David Siddall, K3ZJ, writes:
The Forest Service sent a Notice to the Federal Register yesterday announcing that they will re-open the window for comments on the proposed new $1400 annual administrative fee. This means that amateurs that may have missed the earlier comment period, or who wish to file additional arguments and information, can submit new filings between March 1 and March 31. A copy of the Notice to be published on March 1 is here: https://public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2022-04254.pdf. (This is completely public information.)
I notice that in several of the amateur comments sent me that there appears some confusion. The proposed fee is a new and separate fee, not an increase to fees (such as rent) already being paid. If adopted, the existing fee(s) – which generally have been around $130-140 annually for amateur uses – would have to be paid in addition to the new proposed annual administrative fee of $1400. IMHO, the fee would be so high because the proposal is to include amateur uses equally with those of commercial wireless entities such as broadcasters, cellular providers and broadband entities that require a much more significant presence and greater Forest Service support than amateurs.
[ARRL’s filed comments can be viewed at <https://www.regulations.gov/comment/FS-2022-0001-0749>.]
[Note: Beginning March 1, 2022, comments can be filed at <https://www.regulations.gov/document/FS-2022-0001-0001>.]