New EA (for Permit) Released

No matter your skills or interests, there's a way for you to participate in the creation and manifestation of Black Rock City, both at the event and year-round.

Re: New EA (for Permit) Released

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:04 pm

Project Name: Granite Creek Ranch – Recreational Cabins
Location: 16 miles north of Gerlach on County Road 34
Proponant: Granite Creek Partners LLC
Status: Hearing Date 12/2011
1.5 acres
Project Description: Construction of 5 permanent cabins under the classification of a destination resort.
Impacted Resourses: Air Quality
Environmental Justice
Economics
Social Values
Recreation
Public Health and Safety


Activities within the NCA that have required a Special Recreation Permit include:
 Hunting outfitters and guides;
 Jeep tours (4-wheel drive) that charge participants;
 Equestrian tours and wagon train rides;
 Cattle drives that charge individuals to ride along;
 Filming or photography for profit even if associated with recreational use;
 Unique activities, such as rocket launching and land sailing;
 World land speed record;
 Amateur altitude record rocket launches;
 Large scout camp-out;
 Fraternity activity;
 Large family reunion;
 OHV races;
 Horse endurance rides;
 Mountain bike races.


The Proposed Action would contribute to impacts to the three segments of the California National Historic Trail within the study area (Applegate-Lassen andNoble’s, ) and one segment of the Fremont Exploration Route for the duration of the 8-day event and set-up and clean-up of the event. Resources eligible for the National Register of Historic Places at the five springs [Black Rock Hot Springs, Double Hot Springs, Great Boiling Hot Springs (Gerlach, NV), Soldier (Mud) Meadows, and Trego Hot Springs] have been impacted by vandalism. The Proposed Action could contribute to further cumulative impacts to these resources, particularly the unauthorized collection of artifacts, as the result of increased visitation and vandalism.

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Re: New EA (for Permit) Released

Postby VultureChow » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:15 pm

burner von braun wrote:thanks for posting excerpts Fishy..

I agree that the trapped by rain scenario is by far the most likely 'major' event that we might encounter. There would be a substantial need for outside communications at that point as well, burners calling family, work, etc. 100,000 calls out from a place with little or no cell phone service, in a timely manner.



A nice solution to that would be a designated emergency contact email. In the event the event is in lockdown, emails go out to your contact informing them of this and that personal contact from the individual might be limited. Updates could be sent out. It wouldn't stop people from trying to make contact, but would ease the minds of those who are unable to.
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Re: New EA (for Permit) Released

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:22 pm

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.
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Re: New EA (for Permit) Released

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:42 pm

Cumulative Impacts from the Proposed Action. The Proposed Action would contribute to traffic during the 10-day travel period. Traffic resulting from the event is highest during Labor Day weekend when event participants are exiting the playa. Traffic is heaviest during a holiday weekend, so many of the past, present, and foreseeable actions would not contribute traffic as the holiday would reduce work-related traffic. On the other hand, northern Nevada has a number of tourist destinations for dispersed recreation and other activities, and holidays themselves are events that generate increased traffic. In the event some of the activities overlapped and used the same access routes, this level of traffic could have the potential to exceed the capacity of County Road 34 and SR-447 in Nixon.


No irreversible and irretrievable commitment of resources is expected.


And that ends chapter 5, Indirect Impacts...
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Re: New EA (for Permit) Released

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:06 pm

Whoops!
the EA wrote:3. Population Growth
Using 2010 and 2011 population as the base, and taking into consideration the totality of data available, BRC estimates that the growth rate of the Burning Man event will average 6% a year from 2012 through 2016. As in the past, population will decline in some years, increase in others, but over time will average to 6%. This is similar to the average growth we experienced during the last five years. It does appear though that the growth rate is declining over time.


This is from the operating plan. I'm sure it will be re-written.
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Re: New EA (for Permit) Released

Postby junglesmacks » Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:08 pm

Ya think? :lol:
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Re: New EA (for Permit) Released

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:14 pm

From the operating plan (last year's):
BRC/LLC will also keep extra toilets as part of a contingency should the need arise for more units.


Ah, they have secret toilet banks? (I haven't a clue how they deploy them in the case of nasty rain...)
It goes on...
As in the past, BRC/LLC is committed to the cleanliness of the toilets. We will work closely with the vendor to constantly improve the following areas: toilet distribution and placement; proper use of the toilets by participants; and supervision of waste vendors. In addition to reviewing placement to improve ease of serviceability, we are exploring the use of mobile toilet facilities, so that additional toilets can be placed adjacent to events that are expected to draw large numbers of participants. We continue to educate the participants to ensure that only appropriate biological waste is placed into the toilet facilities. This education process will continue through the year prior to the event, and will be emphasized on-site with signage and media reinforcement. Finally, we will assign a full-time staff member to act as liaison with our portable sanitation vendor(s) and provide quality control monitoring of the toilets during the event.

Go Robbidobbs!
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Re: New EA (for Permit) Released

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:17 pm

As ever, BRC/LLC is working to apply the “Leave No Trace” principles to BRC in innovative ways. BRC/LLC has stepped up the message to the next level with the phrase "Don't let it hit the ground."

I can't read that without smirking, and I couldn't have written it either. "Stepped up the message to the next level with the phrase..." So buzz wordy...
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Re: New EA (for Permit) Released

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:34 pm

Up to Page 17 of 53 of last year's operating plan, which is 291 of 328...
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Re: New EA (for Permit) Released

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:32 pm

Have artists always had to pay a deposit against clean up?
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Re: New EA (for Permit) Released

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:07 pm

Bay Bridge Sue wrote:When you read this section...

Emergency Response and Evacuation
Due to the size of the Proposed Action, accidents are likely to occur during the event. Additionally, as the event continues, there is a likelihood that at some time during the life of the event a natural or man-made emergency would require evacuation of the event. Weather related emergencies are the most likely event. While the average rainfall in August and September, 0.25 inches, is unlikely to result in standing water, it would impede event participants from leaving the playa. Higher precipitation amounts could occur on a limited basis and could result in standing rainfall leaving the event goers stranded for longer periods of time. As noted in Section 3.2.1, Climate and Meteorology, on any typical 10-day period in August or September, there is an average of 0.57 days of precipitation greater than 0.01 inch (WRCC 2011).
The applicant prepares contingency plans for any emergency event. Health and Safety guides are published for the event and the applicant provides 24-hour emergency medical services. Evacuation routes are planned and emergency information and preparedness is broadcast on the Burning Man Information Radio 24 hours daily. The BLM and the applicant would actively monitor for potential emergencies, and as part of the permitting process, the applicant must coordinate with emergency services providers and law enforcement agencies. The applicant must develop contingency plans for operations of critical health and safety services under adverse conditions including weather, natural or human caused disaster, or social unrest.
The applicant has a separate weather contingency plan that includes assessing weather before and during the event and securing the camp during an extreme weather event. The applicant designates a Weather Marshall who is responsible for advising when the weather contingency plan takes effect and has two levels of alerts, one for less than 12 hours of sheltering in place and one for more than 12 hours. The contingency plans include consideration of toilet facilities, food, water, and power. Mass communication would be used. The contingency plans apply to participants within the event area and en route to and from the event. The design features of the Proposed Action (see 2012-2016 Operating Plan and 2011 Permit Stipulation #19) require emergency preparedness and response plans to ensure that emergency response and evacuation is appropriate and would be revised as appropriate yearly as the population increases. Sections V.C.1, Emergency Procedures, and V.C.3, Contingency Plans in the Operating Plan (Appendix 2)include a full description of procedures for emergencies, as well as Permit Stipulations included in Appendix 1 of this EA.


There are 2 issues...

One, your survival will depend on what YOU and YOUR CAMP do. There is a very real possibility that, should say a downpour start when the man's arms raise for the burn, and not shit off for the next 4-5 days, you will be stuck on playa for over a week past closing. We actually have an emergency plan, as well as a contingency.

Two, while the BMOrg has a weather plan, it only covers if you are stuck on playa for just over 12 hours, wth advice such as "stay where you are", "conserve water and share resources", "do not over-use portapotty facilities", etc... but when you talk of a 70K population stranded on playa, you push a system beyond its brink. Stick people there for a week with a "do not move" order and you will have (a) a riot, and (b) a PR disaster the likes of which no emergency manager wants.

The BMOrg do an admirable job for the event... but I wonder how often, and to what extent, have they ever truly exercised their various plans? Even assuming one could get to Hwy 34, in a best case you could not evac the playa in 24 hours. I'm not knocking them - just, as someone who does this for a 22,000 employee state department, I wonder how ready the borg is for this kind of disaster... eg How do you get water, ice, food, etc to a population that is cut off on an island, how do you approach regionalizing your city's neighborhoods to get emergency help / ranger & security / police / basic infrastructure to a population that cannot move? Worse, how do you deal with the inevitable moop issues involved in such a disaster scenario?

We, as part of my off-playa job, are required to train and/or exercise our people at least annually... and we only have 22K people over an entire state. The BMOrg - do they have means to get at least fresh water to the population, start medevac procedures, sart bringing in logistical supplies to get people OFF playa, and a way to interface communications - when they have limited comm resources and an inborne fear of relinquishing those resources to trusted individuals in a crisis? Have they ever done more than a tabletop roundtable of this weather (or their other disaster) plan?

As a camp mayor, I am damn skippy sure we can cover our campers for a duration emergency scenario. We also have a pre-open session to at LEAST tabletop and semi-functional most likely emergencies, from Injuries to weather to civil unrest to an off-playa societial collapse. (OK, maybe not so much the last one, tho some of us are ready for that, too!) And I know at least some of our campmates and former village mates have, as well.

What scares me are 2 things - One, people (even prepared burners) will default to a "fema refugee" level of survival, and (2) the BMOrg ain't ready to handle that type of scenario.

- - - - -

About 20 years ago - when I was a dispatcher for a living (it has been that long!) - I never gave much thought to it. Even as a supervisor - naah, not too much. But... being the Emergency Ops Coordinator for an entire department of over 20K people for the past few years changes your perspective. And makes you look aith a jaded eye how unready others are. And, in some cases, how unwilling they are to listen to others who may have valuable insight how to prepare their event for a disaster, the likes of which may well happen.

In a weird way, what Joseph once told me was correct - You gain a lot through situational awareness you don't get otherwise. Our former director is also right, however - you chooose to limit your options due to pride, prejiduce, or unwillingness to listen, you will operte at less than 30%, and cut your own throat, when your untapped and ignored resources tell you to pound sand. :wink:

Anyway, if you get a chance, it's worth staying fluent on the docs - and making your onw emergency plans to save your camp, your village, and your neighbors.


The outlines of the emergency procedures are in the Operating Plan. The weather part kicks in at about page 40.
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Re: New EA (for Permit) Released

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:22 pm

There's to be temporary camping near greeters for people who come in at night...

"Bullhorns will be used as necessary to announce key messages in the Exodus line."

Okay, I've finished it. Lemur appears to have been first, so he can give himself his own reward. I don't know if we will be permitted to watch the ceremony.

I advise you to take a look, even if it's just at the table of contents. I'm not an expert on these things. I checked with someone who reads environmental documents for a living and she saw no obvious red flags. So if you have pertinent expertise, don't leave it to me. And like lemur says, it's not really boring.
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