Rainbow/Legaliaison Update 1/10/91


Marion Connelly (703-235-1488) makes her living by writing regulations for the National Forest Service. One, if not the only, task which the bureaucracy has set on Ms. Connelly's desk is to draft regulatory revisions to Sections 251 and 261 of Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations, which would place severe restrictions on the ability of people to freely gather on public lands under the jurisdiction of the National Forest Service. The last information on the status of the anti-public gathering regulations was that a draft was completed by Ms. Connelly's office, and had been sent on through bureaucratic channels for approval, and publication in the Federal Register was expected within a month or so.

Due to personal interest in keeping abreast of governmental incursions upon individual freedom, and owing to the interest expressed by several individuals who have attended Rainbow Family Gatherings, at 4:30 on January 6, 1991 I initiated a telephone conversation with Ms. Connelly to determine the status of the regulations.

Ms. Connelly told me that the regulation "was back on (her) desk," because it had caused some "legal indigestion." She said that she was going to begin another draft, but that she was going to have to "start almost from scratch." She said she would not have another draft finished sooner than two months (early March).

The Administrative Procedure Act requires the bureaucracies to publish a "proposed rulemaking" in the Federal Register, then it requires a sixty day period in which public comments on the proposal may be submitted, then it requires a Federal Register publication of a "final rulemaking" -- which should take into account the public comments on the proposed rulemaking -- finally (unless the government can show "good cause for suspending the delay of effectiveness>), there is a thirty day period before the final rulemaking becomes an enforceable regulation.

What this all indicates to me is that the National Forest Service will not have succeeded in promulgating any anti-public gathering regulations before July, 1992. However Marion Connelly did say that she believes that such a regulation is necessary, and she is at work on it.

-- D.C. Scribe

FS Regs Page | PCU Administrative Record
Rainbow in Court | Government Views | Public Views
1601 Pennsylvania Avenue