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e-CFR data is current as of October 23, 2020

Title 36Chapter IIPart 223 → Subpart B


Title 36: Parks, Forests, and Public Property
PART 223—SALE AND DISPOSAL OF NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM TIMBER


Subpart B—Timber Sale Contracts


Contents

Contract Conditions and Provisions

§223.30   Consistency with plans, environmental standards, and other management requirements.
§223.31   Duration of contracts.
§223.32   Timber sale operating plan.
§223.33   Redetermination of stumpage rates and deposits.
§223.34   Advance payment.
§223.35   Performance bond.
§223.36   Volume determination.
§223.37   Revegetation of temporary roads.
§223.38   Standards for road design and construction.
§223.39   [Reserved]
§223.40   Cancellation for environmental protection or inconsistency with plans.
§223.41   Payment when purchaser elects government road construction.
§223.42   Transfer of effective purchaser credits.
§223.43   Limitation on amounts of transferred purchaser credit.
§223.44   Collection rights on contracts involved in transfer of purchase credit.
§223.45   Definitions applicable to transfer of purchaser credit.
§223.46   Adjustment of contract termination date.
§223.47   Date of completion of permanent road construction.
§223.48   Restrictions on export and substitution of unprocessed timber.
§223.49   Downpayments.
§223.50   Periodic payments.
§223.51   Bid monitoring.
§223.52   Market-related contract term additions.
§223.53   Urgent removal contract extensions.

Appraisal and Pricing

§223.60   Determining fair market value.
§223.61   Establishing minimum stumpage rates.
§223.62   Timber purchaser road construction credit.
§223.63   Advertised rates.
§223.64   Appraisal on a lump-sum value or rate per unit of measure basis.
§223.65   Appraisal of timber for land exchange; right-of-way, or other authorized use.
§223.66   [Reserved]

Advertisement and Bids

§223.80   When advertisement is required.
§223.81   Shorter advertising periods in emergencies.
§223.82   Contents of advertisement.
§223.83   Contents of prospectus.
§223.84   Small business bid form provisions on sales with specified road construction.
§223.85   Noncompetitive sale of timber.
§223.86   Bid restriction on resale of noncompleted contract.
§223.87   Requirements of bidders concerning exports.
§223.88   Bidding methods.
§223.89   Relation to other bidders.

Award of Contracts

§223.100   Award to highest bidder.
§223.101   Determination of purchaser responsibility.
§223.102   Procedures when sale is not awarded to highest bidder.
§223.103   Award of small business set-aside sales.

Contract Administration

§223.110   Delegation to regional forester.
§223.111   Administration of contracts in designated disaster areas.
§223.112   Modification of contracts.
§223.113   Modification of contracts to prevent environmental damage or to conform to forest plans.
§223.114   Acquisition by third party.
§223.115   Contract extensions.
§223.116   Cancellation.
§223.117   Administration of cooperative or Federal sustained yield units.
§223.118   Appeal process for small business timber sale set-aside program share recomputation decisions.

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Contract Conditions and Provisions

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§223.30   Consistency with plans, environmental standards, and other management requirements.

The approving officer will insure that each timber sale contract, permit or other authorized form of National Forest timber disposal is consistent with applicable land and resource management plans and environmental quality standards and includes, as appropriate, requirements for:

(a) Fire protection and suppression;

(b) Protection of residual timber;

(c) Regeneration of timber as may be made necessary by harvesting operations;

(d) Minimizing increases in soil erosion;

(e) Providing favorable conditions of water flow and quality;

(f) Utilization of the timber resource to provide for the optimum practical use of the wood material as may be obtained with available technology, considering opportunities to promote more efficient wood utilization, regional conditions and species characteristics;

(g) Reduction of the likelihood of loss to destructive agencies; and

(h) Minimizing adverse effects on, or providing protection for and enhancing other National Forest resources, uses and improvements.

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§223.31   Duration of contracts.

Sale contracts shall not exceed 10 years in duration, unless there is a finding by the Chief, Forest Service, that better utilization of the various forest resources (consistent with the provisions of the Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act of 1960) will result.

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§223.32   Timber sale operating plan.

Sale contracts with a term of 2 years or more shall provide for the filing of an operating plan as soon as practicable after execution of the contract, such plan shall be a part of the contract. The plan of operation shall be general in nature, outlining the expected timing and order of sale development, including such major operations as road construction, felling and removal of timber, distribution of timber, and contractual requirements for erosion prevention and slash disposal. The plan of operation and revisions thereto shall be subject to concurrence by the Forest Service.

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§223.33   Redetermination of stumpage rates and deposits.

Sale contracts exceeding 7 years in duration, and those of shorter duration to the extent found desirable by the approving officer, will provide for the redetermination of rates for stumpage and for required deposits at intervals of not more than 5 years, exclusive of any period allowed for the construction of improvements.

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§223.34   Advance payment.

Sale contracts shall provide that timber and forest products be paid for in advance of cutting, unless the contract authorizes the purchaser to furnish a payment guarantee satisfactory to the Forest Service. Advance payments found to be in excess of amounts due the United States shall be refunded to the current holder of the contract or to successors in interest. (90 Stat. 2959; 16 U.S.C. 472a.)

[43 FR 38008, Aug. 25, 1978. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984]

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§223.35   Performance bond.

Timber sale contracts may require the purchaser to furnish a performance bond for satisfactory compliance with its terms.

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§223.36   Volume determination.

(a) Timber sale contracts may provide for volume determination by scaling, measuring, weighing, or counting the logs or other products, or by measuring the trees before cutting. If the contract or permit provides for the determination of volume by tree measurement and the timber has been paid for, the marking or otherwise designating of the tree authorizes cutting and removal. Otherwise no timber cut under any contract shall be removed from the place designated until it has been scaled, measured or counted as provided in the timber sale contract, unless such removal is specifically authorized in the contract.

(b) National Forest timber sold on board foot scale shall be scaled by the Scribner Decimal C Log Rule, or if the advertisement and contract or permit so state, by the International 14 -inch log rule or by the International 14 -inch Decimal log rule. National Forest timber may also be sold by the cubic volume rule or by cords, each as used by the Forest Service.

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§223.37   Revegetation of temporary roads.

Timber sale contracts, permits and other documents authorizing the cutting or removal of timber or forest products shall require the purchaser to treat temporary roads constructed or used thereunder so as to permit the reestablishment by artificial or natural means, or vegetative cover on the roadway and areas where the vegetative cover was disturbed by the construction or use of the road, as necessary to minimize erosion from the disturbed area. Such treatment shall be designed to reestablish vegetative cover as soon as practicable, but at least within 10 years after the termination of the contract.

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§223.38   Standards for road design and construction.

Road construction authorized under timber sale contracts, permits and other documents authorizing the cutting or removal of timber or forest products shall be designed to standards appropriate for the intended uses, considering safety, cost of transportation, and impacts on land and resources. If the sale contract provides for road design standards in excess of those needed for the harvest and removal of timber from that sale, including measures to protect adjacent resource values, provision shall be made in the contract for compensating the purchaser for the additional costs, unless the purchaser elects Government construction under section 14(i) of the National Forest Management Act of 1976.

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§223.39   [Reserved]

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§223.40   Cancellation for environmental protection or inconsistency with plans.

Timber sale contracts, permits, and other such instruments, authorizing the harvesting of trees or other forest products, with terms of longer than 2 years, shall provide for cancellation in order to prevent serious environmental damage or when they are significantly inconsistent with land management plans adopted or revised in accordance with section 6 of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974, as amended. Such provision shall provide for reasonable compensation to the purchaser for unrecovered costs incurred under the contract and for the difference between the current contract value and the average value of comparable National Forest timber sold during the preceding 6-month period.

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§223.41   Payment when purchaser elects government road construction.

Each contract having a provision for construction of specified roads with total estimated construction costs of $50,000 or more shall include a provision to ensure that if the purchaser elects government road construction, the purchaser shall pay, in addition to the price paid for the timber or other forest products, an amount equal to the estimated cost of the roads.

[71 FR 11510, Mar. 8, 2006]

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§223.42   Transfer of effective purchaser credits.

The Forest Service may permit transfer of unused effective purchaser credit earned after December 16, 1975, from one timber sale account to another timber sale account of the same purchaser within the same National Forest, provided the sale contracts provide procedures for the use of purchaser credit. Approval for transfer shall not be granted for amounts needed to satisfy unfulfilled payment obligations or claims for damages due the United States. Purchaser credit transferred under this paragraph is subject to such additional restrictions as may be necessary for its orderly use.

(Pub. L. 94-154, 89 Stat. 823 (16 U.S.C. 535)

[42 FR 63777, Dec. 20, 1977. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984]

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§223.43   Limitation on amounts of transferred purchaser credit.

(a) The amount of purchaser credit which may be transferred into a given sale shall be limited to the difference between remaining current contract value and the total of:

(1) Remaining base rate value needs,

(2) Salvage sale fund needs plus sale area improvement needs in excess of base rate value needs, and

(3) Total purchaser credit limit on the given sale.

(b) This calculation shall be made as of the date of sale award for sales made on or after January 1, 1978. For sales made prior to January 1, 1978, the calculation shall be made as of December 31, 1977, except that if the amount actually transferred in as of December 31, 1977, exceeds the calculated limit, the actual transfers as of that date shall be the established limit. Purchaser credit earned on a sale and subsequently transferred out may be replaced without regard to the transfer in limit. Sale area improvement needs shall be based on the original sale area betterment plan or revisions thereto approved prior to July 1, 1976. Salvage sale fund needs shall be based on the original salvage sale fund plan.

(Pub. L. 94-154, 89 Stat. 823 (16 U.S.C. 535)

[42 FR 63777, Dec. 20, 1977. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984]

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§223.44   Collection rights on contracts involved in transfer of purchase credit.

To assure protection of the United States in connection with the implementation of this regulation, contract provisions shall not prevent the Forest Service from carrying out collection rights, authorized by the Federal Claims Collection Act of 1966 (80 Stat. 309), between contracts involved in the transfer of purchaser credit. Such claims against the contract receiving the transferred purchaser credit shall be limited to the amount transferred.

(Pub. L. 94-154, 89 Stat. 823 (16 U.S.C. 535)

[42 FR 63777, Dec. 20, 1977. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984]

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§223.45   Definitions applicable to transfer of purchaser credit.

As used in §§223.42 and 223.43, the term Purchaser includes any single individual, corporation, company, firm, partnership, joint venture, or other business entity or the successor in interest of any of the foregoing business entities having timber sale contracts on the same National Forest. The term National Forest shall be considered as a unit of the National Forest System, regardless of how it was established, which maintains a separate identity with respect to the distribution of receipts earned thereon to the States and counties. The term Effective Purchaser Credit means unused purchaser credit which does not exceed current contract value minus base rate value. The term base rate value is the sum of the products of base rates and estimated remaining unscaled (unreported on tree measurement contracts) volumes by species of timber included in a timber sale contract.

(Pub. L. 94-154, 89 Stat. 823 (16 U.S.C. 535)

[42 FR 63777, Dec. 20, 1977. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984]

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§223.46   Adjustment of contract termination date.

Timber sale contracts may provide for adjustment of the termination date to provide additional time to compensate for delays in road construction and timber removal due to those causes beyond the purchaser's control, which may include but are not limited to acts of God, acts of the public enemy, acts of the Government, labor disputes, fires, insurrections or floods.

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§223.47   Date of completion of permanent road construction.

(a) The date of completion of permanent road construction obligations as set forth in the Notice of Sale shall be incorporated into the timber sale contract.

(b) This date is applicable to construction by both the Forest Service and the timber purchaser.

(c) The date is not applicable to roads not needed by the purchaser for timber removal.

(d) The date for completion may be revised, if additional time is needed, under guidelines provided by the Chief, Forest Service, including but not limited to (1) default of contractors or (2) design changes, physical changes, or catastrophic damages which necessitate modification of specified road construction work.

(e) If Forest Service failure to perform results in delay in road completion, the termination date shall be adjusted in accordance with the contract term adjustment provisions of the timber sale contract. If there is substantial delay in performance by the Forest Service, the contract shall provide that rates of payment may be redetermined, at the request of the purchaser, in accordance with guidelines established by the Chief, Forest Service.

(f) If the purchaser retains responsibility for road construction, the date of completion for permanent roads may be modified to conform to the approved plan of operation.

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§223.48   Restrictions on export and substitution of unprocessed timber.

(a) Contracts for the sale of unprocessed timber from National Forest System lands located west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States and Alaska, awarded before August 20, 1990, shall include provisions implementing the Secretary's timber export and substitution regulations at subpart D of this part in effect prior to that data. Such contracts shall also require purchasers to:

(1) Submit annually, until all unprocessed timber is accounted for, a certified report on the disposition of any unprocessed timber harvested from the sale including a description of unprocessed timber which is sold, exchanged or otherwise disposed of to another person and a description of the relationship with the other person;

(2) Submit annually, until all unprocessed timber from the sale is accounted for, a certified report on the sale of any unprocessed timber from private lands in the tributary area which is exported or sold for export; and

(3) Maintain records of all such transactions involving unprocessed timber and to make such records available for inspection and verification by the Forest Service for up to three (3) years after the sale is terminated.

(b) Contracts for the sale of unprocessed timber from National Forest System lands located west of the 100th meridian in the contiguous 48 States, awarded on or after August 20, 1990, shall include provisions implementing the requirements of the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 620 et seq.).

(c) The reporting and recordkeeping procedures in this section constitute information collection requirements as defined in 5 CFR part 1320. These requirements have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget and assigned clearance number 0596-0021.

[56 FR 65842, Dec. 19, 1991]

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§223.49   Downpayments.

(a) For the purposes of this section, the terms listed in this paragraph shall have the following meaning:

(1) Total bid value is the sum of the products obtained by multiplying the rate the purchaser bid for each species by the estimated volume listed in the contract.

(2) Bid premium is the amount in excess of the advertised value that a purchaser bids for timber offered.

(3) Lump sum timber sales are premeasured sales where the entire value of the sale is paid in one payment at time of release for cutting.

(4) Affiliate. Concerns or individuals are affiliates if directly or indirectly, either one controls or has the power to control the other, or a third party controls or has the power to control both. In determining whether or not affiliation exists, the Forest Service shall consider all appropriate factors, including, but not limited to, common ownership, common management, and contractual relationships.

(b) Timber sale contracts shall include provisions that require purchasers to make a downpayment in cash at the time a timber sale contract is executed, except that a downpayment is not required for stewardship contracts unless the contracting officer determines that a downpayment is needed to ensure the government's financial security.

(c) The minimum downpayment shall be equivalent to 10 percent of the total advertised value of each sale, plus 20 percent of the bid premium, except in those geographic areas where the Chief of the Forest Service determines that it is necessary to increase the amount of the downpayment in order to deter speculation. The amount of the downpayment shall be redetermined when contract rates for timber are redetermined under the terms of the contract for environmental modification; catastrophic damage; market change; or an emergency rate redetermination. For the purpose of recalculating the minimum downpayment, total advertised value shall be replaced with total redetermined value.

(d) A purchaser cannot apply the amount deposited as a downpayment to cover other obligations due on that sale until:

(1) On scaled sales, stumpage value representing 25 percent of the total bid value of the sale has been charged and paid for, or the estimated value of unscaled timber is equal to or less than the amount of the downpayment; or

(2) On tree measurement sales, stumpage value representing 25 percent of the total bid value of the sale is shown on the timber sale statement of account to have been cut, removed, and paid for, or the estimated value of timber remaining to be cut, removed and paid for as shown on the timber sale statement of account is equal to or less than the amount of the downpayment. On lump sum sales, the downpayment amount may be applied to payment for release of the single payment unit.

(e) A purchaser or any affiliate of that purchaser awarded a Forest Service timber sale contract must meet the additional downpayment requirements of paragraph (g) of this section under the following circumstances:

(1) The purchaser or its affiliate after September 29, 1988, has failed to perform in accordance with the terms of a Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management timber sale contract and is notified by a Contracting Officer that a contract has expired uncompleted or is terminated for cause; and

(2) The estimated value of the unscaled timber on scaled sales, or the estimated value of the timber outstanding on tree measurement sales, included in those terminated or expired contracts exceeds $100,000; and

(3) Unpaid damages claimed by the Government remain outstanding prior to award of the new sale at issue and corrective action has not been taken to avoid future deficient performance.

(f) A subsequent final determination by the Contracting Officer or by a court of competent jurisdiction that a contract was improperly classified under the criteria in paragraph (e) of this section will result in the refund or credit of any unobligated portion of the amount of downpayment exceeding that required by paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section and the limitations of paragraph (h) of this section on application of downpayment shall no longer apply.

(g) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, a purchaser meeting the criteria of paragraph (e) of this section must make a minimum downpayment equal to 20 percent of the total advertised value of that sale, plus 40 percent of the total bid premium. This higher downpayment requirement applies throughout the National Forest System, except in those areas where the Chief of the Forest Service determines, before advertisement of the sale, that another downpayment rate is necessary to achieve the management objectives of the National Forest System. The amount of the downpayment shall be redetermined in accordance with this paragraph when contract rates for timber are redetermined under the terms of the contract for environmental modification; catastrophic damage; market change; or an emergency rate redetermination. For the purpose of redetermining the downpayment, total advertised value shall be replaced with total redetermined value.

(h) A purchaser subject to the additional downpayment requirements of paragraph (g) of this section cannot apply the amount deposited as a downpayment to other uses until:

(1) On scaled sales, the estimated value of the unscaled timber is equal to or less than the amount of the downpayment; or

(2) On tree measurement sales, the estimated value remaining to be cut and removed as shown on the timber sale statement of account is equal to or less than the amount of the downpayment.

(i) For the purpose of releasing funds deposited as downpayment by a purchaser subject to paragraph (f) of this section, the Forest Service shall compute the estimated value of timber as follows:

(1) On scaled sales, the estimated value of the unscaled timber is the sum of the products obtained by multiplying the current contract rate for each species by the difference between the advertised volume and the volume that has been scaled of that species.

(2) On tree measurement sales, the estimated value of the timber outstanding (i.e., not shown on the timber sale statement of account as cut and removed) is the sum of the products obtained by multiplying the current contract rate for each species by the difference between the advertised volume and the volume that has been shown on the timber sale statement to have been cut and removed of the species. The current contract rate for each species is that specified in the Forest Service timber sale contract.

(j) In order to deter speculation, the Chief of the Forest Service may increase the period for retention of the downpayment and/or preclude temporary reduction of the downpayment under paragraphs (k)(2) and (k)(3) of this section for future contracts subject to such criteria as the Chief may adopt after giving the public notice and opportunity to comment.

(k) The Forest Service may temporarily reduce the downpayment when a purchaser's scheduled operations are delayed, interrupted, or extended for 30 or more consecutive days for any of the following reasons:

(1) Forest Service requests or orders purchaser to delay or interrupt operations for reasons other than breach;

(2) A contract term addition pursuant to purchaser shifting operations to a sale designated by the Forest Service as in urgent need of harvesting; or

(3) An extension of the contract term authorized upon a determination of substantial overriding public interest, including a market-related contract term addition, or an urgent removal contract term extension under 36 CFR 223.53.

(l) When purchaser is not cutting or removing timber under contract during a qualifying period of delay, interruption, or extension listed in paragraph (k) of this section, the downpayment may be reduced to $1000 or 2 percent of the downpayment amount stated in the contract, whichever is greater. The purchaser must restore the downpayment to the full amount stated in the contract within 15 days from receipt of the bill for collection and written notice from the contracting officer that the basis for temporarily reducing the downpayment no longer exists. Purchaser shall not cut or remove timber on a contract where the downpayment has been temporarily reduced until the downpayment amount stated in the contract is fully restored.

[74 FR 40743, Aug. 13, 2009]

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§223.50   Periodic payments.

(a) For the purposes of this section, the following terms have the meaning given:

(1) Total contract value is the product of the estimated volume of the sale multiplied by the rates bid by the purchaser. Total contract value excludes required deposits and is determined at bid date.

(2) Current contract value is the sum of the products of the current contract rates and, in a scaled sale, estimated remaining unscaled volume or, in a tree measurement sale, the estimated remaining quantities by species of included timber meeting utilization standards.

(3) Normal operating season is the period so specified in a timber sale contract.

(4) Periodic payment(s) is/are amount(s) specified in a timber sale contract that a purchaser must pay by the periodic payment determination date(s) unless reduced by amounts paid as stumpage for volume removed.

(5) A periodic payment determination date is a date specified in a timber sale contract upon which the Forest Service will compare the payments made by the timber sale purchaser for timber charges (stumpage), exclusive of required deposits, with the periodic payment amount required as of that date in the contract.

(b) Except for lump sum sales, each timber sale contract of more than one full normal operating season shall provide for periodic payments. The number of periodic payments required will be dependent upon the number of normal operating seasons within the contract, but shall not exceed two such payments during the course of the contract. Periodic payments must be made by the periodic payment determination date, except that the amount of the periodic payment shall be reduced to the extent that timber has been removed and paid for by the periodic payment determination date. Should the payment fall due on a date other than normal billing dates, the contract shall provide that the payment date will be extended to coincide with the next timber sale statement of account billing date.

(1) At a minimum, each such contract shall require an initial periodic payment at the midpoint between the specified road completion date and the termination date. If there is no road construction requirement, payment shall be due at the midpoint between award date and the termination date.

(2) Contracts exceeding 2 full operating seasons shall require an additional periodic payment to be due no later than the midpoint of the last normal operating season or 12 months from the initial periodic payment whichever date is first.

(3) Notwithstanding this paragraph (b), periodic payments are not required for stewardship contracts unless the contracting officer determines that periodic payments are needed to ensure the Government's financial security.

(c) Each timber sale contract shall require the initial periodic payment to equal 35 percent of the total contract value or 50 percent of the bid premium, whichever is greater. The amount of this periodic payment will be reduced if the payment would result in the purchaser's credit balance for timber charges exceeding the current contract value.

(d) Where an additional periodic payment is required by the timber sale contract, this payment will equal 75 percent of the total contract value. The amount of this periodic payment will be reduced if the payment would result in the purchaser's credit balance for timber charges exceeding the current contract value.

(e) Dates for determining future periodic payments shall be adjusted as follows:

(1) When contract term adjustments are granted under §223.46,

(2) When market-related contract term additions are granted under §223.52,

(3) When urgent removal extensions are granted under §223.53, or

(4) When extensions in the substantial overriding public interest are granted under §223.115(b). Periodic payment determination dates shall not be adjusted when a contract term extension is granted under the general authority of §223.115(a).

(f) The amount of any periodic payment(s) not yet reached shall be revised when rates are redetermined under the contract. The revised periodic payment amounts shall be based on a recalculated total contract value using the same procedures described in (c) and (d) of this section. The recalculated total contract value is the current contract value following the rate redetermination plus:

(1) The total value of timber scaled prior to establishing redetermined rates in a scaled sale; or

(2) The total value of timber shown on the timber sale statement of account as having been cut, removed and paid for.

[56 FR 36104, July 31, 1991, as amended at 56 FR 55822, Oct. 30, 1991; 67 FR 70169, Nov. 21, 2002; 74 FR 40744, Aug. 13, 2009]

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§223.51   Bid monitoring.

Each Regional Forester shall monitor bidding patterns on timber sales to determine if speculative bidding is occurring or if Purchasers are bidding in such a way that they would be unable to perform their obligations under the timber sale contract. A Regional Forester shall propose to the Chief changes in service wide timber sale procedures, as they appear necessary, to discourage speculative bidding.

[50 FR 41500, Oct. 11, 1985]

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§223.52   Market-related contract term additions.

(a) Contract provision. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, each timber sale contract exceeding 1 year in length shall contain a provision for the addition of time to the contract term, under the following conditions:

(i) The Chief of the Forest Service has determined that adverse wood products market conditions have resulted in a drastic reduction in wood product prices applicable to the sale; and

(ii) The purchaser makes a written request for additional time to perform the contract.

(2) The contract term addition provision of the contract must specify the index to be applied to each sale. The Forest Supervisor shall determine and select from paragraph (b) of this section, the index to be used for each sale based on the species and product characteristics, by volume, being harvested on the sale. The index specified shall represent more than one-half of the advertised volume. If none of the indices in paragraph (b) of this section represent more than one-half of the advertised volume, the index specified shall represent the species product combination representing the highest percentage of volume for which there is an index. When the Forest Supervisor determines that the species and potential product characteristics are such that more than one index could be used, the prospectus will state that the Contracting Officer may, upon the purchaser's written request, select an alternative index from paragraph (b) of this section, and may modify the contract by mutual agreement, at time of contract execution, to include an alternative index that the Contracting Officer has determined represents the highest percentage of products the purchaser intends to produce or have produced from the sale. Purchasers seeking a change of index at time of award must substantiate the need for an alternative index by providing the Contracting Officer with a written request that includes a list of products by volume the purchaser intends to produce or expects will be produced from the timber on that sale. In the event a mutual agreement to modify a contract to include an alternative index is not reached at time of contract execution, the index specified in the sample contract shall apply.

(3) A market-related contract term addition provision shall not be included in contracts where the primary management objective requires prompt removal of the timber, such as, timber is subject to rapid deterioration, timber is in a wildland-urban interface area, or hazard trees adjacent to developed sites.

(b) Determination of drastic wood product price reductions. (1) The Forest Service shall monitor and use Producer Price Indices, as prepared by the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), adjusted to a constant dollar base, to determine if market-related contract term additions are warranted.

(i) The Forest Service shall monitor and use only the following indices:

BLS producer price index Index
series
Index code
Hardwood LumberCommodity0812
Softwood LumberCommodity0811
Wood ChipsIndustry3211135

(ii) Preliminary index values will be revised when final index values become available, however, determination of a qualifying quarter will not be revised when final index values become available.

(2) For PPI index codes 0811 and 0812, the Chief of the Forest Service shall determine that a drastic reduction in wood prices has occurred when, for any 2 or more consecutive qualifying quarters, the applicable adjusted price index is less than 88.5 percent of the average of such index for the 4 highest of the 8 calendar quarters immediately prior to the qualifying quarter. A qualifying quarter is a quarter, following the contract award date, where the applicable adjusted index is more than 11.5 percent below the average of such index for the 4 highest of the previous 8 calendar quarters. For PPI index code 3211135, the Chief of the Forest Service shall determine that a drastic reduction in wood prices has occurred when, for any 2 or more consecutive qualifying quarters, the adjusted price index is less than 85 percent of the average of such index for the 4 highest of the 8 calendar quarters immediately prior to the qualifying quarter. A qualifying quarter is a quarter, following the contract award date, where the adjusted index is more than 15 percent below the average of such index for the 4 highest of the previous eight calendar quarters. Qualifying quarter determinations will be made using the Producer Price Indices for the months of March, June, September, and December.

(3) A determination, made pursuant to paragraph (b)(2) of this section, that a drastic reduction in wood product prices has occurred, shall constitute a finding that the substantial overriding public interest justifies the contract term addition.

(c) Granting market-related contract term additions. When the Chief of the Forest Service determines, pursuant to this section, that a drastic reduction in wood product prices has occurred, the Forest Service is to notify affected timber sale purchasers. For any contract which has been awarded and has not been terminated, the Forest Service, upon a purchaser's written request, will add 1 year to the contract's terms, except as provided in paragraphs (c)(1) through (4) of this section. This 1-year addition includes time outside of the normal operating season.

(1) Additional contract time may not be granted for those portions of the contract:

(i) With a required completion date;

(ii) Where the Forest Service determines that the timber is in need of urgent removal;

(iii) Where timber deterioration or resource damage may result from delay; or

(iv) Where included timber is designated by diameter and delay may change the treatment as a result of trees growing into or out of the specified diameter range(s).

(2) For each additional consecutive quarter in which a contract qualifies for market-related contract term addition, the Forest Service will, upon the purchaser's written request, add an additional 3 months during the normal operating season to the contract, except that no single 3-month addition shall extend the term of a contract by more than 1 year.

(3) No more than 3 years shall be added to a contract's term by market-related contract term addition unless the following conditions are met:

(i) The sale was awarded after December 31, 2006;

(ii) A drastic reduction in wood product prices occurred in at least ten of twelve consecutive quarters during the contract term, but not including the quarter in which the contract was awarded; and

(4) For each qualifying quarter meeting the criteria in paragraph (c)(3)(ii) of this section, the Forest Service will, upon the purchaser's written request, add an additional 3 months during the normal operating season to the contract, except no single 3-month addition shall extend the term of a contract by more than 1 year.

(5) In no event shall a revised contract term exceed 10 years as a result of market-related contract term addition.

(d) Recalculation of periodic payments. Where a contract is lengthened as a result of market conditions, any subsequent periodic payment dates shall be delayed 1 month for each month added to the contract's term.

[63 FR 24114, May 1, 1998, as amended at 70 FR 37269, June 29, 2005; 71 FR 3411, Jan. 23, 2006; 73 FR 65551, Nov. 4, 2008]

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§223.53   Urgent removal contract extensions.

(a) Finding. There is substantial, overriding public interest in extending National Forest System timber sale contracts for undamaged (green) timber not requiring expeditious removal in order to facilitate the rapid harvest of catastrophically damaged timber requiring expeditious removal on private or other non-National Forest System lands. Such an extension may be granted when a specific catastrophic event beyond the control of the landowner occurs on non-National Forest System lands that poses a threat to general forest health, public safety, and property. Catastrophic events include, but are not limited to, severe wildfire, wind, floods, insects and disease infestation, and drought.

(b) Regional Forester determination. If the Regional Forester determines that adequate cause for urgent removal extensions exists, Contracting Officers may extend National Forest System timber sale contracts, up to a maximum of 1 year, for the estimated amount of time required to harvest and process the damaged timber on non-National Forest System lands. Contracting Officers may grant urgent removal extensions only when the Regional Forester verifies in writing that:

(1) A specific catastrophe occurred for which urgent removal extensions should be granted;

(2) The manufacturing facilities or logging equipment capacity available to purchasers are insufficient to provide for both the rapid harvest of damaged non-National Forest System timber in need of expeditious removal and the continued harvest of undamaged (green) timber under contract with the Forest Service; and

(3) Failure to harvest the damaged non-National Forest System timber promptly could result in the following:

(i) Pose a threat to public safety,

(ii) Create a threat of an insect or disease epidemic to National Forest System or other lands or resources, or

(iii) Significant private or other public resource loss.

(c) Purchaser request. To obtain an urgent removal extension on a National Forest System timber sale contract, a purchaser must make a written request to the Contracting Officer, which includes the following:

(1) An explanation of why the harvest of undamaged (green) National Forest System timber within the term of the existing National Forest System contract(s) will prevent or otherwise impede the removal of damaged non-National Forest System timber in need of expeditious removal; and

(2) Documentation that the manufacturing facilities or logging equipment capacity available to a purchaser would be insufficient to provide for both the rapid salvage of damaged non-National Forest System timber in need of expeditious removal and continued harvest of undamaged (green) National Forest System timber under contract with the Forest Service.

(d) Contracting Officer determination. To grant an urgent removal extension, the timber sale Contracting Officer must verify the following:

(1) That it is likely that the undamaged (green) timber from National Forest System land would be delivered to the same manufacturing facilities as are needed to process the damaged non-National Forest System timber or the National Forest System timber sale contract would require the use of the same logging equipment as is needed to remove the damaged non-National Forest System timber from the area affected by the catastrophe;

(2) That extension of the National Forest System contract will not be injurious to the United States and will protect, to the extent possible, the health of the National Forest System lands, including:

(i) That urgent removal extension does not adversely affect other resource management objectives to be implemented by the National Forest System timber sale being extended; and

(ii) That the National Forest System timber sale contract to be extended is not a sale containing damaged, dead, or dying timber subject to rapid deterioration.

(3) That the purchaser has not been granted a previous urgent removal extension on the same National Forest System timber sale contract based on the current catastrophic event. Subsequent urgent removal extensions may be granted if there are subsequent Regional Forester determinations on other catastrophic events.

(4) That the revised National Forest System timber sale contract term will not exceed 10 years from the date the National Forest System contract was awarded; and

(5) That the purchaser is not in breach of the National Forest System contract, and all work items, payments, and deposits are current.

(e) Execution of contract extension. An urgent removal extension of a National Forest System timber sale contract is executed through a mutual agreement contract modification pursuant to §223.112, which must include specific contract provisions. An agreement to modify a contract must identify the specific provision(s) of the contract being modified and must include the requirement that purchasers make cash payment to cover the costs of remarking timber on the sale area or reestablishing cutting unit boundaries if the Contracting Officer determines such work is necessary.

(f) Information collection. The information required of a purchaser to request an extension of an National Forest System timber sale contract, as outlined in paragraph (c) of this section, to facilitate expeditious removal of timber from non-National Forest System lands constitutes an information collection requirement as defined in 5 CFR Part 1320 and has been assigned Office of Management and Budget control number 0596-0167.

[67 FR 70169, Nov. 21, 2002, as amended at 69 FR 33, Jan. 2, 2004]

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Appraisal and Pricing

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§223.60   Determining fair market value.

The objective of Forest Service timber appraisals is to determine fair market value. Fair market value is estimated by such methods as are authorized by the Chief, Forest Service, through issuance of agency directives (36 CFR 200.4). Valid methods to determine fair market value include, but are not limited to, transaction evidence appraisals, analytical appraisals, comparison appraisals, and independent estimates based on average investments. Pertinent factors affecting market value also considered include, but are not limited to, prices paid and valuations established for comparable timber, selling value of products produced, estimated operating costs, operating difficulties, and quality of timber. Considerations and valuations may recognize and adjust for factors which are not normal market influences.

[61 FR 5685, Feb. 14, 1996]

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§223.61   Establishing minimum stumpage rates.

The Chief, Forest Service, shall establish minimum stumpage rates, i.e., “base rates,” for species and products on individual National Forests, or groups of National Forests. Timber shall be sold for appraised value or minimum stumpage rates, whichever is higher. No timber may be sold or cut under timber sale contracts for less than minimum stumpage rates except to provide for the removal of insect-infested, diseased, dead or distressed timber or in accordance with contract provisions specifically providing for catastrophically-affected timber and incidental amounts of material not meeting utilization standards of the timber sale contract. For any timber sale offering where deposits are to be required for reforestation under the Act of June 9, 1930, as amended (46 Stat. 527; 16 U.S.C. 576-576b) which exceed the value of the established minimum stumpage rates, the minimum rates may be increased by the approving officer as necessary to the amount of such required reforestation deposits and a minimum deposit to the Treasury. Minimum rates in timber sale contracts will not be set higher than established minimum rates for purposes other than assuring adequate funds for reforestation.

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§223.62   Timber purchaser road construction credit.

Appraisal may also establish stumpage value as if unconstructed roads or other developments needed by the purchaser for removal of the timber were in place. When timber is appraised and sold on such basis, purchaser credit for road construction, not to exceed the estimated construction cost of such roads or other developments specified in the timber sale contract, shall, when such construction is accomplished by purchaser, be deducted from stumpage payments made by or due from purchaser under the timber sale contract for other than minimum stumpage rates and required deposits for slash disposal and road maintenance. As used in this section estimated construction costs means the total cost of constructing all permanent roads specified in the timber sale contract, estimated as if construction is to be accomplished by an independent contractor who is not the timber purchaser. In determining the purchaser credit amount applicable against timber payments, the estimated construction cost may be reduced for the effect of differences in applicable wage rates.

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§223.63   Advertised rates.

Timber shall be advertised for sale at its appraised value. The road construction cost used to develop appraised value means the total estimated cost of constructing all permanent roads specified in the timber sale contract, estimated as if construction is to be accomplished by the timber purchaser. The advertised rates shall be not less than minimum stumpage rates, except that sales of insect-infested, diseased, dead, or distressed timber may be sold at less than minimum rates when harvest of such timber is necessary to protect or improve the forest or prevent waste of usable wood fiber.

[71 FR 11510, Mar. 8, 2006]

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§223.64   Appraisal on a lump-sum value or rate per unit of measure basis.

Timber may be appraised and sold at a lump-sum value or at a rate per unit of measure which rate may be adjusted during the period of the contract and as therein specified in accordance with formulas or other equivalent specifications for the following reasons:

(a) Variations in lumber or other product value indices between the price index base specified in the contract and the price index actually experienced during the cutting of the timber;

(b) Variance between advertised rates and rates redetermined by appraisal at dates specified in the contract;

(c) Variance between redetermined rates and rates appropriate for changes in costs or selling values subsequent to the rate redetermination which reduce conversion value to less than such redetermined rates; and

(d) Substantial loss of value due to physical deterioration of green timber or other physical damage to the sale area or access to the timber.

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§223.65   Appraisal of timber for land exchange; right-of-way, or other authorized use.

The value of timber in land exchange or the value of timber required to be cut for occupancy of a right-of-way or other authorized use of National Forest System land for which payment will be made is to be determined by the appraisal methods in §223.60 of this part.

[61 FR 48625, Sept. 16, 1996]

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§223.66   [Reserved]

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Advertisement and Bids

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§223.80   When advertisement is required.

Except as otherwise provided in this part each sale in which the appraised value of the timber or other forest products exceeds $10,000 will be made only after advertisement for a period of 30 days or, if in the opinion of the officer authorizing the sale, the quantity, value or other conditions justify, a longer period; and any sale of smaller appraised value will be advertised or informal bids solicited from potential purchasers if, in the judgment of the officer authorizing the sale, such action is deemed advisable.

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§223.81   Shorter advertising periods in emergencies.

In emergency situations where prompt removal of timber included in a sale is essential to avoid deterioration or to minimize the likelihood of the spread of insects, the approving officer may authorize shortening the formal advertising period to not less than 7 days. In other emergency situations, or for timber sold under 36 CFR 223.2 the Regional Forester or Chief may authorize shortening the formal advertising period to not less than 7 days.

[44 FR 73029, Dec. 17, 1979. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984]

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§223.82   Contents of advertisement.

(a) A timber sale advertisement shall include the following information:

(1) The location and estimated quantities of timber or other forest products offered for sale.

(2) The time and place at which sealed bids will be opened in public or at which sealed bids will be opened in public followed by an oral auction.

(3) A provision asserting the agency's right to reject any and all bids.

(4) The place where complete information on the offering may be obtained.

(5) Notice that a prospectus is available to the public and to interested potential bidders.

(b) For each timber sale which includes specified road construction with total estimated construction costs of $50,000 or more, the advertisement shall also include:

(1) The total estimated construction cost of the permanent roads.

(2) A statement extending to small business concerns qualified for preferential bidding on timber sales, under the Small Business Act, as amended, and the regulations issued thereunder, the option to elect, when submitting a bid, to have all permanent roads constructed by the Forest Service.

(3) Notice that the prospectus referred to in paragraph (a)(5) of this section contains additional information concerning the options to have all permanent roads constructed by the Forest Service.

(c) When timber or other forest products are offered for preferential bidding in accordance with the Small Business Act, as amended, the advertisement shall state that the offering is set-aside for competitive bidding by small business concerns.

[50 FR 32696, Aug. 14, 1985, as amended at 71 FR 523, Jan. 4, 2006; 71 FR 11510, Mar. 8, 2006]

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§223.83   Contents of prospectus.

(a) A timber sale prospectus shall specify, as a minimum:

(1) The minimum acceptable stumpage or other unit prices and the amount or rate of any additional required deposits.

(2) The amount of bid guarantee which must accompany each bid.

(3) The amount of cash deposit or down payment to be made promptly by the successful bidder.

(4) The location and area of the sale, including harvest acreage.

(5) The estimated volumes, quality, size or age class of timber.

(6) A description of special logging requirements for the sale.

(7) The status of marking at time of advertisement.

(8) The method of bidding which will be used.

(9) The contract form to be used.

(10) The estimated deposits for reforestation and stand improvement work.

(11) The contract termination date and normal operating period.

(12) The date and amount of periodic payments which are to be made.

(13) The discount of payment rates for early harvest, if appropriate.

(14) The amount of performance bond required.

(15) The road standards for specified roads to be constructed.

(16) The estimated road construction cost and the estimated public works construction cost.

(17) For deficit sales:

(i) An estimate of the difference between fair market value and advertised value, that is, the amount by which the advertised value exceeds the appraised value.

(ii) The amount of Forest Service funds or materials to be used to offset the deficit.

(18) Status of financial assistance available to small business purchasers.

(19) Notification of preferential award to small business firms and certification requirements for set-aside sales.

(20) Notification of log export and substitution restrictions.

(21) Notification of Equal Employment Opportunity compliance review requirements.

(22) General or special information concerning the sale which are deemed appropriate to furnish sufficient information to prospective purchasers to warrant further investigation.

(b) For each advertisement which extends to small concerns the option to have all permanent roads constructed by the Forest Service, the prospectus shall also include:

(1) The road standards applicable to construction of permanent roads or a reference to the source of such information.

(2) The date of final completion for all permanent roads.

(3) A statement explaining how the Forest Service intends to perform road construction by force account or contract, if the high bidder elects Forest Service construction.

(4) The maximum period for which timber sale contract award will be delayed while the Forest Service seeks a satisfactory construction bid. The period stated shall not exceed 120 days unless the Regional Forester approves a longer period.

[50 FR 32696, Aug. 14, 1985, as amended at 71 FR 523, Jan. 4, 2006; 71 FR 11510, Mar. 8, 2006]

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§223.84   Small business bid form provisions on sales with specified road construction.

For each sale described in §223.82(b), the bid form must include provision for a small business concern:

(a) To elect road construction by the Forest Service and where such election is made;

(b) To certify as to small business status, and

(c) To indicate knowledge—

(1) Of the road construction completion date,

(2) That the Forest Service expects to contract for road construction with a third party,

(3) That the timber sale contract will not be awarded unless a satisfactory road construction bid is received or, if the Forest Service fails to receive such a bid within a maximum period stated in the advertisement, the bidder agrees to perform road construction,

(4) That the Forest Service may extend the maximum award delay time by the amount of time needed to confirm the bidder's size status or by any time in excess of 40 days from timber sale bid opening needed to begin solicitation of construction bids, and

(5) That if the Forest Service extends the maximum award delay period because solicitation of the road contract is delayed, the bidder may withdraw his bid without penalty.

[42 FR 28252, June 2, 1977. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984. Redesignated and amended at 50 FR 32696, Aug. 14, 1985]

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§223.85   Noncompetitive sale of timber.

(a) Forest officers may sell, within their authorization, without further advertisement, at not less than appraised value, any timber previously advertised for competitive bids but not sold because of lack of bids and any timber on uncut areas included in a contract which has been terminated by abandonment, cancellation, contract period expiration, or otherwise if such timber would have been cut under the contract. This authority shall not be utilized if there is evidence of competitive interest in the product.

(b) Extraordinary conditions, as provided for in 16 U.S.C. 472a(d), are defined to include the potential harm to natural resources, including fish and wildlife, and related circumstances arising as a result of the award or release of timber sale contracts pursuant to section 2001(k) of Public Law 104-19 (109 Stat. 246). Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section or any other regulation in this part, for timber sale contracts that have been or will be awarded or released pursuant to section 2001(k) of Public Law 104-19 (109 Stat. 246), the Secretary of Agriculture may allow forest officers to, without advertisement, modify those timber sale contracts by substituting timber from outside the sale area specified in the contract for timber within the timber sale contract area.

(c) Extraordinary conditions, as provided for in 16 U.S.C. 472a(d), includes those conditions under which contracts for the sale or exchange of timber or other forest products must be suspended, modified, or terminated under the terms of such contracts to prevent environmental degradation or resource damage, or as the result of administrative appeals, litigation, or court orders. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section or any other regulation in this part, when such extraordinary conditions exist on sales not addressed in paragraph (b) of this section, the Secretary of Agriculture may allow forest officers to, without advertisement, modify those contracts by substituting timber or other forest products from outside the contract area specified in the contract for timber or forest products within the area specified in the contract. When such extraordinary conditions exist, the Forest Service and the purchaser shall make good faith efforts to identify replacement timber or forest products of similar volume, quality, value, access, and topography. When replacement timber or forest products agreeable to both parties is identified, the contract will be modified to reflect the changes associated with the substitution, including a rate redetermination. Concurrently, both parties will sign an agreement waiving any future claims for damages associated with the deleted timber or forest products, except those specifically provided for under the contract up to the time of the modification. If the Forest Service and the purchaser cannot reach agreement on satisfactory replacement timber or forest products, or the proper value of such material, either party may opt to end the search. Replacement timber or forest products must come from the same National Forest as the original contract. The term National Forest in this paragraph refers to an administrative unit headed by a single Forest Supervisor. Only timber or forest products for which a decision authorizing its harvest has been made and for which any applicable appeals or objection process has been completed may be considered for replacement pursuant to this paragraph. The value of replacement timber or forest products may not exceed the value of the material it is replacing by more than $10,000, as determined by standard Forest Service appraisal methods.

[61 FR 14621, Apr. 3, 1996, as amended at 71 FR 34826, June 16, 2006; 72 FR 59190, Oct. 19, 2007]

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§223.86   Bid restriction on resale of noncompleted contract.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, no bid will be considered in the resale of timber remaining from any uncompleted timber sale contract from any person, or from an affiliate of such person, who failed to complete the original contract:

(1) Because of termination for purchaser's branch or; or

(2) Through failure to cut designated timber on portions of the sale area by the termination date, unless acceptance of such bid is determined to be in the public interest.

(b) The no bid restriction in the preceding paragraph:

(1) Shall only apply when 50 percent or more of the timber included in the resale is timber remaining from the uncompleted contract and the resale is advertised within 3 years of the date the uncompleted contract terminated;

(2) When imposed because of failure to cut designated timber on portions of the sale area by the termination date, shall not apply to resales of timber for which the original contract was awarded prior to April 30, 1972, unless the contract is extended thereafter; and

(3) Shall not apply to:

(i) Resales of timber within a sustained yield unit unless competition may be invited under the policy statement for the unit,

(ii) Resales of timber on contract which would ordinarily have been awarded prior to April 30, 1972, if award was delayed through no fault of the purchaser, and

(iii) Resales of timber on contracts not extended because of environmental considerations.

(c) Where a third-party agreement has been approved in accordance with §223.114; the original purchaser shall not be affected by this section unless such purchaser is an affiliate of the third party.

(d) As used in this section, person includes any individual, corporation, company, association, firm, partnership, society, joint stock company, or other business entity or the successor in interest of any of the foregoing business entities. A person is an affiliate when either directly or indirectly:

(1) A person controls or has the power to control the other, or

(2) A third person or persons control or has the power to control both.

[42 FR 28252, June 2, 1977. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984 and 50 FR 32696, Aug. 14, 1985]

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§223.87   Requirements of bidders concerning exports.

In order to have a bid considered responsive for a sale of timber from National Forest System lands, each bidder must certify that the bidder is eligible to purchase timber from National Forest System lands consistent with the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.) and its implementing regulations at 36 CFR part 223, and that the bidder's timber purchase and export activities are in compliance with the timber export and substitution provisions of the Forest Resources Conservation and Shortage Relief Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 620, et seq.) and its implementing regulations at 36 CFR part 223.

[60 FR 46920, Sept. 8, 1995]

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§223.88   Bidding methods.

(a) Competitive sales of National Forest timber shall be offered through either sealed or oral auction bidding. The method chosen for each sale will:

(1) Insure open and fair competition,

(2) Insure that the Federal Government receives not less than fair market value for the public resource,

(3) Consider the economic stability of communities whose economies are dependent upon National Forest timber, and

(4) Be consistent with the objectives of the National Forest Management Act of 1976, as amended, and other Federal Statutes.

(b) As a prerequisite to participation in an oral auction, bidders shall submit a written sealed bid at least equal to the minimum acceptable bid prices specified in the prospectus. No price subsequently bid at oral auction shall be accepted if it is less than the written sealed bid.

(c) The Chief, Forest Service, shall specify the use of sealed bids or a mix of bidding methods in areas where he has reasonable belief that collusive bidding may be occurring or where he determines that less than normal competitive bidding is occurring.

(d) Sealed bids shall be used for sales within Federal Sustained Yield Units, except where the policy statement for the Unit restricts purchasers of timber within the Unit from buying National Forest timber outside the Unit and the Chief determines that oral bidding will protect individual communities within the Unit.

(e) The Chief, Forest Service, may authorize departures from the requirements of paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section when he determines that departures are necessary to protect the public interest.

(f) The Chief, Forest Service, may authorize the testing and evaluation of alternative bidding methods for National Forest timber.

[43 FR 21882, May 22, 1978. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984. Further redesignated and amended at 50 FR 32696, Aug. 14, 1985]

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§223.89   Relation to other bidders.

Any bidder or applicant for a sale may be required to furnish a statement of his relation to other bidders or operators, including, if desired by the supervisor or Regional Forester, a certified statement of stockholders or members of the firm, and the holders of bonds, notes or other evidences of indebtedness, so far as known, so that the statement will show the extent of the interest of each in the bidder or applicant.

[44 FR 73029, Dec. 17, 1979. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984 and 50 FR 32696, Aug. 14, 1985]

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Award of Contracts

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§223.100   Award to highest bidder.

The sale of advertised timber shall be awarded to the responsible bidder submitting the highest bid that conforms to the conditions of the sale as stated in the prospectus unless:

(a) Determination is made to reject all bids.

(b) Two or more bidders, all of whom meet the requirements, submit equal bids which are the highest bids, in which case award may be by the drawing of lots. Equal bids from parties having direct or indirect common control or association in logging, processing or marketing may be consolidated to the extent deemed necessary by the awarding officer in order to give to any others who have bid the same amount an equitable opportunity in the drawing of lots.

(c) The highest bidder is notoriously or habitually careless with fire.

(d) Monopoly, injurious to the public welfare, would result from the control of large amounts of public or of public and private timber.

(e) The high bidder has elected Forest Service road construction in response to an advertisement extending such an option, the Forest Service cannot perform the construction and in response to solicitation has not received a satisfactory bid for such construction within the period stated in the prospectus and the high timber sale bidder is unwilling to perform the construction.

[44 FR 73029, Dec. 17, 1979. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984, and amended at 50 FR 32696, Aug. 14, 1985; 53 FR 33132, Aug. 30, 1988]

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§223.101   Determination of purchaser responsibility.

(a) A Contracting Officer shall not award a timber sale contract unless that officer makes an affirmative determination of purchaser responsibility. In the absence of information clearly indicating that the prospective purchaser is responsible, the Contracting Officer shall conclude that the prospective purchaser does not qualify as a responsible purchaser.

(b) To determine a purchaser to be responsible, a Contracting Officer must find that:

(1) The purchaser has adequate financial resources to perform the contract or the ability to obtain them;

(2) The purchaser is able to perform the contract within the contract term taking into consideration all existing commercial and governmental business commitments;

(3) The purchaser has a satisfactory performance record on timber sale contracts. A prospective purchaser that is or recently has been seriously deficient in contract performance shall be presumed not to be responsible, unless the Contracting Officer determines that the circumstances were beyond the purchaser's control and were not created through improper actions by the purchaser or affiliate, or that the purchaser has taken appropriate corrective action. Past failure to apply sufficient tenacity and perseverance to perform acceptably under a contract is strong evidence that a purchaser is not a responsible contractor. The Contracting Officer shall consider the number of contracts involved and extent of deficiency of each in making this evaluation;

(4) The purchaser has a satisfactory record of integrity and business ethics;

(5) The purchaser has or is able to obtain equipment and supplies suitable for logging the timber and for meeting the resource protection provisions of the contract;

(6) The purchaser is otherwise qualified and eligible to receive an award under applicable laws and regulations.

(c) If the prospective purchaser is a small business concern and the Contracting Officer determines that the purchaser does not qualify as a responsible purchaser on an otherwise acceptable bid, the Contracting Officer shall refer the matter to the Small Business Administration which will decide whether or not to issue a Certificate of Competency.

(d) Affiliated concerns, as defined in §223.49(a)(5) of this subpart are normally considered separate entities in determining whether the concern that is to perform the contract meets the applicable standards for responsibility. However, the Contracting Officer shall consider an affiliate's past performance and integrity when they may adversely affect the prospective purchaser's responsibility.

[53 FR 33132, Aug. 30, 1988]

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§223.102   Procedures when sale is not awarded to highest bidder.

If the highest bid is not accepted and the sale is still deemed desirable, all bids may be rejected and the timber readvertised; or, if the highest bidder cannot meet the requirements under which the timber was advertised or the withholding of award to him is based on one or more of paragraphs (c), (d), and (e) of §223.100, award at the highest price bid may be offered to the next highest qualified bidder or to the other qualified bidders in order of their bids until the award is accepted by one or refused by all of the qualified bidders.

(92 Stat. 1301, Pub. L. 95-465)

[44 FR 73029, Dec. 17, 1979. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984, and 53 FR 33132, Aug. 30, 1988]

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§223.103   Award of small business set-aside sales.

If timber is advertised as set aside for competitive bidding by small business concerns, award will be made to the highest bidder who qualifies as a small business concern and who has not been determined by the Small Business Administration to be ineligible for preferential award of set-aside sales. If there are no qualified small business bidders any readvertisement shall be without restriction on the size of bidders.

(92 Stat. 1301, Pub. L. 95-465)

[44 FR 73029, Dec. 17, 1979. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984, and 53 FR 33132, Aug. 30, 1988]

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Contract Administration

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§223.110   Delegation to regional forester.

The Chief, Forest Service, after approval of conditions of sale, may authorize Regional Foresters formally to execute timber sale contracts and related papers in sales exceeding the volume which the Regional Forester has been authorized to sell.

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§223.111   Administration of contracts in designated disaster areas.

This section is to implement the provisions of section 242 (a), (b), and (c) of the Disaster Relief Act of 1970 (84 Stat. 1956) which relate to contracts for the sale of National Forest timber in connection with areas damaged by major disaster as designated by the President pursuant to the Act.

(a) Where an existing contract for the sale of National Forest timber does not provide relief from major physical change not due to purchaser's negligence prior to approval of construction of any section of specified road or other specified development facility and, as a result of a major disaster in a designated area a major physical change results in additional construction work by the purchaser in connection with such a road or facility, the United States shall bear such increased construction cost if, as determined by the Chief, Forest Service, the estimated cost is—

(1) More than $1,000 for sales under 1 million board feet, or

(2) More than $1 per thousand board feet for sales of 1 to 3 million board feet, or

(3) More than $3,000 for sales over 3 million board feet.

(b) Where the Chief, Forest Service, determines that damages are so great that restoration, reconstruction, or construction is not practical under the cost-sharing arrangement in paragraph (a) of this section, he may allow cancellation of the contract notwithstanding provisions therein or in §223.116.

(c) The Chief, Forest Service, is authorized to reduce to 7 days the minimum time to advertise the sale of National Forest timber whenever he determines that—

(1) The sale of such timber will assist in the construction of any area of a State damaged by a major disaster,

(2) The sale of such timber will assist in sustaining the economy of such area, or

(3) The sale of such timber is necessary to salvage the value of timber damaged in such major disaster or to protect undamaged timber.

(d) Any request for relief under paragraph (a) or (b) of this section shall be made in writing to the Forest Supervisor having administrative responsibility for the land involved.

(Sec. 242 (a), (b), and (c), 84 Stat. 1756, 42 U.S.C. 4461)

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§223.112   Modification of contracts.

(a) Timber sale contracts may be modified only when the modification will apply to unexecuted portions of the contract and will not be injurious to the United States. Modifications may be made by the officer approving the sale, by his successor, or by his superior, except as provided in §223.110.

(b) Timber sale contracts awarded after October 1, 1995, that have been suspended for more than 90 days, during the normal operating season, at no fault of the purchaser, because of administrative appeals or litigation, that did not include contract provisions for rate redeterminations may be modified at the request of the timber sale purchaser to include a rate redetermination for the remaining unharvested volume to reflect significant decreases in market value during the period of delay. Rates in effect at the time of the suspension will be redetermined in accordance with the standard Forest Service methods in effect 45 days prior to the rate redetermination.

[42 FR 28252, June 2, 1977. Redesignated at 49 FR 2760, Jan. 23, 1984, as amended at 69 FR 18814, Apr. 9, 2004]

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§223.113   Modification of contracts to prevent environmental damage or to conform to forest plans.

Timber sale contract, permits, and other such instruments may be modified to prevent environmental damage or to make them consistent with amendments or revisions of land and resource management plans adopted subsequent to award or issuance of a timber sale contract, permit, or other such instrument. Compensation to the purchaser, if any, for modifications to a contract shall be made in accordance with provisions set forth in the timber sale contract. When determining compensation under a contract, timber payment rates shall be redetermined in accordance with appraisal methods in §223.60 of this subpart.

[61 FR 64816, Dec. 9, 1996]

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§223.114   Acquisition by third party.

No agreement permitting a third party to acquire the rights of a purchaser under a timber sale contract may be recognized and approved by the Forest Service except in writing, signed by the officer approving the sale, his successor, or superior officer. Such approval shall not relieve the purchaser of his responsibilities or liabilities under the timber sale contract and may be given only if—

(a) The third party is acceptable to the Forest Service as a purchaser of timber under the conditions and requirements then in effect for similar timber sales and assumes in writing all of the obligations to the Forest Service under the terms of the timber sale contract as to the uncompleted portion thereof, or

(b) The rights are acquired in trust as security and subject to such conditions as may be necessary for the protection of the public interests.

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§223.115   Contract extensions.

The term of any contract or permit shall not be extended unless the approving officer finds:

(a) That the purchaser has diligently performed in accordance with contract provisions and an approved plan of operation; or

(b) That the substantial overriding public interest justifies the extension.

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§223.116   Cancellation.

(a) Timber sale contracts and permits may be canceled:

(1) For serious or continued violation of their terms.

(2) Upon application, or with the consent of the purchaser, when such action is of advantage to the United States or not prejudicial to its interests.

(3) Upon application of the purchaser if the value of the timber remaining to be cut is diminished materially because of catastrophic damage caused by forces beyond the control of the purchaser resulting in (i) physical change in the sale area or access to it, or (ii) damage to timber remaining to be cut.

(4) For conviction of violation of criminal statutes or, following final agency or judicial determination, of violation of civil standards, orders, permits, or others regulations for the protection of environmental quality issued by a Federal agency, State agency, or political subdivision thereof, in the conduct of operations thereunder, on National Forest System land, unless compliance with such laws or regulations would preclude performance of other contractual requirements.

(5) Upon determination by the Chief, Forest Service, that operations thereunder would result in serious environmental degradation or resource damage and with reasonable compensation to the purchaser for unrecovered costs incurred under the contract and the difference between the current contract value and the average value of comparable National Forest timber sold during the preceding 6-month period.

(b) Cancellation will be by the Chief, Forest Service. Authority to cancel contracts under paragraph (a)(1) through (4) of this section may be delegated to Regional Foresters for sales within their authorization. All contract cancellations under paragraph (a)(5) of this section shall be by the Chief, Forest Service, whose decision shall be the final agency decision.

[42 FR 28252, June 2, 1977, as amended at 48 FR 23819, May 27, 1983. Redesignated at 49 FR 2761, Jan. 23, 1984]

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§223.117   Administration of cooperative or Federal sustained yield units.

With respect to sustained yield units established pursuant to the provisions of the Act of March 29, 1944 (58 Stat. 132; 16 U.S.C. 583-583l), the Chief, Forest Service, with authority to delegate to other officers and employees of the Forest Service:

(a) Shall provide that National Forest timber in any sustained yield unit shall be available in sufficient amounts to meet the needs of bona fide farmers, settlers, miners, residents and prospectors for minerals for personal and domestic use as provided by law and by regulation.

(b) May offer for sale to cooperators, without competition but at not less than appraised value, timber on National Forest lands within an approved cooperative sustained yield unit; or, if the approved sustained yield unit consists entirely of federally owned or administered forest land and if necessary for the maintenance of a stable community or communities, may offer National Forest timber for sale to responsible operators within such community or communities, at not less than appraised value but without competition or with competition restricted to responsible operators who will manufacture the timber to at least a stated degree within the community or communities to be maintained. Each such sale which involves more than $500 in stumpage value may be made only after notice has been given in advance by such means as may be deemed effective in informing the public of the proposed action, including in any event, publication, once weekly for four consecutive weeks and with additional insertions if needed, in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the vicinity of the place where the timber is located, of a notice of the proposed sale stating at least:

(1) The location, estimated quantity and appraised value of the timber to be cut;

(2) The name and address of the proposed purchaser or those of the operators among whom bidding is to be restricted;

(3) The time and place of a public advisory hearing on the proposed sale, to be held not earlier than 30 days after the first publication of said notice, if requested by the State or county where the timber is located or by any other person deemed to have a reasonable interest in the proposed sale or in its terms; and

(4) The title and address of the officer of the Forest Service to whom any request for such hearing should be made.

Such requests need be considered only if received at the place designated in the notice not later than 15 days after the first publication of such notice. If a public advisory hearing is to be held, notice of it shall be published in the same newspaper or newspapers as the original notice, stating the place where it will be held and the time, which shall not be earlier than 10 days after the first publication of the said notice of hearing, and shall appear once each week, but not for more than four successive weeks in any event, until the date set for the hearing. Any such hearing shall be conducted by the Chief or by any officer designated by him as his representative, except that if the amount of the proposed sale is not in excess of that which the Regional Forester has been authorized to sell without prior approval of the Chief the hearing may be held by the Regional Forester concerned or by his representative and decision may be by the Regional Forester. At any such hearing, opportunity shall be given to those having a reasonable interest to make oral statements or to file written statements discussing the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed sale; and the officer holding the hearing may, in his discretion, permit the filing of such statements within a reasonable period after the close of the hearing to become part of the record for consideration before a decision is made.

(c) Shall keep available for public inspection,

(1) During the life of any sustained yield unit, the minutes or other record of the hearing held on the establishment thereof, and the determination of action taken following the hearing including any modification of the proposals as submitted at the hearing; and

(2) During the life of any cooperative agreement for coordinated management the similar record of the hearings and actions determined upon; and

(3) During the life of any sustained yield unit the similar record of any public hearing which may be held on a sale made without competition or with restricted competition and the action determined upon. Such records of any case may be kept in any office of the Forest Service designated by the Chief as being suitable and convenient of access for probably interested persons.

(d) Shall make provision, in any contract for the purchase of timber without competition or with restricted competition, if that contract is of more than 7 years' duration and in his discretion in any case of shorter duration, for the redetermination of rates for stumpage and for required deposits to be paid by the purchasers, such redetermination to be effective at intervals or dates stated in the contract; but the sum of such redetermined rates for stumpage and sale area betterment shall not be less than the base rates in the published notice of the proposed sale.

(e) May modify and revise existing cooperative agreements entered into under said act after taking appropriate action.

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§223.118   Appeal process for small business timber sale set-aside program share recomputation decisions.

(a) Decisions subject to appeal. The rules of this section govern appeal of recomputation decisions related to structural, special, or market changes or the scheduled 5-year recomputations of the small business share of National Forest System timber sales. Certain decisions related to recomputation of shares, such as structural change and carryover volume, may require two decisions, one to determine that a recomputation is needed and the other to recompute the shares. Decisions made both at the earlier stage as well as the later stage are appealable.

(b) Manner of giving notice—(1) Predecisional notice and comment. The Responsible Official shall provide qualifying timber sale purchasers, as defined in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, 30 days for predecisional review and comment on any draft decision to reallocate shares, including the data used in making the proposed recomputation decision.

(2) Notice of decision. Upon close of the 30-day predecisional review period, the Responsible Official shall consider any comments received. Within 15 days of the end of the comment period, the Responsible Official shall make a decision on the small business shares and shall give prompt written notice to all parties on the national forest timber sale bidders list for the affected area. The notice of decision must identify the name of the Appeal Deciding Officer, the address, the date by which an appeal must be filed, and a source for obtaining the appeal procedures information.

(c) Who may appeal or file written comments as an interested party. (1) Only timber sale purchasers, or their representatives, who are affected by recomputations of the small business share of timber sales as described in paragraph (a) of this section and who have submitted predecisional comments pursuant to paragraph (b)(1) of this section, may appeal recomputation decisions under this section or may file written comments as an interested party.

(2) Interested parties are defined as the Small Business Administration and those timber sale purchasers, or their representatives, who are affected by recomputations of the small business share of timber sales as described in paragraph (a) of this section and who have individually, or through an association to which they belong, submitted predecisional comments pursuant to paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

(i) A timber sale purchaser may submit comments on an appeal as an interested party if an association to which the purchaser belongs filed predecisional comment but later decides not to appeal or not to file comments as an interested party.

(ii) A timber sale purchaser, who is a member of an association that appeals a decision, may not file a separate appeal unless that purchaser filed separate predecisional comment under paragraph (b)(1).

(3) Interested parties who submit written comments on an appeal filed by another party may not continue an appeal if the appellant withdraws the appeal.

(d) Level of appeal. Only one level of review is available for appeal of decisions pertaining to recomputations under the Small Business Timber Sale Set-aside Program. The Appeal Deciding Officer is the official one level above the level of the Responsible Official who made the recomputation of shares decision. The Responsible Official is normally the Forest Supervisor; thus, the Appeal Deciding Officer is normally the Regional Forester. However, when the Regional Forester makes recomputation decisions, the Appeal Deciding Officer is the Chief or such officer at the National headquarters level as the Chief may designate.

(e) Filing procedures. In order to file an appeal under this section, an appellant must file a notice of appeal, as specified in the notice of decision, with the Appeal Deciding Officer within 20 days of the date on the notice of the decision. This date must be specified in the notice of decision given pursuant to paragraph (b)(2) of this section. Written comments filed by an interested party in response to an appeal must be filed within 15 days after the close of the appeal filing period.

(f) Content of notice of appeal. (1) It is the responsibility of the appellant to provide sufficient narrative evidence and argument to show why a recomputation decision by the Responsible Official should be reversed or changed.

(2) An appellant must include the following information in a notice of appeal:

(i) The appellant's name, mailing address, and daytime telephone number;

(ii) The title or type of recomputation decision involved, the date of the decision, and the name of the Responsible Official;

(iii) A brief description and date of the decision being appealed:

(iv) A statement of how the appellant is adversely affected by the decision being appealed;

(v) A statement of the facts in dispute regarding the issue(s) raised by the appeal;

(vi) If relevant, any specific references to any law, regulation, or policy that the appellant believes to have been violated and the basis for such an allegation;

(vii) A statement as to whether and how the appellant has tried to resolve with the Responsible Official the issue(s) being appealed, including evidence of submission of written comments at the predecisional stage as provided by paragraph (a) of this section, the date of any discussion, and the outcome of that meeting or contact; and

(viii) A statement of the relief the appellant seeks.

(g) Time periods and timeliness. (1) All time periods applicable to this section will begin on the first day following a decision or action related to the appeal.

(2) Time periods applicable to this section are computed using calendar days. Saturdays, Sundays, or Federal holidays are included in computing the time allowed for filing an appeal; however, when the filing period would expire on a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday, the filing time is automatically extended to the end of the next Federal working day.

(3) It is the responsibility of those filing an appeal to file the notice of appeal by the end of the filing period. In the event of questions, legible postmarks on a mailed appeal or the time and date imprint on a facsimile appeal will be considered evidence of timely filing. Where postmarks or facsimile imprints are illegible, the Appeal Deciding Officer shall rule on the timeliness of the notice of appeal.

(4) The time period for filing a notice of appeal is not extendable.

(h) Dismissal without decision. The Appeal Deciding Officer shall dismiss an appeal and close the record without a decision in any of the following circumstances:

(1) The appellant is not on the timber sale bidders list for the area affected by the recomputation decision;

(2) The appellant's notice of appeal is not filed within the required time period;

(3) The appellant's notice of appeal does not contain responses required by paragraphs (f)(2)(i) through (f)(2)(viii) of this section; or

(4) The appellant did not submit written comments on the proposed decision of the new recomputed shares as described in paragraph (c) of this section.

(i) Appeal record. The appeal record consists of the written decision being appealed, any predecisional comments received, any written comments submitted by interested parties, any other supporting data used to make the decision, the notice of appeal, and, if prepared, a responsive statement by the Responsible Official which addresses the issues raised in the notice of appeal. The Responsible Official must forward the record to the Appeal Deciding Officer within 7 days of the date the notice of appeal is received. A copy of the appeal record must be sent to the appellant at the same time.

(j) Appeal decision—(1) Responsive statement for appeal decision. The Appeal Deciding Officer may request the Responsible Official to prepare a responsive statement. However, if the information in the files clearly demonstrates the rationale for the Responsible Official's decision, then a responsive statement addressing the points of the appeal is not necessary.

(2) Appeal issue clarification. For clarification of issues raised in the appeal, the Appeal Deciding Officer may request additional information from either the Responsible Official, the appellant, or an interested party who has submitted comments on the appeal. At the discretion of the Appeal Deciding Officer, an appellant or interested party may be invited to discuss data relevant to the appeal. Information provided to clarify issues or facts in the appeal must be based upon information previously documented in the file or appeal. Any information provided as a result of the Appeal Deciding Officer's request for more information must be made available to all parties, that is, to the Responsible Official, the appellant, and interested parties who have submitted comments on the appeal. All parties will have 5 days after the Appeal Deciding Officer receives the additional information to review and comment on the information, and the appeal decision period will be extended 5 additional days.

(3) Issuance of final decision. The Appeal Deciding Officer shall review the decision and appeal record and issue a written appeal decision to the parties within 30 days of the close of the appeal period except that this period must be extended to 35 days when additional information is requested by the Appeal Deciding Officer. The Appeal Officer may affirm or reverse the Responsible Official's decision, in whole or in part. There is no extension of the time period for rendering an appeal decision.

(k) Implementation of decisions during pendency of appeal. Recomputation of shares arising from a scheduled 5-year recomputation are effective on April 1 following the end of the 5-year period being considered. If an appeal that may affect the shares for the next 5-year period is not resolved by the April 1 date, the share decision announced by the Responsible Official must be implemented. If an appeal decision results in a change in the shares, the revised total share of the Small Business Timber Sale Set-aside Program must be accomplished during the remaining portion of the 5-year period.

(l) Timber sale set-aside policy changes. Timber purchasers shall receive an opportunity, in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations, to review and comment on significant changes in the Small Business Timber Sale Set-aside Program or policy prior to adoption and implementation.

(m) Information collection requirements. The provisions of paragraph (f) of this section specify the information that appellants must provide when appealing decisions pertaining to recomputation of shares. As such, these rules contain information requirements as defined in 5 CFR Part 1320. These information requirements have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget and assigned control number 0596-0141.

[64 FR 411, Jan. 5, 1999]

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