may be issued to amateur collectors and scientists to take limited quantities of petrified wood for personal use. The material taken may not be bartered or sold. Free-use areas may be designated within which a permit may not be required. Removal of material from such areas must be in accord with rules issued by the authorized officer and posted on the area. Such rules must also be posted in the District Ranger’s and Forest Supervisor’s offices and be available upon request. The rules may vary by area depending on the quantity, quality, and accessibility of the material and the demand for it.


§ 228.63 Removal under terms of a timber sale or other Forest Service contract.

In carrying out programs such as timber sales that involve construction and maintenance of various physical improvements, the Forest Service may specify that mineral materials be mined, manufactured, and/or processed for incorporation into the improvement. Where the mineral material is located on National Forest lands and is designated in the contract calling for its use, no permit is required as long as an operating plan as described in § 228.56 is required by the contract provisions. Title to any excavated material in excess of that needed to fulfill contract requirements revests in the United States without reimbursement to the contract holder or to agents or representatives of the contract holder. Such excess material may be disposed of under §§ 228.58, 228.59, or 228.62.


§ 228.64 Community sites and common-use areas.

(a) Designation. Nonexclusive disposals may be made from the same deposit or areas designated by the authorized officer; the designation of such an area and any reclamation requirements must be based on an environmental analysis.


(b) Pit plans. The Forest Service must prepare operating plans (§ 228.56) for the efficient removal of the material and for appropriate reclamation of community sites and common-use areas.


(c) Reclamation. The Forest Service is responsible for reclamation of community sites and common-use areas.


§ 228.65 Payment for sales.

(a) Conditions. Mineral materials may not be removed from the sale area until all conditions of payment in the contract have been met.


(b)