State natural resources director implores Rainbows to employ Leave No Trace |

State natural resources director implores Rainbows to employ Leave No Trace

Colorado Department of Natural Resources Executive Director Dan Gibbs, far right, speaks during a stop at Pearl Lake during a Drought Impacts Tour highlighting wildfire dangers in August 2021.
Suzie Romig/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Colorado Department of Natural Resources Executive Director Dan Gibbs said Friday that he “implores attendees of the Rainbow Family Gathering in Routt County to keep in mind the impacts of their event on our natural resources and to practice Leave No Trace principles.”

“Colorado is home to world-renowned natural resources, but we know special care must be taken to preserve them for the benefit and enjoyment of current and future residents and visitors,” Gibbs said in a public statement. “These large unsanctioned gatherings risk tremendous impacts to our lands, wildlife and communities, and it is my hope attendees of the Rainbow Family Gathering respect our great outdoors and take it upon themselves to proactively minimize resource degradation.”

The state leader applauded the U.S. Forest Service for the closure of the California Park area of Routt National Forest. California Park is located just south of the 50th anniversary Rainbow Family Gathering in Adams Park, where attendance had grown to 4,100 campers by Thursday, as estimated by Forest Service officials.

“The area has significant biological, geological, historical and paleontological values, and the USFS and nonprofit partners have invested millions of dollars in riparian and habitat restoration projects in the area,” Gibbs’ statement noted.

“I want to thank the (Forest Service), Routt County and all first responders for their attention and response to the Rainbow Family Gathering, and DNR supports their efforts to minimize damages to our natural resources,” Gibbs said. “Given the danger of fire, impacts on calving for big game and the exposure of damages to sensitive wildlife habitat, DNR will continue to monitor the Rainbow Family Gathering working with the USFS and partner agencies.”

DNR oversees six divisions of state agencies in Colorado including Colorado Parks and Wildlife managing topics from water to conservation to mining reclamation.

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