Check Out What Happened Last Week at the BLM: August 18-22, 2014
Social Media Highlights
Last week on social media, the BLM shared information about Burning Man, the popular arts festival on BLM public lands in Northwest Nevada. Each year, tens of thousands of people travel to the Black Rock Desert Playa to participate in this unique community event. Burning Man takes place on approximately 4,400 acres of public land for a nine-day period – making “Black Rock City” one of the largest cities in Nevada. This year, Burning Man will take place from August 24 through September 1, marking its 14th year on “the playa” and the largest leave-no-trace event in the world. Read the My Public Lands Tumblr posts about the BLM’s Special Recreation Permit that authorizes and guides these activities, and the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area, a part of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands and the location of the Burning Man event.
The BLM last week on social media featured the article Don’t Bug Montana about the destructive small mountain pine beetle that has killed up to 90 percent of the lodgepole pines in Montana and the BLM’s efforts to counter these effects. Read Don’t Bug Montana- a feature article in the BLM’s My Public Lands Magazine, Summer 2014.
Last week, the BLM celebrated Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area’s birthday. Yaquina Head extends out from the Oregon coast, one mile into the Pacific Ocean. Standing 93 feet tall at the westernmost point of the basalt headland, the lighthouse has been a bright beacon of the night, guiding ships and their supplies along the west coast since the light was first lit on August 20, 1873. Read the My Public Lands Tumblr post.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act of 1964 as well as the Colorado Wilderness Act, which was signed into law in August 1993, the BLM Colorado released a video last week showcasing the beauty of the state’s wilderness areas. The video highlights Colorado’s five wilderness areas on BLM lands as well as some of the passages from the Wilderness Act that most vividly describe what a wilderness area must be. Watch the video on BLM Colorado’s YouTube Channel.
Internal News Features
Last week, the BLM California shared an internal news story about a primary school teacher who has been inspired by the beauty of the public lands to develop a “place-based” curriculum to expose her pupils to the wonders of the great outdoors. Stephanie Strasser, a third grade teacher at Trinidad School, has been named a BLM “Teacher on the Public Land,” and is developing a curriculum based on the natural and cultural resources of the California Coastal National Monument offshore from her community. The BLM’s Teachers on the Public Land program was developed by the agency’s “Hands on the Land” program and the University of Colorado, Denver. It provides teachers with professional development experiences by placing them as teacher interns at BLM Hands on the Land sites, such as the California Coastal National Monument at Trinidad. Teachers spend parts of their summers working at the sites and then develop lesson plans that can be used by students, community volunteers, other teachers and BLM employees. Read the internal article republished on the BLM California’s website.
Did you know that the popular arts festival Burning Man occurs on BLM public lands in Northwest Nevada? Each year, tens of thousands of people travel to the Black Rock Desert Playa to participate in this unique community event. Burning Man takes place on approximately 4,400 acres of public land for a nine-day period – making “Black Rock City” one of the largest cities in Nevada.
The BLM works with event organizers to ensure measures are implemented that provide for a safe environment where participants can enjoy the event while respecting fellow “burners” and protecting the fragile desert ecosystem. Burning Man is authorized under the largest, most complex special recreation permit (SRP) issued by the BLM. Under this permit, the event organizers agree to follow stipulations related to event set-up and signage, public access, traffic control, resource management, fire management, dust abatement, security and public safety and sanitation in addition to practicing leave-no-trace principles and practices. The outcome of this team effort is the establishment of a mid-sized city in the desert for an amazing event, followed by its complete removal, leaving this special area of public lands, the Black Rock-High Rock-Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area, in its remote unspoiled condition.
Nationally, the BLM utilizes SRPs to manage specified recreational uses of the public lands and related waters. They are issued as a means to manage visitor use, protect natural and cultural resources, and provide a mechanism to accommodate commercial recreational uses.
This year, Burning Man will take place from August 24 through September 1, marking its 14th year on “the playa” and the largest leave-no-trace event in the world. Photos by BLMer Bob Wick from the 2012 Burning Man event.
CLICK HERE for more information about SRPs and this year’s Burning Man event.
Leave No Trace practices are the cornerstone of Burning Man – the largest and most complex Special Recreation Permit that the BLM manages. Because the event is located on BLM’s National Conservation Lands – the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area – the Bureau’s primary responsibility is to ensure the protection of the natural and cultural values in the area.
There is a very interesting nexus between the NCA and Burning Man’s theme this year, ‘Caravansary.’ One of the cultural resources contained within the NCA is the Applegate Historic Trail–the longest stretch of protected and intact emigrant trail in the United States used by early pioneers. The NCA also contains several designated wilderness areas–special places where the earth and its community of life are essentially undisturbed.
NCAs are managed by the BLM to conserve, protect and enhance these special lands for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations. Often NCAs are places to seek solitude and a natural experience away from urban areas. Because of their special status, public enjoyment of these lands should be accompanied by a commitment to protect and preserve these areas.
As participants in this year’s event, known as “burners,” make their way to the playa, it serves as a reminder to all of us enjoying public lands to not only minimize our footprint but also to understand our impacts beyond the boundaries of conservation areas.
CLICK HERE for more information about BLM’s National Conservation Lands and outdoor ethics. Photos by Bob Wick, BLM