Letter from PCU 12/17/93
People for Compassion and Understanding
P.O. Box 27217
Washington, D.C. 20038
December 17, 1993
Mr. Jim Gilliland
General Counsel, Department of Agriculture
Administration Building Room 107-W
14th & Independence SW
Washington, D.C. 20250
Dear Mr. Gilliland:
PCU volunteers have been working to convey to members of Congress
and key administration officials constitutional concerns and an
alternative view to that presented by the Forest Service in its
proposed amendments to 36 C.F.R. 251 and 261.
Our efforts have centered on arranging a meeting between
interested members of the public, Forest Service officials,
supervisory administration personnel and members of Congress.
On several occasions Ellen Hornstein, General Counsel's office,
Natural Resources Division -- who the proposed rule identifies as
a contact "for further information" (Federal Register, Vol. 58.
No. 86, pg. 26940) -- has impeded meetings between administration
officials and members of the public.
Ms. Hornstein takes the position that our meeting is an
"inappropriate" ex parte communication. Apparently on this
premise, Ms. Hornstein has caused our "Presentation Package" to
Secretary Lyons to be sequestered in her office.
There has been no attempt on our part to influence the rulemaking
surreptitiously or improperly. Our communications have come
openly through the front door, formally and above board.
Moreover we have encouraged all concerned parties to come forward
with their views, to join in discourse and find consensus in real
solution. We encourage and welcome the broadest possible public
forum on these vital concerns for the land and the Constitution.
Please notify the Assistant Secretary that your office has no
objection to the meeting we have proposed, and arrange to have
our "Presentation Package" returned, by Ms. Hornstein's office to
Secretary Lyons' office immediately.
We will contact you soon to ascertain your position.
Thank you for your attention.
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