United States Forest Shoal Creek Ranger District
Department of Service 450 Hwy 46
Agriculture Heflin, AL 36264 (205) 463-2272
Reply to: 2300 / 2600 / 7700 / 6700
Date: August 3, 1993
To: The Rainbow Family
Your cleanup and rehabilitation efforts following the 1993 National Rainbow Gathering on the Shoal Creek District has met or exceeded our expectations. We commend those Rainbow family members who have stayed these past weeks to work with us , in a spirit of cooperation, to return the site to as close a natural condition as before the gathering.
As you know, one of our greatest concerns during the gathering was to minimize potential impacts to threatened and endangererd mussels in Shoal Creek. On July 16, the biologist from United States Fish and Wildlife Service surveyed the creek along the areas of greatest use. They found no degradation of stream habitat or harm to any individual mussels had occured. Your assistance in stabilizing streambanks after the gathering as well as efforts by all Rainbow family members during the gathering to protect these rare mussels is appreciated.
We were also concerned about long term impacts to the Pinhoti National Recreation Trail, four miles of which was used heavily during the Gathering. We are pleased that adverse impacts are minimal. In the case of the "Cooperation Bridge" built by Rainbows during the Gathering, we have decided to move the two sections of bridge to new locations on the trail for continued use.
On our walk through inspections we saw no trash remaining. We acknowledge that your cleanup crews also removed some trash that had been on site prior to the Gathering.
All kitchens have been reclaimed, ovens dismantled and disintergrated, and compost and gray water pits filled in. Seed has been scattered and is already coming up in places.
We found no evidence of latrines, social trails, or campsites remaining.
There will be some rehabilitation of the wildlife openings used for bus village and main circle that we will have to do this fall. The drought conditions here now and the need to deep plow to mitigate compaction does not make the reclamation practical right now.
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In addition, the district will incur some costs to re-grade the main roads into the area which have wash boarded badly as a result of the extensive traffic during the gathering.
All things considered, we are very pleased with the overall cleanup effort. I know that many hard hours in the Alabama heat went into reclaiming the gathering site. Our personal thanks to those individuals who made the reclamation effort and cleanup a success.