Thursday, September 17, 2009

From the Cuba News August 21

I received a PDF excerpt of the Cuba News edition for August 21 in PDF format. It contains cleanup info on the gathering. Click here to see it in PDF format.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Collection of FOIA Info

A kind brother working on various gathering related legal issues has put together a web page with all his FOIA requests and responses related to the New Mexico gathering. If you're interested, click here.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Thieves are Among Us

99% of people who come to a gathering, do so with positive intentions. Then there is the other 1%. A brother who was in New Mexcio

http://www.nerflings.org/turq/turq.html

Friday, July 31, 2009

Cleanup Letter from USFS

The attached jpegs contain the clean up sign off letter from the 2009 gathering in New Mexico.


Please download and distribute this information freely. A great big shout out to the clean up crew. You are my heros.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Odds & Ends

At the gathering, when telling various people tidbits of useful information, many of the listeners said something to the effect "everyone should know this." So here goes.

USFS and the road in - the cops are always on the road looking to bust you for anything they can. If they can't find anything else, they'll write you a mandatory court appearance ticket for something as mundane as a broken turn signal or beads hanging off your rear view mirror. This happens every year - be prepared. If you haven't read my tips for a safe journey home, click here and read it.

The tickets - the tickets the cops write for us are always mandatory court appearance tickets. Now I know that back home (where ever that may be), a broken tail light, loose bumper or even a less than perfect stop at a stop sign primarily involves mailing money to the court. But the USFS writes gatherers mandatory court appearance tickets. This means that if you do not show up to the court date on your ticket, the judge will issue a federal warrant for your arrest. IF YOU MISS YOUR COURT DATE YOU WILL HAVE A FEDERAL WARRANT! Now the cops love to come into the gathering and look for people who didn't show up and drag them off to jail. But it's not just at the gathering, any time a cop runs you for any reason, you will be on your way to jail if you did not deal with your ticket. If you go to court for a mandatory court date, YOU MUST CHECK IN WITH THE CLERK OF THE COURT AND MAKE SURE YOUR PRESENCE IS NOTED. IF YOU DON'T AND THE JUDGE/MAGISTRATE DOESN'T CALL YOUR NAME, YOU WILL BE ISSUED A WARRANT FOR YOUR ARREST.

Court - court is a joke. Most of the time, the court gets sick of dealing with us and is willing to drop charges or plea down the charges to something you can live with. Of the last two times I've gone, once they dropped all charges, once I had to pay $65 within 3 months. I've seen people get fined $10 and have a year to pay; or receive community service to be performed at the gathering; or have major drug charges reduced to a fine and probation. There are various gatherers who are also lawyers and are often at the court - so you can get free legal advice. At the gathering, go to INFO and ask them where to find a lawyer ahead of time so you can discuss your particular situation. PLEASE DON'T BLOW OFF YOUR COURT DATE. If you already blew things off, get a lawyer to help you untangle the situation now. If you email me your situation, I will forward it to various lawyers I know who attend gatherings and they may or may not be able to help you at this point.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

International Gatherings

Great site full of links to gatherings around the world.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cleanup Status

This email was sent out by someone involved with cleanup

*******Begin forwarded message*************

NM Rainbow Gathering Cleanup, Friday, July 18, 2009There were about 120 people onsite yesterday evening. Just about everyone was working busily on cleanup. Youngsters and oldsters moving over the landscape with the telltale signs of Cleanup Crew: a trashbag tied to the waist, falling apart gloves and a tool or bucket in hand. In the morning we had a family cleanup council. Folks came from just about every remaining campsite and we all talked about our various plans for finishing cleanup and packing ourselves out. There are five vehicles which either need help or have been abandoned. Pretty much everyone is aligned with a running vehicle for exiting. The inside of the site is looking 'almost 100%.' Regular late afternoon showers have helped the high-use areas start greening up already. Most of the trails were disappeared and all the fire pits and kitchen areas vanished, scarified and re-duffed.There is still population along the road by the trailheads and handicamp - where cleanup is still centered, but that is all planning to relocate to a different area so the trailhead/handicamp zone can be re-naturalized too.On last Monday the 13th we did a long walking tour with the FS Resource Team and together identified areas that needed work. I'd say we were in agreement about what was already done to high standards and what still required attention. Except for what's along the road, most of the walkthrough's list has been accomplished.There was probably less overall 'Trash': mixed bags that find themselves transported to the recycling areas than we've had in the past. And almost every one of those was opened, gone thru and sorted for recycling. The glass, metal, aluminum and #1 and #2 plastics have been transported to recycle stations in Albuquerque and the non-recyclable has been taken to the transfer station in Cuba, NM where we have made an arrangement to pay for the excess dumpster space used. Kitchens have set aside cases of unopened foods for the local food bank. Warm clothing and blankets left behind are being dried out, folded and accepted by a local service that can distribute these next fall. More later next week.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The good the bad and the ugly

(My thoughts on the gathering in New Mexico)

The most wonderful and terrifying aspects of the Rainbow Gathering are identical – this is a spontaneous gathering of people creating utopia as each person sees it. Of course one person’s utopia can be another person’s purgatory – but in general many people who gather are committed to accepting each diverse expression of utopia and many people try to prevent their utopia from turning into another person’s purgatory.

In a world where so much of life is structured to mitigate risks and prevent “bad” from happening, we have turned our society into one of the blandness places on the face of the planet. Of course there’s no money to be made by things that can’t be infinitely duplicated and marketed like Disneyland. Lucky for us as the gathering is one of the last “happenings” that is always an authentic expression of the human condition.

Since each gathering is a direct result of the individuals who participate in it and since the mix of individuals is different every year, each gathering is a one of a kind event – never to be repeated – like the day of playing pirates in Janelle’s backyard when I was eight years old. Still one of the best days of my life and those of my playmates as well. We tried many times to recreate that one magical day, but it wasn’t possible so I’ll have to be content with one perfect day of being a pirate on a jungle gym amongst oak trees and remain open to future days that may turn out as magical but very different.

On to the review.

The Good:

The site was beautiful, fire danger was low, we were at peace with the resource branch of the United States Forest Service. Every day Main Meadow was filled with councils, workshops, games, heartsongs and children playing. I haven’t seen a gathering with this much energy in the meadow since the 1990s (before things got contentious with the Forest Service). Main Council happened every day but July 1 (when it rained). We had an amazing Warrior Women Shanti Sena Council that lasted for five hours of incredible sharing, love, and respect for each other. There were Shanti Sena workshops, an emissary from the Hopi Nation, Tepees and I was able to hang out with a bunch of the earlies whom I’d never before met.

The Om on the 4th happened during a downpour and we stood in the meadow in the rain. When the rain came down harder, the Om grew stronger, when the rain let up, the Om faded a bit. I still don’t know what it means, but in talking to some earlies, it’s the first time in 38 years that we have had serious rain during the Om. In the afternoon, people played and danced and drummed in the rain and mud. We had no major incidents with the law enforcement branch of the United States Forest Service and we were focused on peacefully interacting with them (even if we yelled Six Up a lot.).

Last year’s generation gap seemed to have disappeared as people of all ages were trying hard to connect and share. There was plenty of water for drinking and cooking. Food was everywhere. The weather was awesome - not too hot, not too cold. And thanks to the near daily rain, the fire danger was low and the air somewhat moist. Rainbows, rainbows and more rainbows.

The Bad:

The site was situated adjacent to the road in which made it way too easy for people to run back and forth to their cars every day. I’m a firm believer that that we as a family do better when it takes great effort to get into the gathering even if it means we have to carry the less mobile among us for a couple of miles. Easy access to cars and hence to town contributes to more alcohol, which has the effect of causing more social problems. When we’re closer to town, some people tend to go there and disrupt the town’s normal activities and/or ambiance. When it’s too hard to get to town, we seem to turn to each other more often for assistance (and I think that’s a positive thing).

Trade circle was on one of the main trails. Most people who know me know that I’m not a big fan of trade circle, but if we are going to have trading happen, it’s much better off when it’s to the side where it doesn’t impede the flow of human traffic and the hauling of supplies to and from kitchens. Just an FYI, just because Trade Circle is on a trail that doesn’t lead to the cars, doesn’t mean it’s not on the “Main Trail.”

We’re just starting to recover from too many years of focusing our energy on the Forest Service instead of our family. Too many people still don’t know what Shanti Sena is (peacekeepers), who the Shanti Sena are (everyone) and what Shanti Sena does (help people resolve conflicts peacefully, find lost kids, help create positive situations that prevent bad things from happening, look out for each other, etc.). Not enough people know the hipstories (stories of gatherings past) or the songs and chants of our family. In year’s past, serious Shanti Sena issues were solved by singing, song circles helped us mellow some of our wilder energy or as George Santayana said "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Dog guardians, dog guardians, dog guardians. human beings who travel with well taken care of dogs who stay by their side, who pick up after their dogs, and make sure they stay safe and healthy are our heroes. Unfortunately, we have too many people who think letting their dog eat out of the shitter, run amok through dinner circle, or leave poop on the trail is taking care of our four legged family. Enough said.

The Ugly:

Most of what I consider the ugly is the result of the bad taken to extreme. Too much alcohol and not enough focus on Shanti Sena resulted in a stabbing. Some dogs were brought to the gathering without appropriate shots and a Parvo outbreak ensued. At least three dogs died (maybe more). Our circle on the 4th broke before the children’s parade reached the center of the circle and all the children were there – it quickly regrouped and let them in before breaking up again. The X%&R pole was in the center of our circle on the 4th– for some reason people want to worship at an alter instead of letting the pole be part of the circle by having it along the edge of the circle. We had a few people get too high/drunk and no one looked out for them, which turned simple mistakes into a nightmares for more than one person.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

My letter to Lisa Law

Hi Lisa,

It was with great dismay that I learned you participated in signing a permit for the recent Rainbow Gathering in New Mexico. I would have hoped that with your years of counter culture experience you would know better than to butt you nose into issues that are none of your business. Furthermore, the people who have been gathering for many years were engaged in a plan to force legal action and allow us our day in court. Your complete ignorance of the problems you caused left us without legal recourse at present and undid years worth of work.

I can only hope that someone will prosecute you for falsifying the permit application you made since it is clearly a violation of federal law to lie on the permit. In no way are you or have you ever been a "duly authorized representative of the group."

At this time I would like to request a fax number so I may send you a bill for the services I rendered at the gathering. Since you were the permit holder and since I did not agree to work for free for you, I think it's only fair that you reimburse me for the time I spent performing Shanti Sena at your event.

I would also request that you remove my image from youtube - you filmed me walking with the cops of the 4th of July - without my permission. Since you have copyrighted that video, I am refusing to allow my image to be used. Nothing I do at the gathering is for personal gain. Either immediately place all video footage of my person into the creative commons or remove it from public use immediately.

With no respect for you or your actions,

Karin Zirk

The Permit

I submitted a FOIA request for the permit information before I left for the gathering. I've attached the responses I have received in PDF format. I have also challanged the redaction of the permit signers mailing addresses and telephone numbers as I have decided to submit a bill to them for services rendered.

All files are in PDF format.

Email Cover Letter

Word Cover Letter
Permit

Friday, July 10, 2009

Vision Council Consensus

Consensus at 4:40 pm July 9th, 2009 in Vision Council at Venado Parque meadow, New Mexico for the annual Rainbow Gathering, July 1-7 2010:

New Hampshire, Vermont, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky.

Visit my blog for the 2010 gathering here.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The USFS Side of the Story

In case you haven't seen it yet, the Forest Service has their annual Rainbow gathering page up on their website.
Click here to see it.

They also have a: Rainbow Information Center at (505) 438-5685 where they give out info on the management of the gathering. Anyone got a question to ask? like why all the harrassment/intimidation...call them.

Contact the Public Affairs Officer
Lawrence M. Lujan
Public Affairs Specialist
Santa Fe National Forest
Ph: (505) 438-5321
Fx: (505) 438-5390
E-mail: lmlujan@fs.fed.us

Friday, June 19, 2009

Public Transit to Cuba from Albuqurque

Just an FYI, the New Mexico Rail Runner will get a person out of Albuqurque and to US Highway 550. Here's the link http://www.nmrailrunner.com Call the Rail Runner for transit info 1-866-795-RAIL (7245).

From the Sandoval County/US 550 Station, you can catch Bus # 8 to Cuba on US Highway 550. There's not a lot of runs of route 8 so you should call head for details Sandoval Easy Express information: 1-877-660-1110 or click here.

There also seems to be a lot of ride activity on the ABQ Craigs List - Including a local offering rides to the gathering for $$.

Topo Map of the Site

A kind brother has a bunch of topo maps of the site that he's planning on updating with locations of things. Click here to get to it.

Gathering with Kids by Info Karen

My good friend, Info Karen, put together today's guest blog post -- not to confuse anyone but there are two of us living in San Diego. Karen with an "E" and me - Karin with an "I". Since Info Karen has kids, she graciously agreed to put together today's guest post for those of you coming home with kids. If this helped you, please stop by Info when you're at the gathering and thank her.


Here is some advice for folks wanting to bring young kids to the Gathering. It is especially directed at first time Gatherers since a few requests of this type have come my way, but there is lots of good advice for anyone with kids. More ideas? Add them in the comment section.

I have three sons, one is 6 years and twins who are 3. This will be my first time attending a Gathering with all three, but I have gone with my eldest when he was an infant and when he was 3.

ARRIVAL AND HIKING IN:
When you get first arrive at the Gathering, you will be shown a meadow to park in, and you will likely need to hike in with your first load. Get a baby backpack to carry your littlest ones in. We personally plan to bring the kids, the tent and our plates, cups and utensils on the first load, plus whatever else we can manage. We each will wear a kid on our backs. I will stay at the tent site while the hubby goes out for another load. While he is gone I will put the tent up.

KID VILLAGE:
You can camp anywhere with kids, but it is especially nice to camp at Kid Village. It is a drug-free, peaceful area that serves three good kid-friendly meals every day. Kid Village is easy to find. Ask anyone. When you get to Kid Village ask the folks there where there are some good tent spots. They will direct you.

At Kid Village, they serve three kid-friendly meals a day, and usually have a little play area with seesaws and swings made from downed trees and rope. There is also usually a sit-down potty there (people just call toilet areas "shitters" so sorry if your child goes home spouting that word!! For adults, shitters are long trenches that you straddle. It’s nice to wear skirts if you want to have a little privacy cover! :)

DAILY LIFE:
You will want to bring, for each of you, a dish, a spoon and a cup. If you drink coffee, make it a thermal one with a lid. If you can put a carabineer on your cup, it’s nice to always have it hanging from your belt. Each of you adults will want a day pack to carry around all day with the stuff you need. Usually, you pack your daypack for the day and go out wandering. You may head back to the tent for naptime, but you will want to take your dishes, your water bottle, and whatever diapers or things you need for the day with you when you leave your tent in the morning.


For dishes, most people bring just a bowl. But after many years of gathering, I have discovered that the very best bowl is a tupperware or similar container with a lid. This way, if you can't get to a dishwashing station right away, you can pop the lid on and toss it in your bag without dirtying anything inside. We found plate-shaped containers with three divided sections which is nice if you get soup and something else. It keeps them divided.

DIAPERS:
If you use disposable diapers, I would bring a double thick bag (one inside the other, to damper the smell) with some kind of clasp that can be put on and taken off numerous times, to keep your dirties in. You will need to hike this heavy bag out at the end, as
there are no trash stations inside the gathering.

Everyone carries their own trash out. Depending on how long you stay, a full bag of dirty diapers can be one whole load! If you use cloth diapers, I have seen people wash them out in five gallon buckets and hang them on clotheslines hung between trees. Bring rope and a bucket. Kid Village might have a community bucket to wash dirties, but I don't know if they do or if folks bring their own.

DINNER CIRCLE:
Stop in at the Info Booth for a map of the site and any questions you have. Every evening you will see a large circle gather in the main meadow for dinner. Most kitchens will bring their food down to the dinner circle and serve there. Bring your dishes! Pregnant or nursing Mamas and folks with children are asked to come to the center of the circle before the food is served to get first dibs. Don’t be shy. Come forward when it is announced and get your kid a plateful of good food!

NAPS:
For small babies, it’s not common, but I have seen people bring a playpen and hike it in. That way you can set the baby down somewhere clean for awhile. You might consider bringing one and leaving it in the car. Then you can decide if you want to hike it in or not. A lightweight bouncy chair might be a simpler idea, or perhaps a Moses basket?

Another nice thing to have is some kind of pop-up kid's backyard tent. They pack down
tiny and could be used to lay the baby down to sleep if you are out wandering and want to take a break, or give him/her some shade. We also napped our three year old in one the last time we went. It was handy, and kept us from having to go and sit quietly outside the tent for 3 hours every day. We are using two this year to nap our twins separately during the afternoon, because if they nap together, they will just play in the tent.

NECESSITIES:
You should have water bottles you can carry around for your family. You can fill them up at any kitchen. Look for a giant cooler on the kitchen counter with a spigot. Bring sun block, wide brimmed children’s hats, bug spray and sun glasses. We are bringing those new 200 hour LED flashlights for our littlest boys who will of course want to have one of their own when they see ours. They can accidentally leave it on for hours and it won’t use up the batteries. Sandals that can get wet or water shoes are great for playing in the stream.

TENT SLEEPING:
Also bring warm sleeping bags. It gets down to 40 at night. We always bring thermal underwear to sleep in. When our son was a baby, and we worried about the safety of sleeping bags, we slept him in a down-filled, winter outdoor snow suit, wearing a hat, with a blanket over him. That way I wasn't worried about losing him down in the sleeping bag or have him scoot out into the cold at night. Beware of using any kind of gas heater inside your tent as the fumes inside a closed tent can be deadly.

LASTLY:
Have a blast! It’s a great way to immerse your kids in wild nature!

-Info Karen, Mom to three exuberant boys-

Please comment below with any questions or great ideas or parent-hacks of your own!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

LEOs on the prowl

Message from a friend at the gathering
**********************
Resource is best ever. Leo is as bad as ever cat and mouse despite the permit as we stated permits are no easier on us. As years past they follow you find any reason to stop you even if need to invent one then sorry if find you in compliance. Then once stopped they get the dog out claim it gave the positive hit sign thus do not need permission to search. If find nothing after making a mess and a lost hour and traffic jam they say you must have at one time picked up a passenger who at one time was holding. Totally bogus. I saw the dogs a few times and I happen to know the positive signal No such signal was present. Just excuse to search illegally feeling that some will be a positive HIT. Total scam. PS town is very friendly. Road is nice but SCARY thin and blind curves and killer drop off edges if on coming car swerves. I take 103 then 70 better rd few miles longer.

Review of tonight's town meeting

This report was sent to me by a friend who was at the town meeting tonight.

*********************************
Just got back.

From my perspective the meeting went very well. Several of the people I spoke with in the town had already seen some of the YouTube videos-- the same ones that G brought on DVD -interviews with town folk from previous gatherings...

The questions were reasonable-- ranging from asking about Emergency services, and if town folk would be left high and dry (they won't) to how security is handled and trash and traffic. Everyone seemed pleased with the answers provided from all.

One of the LEOs from DC I think seemed a little aggitated, but I talked to him after and he was ok. He knows you, says you're "a nice lady" his name is Gene Smithson a good ole boy from W. Virginia.

The guy that was with the USFS in Tres Piedras during the last Gathering was very positive about their experience... had a slide show presentation and talked a lot about how the forest was
rehabilitated... even a couple of months after the event. And that a year later if you didn't know thousands had been on the land, you never would know.

Lawrence Lujan is the Information officer. I got on the press release update list, and will forward his info to you as well. He is very nice. Getting his masters in public policy and just finished his thesis on core values in public policy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Stocking up on medical supplies for the gathering

CALM (Rainbow speak for first aid) is trying to gather supplies to provide free health care at the gathering. Just now, your donation of $10 or more would be much appreciated.

It's much easier to buy supplies ahead of the gathering and if you're at the gathering, you'll be much happier if CALM has that tampon or bee sting kit or other various and sundry supplies. Gathering healers save people's lives when they have heart attacks, help them survive all sorts of allergic reactions and even patch up bo bos for children and grownups alike.

If you can spare $10 or $100, you can donate here.

On my word, any funds donated here will go to purchasing CALM supplies. If you want details on what will be purchased and who is focalizing this efffort, click here. If you would prefer to bring supplies, there are some great wish list items on the website, so check it up and then get shopping. Please don't use the donation link on the website as the account has been closed. Use the link above to donate.

On Workshops

All people with knowledge to share are invited to teach a workshop at the Rainbow Gathering in New Mexico. Find a spot that works for you - maybe the kitchen where you are camped, a spot under a beautiful tree, or in the meadow. Pick your time. Post signs about your workshop at Info. While people are eating at Dinner Circle, walk the circle and announce your workshop.

Some people organize their workshops ahead of time like CAMP BAHA - who have their workshop schedule on a website, covering such topics as Islamic Prophesies or The Rainbow Oracle. Other people decide at noon to focalize a workshop that evening on how to build a fire. The topics range from native plants and herbal healing to drum making and African dance or ......

Don't be shy. Share the wisdom you have accumulated from your years of living on this earth with others. Don't be shy. Take a workshop on a topic on which you know nothing. Share what we have with each other.

Monday, June 15, 2009

On Parking and Law Enforcement

When you get to the gathering, there will be an awesome crew trying to help you get your car in a safe place where it won't get ticketed and/or towed. Please listen to what they have to say. They may have tips on what to do or not do to avoid getting pulled over by law enforcement. Please listen to what they have to say. If they tell you things that seem wacky - don't blow it off. The only reason the crew is mentioning this to you is because someone else got busted, ticketed, and/or towed for doing what they are telling you not to do. Please listen to what they have to say if you don't want to go to court.

Once there, please be aware that the USFS is fickle and sometimes change their mind about where and how cars can be parked, so the car you parked according to the program on Tuesday, may be illegally parked by Friday.

Any changes to parking rules are generally announced at Dinner Circle. Or stop by Info and ask them what the current parking situation is like.

There will be people working very hard to make sure your car doesn't get towed, but you need to take the time to plug into the info (or not).

If you are physically handicapped, please tell the parking crew/front gate crew you are physically handicapped so they can direct you accordingly.

Once you've been at the gathering for a day or two and your tent is set up, make sure to take a shift with Front Gate and/or the Parking Crew so you can welcome someone home in the way you were welcomed.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

On Cleanup

A couple of us put together a report on cleanup of last year's gathering in Wyoming. This report is available online. Enjoy!

On Permits

First my personal opinion on permits. If I alter my behavior in regards to the gathering to obtain a signed permit or to prevent a permit from being signed, then I've already abdicated my energy to the forest service and the government. If however, I participate in a gathering to the best of my ability, do what needs to be done for my family and the land on which we gather, listen to the voices of the ancestors and keep in mind the dreams of the children, then I am refusing to let my life be controlled by the government.

All this being said, here's an update on the permit situation. A long time gatherer from New Mexico made an unsigned application for use of the gathering site. Attached to his application was a copy of the letter Mark Rey wrote last year indicating that waiving the signature requirement is not outside the existing group use regulations. Copies of Rey's letter are available here.

The long time gatherer's application was denied. Another person made an application with a signature designating him/her a "duly authorized representative of the group", which the forest service accepted. A group use permit for the site upon which we are gathered has been issued to this unknown person. This makes the gathering "legal" in the eyes of the forest service (for better or worse).

If in the course of your gathering experience you encounter this unknown person, feel free to share your thoughts on what this person did in a respectful non-violent manner. We are peace people and we need to create peace even when others are not treating us peacefully.

Be the peace you wish to see in this world.

Friday, June 12, 2009

To the folks of Cuba, New Mexico

WE LOVE YOU!

Thank you for having us in your community. I know you may have a lot of questions and concerns. Some long time gathering participants put together a couple of videos that should provide an introduction to the Rainbow Gathering. Together they're less than 15 minutes long and include interviews with long time gatherers as well as people who ran small businesses in the areas near past gatherings.

Click here for part 1. ~ ~ ~ ~ Click here for part 2.

If after watching you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email me and I'll do my best to answer any of your questions or connect you up with someone who can. If you would like to talk to gatherers in person, some of them will be at the town meeting on June 17th.

Town Meeting Wednesday, June 17 in Cuba

Often time, gatherers organize a town meeting before the main days of the rainbow gathering. This is a great time for locals to meet gatherers in town, ask questions, make personal connections and share concerns and ideas for creating a positive gathering experience for everyone. This year, the residents of Cuba have put together a town meeting to discuss the upcoming gathering and have told us we are welcome to attend.

A great meeting goes a long way to setting the stage for a positive, peaceful and cooperative rainbow gathering. If you decide to go, please be respectful of those with differing opinions and show the local community that we are peace people.

The meeting takes place on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 starting at 6 PM at the community hall at 45 Highway 126, Cuba New Mexico.

Please don't arrive more than an hour before hand and while you're in town be respectful of the local community. We are guests in their town. If you have shopping to do, be sure and let the people ringing up your purchases know you're in town for the Rainbow Gathering and invite them to come on up when they have a chance. Be an ambassador of peace and love. What we sow, so we reap.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Directions to the Rainbow Gathering

Welcome Home!!

The 38th Annual Rainbow Gathering of the Tribes is at Parque Venado in the Santa Fe National Forest. 24 miles from Cuba, New Mexico.

The site is beautiful, altitude is 8,500 - 9,000 feet. Be prepared for cold nights (low 40's to 50 degrees) Warm days in the mid 80's and sunny. 1/2 hour afternoon thunderstorms most days,
which are downpours, bring good rain gear.

Directions from Albuquerque: Take I-25 north to U.S. Highway 550. Go north on U.S. Highway 550 approximately 65 miles to State Highway 126 (Cuba, NM). From Cuba, NM take State Road 126 East for 13 + miles to FS Road 103 on left, go 2 miles to FS Road 69 on left then drive 9 miles to where FS Road 69 meets FS Road 70. Parts of the road in from Cuba are twisty mountain roads - please drive slow.

To see a topo of the site, click here. For the groovy flyer in PDF, click here.

If you make it to Albuquerque, you can take the New Mexico Rail Runner light rail to U.S. Highway 550 and then catch bus #4 to San Ysidro (about 40 miles south of Cuba on US 550). Call the Rail Runner for transit info 1-866-795-RAIL (7245).

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

On Permits and USFS Double Speak

***BEGIN FORWARDED LETTER****

United States Forest Southwestern Region.
Department of Service Regional Office
Agriculture

333 Broadway SE
Albuquerque, NM 87102
FAX (505) 842 3800
V/TTY (505) 842-3292

File Code: 1550-2/2720-2
Date: June 9, 2009

Mr. GXXX BXXX
Santa Fe. NM

Dear Mr. BXXX,

This letter supersedes our previous letter dated June 1, 2009.

Thank you for your email of 4/29 regarding this year's Rainbow Family Gathering. I agree with yon that we should be pursuing a course that will lead to a legal gathering, and one in which Rainbow Family representatives and the Forest Service work cooperatively to ensure that the Gathering is conducted in conformance with a non-commercial group use permit and an operating plan.

You indicated that you have some concern as to who is making decisions in the Forest Service with respect to the Gathering. As I mentioned in previous meetings, it is my direction to the Forests (Gila, Santa Fe, or Carson) that the Gathering will be conducted under the terms of a permit, as required by law. I also indicated that it would be the individual Forest Supervisor who will be responsible for working with Rainbow Family representatives to work out the details of the permit and the operating plan. So, decisions will be made at various levels of the Forest Service, but as we get closer to the actual Gathering, the Forest Supervisor and his or her representatives (District Ranger, Permit Administrator, Resource Specialists, etc.) will be making decisions and administering the terms of the permit and the operating plan.

As we discussed in previous meetings, it will be necessary for a representative of the Rainbow Family to sign the permit so that it can be issued. By having a valid permit and an accompanying operating plan, we will be able to manage the Gathering as a legal event and focus our attention on working with you and your representatives to ensure compliance with the provisions of the permit and operating plan. Our law enforcement officers will of course have a role to play to the extent that there may be violations of law by Rainbow Family gatherers, but our intent is to manage the Gathering more from a Special Use Permit administrative standpoint, than as a law enforcement effort. Of course, the extent to which laws enforcement actions will be needed depends on the conduct of the individuals attending the Gathering.

We understand that there is no legally constituted "group" or non-profit corporation known as the "Rainbow Family" and that no individuals can speak for or act for the "Rainbow Family" and that no individuals can speak for or act as legal representatives of the collective group of individuals who wish to gather and camp together in a National Forest in New Mexico in June and early July of 2009. We understand that rather than having leaders, decisions are reached collectively in council at the site where people are camping. Nevertheless,

Caring for the Land and Serving People

REGIONAL FORESTER p.2
003

as we discussed in previous meetings, it will be necessary for someone who plans to attend the Gathering to sign the non-commercial group use permit for it to take effect under our interpretation of the regulations. This permit is required by law, and is intended to protect the health and safety of the attendees, and to protect the environmental and archeological resources of the public lands to be used for the Gathering under the permit. We are already in contact with more than one individual planning to attend this year's Gathering who would prefer for us to issue a permit without requiring a signature from an attendee, but are willing to sign the permit in his/her capacity as an individual contact person should we so require. Accordingly, since we have already identified more than one person willing to sign, we are planning for the 2009 National Rainbow Family Gathering to be a legally permitted event.

The ability of the Forest Service to manage the Gathering more as an administrative action than a law enforcement action depends much on your (and other participants of the Gathering) willingness to work cooperatively with the individual Forest Supervisor and his or her staff. To date, you have shown an excellent collaborative spirit. I thank you. I hope this will continue with early identification of the Gathering site, ensuring that Rainbow Family representatives work closely with the Forest to finalize the permit and develop the operating plan, and working closely on a daily basis once the Gathering begins. I believe that if these things can be accomplished, we will have established a successful process that can serve as a model for the planning of future Gatherings.

You know how important it is that you to begin coordinating with the individual Forest Supervisors on the Gila, Santa Fe and the Carson NFs to select the site for the Gathering, complete the permit process and develop the operating plan for the Gathering. The sooner this work can be completed, the better we can jointly prepare for a successful gathering. Thank you again for your dedication to working with us.

Sincerely,
(sg) Gilbert Zepeda
(for) Corbin L. Newman, JR.
Regional Forester

cc: Richard Markley, Glen H Pickett, Karen M Carter, Kendall Clark, Daniel Jiron, Erin Connelly

What's it all about?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

On Peeing in the Woods

A message primarily for my sisters at the Rainbow Gathering:

If you're drinking enough water to stay hydrated, you're probably peeing a lot. Now when you pee, hopefully you'll be peeing behind a tree or a bush or somewhere in the woods (Not the shitter). If you're like me, you like to wipe after you pee. But then you have some slightly used toilet paper to dispose of - and NOT by burying it under two inches of duff. Some one will have to pick up that tissue - let that someone be you.

I've taken to bringing extra washclothes to the gathering. I keep one in my daypack at all times. Then when I need to pee, I wipe with a washcloth. I put it in a plastic bag in my pack. The next day I grab a new one. The old one gets rinsed out and left to dry for a day or two. 4 or 5 washclothes will last me 3 weeks using this method.

The other option is to carry all that used TP to the nearest shitter and toss it in. Or burn it in a fire. Or carry it home with you. I like my washcloth movie a whole lot more.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Safe Drinking Water at the Gathering

If you're new to gatherings, the most important thing you need to know about drinking water at the gathering is to avoid live water. Before folks who drink live water all the time pooh pooh the idea of only drinking boiled or filtered water, let me say this. If you drink well water where you live, then your body is adjusted to the micro-organisms in your well. The micro-organisms in the spring water at the gathering will undoubtedly be different - and different can lead to an upset stomach.

Giardia is an ever present danger and you sure don't want that. Then of course, there's the potential for contamination by gatherers, and the picture can get really runny really fast.

So what's a health conscious gatherer to do? Bring a water filter that goes down to .2 micron and make sure you filter all your drinking water, teeth brushing water, etc. Or boil your water for 20 minutes at a rolling boil. Donate to the filter fund to help support large scale water filtration projects and make sure that we have an ample supply of safe drinking water. New Mexico is dry country and you'll want to be drinking a minimum of half a gallon of water per day - I'll probably be doing closer to a gallon. Between the elevation and the dryness, the best way to stay happy and healthy is drink water, drink water, drink water.

NOTE: If you want to donate now, use the water filters system PayPal account. The water line one on the website is trapped in PayPal hell. DO NOT USE!

If you're thinking of donating to the collective filters, if you could donate to the filters fund in the next day or two, the money will be well spent. I know the people involved in this project personally and they will spend whatever $$s you share on water related purchases for the gathering.

Remember, if the person camped next to you gets sick, you're probably next in line.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Spring Council Information

Spring Council for the Annual Rainbow Gathering of the Tribes starts June 10 near Cuba, New Mexico.

Spring Council is the process by which people on the land pick the gathering site based on information provided to them at the council. Either a consensus or a vote by foot type of decision is reached. Until spring council picks a site, there is no answer to the question, where will the gathering be? This year spring council starts June 10. People with information on sites from scouting will bring that information to the people on the land, and those present will decide where to go.

As with all things Rainbow, everyone is invited to participate in the process. If you come, please be self-sufficient and have your own food and drinking water.

Directions from Albuquerque:

Take I-25 north to U.S. Highway 550. Go north on U.S. Highway 550 approximately 65 miles to State Highway 126 (Cuba, NM).

From where State Highway 126 meets U.S. Highway 550 , go east about 15 miles on 126, look for the sign for FS 20, (the 'G.S.' sign is there also), turn onto FS 20, cross Rio Las Vacas, come to Trail Creek about five miles from where the pavement ends. Travel safely.

Here is an alternate set of directions from Cuba.

From Cuba NM take Hwy 11 south about 6miles. Turn left, east, on to Hwy 78 toward san miguel, for about 2miles. Turn left, north, on to FSR 20. Stay on FSR20. Roughly 8miles later you'll see that people are already there.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Rainbow Ride Share

In a galaxy far far away sometime after dinosaurs went extinct, there was no internet. In those days of prehistory (circa the 1980s and 1990s), people used to focalize ride share over the various lightlines. But these days with so many web based opportunities, getting a ride to or from where you need to go should be easy. If you're not sure how to find some of these opportunities, google Rainbow Ride Share or visit Star's Rainbow Ride Board.

That being said, I noticed last year, a lot of people were hooking up with people on their local Craigs list - of for same people flying into a town, that town's Craigs list ride share.

No matter how you make your initial contact. Here's some tips:

If you are offering a ride or have a ride to share, please take the time to meet with the people you’ll be traveling with ahead of time at your local coffee shop and work out the travel rules: smoking, no-smoking, who pays what, who drives, what's allowed in the car, etc.

If you don't feel comfortable with someone, don't travel with them. Trust your instincts. There will be other opportunities for both of you. It's probably a long ride from your point of departure to the gathering, and if it's not right, it's not going to be a positive experience for everyone.

Please make sure your car is 100% legal and you have a valid driver’s license, registration and insurance.

The last few years there have been checkpoints coming into the gathering and people have been hassled pretty badly. Last year in Wyoming, people even got a mandatory court appearance ticket for a beads hanging from their rear view mirrors and no front plates even when the car was registered in a state that doesn't issue front plates (sigh). So cross your ‘t’s and dot your ‘i’s and you’ll come home safely.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

New Mexico Gathering 1995

Just to help us remember.









As copied from Welcome Home.



Monday, June 1, 2009

Young Rainbow Brother Drowns at Regional

Technically this has nothing to do with the Rainbow gathering happening in New Mexico, but over the Memorial Day weekend there was a regional gathering in Northern California and a 3 year old drown in the creek.

Here's the current plea for support for the family that's circulating. Do with it as our heart tells you to. Much love to Gabriel and his family.
________________________________________
The fund drive for Gabriel's coffin and funeral services is crawling at a slow pace, so this is an urgent plea for your help in raising the fund's needed so he can be laid to rest. For updates see http://www.angelsforgabriel.org. The coffin alone costs $1587.87 and the burial costs are $1602.00 additional. As of right now, we have raised $320.00 which is a far cry from what is needed to allow Gabriel's funeral to go forward. Please family, tell everyone you know to contribute something right away. Paypal angelsforgabriel@gmail.com or visit the blog for instructions on other ways to donate.

This is most urgent! We only have till Tuesday at 5pm Pacific Time, June 2 to pay for the coffin so Gabriel's body can be released for burial. Please show your compassion now when it is much needed. I'm going to be standing on corners with posters for the next three days till the funeral alongside Raven, and we need your help.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Second Scout Council

*******BEGIN FORWARDED MESSAGE********

Dear Family,

The second Scout Council as discussed and consensed at Thanksgiving Council '08 will take place June 3rd and 4th, 2009 at the Clear Creek primitive (unimproved) camping area. This is an easy access location with good parking and good water and no built-up facilities.

Scouts will be meeting to discuss what they have found and to announce a location for the Spring Council which is scheduled for June 10th.

Directions: Take New Mexico State Road 126 from where it tees out of US Highway 550 (Near Cuba, NM), go East approx 11 miles until you come to Clear Creek Road, which has a marker sign pointing toward the San Gregario Trail and San Pedro Parks. Go North on this road approx one-half mile and you will see the Clear Creek primitive camping area on your right.

Along State Road 126 if you come to the improved Clear Creek Campground, you have gone too far.

Peace, Love, Freedom and Safe Travels...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Tips from a Brother in Flagstaff

A good number of folks will likely be coming thru Flagstaff on I -40 heading east, I would offer the following info: As per your posts on fire conditions in SOCAL, and the Gila; its bone dry heading thru Flagstaff as well.

Avoid fires unless absolutely necessary here as well. There's lots of camping here but virtually no water available. An earlier post mentioned Sante Fe and Albuquerque as likely major provisioning points for New Mexico. For folks coming thru Flagstaff from the west, there is a brand new "New Frontiers" about 1 mile west of the trafiic light at the Butler Street exit of I-40. They have your organic everything, veges, bulk grains, juice, coffee, etc. The only downer about this place is its right next door to the cop shop and jail.

There is also a Farmers Market on 4th Street. There is a large rest area at about milepost 182-184 on I-40 eastbound between Williams and Flagstaff. Good for a pitstop with potty and water, however there's no overnights. Everyone should be aware that both sides of Flagstaff on I-40 are patrolled heavily for smugglers. I can field other questions about passing thru N. AZ. Email Star for more info.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Poem For Peace

Linda Hogan is one of our greatest living American writers. If you haven't read her work, get thee to the library and read. To help get our energy focused for New Mexico here is her amazing poem of Peace and Corn.

***Reprinted without permission***


Cornmeal and pollen are offered to the sun at dawn.
The ears of the corn are listening and waiting.
They want peace.
The stalks of the corn want clean water, sun that is in its full clean shining.
The leaves of the corn want good Earth.
The Earth wants peace.
The birds who eat the corn do not want poisons.
Nothing wants to suffer.
The wind does not want to carry stories of death.

- Linda Hogan

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rainbow Rumor Mill

We've kicked into high gear on the Rainbow rumor mill. I myself have to remember to verify information before distributing it in order to ensure I'm sharing accurate info. I recommend you verify any rumors you hear from multiple sources so you don't drive hundreds of miles out of your way.

Scouting is on going in New Mexico. We should have directions to Spring Council (starts on June 10) towards the end of the first week of June. Scouting is happening and sounds like there is a great crew out and about doing awesome work. Thank you family!

Now would be the perfect time to fix your camping equipment, make sure your car is 100% legal and you have a licensed and insured driver. Don't ignore any detail. Last year, the Forest Service wrote mandatory court appearance tickets for beads hanging from rear view mirrors and broken turn signals. So unless you like the Forest Service Monkey Court game, get those cars in tip top shape and avoid a trip to town.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Circles Are Good

Bosnia - 2007

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Federal Recreation Access Tax (RAT) or Pay to Hike the Backcountry

Currently, both Congress and the Senate are taking steps to re-evaluate RAT and opefully repeal it. If you're not up to speed on what I'm talking about, keep reading - the explanation is at the bottom. Otherwise, I have two actions you can take now.

********#1 HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES**********************

"The U.S. House of Representatives has decided to take a serious look at the much-criticized implementation, if not over-implementation, of the Federal Lands Recreational Enhancement Act (FLREA), This is the law that has saddled us the pandemic of new and ever-increasing recreation fees to enter and use our public lands, which is why it’s called RAT, for Recreation Access Tax, by its distracters." Read the rest of the article

ACTION:
The public can submit written testimony for the hearing record until July 2. Send testimony as email attachments to Domenick.Carroll@mail.house.gov with a cc to Laurel.Angell@mail.house.gov.

********#2 SENATE**************
Senate Bill 868, the Baucus-Crapo bill is entitled, Fee Repeal and Expanded Access Act of 2007. The bill's major objectives:

* Repeal the FLREA
* Reinstate the fee authorities established by the Land and Water Conservation Act
* Reinstate the National Parks Pass system
* Cap the amount that can be charged for entrance to national parks.
For more info on the senate bill or this article.


ACTION:
Call or write both your senators today and ask them to support Senate Bill 868.

Contact info for all US Senators.

*************BACKGROUND INFO************************

For those of you who haven't followed the play by play on this issue, it started more than 10 years ago as a pilot project to charge people to hike on our public land -- not just developed campgrounds, but remote areas as well. Then Alaska Senator Ted Stevens traded the infamous "Road to Nowhere" for an Ohio Congressman's slight of hand that embedded legisltation making this tax permanent into the Omnibus Appropriations Bill with no congressional hearings about 5 years ago. For more info on the history of RAT, visit Western Slope No Fee Coalition or Wild Wilderness. The primary goal of RAT is for public/private partnerships to develop "enhanced recreational opportunities" on our public lands and was sponsored by the likes of Disney and Suzuki. (think golf courses and hotels)

PLEASE take the time to do this now.


Please forward this information to all your lists (don't forget people who are allied with us on this issue but perhaps not other issues - like the off road vehicle community in your area).

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Health and Hand Washing

One thing that goes a long way to keeping folks at a gathering healthy and safe is washing hands - a lot. And I don't mean just rubbing your hands with sanitizer, but actual biodegradable soap (Dr. Bronner's is great) and filtered or boiled water. Some awesome Rainbow engineers have designed a hand wash station that's transportable and light weight. One goal of a Rainbow handwash station is to make it hands free, so no one picks up germs in the process of washing their hands. (A smaller setup of this same type can be used for soap dispensing). If you're not up to speed on drinking water issues, Hawker has a great website showing what he's done in the past and discussing issues in greater depth.

Here's a great drawing of what I'll explain in words below. Thanks TimBear.



"From our experience, the primer bulb check valve can fail if the water gets trash in it. The solution we found was a small piece of filter material (like the filter from a wet vac) or fine mesh screening (a couple of layers of panty hose) around the end of the water intake. The pvc pipe allows you to direct the water where you want it, even if there is no tree where you want the water." - TimBear's words, not mine.

The key is a one way syphon valve. It's made of rubber and can be squeezed by hand. Each end has a place to clamp hose onto. I usually get them at my local Marine supply store. Hook it up to some clear plastic tubing - one end to go into a bucket of filtered water. It looks like this:


The other end should be fastened somewhere (if not using TimBear's Pipe method) and hopefully have a drain system so people aren't standing around in gray water. To conserve water, get spare sun shower nozzles and put it on the end. These are $1-2 each from a camping supply store. They work great for the "faucet" end. Here is a photo of one.



Then to wash hands, all people need to do is pump the black syphon ball with their feet, and water comes out the shower nozzle. Portable hands free hand washing.

I also like to make a sink. I've been using a plastic bowl in a round tomato cage. Then drill a hole in the bottom and put in a connector so you can clamp a discharge pipe and run the waste water into a gray water pit. WARNING! HIPPIES CAN BE DUMB. Every time I use my sink setup, someone thinks we should recycle the gray water by putting it back into the fresh water container. THIS IS UNSANITARY AND IS WORSE THAN NOT WASHING YOUR HANDS AT ALL. So if you use a sink, please make a sign telling people that the drain DOES NOT go into the water source.

I'll be bringing a few extra setups to give out - but we needs lots of them. If someone(s) are looking for a great public service project for this year's gathering, here's a great one. Let's make sure we have enough hand washing stations scattered around the gathering so that people can't help but wash their hands at least twice a day.

Clean hands creates a healthy gathering.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

On Operating Plans and the USFS

There are a couple of important lessons I learned from the way the operating plan movie played out in Arkansas in 2007 and in Wyoming in 2008, so I'll share them.

In Arkansas 2007, the USFS wrote an operating plan, gave it to one gathering participant, who said it was fine. From that point on, the USFS considered it set and stone and refused to make any changes. Other gathering participants were unable to obtain copies of said operating plan for quite some time - maybe until June 27 or 28?? I don't remember exactly.

However, we did circle with the USFS daily at the cooperations space adjacent to Info and immediately following kitchen council. This arrangement worked out well for a couple of reasons. Focalizers from various kitchens came for the kitchen council and stayed for the USFS circle. They were then able to share diverse opinions on various topics, take information back to their kitchens and camps, and share it.

In Wyoming 2008, the first day of the operating plan discussion started on a bad foot. First, the date we were given by a USFS employee was the wrong date. So after people spending an entire day walking the gathering and sharing the date, time and location of the first USFS circle on this issue, the USFS weren't there that day - although we had a great turnout.

The USFS picked the location of the ongoing discussions and refused to alter it despite many discussions and requests to relocate to a spot adjacent to INFO. Unfortunately, the location picked by the USFS was at Welcome Home. The first circle with the USFS was well attended, but as time went on, fewer and fewer people were willing to hike from the gathering to welcome home. I suck at estimating mileage, but I'm guessing 1.5 miles of tough hiking to get down there from Main Meadow. So when you add in discussion time, the entire extravaganza sucked up 5 or 6 hours every time it happened.

The final version of the operating plan typed up by the USFS did not contain all the agreed to changes because the USFS employee doing the typing got busy and didn't have time to make changes. So the printed version that was circulating contained a number of items that both gathering participants and the USFS had agreed would be changed, but were not. (We probably should have taken on the typing and printing responsibilities ourselves and given copies to the USFS - perhaps we could do that this year?)

Additionally, a couple of the people (myself included) who had taken the time to make every one of these discussions were given mandatory court appearance tickets for the usual BU||$h|+ for July 1, the first day of Main Council on the land and so were in town dealing with kangaroo court. This meant that no one who had been part of the entire process brought the printed version to main council. A runner did let Main Council know copies were available at Info if they choose to deal with it.

All this being said, I think for the most part, the agreed to items (as opposed to the typed up items), were mostly in accordance with what many or most gatherers felt to be workable.

So my 2 cents on New Mexico is to make sure the operating plan is worked on in an open circle/council/counsel at a centrally located part of the gathering and hopefully adjacent to kitchen council (which seems to have been happening at 11 AM last few gatherings at least). Then we type up the changes ourselves, handle the printing and copying, and let the USFS request edits to our document.

~~Peace out family.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Great Collection of Media on Gatherings and Related Events

I stumbled across this today. For the most part a great collection of media articles on Rainbow Gatherings arranged by year and by gathering. Very useful for anyone doing media work. Check out the RFOLL Blog.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

USFS Legal Issues

Due to the change in administration, there are a great number of unknowns in how the USFS will chose to interact with us this year. The current party line coming out of DC is a permit will be required. There are some efforts towards arranging a conference calls with those in decision making capacity with the USFS. Other efforts are being directed to working with more local USFS people on an unsigned permit. However, I'm not sure how this will all play out. The opinions are as varied as the people who attend gatherings and I don't have the time, nor can I do justice to the various discussions going on.

That being said, if you are interested in the discussions, the best way to read them is via the AGR mailmain list. You can subscribe at http://moongulch.net/mailman/listinfo/agr
List-Subscribe: or send an email request.

At this point in time, numerous gatherers have asked people to contact the New Mexico Governor, Bill Richardson and voice their concerns and opinions. You can write him at Office of the Governor
490 Old Santa Fe Trail
Room 400
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Or you can submit an email via his website.

Or contact the Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish at
Toll-Free Number: 800.432.4406
Address: State Capitol, Suite 417, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 87501
Or via her website.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Scouting 101 and First Scout Council

The first Scout Council called by Thanksgiving Council is happening Friday, May 1st (near LITTLE DRY CREEK, in the GILA N.F., in S.W. New Mexico.). As with all things Rainbow, no experience is necessary to participate and new blood is always needed provided you can be self sufficient, have a dependable car or gas money to donate to someone who does, and want to do the hard work.

If you've never been scouting, here's my short list of how to scout (based on collective wisdom that has been shared with me).

Step 1) Pick a gathering or gatherings that you personally attended.
Step 2) Find those gathering sites on a topo map. I was taught to use 7 minute maps. Many university libraries have good collections of topo maps. Or visit topo zone maps online.
Step 3) Once you find the topo map, correlate the parking lots, kitchens, main circle, and various camps you remember with spots on the topo map.
Step 4) Pick a national forest and an area that you feel would be conducive to a gathering - if you're planning on help out with scouting for the annual gathering, we're looking in New Mexico.
Step 5) Look at the topos for that area trying to find a site that has the qualities you liked about the previous gatherings you've attended. Some of my personal favorite features are a good hike in at least 1 mile, closer to 2 if it's an easy hike because I feel that the harder it is to get into a site, the more committed people are to staying and creating gathering reality. For a large gathering, having a main meadow and a couple of separate smaller meadows, water is of course necessary. Places to hike away from the main part of the gathering for people wanting to get away. Two roads in an out to the gathering site.
Step 6) Make sure the site is far away from civilization to minimize gatherer/non-gatherer conflicts and runs into town for booze.
Step 7) Go out and walk the site and see if it has what the maps showed, if it's workable and if it has the magic.

Thanks to all my family who are spending time and mooney scouting for this gathering! We Love You!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Rainbow Gathering Documentary

My how times have changed. When I first started participating in gatherings, we were very anti-video and anti-photography.

After years of escalating harassment by the United States Forest Service (USFS) branch of Law Enforcement, many people have taken to trying to record much of the harassment. It's helped many a person have felony charges dismissed for such made up things as inciting a riot (i.e. oming in an officer's presence) and other such insanity.

Last year in Wyoming, we had a crew filming a documentary on the gathering. It was probably a great year for such an endeavour as in my opinion, last year was such a beautiful gathering in many ways and it erupted with the most extreme violence from the USFS cops we've experienced. I'm not sure when it's going to be released, but if you're interested, you can visit their website We Love You Film.

As I haven't seen the film, I have no opinion to offer. Once I've seen it, I'll offer my two cents.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Goverment Spending on the Gathering

Here are links to information I received via FOIA requests on the amount of money the US Government spends on harrasing the gathering.

Most of this information was originally posted on my more personal blog with commentary. At that time I was missing some of the requested information, so here's a complete set with the missing USFS expenses for Wyoming in 2008.

USFS Expenses by year excluding 2008

USFS Expenses for 2008 with cover letter.

Fines from the Wyoming Kangaroo Court in Farson.

Please share this information freely and download copies to keep locally.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sage Advise for First Time Gatherers


People who participate in Rainbow Gatherings have a written a number of raps over the years that help distill collective wisdom on how to have a fun, safe and memorable gathering. If you're a first time gatherer, or still in the fog about gathering logistics, here's some great links, all posted at RainbowGuide.info.

The Mini Manual is a great how to plan a gathering, how to be safe at the gathering and how to keep yourself and the rest of the gathering healthy.

Rap 107 is the short version on gathering safety - learn it, know it, live it.

Not sure what to bring, check out the awesome Turtle guide. If you've never camped before, remember the golden rule: “Bring every good thing. If it ain’t on this list, consider leaving it home. If in doubt, leave it out. ‘Cuz if you bring it in, you gotta bring it out. And well, dang! You just might be surprised how little you really need.” Bring love and hugs and good vibes, and most importantly, bring you.

Have children, then you want to read the Kidz Rap.

If you're not using to being on the opposite side of the law, you better read Rap 420.

Wondering about how alcohol fits into the gathering, read Raps 150/115.

Peace out!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Article on gathering in Communities magazine

Communities magazine, Spring 2009 - #142 - Festivals and Gatherings. There is a great article on the gathering written by Scott who usually hangs at Info. The article isn't available online so you'll have to run out to you nearest co-op or other cool store and pick up a copy.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sister Energy and Sexism at the Gathering

Today is International Women's Day -- a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. I thought it would be a great opportunity to check in with my sisters on the state of sexism at the Rainbow Gathering.

Take shitter digging for instance. I love to dig shitters. Yet even when I am participating in shitter digging, there are usually three or four men, and me. I know a few other sisters who love to dig shitters. But generally it seems shitter digging is a male dominated service at the gathering. Why is that?

I have experienced my fair share of sexism at the gathering ranging from my opinion being discarded by a bunch of old white men, to brothers trying to "protect me." - As if I needed protection. Believe me, when I need help, I'll ask for help from my sisters or my brothers. Until then, I'm perfectly capable of finding my way back to my tent, hauling water, working front gate, dealing with an over tripped brother, or pitching my own tent.

Don't get me wrong, I highly value sharing work at the gathering. Many of my closest friends have come out of shared hands on a heavy task, but there's a difference between shared work and work that protects me from reaching my potential as a human being.

A few weeks back I was talking to a male early gatherer and told him I thought my younger sisters were less impacted by gathering sexism than my older sisters. I have no idea what I based that thought on, but it's been eating at me. So what's your experience with sexism or the lack there of at the gathering? Where do we need to make improvements to meet the needs of our beautiful family who have vaginas? What is our vision for creating a gathering where every participant is treated as a unique, valued, important, human in the process of evolving, one of a kind creature of the earth?

If you don't feel like posting your thoughts publically, I'd love for you to email me and let me know. Let's make New Mexico the gathering of strong sisters.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Natural First Aid with 7Song Podcast

I found this very cool podcast with a long time gatherer who oftens does herbal healing and plant walks at the gathering.

"7Song is director of the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine in Ithaca, NY. He is also a teacher at the California School of Herbal Studies. In this interview we discuss herbal first aid, natural first aid, an herbal first aid kit, and his work at the Rainbow Gathering and other public service. Podcast from Daily Splice

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hipstorical Perspective of USFS Workings

In 1997, the annual gathering of the tribes was held in Oregon. This was after the group use regulations went into effect and we definitely had conflicts with the USFS over the issue. Unfortunately a woman in Portland's whose kids where at the gathering signed a permit because she was fearful.

At any rate, that was the last year the USFS Incident Commander, Mike Lohrey, was from the Resource side of the USFS (instead of law enforcement). In his final report, the incident commander stated that he thought the group use regulations hindered the USFS in their efforts to interact with us. None of this is news and there's a lot more to the story from my perspective. But I just discovered that the Street Corner Society has a huge collection of the USFS documents from that gathering and they are available online for your reading.

I highly recommend anyone interested in USFS/Rainbow relations, group use regs, or where to go next, stop by and visit.

Happy reading!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Where will the gathering be?

Visit this link to see the rap from last year on this very topic.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Notes from Thanksgiving Council

I apologize in advance for the readability (or lack there of) of these minutes. This is how I got them so have at it. I've xxx'd out gatherer's names since I don't have permission to publicily post them.

************BEGIN THANKSGIVING COUNCIL MINUTES**************

THANKSGIVING COUNCIL 2008
November 27-29 TRES PIEDRAS NEW MEXICO


Reported By RXXX GXXX:

We met and talked all afternoon Friday and Saturday (November 28+29.) Almost 30 people present (listed below.) On Saturday, KENDALL CLARK, Forest Supervisor of the Carson N.F., sat + listened + talked with us for 2 or 3 hours.

I have condensed + edited a lot, as follows:

Comments on a given topic I have put together, wherever voiced. If Kendall of the F.S. was present, I have worked the comments with [→] in the left margin, so readers can know what went down with the F.S. present, and what was just among our group.

Present at times were: IXXX BXX; JXX; AXXX; RXXX; LXX; GXXX SXXXX; AXXX MXXX; SXXX; Me (RXXX GXXX); PXXX; JXXX: MXXX; CXXXB; BXXX; TXXX HXXX; DXXX; OXXX TXXX; FXXX; SXXX BXXX ; SXXX; SXXX: CXXX; AXXX; AXXX DXXX; GXXX BXXX; SXXX WXXX WXXX; SXXX PXXX; DXX; SXXX HXXX; RX; AXXX; Coyote JXXX (MXXX); SXXX SXXX; VXX; 2 RXXXX; KXX; JXXX; DXXX.
(Not all these were present at the same time.)

We met at FXXXX's place. Although he did not actually appear at council we all owe him a big THANK YOU, FXXXXX! WE LOVE YOU!

In general: most of us seemed very pleased at the same calm and order of the discussions, without a feather or focalizer. Exceptions noted below.

KEY:

☼ = Consensuses
→ = Comments with FS present
~ = New Topic

CONSENSUSES REACHED (by silence):

☼We will hold a SCOUT COUNCIL on May 1, and another on June 1.

☼ The MAY 1 SCOUT COUNCIL will take place near LITTLE DRY CREEK, in the GILA N.F., in S.W. New Mexico.

☼ We will hold SPRING COUNCIL on June 10th.

☼At the Gathering in June and July, a DAILY MEETING will take place between F.S. RESOURCE people and RAINBOW people. This will be at an ACCESSIBLE COMMON SPACE at RAINBOW MID-MORNING.

☼ Office/ Banking council point of contact is P.O. BOX 251, TRES PIEDRAS NM, 87577. There are volunteers to coordinate the effort.

☼ We agree to HONOR ALDO LEOPOLD and his works on behalf of Mother Earth. We encourage everybody to continue his vision and works.

After an OM and a preliminary round of a white feather (which we used loosely), GXXXX BXXXXbegan with a lovely image:

Our world Rainbow movement as a green tree. The growing tips are the gatherings in new and especially war-torn areas: Bosnia, Turkey, Cambodia, etc. At these “buds� kids teach kids new ideas. We are the “trunk: and “tap roots� source of many trends- Recycling, Silence, peace activism, clean-up etc.

☺ SET-UP, P.R., etc.

☺ PRESS- Hostile and / or bad press caused much IRE. GXXX SXXXX (G.S.) called for a satellite linked news network, for quick release of videos. RXX SXXX (of CO.) would help.

SXXXX BXXX spoke on behalf of FXXXX. A “Press Crew� already exists! A 3 page news letter is available. Email Address: rpcreww@gmail.com
Website is: mobilebroadcastnews.ning.com/profile/presscrew

Summary of newsletter:

Objective: to get “main stream cameras� to any incident BEFORE attacks and harassment occur. It is hoped this would be a deterrent. A network of “passionate volunteers� expects to make a daily report + get it to town + on the net.

Press escorts to give tours of our beauty, sports, etc. Past actions in Pinedale + Elsewhere of this crew were cited much good publicity. Past failures need for onsite volunteers with camera – typers – etc.
>

→ Finally, in the presence of Kendall Clark (K.C.), the F.S. rep., Garrick suggested we pre-exempt wild statements by sheriffs etc., by a JOINT PRESS RELEASE with the F.S. RESOURCE people sometime.

→ this idea met with general approval (Not a formal consensus.)

~ FRONT GATE

Many voices deplored harassment and drunkenness at front gate. SXXX WXXX WXXX (SWW) offered his yurt for gate use; GXXXX offered to spend at least some time, in the yurt.
He hoped RXXX RXXX would be around to work the gate like last year. (RXX are you out there?) They’d pass out rap 107 and 701, etc. SWW also wanted a camp with GOATS SET UP near Kid Village (Ho-o-o!)

Cascadas pointed out a need for more Doctors and healers.

A TOWN MEETING was discussed; they’ve worked well in the past. GS and others offered to help, we don’t yet know if we will go south to the Gila, or North to the Carson. GB suggested 2 meetings, say in Silver City or Reserve and TAOS, sometime next spring; (April?) but only with fire, hospital, and emergency personnel (at first)

→ A need was felt to meet with local Hispanic people, sooner the better. We want to avoid an incident like ’95, when IXXX de VXXXand a bunch of Chicano loggers and activists came to us angry. Hospitality barely prevented hostility.

→ Our friend and lawyer Coyote JXXX MXXX (JM) recalled how he had heard one of de VXXX’ people say “We’re gonna shoot some rainbows.� He (JM) called Congressman Tom Udall; a mediator came out; etc. (There’s a lot more to this story.) Point is; we don’t want a repeat; and, lawyers with connections can FORESTALL problems, by their mere presence. (See more on this below.)

~OFFSITE PROJECTS/NEEDS

AXXXX DXX (AD) had a lot to say. He’s been busy, and he brought news from all over: From LOUISIANA: FXXX is there with a kitchen feeding many, many people. FELIPE is there too. Hurricane Ike’s damage is widespread.

CURRENT NEED: A storm lashed Low Island Is inhabited by a small group of “HUMMA� people in damaged houses. Officials want to move them off island to DRILL FOR OIL. They need VOLUNTEERS to hold the land, rebuild, and maybe to bring supplies by boat. [Contact #??] (Blockade runners? RG)

AD: A brother, STEVE KUBLIN, was MURDERED between Nov 8-11, 2006. He was known as a “gentle soul� who hitched to Thanksgiving councils etc. His body was found beside a Colorado highway not far from Paonia. We have offered a reward of $5,000.00 for info on the killer. An anonymous source has fingered a 23-year-old Paonia man, Jeremy Hodges, who has been arrested. If this bust proves valid, we would like to reward this anonymous source; Pledges of $ are being collected; send no money now, but please pledge something, via 970-252-4023 the idea is: It should be known;

WE ALWAYS FOLLOW UP.
WE NEVER FORGET.

And it will PAY WITNESSES to help us.

GS; Our brother SXXXX is sick, may be dying. He has worked for us long and hard. Please call him and let him feel part of us. 916-XXXX

~ SHANTISENA

Our hard-working shantisena team is sorely taxed.

AD: Death Camp is testing us. They’re a disruptive group – Why? Are they being paid to dog our steps? If not, they surely act that way. Their acts – swearing, shouting, attacking, squirting urine on passersby – are kids saying “help me.â€�? (Several other cases discussed.)

RG and others urged shantisena help in towns, not just to pay off shops for shoplifters as in the past, but also to prevent or nab shoplifters, especially AFTER gathering, to warn our people of “bad apples� and to gain good will.

GS; In Oregon, we caught shoplifters who were locals, and showed the sheriff something about his town and us. AD; If you see a shoplifter, you can make a citizens arrest – but here’s how: Cops don't like being superseded. Be prepared to be arrested yourself. Work in a group so you will get out quick. But be prepared to be busted. In the forest itself (said AD) he has never been busted (for a citizen’s arrest)

A need was felt for more young shantisena. Peaches (a young man), GB, GS, etc. gave examples. Much discussion:

- We need to calm angry people

- We can stop a group ( like Death Camp ) easier than an individual

- Decisions of council are not always followed through – why?

- Front gate has an important role to play

SXXXX (DXXX LXXX) spoke on the need for cameras ( with respect of course ). He wants to make a movie about Rainbow – and his vision of Rainbow. Sharp also writes and rides: he writes for ABATE, a newsletter for motorcyclists. He sees a lot in common between riders and Rainbows, and suggests a camp for them at Gatherings. Call SXXX at 845-XXXX, re ‘cycling or a groovy movie.

~ FOREST SERVICE and LEGAL ISSUES

(DISCLAIMER: this part was most contentious, and impassioned. Please forgive lacks of selectivity and objectivity, of your scribe – me. This was hard to get. )

~PERMIT issues and LEGAL OFFENSE

Friday we discussed much among ourselves;

Permit history (GB, AD, etc.);

3 years (2003-05) we had a signed permit –with massive problems each year. ’03, GB signed – there was harassment on many LEO fronts, and too many demands on the signer (who kept records of the whole thing admirably.) In ’04, a “ghost signerâ€� was used – a woman in Florida signed, and never showed up or contacted FS. Harassment continued. Such a signer is liable to a civil suit, we feel. So we haven’t used a “ghost signerâ€�. So in ’06 and ’07 we used an “operating planâ€�, an unsigned alternative which is allowed for under regulations. An O.P. is not a permit – it is a voluntary agreement between equals (Rainbows and FS), and still there was harassment, and it has tended to escalate – as at Wyoming, in the Kid Village.

FXXX: was present Friday – in ’07, he signed a permit for a regional Colorado gathering, which was not harassed like our simultaneous New Mexico “eventâ€� (whether Rainbow or not – see SP below), which was busted – 12 went to jail. GS challenged signing as putting him and others in jeopardy. FXXX said a signer is not made a “leaderâ€�; a permit can be good. In CO ’06 etc, the O.P. needed changes, and finding a council to change it was maddening to FS Resource officers like Tom Florich of WY. (Thus our CONSENSUS, see above, to meet daily onsite with FS Resource.) In our Oct ’08 meeting, Corbin Newman, Regional Forester, again asked for a signed permit so all this is not moot. CN cited “accountabilityâ€�

OXXX TXXX (OT), from Denver, proposed a lawsuit on the basis that we are a PUBLIC event, which “theyâ€� (FS) treat as a PRIVATE event. OT: FS regulations call us a “non-commercial group eventâ€�, which is a PRIVATE event. Therefore (say the FS), they may regulate us, AND, they need not supply certain services which they are obligated to provide to the public – the PEOPLE. An example would be handicap access parking [OT was involved in providing such access in CO gathering; Fred also was; many voices discussed the need for better HANDICAMP access, scouted early.]

OT wants to make a lawsuit on this point: that his, and our rights are violated by being called private.

GB: Historically, courts have rejected (in 1980), our being defined as a class (which can sue or be sued, for instance) because a class is a part of the human race; the whole race is not a class. Later (said GB) they defined us as an “unincorporated association�. RG questioned OT; “what if we don’t want the services the FS “must� provide?� “Would we be obligated?� OT had a 2 page handout on this lawsuit and a LOT of more info and ideas.

OT: Legal actions and protests distract the cops/LEO’s; they also make good publicity. Wheelchairs look good to media. GS: With JM (lawyer), GS is making a lawsuit to force the FS to obey their own regulations: in CFR 251 & 261 (Somewhere) an alternative to a signed permit, such as an “operating plan� (O.P.), is allowed. Elsewhere in the regulations the FS is compelled to use the “least restrictive� alternative; thus since O.P.’s have been accepted, they must be allowed in future. GB: If we have been “targeted�, this applies (“least restrictive�). GB etc. said an O.P. did not guarantee no harassment. GB: We need an ACLU camp, and a press group. The renegade bunch of LEO’s out of Atlanta are still likely to harass us.

~FOREST SERVICE RELATIONS

→ When Kendall Clark of the Carson NF arrived Saturday. She was deluged with complaints, of harassment. (see below under LEO’s) But first she introduced herself.

→ KENDALL CLARK may be reached at 575-758-6200 or at www.fs.fed.us She (KC) is a calm stately grey – haired lady of great dignity. She was attentive and responsive, spiritual at times (This sister is COOL, family, - RG.) She took notes, a few.


THE CHAIN OF COMMAND goes: US DEPT. of AG. Head
(Sec’y) ↓
USDA Undersecretary for
National Forest MARC REY
(Outgoing)
↓
CORBIN NEWMAN
Regional Forester- NM., AZ.,CO., UT.
__________________________________________

etc ↓------↓--------↓--------------↓---------------------------------↓

JACKIE
NANCY
DICK MARKLEY
KENDALL CLARK
Lincoln NF
Cibola NF
GILA NF
Forest supervisor – Carson NF
↓
Deputy FS DAN RAEL
↓
“DISTRICT RANGERS�
/ ↓ \

TRES PIEDRAS TAOS Etc.

B. ROMERO

The District Rangers, although they appear they appear low in this chart, actually have a great deal of power at their local level.

Notice the LEO’s (Forest Service Law Enforcement Officers) do not appear on the chart. They are a separate hierarchy;

DC head JOHN TWISS (resigned)
↓
PANCHO SMITH, NM head LEO
>
> ↓

B. MALDONADO, D. CHAVEZ, B. McCORMACK etc. – LEO’s (who busted us in ’07)

KC has only been on this job 4 months, but has lived in → TAOS area 2004-06. (RG complained, why do we always have to deal with new Resource personnel? We can’t discuss past offenses. Yet the same LEO’s dog us and know us too well.) (and new blood thinks anew, new broom sweeps clean. RG.)

~LEO’s and HARASSMENT

Before KC arrived there were some more legal strategies discussed:

GB: we can file an “INTENT TO SUEâ€� on any likely harassment – this can forestall their actions. But we have to have current in-the-field evidence. It worked in NV ‘89

GS, GB etc.: MARC REY, USDA Undersec’y, is rumored to be plenty angry about what happened in WY at Kid Village, and he is allegedly initiating an investigation – by the Justice Department Inspector – General. The ACLU has also expressed interest in the case, and has drawn up some papers for us already. → Then Kendall arrived, and was questioned on the LEO’s. KC; The LEO’s work for us (Resource) – I can and do direct them.

→ GXXX SXXXXX (spoke for many): We’ve heard this too many times! (From Corbin Newman recently – RG) EVERY SINGLE TIME, the LEO’s and Incident Command TAKE OVER (voices; DISTRICT RANGERS, too!)

→GB; Yes; civilian control of the military, throughout history, is Democracy’s way

→GB; At least we are an “Incident� and not an “Emergency�

anymore – it’s better for our press coverage, and the money is better spent ( on Resource matters).

→TXXX; But, what about the FIRE set on us in WY, and the EVACUATION ORDER that caused needless panic? People abandoned their goods - - -

→PXXXX; Yeah, and we heard some of their fire crew

→LAUGHING at us, for being duped and forced out!!

→BXXX; If there’s another LEO incident in ’09 it’ll be a nightmare

→GS: There is a HISTORY of increasing violence by the LEO’s.

In the ‘90’s, they hired “cop-typeâ€� people; then, more and more “Special Forces – Delta force typesâ€�, who were promoted to supervisors. GS saw as “INEVITABLEâ€� that BLOODSHED →would occur. (GS repeated such remarks several times. He used inflammatory language. – RG.) Then the worst; As AD was saying “ we don’t want and adversarial relationship with you (FS) … “BODHI interrupted loudly;

→â€�It IS adversarial – it comes from the LEO’s! If they come to Kid Village again there’ll be a (bleep!)! (he was shouting)

→BODHI; “I am OUTRAGED at LEO’s among our CHILDREN! And, they came after our herb, which is SACRED to us!â€� He shouts rudely – KC cannot answer – VAL stands + opposed Bodhi hi Verbally – chaos + anger – people OMMM – finally, AD resumes: “A legal al atmosphere is adversarial by nature. We want instead a HEART- TO – HEART relationship. The LEO’s have a “scriptâ€�, an agenda: to create FEAR, their best tool. Fear loses power when there is LESS for the victim to live for thus, todays street kids, seeing chaos, enviro-disaster, everywhere they have less reason to live. To make such kids afraid, LEO’s become even harsher. AD; “ Some LEO’s are willing to shoot unarmed white people.â€� “Some youth, as in Death Camp, have a subculture which PUNISHES strangers using fear.â€� (Nothing to lose. Nothing to believe in. Gang mentality – RG)

→Coyote JXXX (MXXXX) (JM): Our friendly lawyer showed up when KC did.

→JM: I’m Coyote JXXX – a lawyer from Albuquerque. I have worked with many of the State’s finest law firms including Freedman, Boyd, and Daniels – a well known and powerful firm. I have worked with the ACLU as well.

→My goal: A lawyer for every incident! For every defendant, plaintiff, victim. The place for lawyers among us is to CURB the LEO’s. (JM himself, he said, had been ticketed for a “non turn signalâ€� scam in the woods, 4 miles after the alleged offense.) If lawyers are →present, things change. For example: → JM: In ’95, he helped calm some angry Chicanos. [ see P. 4 above – RG] Lawyers scare them! If we should win a suit (see P. 9 ), or obtain a “consent decreeâ€� → The LEO’s will be compelled to take “ sensitivity trainingâ€�. (ha ha!) Also perhaps pay a fine of as much as $500,000!! This scares them. We have other allies – Alan Maestas, a lawyer of TAOS, has offered to help. (RG: Alan is known and respected by me. Highly competent, dogged, former chief Public Defender here.)

Kendall CLARK (KC): Yes. You ask, where is out authority? We don’t always know. I will have out attorneys contact JM. Also, we have a meeting scheduled on Dec. 17, 2008, in Santa Fe. Can you (JM) be present?

→JM: I will try. Have court duties that day.

~FS RESOURCE – COOPERATION efforts

→KC: I've directed flood relief – I can cooperate. “You’ll find I'm a fairly sensible personâ€�.

→KC: “I feel, the land is speaking to us�. I do not want to micromanage.

→KC: In 2009, we of the FS celebrate the 100th anniversary of the works of ALDO LEOPOLD; here in TRES PIEDRES, he built a house. This giant, father of the wildlife movement, protégé of John (Muir), is my PERSONAL HERO – he knew and loved this land, established the CARSON and GILA forests. (AD and Sheila later told us more of him; see our consensus, above, to honor him.)

→GS: What about road closures? Will you cooperate?

→KC: We use them, have power to do so – we use a permit system for stock tanks, private owners, etc.

→JACK (to KC): I was in Alturas in CALIFORNIA. I saw there that $38,000 was given to any COUNTY that got a gathering – his money tempted some. By what authority?

→KC: I don’t know, I’ll ask TOM CONTERAS (name mentioned by Jack.) (She makes notes.)

→GB: The O.P. needs to be flexible. 100% approval, as we all know, is like “herding cats�. (KC agrees (as do all)) (no “blockers�) I hate to say it, but a “coalition of the willing� gets things done.

→KC: This is very hard for us. Dan Rael told me he came daily, but often couldn’t find main council – or the people he knew weren’t there – he searched fruitlessly sometimes.

→GB: Yes, Thom Florich in WY, and B. ROMERO and others have said the same thing (discussion led to CONSENSUS RE daily meeting onsite, see above P. 3 )

→GB (and GS etc.): We hear JOHN TWISS, head LEO in D.C. lied about the Kid Village incident – blamed it on us – called us ‘rock throwers’ etc. We hear he’s leaving. Good. We also hear he may be replaced by FARRELL, a (black) LEO known to us; we generally like him.

→But if officer SMITHSON is chosen – trouble! He is nasty!

→ (GS and other agree vehemently) (KC takes notes.)

→RG: When the Obama administration appoints a new USDA Secretary or Undersecretary, we want to meet with them. KC: still probably be March or so for new personnel.

→SXXXX SXXXX: I wanna know about the bad press in ’95. There were rumors that we left a “nasty mess�. Where did this come from?

→KC: Not from us. Dan Rael never complained, nor his deputy Ben Romero – no-one complained to me. In fact for Dick and Nancy (Gila and Cibola NFS), you have a remarkable record. Ben Romero, 2-3 months after the cleanup, was amazed, and positive; he couldn’t even find “tiny piecesâ€� of trash.

~SITES

At the end of KC’s visit, we discussed sites briefly. Next morning (SUNDAY) some of us went over maps.

→KC: Of the sites we discussed ( in OCT – RG), one site north of LUNA< NM, (in the Gila), looks good to me.

→KC: It’s a flattering plateau – big pines, park-like – it’s wild and beautiful, but is there water for gravity feed (uphill)?

→GB: This area is the same “ bio-plateau� as our ’79 ARIZONA site.

→GB: RE scouting: near our ’77 NM site, N of the JCT. of the GILA and BLACK rivers, is worth looking at.

~LEGAL AFFAIRS, etc.

Saturday evening, after KC of the FS left, we continued; PEACE, GS, GB, Allis, etc:

Let's appeal to BILL RICHARDSON (NM governor, Commerce Secretary – designate). He's a possible ally.

GS: We should BEG for PROTECTION from LEO's, in person from Richardson; let's also meet OBAMA in person!

GB: I've asked FS for an inventory of possible (future) sites, and a plan to protect them – 100 sites eventually?

PEACE: I can help with the PR/press team – on the net peace@mrwebguru.com

S P (and others): In 2007, in NM late JULY there was a “Full Moon Circle Ceremony� (where 12 were arrested.) We (i.e. SP) made a permit application and refused to sign same. So the FS understood the permit issue then and there.

SP: Yet, me and my lawyer (JM) were “cut outâ€� of the subsequent negotiations – this was unfair.

SP: The event was converted into a Rainbow event. Also an OP was turned down (by LEO Maldonado et al – RG) Was this because a permit was signed in CO (by FXX?)

FRED: I simply put notices up on the web – maybe that was how FS found out about it (event in NM)

RG: By word of mouth we, (Abe, Patha, I, Bob, Tony etc.), set up event as Rainbow. I was one of 12 busted, a volunteer lawyer helped us, we didn't intend to exclude SP but simply needed to defend ourselves, with counsel that volunteered (this case could still lead to a suit, if necessary – IMHO RG)

GB: In legal matters, remember, in court or out, the right argument does not always win. For instance, when we were busted (99 PA case) Judge Samuel J. Alito said to us (before he sent us to the slammer): “Why don’t you get someone broke (“immune from suitâ€�) to sign? You help paupers, get one to help you – a broke person can't be suedâ€�. (Imagine a judge so misguided. ( a fellow Princeton grad too, tsk, tsk – RG)

GB: So, we need to ask; who's on the bench? It's relevant.

JM: Win or lose, it's Public Relations. Here in NM, ayahuasca is legal because of a decent justice system here. It's hopeful.

RG: Well that's it. I'm tired of this job but also I'm proud. We talked TRUTH AND JUSTICE. GREAT SPIRIT, help us, and thanks.

HO!

Two poems

From AXX's notes --

Tipis and Tribe
Drums and dancing
I feel their drums
I feel their wild
Tribal energy Tribal magic
Tribal Thunder
I feel their drums
I feel their wild
The call of the wild
Echoes off Tipis and Tribe
*

The morning sun reflects on snow covered mountains
Laughter lifts skyward
On cold morning air.
Winter's embrace is just
Around the corner.
Tipi smoke rises
Over sound of a tribe
Greeting cold morning air
As morning sun reflects
On snow covered mountains