The Principal Laws Relating to Forest Service Activities, Agriculture Handbook No. 453, is maintained and updated by the Legislative Affairs staff of the Forest Service, United States Department of Agriculture. The last edition was published in September 1978. Many Forest Service officials, State and Federal land managers, educators, legislators, and interested members of the public use this popular handbook as their primary reference when consulting laws relating to Forest Service programs and activities.

In the past, the text was divided into two major parts, Functional Provisions and Major Acts of Congress Relating to Forest Service Activities. That format created numerous duplications. This edition has been reduced to one main section of major acts. A table of contents listing laws in chronological order and alphabetically is provided along with a listing of repealed or expired laws. A subject index has been added to aid the user in locating specific functional references.

Determining which laws to include in the Principal Laws handbook, while at the same time limiting the text to a manageable size, posed a challenge. A large body of

. legislation enacted in the 70's had both direct and indirect influence on Forest Service activities. Much attention was devoted to determining which laws have a major influence on Forest Service activities and programs. Several criteria were used in determining their degree of influence. Generally, laws that are included have Forest Service-wide application. Region-specific laws, such as laws designating specific wildernesses, have not been included, except to the extent that their provisions apply nationwide. Included are laws (and only those portions of the laws) that give the Forest Service (or the Secretary of Agriculture on Forest Service-related matters) authority or discretion to act, or that require Forest Service compliance with their provisions. Several other laws, which primarily affect other departments or agencies, are included because they have significant informational value or because of indirect Forest Service involvement. The Forest Service conducted an extensive staff-wide review of the included acts and of the subject index.

This text contains the pertinent parts of the most important laws governing Forest Service programs. These acts are arranged in chronological sequence and are listed by their statutory names if cited in the law, such as the "Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974" or, if no name was cited in the law, by a popular name or subject reference such as "Organic Administration Act" or

"Twenty-five Percent Fund." References to the Public Law number and citations to the United States Statutes at Large and the United States Code are in parentheses. An example is the "Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974," Act of August 17, 1974 (P.L. 93-378, 88 Stat. 476, as amended; 16 U.S.c. 1601 (note), 1600-1614). The official name of the act is "Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974," and it may also be cited as "Act of August 17, 1974." The first notation within the parenthetical marks that follow references the Public Law number assigned to the act upon its passage; in the 93rd Congress, this was the 378th act signed into law. Laws entered into statute prior to 1957, were designated by a chapter number. The 188 Stat. 476" means volume 88 of the United States Statutes at Large, page 476. "As amended" means this is not the original act, but contains amendments (made as part of the enactment of the National Forest Management Act of 1976). "16 U.S.C. 1601 (note), 1600-1614" refers to title 16 of the United States Code, section 1601, in its currently amended form plus a "note" with supplementary information, plus sections 1600 through 1614. Some laws have subtitles as part of the actual text of the law. These are identified by all capital letters.

In some places we have added subtitles to aid the user in finding specific provisions; these are identified by initial-letter capitalization. The language of the text is the language of the laws, as amended through 97th Congress (January 1, 1983). to denote where less pertinent portions of a law have been excluded, the text is interrupted by a line of asterisks (*). The notes that appear throughout the text were added to aid the user where comment was deemed necessary for clarification. The laws included in this handbook and other laws not listed can be located in the following publications: 1. United States Statutes at Large. The Statutes at Large are published every 2 years, at the conclusion of each Congress, and contain the complete text of public and private laws arranged in chronological order of signing or approval.

2. United States Code. The Code is completely revised and reprinted every 6 years, and intervening supplements are issued annually: It contains laws and parts of laws arranged by subject matter. There are 50 titles, and each title has numerous chapters, subchapters, sections, and subsections. The text of the Code is indexed by a numbering system. Because not all laws are codified, a user may still have to consult the Statutes at Large. The advantage of using the Code is that all information on a particular

subject is found in one place, with cross-references to related material.


3. United States Code Annotated. The Annotated Code is published quarterly by a commercial firm and updates the Code before the annual supplements to the latter are published by the Government Printing Office. These reference aids are usually found in large libraries and legal offices, including regional offices of the Office of the General Counsel and United States attorneys' offices. In addition, United States attorneys have access to JURIS, a computerized search system for locating information in the Code and Statutes at Large. The Legislative Affairs Office in the Washington Office of the Forest Service will locate additional laws or citations upon request.

This update of The Principal Laws Relating to Forest Service Activities has involved an extensive review of the laws having major influence on Forest Service programs.

The result has been the addition of many new laws, the deletion of some laws, and a revision of the format as a means of keeping the document to a usable size. Future updates will be necessary, and we will rely heavily on user opinion in determining which laws, or portions thereof, should be deleted or added.

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