Re: Regulations

Marianne Dugan (
Sun, 09 May 1993 20:41:01 -0700 (PDT)

Hi guys ... I thought I'd type in this article I just read in the
Eugene (OR) Register-Guard "From Register-Guard and news service
reports", about the Forest Service regs. The article makes them
sound pretty ok. So those in the know please let us know what
*ain't* pretty ok about 'em, ok?

Here goes [please forgive typos]:


The U.S. Forest Service has proposed new rules requiring
equal treatment for large groups of people seeking permits to
gather in national forests.
The new rules change the definition of a "group event" to
avoid discrimination against groups such as the Rainbow Family,
as well as fringe political or religious organizations. The
rules also govern distribution of leaflets and other printed material.
The Rainbow Family, a looosely knit group formed in 1972,
holds annual gatherings of thousands of people on national forest
land to celebrate nature and communal living.
The group held a 1978 gathering in the Umpqua National
Forest that drew 15,000 members, and 1,000 to 2,000 members met
for a regional nine-day gathering in June 1991 at an Umpqua
forest site about 60 miles east of Roseburg.
The 1991 meeting was opposed by groups and individuals
who complained that the site, in proposed spotted owl habitat,
was too sensitive to support such a large gathering.
But Forest Service officials allowed the event to be
held, noting that the much larger 1978 gathering hadn't damaged
the forest.
Forest Service rules for granting permits had
discriminated between "recreational" events such as Boy Scout
gatherings and "special events," such as demonstrations, parades
"or any activity involving the expression of views."
A federal court in Texas, ruling for the Rainbow Family,
in 1988 struck down those rules and the manner in which they were enforced.
The new rules would require permits for all
"noncommercial" groups of 25 or more, require officials to say in
writing why they denied a permit, and provide for quick appeals.
Forest officials could still require that the activities
not interfere with other activities and not endanger health,
safety or the environment.
The rules won't go into effect until after Aug. 4. The
public may comment on the proposals until then.

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