STATEMENTBefore the Douglas County Board of Commissioners Public Hearing on the Rainbow Family Mass Gathering Permit, April 27, 1978, by Kent T. Churchill, on behalf of U.S. FOREST SERVICE, UMPAQUA NATIONAL FOREST.
Good evening. I appreciate the opportunity to participate in this public hearing before the Douglas County Board of Commissioners on the matter of a request for a mass gathering permit by the RAINBOW FAMILY to hold an event on public lands administered by the U.S. Forest Service.
My purpose here tonight is to state for the record the position of the U.S. Forest Service in regard to the proposal by the Rainbow Family to use National forest administered lands for a gathering site.
The Forest Service position is that the proposed gathering is a legitimate use on National Forest Lands. Under the policies of multiple use, National Forests are to be used for the benefits of all citizens regardless of their culture, life style, or beliefs for such uses as: outdoor recreation, wildlife and fish habitat, grazing, timber, and water.
Forest Service policy also requires the uses be carried out in such a way that environmental quality does not suffer serious adverse effects.
In the case of the Rainbow Family proposal, we have completed an analysis of possible environmental impacts and have found that although some impacts will occur, they can be minimized to an acceptable level through good planning and cooperation of the user group. In this case, the user group - the Rainbow Family - have indicated a desire to cooperate and have demonstrated their responsibility at past recent gatherings on National Forests in New Mexico and Montana.
In our discussions with the Rainbow Family representatives, they have shown a willingness to cooperate with Douglas County to receive a permit for a mass gathering.
Once again, it is the position of the forest Service that the proposed gathering is a legitimate use of National forest, just as was a gathering of Oregon Sheriff’s Mounted Posse held on the Umpqua National forest two years ago, also on the diamond Lake Ranger District.
KENT T CHURCHILL
Deputy forest Supervisor
Umpqua National Forest
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