BLM Threatens Future of Burning Man With Draft Environmental Impact Statement

This is an update to our original post from March 20, 2019.

The future of Black Rock City is at risk, and we need your support. The Bureau of Land Management has recommended untenable changes to our permit. The changes do not factor in our 28-year operational track record and commitment to environmental protection. Other changes rely on improbable or impossible conditions and many more lack sufficient data. Some of BLM’s proposals are in direct conflict with our community’s core principles and would forever negatively change the fabric of the Burning Man event, if not outright kill it.

Burning Man Project is seeking a 10-year permit from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to continue holding the Burning Man event in the Black Rock Desert of Northern Nevada, our home for the past 29 years. As part of that multi-year effort, BLM published the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Burning Man Event on March 15. Burning Man Project staff have completed a preliminary review of the 372-page Draft EIS, 11 technical reports, and problematic changes to our permit.

For the past 30 years, the Burning Man organization has worked collaboratively with the Bureau of Land Management and other agencies, the public, and event participants to be an exemplary steward of public lands, and to produce a safe and fun experience. We have strived to protect the cultural integrity of the Event while safely adapting to changing expectations and increasingly aggressive regulatory requirements. We are held to the highest standard of any permit on BLM managed lands and are proud of our environmental track record. Burning Man is now the largest Leave No Trace event in the world. Black Rock City has also become a significant economic engine, bringing $70 million into the Northern Nevada economy each year.

While we are disappointed with the Draft EIS, we remain committed to working with BLM, the Department of the Interior, and members of the public, to address the substantial deficiencies it contains. That’s where you come in.

This is a call to action. We are asking our community to help shape the future of Burning Man and Black Rock City. Members of the public have 45 days to submit feedback while the Draft EIS is under consideration. The deadline is April 29. Public input is extremely important and will affect the Final EIS, due out later this summer. Instructions for how you can share your constructive thoughts and concerns are included below. We have serious concerns with Volumes 1 and 2 of the Draft EIS, and with the Special Studies. We’re counting on you to help identify errors or overlooked information and convey them to BLM.

Before you submit a comment, read our Commenting Guidelines, and for more information about the permit mitigations, go here.

Egregious Mitigations

While we have serious concerns throughout the DEIS, among our most serious concerns are several mitigations proposed by BLM in Appendix E of Volume 2 that would result in the federal government replacing, overseeing, or managing areas of Black Rock City’s operations that have been successfully built and managed for decades with expert, dedicated staff and thousands of volunteers.

One particularly brazen recommendation would require Burning Man Project to pay for maintenance of County Road 34, which leads to the event’s entrance. We know of no other instance in the United States where a private entity is required by the federal government to pay for maintenance of a public county road that is also used year-round by residents, tourists, and businesses. In addition, Nevada and Washoe County include a gas tax allocated in part for road repair (which participants have contributed to for 29 years). More importantly, Burning Man Project is already working closely in collaboration with Washoe County to find a more permanent solution for CR34.

Other serious problems with the Draft EIS include BLM recommending nearly 10 miles of K-rail or Jersey barriers installed around the Black Rock City perimeter fence; dumpsters placed in the city and along Gate Road for 80,000 people to deposit their trash, despite our Leave No Trace ethos and track record; and that Burning Man Project contract and pay for a BLM-approved private security company reporting to BLM, to screen for weapons and drugs in all vehicles, and to search participants, vendors, contractors, staff, and volunteers at all points of entry to Black Rock City.

Our review also indicates BLM’s proposed mitigations are inconsistent with recent orders issued by the Department of the Interior intended to reduce burdens on those who operate on public lands. Instead, this Draft EIS would drastically affect our capacity to do our job hosting the event, and increase requirements for Burning Man’s special recreation permit. Public recreation is a keystone use of federally managed lands, and in fact the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area was established by an act of Congress in 2000 in part to conserve, protect, and enhance the recreational values and resources associated with the Applegate-Lassen and Nobles Trails corridors and surrounding areas — large-scale events such as ours are specifically allowed in that legislation. We are gathering within our rights on land that belongs to the people, with an outstanding 28-year record of environmental stewardship and inter-agency collaboration.

Burning Man’s latest cost estimates for BLM’s recommended “mitigations” and “monitoring” would amount to nearly $20 million per year, which would cause ticket prices to increase by approximately $286 per person and severely impact the Burning Man organization. Notably, BLM would benefit financially from these increased expenses through their existing requirements to take a percentage of a permit holder’s gross revenue.

Beyond the required measures, BLM has attempted to unilaterally change Burning Man Project’s permit application, extending the event’s duration from 8 days to 9.5, without consulting or notifying us — again, resulting in increased event costs.

Also, the analysis, tone and tenor of the mitigations indicate the BLM has completely disregarded the extensive environmental and public safety measures we already implement every year, including two post-event weeks of intensive roadside restoration through public and tribal lands.

While we have no immediate plans to significantly change the annual population of Black Rock City, the Draft EIS explores a number of possible population scenarios, including growing or shrinking the event, so that we may better understand our impacts under different conditions.

If you feel strongly that concrete or plastic barriers at the fence line would impact your experience at the Burning Man event, that Leaving No Trace is an important principle for you and the culture to continue to embody, or that new search and seizure operations by BLM’s private security company would be problematic, leading to increased wait times, traffic, and civil rights violations, we strongly encourage you to formally submit a comment to BLM.

If you fundamentally oppose this draconian response by the BLM to a peaceful, responsible, recreational steward of public lands, then join the community and respond.

Make Your Voice Heard

Public input plays a critical role in shaping the Final EIS and our experiences in Black Rock City.

We encourage all interested parties — especially participants, business owners and civic leaders — to submit comments and attend two upcoming public meetings in Nevada: April 8 in Reno and April 9 in Lovelock (see details below). We will be there and would greatly appreciate your presence and participation. Let us know you’re coming by emailing eis@burningman.org.

BLM has requested public comment and we encourage everyone to review the Draft EIS and submit informed, substantive comments through the BLM’s comment form or by emailing blm_nv_burningmaneis@blm.gov (be sure to copy us at eis@burningman.org). If you are unable to comment online you can mail comments to: Attn: Mark Hall, Bureau of Land Management, 5100 E Winnemucca Blvd, Winnemucca, NV 89445. You may submit multiple comments on different issues or include many issues in a single comment. More details are on the BLM website. The deadline for public comment is April 29.

If you’re a subject matter expert in any of the resource areas in the Draft EIS, contact us at eis@burningman.org.

Members of the public may also call BLM Authorized Officer Mark Hall at the Winnemucca District Office of the Bureau of Land Management with questions or concerns, (775) 623-1500.  

Thank you for your time. Again: before you start, read our Commenting Guidelines, and for a detailed analysis of these egregious and at times arbitrary and capricious permit mitigations, go here.

###

PUBLIC MEETING DATES:

  • Monday, 04/08/2019:  Nugget Casino Resort, Cascade 3 Room, Second Floor, 1100 Nugget Avenue Sparks, NV 89431
  • Tuesday, 04/09/2019:  Pershing County Community Center, Seven Troughs Room, 820 6th St, Lovelock, NV 89419

MEETING TIMES:  5:00pm – 8:00pm

MEETING AGENDA:

  • Open House from 5:00pm-5:30pm and 6:15pm-8:00pm
  • BLM/Burning Man presentations from 5:30pm-6:15pm

Top photo by Will Roger Peterson

About the author: Burning Man

Burning Man

The official voice of the Burning Man organization, managed by Burning Man's Communications Team.

403 Comments on “BLM Threatens Future of Burning Man With Draft Environmental Impact Statement

  • Patty says:

    The focus should be on safeguarding Black Rock Desert. No one uses the old BM sites anymore because of all the buried rebar. It’s not safe to drive out there anymore.

    Report comment

    • eo says:

      If true, it sounds like we need to sweep the area with metal detectors.

      Report comment

      • Philtopia says:

        I was walking down the middle of the street at Burning Man in about 2012 or 2013 and tripped on a piece of rebar sticking up slightly from the playa. As that was an unsafe condition, I went to a nearby camp and borrowed some tools to pull it out. So yes, I can confirm that there was some rebar buried in the playa. And yes, it would be good to sweep the playa for rebar and other metal objects after the burn.

        Report comment

      • T says:

        its good that you pull the rebar out, that’s what you are supposed to do, we all are supposed to leave it cleaner than we found it, mistakes happen, someone failed, but we should all do our best to help out, including picking up after someone else mistake, you did the right thing

        Report comment

      • Steve Beeler says:

        Coincidentally, I also found some rebar sticking out of the playa back in 2017. It was right in the middle of camp, and we didn’t discover it until we had walked over it for a few days and the playa had blown out a little. Clearly had been there for a while. Pulled it out and went on with our day.

        At the time, I thought it was an isolated incident. Now I’m not so sure.

        Report comment

    • Chris says:

      Where on Earth did you hear this information? I have been to the burn since 2004 and it has always been in the same exact place…I have no idea what you’re talking about! When it first moved to BRC in 1990? Baker Beach? I am confused.

      Report comment

      • Snarky Puppy says:

        Actually the event is *not* in the exact same space every year. It moves every year, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, sometimes the city outline overlaps a previous year’s, sometimes not.

        Report comment

      • Leah says:

        I read about how the “exact” location of the grid is moves every year because of the impact it has on the Playa. For example, half a mile to the left or 1 mile further out, depending on the Playa that year.

        Report comment

      • Alchemy Gods DirtylilSecret says:

        I was at Baker Beach but it was I beleive held at both that year. Dont be confused.Its a Burningman thang. Youd have to be there.

        Report comment

      • Patty says:

        >I am confused.
        They shift the locations. Every year the event is generally in the same region of the desert, but they spread it out. The locals don’t drive around there because of the buried hazards.

        Report comment

      • Joan says:

        They rotate and move where the city is every year within black rock city

        Report comment

      • Couldn’t that buried rebar be from ANY PERSON who decided to camp there any other day of the year? Assuming it is our fault and at best that normal US citizens don’t utilize that area is a fallacy in and of itself!

        Report comment

    • Tiara says:

      I’m curious about the source of this comment. I drive my personal vehicles on the playa for summer camping trips and haven’t ever had an issue with old buried rebar.

      Report comment

      • Alicia says:

        I drive out and camp on Playa regularly during the summer months. As so many of my friends. I have never encountered any buried rebar. I think using metal detectors is a good idea to be thorough but to say locals don’t drive there all year is completely untrue. Locals use the black rock for many things other than Burningman.

        Report comment

      • Alana says:

        In 2017 there was a lot of exposed rebar upon arrival to the event. That was also after the massive amount of water, followed by really quick dry time. I pulled out 5 old pieces of rebar/stakes from our 150×100 lot. There was even warnings issued to the TCO’s from people on the playa during early build week to check your area before setup because people were ending up with flat tires. So yes it has happened, but I think it was a result of record breaking amounts of water on the playa that particular winter.

        Report comment

    • Tim Green says:

      That is total bull shit. My friends and I ride our motorcycles out ther in October and you can’t see one trace of the event.

      Report comment

      • Smarter than this idiot. says:

        No. You are total bullshit. Did you ever think that maybe there is another perspective other than your view from 6′ above the ground. You can fly over it and see the exact imprint many many months after the event. Google. Stupid ass.

        Report comment

      • Yo sey says:

        Noones sees the plethora of glitter and sequence better yet the black water dumped on the land that volunteers go thru to clean up the mess of those who neglect that “no trace left behind.” Bringing in dumpsters to encourage the proper disposable of trash would do nothing to motivate these people to clean up if they’re not doing it already. There’s a different crowd of people attending, the bucketlisters, richfolk, ravers…as a local participant it’s disturbing to have seen it turn into a rave/festival when there are so many other events out there that are exactly that. I

        Report comment

    • Badger says:

      I believe that Patty, like so many others in today’s world wants to chime in by stating what she believes to be true is based on just that. Belief. A fine example of the new and very resilient strain of fact resistant humans.

      She might consider sticking with facts as the BLM itself can attest to with its clean up sign-off every year post event.

      Her original post has no basis in the facts as they stand.

      Report comment

      • Philtopia says:

        As I noted above, I was walking down the middle of the street somewhere around 2pm D or E at Burning Man in about 2012 or 2013 and tripped on a piece of rebar sticking up slightly from the playa. As that was an unsafe condition, I went to a nearby camp and borrowed some tools to pull it out. It was at least 2 feet long 3/8″ rebar, and must have been left over from a prior year as it was in the middle of the street. So yes, I can confirm as a matter of fact, that there was some rebar buried in the playa. And yes, it would be good to sweep the playa with a metal detector for rebar and other metal objects after the burn.

        Report comment

    • Trace L. Ament says:

      My understanding is there are 3 separate sites that are rotated through in a 3 year cycle. This reduces the impact on the surface and allows winter rains to restore the surface over the cycle.

      Report comment

    • Alex Domingo says:

      BS. Unsubstantiated. Unbelievable.

      Report comment

    • Fuckerpants says:

      This last year at 430 and A directly in front of our camp i found a large piece of rebar poking out of the ground – so i know for a fact it does happen – yes i got a few tools and pulled it out – as for moving the site around the plays every year i cannot say – but apparently last years site was in the same area.

      Report comment

    • Holy kat says:

      Just curious, have you ever been to burning man or the Playa when the event is not on?

      Report comment

    • Debra says:

      I am a 69 year-old native Nevadan and have been exploring the Black Rock Desert all my life. We have come across remains of campers who have left the desert a mess, including trash and tent stakes still in the playa. These were camps of a handful of people, so I’m not surprised rebar may have been left behind by a few of the Burning Man attendees in a city of 50,000 people.
      Insofar as the impact on the playa is concerned it threatens nothing; no flora, no fauna. Yes, one can see the footprint from the air but it’s affect is negligible. If you object to this city that disappears why do you live in a city? If your delicate sensibilities are so offended why don’t you live in a cave?
      I am proud of Burning Man and it’s management of the event and the desert itself. I am annoyed with BLM imposing ridiculous demands, especially suggesting they can do a better job. They see dollar signs, bottom line.
      Never have I seen such a remarkable event so demonized by groups of people who directly benefit from it. Ask yourself why? And be honest when you answer it.
      Stay strong, Burning Man.

      Report comment

    • Bill Hirst says:

      In the ten years I have attended Burning Man I have tripped over rebar protruding from the ground. I had two different friends have tires destroyed by rebar poking out of the ground when and why these rebars were put there is anybodies guess. Seems to me a sweep with metal detectors is in order. I can easily believe a tired burner just wanting to pack up and go home after a long week of partying could be tempted to pound a rebar they can’t get out deep into the playa to make the problem “disappear”. Years later when the surface shifts from rain or wind the rebar becomes exposed. Why is there no mention of “fly ranch” as an alternative site. Is it too small, Could land be purchased so dealing with the BLM could be eliminated? Are there areas in Tribal lands that could be used? Perhaps an agreement between an Indian tribe and the Burning man Organization could benefit both the tribe and Burning man and we could tell the BLM to go “F” themselves.

      Report comment

  • Skeptic says:

    Screw it – perhaps its time to walk away from BRC.. not BM, but just the TTWDITD. A victim of its own success,

    Report comment

    • c says:

      seconded! we have options. perhaps time for BM to take a big evolutionary step and relocate.

      Report comment

    • Chrisis Opportune says:

      Agreed. I “vote” for a new location. At least threaten BLM with leaving for a Cannabis State. They’d be left with nostalgic Black Rock campers instead of a centrally organized entity.

      Report comment

      • Mark says:

        By ‘state’ you mean another country? Nevada is a cannabis state, but this is federal land.

        Report comment

      • Jim dangle says:

        I agree that BM should consider relocation. It’s a big country, and there are probably many other places at least as hospitable, easier to get to (and more geographically central) and with more welcoming landlords and neighbors. Besides, a change in location could lead to new thinking in some areas.
        I note that BM management has a stake in keeping BM where it is, because it just bought a lot of land near the Playa, so any arguments management might give for not moving may be suspected of bias. But for BM as a whole, no kidding, it’s time to look elsewhere.

        Report comment

      • Radiator says:

        Yes, I agree, pack up and get the circus on the road. Corruption requires a routine.

        Report comment

      • Joel DeMarzo says:

        Nevada is already a Cannabis State. Damn people research a little before you get crazy

        Report comment

      • Melissa Hatrak says:

        Worth consideration

        Report comment

    • Motherprism says:

      I agree also in moving the event. It has been a constant money grabbing item for the vendors as we come in (raising prices), the entertainment tax and now this.

      Hopefully the ORG can find another desert for us to play and build.

      This is really getting out of hand and believe me, it won’t stop. Greed knows no end.

      Report comment

      • Motherprism says:

        I also do not think any letters, meetings or Congress could stop this greed.

        Report comment

      • Xena says:

        Every change we make even tiny ones take eons of meetings and administrative work. Moving to a new city is no simple matter. It is really nice to imagine starting over or dancing on the moon while we look at the earth. But we are big. Regional burns struggle to find locations and they get shut down and have to shift… and finding a cite is a very difficult. I think it would be easier and more fun to make friends with the BLM.

        Report comment

    • Marco says:

      BM could move to somewhere else every year…why not? 70 millions in spending would be welcome in a few places (or even a different country). Since tickets are also a problem, why not having 2 events at the same time in two different places if the goal is to limit the number of folks. I think we should keep an open mind.

      Report comment

  • George Wheeler says:

    *Breathes in* AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH *Breathes out*

    Report comment

  • Dustin Fasman says:

    It would be helpful if the Org provided a letter template we could personalize that hits the major points. Every political campaign does this. Keep in mind the BLM won’t read the comments beyond tallying how many are pro orcon. Template letters are effective and greatly increase participation.

    Report comment

    • eggchairsteve says:

      Seconded

      Report comment

    • Dusty says:

      Agree with Dustin… and a list of the numbered/named items you need us to comment on.

      Report comment

    • Amanda says:

      I agree. Form letter with facts and figures to back up our argument. And at least 5 or 6 people’s contacts that we can flood with our outrage.

      Report comment

    • Amanda says:

      I agree. Form letter with facts and figures to back up our argument. And at least 5 or 6 people’s contacts that we can flood with our outrage.

      Report comment

      • Fred Haaser says:

        Consumers Reports and AARP are both expert at providing web-site links that direct the response to the desired organization and providing a drafted response to help provide the wording. Perhaps you can contact these organizations and leverage their knowledge on a good response campaign?

        Report comment

      • Bird says:

        A form would increase participation in responding to BLM

        Report comment

    • Heather Lord says:

      Yes please provide letter template highlighting all key concerns & case/document number.
      People can cut & paste or customize and submit via the BLM site.
      Is the bottom line ask for more time? For an adjustment to timeline to negotiate and reject certain terms of the EIS document? To reject the EIS statement completely & go back to drawing board?
      Please advise. Much thanks.

      Report comment

      • Devin Nunes' Cow says:

        Using a template will encourage people to all send the same message and for the BLM to discount those messages that have the same content.

        Take an hour to look at the EIS and make your own arguments based on your own judgement. Do some math. think for yourself. Make your voice count.

        Report comment

      • Rob Dubin says:

        Why don’t they rename it Burning Man oil, lumber and mining then the BLM will gladly let us rape the land as they do everywhere else.

        Actually it’s time for Radical Reinvention. Buy some land and move the event.

        Sailorman

        Report comment

    • Dave Cooper says:

      Form letters and periods are not an effective way to comment. They do not vote count or count how many people are pro or con. Comments must be substantative. Here are some guidelines for commenting:
      Provide EFFECTIVE Comments (from the BLM website):

      This is an opportunity for you to be involved in the decision-making process of the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and to identify issues through public comment. Many public land users, organizations, and individuals want to provide comments to help in the Burning Man Event Special Recreation Permit EIS planning effort. Comments that provide relevant and new information with sufficient detail are most useful and are referred to as substantive comments. The BLM reviews all comments and identifies the topics that are substantive for consideration in the final published document.

      Substantive comments during scoping do one or more of the following:
       Raise issues BLM has not considered; reinforce issues BLM has already identified
       Present information that can be used when BLM considers impacts of alternatives
       Raise concerns, with reasoning, regarding public land resources within the planning area
       Raise concerns, with reasoning, regarding uses of public lands within the planning area
       Recommend specific changes to the management actions
       Question, with reasonable basis, the accuracy of information in a report already created

      Comments that are NOT substantive include:
       Comments in favor of or against an action without any reasoning (such as “I don’t like” without providing any rationale)
       Comments that only agree or disagree with BLM policy
       Comments without justification or supporting data (such as “allow more grazing”)
       Comments that don’t pertain to the decision (such as “the government should eliminate all dams throughout the west”)
       Comments that take the form of vague, open-ended questions

      Please provide substantive comments, which will be the most useful kind during this planning effort. the more specific you can be the better. Provide information that backs up you response.

      Report comment

      • Dave Cooper says:

        Should say. Form letters and petitions are not an effective way to comment.

        Report comment

      • Kathy says:

        This is helpful. Many people don’t know what to write helpful suggestions in outline form can help without being a template. Thank you for your thoughtful response.

        Report comment

      • 'stina says:

        Agreed. They are looking for comment, not necessarily for numbers.

        Also, put your real name, or at least initials and real hometown. A bunch of burner names will be dismissed as being fake comments. Remember the FCC comment period on the net neutrality rules that were later shown to have been littered with comments from troll farms.

        And be aware that your comments will likely be public. See, FCC comments above.

        Report comment

      • Badger says:

        Thank you very much for that Dave. Well put.

        Report comment

      • Ira Wing says:

        Nailed it in one. Exactly this, yes.

        To everyone daunted by the level of effort required here, take a breath and stay calm. The open comment period for an EIS required under NEPA matters; the BLM really does read and produce a report that informs their decision making. It is not at all about counting ‘votes.’ Submitting your commentary is Participation. This is civic engagement. Use your voice.

        I just spent about a week disagreeing on Facebook about trash collection in BRC with a recalcitrant Theme Camp organizer. Even if I don’t agree with you, your comments matter to this process. This is an opportunity to express that which makes Black Rock City so much more than a party in the desert.

        The mission of the Burning Man Project includes taking the principles back with us into the world. While I’ve just played a game of Principle Bingo by weaving some of them through this comment, I’m serious. If we built this city based on everything that could go wrong, we’d be a community based on fear instead of the community we have. Help keep Black Rock City a space where we express our freedom freely.

        Report comment

      • Absinthia says:

        It is not in Burning Man’s best interest to write the letter for us. The BLM needs to see that we all have our own way of expressing our reaction to the EIS. If Burning Man writes it, it doesn’t come across as strong as if we respond individually. Here’s a tip: I started with this paragraph and made it my own:
        If you feel strongly (change to I feel strongly, for example) that concrete or plastic barriers at the fence line would impact your experience at the Burning Man event, that Leaving No Trace is an important principle for us as Burners to continue to embody and hold in highest regard, or that increased wait times and traffic due to new search and seizure operations by BLM’s private security company would be problematic, we strongly encourage you to formally submit a comment to BLM.

        Report comment

      • Philtopia says:

        It is best to review the EIS yourself and respond in your own words. The BLM will read all the comments – they are required to by law, and if they don’t read them and provide adequate responses, they are opening themselves up to being sued, and I believe they know that the BORG has access to and a willingness to use all legal means to secure a reasonable outcome.

        And, it absolutely DOES matter how many people are concerned enough about these issues to submit comments. They do count the comments for or against each of the requirements, and more importantly, a judge will consider the numbers of comments if and when this goes to court, as it almost certainly will. For this reason, it would be useful for the BORG to educate us some on the key requirements that BLM plans to impose that are likely to head to court if the BLM doesn’t drop them.

        Report comment

      • L.A. says:

        Seems to me that no matter what we do. We are going to have to keep jumping through hoops year after year to keep making the BLM make more money , charge BMO more money come up with more complaints feed us shit and call it caviar. Its time to go to greener pastures maybe on tribal land im suure there are better deals awaiting us in another location. Ive seen about enough of BLM come at us with something else.. im burning 20 years now everytime they realize what BMO is raking in financially they try to come up with some other ridiculous idea this time its pay for the entrance roads extend the event by 1.5 days and get pay $263.00 per person more per ticket , get full body searched and seach every single vehicle have it searched its just getting out of hand.. i say move on somewhere else , greed is the real enemy here and control,… shame on you BLM…

        Report comment

    • Tim lorenzini says:

      Dustin’s ^ comment/suggestion needs to be implemented. Thanks Dustin.

      Report comment

    • phoenix says:

      yes, what Dustin said. Also include info about construction inspections . .

      Report comment

    • Kathy Zeidlik says:

      I think a template is a great idea!

      Report comment

    • Gabriel says:

      Yes, this…

      Report comment

    • Zero Cool says:

      Absolutely necessary

      Report comment

    • Doughnut Jimmy says:

      Surely redical self reliance extendss to writing an actual letter?

      Report comment

    • Biff says:

      Great idea Dustin! Im all for that route.

      Biff

      Report comment

    • Brie says:

      I agree with the basic template. Easiest way to get a lot of voices all coming from the same angle. Especially when there are so many issues on the table.

      Report comment

    • Form letters do nothing but repeat the same thing over and over again. It isn’t a ‘vote.’ What will change BLM is facts that dispute their assumptions and evidence that challenges their conclusions. Find the jumps in logic, and call them out. Provide information that supports your position. Example, bringing in that many concrete barriers would require huge amounts of heavy equipment, and what happens when it rains?

      Report comment

    • Henry G says:

      Agreed. Can a template letter get created that people can sign and email to appropriate persons to support this effort

      Report comment

    • Suann A says:

      I strongly agree! A form letter or template that everyone can customize their own comments. Very helpful for busy people.

      Report comment

      • Byron says:

        Reposting Dave Cooper’s great response to the call for a form letter/template and how they will *not* be helpful for what the BLM is looking for from our comments with this inquiry. —

        Form letters and periods are not an effective way to comment. They do not vote count or count how many people are pro or con. Comments must be substantative. Here are some guidelines for commenting:
        Provide EFFECTIVE Comments (from the BLM website):

        This is an opportunity for you to be involved in the decision-making process of the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and to identify issues through public comment. Many public land users, organizations, and individuals want to provide comments to help in the Burning Man Event Special Recreation Permit EIS planning effort. Comments that provide relevant and new information with sufficient detail are most useful and are referred to as substantive comments. The BLM reviews all comments and identifies the topics that are substantive for consideration in the final published document.

        Substantive comments during scoping do one or more of the following:
         Raise issues BLM has not considered; reinforce issues BLM has already identified
         Present information that can be used when BLM considers impacts of alternatives
         Raise concerns, with reasoning, regarding public land resources within the planning area
         Raise concerns, with reasoning, regarding uses of public lands within the planning area
         Recommend specific changes to the management actions
         Question, with reasonable basis, the accuracy of information in a report already created

        Comments that are NOT substantive include:
         Comments in favor of or against an action without any reasoning (such as “I don’t like” without providing any rationale)
         Comments that only agree or disagree with BLM policy
         Comments without justification or supporting data (such as “allow more grazing”)
         Comments that don’t pertain to the decision (such as “the government should eliminate all dams throughout the west”)
         Comments that take the form of vague, open-ended questions

        Please provide substantive comments, which will be the most useful kind during this planning effort. the more specific you can be the better. Provide information that backs up you response.

        Report comment

    • Subversion says:

      Thats ONLY for Starters. As the article states, Professionals within BM that have experience with EIS responses are needed. Good news: there are those creatures! Passion is good but CLEAR fact based comments are what the EIS laws rest upon. If you love BM, channel your passion into realistic constructive thoughts that the default world can’t ignore. OK?

      Report comment

    • Will Chase says:

      We agree. However, a template letter would be disregarded as a form letter. So it’s best to learn how to submit an effective comment (https://journal.burningman.org/2019/04/black-rock-city/leaving-no-trace/draft-eis-commenting/), pick up the background and facts about the mitigations (https://journal.burningman.org/2019/04/black-rock-city/leaving-no-trace/fact-checking-blm-eis-backgrounder/), and put them in your own words before submitting them by April 29. Questions? Hit eis@burningman.org.

      Report comment

  • Showerman says:

    Looks like the purchase of Fly Ranch may have sent the wrong signal and turning now into golden handcuffs. BLM juicing BM for many many years to come. I can already see the sign at the entrance” BLM Proudly present!.” Burning since 2003 but I start not wanting to deal with the non stop aggravation coming from these….”people”. It’s been said before but I’ll add my voice: perhaps time to re-locate to friendlier skies. These people are not our friends. Never been and will never be. All what they see in us is an udder to milk. Nothing else. IMHO

    Report comment

  • Devin Nunes' Cow says:

    Moving trash bins for 80,000 people from Reno and other staging areas to the playa and back, along with the trash itself would require an army of garbage trucks to drive 150-200 miles round trip. This is garbage that gets a ‘free’ ride back to Reno and other points if people pack out their trash like they’re supposed to.

    Jersey barrier segments each weigh about 4000lbs, and you’d need over 2700 of them to encircle the city. This is instead of the lightweight construction fencing used today, that has the added benefit of catching much of the blown trash from the city.

    Just the carbon impact alone should be enough to make these two proposals laughable, but the BLM doesn’t care as long as someone else is footing the bill.

    Report comment

    • G says:

      These two proposals, when thought through, are event killers. They are either a result of government cluelessness, or are deliberate insurmountable obstacles. The Jersey barriers make no more sense than Trumps desired wall. Their intent can be defeated with any one of multiple alternative strategies.
      Imagine the number of dumpsters required for even 50,000 campers. I’m not doing any precise modeling, but one has to wonder where all these dumpsters would even come from.
      Is anyone here familiar with BLM’s hierarchy and how it may or may not have changed since January 2017?
      Seems BLM is okay with fossil fuel development, but not a bunch a of free thinking non-conformists communing on a dry lake bet.

      Report comment

      • Corvus says:

        Some years ago Saguaro Man, the Arizona regional, grew to the point it caught the attention of the county government where it was generally held. They insisted on all sorts of things, including some kind of trash control. When told it was not necessary, Burners do not drop trash, they were skeptical and still insisted.

        Three plastic trashcans were bought and placed around the event space with ‘trash here’ signs on them. By the fourth day each held perhaps three pieces of paper trash. While some other requirements were kept for the following year, mostly dealing with fire danger and nudity, TPTB quietly dropped the trash requirements.

        Report comment

    • Wraith says:

      The damage from the heavy machinery operation required to haul, place, and remove all those Jersey barriers alone is likely more damaging to both the playa surface and intake road than most of the event population.

      Report comment

    • Subversion says:

      Very well put. Please be sure an make such comments formally to the EIS draft!!

      Report comment

  • Shannon says:

    Totally erroneous requests, and it’s obvious the goal is a kickback in diverting the liabilities to the federal government.

    The federal government wants to regulate everything.
    These are not military states…

    No!

    Report comment

  • If Mitigation Measure PHS-1 is implemented it could be a cozy, small event again. Can’t imagine how long it would take to get in!

    “Public Health and Safety – PHS-1

    At all portals of entry into the Event, beginning 14 days before Labor Day, BRC will be required to contract a BLM-approved, independent, third-party, private security to screen vehicles and participants, vendors and contractors, and staff and volunteers entering the Event. Third-party, private security will report Closure Order violations, to include weapons and illegal drugs, directly to law enforcement as violations are observed so that law enforcement can respond. Third-party, private security will provide an Event summary report to the BLM within 30 days of the end of the Event.”

    (Volume 2, Appendix E. Mitigation and Monitoring, E-1)

    Report comment

    • Nobody says:

      Would this not also reduce actual participant numbers by the thousands of private security personnel?

      Report comment

    • Crissa says:

      I’m wondering if that is even legal.

      To legally search there needs to be a probable cause, and an appropriate officer. A private company can’t just search people’s cars for drugs. There’s no reason for it. It’s also not in BLM’s pervue, it would violate their jurisdiction. They only do it now because of a joint operations. There would be no ‘joint operations’ with a private vendor.

      Report comment

    • Subversion says:

      Thanks. BTW, there has got to be an Environmental Attorney amongst the BM populace to help with our effort.

      Report comment

  • Partypants says:

    Just give these human lampreys the fucking choco tacos they demanded 3 years ago and call it a day.

    Report comment

  • Spacecat says:

    This is the world in the Trump era. He know he can’t shut it down, so he and his cronies do this nonsense.

    They could care less about carbon footprints, they just want to squash people who don’t think like they do.

    Report comment

  • Joe says:

    Writing to, and even better, calling you Congress person can help as well. If they get hear enough about it, they may involved.

    Report comment

  • Kevin says:

    I am surprised there was no mention in your article about:

    PHS-4 BRC will facilitate all structures over 10 feet to be inspected by qualified and Nevada-certified building inspectors prior to occupancy.

    This would bring an unreasonable amount of red tape into the event that the BRC much less the participants would find difficut to meet.

    Beyond the fact that there may not be enough Nevada certified building inspectors to service the event, I doubt the org or the participants are prepared to know and follow all building codes. What does a camp do if it does not receive approval because of some obscure statue in the Nevada building codes?

    Second – while it is fine to say that BLM changed your proposal, it would be nicely transparent of BRC to provide a copy of your proposal for our review. From what I was able to find from the BLM website, your proposal documents on size was very similar to option A of the proposed EIS. (excluding all the proposed mitigation of course.)

    Finally it would be helpful to know the BRC’s position on all of the proposed mitigation. Some of them seem very reasonable, fall in line with the principles and may not be worth the time argue such as:

    WHS-2 BRC will be required to continue its public outreach efforts involving leaking vehicles via its website and other means approved by the BLM.

    while others do have a financial implication toward ticket costs but the burner community might be willing to pay such as:

    PHS-2 The BLM will contract a sexual assault response team beginning 7 days prior to Labor Day through the Tuesday following Labor Day to better
    facilitate investigations and prosecutions of sexual assaults on public lands. BRC will compensate the government for this expense through
    cost recovery.

    Report comment

  • Sylvia says:

    I’d like to get a legal opinion on the legality and constitutionality of BLM imposed private security who could conduct searches and seizures. What authority do they have to do so? This is really troubling, more so than requisitioning dumpsters. It literally affects people’s civil liberties.

    Report comment

    • Zed's Dead says:

      Our government has been using private security contractors for years. (i.e. Blackwater Security.)

      Now there’s a scary thought.

      Report comment

    • Peace says:

      The BLM has complete control of these federal lands.

      Report comment

      • Crissa Kentavr says:

        It has limits to what laws it can investigate, though.

        It can’t search us for drugs because there’s no overriding case law that supports searching an entire city worth of people who have the right to privacy.

        There’s also no precedent for forcing private groups to impose public laws.

        Report comment

    • Subversion says:

      I agree. We need formal legal input to any actions we do. *****spread the word to ANY BM attorneys or BM-friendly attorneys.

      Report comment

  • Dusty says:

    Write to Trump. Not even kidding. He is 100% against this kind of government blood sucking and has already butted heads with the BLM.

    Report comment

    • Just here for the comments. says:

      Burner’s don’t like Trump though lol. He is my president 110%

      Report comment

      • Gerflash says:

        You’re right! It’s not Trump; it’s just a little bit of the DC Swamp showing up at BRC. It’s so obvious a power grab and attempt to kill Burning Man, I think courteous letters to the President are totally in order. This will be my 15th year on the Playa, and if even the President can’t fix it, then it’s time to get the hell away from the BLM. They don’t own private lands (e.g., Fly Ranch), though I’m not suggesting that in particular. Seems to me that BLM is run by trolls and troglodytes.

        Report comment

      • Subversion says:

        Gimme a friggen break!! But if you can get your head out of Orange Donny’s rectum long enough for him to help us….I say go for it!

        Report comment

  • IdeaChickiePoo says:

    I’m not sure moving will help any. First everyone would be getting tickets to the new place but everyone close by to Black Rock Desert would be like ‘no tickets, no bm org here’ and flood the playa. Now granted it might actually be funny and hopefully someone gets some video of BLM trying to figure out how to arrest the thousands of people without BM org to help them. I don’t think stopping them at a gate that won’t be there will work or blocking the road as burners would just walk. I really think BLM has no idea what BM really is so they lack understanding what would happen if they didn’t give BM a permit or BM decided to move.

    Report comment

    • Bandit says:

      If there is no closure order, on the Black Rock Desert, because there is no organization that has a permit to hold an event, then the rules that govern the area are the same as they are the other 50 or so weeks a year. It is simply public land, that anyone can go to and visit. The Butt Licking Mutant officials can not do anything to restrict our rights to be on the land, as long as we are not breaking any laws.

      Report comment

  • Evan says:

    What will the jersey barriers be used for? What’s their purpose? To stop people from sneaking in? Can’t they simply jump over it?

    Report comment

    • Badger says:

      The proposed jersey barrier requirement is absurd to the extreme. I suspect that even the placement of these very heavy sections would be more damaging to the playa surface (cruft) than any vehicle would be.

      Report comment

    • Will Chase says:

      In a word: security. Though the BLM hasn’t taken into account BRC’s well-established and effective perimeter security team, who have been successfully taking on this responsibility for years. This is hitting a thumbtack with a sledgehammer.

      Report comment

  • Ambassador of the universe says:

    Let’s plan on moving, ASAP. Bureaucracy is lame. They should be paying us to come to there town.

    Report comment

    • Sheba says:

      How can we just abandon the location?? I can not even imagine another space that would function as well as the Black Rock Desert. With its beauty and blank slate and ability to handle impact.

      Report comment

  • Chicken says:

    Additional screening by a third party will likely slow entry significantly more than it already takes and would impact nearby towns and roads through vehicular backups. It could also create some public health and safety issues. Especially through the increased likelihood of longer waits causing vehicle breakdowns or running out of gas.

    Report comment

  • Sherie says:

    i have nevee been to BM. I have wanted to attend in the past but now, for me it has gotten ti big. Sometimes things like these new proposed regulations are gifts because they get us to think beyond the norm. I love the ideas and concept BM represents but am keeping my eyes open for the new.

    Report comment

  • I sure would like to see the proposal that was sent to BLM. Where can I view that? Feels weird to be asked to comment on the regulatory agency – and then what? Have it be assumed that I’m in agreement with the requests that I’m not privy to?

    Report comment

  • Ken says:

    When I read these requirements from the BLM it makes me both shake my head and want to rub the shoulders of everyone at the BM Org. I honestly have no idea how the Org puts up with this BLM shakedown every year. Remember the on playa soft serve ice cream machine? This is a vast overreach and abuse of power by government employees. They work for us, remember? This is the largest event held on BLM land, and ever year there is some kind of crap from the BLM team. There should be an investigation by Congress into this nonsense. Seriously.

    Report comment

    • Sheba says:

      Thank you! They do work for us, and the land. But their management suggestions have little to do with actually maintaining the land, just want a cut. I do kind of agree there needs to be some sort of building review for safety…… but additional barriers etc are just their way of creating more work for them to make money off of.

      Report comment

    • Xena says:

      “When I read these requirements from the BLM it makes me both shake my head and want to rub the shoulders of everyone at the BM Org. I honestly have no idea how the Org puts up with this BLM shakedown every year.”

      I am with you! Sending everyone in Bm Org some positive energy and support. You are loved wanted and appreciated!

      Report comment

  • Sam Johnston says:

    You would do well to review the impact of government regulation on the City of Sydney; in particular the lockout laws and recent attack on festivals (which are no longer viable due to insistence on paying extortionate rates for unnecessary services).

    The community response is also enlightening; what appears to have started as a Facebook group is now a full blown movement and political party (Keep Sydney Open). They have likely deployed tactics we could reuse.

    Report comment

  • Hayseed says:

    Burning Man is the largest permitted Event held on BLM public lands. The second largest is King of the Hammers (KOH) an off road Event held in the southern Mojave of California for 10 days. I have attended KOH many times and have attended BM many times. KOH creates “Hammertown” and hosts 50,000 off road enthusiasts. Long 2 lane road in, no perimeter fence, no population cap, no security (private or otherwise), no vehicles searched, no porta-potties, no dumpsters, illegal fireworks all night, no dust control, no speed limits or restricted driving, grey water openly discharged, no fire pits, open fires fueled with nail ridden pallets burned on the ancient lakebed, limited law enforcement presence, tens of thousands of spectators using the open landscape as their bathroom, broken beer bottles all over the rocky canyons, unbelievable ecological damage to flora and fauna and the threatened Desert Tortoise. The double standard here is mind blowing. I’m proud of Burners general respect for the Black Rock Desert. We all intend to keep it up. Let your voice be heard on the BLM’s proposals.

    Report comment

    • Christian says:

      KOH is a hoot. Only been once, but, it’s a good compare and contrast. Hadn’t thought of the difference in how that event is regulated vs BRC.

      Damn hippies.

      Report comment

    • Magnum says:

      I too attend KOH every year. Your are pretty much spot on with your comments, though without portas, people have no choice but to use the desert as a toilet.

      Almost every BLM off road area is littered with bottles and cans. I don’t get it. Burning man has taught me to pack out what I pack in, however we tend to burn all our trash, minus bottles and cans. Yea, not the best thing, but given the small amount, better than a landfill.

      Report comment

    • G-Bear says:

      I can’t think of a better way to illustrate the hypocrisy of BLM’s application of policy on different events of comparable potential environmental impact. Evidence needs to be the basis of comments, not our emotions…not that I expect BLM to really acknowledge their hypocrisy…but you have to try. BLM and Nevada residents have been at odds for decades so I am not surprised.

      Report comment

    • Subversion says:

      Hayseed-
      Excellent pointing out a double standard. This needs to be expressed with legal input.

      Report comment

  • Your mama says:

    I do pay for the roads with the parking pass, what have you been doing with the money for the past 5 years?

    Report comment

    • Whatdoyouthink says:

      Going to the BMORG execs, duh

      Report comment

    • Peace says:

      You have access to Burning Man’s financials. If you take the time to look you’ll see the vast majority of the money that comes into Burning Man goes to putting on the event. It’s a non-profit so no one owns it or is getting a dispersal of “profits”. Turns out it is really expensive to build a city of 70,000 people and then erase it. Who would have thunk? Salaries for year round staff are quite reasonable. The idea that anyone was ever making a ton of money off of Burning Man have always been nothing more than conspiracy theories that do nothing but divide the community and make resolving issues like this all the more difficult.

      Report comment

  • Rocky says:

    WOW – this is thousands of pages worth of documents there. No way anyone not deeply involved (or a bit nuts) would read it all and form a well educated opinion. A guide about what pages should we look at would help.

    Report comment

  • M Vlasic says:

    Are these (ridiculous) new demands by the BLM contingent on the requested increase in event size? ie: would they not be implemented/enforced if the event remains the same size?

    Report comment

  • Can someone contact Vlad Putin and ask him to fix this for us?

    Seriously though, I can’t ride my bike in a wilderness designated area but horses can trample and shit everywhere.

    We as members of the Burning Man community should do our part and publically comment following some of the guidelines David Cooper outlines in the above comments.

    Don’t write angry! Be calm and rational and say why you don’t think something is a good idea. Make some notes first, get someone to proofread your comments (or use a service like Grammarly).

    This needs to be as clear and legit as possible.

    (I even used my real name instead of The Hustler in this comment)

    Report comment

    • Xena says:

      Thanks Hustler! yours was the first comment that made me smile. We know how to write. We do it in signs all over black rock city. Lets get creative. write creative interesting and respectful comments.
      We get angry because we care a lot. But its true it won’t help us. Facts might not even help us. But if we can win them over then we have not only won the battle we will win the war. Lets start here in our comments. Smooches to everyone. best big hug around all our fears.

      Report comment

  • Captain says:

    I am reading through the EIS and had a question. I see under section 2.2.3 it says:

    “The BLM would manage the vending program under all actions and coordinate with BRC for overlaps in their Outside Service Program. In 2018, there were 66 BLM-authorized vendors; in 2017, there were 82 BLM-authorized vendors for the Event for the participant cap of 70,000. These vendors are present because of the Event and are not covered under BRC’s SRP.
    Vending is typically associated with a permitted event and may be managed under the event’s SRP if the event controls the services. Since BRC does not control the vending at the Event or provide insurance for vendors, each vendor must apply and receive an individual SRP from the BLM. Under Alternative A (Proposed Action), the BLM would authorize vending permits and cap them at no more than 100 vendors at the maximum population of 100,000 bodies on the playa”

    I am confused as to what vendors this is identifying? The only ‘vending’ I am aware of is ice and coffee at center camp? I am guessing this includes grey water removal services, dust abatement services, porto potty services.. but I can’t figure out what the 82 vendors were last year?

    Report comment

    • Magnum says:

      Vendors include portas, potable water, dust abatement, Ahern, sunbelt, various commissary items, fuel delivery, sani-huts, black water, grey water, LE supplies, and a whole host of other behind the scenes stuff

      Report comment

    • Gary A Lyon (G-Bear) says:

      Smells like a money grab to make up for the efforts to reduce BLM’s control over public lands (and related funding)???

      Report comment

    • Crissa Kentavr says:

      A vendor might bring five t ucks or twenty to the playa – and the org needs dozens of trucks. A cap on th number of vendors just means multiple small businesses can’t be contracted – it jas to be one big corporate middleman.

      Report comment

  • ShanghaiShin says:

    It’s time for some roll up your sleeves lobbying. Good luck. Over here in China we have our own marvelous government bureaucracy to deal with for Dragonburn. Fortunately we only interface with the local authorities, no provincial,or national…yet.

    Report comment

  • Vladimir Herrera says:

    This is such a huge country. What is it about this desert that makes it so special? How about the Salt Lake Desert in Utah? How about doing the event in a different location around the world every year?

    Report comment

    • Huh? says:

      You dont know much about Utah do you?

      Report comment

    • Byron says:

      Fair question– The Department of Public Works already spends an extra month+ prior to event week and then another month+ after to make sure Burning Man happens at the level of organization and coherence and functionality that you’ve seen. Could it be better? Of course. But it also could be so so so much worse, and expensive, and one of the ways to make that happen is to change the base situational logistics of the event year upon year. We already disappear the city off playa year after year–what you’re wondering about considers changing all off-playa logistics that go along with it. Sure, it could be done, but that’s a completely different event to what BM is at current.

      Report comment

    • Peace says:

      Fyre festival. Nuff said.

      Report comment

    • Jen From Accounting says:

      There are Regional burns at different times of year around the world. This, I feel, is the future of the “event” as a whole. BRC will not be in the Black Rock desert forever. There was talk some time ago about a location in southeast Oregon called the Alvord Desert. It too is a dry lakebed. Not sure what’s become of that idea, or if it was a non-starter. It’s likely a “devil you know” scenario.

      Report comment

  • Concerned resident says:

    Asking Burning Man to contribute to the costs of CR 34 is not brazen. That road was never built for the amount of traffic caused by the event. It is the only time in the year when the road fails. I understand that a portion of gas tax goes to road repairs, but that is repairs throughout the county. The cost to build a road base that can withstand all of BM traffic would be huge, and in the end would be subsidized by the county residents. That’s simply not fair. After the participants leave, it’s the local residents who are left to drive on ruined roads. Consider the impact on those of us who live in the local community. Burning Man should contribute to the road upkeep as it is specifically the event traffic that causes the problem.

    Report comment

    • Kathy says:

      Wasn’t the intent of vehicle permits to offset the increased load in traffic?

      Report comment

      • H hoversten says:

        The vehicle pass was supposed to help get people to car pool so there were less vehicles going onto the playa. I don’t know how much of that fee was ever supposed to go towards road management off of the playa

        Report comment

    • Gary A Lyon (G-Bear) says:

      Can’t agree more but BLM feels there is a need for more maybe there should be an audit of how vehicle fees have been used and a resonable explanation of why those fees don’t provide enough…where’s NDOT’s analysis of the impact and resulting costs.

      Report comment

    • Allison says:

      I’ve been hoping BMorg will answer this question. HAVE funds from vehicle passes gone to maintain CR34? If so, what percentage of vehicle pass funds? How much money is that and why is or isn’t that amount sufficient?

      Report comment

      • Concerned resident says:

        No, none of those funds go to the county or road maintenance. Purpose of the vehicle pass is to encourage carpooling, I don’t think it has done much.

        Report comment

  • grace s womack says:

    …perhaps it’s time to look to find a new place to hold the event…where we might be more welcome…

    Report comment

  • Sam says:

    I’ve been saying for years, BUY YOUR OWN LAND. I’ve even emailed listings to BMORG. Do you know how much land you can get for 5 million bucks? And that’s paid ONCE, instead of every year. Right now you have no negotiating position with the blm or the state of Nevada. Go shopping for a state that will cut you a deal to leave you alone, not target you with a live entertainment tax, and who will keep the police leashed in return for all that economic activity.

    The thought of paying BLM $5million, to ensure your attendees are properly fucked with by cops everywhere…Jesus who is dumb enough to fall for that year after year?

    Report comment

    • Lauriekeet says:

      I am in total agreement with the Buy Our Own Land suggestion. Oregon Country Fair did that in 1984 and while it didn’t solve all problems it ended many of them. Getting friendly neighbors over time has also helped.

      Report comment

    • Switzerland says:

      I agree. I think we should take a lesson from Amazon and shop around to the different jurisdictions and find someplace that wants our economic activity and respect of the land we use. Especially reading the above comments about KOH and BM comparisons. I’ll certainly comment to BLM, and I think we should shop for a new location.

      Report comment

    • Caroline Mede says:

      well said…I agree…….Move this Baby!!!

      Report comment

    • Peace says:

      You all realize even events on private land have to have permits. Especially if the area is not zoned for large entertainment events. Areas that have that type of zoning will have a lot of rules. Including things like having x amount of dumpsters, security, etcetera.

      Report comment

    • The Hustler says:

      This isn’t taking into account the giant infrastructure in place near the Black Rock Desert, and economic impact to Gerlach, Reno and the surrounding areas.

      It also ignores the tremendous amount of work DPW does to prepare BRC for us, so we can all walk in like it gets built by magic.

      (Don’t forget to thank the DPW for their work)

      Report comment

    • H hoversten says:

      BM bought Fly Ranch, they could have bought land suitable for the event but they chose not to.

      Report comment

    • Rachel says:

      SO well said!

      Report comment

      • not yet says:

        If Burning Man owned the land, then the land could be seized by the government when an arrest was made for drugs. Consider that vehicles and houses are seized all the time. So is property. If the gov’t moved to seize, they could also squeeze BM to pay huge fines in order to keep the land. They would be in a worse position.

        Report comment

    • Subversion says:

      Sam-
      I like and understand the intent of your comment, not sure if others get through the way you transmit it. Regardless I agree 100%

      Report comment

  • Dave J AKA Triple D says:

    Please read, inform yourselves and provide comments to enhance all the benefits and common goals enhancing metrics for the event state and national agencies but most important OUR planet..BM and those that participate invest in making the planet a better place, provides revenue to countless businesses, state,federal tax generating programs.Please post the proposal..Burners and their support system are the smartest most creative on the planet..We are world-wide and have a voice..

    Report comment

  • Anonymous coward says:

    Make Coachella pay for that wall!

    Report comment

  • Domenico says:

    I am an environmental consultant. I have briefly read some of the proposed recommendations, and while some appear reasonable others have nothing to do with the environment and more with public infrastructure maintenance and law enforcement. In other words, imposing a layer of government oversight on the event through bureocracy. I will be delving into this in more detail and see what regulatory angles maybe taken to counteract some of the arguments made.

    Report comment

  • Caroline Mede says:

    isnt it time to move the event…the state seems to look for ways to make us pay…when is Fly Ranch going to be open? Its now private land…can BLM put their rules on us there? It almost seems like extortion….You would think they would be happy we bring all that revenue into their dusty little Reno….I think that our “hosts” (BLM) are becoming a little greedy….

    Report comment

    • Happy Max says:

      Maybe to a different Playa?
      This time when I flew back east on the plane I chose the seat in order to look out my window specifically to look for how many other playas are out there and I saw DOZENS!

      Report comment

  • Anon says:

    The link to:

    “More details are on the BLM website”

    is broken.

    Report comment

  • Birdie Sparrow says:

    The extensive lines are already a problem. Using resources to hire a company to further slow the process by searching every vehicle is going to make this issue SO much worse. Not only does this violate our privacy rights, but will have serious impact on the roads as well. Issues arising from people being sleep deprived from driving for so long, the need for extra portos far further back on the road than they already are due to the need for all us humans to use the bathroom, or worse, an increase in the amount of people just peeing and pooping on the side of the road in desperation. Not all of us have RV’s with bathrooms people! And as far as a barrier other than the trash fence? Why? WHY?!! It seems so unnecessary and would ruin the playa MORE. Please do not ruin our Home.

    Report comment

  • Steven says:

    No to a barrier, no to a wall, no to security

    Report comment

  • Happy Max says:

    What does weapons and drug sesrches have to do with BLM mandate to ensure the Playa is returned to its pre-event condition?

    NOTHING! Its just more Puritanism that has nothing to do with the purity of the land.

    Its more of that Christianofascist “Handmaids Tale” effort to force ‘murikkka back into their Beaver Cleaver, Fathers Knows Best black & white fantasy because they can’t stand Technicolor Overcoat won in the marketplace of ideas.

    Report comment

  • Shrk says:

    It would be useful for the Org to post a list of their positions on each mitigation and what is currently done to address that point. People who are not deeply Involved in the .Org have no idea about the nuts and bolts of what is actually done already. People need that information in order to write meaningful comments. Comments without substance will not be helpful.

    I have thought for years that the Org should tell BLM they are going to move the event and if the BLM doesn’t lighten up, actually move the event. BLM and the surrounding communities see the event as a cash cow and as a hostage. Unless that dynamic changes, this will continue to happen. If this community is as strong as everyone says it is, it will be able the handle the disruption of a move, or even a year’s cancellation, if necessary to reset things. I expect if there is a real chance of the event leaving, along with all that cash, the communities and BLM will change their tune.

    Lastly, the idea of increasing the size of the event to 100,000 seems crazy to me. The current size is already putting a strain on the environment and on the principles of the event itself. Communities can only get so large before they start losing their cohesion.

    Report comment

  • Steven Estrella says:

    It’s apparently clear to see that greed and the way of life BM wil change if the organization doesn’t stay strong on its beliefs . Every year so many people volunteered to clear and assess the area before the next event. This effort is more that any other festival has ever done. As the governmental agencies are trying to control the the outcomes of BM it’s important to be clear it’s the people that come to festival that will make it what it is. Many people who have been going to Burningman for years feel the connection and I feel that I see less of those people are finding it more difficult to get to the festival and more non Burningman people could effectively change the tide . The answer is to balance and control the forces using our own rules if it cannot be done than another location might be an answer. More importantly educating our burners on the expectations of a way life at Burningman so we all are on the same page . People who abuse the ideas that BM has laid out and not follow this path will eventually end up like every other festival. We must be unique!

    Report comment

  • It is common knowledge that the lake bed is a sensitive area, where carbon foot prints really matter to preserve the area in a naturally thriving state.

    I am appalled that the BLM would recommend increasing the traffic load and environmental pollution with barriers, trash bins, additional resources for 100% searches of each vehicle! It’s common sense that idling cars/trucks/rvs put off a lot of exhaust.
    The logistics of these points alone hugely impacts the quality of the paved road in and out, not to mention the pollution from the trucks, semi’s and tractors that have to move these things around. The road will take a huge beating from heavy duty trucks that haul in and haul out those barriers and trash bins. Stupid federal government, always trying to interfere in order to control the masses and grab some money.

    Report comment

    • Ray Russ says:

      Now see, this is how you do it. Michele is in total disagreement of a particular aspect of the government proposal. Rather than say ‘I don’t like (or agree) with this’ she spells out specifically what her objections are. This is the kind of input I believe Dave Cooper was referring to in his above post. This is how you draw attention to your comments and make your objections known.

      Report comment

  • jane says:

    racist sexist shame on3 6ou

    Report comment

  • Kristen Adamson says:

    I am trying to submit a public comment but only volume 1 shows as available to comment on.

    Report comment

  • trash fence says:

    Would the BLM private security team be replacing GP&E??? We need 500 people to pull this shit off, predominantly volunteers.

    This proposal will literally shut the event town.

    Greedy Borg bargaining for a 10-year 100,000 person capacity has brought this deal to the table in the first place.

    Report comment

    • Will Chase says:

      Greedy? You do realize we’re a non-profit, right? The only reason we’d grow the event is to allow more people to experience Burning Man, because we think that’s a good thing for the world. But we won’t do that at the expense of our culture, nor the environment … and that’s what this EIS is studying: what the environmental impacts would be IF we were to grow, and what we’d need to do to mitigate them.

      Report comment

  • Allison says:

    It would be helpful if folks from the Org could answer these questions, so we can provide factually correct and powerful comments.

    1. Have there ever been any weapons incidents/arrests at BM since the rules changed and guns/weapons were no longer allowed?

    2. Re requiring dumpsters at the event and on the access road, I know the org does a cleanup of the highway and tribal lands after the event to pick up trash that lazy fuckers decide to leave. Does anyone have insight into occasions when they haven’t done a thorough job with this cleanup?

    3. Do funds from vehicle passes currently go to pay for maintenance of CR34? If so, what percentage of funds? Why does BLM think what’s already being contributed by BMorg isn’t sufficient? Are they asking BMorg to pay for total, year-round maintenance of CR34 in the Draft EIS?

    4. How is installing Jersey barrier protecting the perimeter any more than a trash fence?

    Report comment

    • Will Chase says:

      1. Only a small handful, and in those cases a weapon was found in people’s belongings, but never brandished or discharged. It’s not a pervasive issue.

      2. The highway cleanup crew starts about 2 weeks after the event, for safety and operational reasons (e.g. wait until all the trash is dropped before you go get it), and there have been occasions where the trash dumps are excessive (like an RV fire, for instance). We are committed to growing our cleanup team and improving response times to get better at keeping the highways clean.

      3. There isn’t a one-to-one mapping of “this money goes from this to that.” But that said, we contribute what we consider is a fair amount of money and effort to maintain CR34, but BLM doesn’t agree. CR34 was built in the 1970s and had an expected lifespan of 30 years, so it’s due to be replaced, not repaired.

      4. It’s a hard barrier that can’t be breached by a vehicle. This mitigation doesn’t take into account our perimeter team’s long-standing track record of success keeping people from entering the event illegally.

      Report comment

  • JB says:

    I suspect the private security plus jersey barrier proposal go hand in hand. Once they start arresting thousands of people at the gate, it becomes a lot more likely people might try to drive in from another direction.

    It’s the only thing I can think of that makes any sense whatsoever.

    Report comment

  • Beth Zaccagni says:

    Please no barriers. It will cheapen the feeling of being on our own planet which is what i pay for!

    Please no dumpsters… It will make people stop thinking small when it comes to their trash.

    Report comment

  • Madison Crovitz says:

    What time and where is the meeting being held in Reno?

    Report comment

  • Gary A Lyon (G-Bear) says:

    The Nevada Legislature is in session through June. Any friends there??? What if 70,000 Burners converged on Carson City to protest BLM’s onerous requirements. (Hey, I’m old enough to remember how to make and carry a protest sign. Nothing like vigorously expressing our concerns. And in the end….pack it all up and move where you feel welcomed!!!

    Report comment

  • Gary A Lyon (G-Bear) says:

    I’ve read all the comments so far and have come to believe maybe having BM on the Playa has become much to complex and all of us would benefit from redirecting resources to expanding regional gatherings??? Just saying, isn’t one of the greater goals to share the BM spirit and priciples throughout the world….well then, expand the number of gatherings world wide and let Fly Ranch become a place to bring regional leaders to learn, share, reinvigorate their spirits??? Oh yeah, and buy the properties where regional events are held…get government out of the equation. Love you all and can’t wait to meet you.

    Report comment

  • Exburner says:

    Looks like BMORG execs get a pay cut!

    Report comment

  • Patchez says:

    Looks like BLM threw in an extreme anchor – set of absolutely outrageous demands where each single one can actually sink the event. Well known trick in negotiation technique. Then they will make concessions here and there expecting the same from BRC. The whole thing most likely ain’t not gonna end well, since they have the authority to deny permits and basically have no skin in this whole process being federal in the first place. All the above makes an option of picking up and settling some other place more and more attractive. Also will show that burners can be pushed only so far – after all we’re all mobile and art of pitching a tent can be performed practically anywhere.

    Report comment

  • JD says:

    It seems to me that relying on the BLM and public land to hold the event goes against the principle of Radical Self Reliance. Erecting a temporary city of 70,000 on public land presents numerous problems that won’t go away. Growing larger compounds those issues.

    One option worth exploring is to lengthen the event: fewer people at Fly Ranch over several weeks, thus allowing more people to participate over time.

    This “time-share” approach would require people to rotate through. That could have the effect of commoditizing time, but it would afford people flexibility in scheduling their Burn. Additionally it would allow for some grander projects that can’t be achieved in a week or two.

    It doesn’t seem that Fly/Hualapai can support an event of 70,000 people. But it can support 10,000 as it did in 1997. Even then it wasn’t without its challenges, but now with BMorg as the landholder, mitigation can be much easier. Over the course of a Summer, 100,000 people could participate.

    This approach is not without its difficulties. It would require a paradigm shift in imaging Burning Man. Furthermore, holding the event on private land isn’t a panacea in avoiding governmental oversight. There will still be the need to obtain permits and approvals. But it would remove the BLM from the process and all of the headaches associated with using Federal land.

    Given current the size of the event and the desire to grow, it just doesn’t seem possible to continue on the same course without completely it killing off.

    But imagine the freedom we would have in space and time if we changed our approach.

    Report comment

  • Thomas Beckfield says:

    Anything to help keep the burners safe out on the playa, I am all for. We wouldn’t want anything like what happened at the country festival in Las Vegas to occur. Barriers would only help keep the city safe and stop any unwanted vehicles or aircrafts from landed into the BLK city limits. Perhaps barriers could be brought in on open air flat train cars since there is a train rail that runs through the playa. (store them at the ranch). County of Washoe should pay for half the cost and help coordinate these proposed ideas and improvements.
    Trash bins? sure, why not.. only would help out with the burners that can’t and don’t pick up there trash and leave it for someone else to do. Having to remove other burner camps trash off the playa is no fun and can be unsafe for burners to handle.
    Tempo- keep up the tempo!

    Report comment

    • RexTex says:

      Good points. They could also use the train cars to block the runway if they unload them from the tracks. Put those big oil ones out there and no plane is going to mess with it or BOOM! I’d pay to see that tho.

      Report comment

      • TekSage says:

        “Seriously!?” The tracks on the east side of the playa are surrounded by marshes and mud. There are no provisions for sidings or other infrastructures that would enable trains to be offloaded. The entire Jersey Barrier issue is just another attempt to fix something that isn’t broken. Since there is already a no-man’s-land under 24-hour surveillance between the 9&1/2 mile perimeter fence and the border of the closure order, the chances of an Invader getting into Black Rock City are virtually nil. The current construction fence is taller and more effective at stopping trash than a Jersey barrier. On a slightly different note, bringing dumpsters in to hold the trash of 80,000 burners is a logistical nightmare. How often would these be changed out? Perhaps if they have to be implemented, they could be placed directly upwind of the law enforcement compound. This brings to mind another issue. Perhaps it’s time we rotated the city and entered it from the downwind side. Placing the city closer to the 8 Mile entrance and entering from the 12 mile entrance would do a lot for dust abatement in the city.

        Report comment

    • Alicia says:

      How is a concrete fence helping to stop aircraft?? How tall are these supposed to be?

      Report comment

  • RV9 says:

    “One of our most serious concerns is several mitigations proposed by BLM in Appendix E of Volume 2 that would result in the federal government replacing, overseeing, or managing areas of Black Rock City’s operations that have been successfully built and managed for decades, with expert, dedicated staff and thousands of volunteers.”
    One and most likely only operation that could use over site is the Airport. It has declined in operations management over the years is evident. The airport general aviation and charter is currently run by volunteers that know little about managing the efforts of volunteers to nothing about running and operating general aviation operations. Time to pony up some real salaries and wages on that one. -Before- someone get’s killed.

    Report comment

    • christopher quintana says:

      Only a fool would be out there high trying to work. Volunteering out there is what helped get me into general aviation. We absolutely don’t need any government interference at the airport.

      Report comment

  • Karl Banks says:

    Proposed Requirements are Egregious

    Proposed requirements such as jersey barriers, paid security screens, dumpsters and road maintenance are onerous, unnecessary and unfair.

    Burning Man runs largely on volunteer effort, and considering the exemplary way that the land is cleaned and returned to its natural state each year, these proposals are unfair. Burning Man has set the bar on leaving no trace and being good and generous stewards of the land. Burning Man has set a standard that should be adopted by other events on public land. Burning Man should not be punished for their success.

    Road Maintenance should not be the responsibility of the event. Already the tax revenue from the event brings in millions of dollars for local public works and the event has improved the local infrastructure in ways that would not have happened otherwise.

    Leave no trace means that every participant is responsible for their own trash. Yes, there are some trash issues on the drive back to Reno, as sometimes trash is not sufficiently tied down. However, the burning man organization has been cleaning the road all the way to I-80 for years, and a requirement to do a better job would be an acceptable compromise. Setting up a massive transfer station for trash on the playa is a waste of resources and would have a huge carbon footprint. Not to mention that more trash would find its way onto the ground by transferring it to dumpsters. This proposal is garbage.

    Burning Man is perhaps the safest and lowest crime city of its size. Volunteer security screens are effective in keeping out illegal items in ways that no city of a comparable size could ever hope to achieve. The crime rate is mitigated by an amazing cadre of volunteer Black Rock Rangers, who help keep the peace and make the job of the BLM and County police easier. Requiring an expensive and no more effective private security force is a ridiculous idea.

    In conclusion, Burning Man has been a net benefit to the local economies and to the fee receipts of the BLM. Burning Man largely funds the Western Region of the BLM operations. Burning Man has been largely functioning incredibly well. Do not move ahead with your proposed requirements.

    Report comment

  • Eric says:

    I’m 100% against the private security screenings. I don’t care what the official line is, we all know that a big part of our Burn includes sacramental experiences. I’m tired of having my freedom limited by blind, ignorant governments with guns. I come to BRC to be free of that, not to be further subjected to the biases and militant ignorance of governmental bodies.

    Report comment

  • Kyla Garft says:

    I’ve drafted a letter and thought I would share it here to help others who may wish to add their voice but don’t have the time to write their concerns out themselves. (Full disclosure: I did steal large sections of this from the article above):

    Dear Bureau of Land Management,

    I have many concerns regarding the proposed changes to the management of the Burning Man event. I feel that many of the recommendations are unreasonable and are in direct conflict with our community’s core principles that will forever negatively impact the culture and experience of the Burning Man event. I am concerned that several mitigations proposed by BLM in Appendix E of Volume 2 that would result in the federal government replacing, overseeing, or managing areas of Black Rock City’s operations that have been successfully built and managed for decades, with expert, dedicated staff and thousands of volunteers.

    I believe that concrete or plastic barriers at the fence line would negatively impact our experience at the Burning Man event, whilst not adding any further benefit from an environmental perspective. Leaving No Trace is an important principle that us as Burners continue to embody and hold in highest regard.

    Additionally, the recommendation to have dumpsters placed in the city and along Gate Road for 80,000 people to deposit their trash will not improve the environmental impact on an already well organised and executed event, simply increase the likelihood that people will feel a sense of lessened civic resonsibility and be more likely to embody the core principles of Radical Self-reliance, Civic Resonsibility, and Communal Effort. BLM is already required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to conduct an environmental impact analysis for any project it permits on federal land. BLM has conducted environmental evaluations of the Burning Man event since organizers first obtained a one-page permit in 1991.

    I am concerned with the recommendation that Burning Man Project contract and pay for a BLM-approved private security company reporting to BLM, to screen for weapons and drugs all vehicles and participants, vendors, contractors, staff, and volunteers at all points of entry to Black Rock City. I believe that increased wait times and traffic due to new search and seizure operations by BLM’s private security company would be highly problematic to an operation that is already a long and congested process.

    I feel that it is unreasonable that BLM wishes to require Burning Man Project to pay for maintenance of County Road 34, which leads to the event’s entrance. I believe that there are no other instances in the United States where a private entity is required by the federal government to pay for maintenance of a public county road that is also used year-round by residents, tourists, and businesses. In addition, Nevada and Washoe County include a gas tax allocated in part for road repair (which participants have contributed to for 29 years) and Burning Man Project is already working closely in collaboration with Washoe County to find a more permanent solution for CR34.

    Another major concern is financial. Initial cost estimates for BLM’s recommended stipulations are nearly $10 million per year and would raise ticket prices substantially, drastically impacting one of the other core principles of Radical Inclusion. More importantly, BLM would benefit financially from these increased expenses through their existing requirements to take a percentage of a permit holder’s gross revenue. This also goes against yet another core principle of Decommodification.

    Kind regards,

    Report comment

  • brzrkr billy bye says:

    so, they want us to have garbage bins and pay for a road that is probably used about 10000 times more during bm than any other time. sounds fair.

    Report comment

    • Sheba says:

      garbage bins and barriers etc will only increase the environmental impact and will create profits for BLM and others… if the BLM were to donate all of their profits towards environmental betterment, then maybe it would be fair.

      Report comment

  • Freeman says:

    Now all of you can see how cliven bundy was treated by the blm. Funny how everyone wants to inflict the “fair share” tax, except when it comes to their own backyard. The blm is a terrorist agency, overstepping its role and duty….having a party is equal to cattle ranching and the use of public land should always be free.

    Report comment

    • Andy says:

      Well said Freeman you are so right!!!! The Feds and fun police that work for them have killed all great events in this country. Look at Sturgis SD. It was fun once apron a time. Welcome to America comrade.

      Report comment

    • Crissa Kentavr says:

      The jerk who drew guns on BLM agents for overgrazing and not paying his fees?

      This is comparible? Under a different administration?

      Report comment

  • I will read the docs referenced above; I also would like, if at all possible, to see the original proposal – or a digest of key points.

    I sometimes have to do some “official” writing in my day job, and it would be very helpful to be able to do a point by point comparison in my comments on the BLM document.

    Also, is there any possibility at all that one or both of the meetings can be televised / streamed / whatever? And I mean with the full knowledge and cooperation of all participants – doing it secretively will just contaminate the discussion. I’m still naive enough to believe that creating “a public record” by “speaking for posterity” while “on camera” will help to moderate the discussion, but even if there were displays of temper or communications breakdowns, it would be very helpful for all of us to see what transpires.

    While an interactive link would be superb, I’d be satisfied to see and hear the discussion in real time…with a fallback of a video recording of the meetings to at least see what was said.

    Having such a record would also help inform a last minute push during the comment period, I think – since the key points would be visible…rather than buried in thousands of pages of paper.

    Just my $0.02…

    Report comment

  • Stanly McMiller says:

    This is a confession, and I want it to be made public before the Press releases the story… I was one of the people within the Burning Man Organization who worked with MSNBC to help keep the secret that Donald Trump had no connection to Putin, I live in San Francisco and things are getting even a bit stranger than they were 24 hours ago. I will be on Height St tonight at 8:30 at the bar in Cha Cha Cha’s. I will be available for all interviews.

    Report comment

  • Leo Smith says:

    It’s time for the event to move out of Nevada and on to private land. There is plenty of wide open space in SE Oregon.

    Report comment

    • Voo-Doo says:

      You make it sound so easy Leo.
      Burners bring $50,000,000 to Nevada each year, and Nevada says I want more. Last year I witnessed Gestapo like cops chase down some gal who was having too much fun and INJECT her with some sh!t against her will . On that very day I worried about this year, and it’s happening…But, the Playa is magic. It really is. If BM would actually move I would still come visit the Playa and save $1400 .* (Make that $1200 because the cops find a reason to fine anyone $200 for driving on gate road)

      Report comment

  • EP says:

    Why not just propose a new charge for trash dump on the way out like the locals do? Make it really expensive to discourage most people from using it. $20/bag would easily pay for the service and most people would just take their own trash anyway. Once the locals feel the burn from not collecting that trash money they would complain and this part of the proposal gets axed.

    Report comment

  • Dr_H20 says:

    Interesting that this article does not mention that the only reason the analysis is needed is because the BM, Inc. wants to grow the event to 100,000 people….

    In recent years, I have noticed an apparent lack of regard for the leave not trace principal when it comes to the carbon footprint at the event. From paper cups at center camp to an utter lack of attempts to curb event related carbon emissions are appalling.

    I for one, would appreciate more transparency from the BM, Inc. about why they feel the need to grow the event size.

    Additionally, I do not support the event growing in capacity until more effort is invested in reducing the carbon footprint of the event as is. Consider removing paper cups from center camp, providing more education on DIY solar set-ups for participants, and basing vehicle pass prices on the capacity of the vehicle and number of generators. Use some portion of vehicle pass prices to purchase carbon offsets through reputable programs.

    Report comment

    • Jake says:

      Sounds like you could use my carbon footprint on your ass. Burning Man is a party and we party our asses off! Burn everything. Leave no trace was something Harvey dreamed up after smoking too much opium and hash.

      Don’t worry, there’s a 3 foot high trash fence that catches everything that flies away, include burnt carbon. So stop bumming us out!

      Report comment

    • Will Chase says:

      Hi Dr H20 … that’s not entirely correct. We don’t have plans to change the population of the event. This EIS analyzes a series of hypothetical population counts, so that we can understand how we *could* grow (or shrink) and what it would take to maintain a reasonable environmental impact should we decide to do so. A perfectly legitimate option here is that we stay the same size — but many of these mitigations come into play even then.

      Report comment

  • Abby Zachary says:

    <>

    Fernley’s growth has exploded because of Tesla, Apple, Google, Switch. Lovelock has 1 Dollar store, 1 gas station, and doesn’t want more. Gerlach is dead to “local people”.

    Please do relocate your festival.
    Why not enrich the lives of a new set of “local people”?

    Report comment

  • The Captain says:

    Can we work legally thru the court for legality of “right of the people peaceably to assemble” law because the law they use could be unlawful as it is against alot of things so we allowed to petition the government for a redress of grievances?

    [1] The First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    Report comment

    • Jennifer Sanders says:

      >Can we work legally thru the court for legality of “right of the people peaceably to assemble”

      Yes. The day after your start fighting for the rights of Native Americans and every women who is oppressed in this country. Fascist! Stop being racist and sexist.

      Report comment

  • frosty says:

    BLM is completely right.

    Current BM participant attendance of approx 75,000 is already too big.  BM should not be allowed to INCREASE participant size even more….to 100,000 as requested.

    Already, BM with 75,000 people creates too much impact:

    – each year, more and more trash is left behind by festival goers who do not adhere to “leave no trace” principles

    – the traffic jams to/from BM are horrendous and last for days, disrupting normal traffic significantly

    – current attendees leave trash all over the place, and all the way to reno. BM should recognize the impact of this and accept the fact that current attendees don’t respect 10 Principles, and ensure trash dumpsters and removal

    – the event has more and more evolved to being an EDM music festival, and would thus be better held elsewhere

    – there is an army of contractors servicing BM attendees….this would not be required if event was held in a more suitable, less remote location

    BMORG seems to think that the current event is somehow related to what it used to be. it is not, and neither are current “bucket list” attendees. Its time to call it and let the event become the EDM festival that so many of its attendees think it is.

    Report comment

    • Peace says:

      I agree. I think the solution is to go back to 50K participants. It will make getting tickets even more of a nightmare but it will protect Burning Man until the tourists, spectators, and festival kids move on to something else. 50K seemed to be the perfect size.

      Report comment

    • Rachel says:

      Awesome comment. This is not Burning Man… not what it was. Moving “Burning Man” may just let the real Burning Man happen again. So many great suggestions here, and it doesn’t have to be in the US…

      Report comment

  • Risque says:

    Any word on the location and time of the mentioned meeting in Reno April 8?

    Report comment

  • Can we work legally thru the court for legality of “right of the people peaceably to assemble”

    Yes. The day after your start fighting for the rights of Native Americans and every women who is oppressed in this country. Fascist! Stop being racist and sexist.

    Report comment

    • Fox says:

      What in the Wide World of Sports? Have asked for Jesus to enter into your life? Have you rubbed a penny on a wart under a full moon and buried it in a potato, then buried that potato in the garden? Have you dug up a washing machine on a leap year Easter? I have done these things. Am I one of the baddies?

      Report comment

  • Voo-Doo says:

    Recreational marijuana is legal in Nevada but not at Burning Man! Metamorphosis indeed!
    A butterfly to a caterpillar.

    Report comment

    • John says:

      Wake n Bake! I love being stoned. I work at McD’s and get high in the break room. It’s the perfect job. We dump the old food out back and pick it up after work. I get all my friends high and we eat all that up. We had more than 100 nugats last night was off the hook.

      Report comment

  • Voo-Doo says:

    BLM,
    We’re going to build a beautiful wall around the Playa and Oregon is gonna pay for it!

    Report comment

  • I agree with some of the thoughts expressed about looking at other locations. As beautiful as it is, the older I get, the harder it is for me to survive out there in that hellhole. The place is just not made for humans. Maybe BLM is the kick we need to get a move on.

    We should think about someplace in Cascadia (NorCal to BC). Granted, it would be a little chilly at night, but at least you could smoke weed and not be hassled about it (as long as we’re not on Federal land). I would also like to bring my cat. Cheers, everyone.

    Report comment

  • Pat Johnson says:

    I did as requested, wrote my opinion, etc. got to ‘submit’ and then it said “oops, something went wrong” so all that was for nothing.

    Report comment

  • pearlsnaps says:

    The dumpsters sure seems like our own damn faults for leaving so much trash on the road. (see req below) But the proposed solution is a total environmental double down given all the emissions & pollution that a dumpster system creates on top of the infrastructure of Burner Vehicles.

    Instead we should have a new gate duty. Trailer & Secured Load inspections on exodus. Violators are directed to a pull out like will call and secure their loads. Have some supplies for sale and donate the proceeds to a highway clean up crew and the tribe. Have some dumpsters there but anyone who uses them will to exit will have their names taken and barred from DGS for one year. Camp names will be taken and load score demerit added to placement.

    Seems a lot more like a Burning Man solution to me.

    If we will be having more persons at the event we can get more volunteers for a new core! Plus we get to create a new bureau name:

    TASTEE – Trailer & Secured Trash Engineering for Exodus

    or a new fearsome guild: The Haul Hounds

    Here is the requirement if interested, it is part of Native America Religious Concerns.

    “To reduce litter and trash in the PLPT Reservation and along SR 447, the proponent must place a sufficient number of dumpsters in the city and along Gate Road before its intersection with Highway 34. This is intended to reduce adverse impacts on the PLPT Reservation and SR 447. These dumpsters must be placed by 12:01a.m. on the Friday before Labor Day and must be kept in place until Exodus is completed. To prevent overflow, BRC will be required to maintain the dumpsters during the time they are in place.”

    Report comment

  • Peace says:

    I’ve sent in my two cents to the BLM. I’ve been thinking about this. It seems these demands from the BLM have grown worse and worse as the event gets bigger and bigger. The big trigger seems to be the attempt to grow to 100K. Perhaps it is time to think about reducing the size of the event. I’m thinking going back to 50,000 participants. I would prefer the event continue as a reflection of the 10 principles, even if that makes it difficult to attend. The world doesn’t need another big party controlled by outside forces. The desire to grow the event seems to be killing the possibility that it continues as it is. I think we need to change course. Bigger isn’t usually better.

    Report comment

  • Rebecca says:

    Public Meeting:
    April 8
    Nugget Casino Resort, Reno
    5 – 8 pm

    Report comment

  • pearlsnaps says:

    These all seem like negotiable positions. Have a good public hearing!

    Really just pointing out ways they won’t be as effective at the stated mitigation as scaling up existing protocols is a workable strategy here. The one I would hand back is road maintenance. It is clear we are the main reason for wear and tear. Arguing ‘but the state is not spending their money right’ doesn’t get the road fixed. However BRC should be allowed to hire the vendors to do the road repair not simply hand more money over to the broken system. I would offer that the requirement should be changed to BRC will return the road to NDOT standards after the event using methods and vendors of their choice and with a stipend from the state commensurate to 50% of their economic impact to the roads fund. This way the local communities won’t be waiting on the state and NDOT to take action each year. Those folks have the rest of the state to take care of. We can handle a few miles of road if given the full authority with the responsibility.

    In terms of inspections at gate. Outside of BRC patrol is shown to be more effective than private vendors doing inspect and report. (see TSA failures and Mall Cop Lawsuits) Also Inspect & report by creating a large population outside of BRC will engage more local and federal resources to patrol both that population and BRC. So it will not accomplish the stated mitigation as effectively as the current patrol strategy and it will simply dilute LE resources. It also creates a relationship that is not at arms length between vendor and the event that will lead the vendor and local law enforcement open to a lot of litigation. The end result of this will be dilution of resources rather than mitigation of the threats stated.

    Further it will actually create environmental harm and create a zone of control that is more exposed to mass casualty threat than BRC. Once again examples taken from history outside of BRC have shown this zone of control on ingress and egress has come under attack more than the patrolled space of events. The best theory on protection here to date is to get persons into the patrolled event as quickly as possible where the mitigation protocols are shown to be most effective.

    The requirement asking for a private vendor to inspect and report on entry should be removed in favor of simply scaling the more effective and proven tactics of patrol commensurate with the stated small added effects of more persons.

    Patrol (including technology driven patrol) would also be more effective at mitigating the kinds of unauthorized entry looking to be mitigated. More effective than barriers or hard fencing. Barriers and hard fencing create an environmental and public safety hazard. Mitigating the public safety hazard of removing routes of evacuation would eliminate the effectiveness of the hard barriers. Thus simply scaling the patrol of the perimeter commensurate with the small increase in persons is more effective.

    The requirement calling for hard barriers added to a perimeter should be removed in favor of scaling the more effective protocols of patrol commensurate with the identified small added effects of more persons. Technology can be added to target specific vehicular threats mentioned.

    Trash on the road is clearly due to unsecured loads rather than active dumping. It is unclear how having a vendor move the trash will mitigate this issue. Vendors are notorious for this type of drop during transit. Consolidating the trash into dumpsters will also create environmental concerns in concentrate and leakage and secondary fleets of vehicles will add environmental harm & more wear and tear to the roads. All of this is the opposite effect of the desired mitigation.

    This requirement to provide dumpsters should be removed in favor of simply scaling & improving the existing system of trash removal. A requirement requiring education and enforcement of more secure loads during the metering process of exodus would be more effective. BRC should be required to provide and report on this.

    In terms of building inspectors certifying any structure over 10′ this is likely to create more hazards and there is no reasonable system in place nor is it fair to Nevada Professionals. The building inspectors of Nevada have no training over what is safe and environmentally sound practices on the playa. The Nevada building code was not developed to create safe or environmentally sound practices on playa type substrate. It is not the State of the Art here. The mixing of these two is a disaster waiting to happen.

    A building inspector will be legally bound to implement codes they know would not be safe or environmentally unsound practices based on completely different applications and measures of safety. That is unfair to the professional. It also would discourage the many engineering professionals nationwide with best in class knowledge from participating in the review, design and times even stamping of many playa structures given this new jurisdictional requirement. The end result is likely to be opposite of the stated mitigation. Unsafe structures with the burden of liability and inspection given over to the state of Nevada and their core of inspectors rather than remaining where it belongs. On the persons and organizations creating the structures and participating in the event.

    This requirement should be removed until such time as the State of Nevada can consolidate, enumerate and apply the state of the art here. Meanwhile the rest of Nevada doesn’t have to come to a stand still one month out of the year while its core of inspectors are scratching their heads in the dessert learning about well established practices.

    As far as size goes… seems like another 20,000 people is not that many. Even the BLM in the permit states the amount of impact of adding persons would be much less additional impact over that which comes with the first 50,000. But we know it would do a great deal towards advancing the social experiment. More than just making a larger party it is more exposure, more community, more problems to be solved. It is avoiding stagnation. Contrary to many opinions my opinion is that I don’t see that scaling helps margins or really enriches BORG heavily. There are other more effective ways to do that, like raise ticket prices so I believe this is earnestly being done to protect the purposes of the burn. It excites me to think it is not at critical mass yet.

    I can also see an argument for having a permit that allows sand bagging. We may just get more land with less people in it.

    It is a brave step either way! Seems doable.

    Report comment

      • pearlsnaps says:

        And it was parted out and said to the BLM by their e-system as well.

        I learned to love a good public hearing on the way to building a couple dozen public skateparks. Sign up a lot of people for public comment speak slowly in a drone and sound like the committee. Anyone who yells or speaks fast is ignored.

        That movie scene where you stand cocked with glasses down reading somewhat reasoned and legal sounding statements with the same coded EIS language from a bundle of papers. 4 hours of that repeated works really well. Using coded language proves you read the brief.

        The petionees will find in favor of the persons and event when faced with such a boring onslaught of reasoned comment on Section E PH-1 Mitigation’s in the interest of public safety.

        Always good to establish your interest as well. Ahem I have filed a tax return with the US Gov x years in a row, own land or reside in and utilizes BLM resources x days a year. Flattery doesn’t hurt either: I recognize the challenges they face and believe they do a good job. I would like to mention some things that may be a better solution here in regards to achieving the stated goals in mitigating specific issues…. ahem. In regards to Section E PHS-2….

        Report comment

    • Will Chase says:

      Great comment. Please make sure to submit it in writing to the BLM!

      Report comment

  • Cat Herder says:

    Stand strong and don’t give in, even if that means the permit is not renewed. Imagine what might happen if Burning Man didn’t officially happen for a year.

    Report comment

  • Toto says:

    We’re burners for pete’s sake! Worst case scenario: We just say FUCK IT, and manage it as we burners do:
    – Hundreds of dumpsters? fuck it. “PISS CLEAR…AND DON’T USE THE DUMPSTERS– They aren’t for us!”
    – Jersey barriers? Whatever, fine, fuck it.
    – Add $236 more per ticket? BM tickets sell out in 7 minutes. There is a high demand from people with money, so we create more FOMO tickets for people with fat wallets and ticket anxiety, and reserve/keep prices lower for those on a budget like the low-income program.

    We can do this for a few years while we look for a new home. Didn’t we move this event twice before? We can do it again. There are states who would welcome us, our ethical approach to the land, and the economic activity we bring.

    Report comment

  • Descamps says:

    Hello,
    My name is Francois, i live in France.
    My english is very bad but it’s Important for me to defend « Burning Man »… The Spirit, the culture different, .. You are a pure air boufee in this violent world…

    Bye
    François

    Report comment

  • Jourdan says:

    If the rebar is a thing then let a drone, with thermal imaging capabilities, fly out to inspect, mark and allow for efficient extractions.

    Report comment

  • zoidsoft says:

    Why haven’t you moved it already? I was there in 2011 and while the weather was really good that year (minimal dust), it really isn’t an ideal location. You should be in southern Oregon or Washington State.

    Report comment

  • red slider says:

    Sorting out the complexity of arguments is beyond by competency. I do recall, however, when the Green Party of California was told it could not participate in elective processes or be a recognized party in the state because the method of consensus it used for making decisions was contrary to state requirements for standard majority-based voting procedures. The Greens took it to court and argued that the idea of decisions based on voting majorities was contrary to the very things the Greens stood for and upon which its political platform was based. The courts agreed, and the Greens became a fully recognized political party in the state of California.

    Not much relevance, maybe. Food for thought?

    Report comment

  • Susan Buttermaker says:

    Burning Man owns the playa. They can’t push us around. We pay their salaries and all their stuff. Without us they’d be still driving squad cars. They better learn some respect and not bite the hand that feeds. I’m sick of them!

    BLM needs BM! And they know it!

    Report comment

    • Rachel says:

      This comment is a perfect example of why Burning Man needs to leave the playa, Burning Man needs to escape the playa.
      This is what Burning Man has become… “we pay their salaries”…
      “we own the playa”
      oy.

      Report comment

      • Susan Buttermaker says:

        These pigs need to know who’s boss. We are the dreamer of dreams. Without us they’d be farming potatoes out there or eating cactus for breakfast. We are the shit! We bring the money. If we back away then they’ll all be sorry. There won’t be enough Indian tacos to feed them all and they’ll die.

        Report comment

  • Rachel says:

    It’s time again to move Burning Man.

    Report comment

  • Well says:

    It seems like many of these requests border on unconstitutional, counter-productive, or discriminatory.

    Maintaining a professional working relationship and pulling legal and representative levers where needed is a good way to go forward.

    On the other hand, meeting is our right. The Rainbow Family Gathering which predates BM and is fairly similar in ethos, doesn’t pull a permit, and receives just about the same level of BLM adversarial treatment and LEO harassment.

    If the Federal Gov succeeds in displacing BRC from public lands, we’ll have lost more than the playa. I’ll write a letter. Thanks Family!

    Report comment

    • Jillian says:

      >I’ll write a letter.
      Don’t pull out the big guns just yet. Once we start writing letters BLM is going to start shaking in their boots. We have to finesse this thing and get them on our side before we go to letters.

      Report comment

  • FoXXX says:

    The Burning Man organization should just pull the plug on this location and move it to another Desert location. But I am sure that they will not as they have too much invested with the whole fly Ranch bed and all of that other stuff this is what with the whole fly Ranch purchase and all of that other stuff. notwithstanding the government’s continuous desire to regulate and control everything as well as make money off of it , this is what happens when you start to get so darn big.

    Report comment

  • Nathan says:

    Wow. . . if only BM owned thousands of acres nearby. Sure would be convienient, huh?

    Look, BM is a joke, even among burners. Pretend lip service to a bunch of principles, giant fucking party with shit everywhere that idealist volunteers practically kill themselves cleaning up. Either admit you’re just a festival now and get it over with, or move the event to your damn land, make it smaller, and work on it being what you keep pretending it is. Either way stop bitching about it and use some of that radical self reliance to stop whining to us and find solutions.

    Report comment

  • Hellfire says:

    Fly Ranch? Take it completely out if BLM’s hands.

    Report comment

  • Steven G. says:

    I read the article and I am not sure why this cannot move. The only thing I know to be 100% true is – the only constant is CHANGE. I understand the emotional attachment to the site, then again the financial impact the area would sustain after the gathering of amazing people is changed to a different location, local would petition their local leaders to allow it. If they like it better with BM being held somewhere else then it is a win/win for everyone. I am not sure why it must be held there.

    Report comment

  • Swizee says:

    I like the idea of the dumpsters.
    There is a huge amount if trash that flies out of vehicles on exodus.
    As well as around the lake.
    We stayed two extra days and helped clean up a lakeside campground a couple years ago.
    Allot of the broken tents and piles of trash left were covered with playa dust
    Dumpsters are a good idea.

    Report comment

    • whoolio says:

      Yes. Dumpsters for exodus are a good thing. It will cut into the tribe’s collection $ but a work around could be done.

      Report comment

    • Will Chase says:

      Just to be clear, it would require 7 football fields worth of dumpsters that would weigh over 19 million pounds (empty, that is) to transport to and from the playa, which would be its own environmental disaster — and garbage regularly gathers around and flies out of dumpsters. That said, Burning Man’s highway cleanup team cleans all the roads to the event site after the event every year … they get started on it a couple weeks after the event ends (for safety and logistical reasons), but they pick up everything they find.

      Report comment

      • Peace says:

        I think we may want to reconsider this and add a rapid action team. Asking local communities to deal with our mess for two weeks is unacceptable. Not to mention that gives a lot of time for trash to blow beyond the highway into local communities and onto private and tribal lands. If we aren’t responsive to the local communities we can’t expect them to support us.

        Report comment

  • Colin says:

    Been traveling the world for a while and always dreaming about Burning Men.

    Report comment

  • whoolio says:

    100,000 attendance is insanity.
    No more open playa, no more solitude if you want it.

    Center camp with 50% more people???

    Report comment

  • TJ Anderson says:

    BLM is a federal scam. Do people realize that cattle ranches(clover) are moving to Nevada? And that BLM uses helicopters to capture wild horses to slaughter for cattle ranching? In short, BLM is as corrupt as Trump. Giving the BLM more money to do awful things would be a xisgrace to the organization.
    Is anyone familiar with how BLM operates? Extra barriers? Seems like a waste of money and time.
    Extra private security? That would certainly change the vibe. Who wants to get their car searched to camp for a week? Who wants to deal with Nevada police jurisdiction?
    Dumpsters? Ha! That directly opposes the leave no trace model.
    I think BMO needs to rethink and restrategize event altogether. It has not been the same since the lottery, and the overglorified theme camps changed the event. I vote to shrink event, move it, and go back to the roots of how and why BM started in the first place. Giving the BLM an upperhand on the event IS and WILL BE an event killer, it also supports a corrupt segment of federal government.

    Report comment

    • christopher quintana says:

      Final year: 2019!
      Encourage others to go to the regional events and let this thing rest for five years. Go back to the drawing board and figure out the next version that will be burning man.

      Report comment

  • Tamara Brink says:

    Fact check: Actually, mining companies In Nevada and across the United States regularly pay for upgrades and maintenance of county roads and some state roads. And if being checked for weapons and illegal drugs is a civil rights violation then the TSA is violating our civil rights everyday.

    Report comment

  • Jim Dangle says:

    There have been a number of suggestions to explore the use of tribal lands for BM. No doubt BM would be welcomed at some such sites, at least for the income it would bring. True, EPA makes sure that federal environmental statutes are enforced in Indian country if there is no federally approved tribal program. But I assume BM has to obey federal environmental statutes on the Playa anyway, and it might be a lot easier–and mutually beneficial–to deal with tribal authorities than with the BLM.
    Can BM management really come up with a good reason to not explore alternatives to the Playa, other than their investment in adjacent land?

    Report comment

  • christopher quintana says:

    And here’s my great idea : make the this year’s Burn (2019) the last, raise attendance Limits to 80 to 90,000 attendees for the bucket list are people and everyone that wants to be at the final burn and then call IT. Encourage future attendees to attend regional events, and plan on a return! The next Burn! TBA. Then, everyone put their heads together and come up with the next burning man. TBA.

    Report comment

  • Donovan Arterburn Jr says:

    I didn’t read ALL the previous comments so it’s possible someone mentioned this already. There are millions of acres of available land in Wyoming and Montana. Perhaps BM could buy 25,000 or so acres of private land and no longer have to deal with the BLM. I am sure there would be local and state laws and ordnances to deal with but surly not as many problems as with the BLM. Let’s just pack up and move.

    Report comment

  • HillyBill says:

    Sounds like Burning Man brought this on themselves with their expansionism. BLM’s proposals sound fair and legitimate. Burning Man’s infrastructure has not kept up with its voluntary population growth, which has been attracting huge amounts of people who are not parcel to the BM ethos. It is an absolute shit show. I have worked in GP&E, and vehicle inspections are a joke at that crowd size. Anyone could bring in anything. I’ve heard horror stories about backed up Exodus lines with people dumping their RV waste while waiting on Playa to leave. Burning Man Org destroyed Burn. They should have cut it off at 20,000 people and given preferential ticketing to volunteers, former volunteers, etc. Instead they just kept growing until BLM had to step in. Irresponsible & out of touch.

    Report comment

  • Shug says:

    It sounds like the organizers of Burning Man are most butthurt about the added costs of these regulations cutting into their profits. The most outrageous thing I see for attendees is the increased security at the gate and within the event. (Enter the Trojan horse art cars) Everything else generally seems to benefit the land.

    Report comment

  • Honestly, this is a big country, on a huge planet. Why are we choosing to stay in Nevada? I say move. Burning Man isn’t about the location, it’s about the people. Nevada wants to KEEP screwing around with us? Let’s find a state that would LOVE to have us around.

    Report comment

  • cheyenne dorothy says:

    To be honest, the amount of energy that is gifted from this type of festival is actually good for our earth. It’s a dried up lake with a lot of love dancing on top 9 days out of the year. These types of regulations should be put elsewhere.. like maybe the rain forest for example

    Report comment

  • Porter Venn says:

    The org should have moved the event multiple times over the past 15 years, this isn’t the first time the BLM has done this kind of crap, and it won’t be the last. You think it will end here? It won’t.

    Bite the bullet and move it to a private playa somewhere.

    Report comment

  • Xeno says:

    The focus here should be on maintaning the viability of the Black Rock Desert. Burning man has no such interest. The people running it are so beholden to their jobs and making sure the cash cow is still giving milk that they sell their own workers out to make sure this thing still goes on. Let it die.

    Report comment

    • Playa Pyre says:

      Xeno, when you wrote “Burning Man has no interest” in something, who exactly is “Burning Man” in your imagination? Is it the hundred thousands of people who have shared a week in the desert for a week; the leaders of the Burning Man organization; the wooden statue of a man that is burned each year?; an ethereal phenomenon that represents the collective emotional and/or spiritual connection among everyone who has ever been at a Burning Man event?

      Report comment

  • Placebo says:

    Environmental impact can be seen on the micro and the macro level. The cost of preventing a micro impact on the local environment can be that a much larger insult is delivered to the larger environment. When the “improvement” is not needed because the existing systems are effective, the proposed change and its associated costs are even more affronting.

    Regarding the event perimeter – since nearly the inception of the event, an effective perimeter has been maintained with a wind-permeable, temporary barrier (i.e. “the trash fence”). This barrier is erected quickly (often within a day) by hard working, largely volunteer labor. Coupled with vigilance from the Gate/Perimeter team (enhanced with ground-radar that can detect anything larger than a small animal) who can intercept possible intruders, the perimeter is secure. To bring in 9 miles of Jersey barriers would require the construction of 2700 concrete barriers. Concrete is a significant contributor to carbon emissions. It is estimated that 900 kg of carbon are released for every 1000kg of cement produced A Jersey barrier weighs 4000lbs (2400kg). Thus, the production of the number of barriers needed to encircle the event would release 5,832,000,000Kg of CO2 into the environment. This is the equivalent of 656,239,451 gallons of gasoline https://www.epa.gov/energy/greenhouse-gas-equivalencies-calculator. And this is not even including the amount of fuel required to move the barriers to the site, place them, and remove them at the end of the event. This is a macro-insult to the global atmospheric environment, which is made worse by the fact that this unnecessary wall will not even prevent the micro-insult to the environment (i.e. the release of windblown trash) that the current system prevents.

    Report comment

  • Wind Child says:

    I love you all!! We throw such a celebration every year! Celebrating anything we feel like celebrating. TOGETHER. I definitely don’t think we should line BLM’s pockets. A lot of that sounds like straight up buuullshit. But as an ecologist, I will read the DEIR cover to cover. And there probably are valid points about our cleanliness… WE ARE ONLY AS STRONG AS OUR WEAKEST! I pick up trash all day every day, volunteer cleaning up and at recycle camp. I’m sorry guys, but we are human and we do stupid shit. I can’t tell you how sick people have made me cleaning up their crap. So yea, let’s get our shit together!! Each and every one of us. If we all did a little, it would save a few from doing a lot. Much love guys <3

    Report comment

  • Quickwit says:

    BMP: Please cease and desist the rhetorical fear tactics in your public responses to the draft EIS. This post is slightly better than the original “How to Safeguard…,” that it replaces, which was basically awful in “tickets prices will rise” “comment only if you agree with us!” but not much when you factor in the title. I am not alone in finding both of these posts offensive and a far cry from welcoming information and then respectfully responding, using logic and smarts to figure out solutions. People are seriously getting upset, because they are responding to your tone, and it is not helping. BMP’s public responses cite that BLM did not factor in their history. Are BMP’s public responses factoring in any respect for BLM? Again, seriously, please stop the rhetorical fear tactics / response. “No shooting weapons!” It’s impinging critical thinking and making me and others not want to come to Black Rock City.

    Report comment

    • Xena says:

      I agree. Someone pages earlier suggested that we take a deep breath.
      Fear anger and frustration are understandable. It feels like a frightening moment on the planet for our migration to Black Rock City and to our community.

      Everything around us is shifting. We are all a little worried and some down right anxious. Keep breathing and know that its good that you care. Put that care into your breath and keep your comments on point.

      Report comment

    • Will Chase says:

      Quickwit, believe me that we wouldn’t be raising this kind of alarm if it wasn’t a legitimate threat to our event. Let me be clear: if we’re forced to implement these mitigations, THE EVENT WILL NOT HAPPEN. That’s not an exaggeration, it’s a fact. They would make the event operationally, financially and culturally unfeasible. That said, we’re hopeful (with your help) that we can come to a mutually-agreeable resolution with the BLM, one built on collaboration, which this DEIS wasn’t. And we’re committed to that effort.

      Report comment

  • Brendon Galdino says:

    Burningman para sempre!!! Viva a liberdade de expressão

    Report comment

  • Sulla says:

    You can count on me

    Report comment

  • Jacob Bowles says:

    Noooooo!!

    Report comment

  • Meezy12 says:

    As a solution to reduce the environmental impact, what if the event was held in the Black Rock Desert every 2 or even 4 years ? I know this doesn’t sound ideal, but atleast regional burns have become a thing? I also wonder if the organization can acquire some private land to host the event, given if these new expectations can’t be fulfilled or agreed upon.

    Report comment

  • Sparkledolphin says:

    Not my favourite idea, but how about a “fallow year” similar to Glastonbury to allow the land to recover if this is an issue.
    Also allows for repairs to be made to road and then a comparison between damage created by burners, and usual wear and tear through other usage.
    All camps to be registered, including nominated camp contact, and marked on map, like placed camps are and then followed up if leave no trace not adhered to. Seems a better idea than ‘here are some massive bins to dump all your stuff in’
    Just my thoughts…

    Report comment

  • Richard Grundy says:

    I tried to post a comment to the BLM but the link included in this post is not working:

    https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/comments/commentSubmission.do?commentPeriodId=75245

    Report comment

  • Xena says:

    Every change we make even tiny ones like changing gate opening…take hours of meetings and administrative work. Moving to a new location would potentially destroy us just in meeting time alone. True It is really tempting to give up or migration to Nevada. Or to imagine starting over in Shangrila of Oregon. or dancing on the moon while we marvel at earth. But we are big and loud and naked. Regional burns struggle to find locations and they get shut down and have to shift… and finding cites is a difficult.(Georgia Burn ALCHEMY example) I like the challenge of taking over the BLM better. Lets elect a new president and appoint a new director to the BLM a burner.

    (I am not joking. I think we can do these things. We love our playa lets stick with it The time of separation is coming to an end time to get together with the BLM).

    Report comment

  • Subversion says:

    Aside from the overwhelmingly abundant comments regarding a move to a difference space/private land, I see the real need to address the DEIS with experienced professional environmental attorney input. If BMORG has not already engaged one, I suggest these do so immediately. Our burner community most likely contains a few already. If you are reading this and are one or no of one, please make sure communication with BMORG happens before any hearings with BLM. As others have observed, this is an issue that can’t be taken lightly.

    Report comment

  • Jaquialine says:

    Honesty, I’m just being honest here. I think we need to find our inner honesty. I’m just being honest. For the Children and shit.

    Report comment

  • Lin says:

    I’ve been to Burning Man three times spread out over 10 years and I’ve also been to local Burns. These changes would make the event less safe and less magical. Burning Man brings in a lot of money to the state of Nevada. We are grateful that we get to be in the Black Rock Desert, but the state of Nevada should also be grateful for us. We do not want Burning Man run by the federal government and increased ticket prices will make many of the most important participants unable to attend. Also, the leave no trace aspect of the event, does not only bring people together in the dessert, it g
    Had ripple effects that reaches all over the world.

    Report comment

  • Allyn McGillicuddy aka PlayaPyre says:

    I wish I had known about the hearing in Sparks. I live in Sparks so it would have been convenient for me to attend.

    Report comment

  • Jesse says:

    Larry Harvey said that black people don’t like camping. That’s why there are so few blacks on the playa.

    Report comment

  • whoolio says:

    K-rail barriers don’t catch flying debris.
    Anything being carried by the wind will blow over the K-barriers.

    Report comment

  • Shaman says:

    Is there a LINK to the BLM EIS? In the “How to Submit and Effective Comment” it asks to refer to specific sections.

    Report comment

  • Ever- Ready says:

    BM did just that….They are the proud new owners of the 3,800 acre Fly Ranch.
    I’m a local and have been to the BR several times outside of BM. I’ll tall ya, unless you knew what went on our there, you’d never know. All the bureaucratic sludge that this event faces is a turn off for me. Yes, it’s been said before but, I’ll say it again, the event just isn’t what it used to be.

    Report comment

  • Peace says:

    I am unclear about whether all the new regulatiosn are because we are proposing increasing attendance to 100,000. As much as I would like all the people who want to be at Burning Man to be at Burning Man, those numbers are just too high. I suggest going back to 50,000 or 60,000.

    Report comment

    • Will Chase says:

      Hey Peace, the EIS analyzes a number of hypothetical growth plans, basically saying if you grow to X size, you have to do THIS to maintain a reasonable environmental impact. There’s no current plan to change our population cap, but this gives us the information we need to understand what we’d need to do IF we WERE to make those decisions.

      Report comment

  • Kiki Y says:

    Love you all. I read through this whole thread and there are many good and interesting points made. I also appreciate those of you who shared drafts of your letters, as well as those with snarky comments.

    If anyone of you were at the April 8 meeting, could you post about it?

    Moving is an option. Corporations do it all the time, especially when local cost and regulations hurt the bottom line. We’re the bottom line, the citizens of BRC.

    If we can make it work on the Playa without having to be subjected by GOV more than we already are in our default life, great—if not, time to move, or take a break.

    However, I wouldn’t let someone step in and tell me how to run my household without having something to say about it, so I’ll be writing a letter.

    PS My Regional Burn kick-ass!

    Report comment

  • Tom Schaefer says:

    The BLM is a horrible, terrible, miserable, disgusting organization. They think they are above the law and have done many despicable thing in the last 30 or so years. I’m sorry this is happening, but I’m glad other people are starting to see the BLM for what it is.
    In the past it has been mostly ranchers and prospectors that have been driven into bankruptcy by the BLM. Now other people are starting to se this criminal organization for what it is. If enough people wake up to what is happening we can make a change.

    Report comment

  • MM says:

    Just to be a devil’s advocate, the economic benefit that BM brings to the locals is likely nowhere near as big as many seem to think. Majority of the money I’ve seen Burners spend (myself included) has been with big chain retail, hotel, food, and service businesses like Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, U-Haul, etc. Sure, they may staff up a little bit during the few weeks, but not by much.

    Meanwhile, the amount of waste that gets left behind (not necessarily on playa, but during exodus and in Gerlach, Fernley, Reno) is massive, and includes a ton of things people bring into Nevada like things bought on Amazon. Then there’s the human waste, other gray water, carbon footprint, non organic matter being burned, recycling, and stresses on the local infrastructure, etc.

    As for the illicit substances, Nevada is already struggling with substance abuse issues. And let’s not forget, the illicit substances (maybe aside weed) are generated and/or trafficked through all sorts of horrific methods. On this topic, I am a fan of legalization, but that’s another discussion — as it stands right now, the negative humanitarian impact is high, while no local or state governments really profit from the sales of them, so it’s a net negative.

    I’m not saying that BLM isn’t being egregious, but, I think the “benefits” that BM brings to Nevada and the local communities is nowhere near as high as some might think.

    Report comment

    • Peace says:

      Why do we have to have a positive impact? Granted we should clean up our own mess. We’ve done a pretty good job on playa and a terrible job on the route in and out. With that caveat, why should American’s have to have a benefit on the local community to use land that belongs to all Americans?

      Report comment

      • Peace says:

        Well that’s just ignorant and stupid.

        Report comment

      • Shelly says:

        It’s Native American land, racist. They provide us with cheap tacos. Have you ever bought one? No. That’s because you hate the Indians.

        Report comment

      • Peace says:

        My wife would be very surprised to find out I hated Native Americans.

        I absolutely think we should do a better job taking care of the trash along the road. I think we should support the Native communities we drive through.

        My point is…that’s not the point of Burning Man. The benefit of Burning Man is supposed to be on the people who attend Burning Man. The purpose of BLM public land is supposed to be for the benefit of the American people.

        Report comment

      • Kolten says:

        Yeah, your wife may be surprised but at least now that you know you’re an evil racist, a lot of things will start to make sense in your life. Good luck mate!

        Report comment

  • Buena Chica says:

    I absolutelly think that Burning Man dropped the ball ages ago…. it should have VOLUNTEERELY, and in GOOD GIFTiNG COMMUNITY SPIRIT, PAYED for that road AGES ago!!!!

    We have had THAT money. We do use and benefit from that road. Period.

    We would have been on teh TOP side of this argument and not acting like spoiled children now!!!

    Report comment

  • Damian lake says:

    Let’s all unite like true burners and tell the BLM that we are responsible enough to hold our own and have been doing it for a long time .
    If they don’t listen I have an idea
    Let’s try UTAH
    They have “ the Canyonlands “ and even
    Segu Canyon where I saw ETs
    There is lots of other space in UTAH
    Colorado has
    “ the great sand dunes “
    And New Mexico has
    “ the white sands “
    Money talks
    It would be hard for those counties to turn down millions of dollars of revenue

    Report comment

  • Jay Lininger says:

    A draft EIS is a proposal, not a command. This one has a wide range of alternatives. You could take advantage and argue for mitigation that supports your commercial operation without controversy. Posturing that certain measures are “egregious,” without advocating an alternative, makes you appear entrenched, inflexible, and maybe worthy of getting bounced off public land.

    Report comment

    • Will Chase says:

      Jay, many of them ARE egregious to the point that they’d kill the event. We are advocating for alternatives, and working towards collaborating with the BLM to come to a mutually-agreeable, reasonable set of mitigations that protect the environment.

      Report comment

      • JV says:

        Will, I truly hope this EIS will be a wake up call to the BMORG that perpetual growth of the event is untenable, and main catalyst for the BLM’s actions here, and equally as threatening to Burning Man as this EIS. I put much of the blame for this on the BMORG and its incessant drive towards 100k tickets, etc.

        Report comment

  • JV says:

    The BLM is being punitive, but much of the fault lies with the BMORG and its incessant drive to grow the event to an untenable size.

    Report comment

  • Brian Davis says:

    1.
    too many people want to go on one date. Let’s have this event perhaps two or three times a year. The fact is it’s really become like Disneyland and that’s okay. They will be spectators and there will be performers. I don’t see a way to separate that.

    2 movie event from this BLM land. It’s obvious they don’t want us there.
    Let’s either rent some private land or by our own land perhaps in Armagosa Valley or somewhere halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
    It’s obvious that that county and the BLM and any other supposed official agency doesn’t want us there. I hate the gauntlet of police and how they extort money from us so they can harass the patrons of burning Man. Then everybody has thoughts and prayers for the officer who gets a bullet in his face. They’re not needed. If somebody’s punching people then yes we need law enforcement but otherwise they’re creating more of a problem than good. I think everyone knows that.

    Report comment

  • Brian Davis says:

    I have a great idea, let’s celebrate the libertarian attitude of Burning Man and then start regulating everyone with having to get food permits and liquor licenses and permits for dance floors and telling them where to store their gas cans and where their generator can go and God knows what else.
    NYou know we should have property taxes at Burning Man. This infrastructure needs more than an entrance fee..

    Report comment

    • Kolten says:

      That’s a good point. And I think anyone in a costume should have to pay fees to wear them. I’m thinking the fee could start as soon as they leave their camp and would be pro-rated after the first hour. We could also sell day and week long passes, instead of the hourly rate. That would make it more economical. Of course, they’d have to design their costumes around the location-monitoring ankle bracelet, but people that go to BM are creative. They’ll figure it out.

      Report comment

      • Yolanda says:

        A better thing would be to start charging attendees for their vehicles, like some kind of vehicle pass. Charge extra for anything on wheels. What are they going to do – not come to Burning Man?

        I’m also in favor of the proposed costume fees. We need to give back to the children and the environment. It’s also possible to charge a tax for people being intoxicated. It’s not fair that some people aren’t intoxicated.

        Report comment

  • Brian Davis says:

    Since we’re going to start regulating everything, can I be the orgasm police;? All the boys love me.

    Report comment

  • wILD bee says:

    The Black Rock has been a special location for Burning Man for so many years, but so many of us have said why not move it to private land? Almost everyone’s hands are in the pot of gold! Let the BLM, State of NV. taxation, other ‘money hungry mobsters’ take a zero for a while! Sorry MBORG. I even think the VP charge of $100. is a “cash cow” for someones pockets as well, I’m not sure who exactly, but I have my thoughts, and I don’t think it is fair either. Burning Man is the new Billion Dollar Baby. I would be surprised if the org. will consider private land, or to move it’s location, however, I do see it being “out with the old and in with the new” re-evolvment of the human condition. Based on 10 principals and an anti-establishment rebellious alternative thinking “experiment” of human nature, and it sure has been, but history seems to repeat itself, and folks, we are getting there, don’t you think? I’ll bet 80 to 90 % of the current Burners don’t remember the early days of Burning Man either because they weren’t born yet or weren’t there 18 to 25 years ago….Like some of us were. And we didn’t have ticket fiasco’s then, ( like now) because it wasn’t a sell out! Back in the day, NV ( and I live in the state) thought it was a dark image, until there was money to be had, lots and lots of money! Every year it is more! Is greed in our human DNA? Even the ORG, is sending out their annual budget costs, and a third of the cash ‘pie’ is in administrative costs. ( a $40,000,000 ‘cash cow’) It’s the human condition once more. If this comment is deleted due to content, only the admen and I will know, if it is left for others to read, everyone who reads it will know. It’s a great, big money, and fun bag, that we’d all like to enjoy, but the greed and controls are eating away at it big time. I’ve loved the ride, but not sure when or where the “Great( est) Train Wreck”( of all time) is going. Love, peace, out, drop the mic.

    Report comment

  • Sean Rice says:

    Anything different will be looked upon with a finer filter. This is human nature. If there is something found in the playa after burningman in the location where burningman was held, it is a reasonable probability that it was put there by people from the event. It is nearly impossible to determine if this is true, but its a good guess. What is important to look at too is if we compare what was left behind by 70,000 burners in a year, and by 70,000 campers not at the event and not when the event is happening. Would we find a similar issue with how much was left behind. I don’t know the answer, but if they are roughly equal, then it asks the question should we let people use the land at all. This land was set aside to be used by the public, and there will be some misuse of it if people are on it. I would love to say that burningman is the cleanest use of the land, but I do not know that for sure as i do not have the answer. I will say thought, that the intention of leave no trace will most likely have a positive impact on how much is left behind per person. I for one will purchase a metal detector (you can get one for $50 or less) and do a sweep before I set up and after I rake the camp at the end. Leave no trace is an intent, to actually reach that goal is in reality nearly impossible.

    Report comment

  • i love how so many people are more concerned with the money factor than the necessary environmental protection which should be increased, improved, and enforced.
    the BORG needs to reduce BRCs population, not fight BLM.
    less humans is the solution. always.

    Report comment

    • Jon says:

      This is exactly why we need the wall. Too many people are out there. Save the planet – kill yourself!

      We need more law enforcement to get the deadbeats off the playa and rub their face in the dirt on the way out. I’m sick of their scum.

      Report comment

  • PartOfThePuzzle says:

    Some will consider this off-topic but IMO there is a lurking cognitive dissonance underlying entire Burning Man endeavor:

    One of key elements of the Burning Man ethos is the essential ephemeral nature of well, everything:

    Nothing Lasts Forever.

    However… what I see and hear is:

    Nothing Lasts Forever! (Whisper…Except Burning Man).

    Of course, I don’t support these egregious efforts by BLM. But for me, it also bring up the question: what is Burning Man’s, exit strategy?

    When will the org and the community at large begin to discuss burning the Burn? As upsetting as that may be for most Burners to contemplate, I find it very freeing. I’ve learned that you can’t keep doing the same thing forever. When will it be time to let BM go and make way for a something new?

    Even if we get the BLM to drop proposals, I think we’ve reached the time when we should start that process of Burning The Burn. I think it would be far, far better to make a conscious decision to move on, rather than have it dictated to us.

    Personally, I find the prospect of starting with a clean slate to be VERY exciting. I trust that this community will come up with something that will new and inspiring, even beyond BM.

    Something to think about…

    Report comment

    • PartOfThePuzzle says:

      Note: I understand that there are jobs and even entire industries that would be affected if Burning Man ended. In my vision, the people, the community, the huge amount of energy and perhaps even the existing org would be inspired, enlisted and welcomed and take part and lead whatever would come next.

      Report comment

  • Comments are closed.