Tusayan Ranger District Easement Proposal

Current Status

On Sept. 5, 2019, a proposal for roadway and utility easements across National Forest System lands on the Tusayan Ranger District was submitted to the Kaibab National Forest by the Town of Tusayan and Stilo Development Group USA. 

A proposal to obtain a special use authorization does not grant any right or privilege to use National Forest System lands. Rights or privileges to occupy and use National Forest System lands are conveyed only through issuance of a special use authorization.

Special Use Authorization Process

The Kaibab National Forest's next step will be to thoroughly review the proposal for consistency with applicable law, regulation and agency policy. It will be evaluated against existing Forest Service screening criteria for special uses of National Forest System lands. 

Only after any proposal passes all of the required screening criteria is it considered to have been accepted by the Forest Service as a special use application. If accepted by the Forest Service, a special use application is carried forward into the environmental review process, as prescribed by the National Environmental Policy Act.

All special use proposals are considered to be draft unless they are accepted by the Forest Service as a special use application. Draft proposals are not open for public comment. 

If the Forest Service were to accept the application, it would be carried forward into environmental review, which would include ample opportunity for robust public engagement, involvement and comment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1:  May I see the proposal that was submitted to the Kaibab National Forest?

A1:  The Town of Tusayan and Stilo Development Group USA have made the submitted proposal available on their website.

Q2:  When will the Forest Service decide if the application is accepted or returned?

A2:  We do not have an estimated timeline for review of the proposal. Our goal is to ensure a thorough review for consistency with applicable law, regulation and agency policy.

Q3:  How long does a special use proposal review usually take?

A3:  The Forest Service often receives proposals for various kinds of permits and easements. There is no standard amount of time for review, as every proposal is different. We believe it is important that we spend whatever time is necessary to ensure a thorough review.

Q4:  Is it unusual for the Forest Service to receive a request for access across National Forest?

A4:  No. It is common for the Forest Service to work with the owners of private inholdings that are surrounded by or adjacent to National Forest lands. We often receive proposals for various kinds of permits and easements, and there is a process in place for evaluating those proposals.

Q5:  What is the process when the Forest Service receives a proposal like this?

A5:  When the Forest Service receives an easement proposal, the first step is to evaluate it against existing Forest Service screening criteria for special uses of National Forest System lands. There are two levels of screening criteria, which both must be met for a proposal to be accepted by the Forest Service. Applicable agency regulations for special uses are available at 36 CFR 251.54 Proposal and application requirements and procedures. If the Forest Service accepts the application, it is then carried forward into the environmental review process, as prescribed by the National Environmental Policy Act. 

Q6:  If the easement proposal is accepted by the Forest Service, what happens then?

A6:  We do not yet know if the proposal will be accepted as a special use application. However, if any such proposal passes initial and second-level screening criteria and is accepted by the Forest Service, it is then carried forward into the environmental review process, as prescribed by the National Environmental Policy Act. 

Q7:  Does the Forest Service have the authority to reject the proposal?

A7:  The Forest Service can either accept the proposal as a special use application if it meets all required screening criteria, or it can return it without further evaluation or processing if it does not. Any proposal for special uses of National Forest System lands that meets required screening criteria must be carried forward into the environmental review process. The Forest Service cannot return a proposal that meets the required screening criteria.

Q8:  How do I provide my comments on the proposal?

A8:  The proposal is considered to be a draft unless it is accepted by the Forest Service as a special use application. Draft proposals are not open for public comment. If the Forest Service were to accept the application, it would be carried forward into the environmental review process, which would include ample opportunity for public involvement and comment.

 

 

 





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/kaibab/home/?cid=FSEPRD660672