The Congress declares that the installation of a proper system of transportation to service the National Forest System, as is provided for in sections 532 to 538 of this title, shall be carried forward in time to meet anticipated needs on an economical and environmentally sound basis, and the method chosen for financing the construction and maintenance of the transportation system should be such as to enhance local, regional, and national benefits: Provided, That limitations on the level of obligations for construction of forest roads by timber purchasers shall be established in annual appropriation Acts.
Unless the necessity for a permanent road is set forth in the forest development road system plan, any road constructed on land of the National Forest System in connection with a timber contract or other permit or lease shall be designed with the goal of reestablishing vegetative cover on the roadway and areas where the vegetative cover has been disturbed by the construction of the road, within ten years after the termination of the contract, permit, or lease either through artificial or natural means. Such action shall be taken unless it is later determined that the road is needed for use as a part of the National Forest Transportation System.
Roads constructed on National Forest System lands shall be designed to standards appropriate for the intended uses, considering safety, cost of transportation, and impacts on land and resources.
(Pub. L. 93–378, §10, formerly §9, Aug. 17, 1974, 88 Stat. 479, renumbered §10 and amended Pub. L. 94–588, §§2, 8, Oct. 22, 1976, 90 Stat. 2949, 2956; Pub. L. 97–100, title II, §201, Dec. 23, 1981, 95 Stat. 1405.)
1981—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97–100 substituted "Provided, That limitations on the level of obligations for construction of forest roads by timber purchasers shall be established in annual appropriation Acts" for ", except that the financing of forest development roads as authorized by clause (2) of section 535 of this title, shall be deemed 'budget authority' and 'budget outlays' as those terms are defined in section 1302(a) of title 31, and shall be effective for any fiscal year only in the manner required for new spending authority as specified by section 1351(a) of title 31".
1976—Pub. L. 94–588, §8, designated existing provisions as subsec. (a) and added subsecs. (b) and (c).
For transfer of certain enforcement functions of Secretary or other official in Department of Agriculture under this subchapter to Federal Inspector, Office of Federal Inspector for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation System, and subsequent transfer to Secretary of Energy, then to Federal Coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects, see note set out under section 1601 of this title.
Pub. L. 105–174, title III, §3006, May 1, 1998, 112 Stat. 85, provided that:
"(a)(1) This section provides compensation for loss of revenues that would have been provided to counties if no road moratorium, as described in subsection (a)(2), were implemented or no substitute sales offered as described in subsection (b)(1). This section does not endorse or prohibit the road building moratorium nor does it affect the applicability of existing law to any moratorium.
"(2) The Chief of the Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, in his sole discretion, may offer any timber sales that were scheduled October 1, 1997, or thereafter, to be offered in fiscal year 1998 or fiscal year 1999 even if such sales would have been delayed or halted as a result of any moratorium (resulting from the Federal Register proposal of January 28, 1998, pages 4351–4354) on construction of roads in roadless areas within the National Forest System adopted as policy or by regulation that would otherwise be applicable to such sales.
"(3) Any sales offered pursuant to subsection (a)(2) shall—
"(A) comply with all applicable laws and regulations and be consistent with applicable land and resource management plans, except any regulations or plan amendments which establish or implement the moratorium referred to in subsection (a)(2); and
"(B) be subject to administrative appeals pursuant to part 215 of title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations and to judicial review.
"(b)(1) For any previously scheduled sales that are not offered pursuant to subsection (a)(2), the Chief may, to the extent practicable, offer substitute sales within the same State in fiscal year 1998 or fiscal year 1999. Such substitute sales shall be subject to the requirements of subsection (a)(3).
"(2)(A) The Chief shall pay as soon as practicable after fiscal year 1998 and fiscal year 1999 to any State in which sales previously scheduled to be offered that are referred to in, but not offered pursuant to, subsection (a)(2) would have occurred, 25 percent of any anticipated receipts from such sales that—
"(i) were scheduled from fiscal year 1998 or fiscal year 1999 sales in the absence of any moratorium referred to in subsection (a)(2); and
"(ii) are not offset by revenues received in such fiscal years from substitute projects authorized pursuant to subsection (b)(1).
"(B) After reporting the amount of funds required to make any payments required by subsection (b)(2)(A), and the source from which such funds are to be derived, to the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate, the Chief shall make any payments required by subsection (b)(2)(A) from any funds available to the Forest Service in fiscal year 1998 or fiscal year 1999, subject to approval of the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate, that are not specifically earmarked for another purpose by the applicable appropriation Act or a committee or conference report thereon.
"(C) Any State which receives payments required by subsection (b)(2)(A) shall expend such funds only in the manner, and for the purposes, prescribed in section 500 of title 16, United States Code.
"(c)(1) During the term of the moratorium referred to in subsection (a)(2), the Chief shall prepare and submit to the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate a report on each of the following—
"(A) a study of whether standards and guidelines in existing land and resource management plans compel or encourage entry into roadless areas within the National Forest System for the purpose of constructing roads or undertaking any other ground-disturbing activities;
"(B) an inventory of all roads within the National Forest System and the uses which they serve, in a format that will inform and facilitate the development of a long-term Forest Service transportation policy; and
"(C) a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the economic and social effects of the moratorium referred to in subsection (a)(2) on county, State, and regional levels."