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Information iconSeedskadee National Wildlife Refuge, Wyoming. (Photo: Tom Koerner/USFWS)

Broadband Permit Process

To facilitate the permitting process, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) strongly recommends co-locating broadband infrastructure where suitable infrastructure already exists. There are currently 244 real property communication system-related assets on Service-managed lands, including 31 communication system sheds, 109 radio communication towers, 73 telecommunication utility systems and 31 radio antennas, located across 204 sites. The Service has mapped these assets and will work with telecommunication and broadband developers. An interactive map showing the locations of these Service assets, along with those of other federal agencies, can be found on the Bureau of Land Management’s broadband Web page: https://www.blm.gov/programs/lands-and-realty/broadband
 
As a first step, the Service recommends interested parties request a pre-application consultation with a Service representative (e.g., the refuge or hatchery manager). This pre-application consultation provides applicants the opportunity to ask questions and obtain Service’s feedback on a potential use before investing significant resources to prepare an application. If new construction is proposed, the potential applicant should discuss this option with the Service representative at the pre-application meeting.

After completing the pre-application consultation, potential applicants submit a SF-299, Application for Transportation and Utility Systems and Facilities on Federal Lands.The SF-299 is used for new permits as well as revisions or amendments to existing permits. The Department of the Interior has adopted this standard form to streamline the application process and the agency’s review process. Applications should be submitted in accordance with the procedures outlined in 50 CFR Part 29.21-2, which the Service is working to streamline in 2019.

Applications for a new right-of-way require an appraisal. The Service will provide the applicant with a list of qualified private appraisers.

Depending on the right-of-way permit application and proposed activities, the Service may also request submission of an application for a Special Use Permit to cover temporary construction activities. The two permits can be processed concurrently. The application form for a Special Use Permit can be found at https://www.fws.gov/forms/3-1383-C.pdf.

For more information on the Service’s permitting process, refer to the flowchart below.

Permitting Resources: