Forest Service PIO says permit requirement applies to new Rainbow Family Gathering site as well

The Rainbow Family Gathering has moved from the Indian Creek area on the backside of Diamond Mountain to another location in the Plumas National Forest — a previously used fire camp near the intersection of Forest Road 28N01 and 26N70 on the Beckwourth Ranger District approximately 12 miles north of Beckwourth, California.

Despite the change of location, Saturday evening U.S. Forest Service Public Information Officer Hilary Markin said the regulations requiring a permit for a noncommercial gathering of 75 people or more remain in effect.

“We’re still working on getting numbers tonight of how many people are at each of the locations,” Markin said. “The original location at the Indian Creek headwaters I believe is down to around 80 individuals. I’m waiting on the numbers about the new site and how many people are there. Every group of more than 75 is required to get a special use permit, and we’re working on that.”

Markin said the negotiations between the Rainbow Family Gathering and the Forest Service are challenging because the loose-knit group claims to be just individuals camping in the woods and there is no one authorized to speak for the group.

“We work with anyone on the National Forest interested in bringing a group of 75 or more,” Markin said. “We encourage them to contact the Forest Service so we can work through the permitting process and identify those resources of concern that may be in that area and prevent damage to sensitive areas — all the reasons why we have this current closure in place — that’s what the special use (permit) is designed to do … That’s the big crux of it all — everybody needs to be following the rules and regulations established by the agency to protect the resources and public health and safety.”

Markin said after the closure order, some Rainbow Family members were allowed to remain at the Indian Creek site to give them additional time to recover their belongings.

“The Forest Service is going to be working with the local tribes’ resource staff and affected stakeholders to address and restore any damage that remains on that (Indian Creek) site,” Markin said.