Rainbow Gathering 1992

Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests
Paonia Ranger District

Overland Reservoir, Colorado
June - July, 1992


Prepared By:

Carol S. Howe Date: 1/21/93









A. General Background

B. Interagency Cooperation

  1. U.S. Forest Service

  2. Delta County Commissioners

  3. Colorado State Patrol

  4. Delta County Sheriffs Office

  5. Colorado Division of Wildlife

  6. Delta County Memorial Hospital

  7. Fork Ambulance Service

  8. North Fork Medical Clinic

  9. Delta County Department of Social Services

  10. Delta County Health Department


C.Public Information

D. On Site Presence

1. Law Enforcement

2. Health, Safety and Sanitation


A. Site Selection

B. Arrival Patterns

C. Transportation

D. Transportation Routes

E. Parking

F. Participant Profile

G. Rainbow Values

H. Rainbow Organization and Decision-Making

I. Shanti Sena

J. CALM (Center for Alternative Living Medicine)

K. Gathering Features

L. Rainbow Funds

M. Gathering Incidents

N. Next Year's Gathering Location





A. Forest Service Policy

B.Incident Command System

C. Interagency Community Cooperation

D. Public Affairs

E. Law Enforcement

F. Communications

G.Public Health and Safety

H. Social Services

I. General













Figure 1.
Vicinity Map

Figure 2. Gathering Features





The Rainbow Family of Living Light gathers annually for what they consider to be a celebration of their bond with the earth and to pray for world peace and healing. Gatherings always occur on National Forest System land; in a different state each year. Family members gathering numbers ranging from 5,000 to 35.000. Rainbow Family followers range from 'old hippies", new age followers, chronically unemployed to successful main stream society professionals. Everyone is invited and anyone is welcome. The gatherings always generate local concerns about large numbers of "different' people coming into an area, impacting local resources, leaving behind bills for the taxpayers



In 1992, the rainbow touched down at Overland Reservoir on the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forest, near Paonia, Colorado. For some, it left a pot of gold. For others, they only saw the colors of the rainbow blend into one - RED. For all, it will be a major event not soon to be forgotten.



This report documents the 1992 gathering - its management, its events and its impacts. In addition, this report should serve as a handbook that can be used by future managers of Rainbow Family gatherings. Strategies that worked and recommendations to correct things that didn't work or that would improve management are also included in this report. For this reason, we dedicate this report to the managers of the future.






The prospect of 20,000 to 40,000 people coming into Delta County and living on the Forest for up to two months caused much concern. Several major issues and concerns developed. They included:



1. Social and economic impacts to the local communities .



Business owners were concerned about shoplifting, loitering and other bothersome activities that could negatively impact their business. Taxpayers were concerned about the costs incurred to manage the gathering.



2. Public health concerns.



There was concern about the water quality of Overland Reservoir, which provides irrigation and domestic water. People were concerned about the amount of human waste that would result from the gathering. There were concerns about health problems that may be brought in with such a large influx of people and how the local health care facilities would be impacted.



3. Water use. All water in the drainage where the gathering was held was owned by the Overland Ditch Company shareholders. There were concerns over the legality of the Rainbow Family using the water and if permitted to do so, who was going to pay for the estimated 1.8 - 2.0 acre feet of water this large group would use.



4. Public safety.



There were concerns about the increased traffic on Forest roads. There were concerns about increased drug traffic and other crimes that might occur.



5. Resource damage.


Rainbow Gathering 1992


There were concerns about the impact of 20,000 people on the soils, vegetation and wildlife in the Overland Reservoir area.









The Rainbow Family has been gathering for 20 years. Their first gathering was near Granby Colorado, in 1972. Their return to Colorado was in celebration of their 20 year history.



The official Rainbow Family of Living Light Peace and Healing gathering runs from July 1 through July 7, however, Rainbow Family members begin to prepare the selected gathering site in early June. Numbers grow from several hundred early on, peak between 5,000 to 35,000 during the official gathering, then dwindle to a few who remain for the final site cleanup, into early August. The magnitude of the number of people and the length of stay impacts both the local communities and the managing agencies.



Past attempts by the Forest Service to manage gatherings under a permit system have been unsuccessful. The Rainbow Family is a very loosely organized group, with no official leaders or representatives. No one will sign a permit for the Family. More importantly, the existing regulation; concerning large group gatherings have been ruled to be unconstitutional, because they violate the freedom of religious expression" clause of the First Amendment ( U S. vs Israel CR-86-027-TUC C - RN! B [D .Ariz. 19861, US vs. Rainbow Family 695 F. Supp. 314 [ED. Tex. 19881). The Rainbow Family considers their gathering to be a religious observance.



The management strategy that has been developed over the past several years is one of proactive law enforcement presence and public relations efforts beginning early in the gathering build-up, combined with intensive resource and health/sanitation monitoring within the gathering. The Forest Service works closely with the Rainbow Family to achieve results similar to what would be required if the gathering occurred under an approved permit.



In the past, management of the Rainbow Gathering has been a high priority to the Forest and Region in which it occurred, during the time it occurred. Management costs incurred during the gathering were the responsibility of the host Region and Forest, resulting in reduced resources for planned projects. For the 1992 Rainbow Family gathering, partial funding for the management of this event came from the Washington Office. It is hoped that recommendations from this years gathering will result in further changes to facilitate future Rainbow Family Gatherings.



As a county agency, the first loyalty was to the long-term county residents' health; their second loyalty was to the gatherings'



short-term residents' health. The health department recognized that any health problems in the second group could affect the first group.



Four major areas of public health concern were identified: solid waste, food Services water quality and epidemiology. Staff members were assigned to monitor each area. The on site presence maintained by DCHD/CDH personnel is described under the ON SITE PRESENCE, 2. HEALTH, SAFETY & SANITATION section, below. Nine individuals spent approximately 1400 hours on the Rainbow gathering. Costs incurred by DCHD, including time, travel and supplies, came to just over $25.000



The DCHD provided the health and sanitation standards used by the Forest Service in the Operating and Safety Plans for the 1999 Rainbow Family Gathering. Colorado standards were more stringent than Federal regulations. It was felt there would be higher compliance under more stringent requirements.



The DCHD chose to take a non-invasive/non-regulatory stance in managing the gathering. They informed the Family they were there to help keep everyone healthy. They observed the situation, pointed out existing and potential health problems to the Family, provided information and supplies, and suggested improvements. Rainbow Family members are very concerned about health and safety and generally were very receptive and appreciative of the DCHD's efforts.



The time involved in managing the Rainbow gathering heavily impacted the DCHD, from June 5 through July 25. Normal duties of personnel involved with the gathering could not be completed.






Rainbow Family gatherings are usually controversial and cause much local concern. Concerns are at their highest when communities first learn they will be impacted by the gathering. To reduce these concerns and dispel rumors the Forest Service employed several public information strategies.



Letters describing the Rainbow Family, the gathering and Forest Service management were sent out to the Forest mailing list. The Forest Service began working with local governments to coordinate management of the event in early June. As part of this coordinated effort, several public meetings were held. These meetings were chaired by the Delta County Commissioners and each cooperating agency presented information on their efforts. Individuals had an opportunity to ask questions and/or rent their fears/anger. These meetings were held from early June to mid July.



Initially, the Forest Public Affairs staff provided information to individuals and the media. Once the Incident Command Post was in operation, all questions were directed through the Public Affairs Of Officers PAD's) assigned to the incident. As detailed in a Public Affairs Action Plan, the Forest Service prepared a daily situation report, which was posted throughout local communities and transmitted to media and government officials.. Daily updates were also distributed to all Forest employees, so they could provide accurate information to their friends and families. A special phone line was established where people could call for current information about the gathering. A majority of the cooperating agencies distributed information through the incident public information networks, as well, which provide a single source for accurate information and reduced the chance of conflicting reports.



The PAO's also worked with the Rainbow Family to exchange information. An informative flier describing expectations and concerns was distributed to individual Family members (Appendix D). In addition, the FS assembled packets of Smokey Bear items for distribution to children at the gathering






Successful management of a Rainbow Family gathering is not possible without the cooperation of many individuals and agencies at all levels.



At the 1991 Rainbow Family gathering in Vermont, Colorado was selected as the state for the 1992 gathering. (There was some internal controversy among Family members over whether Colorado or South Dakota was actually selected, resulting in a few people gathering in South Dakota and the majority gathering in Colorado.) In late October (1991), several Rainbow Family members met with Forest Service personnel at the Denver Regional Office, and indicated the 1992 gathering would be held in southwestern Colorado. As a result, an Advanced Planning Group was formed in the Regional twice. Their objectives were to:



a. Secure a "top priority' rating for the gathering from the Regional Forester, so that annual work programs impacted by the gathering could be renegotiated.



b. Request help from the Office of General Counsel, including legal options.



c. Recommend a basic management organization to the affected Forest Supervisors).



d. Develop a generic list of individuals, media, groups, agencies, etc. who should know about the gathering and their roles in its management.



e. Develop a strategy for media contacts, news releases. etc.



f. Keep the Regional Forester and Directors informed about gathering plans.



g. Assist the Incident Command.



Initial planning efforts focused on the Rio Grande and San Juan National Forests and surrounding areas. Personnel from the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests were also involved in these initial planning sessions.



Early interagency cooperation included informing the Colorado State Patrol and potentially affected county governments of the impending gathering. Several law enforcement coordination meetings were conducted between late January and late-May. During this period, Delta County w as not considered as a potential location for the gathering and county representatives were not involved in any planning meetings.



It was not until late-May when the Rainbow Family held their Spring Council near Gunnison, Colorado that Delta County and the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests became possible hosts for the gathering. Gatherings have occurred within 50 miles of the Spring Council, in the past. This or the 1992 gathering.



The Rainbow Family began gathering at Overland Reservoir on June 4. The first official coordination meeting between the Forest Service and Delta County representatives was held June 5 Information concerning previous Rainbow gatherings, proposed Forest Service administration and interagency involvement was discussed.



Once Overland Reservoir was officially declared as the 1992 gathering location, concrete plans began to take shape. Eventually 32 different agencies/organizations were involved in the gathering management. A list of these participants and their responsibilities is in Appendix A. The efforts of the most active cooperators are described below.



Rainbow Gathering 1992






To manage the Rainbow Family gathering, the Forest Service uses the Incident Command System. normally used in managing forest fires. This system readily lends itself to Rainbow Family gathering management, because it is designed to bring funding, supplies and skilled personnel to any location to complete a given task, then sends them back to their origins once the project is completed. Planning for the necessary personnel and resource needs for the 1992 gathering was begun early in March and April of 1992. Planning focused on southwest Colorado as the general location. Many key people with prior experience at Rainbow Gatherings were selected to work on the 1992 gathering.



Rocky Mountain Region Forest Service personnel sought legal advice from the Denver Office of General Council concerning requiring a permit for the Rainbow Family's 1992 gathering. Due to the reasons stated above, legal council recommended following the same strategy used at the previous three gatherings - coordinate with the Rainbow Family to minimize impacts, issue closure orders to meet identified criteria management objectives', work closely with State and local law enforcement, health and social services agencies.



The Forest Supervisor of the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forest identified the following management objectives for the 1992 Rainbow gathering soon after Overland Reservoir was selected:



Overall Management Objectives:



A. Provide for the health and safety of all.



B. Minimize any negative environmental impacts on the site.



C. Minimize any social impacts.



Specific Management Objectives



1. Provide proactive management of the 1992 gathering.



2. Take action on illegal or inappropriate activities.



3. All participants in the gathering will be treated equally. Harassment of individuals will not be tolerated.



4. Cooperate with other agencies. Provide assistance and information to help them perform their mission on and off site.



5. Maintain contact with local businesses and individuals for information sharing.



6. Ensure that adequate sanitation facilities are in place to handle expected numbers. Water quality will be monitored during and after the event.



7. Ensure environmental safeguards are available dthe site is returned to a near natural condition.



8. Cost effectiveness will be considered during the planning and incorporated in the decision process.



9. Provide for the safety of Forest Service and other agency personnel.



To help achieve these objectives, the Forest Supervisor issued five special Closure Orders prior to the influx of gathering participants. These orders prohibited



careless and reckless driving on Forest roads, camping within 150 feet of live water, camping and parking in designated areas. The Forest Service reduced health and safety hazards and lessened environmental impacts through enforcement of these closures.



Initially, Paonia Distnct personnel managed the gathering by working with the Rainbow Family in locating gathering facilities, and by cooperating with other agencies. Management authority shifted to the Incident Command Team on June 22. A total of 65 individuals were assigned to the team (47 USFS 7 BLM 3 NPS 4 Delta County Sheriffs Office, 4 Mesa County Sheriffs Office) during the gathering. The overhead team consisted of:


Warren DuBois
Nort Phillips
Larry Hill
Rick Oberheu
Dennis Neill
Tom Williams
Ray Kingston
Larry Overbye
Steve Posey
Terry Hughes
Chet Lonezak
Charlie Burd
Brenda Schultz
Phyllis Goad
Woody Smith
Gloria Holley
David Oicles

Incident Commander
Deputy Incident Commander
Forest Supervisor's Representative
Safety Officer
Information Officer
Planning Section Chief
Logistics Section Chief
Grounds Support Unit Leader
Operations Section Chief
Resource Operations Section Chief
Law Enforcement Team Leader
Law Enforcement Team Leader
Law Enforcement Liaison Officer
Supply Unit Leader
Communications Unit Leader
Time Unit Leader
Incident Dispatcher



As part of the Incident Command System, the team prepared the following plans:



Incident Action Plans were prepared periodically and contained general objectives reflecting the overall incident strategy, and specific action plans for the next operational periods.



Operating Plan outlining the responsibilities of the Rainbow Family and the Forest Service concerning transportation and parking, fire, sanitation, resource concerns, clean up and rehabilitation. The Operating Plan was posted throughout the gathering. (Appendix B)



Law Enforcement Plan defining the staffing and strategy to be used during the gathering.



Public Affairs Plan outlining the methods used to exchange information with the family, cooperating agencies and concerned public.



- Safety Plan identifying safety concerns and emergency procedures.



- Rehabilitation Plan identifying the rehabilitation needs and desired results. This plan was also posted throughout the gathering. Appendix C'



Rainbow Gathering






Lodging & Per Diem






Vehicle Operation






Fixed Wing



Dust Abatement









Cooperative Law



Water Quality Test










































TOTAL $396,208



The Delta County Commissioners served as liaisons between gathering managers and the local public. The County Commissioners organized their own management team of county department heads, to plan their strategy for the Rainbow Family gathering. Their main objective was to minimize the impacts to the county ( i.e. cost, services ). The Commissioners differentiated between the policy versus the management debate and focused the county's attentions on the management of the gathering.



The County Commissioners chaired weekly coordination/public meetings, cooperating agencies were involved. The first part of each meeting consisted of information sharing and coordination between the various agencies. The second half of the meeting was open to the public. All agencies reported on their management efforts. Rainbow Family members also participated in these meetings. The public was provided information and given the opportunity to ask questions and/or vent concerns. This forum did much to stop rumors and relieve local fears.






The Colorado State Patrol was informed of the Rainbow Family's intent to gather in Colorado in December, 1991. At this time, the focus was on the gathering occurring in southwest Colorado. The CSP prepared an operating plan committing troopers to the gathering area and outlining management objectives to be followed. The CSPs main objectives for the gatherings management involved a proactive response to the situation by making their presence known, to:




- Move Rainbow Family members into and out of the area with minimal impact on the local communities.




- Encourage Family members to stay at the gathering site during the gathering.




- Show Family members that rules were being enforced.




- Serve as a deterrent to crime and traffic violations.





incident command public affairs officer. Additionally, the CDOW worked directly with the media to have at least one article per week concerning wildlife appear in the local. papers, to help quell the rumor mill.



Thirteen different officers worked the gathering, with the majority of the load being carried by the local officers. Approximately 550 hours for a total of $13,000 of CONW resources were spent in management of the gathering.



Due to the time expended at the gathering, planned reconnaissance and data collection, as well as usual wildlife enforcement activities did not take place in the area.






The Delta County Memorial Hospital became involved in the coordinated management effort of the 1992 Rainbow gathering in early June. The hospital's objective was to provide health services, as needed. The hospital anticipated the number of people that would likely be seen as a result of the gathering would not impact the system.



During the period the Rainbow Family was in the area, 45 individuals received medical attention at the hospital's emergency room. Most were treated for minor injuries: sprains, fractured/dislocated appendages, infected skin, severe sunburn, diarrhea. Several were treated for colds and respiratory ailments. Four persons were admitted to the hospital, one into intensive care.



Less than half of the people treated had insurance to cover the medical services received. Fifteen people had been referred by CALM Rainbow Family representatives said they would be responsible for costs incurred by people referred by CALM (Center for Alternative Living Medicine, a Rainbow Family group responsible for the health care of the family -see discussion in next chapter). The total uninsured bill was approximately $10,900. The Rainbow Family paid $300, which did not cover the total of the 15 referred patients. The Family did say they would collect and send more money later; however, no additional payments have been received by the hospital.






The North Fork Ambulance Service is a volunteer organization supported through local donations. It is the only ambulance service in the Paonia, Hotchkiss and Crawford areas, with ambulances and crews based in each of these communities. This service was heavily impacted by the Rainbow Family gathering.



Representatives of CALM and the Rainbow Family: Water, Singing on the Rocks and Red Moon Song, visited with the ambulance service prior to the main influx of Family members, to inform the service about the expected impacts. They said the ambulance service could expect one or two runs as a result of the gathering. They also said the Family would meet operating expenses (not the normal charge) for any runs authorized by the Family. The Family under represented what actually happened, in both cases.



During the gathering, the North Fork Ambulance Service completed 13 Rainbow Family related runs, transporting 16 persons to the Delta County Memorial Hospital. The Rainbow Family initiated three of these runs, while the Forest Service and DCSO initiated the remaining calls, primarily as a result of motor vehicle accidents.






The Delta County Health Department was the lead agency overseeing public health and safety at the Rainbow Family gathering. The DCHD was fortunate to have a staff with longevity and credibility in the local communities, which calmed local fears. Additional personnel were requested from the Colorado Department of Health (CDH); all were local, from the Western Slope Office in Grand Junction. The DCHD Director, Bonnie Koehler, represented the health department on the Incident Command Team, at all the interagency coordination and public meetings and in all dealings with the media. She oversaw the activities of all health department staff( both DCHD and CDH) involved with gathering management.



Two management objectives were identified by the DCHD for the gathering:



- Minimize impacts to the local hospital by keeping Rainbow Family members as healthy as possible.



- Document the event photographically, both the good and the bad. (No photographic record was available for the 1992 gathering managers, making it hard to visualize the event and its impacts.)




No official media tours were conducted; however, PAO's were available for interviews. Media representatives were asked to check in with the ICP before and after visits to the gathering site so that the PAO's could answer questions and provide current status updates. Special passes allowing parking close to the gathering site were available to the media, which was a drawing card for the ICP.



There was heavy media coverage of the gathering. National coverage focused on the Rainbow Family and the gathering. Local coverage focused on the management and local concerns. Editorials were generally critical of the Forest Service and the Rainbow Family.



Several of the cooperating agencies conducted additional public information programs during the gathering. Because of wildlife related concerns, the CDOW worked directly with local media to help stop rumors. Colorado Department of Health officials visited local grocery stores and restaurants to encourage them to pay particular attention to sanitation while the Rainbow Family was in the area The Delta County Sheriff visited businesses to inform them of the large number of people that would be utilizing their services. The combined efforts of all involved provided accurate information to the public.









A detailed report of law enforcement activities for the 1992 Rainbow Family gathering will be prepared under separate cover. The following is a general discussion.



Law enforcement objectives for the gathering included:



- provide for safety of all law enforcement officers, other personnel assigned to the incident, and other Forest users;



- protect Forest resources and personal property;



- enforce all Federal, State and local laws, regulations and orders in a fair and firm manner;



- all Forest users will be treated equally;



- all Forest Service law enforcement personnel will fully cooperate and assist other law enforcement agencies.



-Law enforcement activities were coordinated among 16 different agencies. Eight agencies had personnel directly involved.



A total of 25 Forest Service law enforcement officers, 3 BLM, 4 Delta County Sheriff deputies and 4 Mesa County Sheriff deputies were assigned to the Incident Command Team during the period of June 13 through July 15, with officers being rotated in and out as needed. Officers provided 24-hour coverage. Deputies were paired with Forest Service law enforcement officers to provide enforcement authority for both State and County ordinances and CFR violations on all patrols. Officers generally remained outside of the main gathering, patrolling Forest roads accessing the area.



The Colorado State Patrol detailed 45 troopers to the area. They provided 24-hour coverage on all State and County roads in the vicinity of the gathering, from June 27 through July 6. CSP coverage did not extend onto the National Forest except for vehicle accidents with injuries and to provide officer assists. In addition to the increased patrols in the gathering vicinity, the CSP also conducted safety checks at venous locations.



Forest Service presence at the gathering site consisted of daily visits by command team staff. All personnel making official visits were required to be in uniform and stay in groups of at least two. Radio contact was maintained with the Incident Command Post.



Management emphasis within the gathering was concerned with human health and safety, and resource protection. Forest Service personnel worked closely with Rainbow Family members to locate suitable sites for latrines, trails, kitchens and campsites. They monitored Rainbow Family activities, noted resource impacts and rehabilitation needs, and maintained communication with Family members. Management emphasis outside the gathering area was to maintain a strong law enforcement presence.



The Incident Command Post (ICP) was established at the Paonia High School; which provided good facilities for public information contact, command staff operations, dispatching and law enforcement needs (prisoner holding and processing). It was beneficial to have all Incident Command functions in one location. All official visitors to the gathering site were required to check in at the ICP before and after the visit.



A special communications network was established for the Incident Command. Most of the required equipment had been ordered during the pregathering planning and



was available to begin setup as soon as the site was selected. To prevent interference with normal Forest operations, nine phone lines were installed for the ICP, with separate lines for public affairs, law enforcement, general communications, and a FAX machine. Six Data General terminals and a laser printer were installed. Special radio frequencies were established exclusively for the incident. Dispatching was handled from a base radio in the ICP. Three remote repeaters were installed to provide radio coverage in the gathering area.



There were several problems with radio communications during the gathering. Due to the rough terrain, some areas did not have radio coverage. Rodents chewed through coaxial cables at one repeater site, requiring additional maintenance.



Incident command staffing was highest during the main gathering (July 1-7). Approximately half the staff was released from the incident July &. Releases continued through July 1,, when the Incident Command Post was closed and the Paonia District again took over management of the Rainbow Family gathering.



Costs to the Forest Service for the 1992 Rainbow Family gathering exceeded the 1991 costs, for several reasons. The communications network required three repeaters, versus one in Vermont. Repeater sites could only be accessed by helicopter, and problems required repeated visits to the different sites. An additional person was assigned to the communications team. Road maintenance costs were incurred to eliminate safety hazards. Water quality was a more sensitive issue at this year's gathering, requiring additional testing. Lodging in the area was limited due to other events occurring in the vicinity, which necessitated additional logistics support. Building security costs were incurred due to vandalism at the ICP. The distance from the ICP to the gathering site was greater than in 1991, resulting in increased travel expenses. Two additional law enforcement personnel were added to the team; and a supervisory dispatcher, to provide relief during the 12 hour shifts. Forest Service costs are summarized below:



Total for these amounted to 3630. The Rainbow Family passed the magic hat to pay for the three authorized runs collecting $400. They also contributed approximately $75 worth of medical supplies to the ambulance service, in lieu of payment. This $475 did not cover the expenses of the three runs. Only one of the Family members transported had insurance, which has not paid. Attempts to locate other patients for billing have also been unsuccessful due to false information. The North Fork Ambulance Service sustained a loss of almost $3150.



In addition to the monetary loss, the ambulance service increased the number of crews on call, to provide additional coverage to the gathering. Crew members had to alter their regular schedules so they would be available. The service also increased the number of personnel responding to calls, sending three to five people, as needed.






The North Fork Medical Clinic is the only medical facility in the Paonia area. Water Singing on the Rocks met with Dr. Hoisington, of this office, to see what services would be supplied, if they had to be paid for, and asked if the doctor would volunteer at the gathering. The clinic is a general medical practice. Their policy was payment before services, in all but emergency cases: and the medical staff did not volunteer at the gathering.



Approximately 30 Rainbow Family members sought services at this clinic during the gathering, which was not a major impact on regular business. Half of this number had insurance, about 40% of the remaining half paid for their services, and the remainder were referred to the Delta County Memorial Hospital. The clinic treated a variety of ailments with urinary tract infections and colds being the most frequent. More serious problems went directly to the hospital.



The clinic's policy of payment before services resulted in limited costs approximately $150. Several individuals were very offended when free services were not rendered.






The Delta County Department of Social Services is part of a State organization that facilitates Federal, State and County social assistance programs, at the county level. The Department of Social Services has a statewide contingency plan to deal with large influxes of people, which would draw on personnel and resources from other areas to meet needs in any given location. The influx of Rainbow Family members was handled smoothly and effectively by the local staff, with minimal disruption of ongoing activities.



One application for aid to family with dependent children was approved for a grant of $280 and continues to be an ongoing case. Two applications for general assistance for medical aid were approved (Total $123.00 for medication to prevent spread of disease and higher treatment cost, later.



Requests for pain killer, prescriptions, transportation and homeless shelter were denied.



A total of 159 households "individual were consolidated into families where possible) applied for Food Stamps, with 156 applications being approved. An excess of $21,000 in Food Stamps were issued. The trend in application is shown below:



June # Applications/Day July # Applications/Day
16 6 1 13
17 5 2 7
18 4 6 4
19 3 7 4
22 6 8 6
23 7 9 3
24 17 10 1
25 13 13 3
26 8 14 2
29 23 15 5
30 19 TOTAL 236


June applicants were screened for participation in the Food Stamp Program in other states. A number were not approved for June, but since they applied after June 15, they were approved for July issuance. Applications were also denied for voluntarily quitting a job, not meeting income requirements and presenting a false Social Security number.



Applicants were very knowledgeable of eligibility requirements. Many individuals represented themselves as "homeless" so their Social Security numbers or previous participation could not be verified under homeless rules of the Department of Social Services. False Social Security numbers now in the Colorado System may cause problems for clients in the future.



Several options to deal with human waste were considered. use as not feasible to use porta-potties, for several reasons:



' It was not feasible to



- 200 would be needed for the anticipated crowd of 20,000. This number was not available and the cost would have been prohibitive if they were



- The porta-potties would require daily pumping. The main gathering site was located in a non-motorized restricted travel area and the potties could not have been hauled in or accessed for pumping.



The Forest Soil Scientist, assigned to the Incident Command Team as the Resource Operations Chief, reviewed available research (references listed in Appendix E) on field sanitation standards. It was determined that slit trench latrines were the accepted practice for large groups and that the Colorado State standards would protect both human health and natural resources.



The Colorado State standards used in both the Operating Plan and Safety Plan specified that the family provide one latrine for each 100 people -- 200 latrines were required for the peak of the gathering. Latrines were to be dug at least 30 inches long by 12 inches wide by 36 inches deep. They were supposed to be covered with plywood or similar material and sealed at the edges with earth, to prevent rodent or fly access. Trap doors would allow human access. Latrines were to be at least 300 feet from streams or lakes. Sanitation lime and/or wood ash was to be applied after each use, to control potential spread of disease and aid in decomposition. Latrines were to be filled in when waste was within 15 inches of the surface. Hand washing facilities (containing bleach) were to be present at each latrine.



Forest Service and DCHD personnel located and flagged desirable latrine locations; however, latrines were not always dug at these locations. Some latrines were constructed too close to kitchens and open water, and were eventually moved as a result of Forest Service and health department pressure. Many latrines were not properly covered. (Some Rainbow Family members raised the ethical concern that the glues used in plywood/waferboard hurt the ozone and they did not want to use these materials. A lack of available materials may have also been a reason for noncompliance.) No sanitation lime was available until one DCHD worker donated 150 pounds to the Family. The Family did not adequately mark latrine locations, especially in the beginning of the gathering, which resulted in some surface deposition (called "forest daisies") in some areas. DCHD brought problems to the attention of CAI~M, who would organize "Cat Patrols" to clean up areas by burying waste. The Family was slow to dig enough latrines for the anticipated crowd. The North Fork Baptist Church donated 13 shovels to the Rainbow Family on June 13, and efforts at digging latrines were stepped up.



An average of 3 latrines were dug near each kitchen and each concentrated camping area. Many latrines were larger than the required size. By the peak influx, the family probably had the required number of latrines dug; however, the problems described above continued to occur.



During the clean up effort, all evidence of surface deposition was removed and all but a few latrines in remote locales were filled in correctly.


Food Services


Food services were monitored every two to three days. The Rainbow Family established 35 kitchens during the gathering. DCHD/CDH sanitarians visited all but five kitchens on a routine basis.



The sanitarians developed ''HiGene's10 Commandments of Food Safety" - 10 simple rules to cut down on food borne diseases Copy in Appendix F). These rules were written as rhymes and quickly caught on at all the kitchens.



DCHD/CDH personnel stressed the importance of boiling water to everyone they contacted, though some gathering participants argued boiling was unnecessary. The Operating and Safety Plans recommended that all drinking, cooking and wash water be created by boiling a minimum of five minutes. .~11 kitchens usually had a large pot of boiling water on the fire at all times. Testing of the four water lines the Family established to provide water to many kitchens showed all four lines were contaminated. There were no reported cases of waterborne diseases contracted during the gathering; however the Colorado Department of Health received a report of 200 confirmed cases of giardia in Oregon, in people who had visited western Colorado during the same time period as the gathering.



A three-bucket dish washing system consisting of a hot (140 degree) soapy wash, a clear hot rinse and a lukewarm chlorine rinse ( V4 cup of chlorine bleach per five gallons water) was the recommended procedure. One health department worker provided o0 5-gallon buckets to some of the kitchens, so they would be able to set up this system. (Buckets were also used for food storage.) The sanitarians always checked the chlorine rinse strength on each visit. They routinely left test paper with each kitchen so the kitchen volunteers could make sure sanitation procedures were being followed.


The DCHD recommended the hand washing facilities be changed from a bucket to some closed container so water would be poured over hands, rather than hands be put into a container, eliminating the risk of the wash water becoming contaminated. The Family adopted this at most kitchens and latrines.



Health standards compliance in the kitchens was good. There were no reports of food borne diseases occurring during the gathering. Health department workers found only two instances of questionable quality food and/or sanitation practices. At the kitchen near Kiddie Village, they found a large pot of beans that had been kept off temperature too long. The cook immediately disposed of the beans. At the kitchen in Bus Village, a goat was cooked and the meat was used in stew. The meat was not completely cooked, dogs were seen pulling the meat off the grill repeatedly, people shredding the meat for the stew had visibly dirty hands. CAINE was informed of the problems and the cook and similar problems were not seen in the kitchen again.


Water Quality


Water quality was a major issue surrounding the Rainbow Family gathering. All the water in the Overland Reservoir area belonged to the Overland Ditch Company shareholders. Water from Overland Reservoir is diverted into the Overland Ditch and is used for irrigation, livestock and domestic water.



The Overland Ditch Company shareholders where very anxious about the effects of raw human waste on themselves as they irrigated their fields and gardens. The FS resource specialists and health department sanitation experts recognized the public concern, but did not consider this a potential human health hazard, due to the minute amount of waste that would enter Overland Reservoir and the miles of ditch (approx. 20) the water would pass through before use.



To allay public concerns the DCHD and FS established a water quality monitoring program to sample water daily from eight locations "identified on map Figure 2), from June 17 through July 30. Two control sites, one upstream, one in a similar basin, and



- Giardia (Water borne disease. .ALL water in the area was assumed to be contaminated. Treat by boiling a minimum of 5 minutes.)



Fact sheets on campylobacter, shigella. salmonella, and infectious hepatitis were also passed out to all CALM units and anyone who was interested. Epidemiologists visited with CALCULI staff about aids, hepatitis and other diseases. In addition, the health department donated 11,000 condoms and o0 parasite testing kits to CACTI. Health department workers distributed many TIGRIS, to alleviate altitude sickness symptoms.



The hospital's assistant administrator, Jeannette Moore, personally visited with Rainbow Family CAL^\I representatives, to see how their medical facilities were staffed and equipped. This visit revealed the CALM units were only sufficient to deal with non-emergency and routine first aid situations. To assist the Family in treating minor injuries, the hospital provided supplies of antibacterial ointment, sterile dressings, peroxide and alcohol.



During the gathering, CALM reported two cases of hepatitis. One was documented as type A, the other was not type tested. CALM sequestered these individuals and monitored their kitchen and latrine use. CALM also treated two cases of suspected giardia.



Other problems occurring at the gathering included severe sunburn and mosquito bites . Health department workers encouraged gathering participants to used sun block, due to the intense sun at the high elevation. Many Family members were reassured when DCHD/CDH staff informed them that local mosquitoes did not transmit encephalitis. Due to the cool, wet weather that occurred during much of the gathering, these problems were not severe.



DCHD/CDH personnel also observed that head lice was a problem. Many Family members also complained of a one-day flu-like illness that occurred about July 1.








On the final day (July 7) of each annual Rainbow Gathering, a Vision Council is held to select the general location for the following year's gathering. At the 1991 gathering on the Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont, controversy developed over whether Colorado or South Dakota had been selected as the state for the 1992 gathering. The majority of the Rainbow Family felt Colorado was the selected state, and began making preparations.



In early May, a Rainbow Scout Camp was established near Pagosa Springs, Colorado. This was the base camp for Rainbow Scouts looking for the ideal gathering spot. The family would not confirm a location for their summer gathering, at this time. One family member listed the criteria they were using to find a site:



- 8500 to 9500 feet in elevation.


Rainbow Gathering 1992


- parking separate from the main camp with a 4 to 5 mile hike into the main camp.



- "volcanic" source of drinking water to pipe into camp.



- two large meadows, at a minimum:



+ one approximately 100 acres in size for main camp,



+ one approximately 20 acres for the praying circle to accommodate 0,000 people, 1 to 2 miles away from main camp, higher in elevation than main camp.



- a good area for parking all vehicles, including bus village.



- the area doesn't need to be flat, just big enough and "tough" enough to withstand all the people.



In late May, the Rainbow camp moved to Taylor Park, near Gunnison Colorado, to hold a Spring Council. In past years, annual gatherings have been held within 50 miles of Spring Council locations. The Forest Service contacted the family to determine where the gathering would occur, but no confirmation was given.



Cold weather and pressure from Gunnison County caused the Spring Council camp to disburse, on June 2-3. The Rainbow Family established a hotline phone number which members could call to find out about the gathering. By calling this number, the Forest Service discovered the Family was being directed to Overland Reservoir. On June 4, six Rainbow Family members were camping at Overland Reservoir. The family would not confirm that Overland Reservoir was the place until June 9.



Overland Reservoir is located 27 miles from the town of Paonia. (See vicinity map in Figure 1.) The gathering occurred on approximately 2500 acres surrounding Overland Reservoir. Located at an average of 10,000 feet in elevation, the main meadow (Elk Park) was approximately one mile west of the reservoir. Most of the camps and kitchens were established in the surrounding spruce/fir covered slopes.



Once Overland Reservoir was confirmed as the gathering site, Forest Service personnel began working closely with Rainbow Family members in locating trails, kitchens, parking and other gathering facilities. A main objective was to minimize the environmental impacts of 15,000 to 20,000 people. Rainbow members were directed to locate facilities away from sensitive areas.






On June 9, when Overland Reservoir was confirmed as the location for the 1992 gathering, an estimated 50 Rainbow Family members were on site. By June 14, approximately 500 people were at Overland Reservoir, with numbers increasing daily. Official daily counts were begun on June 23. Population estimates were based on vehicle counts, assuming five people per vehicle. The graph below shows the population pattern throughout the gathering. The population peaked on July 4, with an estimated 18,275 people.




Rainbow Influx Graph





People arrived at the gathering in many different ways: new cars, old cars, expensive and junkers, rented cars. converted buses, campers. motor homes, motorcycles and on foot. Vehicle counts also peaked on July 4, at 3655.






Overland Reservoir is accessed via two main routes Stevens Gulch Road (Forest Development Road 701) north from Paonia, and Buzzard Divide Road (FDR 265) off Colorado State Highway 133, near McClure Pass. Approximately 213 of the traffic used FDR 701 and 1/3 used FDR 265. The gathering area may also be accessed via State Highway 330, through Collbran; however negligible amounts of Rainbow traffic went this way.



Prior to knowledge of the Rainbow gathering, traffic counters were routinely installed on FDR 701 just inside the Forest boundary north of Paonia, on FDR 265 near the eastern Forest boundary, and on the road accessing Overland Reservoir ~ FDR 705). Average vehicle per day (VPD) counts for the period of June 29 through July 22 are displayed below, along with average counts for approximately the same period in 1991.



Road 6/29 - 7/22/92 1991


265 169 vpd 71 vpd (7/2-7/21)


701 577 vpd 96 vpd (7/2-8/5)


705 377 vpd 41 vpd (7/22-10/26)



Comparing these average traffic counts with daily parked vehicle counts, use peaked on or near July 4th, with 300 vpd on FDR 265, 1000 vpd on FDR 701 and 450 vpd on FDR 70~. To keep these figures in perspective, some major travel routes on the Forest receive peaks of 500-600 vpd on weekends and holidays.



The increased traffic associated with the Rainbow gathering resulted in several problems:



- The amount of traffic and unfamiliarity of gathering participants with Forest road conditions created a safety hazard. All the access routes on the Forest are single-laned gravel roads with turnouts, with the exception of a 4 1/2 mile section of the Stevens Gulch Road that is two-laned. These roads are steep and winding, and it became apparent that many of the gathering participant were not familiar with driving on these types of roads. On June 16, 1992, the Forest Supervisor issued Special Closure Order #03-92 prohibiting reckless driving. This authorized Forest Service law enforcement officers to issue violation notices to reckless drivers. Reckless driving violations far outnumbered all other violations issued during the gathering. The threat of being cited likely deterred many from driving recklessly. Only 10 accidents occurred on Forest roads, none serious.



- Stevens Gulch Road (FDR ,01) was scheduled to be used as a timber hauling route during the gathering. Because of the amount of Rainbow related traffic, the Forest Service felt the safety hazard was too high to allow logging trucks to use FDR 701, and required the timber purchaser to use an alternate haul route. The route change resulted in higher costs to the timber purchaser, which will result in a claim against the Forest Service.



The anticipated use on the Stevens Gulch Road FDR 701) required a previously scheduled road maintenance contract to be accelerated. at a cost of S4300. Additionally, magnesium chloride was applied to ~ L!2 miles for dust abatement and to prevent washboarding from developing into a road hazard, at a cost of 511,000.






Finding suitable parking for the expected 4000 plus vehicles was a major concern during the gathering. The Forest Service evaluated fifteen parks and meadows in the area surrounding Overland Reservoir, and determined ample parking would be available. The Forest Service wanted to minimize both the environmental impacts and the total area effected by the gathering, and worked with the Rainbow Family to locate parking in areas that would be the least impacted.



During the gathering, several closure orders concerning parking were issued by the Forest Supervisor. As Rainbow family numbers increased, parking along the Overland Reservoir access road also increased. To keep this road open, closure order #04-92 was issued prohibiting parking on or within 20 feet of FDR 705.



A conflict developed at Mule Park, located on FDR 265. The Forest Service specified that parking would NOT be allowed at this location for several reasons:



- There was ample parking available closer to the gathering. Mule Park is over 10 miles from Overland Reservoir and would have required an additional 4 mile shuttle tap.



- FDR 265 was a designated timber haul road and there were safety concerns about transporting people in a shuttle · vechicle along a designated timber haul route.



- Mule Park is within a different grazing allotment than Overland Reservoir and the Forest Service did not want the Rainbow gathering to impact a third allotment.



- Livestock were scheduled to use Mule Park beginning July 10, and the Forest Service had committed that forage in the area would be protected by not allowing parking and camping to occur.



The Rainbow family began directing people to Mule Park on June 22.



Members of the Incident Command team speculated a group within the Rainbow family had an agenda to find an issue which they could take the Forest Service to court on. Forest Service personnel tried to meet with these people on June 23 and 24 to discuss the problems with parking at Mule Park, but were unsuccessful.



Closure Order #05-92 prohibiting parking and camping in Mule Park was signed by the Forest Supervisor, on June 24. Rainbow Family members were given until midnight on June 27 to move their vehicles, or they would be ticketed and towed at the owners expense. Forest Service personnel took this information into the gathering camp, to encourage people to move their vehicles.



Parking or Camping signs were posted at bible Park on June 25. Ninety-one (91) vehicle were parked there, at this time. No additional · vehicles tried to park after the signs were posted.



Alternative parking was established at Government Park, on June 26. This location is closer to the gathering and is accessed by FDR 701, which was not a timber haul route.



The Incident Commander and Forest Administrative Officer spoke with approximately 50 members of the Rainbow Family at a Council meeting, on June 26, where they explained the Forest Service's reasons for not allowing parking at Mule Park.



By June 2, . the number of vehicles parked in Mule Park had dropped to 31. Vehicles continued to leave during the day. Eighteen were left that night.



A small group of 20-30 family members were on site at midnight, to stage a civil disobedience protest over the towing, however the Forest Service did not attempt to tow any vehicles. The crowd dispersed, a few more cars left during June _8, and only six vehicles remained by June 29.



Five vehicles were towed from Mule Park the morning of June 29. .\ caravan of Forest Service vehicles and commercial tow trucks entered the Forest on FDR ~ 01. No resistance was given at Mule Park. The caravan exited the Forest on FDR 265 because if appeared some Rainbows would attempt to block FDR 701 at the intersection with FDR /05. The last vehicle was towed later in the afternoon. No other vehicles parked in this area after this date.



Four main parking areas were established during the course of the gathering. Live-in vehicles were parked at Bus Village and Van Village, on the east side of Overland Reservoir. The largest concentration occurred on July 4, with a combined total of 846 vehicles. Early arrivers parked in designated areas along FDR 700, near the reservoir. Vehicle counts reached 562, in these areas. Vehicles that came up FDR 265 from McClure Pass were directed to Hayrack Park, near the intersection of FDR 265 and FDR 701. This area held up to 519 vehicles. The largest concentration of vehicles was at Government Park, on FDR 701. The high count also occurred on July 4, with 1725 vehicles.



The Rainbow Family posted signs directing people to the parking areas. They also provided parking lot crews to oversee the parking.



Rainbow Family members were shuttled from the outer parking areas to the main camp in pickups and a Ryder rental truck. It was routine for 40-60 individuals to be loaded into the Ryder truck at one time. The county Sheriff contacted the Ryder company concerning the use of their truck as a Shuttle. The company representative asked the Sheriff to tell the Rainbows to read their rental contract, which specifically prohibited hauling passengers; however, the company chose not to pursue the issue. The Rainbow Family was informed of their liability, and the shuttle continued.



The driver of the Ryder shuttle was cited for reckless driving, on one occasion. Other shuttle drivers were stopped several times for carrying passengers on the hood, roof, sides and tailgates of pickups.



F. PARTICIPANT PROFILE (excerpt from 1991 Rainbow Gathering Report)



Rainbow Family members will tell you,' everyone is Rainbow, some just don't know it yet." And, "The only criteria for being Rainbow is that you have a belly button." The human diversity seen at the 1992 Rainbow Gathering seems to substantiate these claims.



In reality, only a portion of those attending a Rainbow Gathering are true Rainbows. This core group consists of people who were part of the 1960's hippie movement, plus others from younger generations who espouse that lifestyle and value system. Even within this core group diversity abounds. Some still live the hippie lifestyle; other are regularly a part of mainstream society but annually/periodically attend Rainbow Gatherings to reconnect with bygone days and friends. They are young, they are old; straight and gay; long haired, skin headed and clad in dreadlocks; totally naked and fully clothed; those who discuss philosophy at length and those who "veg-out" all day; college graduated and high school drop outs; the employed and the chronically unemployed. The Rainbow philosophy of acceptance and tolerance of all people and lifestyles allows such dichotomies to flourish.



Rainbows are also bound together by their common belief and desire for peace, love and respect for Planet Earth and all its inhabitants.



The gathering attracts many others. There are other counter-culture groups represented: religious and satanic cults and biker gangs. There are the 'hangers-on'; homeless and chronically unemployed people who follow the Rainbows because they know they will be accepted, fed and cared for. And there are the curiosity seekers; local citizens as well as those traveling across country and from abroad to experience the phenomena of a Rainbow gathering.






Personal values held by Rainbow Family members are as diverse as the collection of gathering participants. Several core values are shared by family members and were circulated throughout the gathering in Rainbow literature.



ALCOHOL - Rainbows discourage alcohol use and try to restrict its use within the gathering area; however, a special camp - "A" (for abusers) Camp - where alcohol use and abuse occurs, is usually established outside the main gathering. At the 1992 gathering, "A" campers moved into the main gathering before the main event. A large number of beer and wine containers were seen in the recycling piles that were hauled out of the gathering area.



DRUGS - Marijuana and mushrooms are viewed as natural healing herbs by the Rainbow family, and are openly bartered and used during a Rainbow gathering. Use of man-made substances like LSD and crack is not condoned, but does occur at gatherings. There were 11 drug related arrests of family members during the gathering, and LSD was found in a public restroom in Paonia.



NUDITY - Nudity is common and accepted among gathering participants. Several instances of public nudity were also reported in nearby communities.



ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS - Central to Rainbow beliefs is a love and respect for all things natural. Rainbow literature distributed and posted at the gathering encouraged participants to pick up trash, recycle, compost, protect water sources by not camping or washing near them, naturalize campsites and trails, use latrines and bury waste. The majority of participants were very conscious of these things.



SOCIAL ATTITUDES - At Rainbow Family gatherings, most basic needs are provided free of charge: food, shelter, medical attention. Many family members seem to expect similar needs will be freely supplied outside the gathering, as well.



Within the gathering, almost any activity that does not hurt someone else is acceptable. There ;`r~ few restrictions. This attitude manifests itself in the Family not feeling obligated to conform to malls stream society restrictions, including seeking water rights or special use permits.






The Rainbow Family is not a "formal" organization. They have no elected officers, no charter. too membership dues. Everyone is welcome to participate and is treated equally. No one is given authority to speak or act for the entire Family. Individuals who have energy in different areas and fill leadership-type roles are called "focalizers", but they have no more authority than any other family member



The family governs itself through council meetings. Special councils are held at various times during the year, but councils can be held whenever and wherever the need arises. Any number of



individuals can sit at a council and all are encouraged to participate. An eagle feather is passed around the circle. The person holding the feather has the floor.



Decisions are made by consensus. Every person has the chance to be heard and input is weighed equally. Consensus means everyone must understand the issue and even though not everyone may completely agree with a decision, they can live with it. It is possible for a single person to block consensus and a decision is not made. A decision consented to at one council may be changed at another council.



Agency personnel were frustrated in dealings with Rainbow Family members because agreements made with one individual or group were not respected by others (because no one has authority to represent the group). Dialogues had to start from the beginning point with each encounter with family members, on many issues.



There were a few "focalizers" that personnel working on the incident could work with and achieve some success in getting things accomplished. Family members were usually very responsive to environmental concerns, but authontative/regulatory concerns were met with defiance.






Shanti Sena means peace keeper. Shanti Sena in the Rainbow Family are volunteers who act to maintain general order within the gathering. Anyone who wishes to be a Shanti Sena can be one. They typically use nonviolent methods like persuasion and peer pressure in dealing with undesirable behavior. Family members say they can deal with any problems within the gathering with their Shanti Sena.



Early on in the gathering, Shanti Sena accompanied Forest Service and other agency personnel into the gathering, to watch both what the Forest Service was doing and what Family members were saying and doing.



At a public meeting held by the Rainbow Family, the Family representative commented that Shanti Sena would be present in the local communities to help their people move through faster. This did occur on a few isolated occasions, with Shanti Sena being present at the local grocery store and at a convenience store located on the outskirts of Paonia.



Two alleged assaults were reported to the incident command. In one instance Shanti Sena apprehended the suspect, but he escaped before law enforcement officers arrived. The-suspect in the second assault was never caught by either the Shanti Sena or local law enforcement officials.



Shanti Sena were instrumental in defusing a volatile situation when two dead bodies were found in Bus Village, July 6 (see discussion under L. GATHERING INCIDENTS, below). Shanti Sena assisted with crowd control, allowing law enforcement officers to complete their investigation.






CALM is the Rainbow Family "tribe" entrusted with the medical care of family members. . At annual gatherings CALM sets up MASH-type facilities to treat participants ailments and injuries. C.'LLSI is staffed with volunteers, including doctors, nurses, Enlists, acupuncturists, herbalists and massage e therapists. CALM also oversees camp sanitation, including: water supply, kitchens, latrines and Vacate disposal.



Three CALM units were established at the 1992 gathering: one in Bus Village, one near Elk Park and one further up Cow Creek drainage. CALM units maintained communication with each other with CB radios.


(Sorry, a page was missing here. ksh)


six locations in and around Overland Reservoir were selected. Samples were tested for fecal coliform, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Testing for fecal coliform and ammonia was done at the Delta City lab; nitrite and nitrate tests were run at the Delta County Health Department. Discrepancies between fecal coliform colony counts (which showed samples far exceeding minimum standards of 200/100 ml.) and results from the other three tests (which indicated samples far below minimum standards of 0.02 mg/1 unionized for ammonia, 0.050 mail for nitrite and 10.0 mg/1 for nitrate) indicated problems with the lab technique being used (more emphasis on visual count of colonies, less on microscopic verification J. Beginning June 30, a different lab technique was used (microscopic verification) to determine fecal coliform colony counts and split samples were tested at the Colorado Department of Health Western Branch Laboratory. Results from all labs from June 30 - July 30 were consistent: readings were far below minimum standards. The two control sites did show spikes in fecal coliform on July 8. Livestock were present in both these areas, and the spike occurred after moderate summer rains.



The DCHD provided the personnel to take and test the water samples. The FS paid for their time, testing mediums, sterile collection containers, and transportation costs.



There were logistical problems in getting the water samples to the labs, due both to distance and time required to complete the testing. On weekends, samples had to be flown to Grand Junction for analysis.



In addition to water quality sampling, the DCHD posted bright green signs at all stream crossings, in CALM and kitchen facilities asking Rainbow Family members to please not bathe, swim, wash clothes or utensils, use soap or detergents or eliminate body wastes in streams or lakes. These requests were generally respected, however some bathing and washing did occur in streams and Overland Reservoir.



Some foaming began to appear in several waterways around Overland Reservoir, during the gathering. There was concern expressed that the foaming may be due to phosphate contamination. It was determined that the foaming was due to natural organic matter in the water - NOT phosphates.



The results of the water quality monitoring show that the Rainbow gathering had essentially no negative impacts on water quality in and around Overland Reservoir.





The DCHD/CDH primary management objective was to minimize the impacts to local health care providers by keeping the Rainbow Family as healthy as possible. Because the vast majority of Family members were visitors to the area and likely not aware of local health concerns, the health department distributed information about:



- Ticks (Ticks were not found at Overland Reservoir but occur at lower altitudes. Many gathering participants hitch hiked or walked through these areas. Ticks transmit Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease. )



- Plague (Transmitted by fleas from small mammals, present at Overland Reservoir. )



- Altitude Sickness (Overland Reservoir/Elk Park is located at 10,000 feet in elevation. )



- Dehydration (Participants may avoid drinking water due to possible contamination.


Figure 1 Vicinity Map



In May, 1992, representatives of CALM sent a copy of their "Plan for Health and Sanitation for the Rainbow International Peace and Healing Gathering'' to the Colorado State Health Department. This plan outlined steps the family would take concerning development/protection of water sources, latrine use and maintenance, recycling, waste disposal, food sanitation and family medical care. This plan was generated as a result of previous court rulings requiring the Rainbow family to meet minimum health and sanitation standards at gatherings. CALM representatives followed up with visits to the local health department. hospital, ambulance service and clinics when they came into the area.



CALM misrepresented their actual facilities. Visits to CALMunits by health department officials and local hospital staff revealed that CALM was only equipped to provide first aid medical attention. CALM requested the hospital provide structures they could set up in, but these requests were denied. CALM eventually set up in old army tents and tarp covered pole structures. Many of the bandages they had were old surplus military issue. Other supplies were limited. No protocol was established to deal with emergency situations. CAL~SI also misrepresented the health care needs of gathering participants and how services rendered would be paid for.



To reduce the pressure on local health care providers, Delta County Memorial Hospital provided CALM with bandages, antibacterial ointment, rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide. Additionally, the Delta County Health Department distributed 11,000 prophylactics and information on aids and other communicable diseases to CAINE. The Forest Service prepared a Safety Plan which described the actions to be taken in the event of an emergency.



CALM was very receptive to any information concerning health and sanitation. Health department and Forest Service officials discussed any health and sanitation deficiencies found in the gathering with CAl~51, and CAINE enforced the correction of these deficiencies.



At the 1992 gathering, there appeared to be a rift between some CALMvolunteers, so contacts were made with each CALM.






Each Rainbow gathering is different, but there are some features common to all gatherings. These features at the 1992 gathering at Overland Reservoir are described below. Features are identified on the map in Figure 2.



WELCOME CENTER - The Welcome Center was located at the intersection of the Overland Reservoir access road (PER 705) and Stevens Gulch Road (FDR 701). During the gathering, Rainbow family members would direct people to outlying parking areas, and attempted to restrict traffic on FDR 705 to live-in vehicles traveling to Bus Village and vehicles bringing in supplies.



FRONT GATE - The Front Gate was located near the Overland Reservoir dam, at the terminus of FDR 705. This was where the shuttle deposited its riders. New arrivals were "welcomed home' by other Rainbow Family members, and given information about the gathering and the location. Everyone had to pass through the Front Gate to get to the main camp.



INFORMATION CENTER - The Information Center, located near the Front Gate, was manned by family members who answered questions and gave directions. Information was posted on a easel-like structure constructed of tall ( 10-12') poles lashed together. Information on sanitation, camping, personal hygiene, scheduled events, Forest Service and Health Department fliers, and messages to/from gathering participants were displayed at this colorful location. General information was also available at CALM tents (see discussion below).



BUS VILLAGE - Bus Village and the adjacent Van Village were parking/camping areas for self contained and live-in vehicles. These areas were located just east of the Overland Reservoir spillway


Figure 2: Gathering Features/MAP


and encompassed approximately 30-40 acres. At the peak of the gathering, 846 vehicles were parked here.



Originally, Van Village was within an area closed to camping This site was adjacent to Bus Village and the Rainbows did not want to move. Because Van Village was so similar to Bus Village and there was no desire to impact another area, an amendment to Closure Order #04-92 rescinding the camping closure in this area was approved before the main gathering influx.



There was a major health concern over sanitation problems that occurred at Bus Village and Van Village Both areas were located on compacted gravel benches (a result of reservoir construction' with poor drainage. The large concentration of people (approximately 4200) in this area required that 21 latrines be constructed - which did not occur. Latrines that were constructed were not dug at flagged locations and some were too near open water. In addition, many people did not use the latrines and a large amount of surface deposition occurred along the edges and within the two villages. There were also concerns about lack of dumping facilities for self-contained vehicles.



MAIN MEADOW - The main meadow is the center of the gathering, where councils, communal meals and the peace vigil on July 4th, is held. Elk Park, approximately 1/2 mile west of Overland Reservoir was the main meadow for the 1992 gathering. Trails leading to camps and kitchens surrounding the meadow converged at the main circle.



KITCHENS - Thirty-five kitchens were in operation during the gathering. These areas served as social centers and were operated by volunteers. Somike popcorn, donuts, waffles and tea. Others prepared a variety of food.



Kitchens were distributed throughout the gathering area. Kitchens were open air structures built from dead and down logs and poles found on site. Large, usually blue, tarps covered these structures to protect the area from wet weather. Cooking was usually done over open fires in large rock lined pits. A few kitchens had ovens made out of 55 gallon drums which were set in rock and mud walls.



Sanitation was a major concern to the Rainbow Family, the Forest Service, and the State of Colorado and Delta County Health Departments. Health Department officials routinely visited kitchens to make sure minimum health standards were being met in food storage, preparation and serving. Most kitchens had a three-bucket dish washing system (hot soapy water, hot clear rinse, lukewarm chlorine rinse and hand washing station. Informative signing was posted to encourage proper use. Compost pits, gray water pits and recycling centers were also present at most kitchens. Large pots of boiling water were usually present, to provide safe water for cooking, cleaning and drinking.



Food was prepared and available at the kitchens during much of the day. A communal dinner was usually held each day at the main circle in Elk Park. Food was transported from the kitchens and served at the main circle.



FOOD - Little perishable food stuffs were used at the gathering with the exception of fresh fruits and vegetables. Staple food items included beans, lentils, rice and potatoes. Most food was purchased with common funds and stored at a common supply area, where the family had some control. Kitchens received a daily allotment of food. If there were sanitation concerns in a given kitchen, they would not receive their food until the situation was corrected.



Many Rainbow members are vegetarians, however the Colorado Division of Wildlife detained one family member who was caught fishing with 40 fish over the limit in his possession. The fisherman stated he had been doing the same for several days. Four other individuals were also cited for fishing without a license. Wildlife officers also know of a road killed deer and a road killed porcupine that were taken into the gathering.


CAMPS-Camps varied from single tents, tipis or lean-tos, to small clusters scattered throughout the area surrounding Elk Park Many camps were formed by groups with common interests or beliefs Sisters' Camp, Faire Camp, Krishna Camp', or from common geographical areas (New England Regional Family [NERF Camp). Some camps were identified with banners and entrance gates


"A" Camp - Alcohol consumption is not condoned by the Rainbow Family and is discouraged within the main gathering . "A" Camp is usually set up outside the main gathering as a camp where people gather to drink. This camp is usually established along the access route to the main gathering, as was the case at this year s gathering. "A" Camp was located halfway between the intersection of FDR, 01 and, 05 and Overland Reservoir.



This camp has been a problem at past gatherings, because of its location. "A" campers would panhandle, extort money and confiscate liquor from people entering the gathering. "A" campers also harass curiosity seekers, law enforcement officers and other Forest Service personnel, which may be an ulterior motive for its location.



At this year's gathering, ."A" Camp disbanded around June 21. There was apparently problems with establishing a kitchen and campers had to commute to the Front Gate to eat. Lack of food and possibly law enforcement pressure caused "A" campers to move into the gathering. Many moved to a camp called No Name, located near the Front Gate. Some panhandling continued to be a problem in this area.



Several "A" campers also moved into a house in Paonia, the week of July 4th, and stayed there several weeks. Forest Service law enforcement officers assisted local police on several incidents of drunken/rowdy behavior at a local auction house and city park caused by "A" campers.



KIDDIE: VILLAGE - Each gathering has a Kiddie Village, specially designed for children. This is the day care center of the gathering, where parents could leave their children to attend workshops and councils. Volunteers, usually parents, watch the children, play games, read stories, and help with arts and crafts. Kiddie Village usually has it's own kitchen and latrine facilities.



PETS - Rainbow literature discourages bringing pets to gatherings; however, many gathering participants chose to ignore this request. Exact counts were not possible, but an estimated 4500 dogs were present, along with cats, several birds, lizards, two llamas and one goat. The goat was eaten during the gathering.



There were concerns about dogs chasing wildlife during the gathering and potential problems with abandoned animals after the gathering. Wildlife officers observed one dog chasing elk during the gathering. No dogs have been reported in the area since the Rainbow Family left.



Many dogs roamed freely around the gathering, with occasional fights occurring. There were no reports of dogs biting humans. Gathering participants commented to health department personnel that dogs are an increasing problem at gatherings.



BARTER AREA - The gathering is advertised as being non-commercial, where nothing should be sold. Many individuals offered wares for trade, ranging from tie-died clothes, leather crafts and jewelry, to feathers, rocks, shells and bundles of sage brush. Marijuana and drug paraphernalia was also openly bartered. The barter area at the 1992 gathering was along the main path between the front gate and the main meadow.






The Rainbow Family collects money donated by Family members and other supporters before and during the gathering. This money is recorded and kept in a Family 'bank". Funds are used to provide Family needs.



Rainbow Gathering 1992



Family needs, like: food. supplies, medical bills, bail, and rehabilitation materials. When funds are immediately needed, the magic hat" is passed to raise the required amount.



During the 1992 gathering at Overland Reservoir, several situations arose where Family funds were not always adequate, or forthcoming as promised. The North Fork Baptist Church donated 13 shovels to the Rainbow Family so they could dig latrines. A County Health Department employee provided the Family with 50 5-gallon buckets and 150 lb.. of sanitation lime, purchased out of his own pocket. Family members receiving medical attention at Delta County Removal Hospital resulted in billstotaling$10,900 after insurance coverage. The family said it only felt responsible for those patients referred by CALM ( 15 of 43) and paid $300. which did not even cover the referred patient bills. A promise of more money at a later date has not been fulfilled. CALM had informed the North Fork Ambulance Serene they would pay operating expenses on all Family authorized emergency services, however they only paid 2~'3 of these costs and felt no obligation for the remaining 531.50. The Forest Service identified the need for 1000 pounds of seed mix for reseeding disturbed sites - the Family only purchased 200 pounds.






The major confrontational incident of the 1992 Rainbow Tribal Family of Living Light Work Peace and Waling Gathering was the parking at Mule Park, described in section E. PARKING.



RUMORS - Rumors were a major problem throughout the gathering period, causing much public concern. Things like hundreds of abandoned vehicles along all access routes, poaching and over fishing, and worse, never materialized. The Public Affairs efforts to distribute daily updates to the media and area residents, and the weekly public meetings did much to reduce the local level of fear and anger and to diminish the misinformation.



WATER - All the water in the Overland Reservoir area belongs to the Overland Reservoir Ditch Shareholders. When the Rainbow Family began moving into the area, the Shareholders were extremely concerned about both water quality and water quantity. The Forest Service hydrologist determined that the total consumptive use by the Rainbow Family during the gathering would be approximately 1.4 acres. To quell the outcry over water theft, the Ditch Company president, Pete Kasper agreed to donate his water shares to the Family. The Family passed the magic hat and paid $300, with a promise of more later.



The water quality issue was addressed by establishing eight monitoring stations, where water samples were taken daily from June 17 to July 30. Discrepancies in lab technique resulted in conflicting data early on. Once the lab technique problem was corrected, all data revealed that the water quality of Overland Reservoir and surrounding tributaries was not impacted by the gathering.



BIRTHS - Three births occurred during the Rainbow gathering.



DEATHS - Two deaths, a married couple, were discovered in Bus Village on July 6. Autopsies determined the couple died of overdoses of the prescription drug Soma - a muscle relaxant. There was no evidence of foul play. There was also no indication whether the deaths were intentional or accidental.



ASSAULTS - Two assaults (one sexual) against women were reported during the gathering. A suspended assailant in one of the cases was apprehended by Shanti Sena, but later escaped. Suspects in both cases were never caught.



After the majority of gatherers returned home, the Delta County Sheriff’s Office received reports of three more sexual assaults against women at the gathering. The Sheriff's office is continuing to investigate the assaults.



TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS - Traffic violations were issued by Forest Service. Delta County Sheriff and Colorado State Patrol officers. Forest Service enforced 36 CFR 261.50(a) and ( b) concerning careless and reckless arising under Special Closure Order #03-92 and parking violations under Special Closure Orders #04-92, #05-92 and #06-99. County Sheriff and Colorado State Patrol officers enforced county and state ordinances. During the period the Rainbow Family was in the area. the following violations were issued to family members:



Agency Violation Notices Written Warnings Towed Vehicles Unclaimed
Forest Service 61 67* 17 2
Delta County Sheriff 26 0 4 0
Colorado State Patrol 223 0 4 3



Three stolen vehicles were recovered from the towed vehicles.


*(estimated 300 verbal warnings)


RESOURCE VIOLATIONS - Forest Service officers also enforced resource protection codes. One violation notice and 12 written warnings were issued for acts like driving into a wet meadow, littering, defacing government property, and pyrotechnic devices.



WILDLIFE VIOLATIONS - Colorado Division of Wildlife officers issued five written violations for fishing without a license. One arrest was made, three fines were collected in the field and one ticket for later payment was issued. Payment has not been made and a warrant has been issued. Twenty-four fisherman contacts were made during the gathering - twelve with Rainbow Family members. The rate of violations to Rainbow contacts was almost 50%. Normally, the rate of violations to fisherman contacts is only 1%.



CDOW personnel also seized feathers and talons on three occasions. All were associated with vehicle stops initiated by other law enforcement officers.



ARRESTS - A total of 43 Rainbow Family members were arrested during the gathering period (June 15 -July 15). The arrest breakdown follows:



Traffic Violations

Controlled Substance

Child Abuse



Disorderly/Concealed Weapon

Motor Vehicle Theft

Wildlife Violation

Outstanding Warrants












For comparison, arrests made in Delta County in 1991 for the period of June 15 through July 15, totaled 81. In 1992, the total number of arrests for the same period was 125.


VANDALISM AT INCIDENT COMMAND POST - On two occasions unknown individuals visited the ICP late at night when only two dispatchers were present. On the first occasion they only rattled the doors; the second time a number of windows were broken. As a result, a security person had to be added to the team.



GAS SKIPS - Delta County Sheriff deputies investigated four reported gas skips. In three cases, suspects were returned to the gas station and payment was made.



DEFRAUDING INN KEEPER - The KOA Campground, in Delta reported several individuals used their facilities without paying. The responsible parties were found and payment was made.



DRUGS - County officials and residents were extremely concerned there would be an increase in drugs in the area resulting from the Rainbow Family’s presence. This fear has not been realized; however 178 hits of LSD were found in a public restroom in Paonia, during the gathering period.



MISSING PERSONS - The Delta County Sheriffs office received requests to locate and check the welfare of five individuals, during the gathering. Two of these people were found. The Colorado State Patrol reported three juvenile runaways were returned home. During the gathering, the Incident Command Post received numerous requests to find missing persons and to locate individuals at the gathering. The Sheriffs office continued to receive similar requests two months after the gathering.



"JAIL OR BAIL" - During the early stages of the gathering, the Forest Service used a procedure called "Jail or Bail", which was also used at the two previous Rainbow Family gatherings. This procedure allowed officers to collect collateral forfeiture on the spot or the violator could be taken into custody and taken before the Magistrate. The violator did not give up higher right to appear in court and contest a violation by paying the fine. Verbal approval for this procedure was given by the U.S. Magistrate and the Assistant U.S. Attorney, in early June. This procedure was deemed necessary due to the transient nature of many Family followers and served as an effective deterrent, particularly in the case of careless reckless driving.



In early July, Rainbow Family members complained of this procedure to the U.S. Attorney, prompting the U.S. Attorney to recommend this procedure be altered. Beginning July 2, the new procedure required a violation notice for an optional appearance be issued if the violator could present sufficient identification (driver's license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance in the same name as the driver). If adequate identification was not provided the violator could pay the fine or be detained, as before.



During the gathering(6/8 - 7/15), 52875 in collateral forfeiture was collected on 42 violation notices. An additional 25 violation notices with optional appearance were issued for a total of $1025. To date (9/18), 15 of these violation notices remain unpaid and warrants will be issued for the violators.



To compare the "Jail or Bail" procedure used by the Forest Service, to procedures used by other law enforcement agencies involved at the gathering:



- The Delta County jail has a capacity of 47. At the onset of the Rainbow gathering, 43 inmates were incarcerated. To reduce the potential impact to the local jail and reduce the cost of having to jail people in other facilities, the county opted to release violators


of non-violent crimes on Personal Recognizance Bonds in the amount of the associated fine.


- The Colorado Division of Wildlife operated under a procedure similar to the altered 'Jail or Ball" procedure. Fines u ere collected on site if no identification was presented violation notices were issued with adequate identification; suspects were taken into custody if fines were not paid The one ticket issued was not paid and a warrant has been issued.



- The Colorado State Patrol did not alter their ticketing procedures As of August 98 35 warrants had been issued for failure to appear in court.



WASHINGTON OFFICE STAFF VISIT - For the first time, Washington Office staff toured a Rainbow Family gathering site. Briar Beasley, Deputy Chief, visited with incident command team members to learn about gathering management and identified problems.






At the Vision Council held on July, of this year's gathering, the Rainbow Family consensed to holding the 1993 gathering in Kentucky.






The Rainbow Family gathering represented a doubling of Delta County’s population, and proved to be a cultural shock for many residents of this rural agricultural area.



Socially, the biggest issue w as the difference in personal values between Rainbow Family members and area residents. These differences frightened many, especially between the time when the communities first found out they were to be the location for the 1992 gathering and when family members began to arrive. Fear changed to anger, directed at both the Rainbow Family (for coming into the area uninvited) and the Forest Service (for letting them'. Not everyone shared these views, which resulted in divisiveness within local communities.



The large influx of people resulted in unusual lines at gas stations, convenience stores and grocery stores. Crowds congregated in downtown Paonia during the period before the main gathering. There were complaints of public urination, public nudity, panhandling and loitering. Similar complaints were reported in Delta and Hotchkiss.



The large law enforcement presence also had an impact on the local communities. Some complained about the numerous traffic stops, while others were grateful, feeling the presence deterred potential problems.



For the most part, the social impacts are with the Rainbow Family. One lingering impact is the feeling that the Forest Service applied a double standard to the Rainbow Family, by allowing them to gather without requiring a permit. Many people in the area are Forest users who are required to get permits for grazing, firewood, etc. They question whether it is appropriate to allow thousands of people to occupy an area of the National Forest without requiring some permit and remuneration for the impacts left behind.



Economically the gathering brought a brief economic boost to some local businesses. i.e. Natural Food Store, hardware store, grocery store. One local restaurant used Rainbow Power to build Improvements, in exchange for meals. Other businesses felt that local people stayed away from their business and towns because of the family members presence. Some businesses reported having to hire additional clerks and/or modify store hours, for security reasons, which may have had a greater economic cost. Sales tax revenues for Delta County were up for the gathering period.



As discussed in Chapter III, management costs for the 1992 Rainbow Family gathering were very high.



Colorado State Patrol

CO Div. of Wildlife

County Social Services

County Health Dept.

County Sheriff Dept.

County Hospital

Ambulance Service

Forest Service











In addition to the monetary costs, there were costs associated with planned work that did not get done because managers and funds were redirected to the gathering.





One of the overall management objectives for the Rainbow Family gathering was to minimize any negative environmental impacts on the site. Through daily monitoring and contacts with Rainbow Family members; Forest Service, health department and CDOW personnel were able to achieve this objective. Only 27 acres of the approximately 2500 acres effected by the gathering were impacted as a result of concentrated use on these locations. Impacts on resources in other areas were minimal.



As described earlier, water quality was monitored on a daily basis during the gathering period. Samples were taken from eight locations in and around Overland Reservoir. Samples were tested (or fecal coliform, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Erroneous data early in the sample period (June 17 :16), showed fecal coliform results at high levels, which was inconsistent with all other test results. Testing procedures were corrected and samples from July 1 through July 30 revealed the gathering had essentially no impact on water quality in and around Overland Reservoir.



The Rainbow Family used five springs to supply water to kitchens and campsites, during the gathering. Minimal development consisted of some enlargement of natural basins and laying piper ,n open water at each source. All evidence of human alteration was removed when the Family cleaned up the site.



During the main gathering (July 1-7), there were problems with latrines not being constructed in locations flagged by Forest Service and health department officials, poor marking of latrine locations by the Rainbow Family, and nonuse of latrines by Family members in several locations. deposition was a health concern, especially in and around Bus Village. These problems were brought


to CALM's attention and partially corrected. There was no evidence of surface deposition and all but a few latrines in remote locations were covered after clean up.


Soil compaction occurred where human use was concentrated: major trails, kitchens, camps and Bus Village. Vegetation was worn away in these areas. In many places, root crowns were not disturbed and vegetation regrowth was occurring as early as August 15; especially in organic soils. I-'se in the areas with good natural regrowth will not be evident next year. Minimal disturbance occurred in outlying parking areas: crushed and broken vegetation. This disturbance did not significantly reduce forage production on these sites, and will also not be evident by next sear. One individual drove into a wet meadow and was cited for resource damage.



Initially, the CDO\\ expected fisheries in the Overland Reservoir to be heavily impacted. This did not occur, likely as a result of enforcement of fishing regulations and the limited number of Family members observed fishing. Impacts to terrestrial wildlife were minimal as well. Though the area surrounding Overland Reservoir provides good big game habitat, the majority of gathering participants did not venture into timbered areas, where the elk and deer stayed. There was some evidence small mammals were taken, but not in numbers that impacted existing populations.



- There was a reduction of dead and down fuels in the gathering area as a result of cooking and camp fires. Family members used trees and poles to construct kitchens and other facilities dune`, the gathering. Most of these materials w ere scattered when structures were dismantled after the gathering.



An archaeological surrey of the area prior to the main influx of people identified two historic notched log structures and one log worm fence. Family members were asked to avoid these areas and any other sites they may find. This was done and there were no impacts to archaeological sites.



Even though traffic was heavy on FDR roads . 01,, 00 and 265; most of the traffic consisted of light vehicles. Negligible damage to these roads resulted from gathering traffic.






One of the management objectives of the 1992 gathering was to "Ensure that environmental safeguards are available during the gathering and the site is returned to a near natural condition.' To achieve this, rehabilitation needs were mapped during the gathering and a Rehabilitation Plan "Appendix C) was prepared and distributed to the Rainbow Family on July 6. Objectives for late rehabilitation and how they were achieved are discussed below



1. Physical evidence of man's presence will be removed from the site or rearranged to present a natural appearance.


This objective was fully met, all refuse and foreign materials were removed from the start, pits were filled, campsites were naturalized, latrines (with few exceptions) were covered, all structures, were dismantled, water lines were removed.


2. Areas of exposed mineral soil will be scarified/aerated, seeded and fertilized as necessary to insure revegetation within one growing season. Accomplishment of this objective will require that seeding tie completed prior to August 1st.






The Rainbow gathering is an annual event on National Forest System lands. Certain resources are required for every gathering and should be committed annually. to eliminate shifting funds and human resources from other projects.


Lack of regulations requiring the Rainbow Family to get a special use permit was a major issue. The public felt the Forest Service was negligent in not enacting new regulations, and was using "double standards" for the Rainbow Family since most other publics need to obey numerous regulations. The Forest Service needs to enact new regulations concerning large group gatherings on National Forest system land. Requiring a special use permit would place accountability on the Family for compliance. increase Forest Service enforcement authority, require bonding to pay for damages, and cover most of the cost to administer the event.



Host Region/Forest needs to identify incident command team and begin coordination with state and local agencies as early as possible. Coordination at the State level can begin as soon as the Rainbow Family selects the state for their next gathering. Coordination at the local level will have to occur after final site selection unless available National Forest System lands limit the area that will be considered by the Rainbow Family. In this case, local coordination can begin at the same time as the state level coordination.



Legal advice from the OSD\ Office of General Council was not sought or received in any manner for the 1992 gathering. Legal questions need to be answered early (November; December .



The host Forest needs to identify potential safety hazards that would result from the anticipated traffic on Forest roads. Special closure orders prohibiting careless and reckless driving and cap and parking within specified areas need to be issued and enforced before the main gathering court Scheduled road maintenance may need to be accelerated and additional maintenance performed to further reduce traffic hazards. Timber hauling routes may have to be modified, as well. These things need to done as early as possible to reduce safety risks and to inform effected publics so they can make alternative plans.





Many personnel familiar with the ICS are not familiar with law enforcement resources and - . second guessing was used in filling resource requests for law enforcement officers and dispatchers resulted in individuals arriving without necessary equipment or training. Special Law Enforcement '~r "categories" need to be developed so that specifically requested resources are ordered in.

a "Category 1" Law Enforcement Officer is an officer with full uniform, defensive equipment ~ :h visibility vehicle; a "Category 2" Law Enforcement Officer is an officer with full uniform and d. !. ! `;. equipment, but no high visibility vehicle; a Law Enforcement Dispatch must have special law enforcement communication and dispatch.

Some people assigned to the incident command team did not have previous experience .

Incident Command System /normally used on project level fires). Personnel with skills in non-fire incidents (e.g. law enforcement) should receive training on the Incident Command System.


Resource ordering and authorization for a non-fire incident was not given the same prior . .. fire incident.



During the 1992 gathering, purchasing was done through the Forest's purchasing a_ retained all her normal duties. Several situations arose when purchasing was delayed. To ... problem at future gathering incidents, a purchasing agent should be considered for acid incident command team. This would result in additional administration costs.


There were some problems with name-requests for personnel. Several people reported to the incident without proper paperwork, or proper notification through incident command resource order channels. Name-requests should be handled just as other resource orders.

There are safety concerns for Forest Service and other agency personnel considering number of miles traveled, road conditions, traffic conditions, confrontational situations, potentially hazardous physical situations, mental stress from dealing with Family members and irate publics. Team members need lodging facilities removed from gathering for mental rest and relaxation.

The law enforcement liaison officer worked very well and should be included in the incident command team at future gatherings.

A need for a sociologist as a member of the incident command team was identified, to aid interaction between managers, local residents and Rainbow Family members concerning social behaviors and attitudes' conflict resolution, etc.. (This would also be an additional cost.)




Coordination meetings between cooperating agencies, followed by public information meetings with agency representatives outlining their unified efforts were held periodically throughout the Fathering, with a final close out meeting held July 15. The Delta County Commissioners took the lead role in moderating these meetings. Several meetings were also attended by "unofficial" Rainbow Family representatives. This was an effective arena for concerned citizens to gain accurate information and to air their opinions.

Meetings between the cooperating agencies and local businesses that will likely receive the most impacts from the gathering (convenience stores, gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, etc.) should be held as soon as the gathering site has been identified. The businesses need to be made aware of the numbers and types of people that will be coming into their area, so they may make preparations for additional help, additional inventory and/or private security.

Health care and emergency services providers need to be involved in early coordination meetings so they are made aware of past gathering incidents and can plan accordingly.

Local fears would be reduced if public meetings can be held as soon as possible and pictures of previous gatherings can be shown to visually represent the event. Fear of the unknown is always greater than fear of the known.

To lessen the impact of large numbers of Rainbow Family members moving through small communities, porta-potties and showers could be set up on the outskirts of towns. This would help direct Rainbow Family movement away from the center of town.

Representatives of cooperating agencies attended daily briefings at the Incident Command Post so all cooperators were kept well informed of happenings/concerns, etc.

Health department, law enforcement personnel and incident command team members from previous gathering should serve as consultants to next Incident Command Team for first two weeks to provide accurate information, quell rumors,- and assist in proactive activity to make gathering management run smoothly.

Rainbow Family representatives should make early contacts with local governments, communities and businesses to identify expectations and needs.




Rumor control was the biggest problem before and during the gathenng. Accurate information needs to be released to the media and public as soon as possible and continued throughout the gathenng.

the Forest P.\O staff initially served on the incident command team, in addition to their routine duties. PAO's specifically assigned to the incident did not arrive on site until June 20, after which a Public Affairs Action Plan was prepared. P.NO personnel need to arrive at the gathenng earlier. so networks can be established to distribute public information, to allay fears and quell rumors early on in the gathenng. Associated costs would be additional.)

Local managers were inundated with both public outcry and public information requests. The majority of the cooperating agencies used the incident command public affairs staff to deal with media releases and requests. This prevented conflicting or inaccurate information from being circulated, and allowed agency personnel to concentrate on management of the gathenng.

Information was distributed internally via a daily Rainbow update transmitted over the Data General network. This was effective in keeping all Forest personnel abreast of the gathering events so they could provide accurate information to the public.

The Rainbow Family as a whole is very environmentally conscious and members were very receptive to any environmental concerns raised by Forest Service and other cooperating agency personnel. The Forest Service also provided some Smokey Bear material to the children at Kiddie Village. There is a good opportunity to distribute instructional materials on camping ethics, health and safety, resource management, natural processes, etc. through the information centers at the gathenng.

Public Affairs personnel were present through the close out of the incident command post, which was very advantageous. They distributed public information concerning the rehabilitation progress at the gathenng site and the management turnover from the incident command team to the local ranger district.

Maintain open communication between ail involved, including the Rainbow Family.




The Forest Service is not perceived as a law enforcement agency and the public was unaccustomed to seeing green-clad officers equipped with defensive apparatus. The Forest Service needs to take opportunities, such as the Rainbow gathering, to inform the public about training and qualifications of their law enforcement agents, to prevent any apprehension that officers may not be adequately trained to serve in a law enforcement capacity.

To differentiate Forest Service law enforcement officers from resource managers, law enforcement agents could be attired in different uniforms. This may protect non-law enforcement Forest Service personnel from dangerous situations if the public knows they are not armed, based on their uniform

Early, heavy presence (as used by all law enforcement agencies) is an effective deterrent aghast infractions. Proactive, not reactive management needs to be emphasized.

Inform gathering participants of all "busts" as further deterrence of similar actions.

Some officers with drug enforcement experience need to be assigned to the incident. If possible . team should be assigned to specifically deal with drug cases. . A dog trained to locate drugs should also be very helpful.

A high level supervisor from the County law enforcement agency should be assigned to the incident command, to facilitate coordination between the Forest Service and County.

There was a concern that the CSP pulled their contingent out of the area too soon (July 7).

During the gathering, the site was visit by personnel from several law enforcement agencies which were not involved in the gathering management. These visitors did not check in with the incident command post or the DCSO. This activity should be discouraged at fixture gatherings. If outside law enforcement agents wish to tour the gathering, they should arrange to make any official tours through the incident command post. Unofficial tours should be discouraged. Curious individuals should tour the area like the general public - not in uniform or official vehicles.

"Jail or Bail" is an effective procedure to use where large numbers of transients and out-of-area people congregate. This procedure serves as a deterrent to violation activities, reduces the burden on the local jails and courts, and increases the chance of fee payment. To prevent a confusing change in direction mid-stream, as occurred at the 1992 gathering, the Forest Service should seek a District Court Order authorizing the "Jail or Bail" procedure prior to the next Rainbow gathering.

Law enforcement officers may be requested from other Federal agencies under the Incident Command System. 1b insure these officers have authority to enforce CFR regulations on National Forest System lands, Memorandums of Understanding need to be in place.

A law enforcement equipment cache needs to be created so it is available for order out of Boise Interagency Fire Center (BIFC). This cache should include items such as latex gloves, flex cuffs, magnetic enforcement shields for vehicles, law enforcement forms, flashlights, violations notices, clipboards, lockable bank bags, etc.

Rainbow Family members maintain communications within the gathering with CB radios. To assist monitoring of emergency situations, each patrol vehicle should be equipped with a CB radio.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife became involved as a cooperating agency in early June. CDOW officers played an important part in law enforcement efforts and expended many hours on incident management. At future gatherings, state wildlife agencies should be involved in incident planning as early as possible.

Pressure from law enforcement officers, as well as some from the Rainbow Family resulted in the closing of "A" Camp before the main gathering occurred. This eliminated problems of "A"-campers panhandling and extorting money and alcohol along access into gathering site, for Family members, managers and the general public. Similar pressure should be applied at future gatherings.

Law enforcement presence in and around the camp after the gathering prodded the Family to cleanup and leave the area. The normal 14-day camping limit was reenacted on July 8, and the law enforcement presence emphasized that the limit would now be enforced.




Terrain in the gathering area resulted in poor communications in some locations and required the establishment of several repeater stations. If possible, a communications survey should be conducted prior to the gathering to facilitate establishment of a good communications system.

Communications failed on several channels on several occasions. Once was due to rodents chewing on the support cables. Repeater sites should be designed to prevent this problem from reoccurring. Other failures were unexplained and possibly due to jamming. It is recommended that communications

specialist with knowledge to detect jamming be assigned to future Rainbow incidents, to prevent jamming.




The Rainbow Family's CALM units at the 1992 gathering were not staffed or equipped to deal emergencies or injures requiring more than basic first aid treatment. As a result, 46 persons treated at the Delta Count Memorial Hospital. Less than half of these people had medical ins [he Family said it only felt responsible for the people referred to the hospital by CALM for Rainbow Family members totaled S10,900, of which the Family paid $300 - which did not even pay for the CALM referred patients. Promises of more money at a later date were not kept. In addition individuals were treated by local physicians. Policies requirng payment before services at lock reduced losses. Where adequate identification and insurance is not available, the Family s} requested for payment up front.

Emergency medical services can be heavily impacted, particularly in rural communities services are normally funded by donations. Costs incurred by Rainbow Family members can Ambulance services at future gatherings may be able to work with the Rainbow Family anticipated costs before emergencies occur, in attempts to cut losses.

Forest Service personnel flagged an adequate number of latrine sites, in appropriate however the Family was fax both in digging latrines at flagged locations as well as digging lateness. The Family must be pressured early to dig the required number of latrines for the ant crowd, before the large influx of people occurs.

Latrine sites need to be established at parking areas.

Sanitation lime should be required of the Rainbows. It is low cost and yields high for controlling spread of disease and aids in decomposition of human waste.

water quality monitoring logistics need to be worked out as soon as possible. SIethodolo' lab facilities need to be agreed on to provide current accurate information during the gathering, public health concerns. water quality sampling should be started as soon as the gathering lot known.

Bus village was located in a poor location regarding sanitation aspects. The large conceit of people requires numerous latrine sites, during the course of the gathering, and Bus Village be located accordingly.

Health department personnel should accompany Forest Service personnel in locating sites village, parking areas, Kiddie Village, etc. to help minimize health impacts on the Rainbow population

Health departments need to distribute information on local health concerns to reduce p problems.

, cool weather at the 1992 gathering reduced the chance of serious problems from more severe sunburn, insect bites. Future managers and gathering participants need to keep weather as a factor contributing to human health and safety, and take necessary precautions.

Health department took a passive approach, indirectly getting compliance through suggestion, keeping information simple, rhythmic, common sense, good for fellow Rainbow and mother worked well. Continuous presence of health department prevented major problems from occur

.\ large population of people unfamiliar with wilderness survival techniques arrived for the main gathering. Compliance with required and recommended health standards dropped. The Rainbow Family, health department and Forest Service personnel need to be prepared for this influx and actively educate gathering participants to get better compliance.

Small mammals get into compost pits. This is an unnatural food supply which could result in increased populations and subsequent die offs in following years. Compost pits should be correctly buried or the organic refuse should be removed from the gathering site.

In preparing management strategies for the Rainbow gathering, a review of literature on field sanitation and recreation impacts revealed that little study has been done. There is a great opportunity to study the impacts of large gatherings. Field sanitation methods need to be evaluated to see if any residual health hazards occur.




The Social Services Department(s) at next year's gathering need to be informed about what to expect from an influx of 10-20,000 people, so they can make necessary preparations. Things to consider are:

- The pattern of applications for food stamps. Applications began after June 15 and increased in number through the end of the month. Applications remained high the first two days of July, then dropped off. Application numbers reflected the total Rainbow population trend. Applicants applying in June were checked to see if they received Food Stamps in other states. Many were not approved for Food Stamps in June, but since they applied after June 15, they were approved for July. The Delta County office began receiving calls from other states offices in mid July after Family members moved on to other areas.

- The majority of the individuals applying for Food Stamps were very knowledgeable of eligibility requirements. By claiming to be "homeless" rather than vacationers, it was difficult to certify their eligibility for Food Stamps.

- False Social Security numbers were used in applying for Food Stamps Since applicants can not be verified under the homeless rules, bogus numbers may cause future problems.

- Approximately $21,000 worth of Food Stamps were issued to Rainbow Family members during the 1992 gathering. Delta County was able to absorb this amount because it had a large inventory of Food Stamps. Small counties may not have as large an inventory and would need to increase their inventory to handle the increased requests during the gathering. If Food Stamp applications can be handled efficiently, there will be less problems.

- There were reports of Food Stamps being pooled to buy food for the communal kitchens, which is a Federal violation. The FINS regional office in Denver was notified of this during the 1992 gathering.





Cooperation between all agencies involved, particularly law enforcement, is the key to successful management. This is not possible if "turf' battles ensue.



Maintain control of the gathering management locally The public knows the individuals that mill be involved, which removes some of the fear of the unknown.


Managers need to remember they are dealing myth PEOPLE. They need to find common ,. ground and work from there.

Humor will go a long way. It Drill lessen stress levels in managers. Information couched in humor Oil be better received.

Managers need to identify which Family members are the power people, who has credibility and can make things happen. This can only be learned by working with the Family on site.

Let the Rainbow Family know what is expected of them regarding behavior in local businesses. communities, as well as at the gathering site. Work with them versus against them. .N non-confrontational stance is the only method to deal myth such a large group.

Managers need to remain neutral and focus on management of the event.

Overland Reservoir was located 2, miles from any community and was accessed by several routes. Though this was not a result of management. it did lessen the impacts both within local communities and on access routes. The Rainbow Family should consider a site with similar features for future gatherings.

There were indications that a faction of the Rainbow Family had an agenda to find a cause to take the Forest Service to court over during the 1992 gathering. Several legal issues arose during the gathering - towing, parking and "Jail or Bail'', but have not resulted in court proceedings. Recognize that Rainbow legal activity may have alternative motives.

The event will dominate your life for 2-3 months; but it will go away.




Participating and Cooperating Agencies/Departments and Responsibilities



USDA FOREST SERVICE - Management and protection of natural resources on Forest.



DELTA COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT - Lead agency for law enforcement (highway safety, vehicle safety, theft, etc..



DELTA COUNTY HEALTH DEPART5IE.~1 - Lead agency for public health and sanitation.









US MARSHAL SERVICE - Law enforcement assistance.



US ATTORNEY,S OFFICE - Federal criminal prosecutions.



COLORADO ATTORNEY'S OFFICE - State criminal prosecutions.



COLORADO DIVISION OF WILDLIFE - Wildlife management (poaching, fishing licenses, etc..



US FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE - Support to Colorado Division of Wildlife



POSTAL INSPECTORS - Contraband mail interdiction.



DELTA CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT - Law enforcement within municipal boundaries.






MESA COUNTY SHERIFFS DEPARTMENT - Law enforcement support to Delta County.



GUNNISON COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPART3IENT - Law enforcement support to Delta County.



MONTROSE COUNTY SHER~F'S DEPAIUMENT - Law enforcement support to Delta County.



GARFIELD COUNTY SHERIFFS DEPART:VE:NT - Law enforcement support to Delta County.



PITKIN COUNTY SHERIFFS DEPART)IE.NT - Law enforcement support to Delta Count`.



HOTCHKISS TOWN MARSHAL - Law enforcement within municipal boundaries.



PAONIA CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT - Law enforcement within municipal boundaries.



COLLBRAN TOWN MARSHAL - Law enforcement within municipal boundaries.



BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT - Dispatch and law enforcement support to Forest Service.



NATIONAL PARK SERVICE - Incident Command Team support.



COLORADO STATS: DEPART5IE~JT OF HEALTH - Public health and sanitation support to Delta County Health Department.



DELTA COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - Public leadership and county administrative support.



DELTA COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR - Coordinate county efforts.



DELTA COUNTY MEMORIAL HOSPITAL - Public health services.



NORTH FORK AMBULANCE SERVICE - Emergency medical services.






PAONIA HIGH SCHOOL - Facility accommodations.



DELTA COUNTY FAIR BOARD - Facility accommodations









Conga Ranger District Gunnison National Forest


The Rainbow Family of Living Light ant the Forest Service has a mutual understanding that the 'allowing Operating Plan will be used to work together in a partnership to assure that the rights of all involved are respected and that the resources of the National Forest are protected.






1. The Rainbow Family agrees to sign access routes and parking areas thee are agreed upon by the Forest Service and the Rainbow Family.



2. The Rainbow Family agrees that all parking for non-live-in vehicles will be located in mutually agreed on areas. The Rainbow Family will provide parking lot crews to organize, direct, and provide security for parking in the parking area and live-in vehicles.



3. The Forest Service agrees to coordinate with the County of Delta to control and maintain the Stevens Gulch Road (Forest Road '01), Forest Road 705, and Forest Road 265. Provisions will be made for supply, shuttle, parking and security referring to Gathering activities.



4. The Rainbow Family agrees to cooperate with the Forest Service to maintain the Stevens Gulch Road (Forest Road 701), Forest Road ,05, Forest Road 265, and trails within the Gathering site to the purpose of the Gathering and the rehab of the site.



5. The Rainbow Family agrees that all vehicles abandoned by family members or quests will be removed from National Forest lands and towed at owner's expense after all the cleanup and rehabilitation cork has been completed by the Rainbow Family and the work has been accepted by the Forest Service.



6. Parking restrictions are in place along Forest Road 705(the Forest Service will maintain signs informing the public of these restrictions). Parking along the Stevens Gulch Road(Forest Road .01) and Forest Road 705 will be in Forest Service designated areas only Illegally parked vehicles will be towed at the expense of the vehicle owner.



7. Vehicles parked in Mule Park or other nondesignated areas are subject to towing at the expense of the vehicle owner.






1. Campfires will be attended at all times. Community fires are encouraged by the Rainbow Family. National forest camping and



Rainbow Gathering



Campfire information and requirements will be available at information centers.



The Rainbow Family will take immediate suppression action on any escaped fire and will ..notify the Forest Service as soon as possible.



The Rainbow Family will recommend that a shovel and a one gallon



container of water be placed at each campfire location



4. The Rainbow Family will provide all members with information regarding resource protection and emergency procedures at the welcoming station and ocher centers.



5. The Rainbow Family sill use only dead and down firewood (refer to the Welcome Handout).






L. The Rainbow Family will work with the State of Colorado and Delta County health officials to monitor and maintain at least the agencies' minimum standards for on-site sanitation and water quality. Specifies are addressed separately by the Health Department.



2. The Colorado State and Delta County Health Departments recommend that all drinking, cooking and kitchen wash water used on site be treated. The Rainbow Family will recommend that water for drinking and cooking be treated by boiling for at least five minutes.



Kitchen washing procedures are recommended to be a three-bucket system. The first bucket should be a hot soapy wash, the second a clear hot rinse and the third a lukewarm chlorine rinse (two ounces of chlorine bleach per five gallons of water. Dishes should then be allowed to air dry. Kitchen areas will be roped off or otherwise defined. A hand washing station is recommended for each kitchen area.



4. It is required that compost and gray water pits attached to kitchens be covered at all times with 4 ail . polyethylene or similar material and that dishes and kitchen utensils be covered when not in use.



5. ,he Rainbow Family will maintain at least one functioning latrine per 100 people. Latrines will consist of a dug hole at least 30 itches by 12 long and 36 inches deep or comparable slit trenches. Latrine. will be rodent and fly proof. Latrines will be located at least 300 feet horizontal distance from streams and lakes, be covered with plywood or similar material ant be sealed at the edges with earth. User access will be by trap door through the cover. If water appears in the hole it should refilled and a new location identified. Latrines will be monitored by the Rainbow Family and shut down when the contents are within 15 inches of the surface. Buckets of line and for wood ash shall be provided by the Rainbow Family at all latrine locations. A hand washing bleaching Vader station wil1 be at each latrine.



The Rainbow will take appropriate action to have the site and parking areas cleaned up and rehabilitated by the time agreed upon (but no later than August '2, 1992) between the Forest Service and Rainbow Family clean-up crew(s).






Copies of this Operating Plan will be posted by the Rainbow Family at the Gathering Information Center and other suitable locations.



The Rainbow Family will establish contact with local agencies, businesses, and organizations to arrange services and supplies, as needed.



The Rainbow Family will provide on-site first aid services and be responsible for emergency medical coordination and evacuation with area hospitals.



The Rainbow Family Tribal Council will maintain a volunteer liaison team for administration agreement matters between the Forest Service and the Tribal Council. The Forest Service recognizes that members of the liaison team do not make decisions for the Tribal Council or the Rainbow Family, but serve to facilitate effective communication between the parties.






1. Designated representatives for the Forest Service are:



a. Incident Commander - Warren Dubois ~ Nort Phillips



b. Planning Chief - Tom Williams



c. Operations Chief - Steve Posey ~ Terry Huges



d. Information - Dennis Neal, Lisa Notch, Ron Jablonski, Scott



Fitzwilliams, and Denise Stuhr



e. Health & Safe q - Rick Oberheu ~ Bonnie Koehler



f. Law Enforcement - Chet Lonczak, Charles Burt, and Fred hcKec



g District Ranger - Hichael Wart



Rainbow Family Tribal Council



6. The rainbow family will monitor sanitation at kitchens and :at latrines. Specific recommendations will be addressed by the Health Department.



7 Individual sites, including campsites, kitchens, tea houses, and relayed facilities wit! be located no Less than 150 feet from lakes, screams, and wet areas.



8. As surface disposition occurs the Rainbow -Family will correct it by burying or covering and discourage the practice.



9. Vehicles equipped with holding tanks for gray and black water will dump contents in an state approved dumping station.






1. The camp will be designed as much as is practical to minimize environmental impacts (I.e. dispersing camp sites) while providing a logical use pattern necessary to facilitate the purposes of the Gathering.



2. No green timber nor vegetation will be cut unless approved by the Forest Service.



3. The signing of facilities, activities, services, and travel routes in the Gathering area will be done as necessary by the Rainbow Family.



4. Areas restricted from camping and foot traffic for environmental reasons will be identified by the Forest Service, and be signed and flagged by the Rainbow Family. The Forest Service will identify and flag areas of concern (e.g. research and cultural resource sites, etc.) to prevent concentrated use at any one area.



5. All sod and soil from the fire dug-outs will be stored, and to the extent practical, replaced after the Gathering as part of site rehabilitation.



6. The Rainbow Family will monitor kitchen and other activities to assure that soap, disinfectants, medical waste, or any ocher foreign material, will not be introduced into lakes, streams, or other surface water-.






1. The Rainbow Family clean-up crew will be responsible for picking up all litter; disassembling and removing fire rings; rehabilitating trails; removing structures; and naturalizing the site.



2. Recommendations for scarifying, seeding, fertilizing, and other site rehabilitation will be provided by the Forest Service after July 8, 1992.



All refuse sill be either recycled or removed from the Gathering sites and taken to a licensed disposal site.





The 1992 National Rair.bow Family Gathering took place on the Paonia Ranger District of the Gunnison National Forest. Over 19000 visitors were estimated to be on the site of the Gathering July 4, 1992.



This plan provides the general guidance, maps, specifications ~ methods to facilitate the cleanup ~ rehabilitation of the Overland Reservoir ~ Elk Park



-areas which were impacted by the Rainbow Family Gathering participants. This Plan is intended to be a guide to assist Forest Service ~ Rainbow Family members to better understand the objectives and end-results of the cleanup rehabilitation work. More detailed ~ s$te-specific cleanup ~ rehabilitation needs will be addressed as they come up.






Incident objective #8 reads Ensure that environmental safe guards are available ~ the site is returned to a near natural condition.. Initial efforts during the seed camp phase of the Gathering to limit environmental impacts by drawing participants away from sensitive sites were successful. This was accomplished by working with Family members to locate tra$1s, kitchens, water systems ~ ocher features of the gathering on the more resistant ~ resilient sites.



The following cleanup ~ rehabilitation objectives are oriented towards returning the site to near natural conditions.



1) Physical evidence of mans presence will be removed from the site or rearranged to present a natural appearance.



2) Areas of exposed mineral soil will be scarified/aerated, seeded, & fertilized as necessary to insure revegetation within one "roving season. Accomplishment of this objective will require that seeding be completed prior to August 1st.



3) A tread width of 24 inches will be reestablished for the 81k Park ~ Peter's Creek pack trails by revegetating the excess width as specified in objective 2 above. All other trails will be obliterated.



4) To minimize erosion all trail segments ~ disturbed areas on slopes over lot will have erosion control structures in place prior to August lse.



5) Access roads (FOR 701, 705 ~ 265) will be maintained to pre-gatherin3



1) Physical evidence of mans presence vill be removed from the site or rearranged to present a natural appearance.



2) Areas of exposed mineral soil vill be scarified/aerated, seeded, & fertilized as necessary to insure revegetation within one "roving season. Accomplishment of this objective vill require that seeding be completed prior to August 1st.



3) A tread width of 24 inches will be reestablished for the Elk Park ~ Peter's Creek pack trails by revegetating the excess width as specified in objective 2 above. All other trails will be obliterated.



4) To minimize erosion all trail segments & disturbed areas on slopes over lot vill have erosion control structures in place prior to August 1st.



5) Access roads (FOR 701. 705 ~ 265) will be maintained to pre-gathering-conditions.



6) Cleanup ~ rehabilitation will be conducted in an orderly manner from the perimeter of the~site inward towards the "front gate"/supply area.



General Cleanup



1) Pickup all refuse, litter and other foreign material and dispose of at a recognized sanitary landfill or recycle center in accordance with County Regulations.



2) Fire pits will be filled with the native material that was removed from the pit. Rocks will be scattered to appear natural to the surrounding landscape.



3) Latrines will be covered with the native material originally removed from the pit ant mounded with excess material to allow for settling. All fecal matter will be covered.



4) Compost piles will only include natural decomposable material. Compost piles and gray water sumps will be covered with dirt and returned to a natural condition.



5) All kitchens, tea houses, etc. will be totally dismantled and man made material removed from the site. Selected areas of concentrated use will need scarification and aeration to hasten the healing process. Where needed, seeding and mulching material will be selected that are best suited to these high elevation ecosystems (Mountain Mix). Specific areas will be identified by a Forest Service Representative.



6) All other structures (bridges, swings, lean-tos, ovens) will be dismantled removed, or scattered to achieve a natural appearance.



7) All water lines will be removed from the gathering site.



8) Certain trails will be obliterated (see map of specific sites). Trails that remain will have a 24 inch treadway, with appropriate water control to avoid concentrations of water and prevent gully formation.



Specific Site Rehabilitation Areas



Areas warranting special attention are as follows.



1) Briefing area west of trailhead facility at front gate will be scarified seeded. This area is also recommended as a staging area for refuse collection ~ removal.



2) Bus Village will require mechanical scarification & fertilization in conjunction with seeding.






3) The steep trail south of and leading to Love'n Ovens will require extensive erosion control measures as designated on the ground by the Forest Service Resource Specialist.



4) The trails leading to the Doughnut Factory sill be obliterated



5) Scarification & seeding of concentration areas in & around the main circle is critical in order to reestablish vegetation in this area.



Seed ~ Fertilizer Specifications



1) Areas under heavy stands of timber do not need to be seeded (shady areas). All other areas should be seeded with a mix adapted to high elevations, called Mountain Mix". This consists of 15t lincoln Broome, 20% Potomac Orchard grass, 15% kenblue Kentucky Bluegrass, 25% linn Per Ryegrass, 20% Ryegrain, VNS 51 Timothy, Climax. This seed must be certified with the certification tags being returned to the Forest Service Representative.



2) The seeding rate will be 21bs/acre (21bs per 1,000 sq. ft).



3) A proper seedbed can be prepared by scarifying the soil with the appropriate tool or tools. The seed should then be spread ~ worked into the soil by raking, making sure the seed is covered with no more than 1/2. of soil. The placement of natural mulch will greatly enhance the success of the seeding. Natural mulches in the area would include dead twigs ~ branches, rotten wood materials ~ grass clippings from close by areas.






The fertilization should accompany revegetation efforts on the Bus Village area ~ the parking area around the entrance areas. This is needed to ensure successful revegetation of these in-fertile subsoils of this area. Based on work with various ski areas ~ Vail Pass suggested rates are 2001bs/acre of 16-20-0 ammonium phosphate sulfate should be applied filth grass seeding.



Specification/Aeration Specification.



- For moderately compacted areas such as kitchens ~ trails scarification to a 3 inch depth depth on a 6x6 inch grid will be needed. Because of he limited access to many of the disturbed areas it is suggested that a rotary dram scarifier/aerator be fabricated from a 50 gallon oil drum to complement work accomplished with hand tools.



2) For heavily compacted areas such as Bus Village, scarification to a 6 inch depth on a 12"x12" grid will be needed. It is anticipated that this will require mechanized equipment.



Note: The 5O gallon drum scarifier will be furnished by the Forest Service. However, equipment &scarifying Bus Village will be procured by & at the expense of the Rainbow Family.



Prepared by: 7/6/92






Terry Hughes



Approved by:



(signed) 7/6/92



Warren DuBois



Incident Commander



Nort Phillips 7/6/92






Deputy Incident Commander



Concurrence by: 7/6/92






Steven Posey (signed)



District Ranger





You are now a guest of the Gunnison National Forest and neighboring communities. The following information will help you be a good guest.


SANITATION - For the welfare of all, and to create a positr e image, it is important that everyone consider the handling of human waste a very important matter. Latrines should be used and maintained at the rate of 1 latrine per 100 persons on site. If latrines are not being used, waste should be buried in catholes of at least 6-8. in depth.

GARBAGE/SOLID WASTE - If is can be recycled, deposit it at the recycling stations that are scattered throughout the site. Garbage is being hauled out of the site to local landfills. Dispose of other materials by packing them out with you when you leave,

WATER - All water in the area of the site is owned by the Overland Ditch Company. They are very concerned about the impacts large numbers of people will have on the quality and quantity of water. This water is used for irrigating crops and gardens in the lower valleys. Some families also use this water for domestic purposes. Please do not bauble, wash or swim in the reservoir or streams that enter the reservoir. Boil all drinking water for at least 5 minutes.

SAFE DRIVING - Access to the site is primarily on gravel roads. Keep your speed down and obey all special postings. Law enforcement patrols will be enforcing traffic laws for the safely of all who may be using the roads to access their National Forest. Please drive safe9.

INSECTS - You will find a host of stinging and biting insects in the woods, as well as ticks. Insect repellents have some affect, but in general the bugs are something you'll just have to put up with. Ricks can carry Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Fleas can carry Bubonic Plague. ~

HYPOTHERMIA - The loss of body heat, lowering of body temperature, due to prolonged exposure to cold is hypothermia. Staying warm and dry is the key to avoiding hypothermia.

ALTITUDE SICKNESS - If you have come in from a low altitude you are advised to sake it easy for a couple of days. Avoid strenuous exercise until your body has a chance to acclimate to the over 10,000 foot altitude of the site. Symptoms could include d~z.:r.ess. headaches and nausea. If symptoms persist, move to a lower altitude.

THUNDERSTORMS/LIGHTNING - Colorado weather patterns this time of year normally include afternoon showers and thunderstorms. For your own safety, do not seek shelter In sparse stands of trees. Lightning is especially deadly in the high country.


CAMPFIRES - Campfiress should be located on bare soil, away from travel routes and flammable materials. It is illegal to leave campfires unattended. You may collect dead and down wood from National Forest land to use as firewood or shelter construction. Fireworks are illegal at HI times on National Forests


ILLNESS/MEDICAL SERVICES - If you become ill at the site we suggest you seek medical assistance as soon as possible. Anyone not feeling well should refrain from kitchen duty. hledicai services are available in neighboring communities. Check with CALM for specific information.


EMERGENCY MESSAGES - Emergency messages received will be transported to the site.


DUST ABATEMENT - During the period beginning 6/24 there will be temporary delays on Stevens Gulch Road, FS Road 701' to facilitate the application of magnesium chloride to the road in order to reduce dust.

PARKING - There is plenty of parking designated near the site. Please observe the NO PARKING/NO CAMPING signs posted along access routes and other roads. ILLEGALLY PARKED VEHICLES WILL BE TOWED AT OWNER EXPENSE. Please cooperate with Rainbow Family parking crews and others directing traffic.. The Rainbow Family will provide shuttle services from the parking areas to the entrance to the main singe.

SPECIAL AREAS - Special areas within the gathering site will be signed and marked. Cultural sites, research areas and sensitive riparian areas should be avoided.

PRIVATE PROPERTY - There are areas near the site which are private lands. Please respect the rights of private land owners and their properties. Landowner permission is required.

HELICOPTER LANDING AREA - With the cooperation of Rainbow Family members, a helicopter landing area is being identified to serve the Gathering site in case of emergency. Once identified, do not camp within the marked perimeter.

PHOTOGRAPHS - You may encounter Forest Service personnel taking photographs of activities and features at the site. Photos will be used for several purposes, including a record of the event. Forest Service personnel will ask permission before a photo is taken.


PETS - Pets are to be restrained and cleaned up after. Like people, pets can be infected with diseases carried by ticks and fleas. Keep your pets under control and away from wild rodents, which can carry Bubonic Plague. This is fawning/calving season. Do not allow your pets to harass wildlife.



LAWS AND REGULATIONS - We will appreciate your support and cooperation to protect all National Forest, Colorado, private landowners' and residents' resources. Please help us by complying with all State and Federal laws and reguaitions which local officials will be coordinating to enforce.