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e-CFR data is current as of October 26, 2020

Title 36Chapter IIPart 200 → Subpart B

Title 36: Parks, Forests, and Public Property

Subpart B—Functions and Procedures

§200.3   Forest Service functions.
§200.4   Administrative issuances.
§200.5   Indexes.
§200.6   Information available; inspection, copying, and charges.
§200.7   Request for records.
§200.8   Appeals.
§200.12   Land status and title records.

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§200.3   Forest Service functions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(C) Wildlife habitat and species are managed,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(iii) Forest products and engineering, and

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

[44 FR 37505, June 27, 1979]

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§200.4   Administrative issuances.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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§200.5   Indexes.

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

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

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

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

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

(c) Inspection and copying availability is as follows:

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

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

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

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

[62 FR 13540, Mar. 21, 1997]

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§200.7   Request for records.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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§200.8   Appeals.

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

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

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

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

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§200.12   Land status and title records.

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

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

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

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

(B) All encumbrances on National Forest System lands.

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

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

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

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

(A) Discrete title files of each landownership adjustment.

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

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

(D) Other information as deemed necessary.

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

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

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

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

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