'Wild Roots, Feral Futures' Rewilding Gathering in Southwest Colorado
feral [a. existing in a wild or untamed state. b. having escaped from domestication and returned, partly or wholly, to a wild state]
futures [a. all that is to be. b. the indefinite and infinite times yet to come]
Calling All Wild Earthlings!
'Feral Futures' is a free (suggested $5 - $50 sliding-scale donation, but no one will be turned away due to lack of funds), informal, and loosely structured rewilding, anarcho-primitivist, anti-civ/post-civ, eco-defense gathering taking place in Southwest Colorado from the New Moon at the end of May (around the 24th) to the Full Moon at the beginning of June (around the 6th or 7th). Dates are approximate. Folks are free to come and go as they please.* The site is at a sacred hot springs along a wild river in National Forest bordered by Wilderness Area.
*Note on dates: If you are only able to join us for a little while, the best time to come will be during the middle of the gathering, from around the 27th of May till the 3rd of June. The half moon cycle time frame includes time to set up at the beginning and clean up at the end.
UPDATE! We are extremely excited to announce that the Earth First! Roadshow will be joining us from around the 27th to the 29th of May. More on the EF! Roadshow at earthfirstroadshow.wordpress.com.
'Feral Futures' is not a gathering of anti-civ/primitivist purists. We believe in red, black, and green anarchist solidarity and unity, and in that spirit of revolt, we would like to provide space at 'Feral Futures,' closer to the parking, for a direct action camp encompassing things that are not necessarily within the traditional framework of "primitivism" and/or "rewilding," but can nonetheless be utilized in an anti-civ praxis of active resistance.
We are seeking folks who would like to facilitate workshops and skills shares in rewilding, survival skills, and earth skills, as well as folks who can facilitate direct action trainings, civil disobedience workshops, know your rights trainings, anti-oppression trainings, etc. We are also seeking folks to form a conflict mediation/resolution team, as well as medics, healers, storytellers, wisdom keepers, artists, musicians, performers, and anyone else who has something to offer.
Because Feral Futures is a public, free, and informal gathering of equals, rather than a private, for-profit event with an entrance fee and "experts" who provide one-way transmission of knowledge, what "we" have to offer is much more about what you are able to provide and offer. We cannot do this without you.
We invite all indigenous activists and elders to join us at Feral Futures to provide guidance in cultural sensitivity and appropriate means of solidarity with indigenous struggles without co-optation or the imposition of unwanted external struggles. We recognize that our minds and spirits have been colonized and mined, and that the struggle to free ourselves is not an easy one. We seek guidance and friends who are also on the path of decolonization.
We envision various villages, camps, and spaces at Feral Futures, including (but certainly not limited to) at least one communal kitchen, a free stuff exchange, a trading circle, a reading library & lounge, a direct action camp, a first aid/medic/healer’s village, and a sacred space at the hot springs themselves.
If you are interested, and for site directions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Directions have now been released openly online, and are posted below.
Please also post ride share listings to craigslist.org and other ride boards to help others get to the gathering!
See you in the woods!
Stay Wild & Free...
Workshops & activities will include:
• wild food identification, sustainable harvesting, and preparation workshops courtesy of Durango’s own Turtle tribe: http://www.turtlelakerefuge.org/ (Tentatively taking place during the afternoon of the 27th and morning of the 28th, but we are always seeking more plant people!)
• tree climbing: how to safely ascend a rope and mid-line rappel down, traversing or ziplining if we can set it up.
• tree life: advanced skills such as how to weave dreamcatchers, anchor ropes, double-line rappel, tree tarpology and tie in trees, getting in with a p-cord shot or maybe a bow and then tying traverses. This one would take place in the canopy so we'd need several harnesses.
(It would be awesome if people could bring harnesses or other climbing gear. If anyone is into tree climbing already, you can check out the climbing guides at http://efclimbers.net for details on how we climb and the gear that's needed. If there's an extra 300+ ft static rope laying around anywhere, then we could really have some fun!)
• ground missions: how to be stealthy in the woods, know human, animal and vehicle tracks, practice blocking roads, concealment etc.
• primitive skills (bring supplies!)
• decolonizing/rewilding work
• group process skills
• consensus process
• conflict resolution, de-escalation, and processes of accountability
• political prisoner letter writing (bring stationary!)
• "magical activism"
* whatever you are willing and able to provide!
What to bring (suggestions):
• sleeping bag
• food & water
• water filter (suggested)
• toilet paper
• adequate clothing for hot days, cold nights, rain, etc.
• hiking boots, sandals, etc.
• your own bowl, cup, utensils, etc.
• flashlight/headlamp & extra batteries
• sunscreen and bug repellent if you use it (high altitude means you burn easier!)
• swimsuit & towel (there are swimming holes & hot springs! who wants to skinny dip?)
• fishing gear & license (world-class fly fishing!)
• tubes/rafts/kayaks for the river
• musical instruments!!!
• your knowledge, wisdom, and skills
• your friends, family, & lovers!
Communal items (to share or donate):
• tools (like gloves, shovels for digging shitters, hatchets/axes/saws for cutting up fire wood, etc.)
• bulk food and water, salt/spices/herbs, tea/coffee/sugar/honey/creamer, etc. (a communal kitchen will form)
• kitchen gear (large pots, pans, water containers, etc.)
• dish station gear (5-gal buckets, natural dish soap, etc.)
• tarps and rope
• large heavy-duty garbage bags
• two-way radios/walkie-talkies
• hammocks, hacky-sacks, frisbees, etc.
• climbing gear (harnesses, ropes, etc.) for tree climbing/sitting trainings
• First Aid gear!
• random primitive skills supplies (hides to tan, flint/obsidian for knapping, etc. You know better than we do!)
• radical environmental, primitive, and rewilding literature
• local plant and animal identification guides, etc.
• local topographical maps
• extra tents, sleeping bags, etc. for the free stuff exchange
• stuff to barter in trade circle
• your knowledge, wisdom, and skills
• your friends!
Things NOT to bring:
• firearms and other weapons (there's a difference between a TOOL and a WEAPON)
• parasitic or predatory human beings
• a bad attitude (including racism, sexism, classism, heteronormativity, homophobia, speciesism, ageism, ableism, etc.)
• the pigs and/or feddies
• a wire (we will be holding mandatory naked security culture workshops in the hot springs. No just kidding, only with your consent!)
Weekly supply runs will take place on Sunday mornings in conjunction with Durango Food Not Bombs. Surplus donated supplies from Durango FNB will be sent to the Feral Futures communal kitchen. Monetary donations for supplies will be collected at the Feral Futures communal kitchen. The Dirty Hands Collective will be providing Durango logistics and minimal services including laundry (bring your own soap!) and wireless internet access (also on Sundays in conjunction with FNB & supply runs for Feral Futures).
Camp guidelines (in progress):
We seek to create safe(r) space for all, including families and children, the sober, and those who identify as GLBTQ.
Due to natural circumstances and the lay of the land (rocky trails on steep hills, etc.), ableism and "disability" may hinder access for some to the inner reaches of the gathering, including the hot springs. This is a reality of the natural world that is beyond our ability or desire to alter or control.
We expect everyone to observe good security culture. If you are unfamiliar with security culture, check out http://aia.mahost.org/sec_basics.html
Basically, don’t talk about your or someone else’s involvement in illegal activity, and don’t make jokes, because even jokes can be used in court as evidence against you. Keep in mind that ANYONE could be an infiltrator or informant. While we must act accordingly, it is also important to not let this reality sow seeds of distrust and suspicion within our communities that leads to self-repressive restrictions on our ability to form and build relationships with one another as human beings and creatures of this Earth. Following good security culture allows us to interact and build relationships without placing ourselves in unnecessary and risky situations because of potential surveillance.
When it comes to physical intimacy and sexual contact, ASK FIRST! No Compromise In Defense of Consent!
For more on consent, check out http://www.earthfirstjournal.org/article.php?id=352 and http://www.earthfirstjournal.org/article.php?id=247
Violence, physical assault, emotional assault, and/or sexual assault will NOT be tolerated under any circumstances and anyone who engages in such assault will be asked to leave. In instances of assault we will trust and believe the survivor and respect any processes of accountability they initiate.
For more information on how our communities deal with assault and accountability, check out earthfirstroadshow.wordpress.com/about/assault-accountability.
In attempting to manifest the world we desire, we will pursue non-coercive means of conflict resolution and non-coercive processes of accountability. Decisions affecting the group will be made horizontally through the utilization of consensus process. (If you are unfamiliar with consensus process, check out http://aia.mahost.org/dec_consensus.html)
We seek to create a temporary autonomous zone that functions as an egalitarian community. In this spirit of cooperation and mutual aid, we request that people attending the gathering sign up for work shifts such as cooking meals, cleaning the kitchen and washing dishes after meals, digging shitters, supply/water runs, security/welcoming, etc.
We ask that people establish communal fires in the various neighborhoods within the gathering and refrain from making personal fires. Communal latrines will also be constructed in the various villages and we ask that people refrain from digging personal cat holes. This will minimize our overall impact on the land.
Drugs and alcohol are discouraged, but a rowdy zone will be established at the parking area, where we request the partying be restricted (NO illegal drugs, please). All other space, including celebratory and ceremonial space, should be considered sober space. Your personal space is, of course, your personal space, and you may do what you wish within it. Please respect others. For safety reasons, we request total sobriety when attending workshops and trainings. Unlike many similar gatherings, a space IS being designated for partying. This is more than you will find at most gatherings of this sort. So let's have some fun!
Dogs increase our impact on the land and local wildlife, and are thus discouraged, though we understand and accept the fact many human beings and their canine companions are inseparable, and they will undoubtedly remain a part of our rewilded and feral futures upon this planet. We request that if you bring your dog, you keep it on a leash. If your dog attacks wildlife, other dogs, or human beings, you will be asked to leave the gathering. Please bury your dog shit!
Drive East from Durango, CO on US Hwy 160 for approximately 35 miles (West from Pagosa Springs). Turn left (if headed East from Durango) on FS622, the dirt road on the East side of the Piedra river, NOT the one on the West side of the river. drive for about 5 to 5 1/2 miles until you see the turn-out & parking area on your left, which is pretty obvious. there should be a sign that says Sheep Creek trailhead, and a trail going down the hill. if you come to a bridge that the road crosses, you've gone way too far. That's the definite turn-around point.
At the turn off of HWY 160 onto FS622 is a sign that says 'Piedra Resort,' and the first road sign you see DOES have a 622 sign, a little forest service colored one, but the bigger road sign says Archuleta County 166.
The first half-mile or so of the road has washboards right now, but the rest is okay. You cross two cattle guards on the way in and right at the site there's a yellow T-in-the-road sign.
Most of the space is up top, but the trail goes down the hill to another meadow or two and then down to the river where there's another spacious meadow, and then upriver to the hot springs. The river is still high (but peaked and dropping) but as of yesterday at least one hot spring is uncovered and good for soaking. The trail pretty much ends at the springs, and sorta restarts on the other side of the river, so you know you've reached the springs if the trail ends. they're little pools down along-side the edge of the river, with camping spots above the bank a little ways.
This is the FS map, but it doesn't show the exact FS road (it's right at the bottom tip of where it says "Piedra Area," right on the edge of the wilderness): http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/sanjuan/maps/sjnf-map.htm (Search "Devil Mountain, Colorado," or "Piedra, Colorado" on Google Earth and/or other map websites.)
It's a good site, because we have two towns to hit up for town runs, Pagosa and Durango, and then also little Bayfield in between. It's close to both NM and the San Luis Valley (just over Wolf Creek Pass from Pagosa). Please be kind to the locals!
Let us know if there's anything confusing about these directions, or anything else I can do.
More site information:
The Feral Futures rewilding gathering is taking place along the Piedra River in the San Juan National Forest of Southwest Colorado. Nearby is the Weminuche Wilderness Area, Colorado’s largest Wilderness Area. This is high elevation so those coming from lower elevations should be aware that time is often needed to adjust.
The Piedra Area and its adjacent roadless areas may be the largest expanse of contiguous, undeveloped forest remaining in Colorado. Only the nearby Hermosa Roadless Area may compare. The greater Piedra Roadless Area includes the mid-elevation stretches of the Piedra River and a half-dozen major tributaries. Piedra contains a large amount of the remaining old-growth ponderosa pine in the San Juans along the Piedra River and the lower reaches of its tributaries. River otters were successfully reintroduced into the river in the 1980s. The River and its tributaries provide excellent habitat for native Colorado River cutthroat trout, and Piedra also harbors some of the San Juan's best habitat for the northern goshawk.
The 1993 Colorado Wilderness Act designated a 60,000-acre portion of the 114,000-acre Piedra roadless area as a special management area equivalent to wilderness in all respects other than reservation of wilderness water rights. Approximately 12,000 acres of the RARE II roadless area have been modified by timber harvest and road construction in the last twenty years. This leaves 40,000 acres of remaining roadless lands contiguous to the existing Piedra Area.
(Info from the San Juan Citizens Alliance website)
“In all my travels, the only time I ever slept deeply was when I was with wolves… The days with my wolf family multiplied. I have no idea how many months I spent with them but I wanted it to last forever - it was far better than returning to the world of my own kind. Today, though most memories of my long journey are etched in tones of grey, the time spent with the wolves… is drenched in colour. Those were the most beautiful days I had ever experienced.”
Quote from Misha Defonseca, a Jewish orphan who, from the ages of seven to 11, wandered through occupied Europe in World War II, living on wild berries, raw meat and food stolen from farmhouses, and occasionally teaming up with wolves.
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