Letter from PCU 10/15/93
PEOPLE FOR COMPASSION AND UNDERSTANDING
P.O. Box 27217 -- Washington, DC 20038
(202) 462 0757 / 265 5389 (V/F)
October 15 1993
Mr. Jim Lyons, Assistant Secretary of Agriculture
Administration Building -- Room 217E
14th and Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20250
ATTN: Terry D'Addio, Confidential Assistant
RE: 36 CFR 251/261 Amendments -- Presenting the "Perspectives Package"
Dear Mr. Lyons:
The proposed Group User regulations have stirred
controversy on many sides -- perhaps surprising for a "minor"
rulemaking, but also indicating how serious the effects would
be. In essence, the free exercise of our most basic rights
would be turned into a crime, and this is intolerable.
You have seen only part of the story. It is our hope to
convey a more complete and vivid picture, and ultimately to
build a clear imperative to stop these rules before they take
As arranged in recent discussions, we offer the attached
'Perspectives Package' for your information and insight.
These documents touch the history and effects of these rules,
with selected news articles and samples from our ongoing work
with Congress members and committees.
Most important are the letters people wrote to the Forest
Service to say what they think.
This compendium is only what contributors sent in, a
fraction of the public comment record. They are remarkable in
different ways -- some as savvy and lucid expositions on
rights in the law, others as simple and heartfelt pleas to
preserve those rights. Yet all of them show courage in the
exercise of our basic freedoms, and vigilance in defense of
the Constitution. They should inspire respect as a human,
pride as an American, and decisive support as a public
The urgency of this situation builds on an irony:
The legal issue has been settled -- Prior versions of this
regulation have been tested in federal courts twice, and in
both cases found to be unconstitutional. The language has
been changed cosmetically, but the substance still works in
direct restraint of First Amendment rights.
The big question is why it keeps coming back...
The policy issue has not been settled -- Where a
politicized agency has turned climax forests into subsidized
pulpwood farms, and imposed draconian enforcement tactics upon
peaceable assembly, the same ideological agenda has been at
work. At root it is a cynicism toward our commonwealth of
nature and freedom. This is unacceptable in the ruse of
public service, and it must be stopped.
From recent events, Secretary Espy seems to grasp that a
deep crisis of Forest Service management has impacted land and
people harshly, that "...This is not just a problem of
structure, but of leadership." The signs are hopeful for a
real evolution in the administration of our public lands --
responsible toward our resources, respectful toward our
Please take a bit of time to look into this Package and
glean the sense of what it says; of course your questions
would be welcome. We would like to meet with you during the
last week of October, to talk about the cooperative solutions
that offer positive alternatives to this illegal rulemaking.
Thanks for your care and attention.
PCU VOLUNTEERS --
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