The US Forest Service recently issued proposed directives to streamline procedures for evaluating applications to locate or modify communications facilities on National Forest System lands. The directives are part of the agency’s effort to augment the regulations it previously issued to implement the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. The new directives will be set out in Chapter 90 of Forest Service Handbook 2709.11.
In general, the proposed agency policy will revises existing policy to provide direction on a term for communications use authorizations of 30 years, unless case-specific circumstances warrant a shorter term. It will also provide new direction to establish responsibility for the tracking system for communications use applications. In addition, the policy will provide for a 30-day review period by holders of communications use authorizations of new or modified communications site management plans and implement procedures that would expedite requests to co-locate communications uses in or on existing communications facilities.
Comments are due by July 6, 2020.