Thousands of people expected at Rainbow Gathering in eastern Oregon

Rainbow Gather on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in 2011 (KATU/File)

JOHN DAY, Ore. - The Rainbow Family of Living Light will hold their 2017 Rainbow Gathering in eastern Oregon this summer, the USDA Forest Service confirmed.

The Forest Service said 10,000 to 30,000 people may attend the gathering.

One unofficial Rainbow Family website lists the dates as July 1 to July 7.

Another suggested the gathering would begin the "last week of June (give or take) to July 7."

There is no "official" Rainbow Family website, however.

"It is longstanding Rainbow Family consensus that nobody has ever, or ever will represent the Rainbow Family," one of the sites explains.

Attendance is expected to peak the week of July 4, the Forest Service said.

“We are working closely with the local community to raise awareness about the event and plan accordingly before the majority of participants arrive,” said Ryan Nehl, Agency Administrator and Malheur National Forest Deputy Forest Supervisor. “Ensuring public safety, minimizing impacts to local communities, and protecting natural resources will be our top priorities.”

The gathering will take place at Flagtail Meadow off of Forest Service Road 24, southwest of John Day, Oregon.

To manage an event of this size, the Forest Service plans to deploy an incident management team.

The team will include law enforcement, health and safety professionals, and natural resource specialists.

"The gathering will take place under the conditions and guidelines provided through a Forest Service Operating Plan addressing public health and safety concerns, minimizing impacts to natural resources, and outlining post-event rehabilitation procedures," according to the Forest Service.

As one of the unofficial sites puts it: "Feel free to arrive a few weeks early to create the gathering and/or stay a few weeks late to clean it all up."

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