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Trump administration proposes building a 10-mile concrete wall around Burning Man festival

The Nevada branch of the Bureau of Land Management proposed the changes through a draft of Environmental Impact Statement.
U.S. President Donald Trump (Source : Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump (Source : Getty Images)

President Donald Trump's administration is reportedly trying to construct a 10-mile concrete barrier around the famous Burning Man festival. The Nevada branch of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), last month, released a draft Environmental Impact Statement, which included multiple proposals that it wanted the festival to adopt.

Reports state that the BLM has asked the organizers of the week-long festival to construct the concrete barrier in the Black Rock desert, where the annual festival takes place. The proposals also required the organizers to hire a private security force and to fill the temporary city with dumpsters, according to the Daily Mail.

The organizers, however, have hit back at the proposals, saying such alterations would "forever negatively change the fabric" of the festival "if not outright kill it." 

Revelers dance around the burning remains of a 52-foot tall wooden man during the 15th annual Burning Man festival September 2, 2000 in the Black Rock Desert near Gerlach, Nevada. (Getty Images)

According to the Burning Man Project's estimates, the proposal by the administration would cost an additional $20million a year, which would result in a price surge by nearly $300. The organizers said that the proposals would result in a financial gain for the BLM, which takes a percentage cut from each $400 ticket sold for the festival.

The festival's organizers, in an official statement, said: "The Draft EIS does not adequately factor in the astronomical cost increases and beyond-excessive government oversight associated with BLM's requirements."

"It does not adequately factor in our operational track record or expertise and proposes instead to increase federal government agency operations exponentially in order to take over or 'monitor' our operations," the statement added.

The 'Painted People', of San Francisco and New York, wear only paint for clothing at the15th annual Burning Man festival September 2, 2000 in the Black Rock Desert near Gerlach, Nevada.(Getty Images)

The organizers of the festival also argued that replacing the current 10-mile fence, designed to catch trash, with a concrete wall would be "logistically onerous, environmentally irresponsible, unnecessarily redundant, and prohibitively expensive." The concrete wall, according to the organizers, would block dust and wind from blowing through the festival, resulting in 10 miles of dangerous dunes around it.

While BLM has claimed that a concrete barrier would reduce the risks of vehicles coming into the festival through the fencing. The organizers, however, have said that this issue does not even exist. 

People wearing illuminated costumes walk past the burning remains of a 52-foot tall wooden man September 2, 2000 during the15th annual Burning Man festival in the Black Rock Desert near Gerlach, Nevada. (Getty Images)

The organizers said that filling the desert city with dumpsters goes against the festival's core principle of "Leave No Trace."

'Leaving No Trace has been one of our core principals for over 30 years, and is the bedrock of our ethos of Radial Self-reliance: we pack everything in and pack everything out,' they said. 

"Our community's resounding success in this area is largely due to the fact that there are no trash cans (or dumpsters), so participants must rely on themselves to Leave No Trace.' Our history has proven that if you emphasize the LNT ethic and don't offer on-site waste removal support resources, people won't come to expect the organizing entity to handle their other needs as well. This is part of what pulls the community together," they added.

The festival's organizers have called on their attendees to protest the proposals stated by the BLM. Influential personalities who attend the festival include Silicon Valley giants like Elon Musk and Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.