A Call for Feedback: Burning Man’s New Five-Year BLM Permit

One side of the Burning Man world that participants rarely have a chance to …well…participate in, is the permitting process we go through to have our event on federal, public land.  Well, here is your chance.

2010 marks the last year of Burning Man’s current 5-year Special Recreation Permit from the Bureau of Land Management. Currently, Black Rock City, LLC is applying for a new five-year permit to hold the event from 2011-2015. The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comments as part of the process of issuing the new permit. A record of documented, positive and constructive comments from persons or organizations within the Burning Man community will help BLM in reaching its decision.

In particular, as BLM’s role is to protect public land and those that use it,  the positive impacts of Burning Man on the greater public, such as economic benefits to Northern Nevada, or  education about Leave No Trace and other environmental messaging, would be most helpful. So if you’re part of a charity, business or other organization that benefits from the Burning Man event, then we encourage you to contribute to the decision-making process.  Also, if you’ve learned environmental stewardship, the value of volunteering, or any of the other infinite ways that Burning Man changes people’s lives positively then please let your voice be heard. Please note that though we wholeheartedly agree, comments such as “Burning Man is cool,” or “I love Burning Man,” won’t really add much to the information, and will inadvertently cause more work for BLM in the public comment process. In addition, this is not the right forum for commenting on BLM Law Enforcement at Burning Man, but if you would like to do so, please email legal@burningman.com.  We want everyone’s voice to be heard, but we also want to be efficient about getting the right kind of information to the BLM. Please respect the valuable time that BLM is putting into this formidable project, in an effort to listen to the voices of the people we have affected.

If you would like to submit a written comment then please do so by December 13th. Letters can be sent to:Cory Roegner, Attn: Burning Man Permit Renewal, BLM Black Rock Field Office, 5100 E. Winnemucca Blvd., Winnemucca, NV 89445-2921. Or via email to wfoweb@nv.blm.gov.  Please be sure to put “Burning Man Permit Renewaql (Roegner)” in the subject line.

There will also be three public meetings in Northern Nevada, hosted by BLM. For more information on the meetings, as well as the permit process in general please visit: http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/wfo/blm_information/nepa0/recreation/burning_man.html

Epic Proportions


Burning Man is the best adult playground ever devised, a vast testing ground for one’s resourcefulness, imagination, and sense of adventure, managing to amuse 50,000 or so tech-addled, sleep-deprived, uncomfortable Moderns for up to a week or longer, while keeping them active, eating less, constantly testing their limits, morals, and comfort zones, and providing them with a social arrangement of managed freedom within limits acceptable to the paying participant.

It’s even more fun than college.

This was my sentiment on Thursday night of Burning Man 2010, as I sat by myself on the benches outside the Temple, aiming my dying headlamp into my little, red, dust-coated notebook. It was Metropolis, the biggest burn ever. In fact, it was my second biggest burn ever. The American Dream, 2008’s Thompsonian seizure of that mythological, materialistic nirvana for our own twisted purposes, was my first time.

When they first burnt the man on Baker Beach, I was negative one year old.

I think it’s safe to say that Burning Man has changed a few times since then.

Photo: Mischa Steiner

I would submit 2007 as the year Burning Man bloomed into its present incarnation. Veteran Burners had become increasingly fed up with what one participant called the “alterna-Disney” transformation of the festival, and The Green Man saw this come to a head in a… let’s call it a counterproductive way. Read more about it, if you like. My first burn was the year after that. (more…)

Dear Burning Man, Whoever You Are

This is My Decompression: A Simple man’s desire to understand why and to preserve why we attend.

I have been to this event for three years
I have survived as have those that have accompanied me
I like to think that I have helped in those survivals and experiences
But is that an honor I have earned?
Why do you make me question myself?
Burning Man what are you really?
Are you a test of my abilities?
Of my resolve
Or are you more
This event started as a challenge for me
But it has turned into a quest
I want to find the meaning
I want to understand
Is it the Art?
Is it the mutant cars?
Is it the participants?
So many
From so many different cultures
From so many different backgrounds
Is it the fact that you can join so many for so short a time and make them relevant and self supporting?
I have an opinion
I am not sure that it is relevant to any other except me
And I do not care
My opinion is as follows
You challenge me in January to come and see what can be
Can I survive and bring those I love to experience what you have to offer
I say that I can and will
You promise a mutually supporting society that can and will survive despite the actions of a select few.
You offer wonderment, excitement, and bewilderment
You insight creativity, artistry, and negativity
All the while providing a palette for each and everyone to express themselves should they desire
I am sorry
Yet grateful
I am sorry that the freedom and expression you allow for so few days
Cannot extend into the remainder of the year that we must endure
I am grateful for the time I get to spend with you
As you challenge me I return the favor
I challenge you to entice and dare me to attend
If you can do this
You have my promise that I and those I Love that care to attend will arrive.
We will experience what you have to offer and provide our own contribution.
For now I anticipate with bated breath what you have to offer next year.
My struggle continues I still have not figured out the why
However the desire to find the reason is enough to keep me coming
Just maybe the why is a magical what if….or is it what will I miss If I do not make the trip
I shall spend the next year looking for the why, however the why has suddenly become obvious, If we do not ask why, then how do we grow?
If you build it they will come
If you build it I will come
See you next year
Burning Man

by John Walmsley