opening dialogue w/ BLM or other authorities

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.
Post Reply
Posts: 152
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2003 8:14 am
Location: los angeles

opening dialogue w/ BLM or other authorities

Post by alienfry » Thu Oct 26, 2006 9:28 pm

so our camp just had an AMAZING decom last weekend. we have a special place on public land that we simply adore and has always treated us well. we practice LNT methods and ideology. we bring art installations. we are inclusive and wonderful and fun and blah blah blah.

we are also ALWAYS nervous about being *caught*


funny, because it's public land. but you know what i mean.

we have our stealth methods down to a science. we keep hush hush. it's an adventure. it's risky. and i can't help but wonder...


what if we could get a permit? what if we could strike a deal with BLM and/or local authorities?

how did bmorg open dialogue w/ BLM in the first place?

part of me wants to have total faith in the universe and all her children, including the sheriff, and just call them one day and explain what we like to do and ask how we can work it out with them. but a bigger part of me warns "now jared, do you really think they'll work with you? don't you think they'll use this info against you and bust your parties and make a fool of you?"

but GOD it'd be amazing to not have to worry!


your thoughts? insights? tales of related experiences?
awesome oppossum

User avatar
The CO
Posts: 1670
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 10:56 am
Burning Since: 1996
Camp Name: M*A*S*H 4207th/404://Village Not Found
Location: I-CORPS, M*A*S*H HQ, Van Nuts, CA

Post by The CO » Fri Oct 27, 2006 8:13 am

We were squatters on public land for the first several years of our event (the Gemini Party). We had sheriffs and State Land managers partying with us for several years.

Ultimately, we wound up going to private land because of cost and meeting really cool landowners. If you can find something like that, I would recomend that.

As far as going legit with public land, do you have to be on BLM land? Look around for suitable land that is state or county, then talk to the right org. (State lands, dept of fish and wildlife, not sure down there) They tend to be more accesible.

As I said, the big issue for us was cost. For our event: State/county Land: $1150 per day for permits; BLM: $1400 per day; Private Farm: $1800 for 5 days.

Good Luck!

M*A*S*H 4207th: An army of fun.
I don't care what the borg says: feather-wearers will NOT be served in Rosie's Bar.
When I ask how many burns, I mean at BRC.

User avatar
Posts: 620
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2004 9:21 pm

Post by Ron » Fri Oct 27, 2006 10:05 am

Generally speaking public land means just that. Public. There will be lots of rules and regulations, and maybe lots of costs and paperwork to deal with. But if you play by the rules they just about got to let you use public land. Could be that playing by those rules makes a game you don't want to sit in at, sure. But the odds are good if you approach it with an open mind, a friendly attitude, and a venire of plausible deniability for both you and the officials you're dealing with in terms of the more, um, risque, parts of your party you can work something out. Urban parks are less welcoming that rural ones just due to the rate of use, but parks is parks.


Posts: 1555
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 2:22 pm
Location: Fanta Se NM

Post by blyslv » Fri Oct 27, 2006 10:35 am

1. Go to the BLM website and find the land use coordinator for your state or region.

2. Pick up phone and call him.

3. Discuss generally what you would like to do. Don't give dates or locations. In fact, they might be able to suggest a location that would work.

4. Research the regs. concerning the area you want to use. Have intelligent questions to ask about them.

5. Be courteous and respectful.

You might luck out and find someone who wants to help. If you can't, or you can tell that this person is going to be an obstacle, politiely disengage and try anotehr day by calling another person.
Fight for the fifth freedom!

User avatar
Posts: 40313
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2004 9:28 am
Burning Since: 2017
Location: In Exile

Post by theCryptofishist » Fri Oct 27, 2006 10:58 am

Have you even found out what the basic permit stipulations are? They are probably posted on a website. At least you'd be dealing with some actual facts about what their expectations are, rather than just making stuff up. You could e-mail or call without "tipping your hand" if you want. ("What is your group permitting process?" "What are your restrictions on activities?" ect.)

And remember that they have a difficult job managing resources for multiple constituancies with small budgets. Maybe some special places that are adorable are also fragile beyond "leave no trace."
The Lady with a Lamprey

"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

User avatar
Posts: 2848
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 11:26 am

Post by Isotopia » Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:41 am


what if we could get a permit? what if we could strike a deal with BLM and/or local authorities?

how did bmorg open dialogue w/ BLM in the first place?

part of me wants to have total faith in the universe and all her children, including the sheriff
I'd be careful what you ask for.

Aside from the permitting process drawing unwanted attention I think the level of scrutinty would be tenfold. That and you'd be setting yourselves up for an onslaught of uninvited 'guests' to check out your little gig in the desert.

Post Reply

Return to “Philosophical Center”