Rainbow Family Gathering near Dutch Joe Creek/Big Sandy River
by Bridger-Teton National Forest
June 25, 2008
U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) officials announced today that the Rainbow Family Gathering will be located in the Dutch Joe Creek/Big Sandy River area north of Rock Springs, Wyoming and southeast of Pinedale, Wyoming.
The Gathering will be held on the Bridger-Teton National Forest with parking and some activities on public lands administered by BLM. Forest Service and BLM resource officers, law enforcement officers and safety and health officers make up a National Incident Management Team dedicated to minimize resource impacts on National Forest lands and ensure the health and safety of all forest visitors.
“It is important to the Forest Service to work cooperatively with the local, county and state agencies during this Gathering and we thank them for their help and support,” Incident Management Team Commander, Gene Smithson, said. “Approximately 10, 000 to 15, 000 people may attend these gatherings and it is critical to coordinate with the communities nearby the gatherings.”
Thousands of people are expected to participate in the Gathering, which will be held throughout the first week of July into the 4th of July weekend. Nearly 1,300 participants have already arrived in the area with more to come.
“Having the Gathering on both Forest Service and BLM lands requires a great amount of support from each agency,” Fred Hurlock, Deputy Incident Commander said. “Consistency across boundaries is the most efficient tactic and that is essential with large, group activities on public lands.”
Forest Service resource specialists are working on the ground with gathering participants to develop an operating plan that will mitigate resource damage and provide for the safety of gathering participants and the public. Many of the Rainbow Family participants will stay a few weeks after the Gathering to clean up the area, following specific criteria the Forest Service has identified in the operating plan.
For additional information, please contact the U.S. Forest Service National Incident Management Team Information Officer at (801)791-2390, or BLM spokesman Bruce Collins at 307-320-5241.