Past, Present, and Foreseeable Actions. Through the consultation process, no sacred sites have been identified in the project area. While sacred sites may exist in the assessment area, until the Northern Paiutes are forthcoming on where these are, determining past, present, and foreseeable actions that may contribute to cumulative effects is difficult.
Cumulative Impacts from the Proposed Action. An annual increase in the population of Black Rock City would cause more traffic to go through the Pyramid Lake and Summit Lake Reservations; other foreseeable projects in the assessment area would produce a minimal increase in traffic compared to Burning Man. The increase of participants could cause more rutting of the playa.
Do they sound just a little peevish there? or is it just me?
I really love the list of recreational activities:
Most of the recreational uses of the playa, including jeep tours, equestrian tours, cattle drives, world land speed record, filming, large camp-outs, mountain bike races, and other activities that require a special recreation permit, would not take place when the playa is muddy or flooded. Recreational uses of the playa could result in indirect impacts related to use of hot springs in the area.
Under the first consideration, Burning Man appears to be scheduled at a time of year when the regional recreation and tourism industry has sufficient capacity to serve the festival participants. Peak visitation typically is in July and August prior to the festival, which is scheduled at the end of the “summer” season. Because Burning Man does not cause the tourism facilities to exceed summertime peak capacities, the event is able to use existing resources employed for other reasons. Increased event attendance allows local businesses to spread costs over a larger customer base, likely leading to lower prices and increased affordability for other tourists. Because Burning Man does not appear to be competing with other events or activities for resources, it is not squeezing out other important economic activity.
I find that interesting in light of the repeated calls to have the event earlier in the summer. I don't know when the event would be straining resources because it's competing with other events would happen on the calendar, but I never realized that that could be a consideration.