36 CFR 251.56 - Terms and conditions.
(1) Each special use authorization must contain:
(i) Terms and conditions which will:
(A) Carry out the purposes of applicable statutes and rules and regulations issued thereunder;
(B) Minimize damage to scenic and esthetic values and fish and wildlife habitat and otherwise protect the environment;
(C) Require compliance with applicable air and water quality standards established by or pursuant to applicable Federal or State law; and
(D) Require compliance with State standards for public health and safety, environmental protection, and siting, construction, operation, and maintenance if those standards are more stringent than applicable Federal standards.
(ii) Such terms and conditions as the authorized officer deems necessary to:
(A) Protect Federal property and economic interests;
(B) Manage efficiently the lands subject to the use and adjacent thereto;
(C) Protect other lawful users of the lands adjacent to or occupied by such use;
(D) Protect lives and property;
(E) Protect the interests of individuals living in the general area of the use who rely on the fish, wildlife, and other biotic resources of the area for subsistence purposes;
(F) Require siting to cause the least damage to the environment, taking into consideration feasibility and other relevant factors; and
(G) Otherwise protect the public interest.
The Department is making explicit its preexisting understanding of § 251.56(a)(1)(ii)(G) of this subpart in the context of authorizing noncommercial group uses of National Forest System lands. Section 251.56(a)(1)(ii)(G) provides that each special use authorization shall contain such terms and conditions as the authorized officer deems necessary to otherwise protect the public interest. In the context of noncommercial group uses, the Forest Service interprets the term “public interest” found in § 251.56(a)(1)(ii)(G) to refer to the three public interests identified by the Forest Service on August 30, 1995. These public interests include the protection of resources and improvements on National Forest System lands, the allocation of space among potential or existing uses and activities, and public health and safety concerns. Under this construction, § 251.56(a)(1)(ii)(G) allows the Forest Service to impose terms and conditions that are not specifically addressed in § 251.56(a)(1)(ii)(A)-(F) but only those that further these public interests. The Forest Service shall implement and enforce § 251.56(a)(1)(ii)(G) in accordance with this interpretation.
(2) Authorizations for use of National Forest System lands may be conditioned to require State, county, or other Federal agency licenses, permits, certificates, or other approval documents, such as a Federal Communication Commission license, a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license, a State water right, or a county building permit.
(b) Duration and renewability -
(1) Requirements. If appropriate, each special use authorization will specify its duration and renewability. The duration shall be no longer than the authorized officer determines to be necessary to accomplish the purpose of the authorization and to be reasonable in light of all circumstances concerning the use, including
(i) Resource management direction contained in land management and other plans;
(ii) Public benefits provided;
(iii) Cost and life expectancy of the authorized facilities;
(iv) Financial arrangements for the project; and
(v) The life expectancy of associated facilities, licenses, etc. Except for special use authorizations issued under the National Forest Ski Area Permit Act of 1986, authorizations exceeding 30 years shall provide for revision of terms and conditions at specified intervals to reflect changing times and conditions.
(2) Ski area permits.
(i) For authorizations issued under the National Forest Ski Area Permit Act of 1986, the authorized officer normally shall issue a ski area authorization for 40 years, if, upon consideration of information submitted by the applicant, the authorized officer finds that the ski area development meets the following standards:
(C) Planned investment capital is directly related to development of ski area facilities and is not for financing regular, ongoing operation and maintenance costs;
(E) The number and magnitude of planned facilities, as detailed in a Master Development Plan, clearly require long-term financing and/or operation;
(B) The ski area development, whether existing or proposed, does not meet the standards of paragraph (2)(i)(A) through (F) of this section; or
(c) Preconstruction approvals. Forest Service approval of location, design and plans (or standards, if appropriate) of all developments within the authorized area will be required prior to construction.
(d) Liability. Holders shall pay the United States for all injury, loss, or damage, including fire suppression costs, in accordance with existing Federal and State laws.
(1) Holders shall also indemnify the United States for any and all injury, loss, or damage, including fire suppression costs, the United States may suffer as a result of claims, demands, losses, or judgments caused by the holder's use or occupancy.
(2) Holders of special use authorizations for high risk use and occupancy, such as, but not limited to, powerlines and oil and gas pipelines, shall be held liable for all injury, loss, or damage, including fire suppression costs, caused by the holder's use or occupancy, without regard to the holder's negligence, provided that maximum liability shall be specified in the special use authorization as determined by a risk assessment, prepared in accordance with established agency procedures, but shall not exceed $1,000,000 for any one occurrence. Liability for injury, loss, or damage, including fire suppression costs, in excess of the specified maximum shall be determined by the laws governing ordinary negligence of the jurisdiction in which the damage or injury occurred.
(e) Bonding. An authorized officer may require the holder of a special use authorization for other than a noncommercial group use to furnish a bond or other security to secure all or any of the obligations imposed by the terms of the authorization or by any applicable law, regulation or order.
(f) Special terms and conditions -
(1) Public service enterprises. Special use permits authorizing the operation of public service enterprises shall require that the permittee charge reasonable rates and furnish such services as may be necessary in the public interest, except where such rates and services are regulated by Federal, State or municipal agencies having jurisdiction.
(2) Common carriers. Oil and gas pipelines and related facilities authorized under section 28 of the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, 41 Stat. 449, as amended (30 U.S.C. 185), shall be constructed, operated and maintained as common carriers. The owners or operators of pipelines shall accept, convey, transport, or purchase without discrimination all oil or gas delivered to the pipeline without regard to whether such oil or gas was produced on Federal or nonfederal lands. In the case of oil or gas produced from Federal lands or from the resources on the Federal lands in the vicinity of the pipeline, the Secretary may, after a full hearing with due notice thereof to interested parties and a proper finding of facts, determine the proportionate amounts to be accepted, conveyed, transported, or purchased. The common carrier provisions of this section shall not apply to any natural gas pipeline operated (i) by any person subject to regulation under the Natural Gas Act, 52 Stat. 821, as amended, (15 U.S.C. 717) or (ii) by any public utility subject to regulation by a State or municipal regulatory agency having jurisdiction to regulate the rates and charges for the sale of natural gas to consumers within the State or municipality. Where natural gas not subject to State regulatory or conservation laws governing its purchase by pipeline companies is offered for sale, each pipeline company shall purchase, without discrimination, any such natural gas produced in the vicinity of the pipeline.
(g) Conversion of Ski Area Authorizations.
(2) Any current holder of a ski area permit who wishes to convert an existing permit to one issued pursuant to the National Forest Ski Area Permit Act must submit a written request for the new authorization to the authorized officer.
(i) The holder is in compliance with the existing authorization;
(ii) All fees currently due under the existing authorization are paid in full; and
(iii) Any proposed modifications of terms and conditions of the existing authorization included in a request for conversion meet the standards of paragraphs (2)(i) (A) through (F) of this section and the relevant requirements of this subpart.
(4) A holder retains the right to decline a new authorization offered pursuant to this paragraph and to continue to operate under the terms of the existing permit. However, pursuant to the rules at § 251.61 of this subpart, major modifications of existing permits shall require conversion to a permit issued under the authority of the National Forest Ski Area Permit Act, unless the holder provides compelling justification for retaining the existing permit.