36 CFR § 219.56 - Objection time periods and process.
(a) Time to file an objection. For a new plan, plan amendment, or plan revision for which an environmental impact statement (EIS) is prepared, written objections, including any attachments, must be filed within 60 days following the publication date of the public notice for a plan, plan amendment, or plan revision before approval (§§ 219.16 and 219.52). For an amendment for which an EIS is not prepared, the time to file an objection is within 45 days. It is the responsibility of the objector to ensure that the reviewing officer receives the objection in a timely manner.
(b) Computation of time periods.
(1) All time periods are computed using calendar days, including Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays in the time zone of the reviewing officer. However, when the time period expires on a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday, the time is extended to the end of the next Federal working day (11:59 p.m. for objections filed by electronic means such as email or facsimile machine).
(3) The publication date of the public notice for a plan, plan amendment, or plan revision before approval (§§ 219.16 and 219.52), is the exclusive means for calculating the time to file an objection. Objectors may not rely on dates or timeframe information provided by any other source.
(2) The electronically generated posted date and time for email and facsimiles;
(4) The official agency date stamp showing receipt of hand delivery.
(d) Extensions. Time extensions for filing are not permitted except as provided at paragraph (b)(1) of this section.
(e) Reviewing officer role and responsibilities. The reviewing officer is the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) or Forest Service official having the delegated authority and responsibility to review an objection filed under this subpart. The reviewing officer is a line officer at the next higher administrative level above the responsible official; except that:
(1) For a plan amendment, that next higher-level line officer may delegate the reviewing officer authority and responsibility to a line officer at the same administrative level as the responsible official. Any plan amendment delegation of reviewing officer responsibilities must be made prior to the public notification of an objection filing period (§ 219.52).
(2) For an objection or part of an objection specific to the identification of species of conservation concern, the regional forester who identified the species of conservation concern for the plan area may not be the reviewing officer. The Chief may choose to act as the reviewing officer or may delegate the reviewing officer authority to a line officer at the same administrative level as the regional forester. The reviewing officer for the plan will convey any such objections or parts thereof to the appropriate line officer.
(f) Notice of objections filed. Within 10 days after the close of the objection period, the responsible official shall publish a notice of all objections in the applicable newspaper of record and post the notice online.
(g) Response to objections. The reviewing officer must issue a written response to the objector(s) concerning their objection(s) within 90 days of the end of the objection-filing period. The reviewing officer has the discretion to extend the time when it is determined to be necessary to provide adequate response to objections or to participate in discussions with the parties. The reviewing officer must notify all parties (lead objectors and interested persons) in writing of any extensions.
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