Amendments to Part 251
The definitions in the rule are important because they determine applicability of
the rule. The following terms were defined in the proposed rule: Commercial use or
activity, Distribution of printed material, Group event, Noncommercial use or activity,
and Printed material. Approximately 47 respondents commented on the definitions in the
proposed rule. Eleven respondents commented on the definition of Commercial use or
activity. Thirty-one respondents commented on the definition of Group event. Other
definitions addressed were Distribution of printed material and Printed material. One
respondent commented that the definitions are generally illegal.
Commercial use or activity.
Respondents commented that the definition
for commercial use or activity is too vague and broad and could include activities that
are considered to be noncommercial. For example, respondents felt that the following
could be considered a commercial activity under this definition:
--A scout troop sharing food;
--A school troop pooling meal and travel expenses;
--An activity involving the exchange of clean-up chores;
--An exchange of pocket knives;
--Children trading beads or baseball cards; or
--A hug, smile, or handshake.
Respondents felt that bonding could be required if the costs of the activity were
supported in part by donations; that the term ``commercial'' should apply to business
activities that generate a profit, rather than to the exchange of gifts or barter; and
that a better definition of ``commercial use or activity'' would include the phrase
``having profit as the primary aim.''
The Department agrees that the definition for commercial use or activity
in the proposed rule was ambiguous and could be construed to include some activities
that are noncommercial.
However, the Department believes that uses or activities that
do not have profit as the primary aim may still be considered commercial and that the
phrase ``having profit as the primary aim'' is too vague and too difficult to apply to
all the uses and activities on National Forest System lands.
Instead, the Department has clarified the definition for commercial use or activity
in the final rule to include only those uses or activities (1) where an entry or
participation fee is charged, or (2) where the primary purpose is the sale of a good
Under this definition, uses or activities involving the exchange of a product or
service, such as trading pocket knives or clean-up chores, will not be considered
commercial. Uses or activities where the sale of a good or service is merely secondary,
such as a gathering where the primary purpose is to worship and exchange views, but
where some arts and crafts may be sold incidentally to the gathering, will not be
Listing of Comments
FS Regulation Page