Despite its depictions in mainstream media, the annual Burning Man event has been a paragon of integrity, cultural awareness, and environmental stewardship for the past 28 years. According to a new post on the official Burning Man website, a new Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Burning Man Event threatens to radically alter the event’s core principles and puts its future in jeopardy. There are many issues within the EIS that present cause for concern within the Burning Man Project staff, including a private Bureau of Land Management security team, obstacles to their Leave No Trace policy, and more.
Some specific examples:
The EIS would call on Burning Man Project “to pay for maintenance of County Road 34, which leads to the event’s entrance,” despite state and county taxes already going to the road’s maintenance.
BMP would be forced to hire a BLM-approved private security company 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”
It also calls for the use of K-rail or Jersey barriers installed along the perimeter fence, as well as dumpsters placed in the city despite the event’s stellar track record of Leave No Trace
Burning Man claims that all of the proposed changes would result in an increased cost of $286 per person visiting Black Rock City for the event. And perhaps even more troubling is that BLM would actually “benefit financially from these increased expenses through their existing requirements to take a percentage of a permit holder’s gross revenue.”
In response, Burning Man Project is calling on its attendees and family to voice their concerns and submit feedback while the Draft EIS is still under consideration. The deadline to provide comment is April 29.
Learn more about what you can do to voice your opinion via the Burning Man Journal.