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Public Information Bulletin - Rainbow Family Gathering on Santiam Pass
Released by: Sgt. William Bailey - Public Information Officer Release Date: June 12, 2018 The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office has received information that the Rainbow Family group may be traveling through Deschutes County on their way to a regional gathering event off Highway 22, near the Santiam Pass. As this is a regional event, it is estimated up to 600 Rainbow Family members will be in or traveling through our area from June 11th through June 21st. The event location is not located within Deschutes County, but the closest town for fuel and supplies is Sisters. The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office has learned to expect: Increased vehicle traffic and hitchhiking through the area; Expect to encounter lost and/or stranded motorists looking for the event; Expect disabled or abandon autos on roadways and public lands. What to watch for: Increased theft or criminal mischief especially to local merchants who sell food, beverages or clothing; Petty theft of items on private property which are easily visible or in walking distance from major roadways; Strangers trespassing on your property looking for food, gas, water or shelter. Who are they? The Rainbow family is a loosely affiliated group of individuals committed to principles of non-violence and egalitarianism. In 1997 the Rainbow Family held their annual event on the Ochoco National Forest and about 20,000 to 30,000 people attended. There were substantial impacts to the forest, forest roadways, state highways and nearby communities to include extraordinary demands on law enforcement, hospital and medical services, social services and businesses. The Rainbow family does not have centralized leadership, does not obtain proper permits and does not usually provide details about the location or activities of the event to law enforcement.