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Title 36Chapter II → Part 222


Title 36: Parks, Forests, and Public Property


PART 222—RANGE MANAGEMENT


Contents

Subpart A—Grazing and Livestock Use on the National Forest System

§222.1   Authority and definitions.
§222.2   Management of the range environment.
§222.3   Issuance of grazing and livestock use permits.
§222.4   Changes in grazing permits.
§222.6   Compensation for permittees' interest in authorized permanent improvements.
§222.7   Cooperation in management.
§222.8   Cooperation in control of estray or unbranded livestock, animal diseases, noxious farm weeds, and use of pesticides.
§222.9   Range improvements.
§222.10   Range betterment fund.
§222.11   Grazing advisory boards.

Subpart B—Mediation of Term Grazing Permit Disputes

§222.20   Decisions subject to mediation.
§222.21   Parties.
§222.22   Stay of appeal.
§222.23   Confidentiality.
§222.24   Records.
§222.25   Costs.
§222.26   Ex parte communications.

Subpart C—Grazing Fees

§222.50   General procedures.
§222.51   National Forests in 16 Western States.
§222.52   National Grasslands.
§222.53   Grazing fees in the East—noncompetitive procedures.
§222.54   Grazing fees in the East—competitive bidding.

Subpart D—Management of Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros

§222.60   Authority and definitions.
§222.61   Administration of wild free-roaming horses and burros and their environment.
§222.62   Ownership claims.
§222.63   Removal of other horses and burros.
§222.64   Use of helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft and motor vehicles.
§222.65   Protection of wild free-roaming horses and burros when they are upon other than the National Forest System or public lands.
§222.66   Removal of wild free-roaming horses and burros from private lands.
§222.67   Maintenance of wild free-roaming horses and burros on privately-owned lands.
§222.68   Agreements.
§222.69   Relocation and disposal of animals.
§222.70   Disposal of carcasses.
§222.71   Loss of status.
§222.72   Use of non-Forest Service personnel.
§222.73   Management coordination.
§222.74   National Advisory Board.
§222.75   Studies.
§222.76   Arrest.

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).

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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.

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§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]

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§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]

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§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]

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§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]

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§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]

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§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.

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§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))

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§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.

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§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]

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§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]

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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.

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§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.

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§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.

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§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.

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§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.

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§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.

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§222.25   Costs.

The Forest Service shall cover only those costs incurred by its own employees in mediation sessions.

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§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.

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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).

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§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]

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§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]

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§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]

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§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]

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§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]

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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

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§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.

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§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.

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§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.

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§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]

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§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.

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§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.

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§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.

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§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.

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§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.

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§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]

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§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.

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§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).

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§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.

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§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.

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§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.

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§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.

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§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.

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