Black Rock City LLC Awarded 4-Year Event Permit

Black Rock City 2011, Photo by Luke Szczepanski
Black Rock City 2011, Photo by Luke Szczepanski

The Bureau of Land Management has issued Black Rock City, LLC a 4-year Special Recreation Permit (SRP) to host the Burning Man event on the Black Rock Desert, with a maximum population limit of 68,000 participants for the 2013 event.

Being awarded a 4-year SRP is a testament to our community’s longstanding practice of Leave No Trace, enabling us to achieve and surpass the environmental compliance requirements of our event permit’s stipulations. So thank YOU for helping make this possible.

The BLM press release reads:

BLM Approves Permit for Burning Man Event

Winnemucca, Nev.–The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Winnemucca District, Black Rock Field Office, has issued a multi-year Special Recreation Permit (SRP) to Black Rock City (BRC), LLC authorizing the annual Burning Man event through 2016, contingent upon annual reviews showing BRC’s compliance with the terms and stipulations of the permit. This year the Burning Man event will be held on the Black Rock Playa from Aug. 26 through Sept. 2.

This year, the BRC is required to keep the maximum population from exceeding 68,000 people during the event. The BLM is also requiring BRC to comply with 13 standard stipulations, which are common to all SRPs, and 48 special stipulations specific to the Burning Man event. The special stipulations relate to matters such as event set-up, signage, security, public safety, resource management, debris removal, fee calculation and payment, and event take-down and clean-up.

“Our priorities in managing this permit continue to be the protection and conservation of natural and cultural resources, as well as the safety for all participants and staffs,” said BLM’s Winnemucca District Manager, Gene Seidlitz. “I feel confident the permit addresses these priorities.”

The “Burning Man 2012-2016 Special Recreation Permit Environmental Assessment” (EA) analyzes a participant population level from 58,000 to 70,000 as well as public access, traffic control, resource management, dust abatement, fire management, event security and public safety, event setup and signage, runway and aircraft, sanitary facilities, and event take down and clean-up.

The Burning Man event has taken place on public lands on the Black Rock Desert Playa every year but one since 1990. Last year more than 53,000 people traveled to the remote desert location to participate. The operations associated with the event occupy about 4,400 acres of public land for a seven week period starting with fencing the site perimeter the second week of August and concluding in late September with the final site cleanup. The major activities are confined to several weeks in late August and early September associated with final setup, the actual event, and the initial phases of cleanup. During this period, Black Rock City becomes one of the largest cities in Nevada.

The SRP Decision and associated National Environmental Policy Act documents are available for viewing at and upon request from the BLM Winnemucca District Office, 5100 East Winnemucca Boulevard, Winnemucca, NV 89445-2921, during regular business hours 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for federal holidays.


About the author: Will Chase

Will Chase

Will Chase is Burning Man's former Minister of Propaganda, working on global communications strategy. He was the editor-in-chief for the Jackrabbit Speaks newsletter and the Burning Man Journal, and content manager for Burning Man’s web properties. He also oversaw the ePlaya BBS and Burning Man’s social media presence. Will first attended Burning Man in 2001. He volunteered as the Operations Manager for the ARTery (Black Rock City’s art HQ) and was on the Burning Man Art Council from 2003-2008. He was Web Team Project Manager and Webmaster from 2004 until he transitioned to the Communications Department in 2009.

12 Comments on “Black Rock City LLC Awarded 4-Year Event Permit

  • Freeman (Dodgeball Addiction) says:

    since they’ve only sold 58k tickets, does this mean they’ll sell more in the OMG sale?

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  • Amber says:

    I doubt it. That 68k includes volunteers, staff, kids under 13 who don’t need tickets, people who sneak in, law enforcement, vendors, etc.

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  • ellorbito says:

    Thank You BLM! We love Black Rock City and we love You. You too. And, you…and the other 9 to the 5th. See you at the Burn.

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  • Andy says:

    In most respects this is great news. However BM needs to properly manage the entry and exit for the increasing crowds. The burner express bus is a start but is only useful for some people – you can’t carry a weeks worth of shelter, food, and water.

    I’m not the first to suggest this, but there is a rail line right by the playa and a rail spur in Gerlach. These are active lines, not abandoned ones. Charter rail is nothing new, both for passenegers and freight. The org should look at using rail charter – Amtrak does rail charter, so do other railway companies. Rail would be the ideal way to move container loads from centralzied locations (like NIMBY) to Gerlach where the could be moved onto flatbed trucks for the short trip to the Playa.

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  • Roissy says:

    Drive on drive off car transport would be better, and I had someone suggest boy scout passenger rail cars, which are like regular rail cars but with more underneath storage.

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  • Camp System says:

    Useful post and great responses. Will, What motivated you to call this blog “Black Rock City LLC Awarded 4-Year Event Permit”, not that the title does not go with the content, I am just wondering. Thank you for the article Will.

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