Rainbow family to disperse from Routt National Forest by weekend | SteamboatToday.com

Rainbow family to disperse from Routt National Forest by weekend

Rainbow Family members march in North Routt County in 2006 during their annual gathering.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The U.S. Forest Service believes members of the Rainbow Family of Living Light who are camping in the Routt National Forest plan to disperse by this weekend.

Forest Service spokesman Aaron Voos said about 50 people remained at the Buffalo Ridge Trailhead, which is near the Wyoming border just northeast of the Zirkel Wilderness.

Transients passing through Steamboat Springs recently have told law enforcement they were headed to the regional gathering. Oftentimes, the regional gatherings are used to scout out locations for future national gatherings.

This year, the national gathering was held at the Malheur National Forest in Oregon, and it drew an estimated 12,000 people.

The annual gathering attracts thousands of people who share common beliefs of non-violence.

In 2006, Routt County became very familiar with the Rainbow Family when they chose the Routt National Forest in the northern part of the county for a national gathering of an estimated 15,000 people.

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Many who attended were ticketed for illegal gathering because the Rainbow gathering didn’t have a special-use permit to occupy the public land. More serious citations were issued for drug possession and assault.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland.

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