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Special Uses – Communications UsesCibola NF Communications Site

Communications facilities (e.g., buildings, cabinets, towers) and equipment located on National Forest System lands are an integral part of the nation's telecommunications infrastructure. The authorized infrastructure supports over 10,000 wireless uses, including federal, state and local governments for critical communications, emergency services, railroads, utility companies, and private communications companies for personal communications, and television and radio broadcast uses.


On April 8, 2020, the Forest Service issued a final rule to implement the part of Title VIII, Subtitle G, section 8705, of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, providing for streamlining the Agency's procedures for evaluating applications to locate or modify communications facilities on National Forest System lands.




Communications Sites Map Viewer


Screen capture of Communications Sites Map Viewer and the United States of America
  • Forest Service Manual 2700
    • Chapter 2710 - Special Use Authorizations
    • Chapter 2720 - Special Uses Administration

  • Forest Service Handbook 2709.11
    • Chapter 10 - Application and Authorization Processing
    • Chapter 20 - Cost Recovery
    • Chapter 30 - Fee Determination
    • Chapter 40 - Special Uses Administration
    • Chapter 90 - Communications Site Management

  • Forest Service Handbook 1909.15
    • Chapter 10 - Environmental Analysis
    • Chapter 20 - Environmental Impact Statements and Related Documents
    • Chapter 30 - Categorical Exclusion from Documentation

Other Applicable Guidance


The Forest Service authorizes communications uses on National Forest System lands with a lease or permit. The Forest Service encourages, and in some instances requires, co-location within or on existing facilities. Proposed uses must be consistent with our management objectives for the site and compatible with all existing uses.


All designated communications sites must have a current communications site management plan that is consistent with in the applicable Land Management Plan (LMP) and with any separate National Environmental Planning Act (NEPA) decision document. The communications site management plan must provide site specific direction and guidance to Forest Service personnel, the communications site users, and the public.

Communications Site Management Plan Template (.docx, 2.09 MB)


In 1996, the Forest Service adopted a national rental fee schedule for communications uses. Rental fees are based upon two criteria 1) the type of communications use and 2) the population of the largest community served by the communications site.  

Each lease holder must submit an annual inventory certification that lists the holder’s use and all occupants and their use, within or on the facility, as of September 30th. This information must be received by the National Billing Team no later than October 15th. The Forest Service uses this information to calculate the following calendar year rental fee.

National Communications Use Billing Team
Address:  2900 NW Stewart Parkway, Roseburg, Oregon 97471
Phone: 541-957-3291
FAX: 541-957-3495
E-mail: SM.FS.wocommuses@usda.gov

2021 Rental Fee Schedule for Communications Uses (.pdf, 376 KB)

2021 Listing of Cities by Population Strata (.pdf, 284 KB)

Previous Schedules


For technical issues please contact: Joey Perry via email or by phone at (530) 251-3286.

USDA Forest Service
Last modified: Tuesday, 22-Sep-2020 01:34:58 CDT
Web Manager: Kris Bancroft

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