The U.S. Forest Service acknowledged there isn’t much it can do about a “Rainbow Family” gathering expected to bring thousands of counter-culture types to the Malheur National Forest in Eastern Oregon over the next two weeks.
The organizers don’t have a permit, and the Forest Service’s response to that has angered area residents such as rancher Loren Stout, who lives near the gathering spot and has a federal grazing permit on land adjacent to it.
He said the Forest Service would punish ranchers if they ignored permit requirements and tapped a spring for drinking water like the Rainbow Family has done. Stout said it took him two years to get a National Environmental Policy Act permit to drill an exploratory mining hole.
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