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Winnemucca District, Black Rock Field Office
Release Date: 06/12/12
Contacts: Cory Roegner ,  
News Release No. 2012-20

BLM Issues Decision for 2012 Burning Man Event

Winnemucca, Nev.--The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Winnemucca District, Black Rock Field Office, has issued a Special Recreation Permit (SRP) to Black Rock City (BRC), LLC authorizing the 2012 Burning Man event.  In this year’s permit, BRC is required to keep the maximum population from exceeding 60,900 people during the event.  The BLM is also requiring BRC to comply with 13 permit conditions and 50 stipulations.  The stipulations relate to matters such as event set-up, signing, security, public safety, resource management, debris removal, fee calculation and payment, and event take-down and clean-up. 
“Our number one priority has and continues to be the protection and conservation of natural and cultural resources, as well as safety for the participants and all staffs,” said BLM’s Winnemucca District Manager Gene Seidlitz. “I feel confident the BLM is covering these bases in the 2012 permit and in the environmental assessment.”
The BRC proposal for a five-year permit and participant population level from 58,000 to 70,000 is analyzed in the “Burning Man 2012-2016 Special Recreation Permit Environmental Assessment” (EA). While the EA is valid for the five-year period, authorization for any event during the five year period is subject to a separate SRP decision. The SRPs will be based on the previous year’s performance. The BRC didn’t meet the population limits of the 2011 permit, so the BLM issued a one-year SRP for the 2012 event. The issuance of a multi-year permit for 2013-2016 will be considered, contingent upon annual review of the BRC compliance with the terms and stipulations of the 2012 permit.
The Burning Man event has taken place on public lands on the Black Rock Desert Playa every year but one since 1990.  Last year over 53,000 people traveled to the remote desert location to participate.  The operations associated with the event occupy about 4,400 acres of public land for a seven week period starting with fencing the site perimeter the second week of August and concluding in late September with the final site cleanup. The major activities are confined to several weeks in late August and early September associated with final setup, the actual event, and the initial phases of cleanup. During this period, Black Rock City becomes one of the largest cities in Nevada.
As in past years, during the event and in the period immediately before and after it, public use closures to protect the environment, assure public safety, address the concerns of adjacent communities, and facilitate administration of the event, will be implemented.  Access to the playa by the general public will remain readily available, even when closures are in effect, and solitude will continue to be available in the vastness of the Black Rock NCA, including much of the playa.  Public closures include restrictions on use of firearms, fireworks, camping and vehicle travel, aircraft landing, and all public uses in areas within and immediately adjacent to the permit area.
The BLM completed a comprehensive environmental analysis of the proposed action and provided the public opportunities to comment during a public scoping period, scoping meetings and a 30 day review of the preliminary EA. The permit is issued based on the EA, which included consideration of public comments received.  
Copies of the EA, decision record, stipulations, and related documents are available for viewing and upon request from the BLM Winnemucca District Office, 5100 East Winnemucca Boulevard, Winnemucca, NV 89445-2921, during regular business hours 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for federal holidays, and posted online at

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.

Last updated: 06-12-2012