|Black Rock Desert Playa|
Thursday, March 09, 2017
How is Burning Man affecting the Black Rock Desert? We won't know for a few years
The Black Rock Desert is due for an environmental checkup -- one that specifically determines whether Burning Man is having an impact on the land -- though it may be a while before the desert gets a diagnosis. The most recent environmental assessment that addressed Burning Man's impact, conducted in 2011, set the parameters for how the event should be conducted for the past five years. The 343-page document, however, expired last year. It could be another two or more years before Burning Man and the Bureau of Land Management are able to complete another assessment. "I wish we were farther along, but, given the other projects we have, it’s taken a bit longer, " said Mark Hall, acting Black Rock Field Office Manager for the Bureau of Land Management. The BLM, which oversees the Black Rock Desert and issues an annual multi-million dollar recreational permit for Burning Man, has been conducting assessments since 1991, Burning Man's second year in the desert. At the time, less than 300 people took part. Burning Man, a giant campout centered on large-scale art and absurd shenanigans, attracts 68,000 attendees, 12,000 more Burners than it did in when the last assessment went to paper. The Burning Man organization, which is based out of San Francisco, has hinted that it may try to open the doors to a 100,000-person population in the future, contingent on BLM approval...more
Finally, proof of human-caused global warming!