Summary of Comments and Responses

A total of 603 comments were received during the comment period. Of these, 590 comments were received from individuals, two from elected officials, one from a State department of health, and ten from organizations, including two chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union. Most comments were individually written letters or postcards; several comments were form letters and some were petitions containing 20,451 signatures. All comments have been given full consideration in adoption of this final rule.

Summary of Comments by Comment Topic

Freedom of Assembly
Free Exercise of Religion
Noncommercial Distribution of Printed Material
Significant Governmental Interests
Adverse Impacts of Group Uses
Significant Governmental Interests
Need for Law Enforcement
Government's Intent
Least Restrictive Means
Ample Alternative Channels for Communication
Efficacy of the Rulemaking
Consequences of Noncompliance

Summary of Comments by Section of the Proposed Rule

The vast majority of respondents opposed the rule. Many did not state the reason for their opposition. Most opposed the rule in the belief that the rule would infringe upon their First Amendment rights to gather and to disseminate information.

The following is a section-by-section summary of timely received comments and the Department's responses to those comments in the final rule.

Amendments to Part 251

Section 251.51--Definitions
Commercial use or activity
Group event
Distribution of printed material
Printed material
Section 251.54(a)-- Processing Applications
Section 251.54(e)--Application Information
Section 251.54(e)(2)(i)--Minimum Information
Section 251.54(e)(2)(i)(A)--Activity Description
Section 251.54(e)(2)(i)(B)--Land Use Description
Section 251.54(e)(2)(i)(C)--Number of Participants
Section 251.54(e)(2)(i)(D)--Date and Time of Activity.
Section 251.54(e)(2)(i)(E)--Name of Permit Signator
Section 251.54(e)(2)(ii)(D)--Private Corporation Information
Section 251.54(f)(4)--Agency Defference
Section 251.54(f)(5)--Application Processing
Section 251.54(h)--Noncommercial Application Evaluation
General Evaluation Criteria
Section 251.54(h)(1)(i)--36 CFR part 261 Compliance
Section 251.54(h)(1)(ii)--36 CFR part 219 Compliance
Section 251.54(h)(1)(iii)--Activity Schedule Coordination
Section 251.54(h)(1)(iv)--Public Health
Section 251.54(h)(1)(v)--Public Safety
Section 251.54(h)(1)(vi)--Paramilitary Training
Section 251.54(h)(1)(vii)--Permit Age Requirements
Section 251.54(h)(2)--Application Denial
Section 251.56(e)--Terms and Conditions
Section 251.57(d)--Rental Fees
Section 251.60(b)--Termination, Revocation, and Suspension

Amendments to Part 261

Section 261.2--Definitions
Section 261.10--Occupancy and Use
Section 261.10(h)--Distributing Printed Material
Section 261.14--Developed Recreation Sites

Procedural Comments
Administrative Hearing
Extension of the Comment Period
Compliance with Executive Order 12291
Environmental Documentation

Comment Summary


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