Letter from William Thomas 3/17/89

William Thomas
P.O. Box 27217
Washington, D.C. 20038

Rainbow Legaliaison
c/o Southwestern Regional rainbow Family
PO Box 26195
Tucson, Arizona 85726

March 17, 1989

Dear folks:

On a positive note, "(a)n application and written authorization are not required unless the activity will involve or is expected (to) involve more than 50 persons and those numbers cannot be accommodated at an available designated developed or undeveloped site. Users in this latter category must contact the local Forest officer to determine if a site is available." Pg. 9, 251.6 (a). If this means that when 50 or more persons can be accommodated at an available designated developed or undeveloped site they do not need any permit, then it may only be necessary to insure that, should the local Forest officer determine that no site is available, the local Forest officer be required to explain his determination in writing.

It was very nice of the Forest Service to conduct the meeting last fall, but the working draft makes it seem as if "consensus" -perhaps the most essential aspect of Rainbow belief - which I repeatedly heard stressed at the meeting - has been completely overlooked. E.g. 251.2, Definitions, "Authorization."

The working draft begins, "(t)herefore, for the reasons set forth in the preamble ...." But there is no preamble, thus "the reasons" are not readily apparent. The letter to "Reviewers" begins by noting "legal deficiencies in ... regulations ... with regard to ... First Amendment implications." But it seems that both "First Amendment implications" and the Administrative Procedure Act would forbid augmenting "legal deficiencies in regulations" which would have no substantial effect beyond impacting "an establishment of religion, the free exercise thereof, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the right of the people to peaceably assemble.... "

The "philosophical objections" which I heard expressed at the meeting seemed to go well beyond semantics to the core concept that "permits" are inconsistant with the right of people to peaceably assemble. Notwithstanding the working draft of March 16th that objection remains and cannot, I my opinion, be resolved merely by substituting. "the words `use agreements' and `authorization'" for "permits" or "permission to occupy." Pg. (2)

What's the problem with printed matter? Pgs. 4, 10, 11.

"Private uses. A broad term...." Sure is, should be much narrower. Pg. 4.

What difference does it make if "(t)he use can be reasonably accommodated on non-National Forest System land"? Pg. 6, (5).

What is meant by "permenant ... hospital, school, (or) church"? Pg. 7 (7).

Why should "duration of use" not "exceed 14 days"? Pg. 19.

Rental fees, service fees, insurance?

To end on a positive note, I would respectfully insist that the agency concentrate on formulating a simple "use agreement," while abandoning attempts to "balance" "legal deficiencies in ... regulations ... with regard to ... First Amendment implications."

Practicing the thought of a loving Creator,

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