I wish this were a drill y’all, but after reviewing the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) requirements for Burning Man this year, it appears the beloved annual pilgrimage to Black Rock Desert is under serious threat. The federal agency issued its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Burning Man event, outlining a series of operational requirements that must be met which includes strict oversight by federal agents and the building of a 10-foot concrete barrier around the event. Below is the official statement from Burning Man on the matter and here are instructions on how to make an official comment to BLM:
“While Burning Man Project remains committed to continuing our 30-year legacy of environmental stewardship and Leaving No Trace, many of the measures recommended by BLM are unreasonable, untenable, attempt to solve problems that don’t exist, and/or create new (and worse) problems. Altogether, these requirements would fundamentally change the operational integrity and cultural fabric of Black Rock City, and would spell the end of the event as we know it. This is not an exaggeration, and we need your help by April 29.
“The best way to influence this outcome is for you — Burners, the general public, business owners, civic leaders, and in particular subject matter experts — to provide substantive comments to the BLM, challenging these proposed requirements on their merits. This post explains how and where to submit an effective comment. By law, these comments must be taken into consideration by the BLM in their drafting of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), which directly affects the future of our event.”
Last year, we had the honor of attending Burning Man founder Larry’s Harvey‘s memorial service on the Summer Solstice at Ocean Beach in San Francisco, close to where the annual event began in 1986. Being amidst his friends and family as well as hundreds of members of the Burner tribe was profoundly humbling, because what this group of people have created and shared together through Burning Man might be the greatest artistic human experiment ever conducted. We cannot let our own government take it away; the BLM must consider all comments in its final report that will determine whether or not Burning Man will be able to proceed as usual, and the deadline for submissions is Monday, April 29th so let’s get commenting ASAP.
In Larry’s words prophetic words, “Both Burning Man and the internet make it possible to regather the tribe of mankind.” Now is the time to gather together to harness that power to #FreeBurningMan, so let’s ride or die in the comments, ’cause according to Burning Man that’s all we can do. And if anyone happens to know any lawyers or land use experts, comments from those sorts of individuals will weigh most heavily on BLM’s final decision.