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Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Forest Service

Information Collection; Advertised Timber for Sale

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.
ACTION: Notice; request for comments.
SUMMARY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Forest Service is seeking comments from all interested individuals and organizations on the revision with changes of the currently approved information collection 0596-0066 Advertised Timber for Sale.
DATES: Comments must be received in writing on or before December 17, 2012 to be assured of consideration. Comments received after that date will be considered to the extent practicable.
ADDRESSES: Comments also may be submitted via facsimile to (970) 295-5755 or by email to:bidforms@fs.fed.us.

All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at the Forest Management Service Center, 2150 Centre Ave., Bldg. A, Fort Collins, CO. Visitors are encouraged to call ahead at (970) 295-5020 and ask for Lathrop Smith to facilitate entry into the building.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lathrop Smith, Forest Management Staff, at (970) 295-5961. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339, 24 hours a day, every day of the year, including holidays.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title:Advertised Timber for Sale.

OMB Number:0596-0066.

Expiration Date of Approval:April 30, 2013.

Type of Request:Extension with Revision.

Abstract:Pursuant to statutory requirements at 16 U.S.C. 472a, unless extraordinary conditions exist as defined by regulation, the Secretary of Agriculture must (1) advertise sales of all National Forest System timber or forest products exceeding $10,000 in appraised value, (2) select bidding methods that ensure open and fair competition; (3) select bidding methods that ensure the Federal Government receives not less than appraised value of the timber or forest product; and (4) monitor bidding patterns for evidence of unlawful bidding practices.

Pursuant to the Forest Service Small Business Timber Sale Set-Aside Program, developed in cooperation with the Small Business Administration, Forest Service regulations at Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations, § 223.84 require Forest Service bid forms to include provisions for small business concerns. The data collected from the bid forms will be used by the Agency to ensure that National Forest System timber will be sold at not less than appraised value, that bidders will meet specific criteria when submitting a bid, and to monitor bidding for evidence of anti-trust violations.

The tax identification number of each bidder is entered into an automated bid monitoring system, which is used to determine if speculative bidding or unlawful bidding practices are occurring and is required to process electronic payments to the purchaser.

Respondents will be bidding on National Forest System timber sales andIntegrated Resource Timber Contracts. Forest Service Sales Officers will mail bid forms to potential bidders, and bidders will return the completed forms, dated and signed, to the Forest Service Sales Officer.

The data gathered in this information collection are not available from other sources.

Forms Associated With This Information Collection

FS-2400-42a—National Forest Timber and Forest Products for Sale (Advertisement and Short-Form Bid): This form will be used for soliciting and receiving bids on short-notice timber sales that are advertised for less than 30 days and less than $10,000 in advertised value. Respondents are bidders on National Forest System timber sales.

FS-2400-14—Bid for Advertised Timber (3 form versions: FS-2400-14UR- Unit Rate Bidding; FS-2400-14WA- Weighted Average Bidding; FS-2400-14TV- Total Value Bidding): These forms will be used for soliciting and receiving bids on Timber Sales that are advertised for 30 days or longer and generally greater than $10,000 in advertised value. These forms implement the same statutes, policies, and regulations and collect similar information from the same applicants. Respondents are the bidders on National Forest System timber and forest product sales.

FS-2400-14BV—Solicitation and Offer For Integrated Resource Contract (2 form versions: FS-2400-14BV- Best Value, Total Value Offer; and FS-2400-14BVU- Best Value, Unit Rate Offer): These forms will be used for soliciting and receiving offers on Integrated Resource Timber Contracts that are advertised for 30 days or longer and generally greater than $10,000 in advertised value.

Forms showing changes to the April 2010 versions currently in use can be viewed on the World Wide Web/Internet site at:http://www.fs.fed.us/forestmanagement/products/newbidforms.shtmand at the Forest Management Service Center, 2150 Centre Ave., Bldg. A, Fort Collins, CO. Visitors are encouraged to call ahead at (970) 295-5020 and ask for Lathrop Smith to facilitate entry into the building.

Item FS-2400-42a FS 2400-14 FS-2400-14BV Estimate of Annual Burden 9 hours 34 hours 53 hours. Type of Respondents Individuals, large and small businesses, and corporations bidding on National Forest timber sales and Integrated Resource Timber Contracts. Estimated Annual Number of Respondents 532 2145 174 Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent 1.4 2.2 1.7 Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents 4788 hours 72,930 hours 9222 hours. Comment Is Invited

Comment is invited on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the stated purposes or the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical or scientific utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including the use of automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

All comments received in response to this notice, including name and address when provided, will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval. All comments also will become a matter of public record.

Dated: October 10, 2012. James M. Peña, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System.