Is it time to make the Black Rock Desert a Wilderness Area?

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Apollonaris Zeus
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Is it time to make the Black Rock Desert a Wilderness Area?

Post by Apollonaris Zeus » Mon Aug 16, 2004 11:46 am

With the impacts of all the people and events using the Black Rock Desert and every other party accusing the other of damaging the wonderful Black Rock maybe its time to close it off to offroaders. Most of damage comes from 4x4ers and other vehicles driving on the playa. That usage may be up to around 120,000 people. With all those cars and trucks making figure eights and just driving, it is easy to understand how the fragile crust is being broken into fine particles that are easily blown away. A lot the damage occures in the access many unmaintained access points surrounding the playa.

Only those individuals that are will to walk, ride horseback or animal back should enjoy this great wilderness. We can move BM and all the other users to an area right next to Gerlack where I'm sure the town folk would love to hear all that wonderful music just outside the town. The town would profit from all the people walking into town to buy ice, coffee and other items.

The time has come. Lets turn it into a Wilderness Area and protect it.

Lets stop all everyone from driving on the playa today!

A II Z

Lostfolio
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Post by Lostfolio » Tue Aug 17, 2004 2:39 pm

In fact, let's all hover two feet above the playa and hold our breath.
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Post by dragonfly Jafe » Tue Aug 17, 2004 2:49 pm

Word! I have been wanting to bring a hovercraft for years! ;)

Talk about relocating some Playa!

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TheJudge
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Post by TheJudge » Tue Aug 17, 2004 7:44 pm

How about we just ban Neon-driving morons that dont know how to spell?
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theCryptofishist
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Post by theCryptofishist » Fri Aug 20, 2004 10:25 am

The Black Rock Desert is now part of a National Conservation Area that also includes the High Rock Mountains and the Emmigrant Trails. Parts of this area are designated as wilderness, I believe. I'd have to check the EIS again (or you could--it's on line at the BLM's Winnemucca webpage.) I don't know if any of those parts are parts of the playa itself. The part of the playa we are on is zoned for large gatherings.

BurnScar
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Post by BurnScar » Sun Aug 22, 2004 3:33 am

TheJudge wrote:How about we just ban Neon-driving morons that dont know how to spell?
All morons that dont know how to spell?

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ROOSTERSEjX
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Post by ROOSTERSEjX » Wed Jan 12, 2005 1:50 am

FYI: Looking north from the Man you gaze upon the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon-Emmigrant Trails National Conservation Area and about 752,000 acres of federally protected wilderness, 314,800 acres of which is the Black Rock Wilderness, Nevada's largest wilderness area. This wilderness encompasses not only the Quinn River, but the entire 'East Arm' of the playa which is another vast, flat expanse of ancient lakebed located behind the Black Rock Range from the Burningman site.
Also visible from BRC is the Calico Mountains Wilderness to the northwest of the playa and the Selinite Wilderness Study Area to the east of Gerlach. In all, the BLM manages about 1.2 million acres of preserves in this region. Looking just beyond the Black Rock Desert, you find the Tri-Corner Area of northern Nevada, southeastern Oregon and southwest Idaho, including the Owyhee Canyonlands and Steens Mountain. This is some of the wildest and least-developed country remaining in the lower 48 states, although most of it lacks any formal protection.

meandthemissus
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course

Post by meandthemissus » Fri Jan 14, 2005 6:33 pm

Of Course, looking down from all that grand country you see....... Burningman and all the clowns from town. Burningman should be held in an appropriate location, San Fernando Valley.. Or another ugly town.

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Post by geekster » Fri Jan 14, 2005 9:35 pm

I think it is horrible that we are driving the highly endangered playa chicken to near extinction. The playa chicken has only been seen a few times by only a handful of individuals. Researchers have still not been able to collect an example of the species. Burningman might well be destroying playa chicken habitat.

I suggest that burningman be moved to the moon. This will cause a rise in ticket prices but that is the price one must pay to save the playa chicken. Don't forget to bring your own water, and oxygen. There will be no vending except coffee. Let's just pray we don't ruin the lunar tick habitat too.
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Post by gigglesnort » Fri Jan 14, 2005 9:43 pm

FYI, I am running my own playa chicken breeding program; I have one viable playa chicken specimen and will be reintroducing it to its natural habitat this summer.

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Post by geekster » Fri Jan 14, 2005 9:47 pm

gigglesnort wrote:FYI, I am running my own playa chicken breeding program; I have one viable playa chicken specimen and will be reintroducing it to its natural habitat this summer.
Bless you, sister, bless you! :cry:
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dj big E
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lmao

Post by dj big E » Fri Jan 14, 2005 10:32 pm

i found a playa chicken last year, gave it a beer, next thing you know it layed three coins. LMAO

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Bob
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Post by Bob » Fri Jan 14, 2005 10:46 pm

Cha-ching!!!
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Apollonaris Zeus
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Post by Apollonaris Zeus » Thu May 05, 2005 6:11 pm

So does anyone have the poop on the playa. I would guess the lake should be about the highest in many year.

Perhaps this could have been the theme of Water!

Hopefully, a much dustier year I hope.

AIIZ

the_iconoclast
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Post by the_iconoclast » Thu May 05, 2005 7:03 pm

Presently the playa hasa mobile lake on it. It journeys around the center at the whim of the wind. It is pretty fascinating... a migrating lake... who'd a thunk it....

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joel the ornery
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what was the question?

Post by joel the ornery » Fri May 06, 2005 6:32 am

wilderness area?

how much more wild does Black Rock need to be?

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unjonharley
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Post by unjonharley » Fri May 06, 2005 10:47 am

gigglesnort wrote:FYI, I am running my own playa chicken breeding program; I have one viable playa chicken specimen and will be reintroducing it to its natural habitat this summer.


~
and what the hell did you breed that""one"" with.
I'm the contraptioneer your mother warned you about.

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ROOSTERSEjX
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Re: what was the question?

Post by ROOSTERSEjX » Thu May 12, 2005 10:10 pm

joel the ornery wrote:wilderness area?

how much more wild does Black Rock need to be?
To answer your question Mr. Ornery:
In this case, "Wilderness" is a legal term used to denote a particular kind of land management. The designation of certain federal lands as 'wilderness' was first passed into law in 1964. This act, as written, defines wilderness as lands which, "generally appear to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of man's work substantially unnoticeable". Wilderness designation, which is enacted by congress, is the strongest legal protection that any public land can gain within the United States. So, when someone talks about making the Black Rock Desert a "wilderness area", this is what they mean. Of course, nobody can make the Black Rock 'more wild', all we can do is realize that it has value in its current state and decide to maintain it as such.

Want to learn more: www.wilderness.net - www.nevadawilderness.org
Want to help keep it wild: www.nevadacleanenergy.org/ - www.sierraclub.org/wildlands/black_rock.asp

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theCryptofishist
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Post by theCryptofishist » Fri May 13, 2005 9:25 am

to reiterate--the playa is already a "National Conservation Area"

Making it a "Wilderness Area" would mean ceding it to the control of the Forest Service, instead of BLM. It would take time and seems pointless and I'm not sure there's any advantage to it.

And I think Joel was joking. You've gotta watch out for him, oblique comments wrapped in curmudgeon. Quite the wit at times.
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ROOSTERSEjX
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Post by ROOSTERSEjX » Fri May 13, 2005 2:24 pm

Yes, correct, most of the Playa is protected as a National Conservation Area. This designation is generally considered one step down from National Park status. You actually cross the NCA boundry just north of Gerlach (look for the sign next time you go by). Making this part of the playa a 'wilderness area' is unlikely since it has a history of recreational use which would become illegal under wilderness designation. Human use of such areas is clearly defined and limited by law; vehicles are not allowed in wilderness, not even bicycles. Wilderness, however is not strictly managed by the Forest Sevice, all four major federal land management agencies administer wilderness (Park Service, Forest Service, BLM, USFWS). Such is the case with the current Black Rock Desert Wilderness, which is managed by the BLM and includes a huge swath of playa east of the Burningman site.

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Isotopia
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Post by Isotopia » Fri May 13, 2005 3:07 pm

Several of the more stingent criteria for wilderness designation include (I belive) the words 'pristine' and 'unspoilt.'

The Black Rock Desert does not fit the bill.

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ROOSTERSEjX
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Post by ROOSTERSEjX » Fri May 13, 2005 10:10 pm

Neither of those words are used to define wilderness. Below is the legal text of the Wilderness Act of 1964, which is the public law used to define wilderness. The Black Rock Desert is quite pristine and unspoilt ("without permanent improvements or human habitation", if you want to use proper terms), it has never been mined, developed, or otherwise settled. Our section of playa clearly 'fits the bill' for wilderness designation, however there is an already-established recreational use, which seems to preclude it from such protection.

DEFINITION OF WILDERNESS
(c) A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain. An area of wilderness is further defined to mean in this Act an area of undeveloped Federal land retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation, which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions and which (1) generally appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of man's work substantially unnoticeable; (2) has outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation; (3) has at least five thousand acres of land or is of sufficient size as to make practicable its preservation and use in an unimpaired condition; and (4) may also contain ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historical value.

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Badger
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Post by Badger » Fri May 13, 2005 11:00 pm

DEFINITION OF WILDERNESS
(c) A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain. An area of wilderness is further defined to mean in this Act an area of undeveloped Federal land retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation, which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions and which (1) generally appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of man's work substantially unnoticeable; (2) has outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation; (3) has at least five thousand acres of land or is of sufficient size as to make practicable its preservation and use in an unimpaired condition; and (4) may also contain ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historical value.
And in my readings over the years most - practically all - of those areas designated wilderness were designated as such because they pretty much met all four points you note above. I'd argue that the Black Rock certainly meets several of the criteria but certainly not all four. Any concerted opposition to the propsal for designated wilderness could easily make the point by pulling pictures of the Black Rock when it was used as a bombing range in the 40's to argue that it is not inimpaired.
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ROOSTERSEjX
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Post by ROOSTERSEjX » Sat May 14, 2005 1:37 am

I fail to see which of the four criteria you are alluding to. Maybe you could specify?
Let's review... To be considered for wilderness status an area must (1) Generally appear to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of man's work substantially unnoticeable. --The only real evidence of man's presence would be tire tracks, which disappear in a few rainy seasons. That, and the moop which we concern ourselves about so. Note that the area has only to 'generally appear' to be in a natural state. (2) Have outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation. --I can't imagine a place more primitive or with more solitude than the Black Rock Desert. In fact, it is one of the least populated regions in the continental US. (3) Have at least five thousand acres of land or is of sufficient size as to make practicable its preservation and use in an unimpaired condition. --Certainly, the playa is BIG enough to meet these conditions. (4) Also contain ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historical value. --While maybe not much of an ecological reserve, the playa contains spectacular scenery, being one of the flattest pieces of land on earth. Also, the playa contains historic pioneer trails and fossilized remains from the Pleistocene.
That the playa was ONCE a bombing range is moot. Many established wilderness areas have a history of exploitation, especially those in the east. Dolly Sods Wilderness (West Virginia) in particular still has warning signs which tell hikers what to do should they come across any unexploded ordinance. Remember, that lands only have to 'generally appear' to be in their natural state. This is why many wildernesses in Nevada contain evidence of past mining, including unused roads.
Regardless, I know of no concerted effort to designate more of the playa as wilderness, and I myself am not advocating this. There are many more deserving and vulnerable areas to concentrate on saving. The Black Rock Desert is already afforded a high level of protection as an NCA and has an established recreational use which makes it's exploitation very unlikely.

P.S. If you want to see some potential wilderness that is getting royally fucked over, check out: http://www.suwa.org

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Apollonaris Zeus
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Post by Apollonaris Zeus » Wed May 18, 2005 6:32 pm

Irreqardless of its designation at this time, it can and will someday be a wilderness. Not all of it of course and the area of which burning man is now located is not in the proposed wilderness area. The area under consideration is in the northeastern part and hopefully the Granites on the western north edge.

But, I'm still hoping that we get our ass off the playa and BLM for good someday. I don't know if many of you have been to Sturgis and its local campground, Buffalochips! But it a great party without law enforcement- even the feds leave it alone.

We love the BR and BM.

Good to hear about the lake. It should be still rising to its highest point in years.

AIIZ

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ROOSTERSEjX
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Post by ROOSTERSEjX » Sat May 21, 2005 11:56 pm

Irreqardless?

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Badger
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Post by Badger » Sun May 22, 2005 12:31 am

But, I'm still hoping that we get our ass off the playa and BLM for good someday.
Yeh, well, set the example. Put that ideology to the test. Be the first to bell the cat and maybe others may follow.

Otherwise your words are only so much lip flapping.
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Post by geekster » Sun May 22, 2005 1:31 am

I would vigorously oppose making the Back Rock Desert a wilderness area. If there is anyplace on the planet where exploitation for the enjoyment of people doing pretty much whatever the fuck they want is okay, that's the place. I can not think of one single place in the US where fewer people are impacted, fewer creatures are disturbed, fewer plants mangled. If there is *anyplace* on this planet where one should be free to do pretty much whatever the fuck they want, that should be the place, emotional attachments notwithstanding.

The place is useless for any other purpose, practically nothing lives there, practically nobody lives there.

Please let there be one place on earth where it is okay to go out and tear shit up, and then pick it up and go home. The pollution and impact on nature created by whatever goes on out there in an entire year is less than what happens in 20 milliseconds in Baltimore.

Fuck a bunch of wilderness crap for the blackrock desert. Burn it.
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Apollonaris Zeus
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Post by Apollonaris Zeus » Sun May 22, 2005 12:16 pm

It's not always about no pollution or building or any of those things. It's about serenity and Isolation, But it's about having someone looking over your shoulder spying on you and what you do.

My comparison to Buffalo Chips in Sturgis is that the cops must have a warrent to get into the event and bust people. So they mainly leave the place and people alone.

AIIZ

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Post by Guest » Sun Mar 19, 2006 1:33 pm

Hey guys Image

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