Secretary Tom Vilsack
Department of Agriculture
Jamie L. Whitten Federal Bldg.
12th & Jefferson Drive, SW
January 4, 2012
Dear Secretary Vilsack,
I am writing to you today because I am extremely upset with the U.S. Forest Service’s handling of my request for an Annual Administrative Pass for the San Gabriel Mountains, specifically the East Fork of the San Gabriel River. I have tried to keep your department and the Washington Office of the USFS informed regarding the on-going unresolved situation.
I will be more than happy to send you the entire written communication file I have accumulated during this six month “battle”. It is quite extensive with my letters being filled with facts, regulations, and laws, while the responses I have received are riddled with erroneous references to regulations, and law, as well as someone’s own interpretation of these regulations and laws. Twisting and slanting the truth and correct meanings and intentions of the regulations and laws does not convince me and neither will it stand up in a Court of Law.
I have been denied my request several times without the ability to appeal, which is a violation of my rights. The last time I checked, free citizens of this country still have the right of appeal. I have asked for this appeal and have not gotten a response in over thirty days.
It would appear that your department and the USFS (which reports to you) have tried to “baffle” me with concocted bull and when that has failed just simply ignored me. I do not believe this is the way public servants are supposed to treat their tax-paying citizens. Realizing that elections are fast approaching, perhaps the appointed Government position holders don’t care about their jobs any more. This is a very sad demonstration of the inefficient, bureaucratic staff of the current administration.
So, let me get to the point here. I have been very patient with the incompetent responses and slanted interpretations I have been given up to this point. However, I am no longer willing to sit back and listen to the continual lies that are being told to me. I expect a response from YOU, not one of your minions, regarding a quick resolution to this issue. Failing that, I intend to escalate this to the President of the United States, your boss, while informing my Congress Representative from both the House and the Senate. I will also be engaging my Attorney to prepare a suit against the USFS for their failure to properly inform the general public and legally enforce Federal Law.
In today’s economy, this is going to be a very costly endeavor for the Government, which is already “broke”. I already have an Attorney who has been working on similar cases at the State level, who would be glad to take this issue forward.
I need your reply within two weeks of the receipt of this letter, which I will e-mail to you (starting the clock) as well as sending it by Certified Mail with Return Receipt. Let me be perfectly clear, the clock starts ticking the moment I send you the e-mail.
I look forward to your speedy reply and satisfactory resolution to this ridiculous stonewalling I have been dealing with. You may also respond to me via e-mail, thus stopping the clock, as long as I also receive a formal letter signed by you shortly thereafter.
I am truly sorry that it has come down to this, but you have only your United States Forest Service employees to blame. I did not create this problem, they did!
Gary N. Goldberg
cc: Via E-Mail: T. Vilsack, H. Sherman, T. Tidwell, T. DeCoster,
T. Contreras, O. Tucker, J. DeMaagd, R. Moore
Gerald Hobbs, Attorney David Young
Via Fax Letter: Congressman David Dreier, Senator Diane Feinstein,
Senator Barbara Boxer
Via Certified Letter: Secretary Tom Vilsack