National Forest
United States
Department Agriculture
Forest Service
Marienvilie Ranger Dist.
H.C. 2 Box 130
Marienville, PA 16239

Contact: Bernie J. Marocco ( Engineering Tech.)
Telephone: 814/927-6628
Far: 814/927 2285
e-mail bmarocco/

June 9, 1999

Findings from the June 5, meeting and area reconnaissance for the Rainbow Gathering site.

After the initial meeting at Bear Creek Campground Leon Blashock' Bill Peterson, and myself proceeded out to inspect the proposed access routes down into the Rainbow Gathering site near the confluence of Bear and Little Otter Creeks located in Warrant 2037 of the Portland Mills Quad. The proposed access routes reviewed at this time were FR 393 and FR 168. Existing conditions were also documented with a video camera.

FR 393 Pole Run Road (gated closed, FS jurisdiction, TSL C, Maint. Level 2 )

A. Good surfacing on FS system segment
A recent timber sale about 5 years ago left the road in good shape with adequate pit run surfacing for a solid template.
Gate will be opened for vehicle access and parking.
We recommended they notify NFG to inquire about parking near pipelines and wells.

B. Approx. mp 0.7: proposed access route departs pit run FS segment and heads eastward to
wards Bear Creek via a non-system native surfaced road.
This segment is native surfaced with some minor entrenchment creating approximately 2, 25 segments with a potential for rutting.
For the most part this road runs along a ridge-top location that provides good cross slope drainage and favorable soil types.
It was agreed to try applying pit run stone ( if available ) or slash for cushioning in those segements with ruffing potential.
This road will be blocked with a vehicle approximately 0.3 miles from where this non-system road intersects with FS 393.
There will also be vehicle and pedestrian access to a proposed meeting site located in a game plot via this non-system road.

C. Approimate map location '2' on the Rainbow Gathering Topo Map
FR 168 Little Otter (gated closed, OGM jurisdiction, TSL D, Maint. Level 2 )

A. Marginal surfacing
This is a seeded road with shallow pit run surfacing. It only has supported light vehicle traffic for ogm service.
Several NFG pipelines and well facilities are located behind this gated road. The road has no constructed turnouts.
It was agreed to keep this road gated closed and only allow foot travel access to the lower gathering site at the confluence of Little Otter and Bear (approximately a 1.5 mile walk ).
Temporary vehicle access to approximate mp 0.5 at the 'Foot Travel Welcome' sign would be allowed to haul water line and other kitchen materials in.

B. Non-system and ogm rd. pedestrian access to lower Little Otter and Bear Creeks
Two non-system roads take off from the ogm portion ( cyan colored segment, on the Rainbow Gathering topo map) of fr 168.
We only walked down the shorter route oriented S,SE and running directly down the hill to Little Otter Creek ( map location '1' on the Rainbow Gathering Topo Map )
This road had grades in excess of 15%, it's entrenched, and aligned perpendicular to the fall line which has resulted some severe erosion which occured prior to Rainbow entry.
We noted several old lead-off ditches that could be made funtiional with the consrtruction of a waterbar at each lead-off ditch. The waterbar construction would be required during route rehab following event clean-up.

Brushing and Grading on FR 135
A. FR's 135, 136, and 145 grading as a safety measure:
FR 135, one of the main access routes into the Rainbow site from Ridgway and FR 136 is currently scheduled for blading early this summer. Planned grading of FR's 135,136, and 145 were moved up to begin the week of June 14.
As a safety measure, it's hoped that grading of these roads will remove wash-boarded conditions and provide better handling and control to light vehicles travelling on these routes.

B. Brushing along FR 135 to improve sight distance:
Because of heavy vegetation and poor sight distance along curved sections of FR 135, it was decided to try to do some manual brushing along critical segments. On June 8, a prison brushing crew began working on the most critical road segments to improve safety sight distance.

IV. Open local pits for vehicle parking
It was agreed to open up the gated pit just west of 168 along fr 135 to provide additonal vehicle parking.
We also provided Rainbow organizers with a detailed area map showing other near-by pits and forest road facilities that would be available for spill-over parking.
We also discussed using these pit sources for a little borrow stone to help armor weaker road segments like those discussed above in l.B.

Bernie J. Marocco (Engineering Tech.)

Rainbow Family Gathering

Heritage Resources

The Rainbow Family on the Allegheny National Forest is "planning" to hold their annual national gathering in the Bear Greek Drainage on the Marienville (Ridgway) Ranger District on the A1legheny National Forest. Heritage resources on record in the area of potential effect (APE) includes a series of historic logging railroad grades associated with the Bear Creek Tramway and historic logging camps. There are no known prehistoric heritage resource sites in the area of potential effect. In addition, one newly recorded site, an historic oil well, was identified in the area.

On June 5, 1999 a cultural resources phase I walkover survey was conducted by Allegheny National Forest Heritage Resource Program Leader Richard P. Kandare in the proposed area of potential effect. He was part of a team of other resource specialists (William Moriarity and Scott Reitz) who examined the area in question.

During their visit, a previously unidentified heritage resource site was encountered and recorded. (Deleted [Ex.3]).

Using the information provided in the USDA Forest Service Region 9 Cultual Resource Inventory Form recorded by archaeologist Andy Myers on March 16, 1990 (Deleted [Ex 3])

Although the site location map and the location description on the site form fit the location the sketch map enclosed with the site form did not seem to be of this particular site and location. In other words, the sketch map is problematic.

What was highly evident and clearly visible was a banner on a white sheet hanging from a tree in the middle of the opening. Verbiage indicated that it was directly related to the Rainbow Gathering. Nearby stuck in the ground was a feather tied to a stick. Rainbow informants questioned later on FR 168 indicated that the banner and the other object were located in the area where they planned to hold their events involving a "circle." At the time of our visit to the site, we were under the impression that the circle was to located at the mouth of Otter Creek. This was as a result of the meeting that we along

with Marienville District Ranger Blashock and several other resource specialists had with the Rainbow Family Council earlier in the day. This would have placed the area of potential effect about I I kilometer (.8 mile) to the north With this in mind, combined with the absence of artifacts and sensitive cultural features on the surface, it was decided not to ribbon ("flag") the cultural resource site for avoidance. Also with this in mind it was decided that site ([Deleted [no exemption cited]) was located too far south of the proposed circle location to be within the area of potetial effect and therefore we did not undertake a field visit to the site.

Potential Effects

The potential effect of the Rainbow Family Gathering on the historic logging railroad grades is estimated to be minimal. The effect of foot traffic on the grades is expected to not have a great impact on the grades.

There will be no potential (Deleted[no exemption cited]).

The effect to the two lumber camps are unknown at this time. Both sites could suffer devastating impacts if they are, in fact, "ground zero" for the Rainbow Gathering. Ground disturbing activities such as the construction of slit trenches, hearths, kitchen areas, etc. could adversely effect the condition and integrity of the sites in question. Having the rainbows avoid these sites would serve to protect the sites, but giv en the topography in the Bear Creek drainage, there appears to be no other location suitable for such a gathering of this size and magnitude.


It is recommended that a crew or crews of heritage resource specialists from the ANF be dispatched to the area of potential effect as soon as possible to conduct emegency recordation, subsurface testing, and other investigations prior to the area being impacted by the Rainbow Gathering and to work closely with the Rainbows to protect and preserve any significant or potentially significant heritage resouces identified by the heritage team on the ground in the area of potential effect.

More specifically, it is recommended that (Deleted [no exemptioon cited]) sites be revisited, photographed, and examined on the ground in a systematic manner (Deleted [no exemptioon cited]) should be mapped. In consultation with the Rainbows, areas that may be subject to ground disturbing activities should be shovel tested. Documentation should be collected in a manner that would allow the heritage to monitor the effect of the gathering on significant or potentially significant heritage resources.



United States Forest Bradford Star Route 1. Box 88
Department of Service Ranger Bradford, PA 16701
Agriculture District (814) 362?1613


Reply To: 19;0

Date: June 8, 1999

Subject: 1999 National Rainbow Gathering

This letter documents the on site review conducted at the Bear Cr. rainbow gathering site on Saturday, June 5 1999. The purpose of my visit, was to notify members of the rainbow family of wildlife related concerns in the Bear Cr. drainage, and to conduct a preliminary review of the site to identify other wildlife concerns or possible impacts to TES species. The following is a brief summary of the review:

We initially met at the Bear Cr. C.G. to discuss wildlife, heritage, soil and water and road or access related concerns. The following are wildlife related concerns discussed:

1. There have been several Timber Rattlesnake sightings in the Bear Cr. drainage, inclucling, dispersal of up to a dozen snakes from a den site Altilou;gh we don't expect snakes to be concentrated at a den site at this time of year, due to the large number or people attending the gathering, it is very likely that some people will encounter a snake. I informed family members present of this fact and talked briefly about precautions to take that would reduce the likelihood of an encounter Some members expressed concern over this and said they would kill a snake if they saw one Both Leon and 1 informed the group that the timber rattlesnake was protected by law and should not be harmed Although I think most of the family member, present would not harm A snake, if there was an encounter. I told the family that I would identify; with pink and black striped

Flagging and rocky areas or other sited that 1 felt might be used by snakes and that these areas should be

2. I told the family that the northern water shrew, which is a sensitive species for the ANF had been found in the Bear Cr. drainage I talked briefly about this species and explained that the! could protect its habitat by keeping their stream crossings to a minimum and by not removing any large woody debris along a stream for firewood

3. I discussed briefly that the Indiana bat had also been found in the Bear Cr. drainage and that they could protect possible roosting sites for this Species, as well as other bats by not cutting down any trees that had sloughing bark.

4. I mentioned that this was the time of year when fawns were being born, and expressed a concern over the number of dogs that might be brought to the site I Strongly recommended that dogs be leashed or controlled in some way, in order to prevent harassessment of deer, as well as other wildlife by dogs running loose.

I got the impression that most family members were genuinely concerned over protecting wildlife and wildlife habitat in this area and was asked to provide flyers that would summarize our wildlife related concerns, as well as to provide suggestions as to what things they could do to minimize impacts to wildlife. I agreed to do this, and would try to have flyers available for distribution by the weekend of June l2th.

Following our meeting in the campground Bill Moriarity, Rick Kandare and 1 looked at lands along the Bear Cr. bottom form its confluence with Otter Cr. and Pole Road Run We looked at several spring locations possible access and streamcrossings and three beaver ponds and associated meadows. including their "welcome home' site at the confluence of Pole Road Run and Bear Cr. Based on this preliminary review and on conversations I've had with Terry Steffan related to wildlife use and occurrence in the area I did not identify any wildlife or 1 ES species concerns that would preclude use of this area by the rainbow family. However siince the family had not vet occupied the area specific sites where erosion and disturbance are likely to occur could not be identitfied. Considering this l recommend that once use areas and trails are established wetland or other unique/sensitive plant communities be inventoried and evaluated in order to better assess potential effects to State listed plant species, or uncommon or unique species that might be affected.


Scott L. Reitz
Wildlife Biologist