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Notice: CNNF Road Closures Due to Flooding and The Rainbow Family of Living Light Gathering

June 22, 2019


As frequent users of the CNNF, we wanted to make sure you were aware of an upcoming gathering taking place the first week of July. Check the map linked to below: If this is an area you train your hounds, you might want to consider alternatives for this time period.

The unauthorized gathering site will be located near Canthook Lake off of Forest Service Road 412 near the town of Delta, about 20 minutes from Iron River. The gathering is expected to last through the July 4 weekend. After that, several Rainbow Family members stay on site for several weeks to work on clean-up and rehabilitation.

Here is some information from the USDA Forest Service:

The Rainbow Family of Living Light has chosen a site on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest for its 2019 national gathering. The event will coincide with the Fourth of July holiday, and participants have already begun arriving.

The forest will experience the highest concentration of visitors during the first week of July. They selected an area near Canthook Lake on the Washburn Ranger District, just outside the community of Delta in Bayfield County, for their gathering.

The Rainbow Family is a loose-knit group of people from throughout the USA and other countries. Each summer they hold a national gathering to pursue social and spiritual activities and pray for world peace. Since 1972, the event has taken place on a different national forest each year. Crowds range from 2,000 to 10,000 forest visitors.

The USDA Forest Service manages the annual event in close coordination with Tribal, state and local partners to protect the health and safety of everyone involved, and to lessen environmental impacts to the site by providing information and enforcing laws.

There will be a heavy presence of law enforcement in the area throughout the event.

At past events, there have been interactions with bear hunters with their hounds that were not positive.

Throughout the event, the Forest Service will be working to manage group interactions regarding shared use of the National Forest. Negative interactions have included intercepting hunting dog that enter the gathering and removing radio collars or aggressive interaction between unvaccinated dogs at the gathering and hunting dogs.

In addition to the Rainbow Gathering, contracts to complete the permanent repairs to roads damaged during the June 2018 flood in this same area are underway. This work is essential to restoring sustainable access in the area that are designed to better survive future storm events.

A closure order has been issued identifying roads that will be closed until further notice. This order is in addition to the order currently in place for those roads and trails damaged during the 2018 flood that were not temporarily repaired. Please visit the website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/cnnf/landmanagement/?cid=FSEPRD638008 for a listing of roads that will be closed and for information on traffic flow for the Rainbow Gathering, a map is also attached. As permanent road repairs are made and Rainbow Gathering participants begin to disperse, the Forest will re-evaluate and update the road closures to restore access in and around the Canthook Lake area.