General Comments


Having fully considered the comments on the proposed rule received during the comment period, the Department is adopting this final rule with the modifications previously described in response to comments received. This rule is effective 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register.

Regulatory Impact

This final rule was received under USDA procedures and determined to be a significant rule under Executive Order 12866 on Regulatory Planning and Review because of the strong public interest expressed in the proposed rule. Accordingly, this final rule was subject to OMB review.

Moreover, this final rule has been considered in light of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). It has been determined that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because it will not impose recordkeeping requirements on them; it will not affect their competitive position in relation to large entities; and it will not affect their cash flow, liquidity, or ability to remain in the market.

This rule has been reviewed for its impact on private property rights under Executive Order 12630 of March 15, 1988, as implemented by the United States Attorney General's Guidelines for the Evaluation of Risk and Avoidance of Unanticipated Takings. Executive Order 12630 does not apply to this rule because it consists primarily of technical and administrative changes governing application procedures for authorization of occupancy and use of National Forest System lands. Application for a special use authorization does not grant any right, title, or interest in or to lands or resources held by the United States.

This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12778, Civil Justice Reform. After adoption of this final rule, (1) all state and local laws and regulations that conflict with this rule or that impede its full implementation will be preempted; (2) no retroactive effect will be given to this final rule; and (3) it will not require administrative proceedings before parties may file suite in court challenging its provisions.

Paperwork Reduction Act

The information an applicant must provide the Forest Service under Secs. 251.54 (e)(2)(i)(A) through (e)(2)(i)(E) to obtain an authorization for a noncommercial group use constitutes an information requirement as defined by the Paperwork Reduction Act and OMB implementing rules at 5 CFR part 1320 and thus requires OMB approval before adoption of the final rule. The Department has developed an application form for noncommercial group uses and is in the process of obtaining approval of this form from OMB. The Department will obtain approval of this form before using it in conjunction with this rule. The Department estimates that each applicant would spend an average of one to four hours preparing an application, depending on the scope and complexity of the proposed activity.

Environmental Impact

Section 31.1b of Forest Service Handbook 1909.15 (57 FR 43180, September 18, 1992) categorically excludes from documentation in an EA or an EIS ``rules, regulations, or policies to establish Service-wide administrative procedures, program processes or instructions.'' Based on consideration of the comments received and the nature and scope of this rulemaking, the Department has determined that this rule falls within this category of actions and that no extraordinary circumstances exist which would require preparation of an EA or an EIS.

List of Subjects

36 CFR Part 251

Electric power, Mineral resources, National forests, Rights-of-way, Water resources.

36 CFR Part 261
Law enforcement, National forests.


Listing of Comments

FS Regulation Page