Federal Government Relations
This year the 2012 event operated under a one-year Special Recreation Permit, granted by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The basis of this permit was the 2012-2016 Environmental Assessment (EA), a document that was published and approved by BLM in June 2012. The EA examined the environmental and economic impact of growing the event from 50,000 to 70,000 participants during the period of 2012–2016 both on the playa and in the surrounding areas. Increasing the population of the event was crucial given the demand for tickets in 2012.
For the first time in Burning Man’s history the Environmental Assessment had to be handled by a third-party contractor as the process became too large for the BLM Winnemucca District Office to handle in-house. After interviewing four very qualified applicants, BRC chose Aspen Environmental Group. BRC, BLM and Aspen Environmental Group collaborated on the EA for over one year. Although the document was published later than expected, the EA is comprehensive and defensible, meaning that the event can continue to grow and operate through at least 2016 before a new EA needs to be completed. The EA measures Burning Man’s impact on economy, air quality, night skies, traffic, wilderness areas, the playa itself, noise and neighbors. The document also creates mitigations for the following concerns: hydrocarbons, human waste, traffic, trash, decomposed granite, and neighbors’ needs. In 2012, Burning Man worked with BLM to incorporate and enforce these mitigations via the 2012 event stipulations.
Other Agency Relations
The list of government agencies cooperating to produce the Burning Man event has grown, so it’s worth mentioning and thanking them all: Bureau of Land Management, Pershing County, Pershing County Sheriff’s Office, Washoe County, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, Nevada Highway Patrol, Nevada Department of Transportation, Freeway Service Patrol, Department of Public Safety-Investigative Division, Nevada State Health Division, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribal Reservation, Humboldt General Hospital, CareFlight, Washoe County Public Works, Gerlach Volunteer Fire Department and the Federal Aviation Administration. See the 2012 Legal AfterBurn for information on the Pershing County lawsuit.
External Relations Team
Thanks to the help of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers and staff, the Burning Man External Relations Team (XRT) had an exceptional year. The team welcomed guests who directly or indirectly influence the success and impact of Burning Man beyond the trash fence, and provide a great number and variety of guests with an educational on-playa experience they will hopefully never forget. XRT rocked the socks off Burning Man 2012.
Along with the efforts back at Burning Man headquarters to contact and invite people from Nevada, the Bay Area, across the US and beyond, this year’s most notable contributions to XRT tour invitees were made in Reno. Thanks to their efforts this year and in previous years, as well as many other contributions Burning Man has made in that area, the city of Reno has begun to open its eyes and ears to the many benefits Burning Man provides their local economy and culture, and expressed interest in visiting our fair city.
Guests in 2012 included master trainers from the Leave No Trace organization, the Reno-Sparks Visitor Convention Authority, Grand Sierra Resort, Pyramid Lake Office Staff, Lovelock Business Owners, Reno Airport, Reno Entrepreneurs organization, Whole Foods, Cedarville Chamber of Commerce, Federal Defenders office, Save Mart Reps, Pyramid Lake Paiute Seniors, Allied Nevada Mines, Kiwanis Bikes, Fallon Chamber of Commerce, Lovelock Chamber of Commerce, Hawthorne Facilities, and the Gerlach seniors. We’re happy to report that all visitors had a positive experience, and many hope to return to Black Rock City in 2012.
The BRAT Pack
In 2012, XRT continued to benefit from the Black Rock Area Transit (BRAT) mutant vehicle from “Time of Your Life Camp”, based out of Reno. Created for the Metropolis theme, the bus was perfect for the XRT tours. It was wonderful to have such a reliable and amazing vehicle (with such flexible and willing participants) supporting our team.
The Rocket Bus, another of the XRT’s transportation vehicles, also provided great support for our tours this year. When it was not cruising across playa with guests new to Burning Man staring in awe out of its silver windows, XRT was happy to lend it to the Artery to use for art tours.
Raymond Allen & Rosalie Barnes