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Rainbow Gathering Rumors

There has reportedly been harassment at this year's Annual Rainbow Gathering, with tickets being issued for "illegal structures", and 3 individuals have filled out permits. One permit application was even signed. This was also denied, and the details of this denial can be found below in the "National Incident Command News Release" for June 20.
Rumor has it that the Forest Service is enforcing the permit policy that restricts groups of over 75 people from gathering in the National Forest without a permit.

There has reportedly been harassment at this year's Annual Rainbow Gathering, and 3 individuals have filled out permits. One permit application was even signed. Although this is not a consensed signing, and therefore not valid within rainbow Family Process, it is nevertheless the only valid application the Forest Service has yet received, by their own standards. This was also denied, and the details of this denial can be found below in the "National Incident Command News Release" for June 20.

The Family has no leaders, no representatives, operates solely on consensus; Before the regulations prohibiting gatherings of over 75 in the National Forests, Family members would work with the Forest Service to develop "operating plans" to ensure that logistics for over 10,000 in the National Forest went smoothly. These logistics include details such as sanitation, emergency procedures, cleanup details, and safety concerns for the gatherers. These Operating Plans helped ensure safe gatherings and good cleanups, although in the absence of these, cleanup reports have continued to turn out well, and have surpassed Forest Service standards each year.

Since the "anti-gathering" regulations passed nearly concurrently with the salvage rider in 1995, anyone who tries to open lines of communication with the Forest Service on these essential issues runs the risk of being targetted as a "leader" of the Gathering, and therefore responsible, and can face fines of up to $500.00 and 6 months in Jail. The regulations are set up to deny the right to a jury trial. 1-3 have been cited at most National Gatherings over the years, many have paid fines, or done jail time, and some are still awaiting appeal. No precedent has been set in the courts since 1988 to show that these regulations have a chilling effect on our 1st amendment right to freedom of asssembly, speech, and religion.
There has reportedly been harassment at this year's Annual Rainbow Gathering, and 3 individuals have filled out permits. One permit application was even signed. Although this is not a consensed signing, and therefore not valid within rainbow Family Process, it is the only valid application the Forest Service has yet received, by theri own standards. This was also denied, and the details of this denial can be found below in the "National Incident Nommand News Release for June 20.

The location of the site is still not official, (there has not been consensus), although seed camp preparations have begun. The Gathering officially starts July 1-7, culminating in a day of prayer for World Peace and Healing on July 4th, with silence until noon.

Rumor has it that the FS is issuing tickets for "illegal structures" to the volunteer kitchens in general, that they are tearing these structures down daily, and they are being rebuilt nightly.

Rumor has is that the springs are being obstructed by the FS and that there is a shortage of filters to filter water from the less reliable water sources. A call for filtration systems has been put out.

The directions to the pre-gathering seed camp, verbatim from the Northwest Rainbow Lightline, as of June 20, were as follows: [Call the NW Rainbow Lightline yourself for more details, and in case anything changes: (503) 727-2498]

From the West: I-84 East past Boise to Exit 57. Go North on Hwy 21 to Lowman. Go Rightt out of Lowman on Hwy 21 for 35 miles. Go Left to FS 579(Bear Valley Road). Go Left onto FS 582 for 5 miles to Cache Creek Meadows.

[the road north out of Lowman is treacherous, and although the website www.welcomehome.org recommends this route, is has since been found to be inadvisable]

For more info on what this gathering is about, (what to bring, history of the gatherings, etc) go to the unofficial Rainbow family Website, wwww.welcomehome.org .... Or for a faster connection,  http://rainbow.toad.com/main.html

This event is a do-it-yourself thing, and participation is the key. Bring your own cup, spoon, flashlight, raingear, and whatever else you want to share. This includes food, workshops, literature and all manner of camping equipment, rope, containers, milk jugs, garbage bags ( heavy duty), tools for digging and cutting wood.

Please don't bring alcohol, guns, dogs off leashes, fireworks or a violent attitude into our sanctuary.

Be aware that you may be stopped on your drive into the Gathering, and that our 4th amendment right protecting folks against illegal search and seizure is not always honored by Law Enforcement. a good idea to drive legal, and safely.

I am writing as an individual, and am not claiming to represent anyone other than myself. I am not vouching for the truth to the rumours of law enforcement activity in Idaho except that it was a reliable source I heard it from. So come see for yourself! Bring a camera if you have one!

Starfire

--------National Incident Management Team News Release --------
6:45 AM 6/21/01 National Incident Management Team News ReleaseJune 20, 2001

Contact: Sharon Sweeney, Information Officer, 208-259-3371

Valid Application Received, Permit Denied
LOWMAN, ID—

For the first time in the 30-year history of Rainbow
Family gatherings, a member of the group submitted a valid application for
a Noncommercial Group Use Permit.
On June 18th, the Lowman District Ranger, Walt Rogers, received a faxed application for a permit from Jeff Kline. Although the Forest Service has received a handful of applications from the Rainbow Family since
1982, Kline's application was the first which was complete and valid.
"We are pleased to see a member of the Rainbow Family making an effort to meet the requirements of the Noncommerical Group Use Regulations,"
said Rogers. "We have used this process successfully for years in order to minimize the impacts of group events on the Boise National Forest.
Unfortunately, the Rainbow Family applied for the permit after the gathering began in an area of particular concern to the forest."

On June 20th, Rogers denied the permit because of two primary concerns.

First, the Boise National Forest is required to consult with the Shoshone Bannock and Shoshone Paiute Tribes on any action that may affect
off-reservation Tribal treaty rights, cultural resources, or the ability of the agency to meet trust responsibilities. The Tribes have
expressed significant concerns about the potential for adverse effects in the Bear Valley watershed, as this area is considered sacred, traditional
fishing grounds. Consultation on these issues cannot be concluded in the timeframe required for this permit application. At the time the permit
application was received, there were more than 300 members of the Rainbow Family already gathered in the Bear Valley. When the decision was made to deny the permit—48-hours later—the gathering population had increased to
approximately 1100.

Second, the permit was denied because under the Endangered Species Act, the Forest Service is required to consult with the National Marine
Fisheries Service, and the Fish and Wildlife Service on any permitted activity that may effect listed species in the Bear Valley. This area provides
habitat for a host of threatened species such as chinook salmon, Canada lynx, bald eagles, steelhead, bull trout, Ute Ladies' Tresses, gray wolves, and a number of other sensitive species.

"The Rainbow Family has taken an important step, but it is entirely unrealistic for a gathering with the potential to reach 25,000 people to move into one of the most ecologically and culturally sensitive areas in the state, begin setting up an infrastructure, and then fax an
application for a permit, knowing full well that I only have two days to respond."
said Rogers.

"If they had come forth much earlier, we may have been able to locate a suitable site. However, in this instance, they didn't ask us about
the site. At the time I received the application, there were upwards of 300 people already on site, by the time I made my decision, over 1100
had arrived, and thousands more are on the way.
A better road to drive in 21.Jun.2001 13:03

starfire

apparently the last left onto fs 582 is really hairy.

better to go past that turn and go left instead onto 579 ( stay on 579 ) for 13 miles till bruce meadow.

take the left fork, (this is upper end of 582) for 5 miles to get to cache creek.

or go in through stanley.

starfire

It's a Friggin' Cow Pasture!! 21.Jun.2001 13:09

starfire

Apparently the "sensitive" area the gatherers are on is being leased by a cattle rancher who has the right to graze cattle there while the Gathering is happening. This makes the story about the site being too environmentally sensitive environmentally seem fairly far-fetched.

Interesting to note also that the District Rangers advised that this would be a good site to the scouts as well. Then Incident Command changed the story altogether.

Suggestion 21.Jun.2001 13:43

Mike

How about sending a delegation over to the Bannocks and Paiutes to see if THEY will give a statement of permission? Take over a copy of that rejection where it claims that they have say in the matter/ They may be able to make use of such an acknowledgement of their "rights" because I bet the FS denies they have any such say when it's talking to them.

Rebuttal 21.Jun.2001 14:29

starfire reposting letter to the Editor

Dear editor,

It's ironic that the FS claims they were contacted too late.
They've known of the Washington-Idaho selection since last July -- and have offered no suitable area to date. Last year, they were contacted in March, and "ignored" the application - stating publically that none was made.

Later in Court , they claimed the Incident Command does not
"administer" permits. Now we see another reversal with the IncidentCommand siezing control of the "administration" process to keep thisGathering illegal. The regulation has become a labyrinth for citizens who seek to exercise the right of free assembly.
The latest rejection names endangered species concerns. Salmon, Bull trout, lynx, wolves, eagles and Ute ladies tresses. Whenthe application process was initiated by Gatherers on June 12, the Ranger expressed only concerns for salmon. Gathering folks raised the other concerns, and identified the 'Ute Ladies tresses' -- the district did not see these as obstacles. So now salmon and bull trout are protected by closures along the Creeks, and no critical habitat has been identifiedwithin the site concerning these other species. But the Incident Command is still denying access? Meanwhile, cattle still have legalaccess -- i wonder, will they stay out of the riparian zone?
This a serious civil rights violation. It's high time the ForestService' discrimination against Gatherings be exposed for what it is -- athinly veiled attempt to eliminate the right of free assembly on public
land. I suggest Mr. Craig re-read his Constitution.

-S. Bradford
Missoula, MT