Scheme Nickname: 
Project-level predecisional administrative review

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) 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.

Comments/Notes on Adjudication Structure: 
This adjudication scheme provides hearing-level review as of right for eligible objectors (i.e, any person/entity submitting substantive written comments during the designated comment period). Adjudication structure follows the FS chain of command. The FS official issuing the challenged proposed project/activity is referred to as the "Responsible Official," and may be anyone from a Forest Supervisor to the Forest Service Chief, depending on the particular action. The "Reviewing Officer" (RO) is the FS or USDA official who presides over the objection review process. For proposed projects/actions made below the level of the Chief, the RO is the FS officer at the next higher administrative level above the Responsible Official (i.e., Associate Deputy Chief, Deputy Regional Forester, or Deputy Forest Supervisor). When a proposed project/activity is made by the Forest Service Chief, the RO is either the Secretary or the Under Secretary for National Resources and the Environment. (See 36 CFR 218.3(a)).
Types of Adjudication: 
Type B
Resources & Articles: 
USDA, Project-Level Pre-decisional Administrative Review Process 36 CFR Part 218:
Final Rule - Project-Level Predecisional Administrative Review Process: 78 Fed. Reg. 18,481 (Mar. 27, 2013)
Distinctive Features: 
By statute, this adjudication scheme is unique in that it permits administrative review of so-called "predecisional" proposed agency actions. This administrative review process was mandated by section 428 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012. This Act directed the Forest Service to establish a pre-decisional objection process for projects and activities subject to land and resource management plans LRMPs), rather than the postdecisional process that had been used since 1993. Under the objection process, individuals and entities may file objections after an environmental analysis document is completed and before a decision document is signed. As stated on the agency's website: "This process builds on early participation and collaboration efforts, with the intention of resolving concerns before a decision is made."
Verified by Agency: 
Not verified
Is this a Major Adjudication: