10 Yr Environmental Impact Statement (Includes Relating to Culture)

A forum for community conversation and deeper discussions about the cultural direction of Burning Man.
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Molotov
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Re: 10 Yr EIS....a cautionary tale for BLM -LONG POST

Post by Molotov » Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:12 am

BLM should be aware there can be repercussions for "arbitrary and capricious demands" placed on event organizers by government agencies.
============================
Excerpt from the article: (Bold and highlighted areas inserted by me)

Latin Music Festival Organizers Claim Police and Fire Demands Ruined Event


The organizers of a now-defunct music festival called “Pueblo Fest” are suing the host city of Tulare, California claiming its fire and police departments sabotaged the event with unreasonable requirements and excessive costs.

The suit was filed by two brothers, Esau and Euler Torres, last week in US District Court for the Eastern District of California naming the City of Tulare, Police Chief Wes Hensley, and Fire Chief Willard Epps as defendants.

Pueblo Fest was intended to be a three-day concert event featuring Mexican and Latin music across seven stages at the International Agri-Center. The inaugural event for what was intended to be an annual music festival took place March 17, 18 and 19, 2017, but resulted in massive losses for Torres brothers. They did not run the event again.

According to the complaint:

Even though Plaintiffs and their musical promotional capabilities were well-known to the City of Tulare and its officials, in the days leading up to Pueblo Fest and during the event, Plaintiffs were subjected to arbitrary and capricious requirements all designed to undermine the success of Pueblo Fest.

Despite Plaintiffs long history of successfully promoting musical events in and about the City of Tulare, such as the Posadas and Viva Tulare, City officials nonetheless racially profiled Pueblo Fest as a Mexican-gang event.

The City of Tulare’s Chief of Police, the City’s Fire Chief, and the City’s Planning Department imposed upon Plaintiffs undue restrictions that are not placed on other similar entertainment events.

Plaintiffs were required to pay cash for permits. Permits were required by the Fire Department for stage equipment even though there was no City ordinance or precedent for such requirements. Plaintiffs were not permitted to sell tickets on-line in advance of the event and were further prohibited from selling tickets “on-site” at the event.

The City’s then Chief of Police explicitly prohibited Plaintiffs from advertising that on-site tickets would be available at the event; ignoring the fact that almost 90% of concert goers buy tickets in person onsite.
Plaintiffs were advised by Defendants and other City officials that the event would be cancelled if tickets were sold on-site on the days of the event.

In addition to retaining independent security officers, the Tulare Police Department insisted that its officers, including the gang unit, be hired and paid-for in advance.

The Tulare Fire Department joined in mandating “building permits” for conditions and circumstances that do not fall within City ordinances and also threatened to cancel the event if Fire Department staff were not hired and paid for in advance.

The City of Tulare Building Department staff also joined in the discriminatory conduct by exercising excessive “red-tape,” threatening to cancel the event one day prior to occurring if “vendor permits” — that were not required — were not secured by vendors.

During the event, an excessive number of police officers were present throughout the event.

Police officials relocated the main-entrance to a less desirable and unplanned location, threatened to shut-down the event if on-site tickets were sold, restricted parking to a non-designated restricted area, mandated inefficient beer-gardens at unplanned locations, and herded attendees into exits immediately after the performance by the last musical act.

As a direct and proximate cause of the unlawful discriminatory conduct by Defendants, and each of them, Plaintiffs suffered economic damages by being prohibited from realizing the full economic potential of the Pueblo Fest.

The complaint alleges violations of federal and state free speech, due process, equal protection rights; race discrimination; selective enforcement/due process violations based upon race and national origin; and violation of the contract clause (Article I § 10 of the US Constitution).

View entire article here

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Re: 10 Yr Environmental Impact Statement (Includes Relating to Culture)

Post by Ano » Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:33 am

I would argue that they know exactly what they are doing, with the end goal of shutting the event down permanently in the Black Rock Desert.

There is just no fair way to read the EIS for Burning Man. They impose odious requirements in so many different parts that it's difficult to attack them all, and even if Burning Man succeeds in fighting off 50% of them, the other 50% will still threaten the event in many ways.

They know what they're doing when they stage an "opiate interdiction" force on 447 in Nixon and pull people for going 24 mph and 26 mph in a 25mph zone. They know what they're doing when they stage ten BLM vehicles at every major gathering, walking through the crowds and spying on crowds with night vision and binoculars. They know what they're doing when they walk up and down streets looking for probable cause to walk through camps. They know what they're doing when they smell pot on a street and use it as an excuse to tear a camp apart. They know what they're doing when they use K-9s on cars struggling to keep 5mph on Gate Road (seriously, it can be difficult, my truck either goes 2mph while loaded down, or between 4-6mph if I'm barely touching the gas), trigger on nothing, and then spend two hours tossing everything to the ground before driving away.

They know what they're doing when they try to claim that the playa is a delicate environment, despite the fact that 30 years ago, it was a known dumping zone for locals. They know what they're doing when they tear across the playa at 60mph to catch someone opening their backpack to check for a snack. They know what they're doing when they shine flashlights in peoples faces who are hanging out in the dark, and they know what they're doing when they walk around, pitch black, in the deep playa.

The feds and the cops don't give a single lick of shit about public safety. If they did, they could use one of their many officers to fight bike/camp theft, sexual assault, work with gate to secure the perimeter a bit better, any number of things. Honestly, there is a ton of stuff we could work cooperatively with them at. Instead, they hunt for low-hanging drug fruit, laugh at people who try to get help with bike or camp theft, actively ignore actual issues, and overstaff themselves before turning around and complaining about their staffing numbers within the EIS.

The EIS is highly worrying for us, but I guarantee BLM leadership are laughing all the way to the meetings next week. They don't give a shit. They want the event dead. And, without coordinated resistance, they'll be successful. They aren't even successful at getting their drug tickets to stick most of the time - all of those nixon pig sprint tickets were thrown out, if you get an attorney your on-playa ticket will 95% of the time be reduced to a misdemeanor littering ticket, if you get a k-9 ticket its the same deal, because every single ticket involves massive violations of our fourth amendment rights, buuuuut they don't care because it gives them numbers and money.

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Re: 10 Yr Environmental Impact Statement (Includes Relating to Culture)

Post by some seeing eye » Tue Apr 02, 2019 11:45 am

Chill out there.

You can choose to look at any problem from a variety of viewpoints. It's unfortunately common to choose victimhood. Instead choose power.

Washoe County and the BLM benefit financially from the event. If the BLM allows it to be killed, they will be killing the golden goose, and all the future large SRP offspring of that goose across the country. But if they do actually kill the event, we can just move on with our lives.
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Re: 10 Yr Environmental Impact Statement (Includes Relating to Culture)

Post by Ano » Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:06 pm

Per the TCS, the current Sheriff of Washoe is on the record stating that he wants the event to end. They don't care about the money.

Look, maybe you don't care about your fourth amendment rights being violated, but as someone who has been harassed by BLM out there for absolutely nothing, I really do care. I've had flashlights in my face for opening my backpack, a few years ago BLM used a dripping vehicle that wasn't even associated with our camp as an open invite to come and visit our private areas multiple times in that week, and if I include my campmates in this, four of our Work Access vehicles were pulled over and searched on the way in last year... four sober campmates. Maybe it doesn't matter to you, but it matters to us. It's why we all wrote feedback and it's why all of us are intending on attending both meetings next week.

It's a shit thing to experience, it's easy to go "oh well what's the big deal" until you end up being accused of nefarious shit and speak with feds for a few hours over nothing. Their attitude is insulting and the experience is shitty.

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Re: 10 Yr Environmental Impact Statement (Includes Relating to Culture)

Post by Token » Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:28 pm

Ano wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:06 pm
Per the TCS, the current Sheriff of Washoe is on the record stating that he wants the event to end.
What’s a TCS? I’d like to read this first-hand.

My understanding is Washoe was fine with BM and Pershing is all crying in their cereal.

Pershing county has a few thousand residents so it makes sense when they bitch about BM. They do not have the deputies to handle 80K worth of population.

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Re: 10 Yr Environmental Impact Statement (Includes Relating to Culture)

Post by some seeing eye » Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:51 pm

How to read and respond to the draft EIS

1 Be polite.

2 Try to support your suggestions in the values of the BLM, which is the decision maker. For instance, the BLM wants to expand the use of public lands for economic recreational uses, and encourage visitors to experience more lands, more often. The main decision maker is also very concerned about archaeological artifacts.

3 Make your own argument for 100000, 80000 or 50000: A, D, B. Or C: 100000 moved North on the Black Rock Playa, or E: end the event.

4 Open up volume 2 and go to the end - Appendix E https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-off ... S_Vol2.pdf. This is going to take some time. Hey invite your friends over for an editing party at home!

These are the "mitigations" which the BLM is proposing to make hard requirements for the event.

Generally I see them in 3 categories:

A BMORG will educate participants on x,y,z. They can do this through the website, their YouTube, regionals, the ticket process. Can we vibe better with the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe or be nicer to the birds? Sure!

B Dumb ideas. Should we reduce light pollution? Eliminate breathing playa dust at the event? The answer here is that excessive regulation is unnecessary, burdensome and costly and participants are responsible and self sufficient, so these measures are unnecessary.

C Fatal to the event ideas. These are proposals inserted into the process by entities that want to end it. Here my argument is that they would conflict with other aims and be incompatible with the rural Nevada cultural values of freedom, libertarianism and the desire to be left alone. To adopt them and end the event would foreclose the BLM desire to issue more SRPs across public lands and drive future recreational earned income to zero.

So copy Appendix E into your document editor and start commenting!

5 Submit your feedback by April 29 to Mr. Mark E. Hall, PhD (yes he has a PhD!) blm_nv_burningmaneis@blm.gov, copy the BORG eis@burningman.org.


The Journal thread comments, Reddit and this ePlaya thread call out some of the bad mitigations. and suggestions on how to frame your polite feedback.
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Re: 10 Yr Environmental Impact Statement (Includes Relating to Culture)

Post by Elliot » Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:02 pm

For many years of my gainful employment... I drove 18-wheelers all over the US.
Among the observations that impressed me most... was the enormous distances and vast open spaces I had to endure crossing, especially in the west.
Surely... there must be numerous large parcels of uninhabited private land that can be purchased affordably for our purpose?

A year or so ago... I read the BLM's 2017 After Action Review. It contains so much praise for Burning Man's handling of practically everything that happens... that it was almost embarrassing to read.
Perhaps what I noted most was that the BLM was extremely pleased with several tasks that could have been handled by the BLM or other governmental agencies, but were taken on by Burning Man, and that Burning Man then handled these matters in impressively exemplary fashion.

There was one exception -- one sub-department of one Burning Man department that performed atrociously, and I have worked in that sub-department for seven years, and I agree that a drastic measure is needed in this one isolated case.

I also agree there are a couple other legitimate concerns in this new DEIS. One is the trash along the road after the event. I leave after most Participants, and the trash I see along the road is outrageous.
I dare say Burning Man has failed on this point. And I also think Burning Man can correct this. Nothing Draconian needed.

If my computer skills are adequate (always in doubt)... the following link should lead to the 2017 After Action Review, so you can see for yourself the preposterous reversal of BLM's philosophies between that document and the new one.
Something highly dramatic has surely happened behind the scenes in this short time.

Thank you.


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Re: 10 Yr Environmental Impact Statement (Includes Relating to Culture)

Post by gaminwench » Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:52 pm

I've seen it posited elsewhere that the BLM is reacting to a novel, Use of Force, in which BRC is the target of a terrorist attack. I've scanned the first bit, and the author has clearly attended the event, he uses actual Theme Camp names and gets lots of 'old timer' info correct.

I wonder if he was given permission by the Org?
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Re: 10 Yr Environmental Impact Statement (Includes Relating to Culture)

Post by Simon of the Playa » Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:22 am

294EAD17-6416-4771-8A7F-0D49754A9FFD.jpeg
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Re: 10 Yr Environmental Impact Statement (Includes Relating to Culture)

Post by some seeing eye » Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:16 am

gaminwench wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:52 pm
I've seen it posited elsewhere that the BLM is reacting to a novel, Use of Force, in which BRC is the target of a terrorist attack....I wonder if he was given permission by the Org?
That would be a good question for IP@burningman.

There have been a very small number of Americans who have personally faced domestic terrorism on US soil, 9-11 excepted. Others have worked overseas and experienced it. The big lie is that it can be reliably prevented. Our system today is layered and includes entrapment. But there is no evaluation of cost. I live in a city that had an entrapment case and I'm supportive of how it played out. But I have friends who went to school with the individual involved who have the opposite opinion.

I love the film Safety Not Guaranteed. It is about a different thing. But its title is spot on.

This exact topic is why I am promoting anonymity as the 12th principle. (My 11 is consent.)

My observation is that the organizers have not yet embraced anonymity as an element of their brand or business plan. It hasn't really been discussed on ePlaya except by myself and Simon of the Playa who first raised the issue of bodyguards. A new datapoint is bodyguard weapon confiscation feeding into the EIS.
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Re: 10 Yr Environmental Impact Statement (Includes Relating to Culture)

Post by Token » Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:27 pm

Woah, wait! So is my concealed carry good at BRC?

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Re: 10 Yr Environmental Impact Statement (Includes Relating to Culture)

Post by Simon of the Playa » Sat Apr 06, 2019 1:06 pm

is that a glock in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?

96B30E32-A891-4FD9-B2DF-2D5FDEF12ADD.jpeg
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Re: 10 Yr Environmental Impact Statement (Includes Relating to Culture)

Post by some seeing eye » Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:08 pm

Token wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:27 pm
Woah, wait! So is my concealed carry good at BRC?

I do not accept gun jokes on ePlaya.


I have several close friends who have survived several mass shootings. One survived two shootings. They are burners or one degree connected to burners. They don't talk about it but the damage is there.

It's minor to their experiences, but guns have been a risk in my overseas experiences. Like child soldiers pointing one at you.
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Re: 10 Yr Environmental Impact Statement (Includes Relating to Culture)

Post by ygmir » Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:16 pm

some seeing eye wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:08 pm
Token wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:27 pm
Woah, wait! So is my concealed carry good at BRC?

I do not accept gun jokes on ePlaya.


I have several close friends who have survived several mass shootings. One survived two shootings. They are burners or one degree connected to burners. They don't talk about it but the damage is there.

It's minor to their experiences, but guns have been a risk in my overseas experiences. Like child soldiers pointing one at you.
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Re: 10 Yr Environmental Impact Statement (Includes Relating to Culture)

Post by Simon of the Playa » Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:27 pm

excuse me, but everybody just back away from the golden apple thrown into the race, please, and focus on the EIS and the BLM and their overreach.

this ain’t about fucking guns.


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Re: 10 Yr Environmental Impact Statement (Includes Relating to Culture)

Post by Token » Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:13 pm

Oh my god it’s a fucking FrogBat!




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Re: 10 Yr Environmental Impact Statement (Includes Relating to Culture)

Post by Simon of the Playa » Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:54 am

word on the street is frogbat has been spotted flying towards santa cruz.
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Re: 10 Yr Environmental Impact Statement (Includes Relating to Culture)

Post by Molotov » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:21 am

So..... if the BMOrg says "Fuck it!" and walks away from the event, the EIS is a moot point. There will be no closure order (although BLM may invent some compelling reason, like endangered fairy shrimp) and the playa will be opened up to the general public for any legal use, much the same as it is the rest of the year.

So then just anybody can show up, camp for free, walk their dogs, drive really fast, and shoot their guns....and do anything else that doesn't violate everyday BLM rules. Sounds like a "win-win" for everybody.

I hope BLM realizes the organizational culture. structure, and internal rules that Burning Man brings to the event are about the only things standing in the way of general anarchy. Short of calling in the National Guard, there isn't enough law enforcement in Nevada capable of suppressing an unorganized Woodstock-style event of general walk-in public use of the land, even if held outside of the closure area (which might not be closed)

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Re: 10 Yr Environmental Impact Statement (Includes Relating to Culture)

Post by lucky420 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:44 pm

In the EIS, BLM did address the need for Leo/closure order in the event that it is cancelled. In reality if that actually stops people, I don’t know...
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Re: 10 Yr Environmental Impact Statement (Includes Relating to Culture)

Post by some seeing eye » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:22 pm

There was a quote in the RGI by Mark Hall, who is the decision maker for the EIS, to the effect of the mitigations are for problems. So the most effective approach is "we can solve the problem associated with each event-ending-expensive mitigation this other way,"

Denying the problem that lead to the mitigation exists may not be effective, and arguing the mitigation is too expensive may not be effective.

Perhaps we will get some feedback from tonight's and tomorrow's public meeting.
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Re: 10 Yr Environmental Impact Statement (Includes Relating to Culture)

Post by Elliot » Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:53 pm

some seeing eye wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:22 pm
... ...mitigations are for problems. So the most effective approach is "we can solve the problem associated with each event-ending-expensive mitigation this other way,"

Denying the problem that lead to the mitigation exists may not be effective, and arguing the mitigation is too expensive may not be effective.
...
HEAR, HEAR!

Golden rule: Never complain without also offering a solution.

I know... these are highly emotional times, and we silly humans are an emotional specie. But we must make the effort to concentrate on solving this.
Thank you!

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Re: 10 Yr Environmental Impact Statement (Includes Relating to Culture)

Post by Popeye » Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:36 pm

Regardin the trash problem on Nevadas roads.

There is already an unused tool to prevent/punish those who lose trash along Nevada's roads. NRS 484D.850 says in part "No vehicle shall be driven or moved on any highway unless such vehicle is so constructed or loaded as to prevent any of its load from dropping, sifting, leaking ..."

If this was enforced on exit- one person directing poorly loaded vehicles with trash on the outside to the side of the exit road on playa and telling them to secure their load. Perhaps a small business selling tarps and bungy cords there also? If they refuse a cop gives them a ticket with all the BS and hassle that that entails. Local governments might find this lucrative.

I believe there is only a few vehicles that drop a large amount of trash. While there would be complaints the first year Burners would soon "get it".
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Re: 10 Yr Environmental Impact Statement (Includes Relating to Culture)

Post by Molotov » Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:54 pm

Or perhaps the BMOrg subsidizes the existing solid waste transfer station near Gerlach, funding several staff positions to keep the normally closed station open on the Labor Day weekend, and renting a sufficient number of roll off dumpsters.

Dumping fees would be kept low enough to encourage folks to stop and drop their bags here rather than flinging them about in Fernley/Reno/California (at least partially funded by cost savings from reducing DPW-LNT roadside trash pickup or perhaps...Gasp!...a $5 increase in each BRC vehicle permit). Yes, while this might impact the businesses run by the tribes, it might actually level the playing field of fees for dropping off bags of trash and everybody gets their fair share of revenue.

Any money made over the actual cost of providing the drop off service could be shared with the tribes and communities most impacted by roadside litter.

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Re: 10 Yr Environmental Impact Statement (Includes Relating to Culture)

Post by Elliot » Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:52 pm

Gerlach? Too late!
I work Perimeter patrol, and at the end of the event we are constantly dragging trash out of Gate Road -- from general debris to large sections of infrastructure or art. Bags are inevitably torn open before we can get to them, and I pick that !@#$%^ up and re-bag it. Last year, someone dropped a metal-and-plastic structure perhaps 15 feet long and five feet across -- and kept right on obliviously going.

Every camp ought to have a program of inspecting and securing its outbound vehicles, just like we have a MOOP sweep program.

There is no excuse for allowing an outside authority to find fault with us on this point.

In closing, I believe Cartha... an 11th Principle should be enacted: Radical Responsibility.

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Re: 10 Yr Environmental Impact Statement (Includes Relating to Culture)

Post by Captain Goddammit » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:04 pm

Doesn’t matter.
Does anyone think stock cars will ever race in “stock car” racing again?
Junior Johnson invented “drafting” in his ‘59 Chevy because it’s 348 couldn’t keep up with the new 389 Pontiacs in about ‘60-‘61.
Now, all cars are virtually identical except for the advertising, let’s see, does Jimmy Johnson drive the Huggies car or the Vagisil car, or Tide or maybe it’s the Summer’s Eve Disposable Douche car...
They used to say Plymouth or Mercury or Ford on them, with speed parts decals and shop or dealership names. And they really were late model Plymouths and Mercurys and Fords.

Burning Man is evolving similarly.
It ain’t what it was.
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Re: 10 Yr Environmental Impact Statement (Includes Relating to Culture)

Post by Ratty » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:10 pm

Hi Capt. Are you drunk again? I can't make heads or tails of your post. Good to see your smiling face.
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Re: 10 Yr Environmental Impact Statement (Includes Relating to Culture)

Post by wraith » Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:39 am

Captain Goddammit wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:04 pm
Doesn’t matter.
Does anyone think stock cars will ever race in “stock car” racing again?
Junior Johnson invented “drafting” in his ‘59 Chevy because it’s 348 couldn’t keep up with the new 389 Pontiacs in about ‘60-‘61.
Now, all cars are virtually identical except for the advertising, let’s see, does Jimmy Johnson drive the Huggies car or the Vagisil car, or Tide or maybe it’s the Summer’s Eve Disposable Douche car...
They used to say Plymouth or Mercury or Ford on them, with speed parts decals and shop or dealership names. And they really were late model Plymouths and Mercurys and Fords.

Burning Man is evolving similarly.
It ain’t what it was.
Near-identical tube frame chassis with a plastic body kit that somewhat resembles a production car on the outside, aye.

BM ain't what it was 50k attendees ago. That doesn't mean what it's becoming has to be bad.

That said, Eternal September is a thing. Once a community gets a permanent influx of new people at a rate faster than they can be socialized into the community's culture, that culture has to either radically change or be doomed to vanish.

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Re: 10 Yr Environmental Impact Statement (Includes Relating to Culture)

Post by Simon of the Playa » Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:23 am

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Re: 10 Yr Environmental Impact Statement (Includes Relating to Culture)

Post by BBadger » Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:01 pm

Popeye wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:36 pm
Regardin the trash problem on Nevadas roads.

There is already an unused tool to prevent/punish those who lose trash along Nevada's roads. NRS 484D.850 says in part "No vehicle shall be driven or moved on any highway unless such vehicle is so constructed or loaded as to prevent any of its load from dropping, sifting, leaking ..."

If this was enforced on exit- one person directing poorly loaded vehicles with trash on the outside to the side of the exit road on playa and telling them to secure their load. Perhaps a small business selling tarps and bungy cords there also? If they refuse a cop gives them a ticket with all the BS and hassle that that entails. Local governments might find this lucrative.

I believe there is only a few vehicles that drop a large amount of trash. While there would be complaints the first year Burners would soon "get it".
I'd support this. Even the delays of being removed from the exodus line to secure your shit would be a good incentive to do it right the first time.
"The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law." -- Christopher Hitchens

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Luigi
Posts: 110
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:53 am
Burning Since: 2014
Camp Name: VW Bus Camp
Location: Reno NV

Re: 10 Yr Environmental Impact Statement (Includes Relating to Culture)

Post by Luigi » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:58 pm

After reading some of the EIS and attending the town hall BLM meeting in Reno last Monday, it appears what the BLM wants is to 'limit the impact on the playa'

With alternative plan B the population cap would be 50K and most of the crazy mitigations go away.

The culture is a different story. The cap of 50K, no outside services, no burner bus or commercial air, maybe a start down the road, but getting a handle on the cell phone problem is a tough one.
"Water is the driving force of all nature. " Leonardo da Vinci

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