Burning Man: Nevada Contemplates Localist Approach to Regulation, Hits Localist Approach to Money-Making

Nevada contemplates the frustration of being home to so much federally controlled land when it comes to the regulation of the Burning Man festival, the experimental art community that arises and disperses yearly around Labor Day on the Black Rock playa a couple of hours outside Reno. From the Reno Journal-Gazette, which reports that the Nevada League of Cities and Municipalities and the Nevada Association of Counties are

asking local governments around the state to support potential legislation that upholds “the right of the local governments to ensure activities that occur on these lands is compliant with local land use, zoning, special event and public health and safety codes...”

On Wednesday, Reno Mayor Bob Cashell said the city should not support any policies that hurt Burning Man, which is a week-long arts and free expression festival. Burners on their way to the event often stop in the Reno-Sparks area to buy supplies, leaving behind an estimated $15 million in the local economy.

The move seems to arise from Pershing County, within whose borders Burning Man occurs, and currently embroiled in a lawsuit with the event's organizers over a special events ordinance the county passed:

Burning Man organizers argue the ordinance would violate their First Amendment rights. They also dispute the county’s ability to regulate the event because it’s already permitted by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management....

Pershing District Attorney Jim Shirley said county commissioners “are in support of anything that gives the county more autonomy and discretion in regards to BLM land.”

Keeping the Burning Man gravy train running through Nevada is motivating potential counter political action:

Meanwhile, Assemblyman David Bobzien, D-Reno, has a placeholder for a potential bill that, “Prohibits local governments from enacting ordinances restricting events and activities on federal lands.”

Localized control can be a two-edged sword on market and personal freedoms, though the proliferation of powers and bringing decisionmaking closer to home is a good idea in general. That said, sometimes the more distant and larger power will make the decision more respectful of liberty. All bigthink aside, in this case I suspect that attempts to assert more local control in Nevada against the Feds when it comes to Burning Man will lose out on the grounds that there is too much local money made allowing the federal government to set the rules on what happens on the federal land encased in Nevada counties. And that's a lot of land--some estimates have nearly 85 percent of the state federally owned.

My earlier blogging on Burning Man's lawsuit against Pershing, and on their efforts to more intelligently lobby D.C.

My 2004 book This is Burning Man on the event's history and evolution.

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  • Sevo||

    Haven't read the book, but as an SF resident, I get a regular stream of propaganda from the local press about how groovy BM is. And stories about how it's all about 'non-business' it is; no filthy lucre allowed. And how the founder is just a regular guy, who modestly lives in a rent-controlled apartment in SF, thereby letting the landlord subsidize his fantasies. And he "found "abhorrent" and against all of the values that Burning Man stood for.[26]" that board members would try to establish the value of what his landlord was subsidizing ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burning_Man )
    Yeah, it's interesting, but the stench of lefty hypocrisy is just a bit much.

  • ||

    To be fair, there are a disproportionate number of libertarian burners, and half the people who go distain the retarded propaganda. The whole "gift economy" bullshit was invented to stop people from "bartering" blow jobs for drugs.

    Nobody wants your home-made trinkets people. You want to give someone a "gift", help them put up their tent.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    That said, sometimes the more distant and larger power will make the decision more respectful of liberty.

    And sometimes monkeys will fly out of my butt. Sometimes Burning Man won't be full of goddamn hippies. Sometimes someone will say, "I choose not to drone the fuck out of some hut today."

  • Sevo||

    FoE,
    Pretty sure hippies can't afford it ( http://www.burningman.com/what.....rices.html )
    Not to mention the funny vehicle you need to build and transport there, along with living quarters (think A/C; it's hotter than hell on that playa)

  • ||

    "It should be noted that we also offer 4,000 scholarship and low income tickets (at $190 each) for those able to show proof of financial hardship, in order to provide less expensive tickets for those in need."

    Apparently BM is a NEEEEEED. Peak retard remains an elusive critter.

  • ||

    There are always "miracle tickets" to be had.

    Though now that the event is selling out there will be less of those to go around.

  • Sevo||

    Back when Donnesbury was amusing and before it became a lefty agitprop site, there was a strip about "mellow" and whether ordinary people could afford "mellow".
    A worn-out TR6 was suggested. Not gonna cut it at BM.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    OT: http://crime.blogs.tuscaloosan.....-up/?tc=cr

    But yikes. Tuscaloosa police went all Captain Rawls (circa season 3 finale) today.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Or Commissioner Rawls. Whatever. Don't have all of the details memorized.

  • MJGreen||

    Think it was Deputy Commissioner at that point.

  • SIV||

    "2nd degree possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia"

    On and near a college campus? God Bless the WANF for shooting all those fish in that barrel. I'm sure the decent people of Tuscaloosa will sleep easier tonight.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    My guess is that they hadn't done anything in a while, so they dreamed up this plan so they could go outside, stretch their legs, and imprison some children.

  • SIV||

    I can't believe they're touting simple possession arrests.I wonder if the "task force" got a snitch to flip on all his customers.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    I can't believe they'd risk the damage it does to the city's image, as most of these kids were University students.

  • General Butt Naked||

    The vast majority of arrests involved the sale or possession of marijuana.

    But, but, dunphy told me that cops don't arrest people for weed anymore!

  • Caleb Turberville||

    I think gay atheists have a better chance of winning in Montgomery than pot being legalized.

  • SIV||

    That's too bad. I like portions of Alabama and it is only a stone's throw away (if you can throw 70 miles).

  • Caleb Turberville||

    The major cities are fine. I'm from rural Alabama, and it's not all bad. To me the Rural North (above Birmingham) is a lot better place to live than the Rural South (Birmingham to the Florida panhandle).

  • SIV||

    I like the TN river area and what they call the "mountain lakes" in NW AL.

  • Xenocles||

    Alabama has fuck-all to do with Washington.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Pershing District Attorney Jim Shirley said county commissioners “are in support of anything that gives the county more autonomy and discretion in regards to BLM land.”

    Surprise: Petty tyrants will do anything to increase their power.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Overreacting to the league's second longest Super Bowl drought?

  • BakedPenguin||

    Ha ha ha ha. Fuck the Minnesota Vikings.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    If the Vikings can't win the championship with Favre, Peterson, and Harvin, I don't think they ever will.

  • BakedPenguin||

    To be fair, Farve's sell-by date was long gone by the time he arrived. However, the rest is certainly true - they had the league's best runner, and a top flight receiver who was totally underused b/c they refused to get a QB who wasn't crap.

    At least, until it was too late.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    If Favre had gone out of bounds instead of throwing it across his body into the hands of the Saints defender, the Vikings kick a forty-something yard, gaming-winning field goal as time expires, and they play the Colts two weeks later.

    God, that was one dumb, country hick.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    leave Lorenzo alone!

  • Caleb Turberville||

    I have my faults with Favre. But the guy was fun to watch. Take a look at his throwing motion and compare it to Tom Brady. The ball never leaves the vicinity of Brady's chest, but Favre was quite literally shooting from the hip.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    You linked to an Australian website to report on a KC fire?

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Yup. I did.
    How about that.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    ‘We have no choice but to kill them all’: Beluga whales trapped by Nunavut ice providing feast for polar bears and people

  • BakedPenguin||

    They were coming right for them.

  • General Butt Naked||

    STOP RESISTING!

  • SIV||

    This story makes me smile:)

    Hunters came across the belugas last week when they noticed as many as eight polar bears crowded around two holes in the ice no wider than one or two metres apiece.

  • SIV||

    "There goes a Narwahl!"

    In 2008, hunters in Pond Inlet culled a record 629 narwhals that had become trapped in a three-kilometre stretch of breathing holes.

    After locals stripped the animals of their tusks and an outer layer of vitamin-C rich fat known as maktaaq, the corpses were pushed back into the sea, although a token 25 were hauled on to land so their skeletons could be preserved as a monument.

  • Almanian!||

    "Justified." Some Marshal violence and Kentucky charm, all wrapped up in one fine actor. Well, a whole cast of fine actors.

    Just talked to my sister the University Perfesser. Turns out bureaucracy is bureaucracy, whether it's the gummint, a big ole private university, or a big ole Fortune 500 company. The company just pays much better than the university, and the gummint way outpowers the unic, and sometimes the company - when they're not in rent-seeking cahoots.

    Think I might need to check out Burning Man next year. Ima be in Wyoming a couple weeks this August, so won't be able to get back for Labor Day. I'll remember to bring air conditioning, weed, liquid refreshment and money.

    A good evening to everyone.

  • ptu||

    I think Brazil is the best team in the world, they have so many super stars, it is so easy to win the matches, and there are so many fans love this jerseys, I bought from this site: http://www.gogoalshop.com/cd-155-0-1-Brazil.html, it is very good, best with low price!

  • ||

    This is about the local governments wanting a piece of the action.

    The threat of regulation is (as in so many other cases) merely an excuse to extract extra fees and payments from the organizers. They see other people making money off the event, and they want their cut. That is all.

  • vaquera||

    Whether this can be found on the top football clubs introduce anything.

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