43 CFR 19.5 - Hearing procedures.
(a) Before any recommendation of the Secretary concerning the suitability or nonsuitability of any roadless area or island for preservation as wilderness is submitted to the President, a public hearing or hearings shall be held thereon at a location or locations convenient to the area or areas affected. If the lands involved are located in more than one State, at least one such hearing shall be held in each State. At least 30 days before the date of any such hearing, public notice thereof shall be published in the Federal Register and in newspapers of general circulation in the area. The public notice shall contain or make reference to a map of the lands involved and a definition of boundaries and a statement of the action proposed to be taken by the Secretary thereon.
(1) Any hearing held under this section shall be presided over by a hearing officer designated by the Secretary.
(2) Any person may present testimony at the hearing orally or in writing, or both, by notification to the hearing officer in accordance with the published notice of the hearing. Witnesses shall not be subjected to cross-examination but the hearing officer may invite responses by witnesses to questions he may ask for the purpose of clarifying the testimony presented.
(3) The witnesses shall not be sworn, but statements made by them orally or in writing are subject to the provisions of 18 U.S.C. 1001, which makes it a crime for any person knowingly and willfully to make to any agency of the United States any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement as to any matter within its jurisdiction.
(4) A verbatim record of the hearing shall be kept.
(5) The hearing officer may be instructed by the Secretary to prepare and submit a recommendation concerning the suitability or nonsuitability of the area or areas for preservation as wilderness.
(6) A copy of the transcript of the hearing record, and of any recommendation made by the hearing officer as a result thereof, shall, during the pendency of the subject matter, be maintained for public examination (i) in an office of the Department of the Interior convenient to the area or areas affected and (ii) in the headquarters office of the Department in Washington, DC.
(7) The Secretary reserves the right at all times to consider information available to his office from any source not limited to the record of the public hearing or hearings, in the further consideration of proposed recommendations concerning the suitability or the nonsuitability of the area or areas for preservation as wilderness.
(b) At least 30 days before the date of any such public hearing, the hearing officer shall advise the Governor of each State and the governing board of each county, or in Alaska the borough, in which the lands are located, and the other Federal departments and agencies concerned, and invite such officials and agencies to submit their views at the hearing. The Governor, the governing board, and the other Federal agencies may also submit views following the hearing but such views must be received in the Office of the Secretary by no later than 30 days following the date of the hearing to assure that they will receive consideration.
(c) Any public views received pursuant to the provisions of this section will be accorded careful consideration and a summary thereof shall be forwarded with the recommendations of the Secretary to the President with respect to the area under consideration.