Rainbows work on cleanup after gathering in North Routt; California Park re-opens

Those who attended the Rainbow Gathering on July 4, 2022 gather around the trunk of a large Aspen tree that was placed in the middle of a large meadow just off of U.S. Forest Service Trail 1144 in Adams Park.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

U.S. Forest Service officials reported Thursday, July 14, that the estimated attendance at the Rainbow Gathering in Adams Park in north Routt County is now down to 140 people or less.

Officials also confirmed the California Park closure area will reopen for public recreation at midnight Thursday, July 14.

Aaron Voos, public affairs specialist for the Routt National Forest, said Forest Service resource specialists have visited Adams Park this week to take inventory of environmental damage and map the camping areas.

He said Rainbows remaining on site assigned to rehabilitation work have received a 10-page resource design criteria document to help guide restoration efforts.

The document includes direction on issues ranging from the proper decommissioning of kitchen pits and trenches, to leaving all dead or down wood within 100 feet of any stream or within flagged avoidance areas, to disposing of dog waste in latrines.

“This unauthorized event is expected to generate several tons of human waste. Sanitation needs to comply with Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment,” the design criteria noted.

“We’ve submitted the design criteria, or resource protection plan, so in theory, they have been working toward that for a while,” Voos said. “We are just waiting for them to take care of things as we hope they will by using this resource plan as a guide. We’re hopeful that the Rainbows will take care of a lot of it. We’ll see how it all works out. We have no specific timelines since there was no permit.”

A restoration section of the document notes: “Decompact soils, implement erosion control measures and restore groundcover to pre-gathering conditions. Do not spread seed without Forest Service approval. Ensure all fire rings are removed and restored to pre-gathering conditions. Work with Forest Service Resource Advisors on desired condition.”

Despite a large volume of trash and dumpsters being delivered to Adams Park, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Public Information Officer Rachael Gonzales said the agency did not receive any wildlife incident calls related to the gathering.

Voos said Forest Service officials hope to meet with Rainbow Gathering rehabilitation team members this weekend.

Officials say most of the national Incident Management Team members have now gone home, with only a limited number of national personnel still on duty.

Forest Service status updates are available online at FS.USDA.Gov/goto/RainbowGathering.

Read everything about the 2022 Rainbow Gathering at

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