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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB032 (2021)

ARLB032 ARRL to Oppose Forest Service Administrative Fees for
Amateur Facilities

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 32  ARLB032
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  December 28, 2021
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB032 ARRL to Oppose Forest Service Administrative Fees for
Amateur Facilities

The US Forest Service is proposing to implement a statutorily
required annual fee for new and existing communications use
authorizations to cover the costs of administering its authorization
program. ARRL plans to vigorously oppose the imposition of the
proposed fees on Amateur Radio.

The Forest Service proposal results from requirements set forth in
the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (aka "the Farm Bill").
Specifically, section 8705(c)(3)(b) of the Farm Bill directs the
Forest Service to issue regulations that require fees for issuing
communications use authorizations based on the cost to the Agency
for maintenance or other activities to be performed by the Agency
"as a result of the location or modification of a communications

The Forest Service is responsible for managing Federal lands and
authorizes the use and occupancy of National Forest System (NFS)
lands for communications facilities that provide communications
services for adjacent rural and urban communities. The Agency said
in its proposal that it administers more than 3,700 special use
authorizations on NFS lands for infrastructure that supports more
than 10,000 wireless communications uses at 1,367 communications

According to the Forest Service Notice published in the December 22,
2021 issue of the Federal Register, revenues from the proposed fee,
"would provide the funds necessary to support a more modernized,
efficient, and enhanced communications use program," and will "cover
the costs of administering the Agency's communications use program."
Costs, as laid out in section 8705(f)(4) of the Farm Bill, may
include expenditures for such things as "on-site reviews of
communications sites, developing communications site management
plans, hiring and training personnel for the communications use
program, conducting internal and external outreach for and national
oversight of the communications use program, and obtaining or
improving access to communications sites on NFS lands."

ARRL encourages Amateur Radio licensees to file comments opposing
the imposition of the proposed administrative fee on Amateur Radio
users. Comments must be received in writing by no later than
February 22, 2022.

Comments may be submitted online at the Federal Rulemaking Portal
at, , or via USPS mail to Director,
Lands & Realty Management Staff, 201 14th Street SW, Washington, DC
20250-1124, and must include the identifier "RIN 0596-AD44."


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