July 6, 2022 |
The U.S. Forest Service, in a bare-bones update on the Rainbow Gathering in the Routt National Forest near Craig, CO, reported that the estimated number of attendees at the off-the-grid event was 9,100 people on Sunday. USFS officials later reported numbers swelled to around 10,000 attendees on Monday. The number on Friday was 6,050, meaning that some 3,900 people showed up over the weekend.
The crowd should start tapering off now that the July 4th holiday is over, according to the USFS incident page.
Through Monday of last week, well before the event was in full swing, law enforcement officials with the Forest Service incident team had issued 91 enforcement actions. As of Saturday, the number of law enforcement actions had quadrupled to 428.
The police actions include numerous arrests for narcotics possession and/or distribution, as well as interference with federal officers. They also include violation notices and warnings, for resource damage from parking in sensitive areas and inoperable equipment—vehicles that don’t run.
This year’s 498 enforcement actions compares to the 600 taken at last year’s gathering in Taos, New Mexico.
Steamboat Radio reports that two arrests for alleged fentanyl possession were made up at the Rainbow Gathering this weekend. According to the report, Routt County Undersheriff Doug Scherar confirmed with federal law enforcement partners the seizure of 55 grams of fentanyl and an arrest on Sunday, July 3rd. That case is an active investigation so no more details were released. Scherar also confirmed with federal partners of a previous offender in possession of a firearm who was arrested for alleged possession of 15 grams of fentanyl on Saturday.
A police canine training company, F.M.K9 based in Michigan, posted pictures of illegal drugs confiscated at the gathering to its social media page on Saturday. The company reported that one of its canine graduates, Myshka now with the USFS, had sniffed out a wide variety of drugs.
The pictured contraband included pot, mushrooms and other drugs along with paraphernalia. They were displayed on an evidence table below a large topographical map labeled “2022 Rainbow Gathering Operations Map.”
The gathering officially ends June 7th, this Thursday. The Forest Service says many stay on site for several weeks to work on clean-up and rehabilitation in the area.