Regulations & Policies

Forest Service Seeks Public Input on Regulations

The Forest Service published two separate Advance Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) in the Federal Register as first steps in an effort to update the agency’s regulations that address surface activities associated with exploration and development of locatable minerals, and to update regulations that address leasing and subsequent development of oil and gas resources. 

Revision of the regulations governing both locatable minerals and oil and gas resources will help achieve more efficient permitting processes, which in turn reduces regulatory burdens, consistent with the goals stated in various Executive Orders, such as EO 13817, “A Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals,” and EO 13783, “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.” Updating the regulations will help achieve consistency with various legal decisions that have occurred since each set of regulations were published.

The respective Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemakings can be found at the following locations:


Establishing a New Notice and Comment System for Forest Service Directives

The USDA Forest Service is establishing a new notice and comment system for internal Agency policies.  The Forest Service has revised regulation 36 CFR 216, which specifies how the public, tribes, as well as states and local governments can comment on internal Forest Service policies. These changes will increase transparency by expanding the types of policies for public review and ensuring that proposed policy changes are easily accessible on the agency’s website. The rule became effective April 30th, 2018.

A public comment period closed on May 29th, 2018. To view the comments received, please click here (

Based on the review and analysis of public comments, by September 26th, 2018, the Forest Service will either affirm the rule as published or revise the rule to become effective after thirty days.

The agency’s directives consist of the Forest Service Manual and Handbooks, which organizes the agency's policy, practice, and procedure. The system serves as the primary basis for the internal A photo of Mount Bailey Roadless Area management and control of all programs and the primary source of administrative direction to employees.


Forest Service Directives


Laws and Regulations

smokey Federal agencies operate under the U.S. Code and the Code of Federal Regulations. These laws help form our directives and policies on how we manage national forests and grasslands, Even Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl, Forest Service symbols of wildfire prevention and conservation, are protected by law.



Stay Informed!

Stay up to date on the latest regulations and policies from the USDA Forest Service.