United States        Forest         Tres Piedras             P.0. Box 38
Department of        Service        Ranger District          Tres Piedras, NM 87577
Agriculture                                                  (505) 758-8678
                                                             Fax: (505) 751-3290
                                                             TT/TDD: (505) 758-8678

File Code: 2300

Date: November 3, 1995

Rainbow Family
c/o Garrick Beck
930 Baca Street
Santa Fe,, NM 87501

Cleanup and rehabilitation efforts of the 1995 National Rainbow Family gathering held on the Tres Piedras Ranger District of the Carson National Forest have been completed and accepted. True to their word, approximately 50 Rainbow Family members worked steadily from July 7 to August 4 to complete the cleanup and rehab.

In general the site is recovering well. From July 7 to September 11 the site received over 7.27 inches of rainfall. Grass and other vegetation is sprouting back in most areas. The only reseeding occurred in Drum Circle of the Main Gathering area. As of this date, major reseeding has not been necessary. Several of the heaviest impact areas will continue to be monitored into next spring.

The Rehabilitation Plan specified several items as follows:


Trash and litter were cleaned up very well over the entire area of the Gathering. Most trash was collected, separated and recycled after July 4. Some trash was taken to local dumpsters and over whelmed local trash facilities.

Fire rings, gray water pies, and latrines were covered up, mixed with dirt, and rocks scattered to appear natural.

All structures including kitchens., ovens, pole frames, sweat lodges, and shrines were dismantled and materials either scattered or removed wood poles were left for use by others.

Highly compacted areas such as kitchens, trails, and Kiddie Village were scarified, mulched, and waterbarred.

Three to four miles of new foot trails from Bus Village to Main Gathering are one of the heaviest environmental impacts. These trails were waterbarred mulched, and rocks and slash placed across them. These trails are still visible on the hillsides, have not fully recovered, especially on steeper slopes, and will continue to be monitored.

Elk/cow trails that existed prior to the Gathering and new trails to/from tent camping areas are doing well and reseeding will not be necessary.

Structures along the Rio San Antonio including bridges, dam=, swimming pools, mud baths, and pulley systems were all removed and the river corridor looks natural.

All hardware from spring boxes, PVC pipe, plastic liners, were removed. Spring depressions were left for as wildlife water.

All signs, markers, rock cairns, and painted trees were removed.

Cut fences and gates were repaired minimally. They were adequate to turn livestock for the remainder of the season.


Specific area. needing rehab were completed and accepted by August 4, 1995. These included A-Camp, Forest Road 87V, Bus Village, A-Camp Welcome Home, Teepee Circle, and Kiddie Village.

Rainbow Family members stated medical waste wan disposed of properly.

Litter and debris such as mufflers, windshields, and other car parts were picked up from a 15 mile stretch of Forest Road 87.

Abandoned and broken down vehicles in Bus Village were finally removed by August 4.

Bus Village road was scarifed with a harrow sufficient to break up the compacted soil surface. At first it appeared the scarification was inadequate, but given ample rainfall the road and parking areas are recovering. Native bunchgrass has resprouted even in the heavily compacted areas. This is another of the heaviest in pact areas that will continue to be monitored.

Kiddie Village, another heavy impact area, was packed with hand tools and mulched with sapling/pole size slash. It was not reseeded. Native grasses and forbs are recovering well. Reseeding will not be necessary.


The optional watershed project described in the Rehab plan was not completed.

Rainbow Family member" removed an old fence in the Main Gathering area that posed a safety hazard. Barbed wire was rolled up and posts pulled and stacked.


As a followup to an earlier Tres Piedras community meeting an on-site field trip was held on 7.22.95 to inspect the site after the Gathering and check on the progress of the rehab efforts. It was attended by a approximately 30 local residents and Rainbow Family members. The consensus of the community was that the Rainbows had done a good job of cleaning up. They also offered suggestions for future Gatherings:

1. Rainbow Family needs to listen more than talk.
2. They should repay something back to communities for all they took.
3. They should give future communities more time to plan and prepare for Gathering.

The site of the 1995 Rainbow Gathering is recovering well from the environmental effect. The social tensions generated from the event wi11 take longer to heal.

In conclusion, the cleanup end rehab efforts were successful due to close cooperation end a good working relationship between the Rainbow Family rehab crew and Silver Rael, Tres Piedras RD Rehab Coordinator

Forest Service estimates over 18,000 people attended the 1995 National Rainbow Family Gathering on the San Antonio River which is a 50 percent increase over the 1994 Gathering. I am most thankful that the event was relatively peaceful and without-mayor incident. This has been an experience I will always remember.

(signed Daniel L. Rael)
District Forest Ranger

cc: L. Lucero, Forest Supervisor, Carson National Forest
cc: J. Hobbits, Incident Commander