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1997 Rainbow Family National Gathering

U.S. Forest Service Final Report



The 1997 National Rainbow Family Gathering took place on the Big Summit Ranger District of the Ochoco National Forest. Over 20,000 visitors were estimated to be in the Indian Prairie area on July 4, 1997.

Early efforts to limit resource impacts of the gathering are appreciated by the District. The following cleanup & rehabilitation objectives are oriented towards returning the Indian Prairie site and Road 2630 access corridor to near natural conditions. General recommendations include:

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

2) Rehabilitation activities should be completed by August 15th, 1997. However if either the Forest Service or Rainbow Family feel additional time is needed to complete rehabilitation/clean-up this date can be extended.

3) To reduce the possible introduction of noxious weeds, reclamation seed will be provided by the Ochoco National Forest.

Specific recommendations include:

Retain specific improvements

1) the stone bridge crossing over the stream

2) the stone oven near the snow shelter.

Restoration activities

General cleanup

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

2) All kitchens, etc. will be totally dismantled and man made structures other than the bridge and oven should be disassembled and scattered to near natural condition on or around the site

3) 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.


4) Latrines will be covered with the native material originally removed from the pit and mounded with excess material to allow for settling. All fecal matter will be covered. A light covering of lime on the surface (4 oz per trench) will be required.

5) 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.

6) Grey water dumping areas will be filled in after they have dried out.

Trails and Roads

7) Water bars will be constructed along trails at approximately 1 bar per ten foot elevation change.

8) Rehabilitate all trails that have been created using the seed mix provided by the District.

9) The closed road through the main meadow will be maintained as a 24" wide trail.

10) Any "new" roads (IE access to camping areas) that have been created will be returned to a natural, undisturbed appearance, preferably by raking the area.

Springs/Streams/Riparian areas

11) All water lines will be removed from the gathering site. All springs where water lines were used will be restored to natural flowing conditions that existed before the gathering.



12) Remove flagging and stakes from areas flagged to restrict use.

13) Water bar and seed any new trails or "circles" where there is soil compaction and bare ground.


14) Return sites to a natural appearance. Due to the nature of the soil and vegetation in the forested understory, seeding will not be necessary in these areas.


15) Remove by raking or replacing rocks and other natural materials, impacts made to these areas during wet conditions ( i.e. ruts, tire tracks etc.).

Seeding Specifications:

The District will be providing two different types of seed. They are both to be used in the areas to be seeded. Because of the difference in the seed size they cannot be mixed until they are used on the ground.

For optimal germination, these seeds need to be raked in and covered with soil. Hand seed the Red Fescue at the rate of one handful per square yard of bare earth. Seed the White Oats at a rate of two handfuls per square yard. Rake and cover seeds. Then gently walk over area to insure good seed/soil contact and pray for rain.

The oats will provide immediate, temporary, cover (within one week), if there is sufficient moisture. The fescue will take longer to germinate but will persist.

Areas needing special attention:

For further information contact:

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