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June 12, 2012
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BLM limits Burning Man to 60,900 participants

MINDEN, Nev. - The Bureau of Land Management, Winnemucca District, Black Rock Field Office, has issued a special recreation permit to Black Rock City authorizing the 2012 Burning Man event.

In this year's permit, Black Rock City is required to keep the maximum population from exceeding 60,900 people during the event. The BLM is also requiring Burning Man 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 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. While the assessment is valid for the five-year period, authorization for any event during the five year period is subject to a separate decision. The permits will be based on the previous year's performance. Black Rock City didn't meet the population limits of the 2011 permit, so the BLM issued a one-year permit for the 2012 event. The issuance of a multi-year permit for 2013-2016 will be considered, contingent upon annual review of the 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 more than 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 assessment 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 analysis. The permit is issued based on the assessment, which included consideration of public comments received.

Copies of the assessment, 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

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The Record Courier Updated Jun 12, 2012 05:06PM Published Jun 12, 2012 05:05PM Copyright 2012 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.