2022 Rainbow Gathering Could Bring Destruction to Colorado’s Forest
Colorado serves as the hub for many different unique festivals and gatherings, ranging in diversity from themes like multi-day music fests to renaissance fairs and even cannabis celebrations.
While most of these large gatherings are good for Colorado's economy and tourism, one that's currently planned for this summer has residents feeling a very opposite way.
The 2022 Rainbow Gathering is expected to take place in Colorado and is predicted to bring approximately 30,000 people to the Centennial State. The unorganized group gathering has been happening for fifty years and has occurred in Colorado before.
Since it has taken place in Colorado previously, including in Routt National Forest back in 2006, officials and law enforcement know what to expect - and it's not good.
Participants set up camp on public land and the counterculture festival lasts for weeks, sometimes even up to a month long.
In years past, the hippies who are a part of Rainbow Gathering have caused extreme damage to Colorado's backcountry and forest lands. This is ironic, in that the gathering is aimed to celebrate nature and life, yet the massive crowds wind up leaving the land completely destroyed. Tree branches are broken and used for fires, plus rangers are left to clean up excessive amounts of human and animal waste once the gathering is over.
Even when the group has been denied permits in Colorado, due to environmental and safety concerns, they've gone forth with the gathering regardless. During their time in Routt National Forest, the group tallied up hundreds of violation notices issued by Forest Service officers. Some of these included drug-related charges as well as illegal occupancy and use of a national forest.
Although Colorado has been selected as the rumored location for the 2022 gathering, the exact location has yet to be revealed. Some Reddit threads are hinting it could possibly take place somewhere near Walden, Granby, or Golden, but those are just speculations.
Another huge worry about the event taking place in the Centennial State is the risk it poses for fire danger, especially in the backcountry or forest. Plus, in addition to having a negative impact on Colorado's important natural resources, residents are also concerned about the potential of criminals coming to the state.
The Rainbow Gathering was held in Carson National Forest in New Mexico last year.