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

Informal adjudication process that provides eligible parties with a "predecisional" administrative review process for proposed Forest Service (FS) actions concerning projects or activities implementing a land and resource management plan (LRMP) for a unit of the National Forest System as documented with a Record of Decision (ROD) or Decision Notice (DN). (36 CFR Part 218). Cases must fall into one of the enumerated categories listed in 36 CFR 218.22 to be subject to predecisional objection, and generally involve projects/activities with an environmental component. Only persons, entities, or Indian Tribes who filed timely, specific written comments regarding a proposed project/activity during a prior comment period may file objections.

The hearing-level official is termed the "Reviewing Officer;" who is the FS official who is one organizational level above the FS official (referred to as the "Responsible Official") who issued the challenged decision. The Reviewing Officer may thus be any one of several FS officials (i.e., Forest Supervisor, Regional Forester; Forest Service Chief, Under Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment, or Secretary) in any given case.

PROCESS & PROCEDURE - General Information
Are private parties permitted to have representation at hearings?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
Who may serve as a private party representative?: 
Is the agency permitted to have representation at hearings?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
Who may serve as an agency representative?: 
Regulations/rules of practice for hearings (please include CFR citations): 
36 CFR Part 218
Other published guidance for hearings (if any): 
"Project-Level Pre-decisional Administrative Review Process 36 CFR Part 218" (posted on agency website)
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 (Some Types of Cases)
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 Agency
Depends on Nature of Case/Claim
Please describe: 
Either the Reviewing Officer or the objector(s) may request an oral "objection resolution meeting." The Reviewing Officer has discretion to determine whether adequate time remains to conduct a meeting, and, if conducted, the timing , location, agenda, and format for "the most beneficial dialogue; e.g., face-to-face meeting, project site visit, teleconference, video conference, etc." The Responsible Official (i.e., the FS official who proposed the project/action) "should be a participant" at such meetings, along with the Reviewing Officer. (See 36 CFR 218.11(a)).
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?: 
Are hearings open to the public?: 
Yes (Hearings Always Open/All Types of Cases)
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Post-Hearing Procedure
Who has authority to issue final decisions?: 
Adjudication Officer
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?: 
Do agency regulations/rules of practice provide for closure of the record at the hearing-level stage (subject to applicable exce: 
Comments/Notes on Hearing-Level Process & Procedures (Optional): 
* Form of Reviewing Officer's Response: The Reviewing Officer's response to objections must be written and set forth bases for he response, but need not respond to each objectors' respective issues on a point-by-point basis. This written response may also contain instructions for the Responsible Official, if necessary. If there is more than one objector, the Reviewing Officer may issue a consolidated written response at his/her discretion. (See 36 CFR 218.11(b). * Timing of Project/Activity Decision: The Responsible Official may not sign an ROD or a DN subject to Part 218 until the Reviewing Officer has responded in writing to all pending objections. (36 CFR 218.12)
ADR: General Information
Is ADR available at one or more points during the hearing process?: 
Verified by Agency: 
Not verified