The Rainbow Family of Living Light is currently holding their 2016 Annual Rainbow Gathering in the Green Mountain National Forest (GMNF), on the Manchester Ranger District. They are gathering on Forest Road 10 in Mount Tabor, close to the Long Trail/Appalachian Trail. The Green Mountain Club asks hikers to use caution and patience when traveling through the area. Hikers seeking day or overnight hikes may want to consider an alternate location until after the gathering has dissipated.
The gathering could draw anywhere from 10,000-20,000 people. Participants will continue to arrive for the next couple of weeks with the peak population during week of July 4.
The Forest Service issued this statement about the event on their website:
RUTLAND, VT. (June 13, 2016) – Forest Service officials announced today that The Rainbow Family of Living Light have chosen to hold their 2016 Annual Rainbow Gathering in the Green Mountain National Forest (GMNF), on the Manchester Ranger District. The gathering site will be located on Forest Road 10 in Mount Tabor. Participants come from all walks of life and the gathering could draw anywhere from 10,000-20,000 people. Participants will continue to arrive for the next couple of weeks with the peak population during week of July 4.
The Rainbow Family is a self-described loose knit group of people without leadership or organization who participate in a national gathering once a year. They come from all across the country. Since 1972, the event has taken place on a different national forest annually during a two-week period surrounding the Fourth of July holiday and has grown in size, attracting up to 10,000+ people.
Any event of this size can have significant impacts on traffic, communities, local resources, residents and visitors. Local businesses can expect to see large numbers of Rainbow Family participants visiting stores, buying food and supplies along routes to the gathering site. Areas are expected to be very congested during that time.
The gathering will take place under the conditions and guidelines provided through a Forest Service Operating Plan.The Operating Plan will address public health and safety concerns, minimize impacts to natural resources, and outline post-event rehabilitation procedures.
Because of the magnitude of this event, the Forest Service utilizes an agency National Incident Management Team (NIMT) in coordination with local Forest Service personnel to manage the impacts of this event. The Forest Service NIMT has arrived on the GMNF and is working with various local agencies to address public health and safety, while managing and minimizing adverse impacts to natural resources.
For updates on the Rainbow Gathering, you can visit the US Forest Service website.
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