A Jeeper's Perspective
I myself have at times been BurningMan Enemy #1. I went in '96 '97 and '99. I was also pretty
active on the BM listserv which for a while was "organizer central". I used to receive TONS of hate mail.
I was even called a "Nazi Child Hater" because I felt that the BMOrg shouldn't be looking into a BM Daycare
facility. Yes, for a small fee, someone else would look after your kids while you walked around. Not exactly self-sufficent.
I never found out if they ever DID do it, but it was planned.
Anyway, my latest gripe has been the fact that the BMOrg has been so adamantly trying to privatize the Playa. They
have been pushing the BLM for more and more control of the area "during and around the event". Which
means they get to close off public land for THEIR profit. Not cool.
Being a mildly clever talking monkey, I decided to make things difficult for them. Currently the BMOrg has its
way with the BLM because they fill the seats at meetings with BMers. So much for democracy! So I contacted some
Jeep people on a Jeep list I know and encouraged them to ask the BLM to keep the Playa open during BM for Off-Highway
Vehicle Use. Why should we NOT be able to do something, just because Larry fears a few people getting in for free.
Now let's tie this in with the FACT that under the proposal submitted to the BLM, the BM corporation gets to install a 8-9 mile
long fence on the BRD for the period between August and October AND during the week-long event is allowed to restrict
access to the BRD. A combination of police and Burning Man people will patrol the entrances to the BRD as well
as the hot springs in the area.
They are authorized to kick people out of the area.
So if you want to drive your jeep along the Lassen-Applegate trail or visit Trago hotsprings, during the Labor
Day weekend, sorry.
Add to this the fact that they dig MULTIPLE large holes on the BRD (which is a VERY bad thing if you happen to
drive over a poorly in-filled hole!) for their "art" and you have a bad situation for people like us.
First these guys close off huge parts of the BRD for nearly THREE months with a TOTAL closure during the week of
the event. On top of it, they dig holes which can easily collapse under the weight of a jeep (this is according
to BURNING MAN by the way). They also trash the place pretty well. In fact it takes a month to clean up the mess
they make. And on top of all of THAT they have the gall to "DISLIKE" OHV vehicle use.