Harry Reid tells BLM's Burning Man squad to suck it up

The senator from Nevada scoffed at the Bureau of Land Management's demand that Burning Man build it a $1m VIP compound with showers and flush toilets, saying that the festival's ethic of radical self-reliance should extend to its Fed minders.

"While I agree that the BLM should take its permitting duties seriously and work with Burning Man to both guarantee the safety of its participants and the protection of the environment, providing outlandishly unnecessary facilities for the BLM and its guests should be beyond the scope of the permitting requirements. Part of Burning Man's philosophy is self-reliance and living with the elements is part of the experience. Flush toilets and laundry facilities can be found about ten miles away in Gerlach, Nevada, if BLM's employees need such amenities," Reid wrote, noting that he was an author of the legislation that designated the area a federally protected space.

According to the Reno paper, the request by the BLM is "unprecedented" in Burning Man's more-than-two decade history, and would increase its 2015 permit fees to around $5 million. Burning Man organizers have refused so far to comply with the BLM's request for the so-called Blue Pit compound.

Harry Reid to Burning Man Rescue? [Jason Dick/Roll Call]

(Image: Burning Man 2014: Caravansary,
BLM Nevada, CC-BY