Rainbow Family fest cost Forest Service $500K

SALT LAKE CITY — Forest Service officials say it cost the agency about $500,000 in staffing costs to handle a counterculture group’s annual gathering in the mountains east of Salt Lake City.

Forest Service spokeswoman Kathy Jo Pollock says most of the nearly 8,000 people who were there at the height of the Rainbow Family festival have left.

Only the group’s clean-up crew remains. Pollock says they will be there for several days, if not weeks. They are putting rocks back, filling trenches and covering up trails that were created. Forest Service representatives are making sure they do an adequate job.

Pollock says there were 587 total incidents, including 31 arrests and 136 citations for violations. Two people died in their sleep during the event.

The arrests included drug possession, drunken driving and public urination.


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