CONTACT: Susan Denoncour, Public Affairs Officer
DATE: June 7, 1991
Green Mountain National Forest
151 West Street, PO Box 519
Rutland, VT 05702
(802) 773-0300


The Rainbow Family of Living Light has informed the Green Mountain National Forest, headquartered in Rutland, Vermont, that it intends to hold its 20th annual National Gathering on the Rochester Ranger District in the Green Mountain National Forest. Each year approximately 10,000 or more Rainbow Family members "welcome each other home" in a national forest of their selection where they generally revel in Mother Nature, enjoy the company of old and new-made friends and spend a few days of abandonment from mainstream society. This will be the first National Gathering in the Northeast. The Family gathered in the Superior National Forest in northern Minnesota in 1990.

"We first learned of the Rainbow's interest in holding a Gathering in New England late last year," said Rob Iwamoto, Rochester District Ranger with the Forest Service. "But it wasn't until last week that the Family settled on a specific site here in the Green Mountain National Forest." Since then, Iwamoto and his staff have maintained regular contact with Family members who are starting preliminary work to get the Gathering site prepared far the event.

Family members will continue to help with preparations for the next three weeks. The Gathering attendance is expected to culminate between June 29 and July 7.


"This is the Rainbow Family's event. They plan and run all aspects of the Gathering." said Iwamoto. "But because the event occurs on National Forest System lands it falls under federal jurisdiction. As stewards of the national forest we assume the ultimate responsibility to oversee this Gathering, and we will enforce laws and regulations as necessary in that responsibility." The Forest Service's main objective is to provide for the health, safety and welfare of all -- those attending the Gathering, other national forest users and area residents, and to protect the area's environmental quality.

"For the next three weeks or so Family members will be working to set up kitchens, camping, parking and sanitation facilities," Iwamoto explained. "We will work with them closely and continually, along with other agencies, to identify appropriate sites and to protect sites we know are sensitive to human use and intrusion." The Rainbow Family espouses a deep respect for nature. "We have found the Family to be very concerned about protecting the natural resources of the area, and we will be working cooperatively with the Family to make sure that the resources are protected, as well as making sure that we are sensitive to the residents of the local communities," Iwamoto added.


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