Burning Man gets federal permit after clash with officials

Burning Man gets federal permit after clash with officials
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The annual Burning Man festival received a permit to use federal land in Nevada’s desert after a clash over federal land managers’ expensive requests.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) agreed to rescind its requests for a $1 million facility for BLM employees that Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidMcConnell goes hands-off on coronavirus relief bill Kamala Harris to young Black women at conference: 'I want you to be ambitious' Obama calls filibuster 'Jim Crow relic,' backs new Voting Rights Act bill MORE (D-Nev.) had called “unprecedented and extravagant” and “outlandishly unnecessary.”

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“We’ve made tremendous progress over the past six weeks to agree on common sense solutions that meet BLM’s needs and ensure the health and safety of those supporting and participating in the Burning Man event,” Burning Man chief Marian Goodell said in a statement.

“That being said, there’s an important amount of work to do after the 2015 event,” she said. “We’re all committed to further discussion regarding the permitor–permittee relationship and what is required for BLM to properly administer the permit.”

The annual event, which celebrates art, self-reliance, community and other ideals, had trouble receiving the permit this year for the celebration that stretches from late August into early September.

The BLM wanted Burning Man organizers to build a “VIP” facility that would include washers and dryers, hot water, air conditioning, couches and ice cream for the dozens of federal employees working at the event.

The facility, estimated to cost $1 million, would have put Burning Man’s total federal permit costs around $5 million.

BLM officials, including Deputy Director Steve Ellis, took notice. Ellis sent a public memo in June urging the agency to work closely with Burning Man organizers to reduce costs and reconsider demands.