Comment:Three respondents commented on this provision. One respondent felt that it is
reasonable for the Forest Service to want an idea of what people are going to do on
public lands, but that if authorized officers already know, then this issue is
addressed. This respondent stated that this information should be provided when
authorized officers ask for it, but that requiring it to be provided in advance places
an undue burden on the public.
Two respondents commented that the requirement for a description of the proposed
activity is very ambiguous and that it is not clear how much detail is required. One
of these respondents stated that the agency could increase the chances of revocation
of a permit by requiring strict compliance with a condition that would be very difficult
to meet and that the actions of one person could put everyone at a legal risk.
Section 251.54(e)(2)(i)(A) of the proposed rule
required applicants to provide a description of the proposed
It is both reasonable and necessary to require proponents to provide in
advance a description of the proposed activity. Failure to provide prior notice of
proposed activities would defeat the Department's purposes of resource protection,
promotion of public health and safety, and allocation of space within the National
Without this information, for example, the Forest Service would not know
the kinds of mitigative and preventive measures to take in authorizing noncommercial
group uses. As a result, these uses could pose a substantial risk of damage to National
Forest System lands and resources.
The Department believes that Sec. 251.54(e)(2)(i)(A) is unambiguous. Under this
provision the Department is requiring a description of the proposed activity that is
accurate and complete enough to allow the authorized officer to determine the nature
of the proposed activity, for example, whether it is a wedding reception or a group
ride. Moreover, a lack of detail in describing the proposed activity is not a basis for
revocation under Sec. 251.60(a)(1) of the final rule.
Revocation will not be more likely for special use authorizations issued for
noncommercial group uses than for other types of uses. The Forest Service endeavors and
will continue to endeavor to ensure compliance with all the terms and conditions of all
special use authorizations. Requiring a description of the proposed activity has no
bearing on the legal risk assumed by individual group members or the group as a whole
in connection with the proposed activity. Under this rule, individual group members will
be personally responsible for their own actions, while the group will be responsible
for the actions of its members as a whole that relate to compliance with the special
Having considered the comments received, the Department has retained without change
Sec. 251.54(e)(2)(i)(A) in the final rule.
Listing of Comments
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