Does Burning Man really leave no trace?

All things outside of Burning Man.

Does Burning Man really leave no trace?

Postby sparks » Sat Jan 17, 2004 9:55 am

Hello!

As most of you know, there is some debate going on right now over what is said on http://www.stopburningman.org . There are those who feel that BM should just go away and never come back, and there are those that think BM is the best thing that ever hit the face of the Earth. Then, there are those who just want to see people do the right thing.

I haven't actually seen the lasting impact that BM has on the playa itself, because I haven't been to the event site after the event. However, having personally witnessed the deterioration of Frog Pond over the past few years, along with the demonstrated lack of regard for this 'oasis' by the water truck drivers, etc., I believe that it's only fair that an independent, unbiased environmental impact assessment be done before and after the event every year, as is proposed at the end of the newly-updated letter on http://www.stopburningman.org . The damage at the local hot springs is enough to justify a little bit of investigation, IMHO.

I normally don't care about the environment that much (I don't recycle, etc.), so please realize that this isn't coming from an environmental zealot. However, what gets to me is this: BM participants are generally a free-thinking and open-minded bunch of people, and as such I would think that they'd be more interested in what is happening to the few local natural resources that do exist out there. The fact that this conservative, analytical, industrially-oriented guy who never gave a second thought to the environment is talking to BM participants ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT tells me that there is a lack of awareness. I say that this awareness needs to be increased through the independent environmental impact assessment that I've proposed.

How can the truth hurt anything? Can any of you tell me how many miles you have to travel from Frog Pond to find another tree in Black Rock Desert? I believe the nearest would be Gerlach. Frog Pond is a valuable resource that should be protected, not used as a water truck filling station. People like us have to effect any change that will take place, since the $500,000 that BLM gets from BM every year tends to keep their mouths shut.

I'd like to hear your opinions, please. This is meant in a completely constructive way. I personally like the idea of Burning Man, but not at the expense of something natural that can't be replaced.

-Rodney Sparks
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A concurrence

Postby stopbmorg » Sat Jan 17, 2004 10:40 am

Rodney, I agree with 100% of what you say. But I think there are other problems that justify a deeper look at what goes on at the playa.

The cleanup standard used by BLM, and readily accepted by BM, is hardly scientific beyond the idea that you can get a rough count of square footage of trash over the whole event, on average. That standard is the entire basis for determining "clean" from "dirty". In addition, the transects which are walked and in which garbage is collected (3 transects, picked at random) does not allow for a differentiation between high use areas (center camp, large installations) and low use areas (open playa areas). There is also no differentiation among the types of trash beyond a basic organic/inorganic division. Granted, any trash is bad, but I would propose that 24 inch chunks of vertical rebar, vertical tent/gutter stakes and other nasty pieces of steel would have a greater impact than a bottle cap. Granted, the impact here diverges from just the ecological, to the ecological and the impact to safety of other users.

For example, because the cleanup standard is 2D and not cubic or 3D, the engine block of a small car, like a Dodge Neon, could be left out there after the event and it would, by my rough measurements, fit within the 'trash squares' (wooden measuring templates used by BLM). Under the letter and personally experienced application of the cleanup standard, if the block could be stood on end in the trash square, BM would get a passing grade.

A newer method was proposed using circular 1/10 acre plots to be located randomly within the event boundary, but which would be correlated with high/low use areas. Oddly, although this was being examined and studied as of at least the May 2002 transect walk, nothing has come of it (inquiries to BLM about this have gone unanswered).

Because of the lack of responsiveness to urging to implement a more accountable and more scientific method of determining cleanliness of the playa, I think it is entirely reasonable and proper to involve an un-biased 3rd party in determining the state of the environment, as well as in assessing the actual cleanup, post-event.
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Postby Owl » Sat Jan 17, 2004 11:33 am

Yes, well, suppose this did happen, using a scientific method and an unbiased third party to essentially check up on BLC like a mother barging in to her son's room uninvited at anytime, and if it doesn't meet her standards, he's grounded for life, this will either increase the general stress at Burning Man (stress, actually, is what at least 50% of burners are trying to escape at BM), or cause more people to disregard the state of the playa. Usually, the reason that people leave garbage on the playa is that either they have no room in thier trucks to take it home and/or they are out of garbage space, what I would do is place a closed off dumpster at centercamp and they must get permission to use it. and perhaps use gift economy and give away trash bags at center camp.
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Postby sparks » Sat Jan 17, 2004 12:18 pm

I'm proposing a pre-event and post-event inspection, not a during-event inspection. There would be no 'barging in'. I think that with an event this size comes a great level of responsibility for the impact it might have on the surroundings, and I think that having a third party come in and quantitatively assess that impact would be completely fair, and justified. In California, NOTHING of this size can happen without some form of environmental assessment, or even an EIR (Environmental Impact Report, usually VERY extensive), and although we're talking about Nevada (BLM) law here, one should not throw ethics out the window in the absence of such laws. I too go to the desert to escape stress, but certain things still need to be observed. If people disregard the state of the playa as a result of 'added pressure', they'll hurt Burning Man in the process by increasing its environmental impact. I'm sure only a fraction of the BM participants have a conscience regarding the environment to the point where they'd willingly avoid leaving trash behind, and it's clearly the job of Burning Man to clean up after the ones without a conscience.

It's really just a matter of people being responsible for their actions.

One other point I'd like to make is that I am not an expert on desert ecology, and I'm not saying that there is DEFINITELY a very significant impact on the environment up there. I have no clue how quickly those hot springs and their associated wildlife, etc. will bounce back from the damage they've seen... it could be 1 year, it could be 25 years. I feel like I've just seen enough damage to justify a third party assessment of the situation.

Owl wrote:Yes, well, suppose this did happen, using a scientific method and an unbiased third party to essentially check up on BLC like a mother barging in to her son's room uninvited at anytime, and if it doesn't meet her standards, he's grounded for life, this will either increase the general stress at Burning Man (stress, actually, is what at least 50% of burners are trying to escape at BM), or cause more people to disregard the state of the playa. Usually, the reason that people leave garbage on the playa is that either they have no room in thier trucks to take it home and/or they are out of garbage space, what I would do is place a closed off dumpster at centercamp and they must get permission to use it. and perhaps use gift economy and give away trash bags at center camp.
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Re: A concurrence

Postby sparks » Sat Jan 17, 2004 12:21 pm

stopbmorg-

Very interesting. Sounds like a way of just doing the minimum, with little regard to a quantitative answer. The cleanup effort really should be in proportion with the size of the event, IMHO, which is apparently not the case...

-Rodney

stopbmorg wrote:Rodney, I agree with 100% of what you say. But I think there are other problems that justify a deeper look at what goes on at the playa.

The cleanup standard used by BLM, and readily accepted by BM, is hardly scientific beyond the idea that you can get a rough count of square footage of trash over the whole event, on average. That standard is the entire basis for determining "clean" from "dirty". In addition, the transects which are walked and in which garbage is collected (3 transects, picked at random) does not allow for a differentiation between high use areas (center camp, large installations) and low use areas (open playa areas). There is also no differentiation among the types of trash beyond a basic organic/inorganic division. Granted, any trash is bad, but I would propose that 24 inch chunks of vertical rebar, vertical tent/gutter stakes and other nasty pieces of steel would have a greater impact than a bottle cap. Granted, the impact here diverges from just the ecological, to the ecological and the impact to safety of other users.

For example, because the cleanup standard is 2D and not cubic or 3D, the engine block of a small car, like a Dodge Neon, could be left out there after the event and it would, by my rough measurements, fit within the 'trash squares' (wooden measuring templates used by BLM). Under the letter and personally experienced application of the cleanup standard, if the block could be stood on end in the trash square, BM would get a passing grade.

A newer method was proposed using circular 1/10 acre plots to be located randomly within the event boundary, but which would be correlated with high/low use areas. Oddly, although this was being examined and studied as of at least the May 2002 transect walk, nothing has come of it (inquiries to BLM about this have gone unanswered).

Because of the lack of responsiveness to urging to implement a more accountable and more scientific method of determining cleanliness of the playa, I think it is entirely reasonable and proper to involve an un-biased 3rd party in determining the state of the environment, as well as in assessing the actual cleanup, post-event.
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Postby bgirl » Sat Jan 17, 2004 2:31 pm

BLACK ROCK CITY LLC PASSES ANNUAL BLM EVENT CLEAN-UP INSPECTION WITH FLYING COLORS
Burning Man Named Largest ‘Leave No Trace’ Event in the World

October 29, 2003 Reno, Nev. – Black Rock City LLC, the organization that hosts the Burning Man event, once again passed its annual clean-up inspection this month. The inspection is conducted by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on the Black Rock Desert in Northern Nevada, where the annual arts event is held over the Labor Day week.

Dave Cooper, Manager, Black Rock Desert, National Conservation Area, comments: “Black Rock City LLC has once again exceeded BLM’s cleanup standards and expectations. The organization not only practices good public land use ethics, it also teaches this ethic to all participants at the event each year. This makes Burning Man the largest ‘Leave No Trace’ event in the world.”

The annual inspection is one of a series of inspections conducted by the BLM to ensure that Burning Man adheres to its principle of “Leave No Trace.” Based on a random computer-generated selection process, three transects of 1000 feet by 150 feet within the plot of land where the event is held were inspected. Another inspection is scheduled for May 2004 to check the state of the playa following the winter weather.

According to Tony Perez, manager of the clean-up efforts, “We have once again witnessed the ‘magic disappearing city’ as a metropolis of more than 30,000 participants vanished without a trace. Participants in our event made this possible, taking responsibility for their own impact on the land. This year we also adopted a number of new clean-up methods to ensure that we continue to be the gold standard that the BLM uses to compare all the other groups that enjoy the use of public land.”

The Burning Man organization dedicates significant resources to event cleanup efforts. A crew ranging from fifteen to sixty have been working on the project since the event ended on September 1, including many Nevada residents from the local Gerlach area and Reno.

According to Larry Harvey, Founder and Director of the Burning Man organization, “We are very pleased to once again have exceeded the expectations of BLM and will continue to set our own high standards based on the principles of Leave No Trace. We hope that other organizations around the world will follow our example and make a commitment to educating their participants about environmental impact and responsibility.”

Burning Man Background
For thirteen years, the Black Rock Desert outside of Reno, Nevada, has been home to the increasingly popular and influential Burning Man event. The annual event, which began on a beach in San Francisco in 1986, has grown to attract more than 30,000 participants annually, from every state of the Union and twenty-two countries worldwide. Based on corporate accounting and participant survey data, the organization estimates that it contributes $10 million annually to Washoe County, including real estate taxes, vehicle and equipment rental, and the money that its participants spend on groceries, supplies and lodging on the way in and out of the event. The organization also contributed approximately $600,000 in 2003 to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for land use for the area where it stages its event.

For more information please contact Tom Clark, KPS3, 775.686.2115
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Postby sparks » Sat Jan 17, 2004 2:47 pm

bgirl wrote:BLACK ROCK CITY LLC PASSES ANNUAL BLM EVENT CLEAN-UP INSPECTION WITH FLYING COLORS
Burning Man Named Largest ‘Leave No Trace’ Event in the World


The main objections I have to using this as conclusive proof are:

1) BLM has a vested interest (>$600,000/year) in making sure Burning Man continues at that location, as opposed to reservation land or other private land

2) It says nothing about the standard to which Burning Man is held with regard to the quality of cleanup. Also, it does not take into account Frog Pond, unless I'm mistaken. Sure, Frog Pond is private property that is leased to Black Rock City, LLC, but does that give them the right to do what they want with the natural resources there? Legally, maybe. Ethically, in my opinion, no.

3) Who developed the cleanup standards? BLM? Please see 1) above. :wink: Was the plan ever approved by a qualified, unbiased professional?

Why did the BLM fee go up so much in recent years, if Burning Man is doing such a good job of cleaning up? This isn't a rhetorical question... I'd really like to know. I think the permit fee was MUCH less back in 2000 or so, and was increased as a result of poor cleanup, if I remember correctly... someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

-Rodney
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Postby Tancorix » Sat Jan 17, 2004 2:57 pm

I understand the discussion going on but this is just the e-playa. It currently has a user base of 3000 people and the only "senior" staff I've ever run across here is the wonderful Actiongrl. (No offense to Technopatra, Spanky or the ETF members). By posting all this here in an effort to make change, who are you trying to reach? How are you trying to effect change with a core group of maybe 300-500 users and maybe 150 frequently active posters? Are any of you doing other things besides submitting FOIA requests to push these changes?

I like a good debate but the whole point behind this as I see it is to get the ORG to make the changes you want to see done. Is this really the best forum to make it happen? I'm not passing judgement yet, I'd like to hear a valid response from any of the 3 people / sock puppets / activists involved in this. And I'm sure I'm not alone.
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Postby bgirl » Sat Jan 17, 2004 3:23 pm

When you say," Does Burning Man really leave no trace?" ,are you trying to say ,"Do the 30,000 or so people attending the event really clean-up after themselves?"
Me and my friends cleaned-up after ourselves(yes, we carried butt tins )at ALL times,during our stay on the beautiful playa.The people we joined camps with(60-80) cleaned up after themselves,and then some.Before we leave, we always do a good job cleaning-up the surrounding areas of our camp ,as well.Just before we leave, I like to walk out on the desert for a mile or two,sit and meditate for awhile,and on my walk back to the van I like to spend some time picking up any garbage my eyes can spot.I think most people who attend BM do an excellent job of practicing the ," leave no trace," philosophy .
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Postby sparks » Sat Jan 17, 2004 4:16 pm

That's awesome! I think that if everyone at the event were as consciencious as you and your friends are, things would be great. However, some people choose to leave rebar sticking out of the playa, generator holes uncovered, etc...

When I say "Burning Man", I'm not referring to a bunch of individuals, but rather to the organization that is responsible for the event. It really doesn't matter what the people leave behind, as long as BRC LLC makes sure it's cleaned up to an acceptable level. Based on what 'stopbmorg' has seen personally, the standard is pretty low. Ecology aside, wasteland or not, that playa is there for everyone to use. If rebar and holes are left in the ground, people can't safely drive across the playa.

-Rodney

bgirl wrote:When you say," Does Burning Man really leave no trace?" ,are you trying to say ,"Do the 30,000 or so people attending the event really clean-up after themselves?"
Me and my friends cleaned-up after ourselves(yes, we carried butt tins )at ALL times,during our stay on the beautiful playa.The people we joined camps with(60-80) cleaned up after themselves,and then some.Before we leave, we always do a good job cleaning-up the surrounding areas of our camp ,as well.Just before we leave, I like to walk out on the desert for a mile or two,sit and meditate for awhile,and on my walk back to the van I like to spend some time picking up any garbage my eyes can spot.I think most people who attend BM do an excellent job of practicing the ," leave no trace," philosophy .
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BLM's own admission that the cleanup standard is arbitrary

Postby stopbmorg » Sat Jan 17, 2004 8:27 pm

This is the text of a recent letter from BLM re: the BM cleanup standard.
All typos were left included. The memo is from a Roger
Farschon, NCA ecologist, addressed to Dave Cooper, NCA manager. Items in <b> bold </b> are my emphasis.

(start)
The standard and the protocol were initially developed and implemented by
Mike Bilbo, formerly an Outdoor Recreation planner with the Winnemucca
Field Office. Mike provided me with the following information:
Following the poor cleanup effort of 1998 when it rained hard during the
event, Mike wanted to set a standard for cleanup that was simple to
conduct and was measurable. He talked to folks in the office who work
with vegetation transects and finally, after the 1999 event, he came up
with the concept of evaluating debris left within a large transect area.
Mike used a 100 by 1500 foot transect. This transect size was evaluated
at two sites outside the Burning Man event and three sites within the 1999
City. <b>Mike was able to demonstrate to Will Rogers of the Burning Man
organization that outside the City was cleaner than inside the City.</b> The transect size was based upon dimensions that could be walked by 15 people in a relatively short time period and that covered a relatively large area.

<b>Mike did not recall the specifics of how the threshold of 5 square
feet of debris per transect was arrived at. He thought it came about in
discussions between BLM, Burnging Man organizers and members of the
Friends of Black Rock that were held in the field.</b>

Mikes Protocol:
Prior to taking the field, three small sandbags were tossed over his
shoulder onto a map of Black Rock City. The locations indicated on the
map were entered into a GPS unit as "waypoints" to provide easy points to find for each of the three transects in the field. Each GPS location in
the field became the "lower left" corner of each transect. The
orientation of each transect was determined by Mike tossing a stick over
his shoulder at the "lower left" corner and nothing the direction the
stick pointed. A 100 fot rope with 15 regularly spaced knots was laid on
the base line perpendicular to the transect direction and an observer
assigned to each knot location. The long distance of each transect (1500
feet) was established either by electronic distance meter or using the
GPS. Each transect was then slowly walked by the observers, with care
taken to keep them equally spaced and in a straight line (more difficult
than you might think). Each observer collected every piece of debris he
or she observed. At the conclusion of the transect walk all the debris
was consolidated and laid in a single layer within a square frame. The
surface area of the debris was then measured to compare to the threshold value. The process was then repeated for the additional two transects.

Mikes Cleanup Standard:
The debris collected from each transect must occupy less than 5 square
feet in area. All debris collected from each transected was consolidated
and laid in a single layer within a 5 square foot frame. If the total
area occupied by debris exceeds the area of the frame, cleanup efforts
were not adequate. The was and remains the standard that must be met in order for the Burning Man event to be in compliance with the terms of its Special Recreation permit. If the frame were completely filled it would
mean that debris in the transect area would equal 33.3 parts per million.
Changes:
Since I have been doing the cleanup compliance inspections I have changed the protocol but not the standard. The major difference is that I use a 100 by 1000 foot transect instead of the 100 by 1500 foot transect that Mike used.

This was originally an error on my part because I did not have
Mike's notes before I went to the field. However, after doing it wrong
the first time, I now prefer the 100 by 1000 feet plot size for several
reasons. First, 100 by 1000 feet describes an area that is a power of
ten, hence I can easily describe debris in parts per million. Secondly,
the intent was to sample the parts of the City that receive substantial
use, and the longer transects commonly included larged areas that received
little use during the event. This occurred because randomly locating
points within the city and picking a random direction often included a
portion of the transect falling outside the city. The smaller plit is
also better suited for use when inspecting other events where the entire
event area may occupy only fractions of a single transect area.
Instead of tossing markers over my shoulder, I use a random point
genreating application within the ArcView 3.2 software to assign 10 random
points within the City and then use the observers t pick three of the
points prior to locating them on the ground to increase randomness.
Since tossing items can create a possible bias for sampling, I use the
second hand of a watch and a compass to pick the cardinal direction for
each transect. The long axis of each transect is established using a
surveyor's tape.
I hav also adjusted the threshold downward from 5 square feet to 3.33
square feet to account for the difference in the size of each transect.
The standard, as set by Mike of 33.3 parts per million, remains unchanged.
Future:
I intend to include an evaluation of the cleanup transect protocols and
threshold standards as art of the larger evaluation of the three
consecutive years the Burning Man event has occupied the same site. Part
of that process is an evaluation of the entire playa for debris.
Volunteers will read 1000 one-tenth acre circular plots randomly located
on the playa, collecting all debris. This survey will establish the
background level of debris that can be used to evaluate the debris
standard. Ths will enable development of a cleanup standardfor future
events based on the actual background level of debris rather than on the
<b>arbitrary standard used up to this point</b>.
I will also be looking at the sampling method. I think a better method
would be to randomly locate at least 25 one-tenth acre circular plots
within the city, read them prior to the event, post cleanup, and after
the winter wet season. Moving to one-tenth acre plots will allow the
cleanup inspection to be tailored to the event size and configuration,
provide a repeatable standard, can be tailored to the number of observers
that area available and each plot can be rapidly read in the field.
Conclusion:
The methods and cleanup standard used are somewhat <b>arbitrary</b>, but were
based upon the best knowledge available at the time. The standard was
agreed upon prior to substantial data being collected, serves a need, and
has resulted in improved compliance by Burning Man and other special use permittees.
(end)

This really warrants some criticism. First, the standard is admittedly arbitrary. Is was arrived at by a concensus which implies that it was designed to placate BM, BLM and Black Rock Friends. That means it is NOT scientific and lacks a scientific, real-world grounding. In essence, you can compare year-to-year results and see that the BM site from 2000-2003 may be cleaner, but there is no hard data to compare it to. In essence, EVERYTHING BLM bases the clean up standard on is without scientific backing and basis.

In addition, it should be noted that the method of picking the 10 random points using ArcView is not truly random. Computer software is inherently incapable of generating truly random number sequences absent a proper entropy gathering mechanism. As an expert in this field, the ArcView software does not utilize more than a seed and a pseudo-random generator. That means over time, the 10 random points will converge and there will be some predicability and statistical bias present in the method.

The proposed future method has not, to the best of my knowledge, been implemented, and the arbitrary and unscientific method is still in use. This, in my opinion, furthers the legitimate need and desire for a 3rd party evaluation post-cleanup.
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Postby sparks » Sun Jan 18, 2004 12:39 am

Here's a tidbit of info to chew on: I calculated the percentage of the area of the Burning Man event that is covered by these 100'x1000' transects to be equal to 0.32%. Yes, that's 0.0032. It's been a little while since I took statistics, but this sample seems a bit small. Here's a graphic that should illustrate what I'm saying:

Image

This is an actual comparison between the trash fence boundary and the length and width of three random transects. This level of sampling might be okay for a pre-election poll or something similar to that, but I don't think it is sufficient for this event. Does anyone have opinions on this matter?

-Rodney
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the cleanup standard as said by blm mike bilbo Might be bad

Postby allanon2 » Sun Jan 18, 2004 11:48 am

might not valid.
Mike Bilbo said in a memo 10/05/2001 writtento many people at BLM and burning man says that maybe the cleanup standard is not valid. The more we look the more trash we find.
Will Roger of burningman arrived at the end of the transects that day and said hey no fair you keep looking and you keep finding more trash.

Well to make a long story short (hte whole document will be posted on www.stopburningman.org soon) Mike Bilbo said maybe we should chnage methodologies on how we inspect Burning man post event.
Mike bilbo moved down to arizona or new mexico a short time later for anouther job (blackrock was becoming the NCA and Dave Cooper took over)
nothing has been done about the transects since even thou the person who created them had issues.

the truth is out their if people will listen

ttyl
Allanon


sparks wrote:
bgirl wrote:BLACK ROCK CITY LLC PASSES ANNUAL BLM EVENT CLEAN-UP INSPECTION WITH FLYING COLORS
Burning Man Named Largest ‘Leave No Trace’ Event in the World


The main objections I have to using this as conclusive proof are:

1) BLM has a vested interest (>$600,000/year) in making sure Burning Man continues at that location, as opposed to reservation land or other private land

2) It says nothing about the standard to which Burning Man is held with regard to the quality of cleanup. Also, it does not take into account Frog Pond, unless I'm mistaken. Sure, Frog Pond is private property that is leased to Black Rock City, LLC, but does that give them the right to do what they want with the natural resources there? Legally, maybe. Ethically, in my opinion, no.

3) Who developed the cleanup standards? BLM? Please see 1) above. :wink: Was the plan ever approved by a qualified, unbiased professional?

Why did the BLM fee go up so much in recent years, if Burning Man is doing such a good job of cleaning up? This isn't a rhetorical question... I'd really like to know. I think the permit fee was MUCH less back in 2000 or so, and was increased as a result of poor cleanup, if I remember correctly... someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

-Rodney
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Postby sparks » Sun Jan 18, 2004 4:17 pm

Tancorix wrote:I understand the discussion going on but this is just the e-playa. It currently has a user base of 3000 people and the only "senior" staff I've ever run across here is the wonderful Actiongrl. (No offense to Technopatra, Spanky or the ETF members). By posting all this here in an effort to make change, who are you trying to reach? How are you trying to effect change with a core group of maybe 300-500 users and maybe 150 frequently active posters? Are any of you doing other things besides submitting FOIA requests to push these changes?

I like a good debate but the whole point behind this as I see it is to get the ORG to make the changes you want to see done. Is this really the best forum to make it happen? I'm not passing judgement yet, I'd like to hear a valid response from any of the 3 people / sock puppets / activists involved in this. And I'm sure I'm not alone.


Tancorix-

Sorry I missed your reply... it got buried in the middle of the thread and I just now saw it. ;-)

I can't speak for the other guys you referred to, but my motivation here is to try to increase the level of environmental awareness, especially with regard to the natural resources surrounding the playa, i.e. Frog Pond. People inside the event don't know what's going on outside the event, and I really feel that if they saw it, they'd care. Admittedly, I too feel that the area is somewhat of a 'wasteland', but that just makes sites like Frog Pond more important to preserve.

What other forum is there in which to present this information? If there is another, please let me know. Yes, I would like to see BMORG make changes, such as a) environmental impact studies, b) habitat mitigation, if necessary, and c) uphold a higher standard with regard to cleanup of the playa. We don't have the resources to reach thousands and thousands of people, but if a couple of people on this forum were to also see the need for some additional, more formal environmental impact studies and pass the word on, then something's been accomplished.

-Rodney
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Postby sparks » Mon Jan 19, 2004 9:23 am

Hey everyone-

Some scanned documents have been added to the site:
http://www.stopburningman.org/images/index.html
If you're curious, they're worth reading. In short, they show that a) qualified ecologists have determined that a thorough environmental impact assessment is definitely warranted, and b) Mike Bilbo of BLM (the originator of the cleanup standards) thinks that the standards should be more strict. Keep in mind that since Mike has left, his 1500-foot transect walks have been reduced to 1000 feet, making the situation even worse.

Thanks for keeping an open mind... This is not self-serving in any way; it's all in the name of saving what life there is out there.

-Rodney Sparks
'Environmental Activist' who doesn't recycle his cans. :lol:
"Corduroy pillows... they're making headlines"
- unknown wise man
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Postby Chai Guy » Mon Jan 19, 2004 3:34 pm

Could you guys pick ONE thread to discuss this issue? I don't really care which one. I'm sure it would be a lot easier for you and those who wish to discuss this issue with you. Thanks- Chai
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Postby KellY » Mon Jan 19, 2004 7:33 pm

To all the stopburningman people, sock puppets, and/or multiple personalities:

The insane number of threads this whole discussion is happening on seems both detrimental to the board and the topic itself, with all the cross-postings, redundant questions, etc. If you are actually concerned about the environmental impact of the event and not just trying to fuck with our community, please pick one thread to carry on the discussion, or start a single new one, and let's proceed from there. Any post aside from saying "Let's go to this thread" will look suspiciously troll-like, I am thinking.

To everyone else on the board, I respectfully ask that you don't post on any more of these threads until a single one is chosen. I'm sorry about the multiple cross postings and if this seems high-handed. I suppose I could have asked the moderators to intervene, but you know...radical self-reliance and all that.
"Of what use is a philosopher who doesn't hurt anybody's feelings?" -Diogenes
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Postby sparks » Mon Jan 19, 2004 7:51 pm

Well, I started this thread to get away from the mud throwing and ranting that was going on in the other threads, in an effort to transition this thing into something resembling a constructive discussion. ;-)

-Rodney
"Corduroy pillows... they're making headlines"
- unknown wise man
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Postby Chai Guy » Mon Jan 19, 2004 7:55 pm

Well, I started this thread to get away from the mud throwing and ranting that was going on in the other threads, in an effort to transition this thing into something resembling a constructive discussion.

-Rodney


So now would be a great time to focus your attention and ours to one thread discussing this important issue. Please choose ONE thread to continue this discussion (or create ONE new thread). I think this will help everyone better understand and contribute to this topic. Thanks- Chai
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lets go here

Postby allanon2 » Mon Jan 19, 2004 8:12 pm

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Postby Zane5100 » Tue Jan 20, 2004 5:34 pm

Bingo.

Bingo. The clown-o.
Last edited by Zane5100 on Tue Feb 03, 2004 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
middle-aged, wannabe-hipster, dilettante
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Go to the BLM website and see

Postby Ducky » Tue Feb 03, 2004 3:23 pm

Not only are we so good at leaving no trace, the BLM has decided to up its standards imposed on other groups. To those standards that Burning Man imposes on its self.
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