WTA Comments on Forest Service Proposed Fees

Today, WTA filed comments with the U.S. Forest Service in response to its Proposed Rule and request for public comment on its new proposed fees for communications use permits for Forest Service land. WTA noted that some of its member companies must place facilities on Forest Service land, but the time it takes to get an application approved or an existing permit extended can take 12 to 24 months. As much as the fees are undesirable, if they reduce the backlog and permitting time, they can have a positive effect on company operations. However, along with fees there must also be accountability measures, including reporting on the number of permits processed and how long it has taken, setting goals for acting on applications, and implementing a shot clock for taking action, after which a permit application is deemed granted.