Working with the Forest Service

Document Sample
Working with the Forest Service Powered By Docstoc
					 Federal Land Transfer and
Land Uses on National Forests
Highway Right of Ways … A common Goal
Federal Land Transfer
   Federal/Federal agency action under Title 23,
    U.S.C. – Part 317 regulation
   No formal Forest Service Decision Memo or
    additional NEPA required for transfer
   Process used to acquire permanent ROW
   The Forest Service does not accept the use of
    Title 23, U.S.C. to authorize temporary ROWs,
    construction easements or short-term land
National MOU
   National Forest Service-FHWA MOU sets protocols
    for implementation of land transfer process. Use it as
    a reference.

                       Forest Service
              Federal Highway Administration

          Regarding the Appropriation and Transfer of
      National Forest System Lands for Highway Purposes
Highway Easement Deed Trivia

   Purpose: Construct, operate and maintain the
    transportation facility on NFS lands.
   FHWA issues the easement on behalf of the
    federal government, not the Forest Service.
   Instrument is termed a “USDOT easement.”
    State DOT holds easement on federal and state
Easement Deed
    Deed easement. Forest Service has ten conditions that
     are always included in the deed easement language.
1.    Outstanding valid claims, if any, existing on the date of this grant, and the Grantee shall obtain such
      permission as may be necessary on account of any such claims.

2.    The Grantee and the Regional Forester shall make determination as to the necessity for archeological
      and paleontological reconnaissance and salvage within the right-of-way, and such reconnaissance and
      salvage to the extent determined necessary because of construction of the highway facility, is to be
      undertaken by the Grantee in compliance with the acts entitled An Act for the Preservation of
      American Antiquities, approved June 8, 1906 (34 Stat. 225, 16 U.S.C. 432-433), the Archaeological
      Resources Protection Act of 1979 (93 Stat. 721, 16 U.S.C. 470aa-470ll), and State laws where

3.    5/ Unless the Grantee and Regional Forester stipulate as to a shorter time, the easement herein granted
      shall terminate ten (10) years from the date of the execution of this deed by the United States of
      America in the event construction of a highway on the right-of-way is not started during such ten-
23 U.S.C. – Part 317 (a)
a) If the Secretary determines that any part of the
lands or interests in lands owned by the United States
is reasonably necessary for the right-of-way of any
highway, or as a source of materials for the
construction or maintenance of any such highway
adjacent to such lands or interests in lands, the
Secretary shall file with the Secretary of the
Department supervising the administration of such
lands or interests in lands a map showing the portion
of such lands or interests in lands which it is desired to
23 USC 317 (b)
b) If within a period of four months after such filing, the
Secretary of such Department shall not have certified to
the Secretary that the proposed appropriation of such land
or material is contrary to the public interest or
inconsistent with the purposes for which such land or
materials have been reserved, or shall have agreed to the
appropriation and transfer under conditions which he
deems necessary for the adequate protection and
utilization of the reserve, then such land and materials may
be appropriated and transferred to the State transportation
department, or its nominee, for such purposes and subject
to the conditions so specified.
23 USC 317 (c) (d)
(c) If at any time the need for any such lands or
   materials for such purposes shall no longer exist,
   notice of the fact shall be given by the State
   transportation department to the Secretary and such
   lands or materials shall immediately revert to the
   control of the Secretary of the Department from which
   they had been appropriated. (d) The provisions of this
   section shall apply only to projects constructed on a
   Federal-aid system or under the provisions of chapter 2
   of this title.
Letter of Consent = Authorization
   Letter of Consent authorizes FHWA/DOT to enter on,
    construct, operate and maintain transportation facility
    on National Forest System lands within approved
    ROW. Easement deed recording follows construction.
   Forest Service must respond to application for LOC.
    Failure results in appropriation of land for ROW w/o
   Forest Service consent to the appropriation of NFS
    lands for transportation right-of-way purposes is
    conditioned on the following factors:
    –   Project is in public interest
    –   Consistent with land reservation (Forest Mgmt Plan).
    –   Provide Stipulations necessary for adequate protection/use.
Letter of Consent - Stipulations
   Ten national stipulations. Additional stipulations may
    be added locally depending on issues/concerns
    associated with the project.
    The State shall:
          1. Before any clearing of the right-of-way or construction of the highway
              a. Prepare, in cooperation with the Regional Forester, a fire protection
                 plan that sets forth in detail the fire prevention, presuppression, and
                 suppression measures that will be taken by the Grantee, its
                 employees, contractors, and subcontractors, and their employees in
                 all operations during the construction stage. The fire plan shall be
                 made available to all bidders prior to letting contract and the Grantee
                 shall cause its contractors to comply with all provisions of the fire
                 plan and of all burning permits issued for disposal of flammable
   Forest Service Delegation to Sign Letter of Consent
     Region           Affected States         LOC Signatory       Region Contact

        1             Montana, Idaho (north   Regional Forester     Terry Eganhoff
    (Northern)        of Salmon R)                                  (406) 329-3601
                      North Dakota

       2              Colorado, Nebraska      Regional Forester       Deb Ryon
(Rocky Mountain)      South Dakota,                                 (303) 275-5376
                      Wyoming (east of
                      continental divide)

       3              Arizona,                Forest Supervisor     Bob Suedkamp
 (Southwestern)       New Mexico                                    (505) 842-3445

        4             Wyoming (Bridger-       Forest Supervisor     John Shochat
 (Intermountain)      Teton NF), Nevada,                            (801) 625-5688
                      Utah, California
                      (Toiyabe NF), Idaho
                      (south of Salmon R)

          5           California, Hawaii      Regional Forester     Nancy Fleenor
(Pacific Southwest)                                                 (707) 562-8971

          6           Oregon, Washington      Regional Forester       Jim Davis
(Pacific Northwest)                                                 (503) 808-3045

        10            Alaska                  Regional Forester       Roger Birk
     (Alaska)                                                       (907) 586-8843
Corridor Letter of Consent
   Optional – can be used on long-term, multi-
    section „corridor‟ type transportation projects.
   Consent includes the proposed permanent
    ROW and the use of contiguous lands needed
    for construction (temporary areas).
   Corridor areas are temporary and must be
    included in the project NEPA and clearances.
Corridor Letter of Consent - Example
Corridor Letter of Consent - Example
Easement Deeds – Facts & Fiction
What is conveyed with ROW easement deed?
 - Use of national forest system lands for construction,
    operation and maintenance of transportation facilities.
  - Mineral materials are available “free” to DOT for public
    transportation projects, located inside or outside of the
    national forest, subject to the discretion of the Line
    Officer. Mineral material permit required outside ROW.
What is not conveyed with ROW easement deed?
  -   Fee title
  -   Federal minerals
  -   Merchantable timber
  -   Non-transportation uses (safe & incompatible with ROW)
Temporary Land Uses

   Short and long-term land use authorizations outside
    the ROW (maintenance facilities, material stockpiling,
    gravel sources, wetland mitigation sites, plant sites,
    etc.) normally require a Special Use Permit.
   Forest Service is lead agency for permit, NEPA and
   Include temporary use areas within transportation
    project footprint (NEPA) if possible.
Working with the Forest Service

   Involve the Forest Service early in the ROW process.
    Build a relationship.
   Many Forest Service staff have limited knowledge &
    experience with the Federal Land Transfer process.
   Help Forest Service staff to understand the process
    and their roles and responsibilities.
   Transportation projects are just one of many
    programs & workload commitments within the Forest
    Service. They are often viewed as an unfunded
    mandate. Be patient & get in line.

Shared By: