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16 U.S. Code § 7124 - Evaluation and approval of projects by Secretary concerned

(a) Conditions for approval of proposed projectThe Secretary concerned may make a decision to approve a project submitted by a resource advisory committee under section 7123 of this title only if the proposed project satisfies each of the following conditions:
The project complies with all applicable Federal laws (including regulations).
The project is consistent with the applicable resource management plan and with any watershed or subsequent plan developed pursuant to the resource management plan and approved by the Secretary concerned.
The project has been approved by the resource advisory committee in accordance with section 7125 of this title, including the procedures issued under subsection (e) of that section.
A project description has been submitted by the resource advisory committee to the Secretary concerned in accordance with section 7123 of this title.
The project will improve the maintenance of existing infrastructure, implement stewardship objectives that enhance forest ecosystems, and restore and improve land health and water quality.
(b) Environmental reviews
(1) Request for payment by county

The Secretary concerned may request the resource advisory committee submitting a proposed project to agree to the use of project funds to pay for any environmental review, consultation, or compliance with applicable environmental laws required in connection with the project.

(2) Conduct of environmental review

If a payment is requested under paragraph (1) and the resource advisory committee agrees to the expenditure of funds for this purpose, the Secretary concerned shall conduct environmental review, consultation, or other compliance responsibilities in accordance with Federal laws (including regulations).

(3) Effect of refusal to pay
(A) In general

If a resource advisory committee does not agree to the expenditure of funds under paragraph (1), the project shall be deemed withdrawn from further consideration by the Secretary concerned pursuant to this subchapter.

(B) Effect of withdrawal

A withdrawal under subparagraph (A) shall be deemed to be a rejection of the project for purposes of section 7127(c) of this title.

(c) Decisions of Secretary concerned
(1) Rejection of projects
(A) In general

A decision by the Secretary concerned to reject a proposed project shall be at the sole discretion of the Secretary concerned.

(B) No administrative appeal or judicial review

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a decision by the Secretary concerned to reject a proposed project shall not be subject to administrative appeal or judicial review.

(C) Notice of rejection

Not later than 30 days after the date on which the Secretary concerned makes the rejection decision, the Secretary concerned shall notify in writing the resource advisory committee that submitted the proposed project of the rejection and the reasons for rejection.

(2) Notice of project approval

The Secretary concerned shall publish in the Federal Register notice of each project approved under subsection (a) if the notice would be required had the project originated with the Secretary.

(d) Source and conduct of project

Once the Secretary concerned accepts a project for review under section 7123 of this title, the acceptance shall be deemed a Federal action for all purposes.

(e) Implementation of approved projects
(1) Cooperation

Notwithstanding chapter 63 of title 31, using project funds the Secretary concerned may enter into contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements with States and local governments, private and nonprofit entities, and landowners and other persons to assist the Secretary in carrying out an approved project.

(2) Best value contracting
(A) In general

For any project involving a contract authorized by paragraph (1) the Secretary concerned may elect a source for performance of the contract on a best value basis.

(B) FactorsThe Secretary concerned shall determine best value based on such factors as—
the technical demands and complexity of the work to be done;
the ecological objectives of the project; and
the sensitivity of the resources being treated;
the past experience by the contractor with the type of work being done, using the type of equipment proposed for the project, and meeting or exceeding desired ecological conditions; and
the commitment of the contractor to hiring highly qualified workers and local residents.
(f) Requirements for project fundsThe Secretary shall ensure that at least 50 percent of all project funds be used for projects that are primarily dedicated—
to road maintenance, decommissioning, or obliteration; or
to restoration of streams and watersheds.
Editorial Notes
Prior Provisions

A prior section 204 of Pub. L. 106–393 was set out in a note under section 500 of this title prior to repeal by Pub. L. 110–343, div. C, title VI, § 601(a), Oct. 3, 2008, 122 Stat. 3893.


2018—Subsec. (e)(3). Pub. L. 115–141 struck out par. (3) which established a pilot program to implement projects involving the sale of merchantable timber.

2015—Subsec. (e)(3)(B)(iii). Pub. L. 114–10 substituted “fiscal year 2010 and fiscal years thereafter” for “each of fiscal years 2010 through 2013”.

2013—Subsec. (e)(3)(B)(iii). Pub. L. 113–40 substituted “2013” for “2012”.

2012—Subsec. (e)(3)(B)(iii). Pub. L. 112–141 substituted “through 2012” for “and 2011”.