From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 8, Number 12 - June 12, 2008
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Rainbows To Return To Sublette County

by Janet Montgomery

The rumor is out that the 2008 gathering of the Rainbow Family of Living Light plans to meet on US Forest Service (USFS) Land in the area of Pinedale — and it’s true.

At Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Sublette County Commissioners, USFS Pinedale District Ranger Tom Peters advised the commission that the Rainbows had been in contact but would not confirm a location. Peters said possible sites included Big Sandy and Irish Canyon.

But right now, Peters said the location is unknown and the Rainbows were “playing games with the Forest Service (FS).”

Although he assured that at some point and in some way, the FS will find out about the gathering but probably at the last minute.

Peters said the FS wants to work with the county health department as the gathering date approaches.

“I just want you ... to know that the Forest Service wants to do everything they can for the county,” he said, adding that the FS wants to give the county as much information and help as possible. “We don’t have much right now.”

Commissioner John Linn suggested the FS get with Pinedale Online to create a one-page Web site on the gathering as well as to put the three commissioners on an “email alert” for when the site is actually known and for other issues that might arise.

With estimates of anywhere from 15,000 to 40,000 people to converge on the area for the gathering, Peters said there have been a number of rumors about the Rainbows, one being that the Hells Angels would be providing security for the gathering.

“The FS is not going to be reacting to all the rumors,” he said.

Peters said there is a possibility that up to 100 FS law enforcement officers would be transported to the area to help.

Linn also requested a briefing meeting with FS, EMS, Search and Rescue and others for a quick overview as the time of the gathering approaches. Linn indicated his concern about the roads to some of the indicated possible locations that could mean severely rutted roads as well as dust issues, saying once the location is known hopefully the county will have a chance to mag the road if possible.

Peters welcomed the suggestions, saying he had never dealt with this kind of activity before, but in Sublette County many locals were present for the 1994 gathering in Snyder Basin.

Sublette County Clerk Mary Lankford said, “There’s a few of us who have been here before.”

She also indicated to Peters that the FS has a team of agents assigned to the gathering.

In 1994, the gathering at Snyder Basin drew a reported 14,000 rainbows to the area 30 miles southwest of Big Piney.

This year’s gathering is set for July 1-7 with the “Spring Circle” commencing on June 10 at Stokes, Wyo., a location just a few miles from Boulder Lake. A Web site for the rainbows directs fellow gatherers to use the Salt Lake City Airport and to check back for the location on July 1.

The site also indicates that once the Spring Council makes a decision, Seed Camp begins working to create the infrastructure to support the gathering, which would be finishing by the end of June. The site also warns that the gathering location could mean driving 50 to 100 miles at 20 miles per hour.

The Rainbow Family has been conducting the weeklong gathering campout on FS lands since 1972 with thousands of people typically attending the event. The Rainbow Family gathered in the Shoshone National Forest in 1973 with the 1994 gathering in the Bridger-Teton National Forest where the 2008 gathering is expected as well.

See The Archives for past articles.

Copyright © 2002-2008 Sublette Examiner
All rights reserved. Reproduction by any means must have permission of the Publisher.
Sublette Examiner, PO Box 1539, Pinedale, WY 82941   Phone 307-367-3203