Federal Officials Say Rainbow Family Did No Lasting Damage for Forest

FALLSVILLE, AR - Federal officials say the Rainbow Family gathering in the Ozark National Forest this year left no lasting damage to the forest.  The counterculture group held one of its annual gatherings in Arkansas in July, watched over closely by law enforcement officials and the U.S. Forest Service.

This year, the forest service did not require the group to have a permit but held participants to certain conditions in caring for the public property.  About 6,000 people attended the gathering, and dozens of arrests were made, mostly involving traffic, health, alcohol and marijuana violations.

Mike Munford of the Piney Ranger District says some participants did an excellent job of cleaning and restoring their campsites, while others left the work for Rainbow volunteers who remained behind and for the Forest Service.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)