Other Fields
Agency Scheme: 
Hearing Level: Basic Structure
Name of Hearing Office (local name): 
Forest Supervisor
Name of Hearing Office (global name): 
Department of Agriculture: Forest Supervisor
Forest Service
Hearing Officer #1 (Title): 
Appeal Deciding Officer
Are administrative appeals permitted from final decisions at the hearing-level stage?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
Comments/Notes on Adjudication Structure: 

Informal adjudication process that provides holders, operators, and solicited applicants with administrative (post-decisional) review of written Forest Service (FS) decisions involving written instruments authorizing occupancy or use of National Forest System lands and resources. (36 CFR Part 214). Cases generally address livestock grazing, minerals, or special uses. Cases must fall into one of the appeal categories listed in 36 CFR 214.4 to be reviewable.

The hearing-level official is termed the "Appeal Deciding Officer," and is the FS official who is one organizational level above the FS official (referred to as the "Responsible Official") who issued the challenged decision. Appeal Deciding Officers may thus be any one of several FS officials (i.e., Forest or Grassland Supervisor; Regional Forester; Forest Service Chief) in any particular matter.

PROCESS & PROCEDURE - General Information
Is the agency permitted to have representation at hearings?: 
Regulations/rules of practice for hearings (please include CFR citations): 
36 CFR Part 214 (36 CFR 214.1 - 214.18)
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Pre-Hearing Procedure
Is discovery permitted by either party at the hearing-level stage?: 
Does the hearing officer have subpoena authority?: 
Are ex parte contacts prohibited?: 
Are parties provided notice of hearing?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
How far in advance of the hearing date is notice typically provided?: 
10 Days
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Hearing Procedure
What types of hearings are permitted at the hearing-level stage?: 
Written (Document-Only) Hearing
How is the type of hearing selected: 
By Private Party
Depends on Nature of Case/Claim
Please describe: 
Appellants are entitled to an "oral presentation" if timely requested in their written appeal. (36 CFR 214.8(b)(1), 214.16(d)). However, the determination whether such "oral presentation" will be conducted in person, by video teleconferencing, or telephone is left to the discretion of the Appeal Deciding Officer.
How many hearing officers preside at each hearing?: 
Is witness testimony permitted at hearings?: 
Can parties cross-examine witnesses?: 
Can third-parties submit amicus briefs and/or evidence?: 
Are hearings recorded and/or transcribed?: 
Only at Party Request
Are hearings open to the public?: 
Varies by Case
If "Varies by Case," please describe: 
Non-parties may observe the "oral presentation" (hearing) at the discretion of the Appeal Deciding Officer.
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Post-Hearing Procedure
Who typically drafts the decision at the hearing-level stage?: 
Adjudication Officer
Who has authority to issue final decisions?: 
Adjudication Officer
Do agency regulations or guidance provide time limits for issuance of final decisions?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
If "Yes," please specify these time limit(s): 
Appeal Deciding Officers are required to issue their decisions within 30 days of the closing of the record. (36 CFR 214.18(a)).
Is judicial review available after issuance of a final decision?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Case Management
Does the agency permit web-based electronic filing of hearing-related briefs or other documents?: 
Are final decisions published and/or posted on the agency website?: 
Yes (All Decisions)
Do agency regulations/rules of practice specify the contents of the administrative record at the hearing-level stage?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
If "Yes," please provide citation(s): 
36 CFR 214.17(b) (specifying contents of "appeal record")
Do agency regulations/rules of practice provide for closure of the record at the hearing-level stage (subject to applicable exce: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
If "Yes," please provide citation(s): 
The appeal record is closed as follows: if no oral presentation, 1 day after reply documents due; if oral presentation with no transcript, 1 day after presenation; if oral presentation is transcribed (at appellant's request and expense), 1 day after transcript is due. (36 CFR 214.17(c)).
Comments/Notes on Hearing-Level Process & Procedures (Optional): 
* Stay Requests Permitted: Appealable decisions may be stayed by the Appeal Deciding Officer upon request by appellant(s) and a finding of good cause. Otherwise, appealable decisions are implemented during the administrative review process. (36 CFR 214.13) * Responsive Statements by Responsible Official: By rule, the Responsible Official (i.e., the FS official who issued the challenged decision) is required to prepare and file a "responsive statement" with the Appeal Deciding Officer within a specified timeframe after the filing of an appeal. This responsive statement is designed to address "the factual and legal allegations in the appeal." (36 CFR 214.12)
ADR: General Information
Is ADR available at one or more points during the hearing process?: 
If "Yes," when is ADR available?: 
Is ADR a mandatory or voluntary process?: 
What type(s) of ADR are available?: 
If "Other," please specify:: 
Part 222-Subpart B Cases (grazing permit disputes) - mediation
Who conducts the ADR?: 
Third-Party Neutral
Agency Program Official
If "Other," please specify:: 
Only term grazing permit disputes are eligible for mediation. (See 36 CFR Part 222, Subpart B). Mediation is conducted through USDA-approved state mediation program with third-party neutral or Forest Service Chief or delegee.
Regulations/rules of practice governing ADR process (please include CFR citations): 
36 CFR Part 222, Subpart B (36 CFR 22.20 - 222.26) (Mediation of Term Grazing Permit Disputes; see also 36 CFR 214.15
Comments/Notes on ADR Process (Optional): 
Only term grazing permit disputes are eligible for formal ADR processes (i.e., mediation). For all other occupancy/use decisions subject to appeal under Part 14, the only option is informal resolution of issues prior to the appeal decision by way of meetings/discussions with the FS Responsible Official (i.e., the official who made the challenged agency decision) "to narrow issues, agree on facts, and explore opportunities to resolve one or more of the issues in dispute by means other than an appeal decision." (36 CFR 214.15(a)).
Verified by Agency: 
Not verified