National Forest Protection and Management Appropriations

B-33911: May 5, 1943

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The Secretary of Agriculture requests a decision on the availability of funds from the appropriation for national forest protection and management for use in the cost of relocating, reconstructing, or otherwise altering Forest Service facilities to correct interferences caused by transmission lines erected and maintained on national forest land under permit issued by the Forest Service.

There is no specific provision in the law for expenses of the nature here involved to be borne by the Government, and there is no authority to charge funds appropriated for the protection and management of national forests therewith--regardless of whether the Government facilities were erected prior or subsequent to the grant or whether the grant be in the form of an easement, license, or permit even though the terms of the grant require the payment of an annual fee or charge for the right or privilege conferred therein. Until there shall have been delegated to the Department of Agriculture by the Congress specific authority to determine that under the facts of a given situation the public interests as a whole would be best served by the use of appropriated moneys to correct any such interference, such matters would appear properly for legislative rather than administrative consideration.