Did you know that the popular arts festival Burning Man occurs on BLM public lands in Northwest Nevada? Each year, tens of thousands of people travel to the Black Rock Desert Playa to participate in this unique community event. Burning Man takes place on approximately 4,400 acres of public land for a nine-day period – making “Black Rock City” one of the largest cities in Nevada.
The BLM works with event organizers to ensure measures are implemented that provide for a safe environment where participants can enjoy the event while respecting fellow “burners” and protecting the fragile desert ecosystem. Burning Man is authorized under the largest, most complex special recreation permit (SRP) issued by the BLM. Under this permit, the event organizers agree to follow stipulations related to event set-up and signage, public access, traffic control, resource management, fire management, dust abatement, security and public safety and sanitation in addition to practicing leave-no-trace principles and practices. The outcome of this team effort is the establishment of a mid-sized city in the desert for an amazing event, followed by its complete removal, leaving this special area of public lands, the Black Rock-High Rock-Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area, in its remote unspoiled condition.
Nationally, the BLM utilizes SRPs to manage specified recreational uses of the public lands and related waters. They are issued as a means to manage visitor use, protect natural and cultural resources, and provide a mechanism to accommodate commercial recreational uses.
This year, Burning Man will take place from August 24 through September 1, marking its 14th year on “the playa” and the largest leave-no-trace event in the world. Photos by BLMer Bob Wick from the 2012 Burning Man event.
CLICK HERE for more information about SRPs and this year’s Burning Man event.