LaMalfa, county officials visit Rainbow Family Gathering sites

Lassen County District 5 Supervisor Jason Ingram, Congressman Doug LaMalfa, Lassen County Sheriff John McGarva, rancher Joe Egan, Maidu elder Allen Lowery and Lassen County Administrative Officer Richard Egan at the headwaters of Indian Creek.

Lassen News Publisher Sam Williams joined Congressman Doug LaMalfa, Lassen County Administrative Officer Richard Egan, Lassen County District 5 Supervisor Jason Ingram, Lassen County Sheriff John McGarva, Maidu Elder Allen Lowry and local rancher Joe Egan, Wednesday July 3, for a tour of the Indian Creek area on Diamond Mountain, the original site of the Rainbow Family Gathering.

Rainbow Family Gatherers still at the site Wednesday, July 3.

LaMalfa, McGarva and Richard Egan also visited the alternative gathering site on a second location on the Plumas National Forest.

Lassen County District 5 Supervisor Jason Ingram and Congressman Doug LaMalfa check out a waterline diverting water out of Indian Creek for the Rainbow Family Gathering.

Ingram still fumes
Lassen County District 5 Supervisor Jason Ingram remains dissatisfied with the whole process.

A small group of Rainbow Family Gatherers.

“I’m still upset with the U.S. Forest Service and how they handled their closure and how they had nonexistent barricades and how they said I was a not an accepted person to be there, along with how only accepted people were allowed to be there,” Ingram said. “I asked them — so the people who are illegally still up there are accepted,” but the government officials, a Maidu elder and the press “are not acceptable to be there? That just burns my ass. And then, we go up there, there’s no law enforcement officers, there’s no barricade, they did not enforce their closure. The whole thing is despicable.”

This area near Indian Creek appears to be the remains of an information center for gatherers — although the group claims to have no leadership.

Ingram said the story is unique.

A Rainbow Family Gathering campsite.

“I’ve been contacted by a couple of different tribes out of state that I put together with Allen Lowry and the Maidu Consortium to move forward and the tribes all working together to put an end to the Rainbows once and for all, and I do think they have the power to do so,” Ingram said. “I’m not done. I am furious with the Forest Service for treating us the way they did. No barricade, no closure, no anything. Yeah, the whole thing just makes me sick. I’m not going to stop fighting the Forest Service on this. I’m not going to stop urging LaMalfa’s office to get answers from D.C. and I’m never going to stop supporting the Maidu and all the rest of the tribes putting an end to the Rainbows once and for all.”

Part of a water system at the gathering.

Ingram also complained about actions taken against him and his family.

The vegetation pays a heavy price under the feet of hundreds or maybe thousands of people.

“Not to mention them putting my home address online,” Ingram said. “Putting my family in that kind of position is disgusting. It infuriates me to no end.”

Update on Indian Creek site
U.S. Forest Service Public Information Officer Hilary Markin said on Friday, July 5, “We did have law enforcement officers go up today and (they) issued citations to any and all individuals found within that road closure area … After today we fully expect the majority of those folks to leave the area and they were actively doing so while law enforcement officers were on site. Our law enforcement officers are doing a tremendous job out there. It’s been a long assignment for many of them and they’re doing a great job.”

A Rainbow Family Gathering latrine.

She said she thought 32 citations were issued.

A pile of trash left alongside the road.

Update from the U.S. Forest Service
As of July 5, Forest Service Law Enforcement Officers at the Unauthorized Group Use Incident on the Plumas National Forest conducted 370 law enforcement actions. Of those actions there have been five arrests, 101 violation notices, 153 written warnings, 1 state violation and 110 incident reports.

This camp near Indian Creek remains days after the Plumas National Forest closed the area.

These law enforcement actions ranged from traffic violations, damage to natural resources, narcotics possession and/or distribution, unauthorized improvements, threats and/or interference with official acts, being inside an upon a closed area, resisting arrest, felon in possession, violations of fire restrictions, and assisting other cooperating law enforcement agencies.

More trampled vegetation.

The arrests ranged from felons in possession, resisting arrest and individuals with felony warrants.

A fire pit near the Indian Creek site.

The incident peaked on the Fourth of July with approximately 1,756 individuals. Current attendance is approximately 972 individuals at Site 2 on the Beckwourth Ranger District.

A Rainbow Family Gathering trail in the middle of a sensitive area.