Burning Man supporters bash BLM over barriers, dumpsters, drug searches at Nevada Casino/Burning Man Video ‘A Journey Through The Playa’

SFGate – By Mike Moffitt – April 09, 2019

Creative cooperation and collaboration is one of the tenets of Burning Man’s 10 Principals, but the nearly 200 Burners who packed a Bureau of Land Management public hearing at a Nevada casino Monday night seemed in no mood for either.

According to the Reno Gazette Journal, Burning Man supporters at the Nugget Casino in Sparks shouted down, taunted and even called BLM officials “idiots” as the feds answered questions about the agency’s proposed changes to the annual counter-culture festival’s operations.

“Frankly, the BLM gave the Burning Man organization an unprecedented level of involvement in this meeting,” Patrick Donnelly, state director for the Center for Biological Diversity, told the Gazette Journal. “[BLM officials] were shouted down by people several times, and they just sat there and took it. I’ve been on the other side where I was in antagonistic relationship with BLM, and we received no such deference.”

In March, BLM released a draft version of an Environmental Statement that would place new restrictions on Burning Man, which anticipates growing its current attendance of 80,000 people. Some of the more contentious proposals include:

— Placing dumpsters in and around the event.

— Conducting drug and weapon searches (called “screenings” by BLM) upon entry. (If the event expands capacity to 100,000 participants.)

— Constructing nine miles of concrete barriers placed around the event. (Again, if the event expands to 100,000 participants.)

— Paying for the maintenance of County Road 34, which takes participants to the entrance.

Burners complained that the proposed security searches would drastically extend entry wait times that already can stretch to several hours long. They criticized the concrete barrier proposal, suggesting that it would create sand dunes while the current plastic mesh fence catches blowing trash, yet allows sand to pass through.

“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,” festival organizers wrote last month.

Burners maintain that one of those principals, Leave No Trace — that is, pack out all your trash — would be severely undermined by the presence of dumpsters.

On the other hand, Reno residents have said much of the packed-out trash currently ends up dumped illegally in the city or other local communities.

The festival’s associate director of government affairs, Marnee Benson, reminded attendees at the hearing that Burning Man reimburses BLM for all its event-related costs, the Gazette Journal reported.

“We pay for every minute of their time, every penny that they spend, every mile that they drive,” festival organizer Benson said at the meeting.

Burning Man also reportedly pays a 3 percent of gross revenue user fee to the agency.

Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve voiced support for the event, the Associated Press reported. Airport spokesman Brian Kulpin said every seat on every Reno flight is full three days before and after the weeklong event that culminates Labor Day weekend with the burning of a towering wooden effigy.

Read entire article here

Video source: www.youtube.com – Burning Man: A Journey Through The Playa” BURNING MAN ORIENTATION – By Todd Kortte

Posted by Teri Perticone


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