Public Gathering Permits

After finding refuge from ideological persecution in the wilderness of the "New World," the people who founded this country would be shocked and aghast at a current National Forest Service power/land grab. In September, 1995 FS published a final "group use" rule to criminalize the assembly of more than 75 people without a FS permit in any National Forest.

Although this rule might not seem to be a serious imposition on the people of this country, it is important to consider that NO PERMIT REQUIREMENTS PREVIOUSLY EXISTED TO RESTRICT FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY IN THE NATIONAL FORESTS. There is a reason for that.

Until this rule, and ever since this country began, every person has had the "right" to "peaceably assemble" on public forest lands. A "right", like assembly, is and has always been distinguished from a "privilege," like driving.

This regulation is very much like the law" that made Robin Hood an "outlaw," and would invest the Forest Service with legal authority to say, "DISPERSE YE REBELS," and, like the British at Lexington, open fire, if that is determined to be what enforcement officials like to call "reasonable force."