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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Forest Service and Gatherings

As those of you who have been gathering for the last decade well know, the relationship between the United States Forest Service (USFS) and gatherers on the land has been contentious to say the least.   The last few years, the USFS has been willing to work more cooperatively with folks on the land and hopefully this direction will continue for this year's annual gathering.

To that effect, a long time gatherer from Montana has been in contact with the USFS and communications are starting.

This discussion is taking place through email and via the list serve "AGR."   If you are NOT being bcc'd on the correspondence, you can sign up for an account to the list server and read the archives or have the information sent to your email account.  To sign up for agr@welcomehome.org go to Welcome Home's Listserver registration page.

I would strongly encourage anyone who wants to get into the nuts and bolts of the gathering/USFS interactions, participate in the discussion by subscribing to the list server.

Let's continue to be the peace that we want to see in this world.

1 comment:

  1. From the newsgroup side, (sign up to see the whole post) here are important snippets from a posting regarding one of the pre-gathering meetings between USFS and gatherers. These snippets were posted to AGR email side by plunkr...montana,rainbow family.

    But first, a note of it'story, last year the Forest Service Law Enforcement and Resource folks were invited to circle at Spring Council with gatherers via an email. All of these essential meetings were held in circle on the land with the local Forest Service Resource folks, and the Forest Service Incident Command Team.

    In 2011, WA gathering, there was only one meeting with FS before the gathering, and those gatherers involved in this meeting insisted the next meetings be held in circle on the land.

    This year, folks are taking a different approach, and these are notes from one of the meetings. There is another potential meeting happening in March. Sign up to AGR email side to get all of these notes.

    "Subject: 2013 Annual Gathering... communications, coffee, concerns

    "Five individuals, met with Forest Service Special Agent Jon
    H (redacted).... at Zoo Town Brew, in Mizzoo.... Monday, Feb. 11 --"

    "keeping the lines of communications open...
    gatherers shared stories of past encounters with law enforcement.again, strongly vibing the Washington 2011 experience (no guns in
    Gathering, except (very few) actions) ad verses Wyoming 2008 and New
    Mexico 2009."

    "(Folks)speaking out for the "Resource
    Recreational Event, with a Law Enforcement Component" rather than
    any Declared Emergency and/or "counter-terror event" funded
    through Homeland Security i.e. "Law Enforcement Event, with a
    resource/recreational component".

    " individuals, concerned with Gathering, with
    professional degrees in health fields, here in Montana... are beginning
    the process of connecting with Health folks... when a Site is
    happening.... (usually) with notification... health folks show up
    on-site... process is worked out.... some of the same folks the Annual
    worked with in 2000 are still here in Montana..."

    " At this meet and Greet... again... all for

    March 18... gives enuf time for folks who might
    want to travel to come and meet these folks... and folks from across
    Montana.... sometime to hear, and show...
    I am seeking some place like a room at the
    Public Library etc.... this will not be a giant public movie.. rather...
    informational and (working it out) session..."

    "(hopefully) these meetings will continue to happen... on through the
    Gathering.... with jon... Incident Command team.. etc...
    anyone concerned with the Gatherings are Welcome to join in.... and
    during the Gathering i would hope that many of the folks (newer)... and
    youngers.... come to realize that communications... with the LEO
    elements... and, the Resource elements... is a way toward Conflict
    resolution.... meeting up with Law folks... in the middle of a crisis...
    ain't as helpful as meeting them beforehand... and (maybe) having a
    working conversation going with them..."



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