Noncompliance Letter, July 2, 2005

United States Department of Agriculture
Forest Service
Monongahela National Forest
Gauley Ranger District

932 N. Fork Cherry Rd.
Richwood, WV 26261

FileCode: 2720
Date: July 2, 2005

Individuals Gathering as the Rainbow Family
c/o Patrick Thompson
5121 East 29th Tucson, AZ 85711

Dear Patrick:


This is formal notice and documentation of noncompliance with the terms and conditions of the June 19, 2005, special use permit issued to "Individuals Gathering as the Rainbow Family". The permit was issued for the purpose of conducting a noncommercial group use event on the Gauley Ranger District of the Monongahela National Forest. You signed the permit as the contact for the holder.

Clause 3 of the permit issued and signed by you, outlines the approved activities and improvements that were authorized in the permit area. The description of the approved improvements does not include the installation of a communications tower; however a communications tower v/as erected at the area of the main meadow CALM without prior approval. Any improvements not specifically authorized under this clause must be added by an amendment prior to construction or installation or it is a violation of the terms and conditions of the permit.

At the coop council held on June 25, 2005, Naomi Johnson, who is the Incident Team Special Uses Section Chief, talked a person who claimed to be the Rainbow Family's communication person. At that time this person said he did not know where he would put the equipment. He was looking at two areas within the permit site but did not know if they would work so he was also considering sites outside the permit area. Naomi told him that once he determined where he wanted to put his equipment he needed to contact her so that the use could be approved. She told him that if the site was within the permit area boundary, a permit amendment would be needed to approve the yse, and if the use was outside the permit boundary, a new permit would have to be issued to approve the use. Despite this discussion, a communications tower was erected prior to any contact or approval of the improvements within the permit area.

After discovering that the tower had been erected without approval, an attempt was made on June 30th to contact the person responsible for communications to discuss this matter. It was asked that they meet Naomi Johnson at the Cranberry Nature Center after 4:00 pm. The FCC license holder, Robert E. Savoye, refused to meet with Naomi and instead sent Brian Michaels to the Center with a copy of his FCC license.

The following day Naomi tried to make contact with either Robert or Hawker at the main meadow CLAM unit to discuss the matter. Both refused to meet with her because she didn't have any technical knowledge of communications uses. She returned approximately an hour later with Chuck Howard, who is the communications person on the Incident Management Team. Hawker was at CALM and did talk with them however was uncooperative in providing the requested information. He insisted that it was an FCC matter and not a special uses matter because they had an FCC license. It was explained to him that if the communications equipment would have stayed in a mobile state, i.e. in/on the van as it was last year, that would be true, however once an improvement was erected on National Forest System lands, it became a permit issue. He said he did not acknowledge the permit and therefore did not consider it a permit issue. Hawker was asked for the power output of the repeater and the height of the tower so that we could make a determination as to whether or not their communications equipment would interfere with other existing local or government communications. He refused to provide the power output only stating that it ranged somewhere within 5 to 50 watts and refused to provide the height of the tower.

Previous approval of communications uses is especially important because your frequencies could interfere with existing local or government use, therefore your frequencies and power output must be pre-approved if they are going to be placed on an improvement erected on National Forest System lands. Again, if the equipment would have remained in a mobile state, any interference caused by the equipment being on site would have remained an FCC issue; however that is not the case in this instance.

In this case we were willing to work with you to approve the tower after the fact because we were able to determine with the information we had that the use would not interfere with any known existing uses and felt our working relationship to date overall has been very good and I did not want to see one action ruin that, however as I stated in my letter yesterday that was a cover to the permit amendment that approved the tower after the fact, the Forest Service had the authority to confiscate it. I recommend that at future gatherings you work with the Forest Service ahead of time in order to avoid the possibility of confiscation of unapproved improvements.

I would also like to bring to your attention that various other permit violations have occurred and have been documented in the form of incident reports by the permit administration team. To date, these include 66 reports of dogs off leash or otherwise confined, 21 reports of camping too close to a stream, 2 reports of cutting green vegetation, 1 report of resource damage due to installation of stone steps on a trail leading to a camp, 1 report of cutting a standing dead tree, 1 report of abandon property, 3 reports of camping within 50 feet of an open road, 1 report of a kitchen being placed within 150 feet of an open road, 1 report of parking in a posted no parking area, 1 report of washing dishes in a stream, 1 report of dumping gray water in a stream, 1 report of a latrine too close to a stream, 1 report of parking on an open road where the vehicle's wheels were not completely off the road, and one report of camping outside the permit area boundary. These violations do not include the numerous incident reports, warnings and citations issued by law enforcement.


If you have any questions please contact Tim Lynn, NIMT Incident Commander, or Naomi Johnson, NIMT Special Uses Section Chief at 304-572-8894.


District Ranger


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Notice of Noncompliance