Letter to PCU 1/27/94

WASHlNGTON, D.C. 20250

27 JAN 1994

People for Compassion and Understanding
P.O. Box 27217
Washington, D.C. 20038

Dear Sir or Madam:

Thank you for your comment dated October 15, 1993, concerning the proposed regulations for group use of the national forests and for your request for a meeting to discuss the proposed rule.

The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on May 6, 1993, at Volume 58, Number 86, pages 26940-26946. The proposed rule would revise the existing rules governing noncommercial group events and noncommercial distribution of printed material within the National Forest System. These revisions would ensure that the authorization procedures for these activities comply with First Amendment requirements of free speech and assembly. The public comment period closed on August 4, 1993. No individual responses will be made. Comments received by August 4 will be analyzed and included in the publication of the final rule.

My staff informs me that much of the materials you have submitted appear to be copies of materials submitted during the comment period. Please be assured that I intend to carefully review any final rule and the substance of timely filed comments.

I must decline your request for a meeting during a rulemaking proceeding. A key aspect of informal rulemaking is equal opportunity for all to participate. Meeting with you separately will deny that opportunity to others who have expressed interest by commenting on the proposed rule.

Thank you for your interest in the management of the national forests.

Sincerely ,

James R. Lyons
Assistant Secretary
Natural Resources and Environment

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