The Best Paragraph in the Annual Permit for Burning Man
Posted at 3:44 p.m. on June 16, 2014
This morning’s Federal Register includes the annual notice by the Bureau of Land Management for the Burning Man festival, which, of course, counts Silicon Valley’s techies as one of its chief constituencies. It’s generally a ho-hum, 4,000-word document of dos (uh, be cool) and don’ts (no fireworks except those for the “sanctioned art burn event”). But there’s one paragraph included by BLM every year that sums up where things can go wrong in the desert.
Like its predecessors, the 2014 “Notice of Temporary Closure and Temporary Restrictions of Specific Uses on Public Lands for the Burning Man Event, Pershing County, NV” notes the following:
While a majority of Burning Man event participants do not violate event rules or BLM rules and regulations, a few participants at previous events have caused law enforcement and public safety incidents similar to those observed in urban areas of similar-size populations. Incidents in prior years include: Aircraft crashes; motor vehicle accidents with injuries both within and outside the event perimeter; fights; sexual assault; assault on law enforcement officers; reckless or threatening behavior; crimes against property; crowd control issues; possession and unlawful use of alcoholic beverages; endangerment of themselves or others; possession, use, and distribution of controlled substances; and increased use of public lands outside the event perimeter.
The prime year for plane crashes was 2003, apparently. This year’s festival is Aug. 25 to Sept. 1. (And here’s a PDF of the 2013 BLM order.)