Federal Register: December 19, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 244)
DOCID: FR Doc 03-31315
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
ACTION: National Forest System timber; disposal and sale:
DOCUMENT ACTION: Notice; request for comment.
Revision of Timber Sale Contract Forms FS-2400-6 and FS-2400-6T
DATES: Comments must be received in writing on or before February 17, 2004.
The Forest Service is proposing to revise its timber sale
contracts, Form FS24006 for scaled sale procedures and Form FS2400 6T
for tree measurement timber sale procedures. These proposed revisions will be the first substantive changes in the standard timber sale contract provisions in over 30 years. Contract provisions to implement laws and policies, formerly included as special provisions, are proposed to be consolidated into the standard provisions. A sideby side comparison of the proposed revised contracts and the existing contracts is available as provided in the ADDRESSES section of this notice. Comments received will be considered when the Forest Service prepares the final timber sale contracts.
Timber sale contracts; forms revised,
Timber sale contract Forms FS24006 and FS24006T are used by the Forest Service for the sale of all large, complex timber sales. Timber sale contract Form FS24006 is used when timber is measured for payment after it is harvested, and timber sale contract Form FS24006T is used when the basis for payment is measurement prior to sale. These contracts were originally brought into use in July 1970 and January 1972, respectively, and were the result of extended discussions between the Federal Timber Purchasers Committee and the Forest Service. After 2 years, these contracts were revised in September 1973 and October 1973, respectively, to incorporate modifications based upon experience gained and policy changes since their inception.
From 1973 until July 2001, the requirements of new legislation and
Forest Service policy were implemented in the contracts by issuing
special provisions that replaced or added to the standard contract
provisions. In July 2001, new versions of timber sale contract Forms FS24006 and FS24006T were issued. The July 2001 versions
incorporated the special provisions that had been brought into use since 1973, but did not make any other changes that affect the rights and obligations of the Forest Service and timber sale purchasers. Proposed Contract Revisions
The Forest Service is proposing to revise timber sale contract Forms FS24006 and FS24006T to:
1. Clarify the remedies available when contracts are suspended, modified, or terminated for environmental reasons.
2. Incorporate special provisions that are applicable to all timber sales into the standard contract provisions.
3. Correct inconsistencies and clarify ambiguous language that has accumulated by the addition of 30 years of special provisions to the timber sale contracts.
4. Make organizational and editorial changes intended to eliminate duplicative and unnecessary provisions.
5. Decrease the need in the existing contracts to make certain standard provisions inapplicable by replacing those provisions with the appropriate former special provisions.
6. Provide for liquidated damages when the Forest Service unilaterally terminates or partially terminates a timber sale contract.
7. Provide for a rate redetermination after a specified time when the Forest Service orders the delay or interruption of operations for specific reasons.
A sidebyside comparison of the specific differences between the
existing contracts and the proposed revised contracts is available
electronically and in paper copy as provided in the ADDRESSES section
of this notice. Comments received will be considered when the Forest
Service prepares the final timber sale contracts. When the timber sale
contracts are finalized, a subsequent notice will be published in the Federal Register.
Dated: December 10, 2003.
Tom L. Thompson,
[FR Doc. 0331315 Filed 121803; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 341011P
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
Rex Baumback, Forest and Rangeland Management Staff, (202) 2050855.