Letter from PCU 4/12/95

12 April 1995
PCU // Freedom of Assembly Project

Mr. Jim Lyons, Assistant Secretary
USDA / Natural Resources & Environment
Administration Building - Room 217E
14th & Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250

RE: USFS Proposed Rules --
Update Info, Senate Ag Appeal

Dear Mr. Lyons:

We met again last summer under 'better circumstances' -- the convocation of the President's Council on Sustainable Development, in Chicago. We spoke briefly about the pending USFS rules affecting free assembly, and the significance of events in Wyoming last 3rd of July, when gatherers saved Bridger National Forest from a major fire.

You said things were getting "turned around" -- now it doesn't look that way: The bureaucratic wheels churned on, to criminalize free Citizens this 4th of July.

Enclosed is an 'Update' package on the proposed 'Group Use' and 'Law Enforcement' regulations, and how they impact the Bill of Rights in the National Forests.

This information has gone out to the incoming leadership in several Congressional committees, calling for bipartisan action to redirect these Forest Service policies. Our dialogues were especially productive with Senator Craig, now Chair of the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Forestry, Conservation, and Rural Revitalization:

His staff asked that we follow up with focused ideas on the issues raised by these rulemakings, and what steps to take.

Our 2/14/95 response is also presented here: It speaks directly to the Constitutional costs of this regulatory scheme, and the situation we now face.

Please give this position letter your careful review, with a sense of urgency...

The USFS "Unified Agenda" published in November, and the "Forest Service Reinvention" report released in December failed to respond to public critique. Since then OGC and RCRWM Staff have confirmed that the final 'Group Use' rules will come out this Spring -- Federal Register publication is imminent, and time is short.

Why is the Forest Service proceeding with these unconstitutional policies?

The Senate Committee also heard about some recent incidents-- the Fire at the Gathering in Wyoming, and the contining pattern of law enforcement abuses -- with deep concerns over how Forest Service authority has been exercised.

When you withdrew the 'Law Enforcement' proposal last May, it was a good first step.

You should now intervene decisively to stop the 'Group Use' rulemaking and set a mandate for new policies of Consensus and Cooperation.

...The outcome will define the future of Citizen Rights and Stewardship on Public Land.

The 'Law Enforcement' proposal was withdrawn last May; it can be done again.

It makes a difference if the 'Group Use' rules become law.


Please act now -- Set a mandate for new policies of Consensus and Cooperation.

..for Peace on the Land,

The PCU Volunteers / S.C. Addison

Certified Mail # P 023 831 184

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