Man from Nevada on hot seat over Burning Man demands

Burning Man photo from 2014. (AP photo)

So, how do you think this is going to turnout?

The head of the Bureau of Land Management is Neil Kornze, a native of Elko and former policy advisor to Harry Reid, who managed to have the 35-year-old confirmed by the Senate 71-28 shortly before the bungled standoff with Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy.

Now Kornze’s agency is demanding expensive pampering from the organizers of the Burning Man festival in Black Rock Desert. The Reno newspaper reports that the BLM is demanding that the festival organizers build a $1 million luxury facility replete with trailers, flush toilets, washers and dryers and vanity mirrors for the comfort of BLM executives and agents and unspecified VIPs. Festival organizers say the cost of permits and complying with BLM demands have risen from $1 million in 2011 to nearly $5 million this year.

This year’s eclectic event — described as celebration of art, music and free expression, whatever that means — is scheduled to take place between Aug.30 and Sept. 7. It annually attracts about 70,000 people and generates about $35 million for the local economy.

In addition, the Reno paper says emails it has received spell out a demand that the facility be stocked with hot-and-cold running desserts and a 24-hour full-service kitchen providing a potentate’s menu of gourmet meals and snacks that include (we kid you not) 10-ounce steaks, 18-ounce pork ribs, poultry, ham, fish, vegetables, potatoes, bread, salad bar with five toppings and three dressings and desserts.

Kirnze’s old boss Harry has sent a letter to his new boss, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, critical of the BLM demands.

“I care strongly about the environment in the Black Rock Desert and was glad to author the legislation that created the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon-Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area where Burning Man is held,” Reid wrote. “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.”

The Reno Gazette-Journal reports that Nevada’s other senator, Dean Heller, spoke with Kornze this week and called the demands “a bit over the top.”

Rep. Mark Amodei said the BLM demands raised ethical concerns.

BLM Deputy Director Steve Ellis issued a statement saying the agency need to assure employee health and safety, sanitation and environmental compliance but he was concerned about cost of the agency requests.

We suspect Kornze will find a way to tone down the agency demands.


14 comments on “Man from Nevada on hot seat over Burning Man demands

  1. middleroader12 says:

    Considering the ruling political class (worshipped by many — if not most — of the Burning Man attendees) this is rich!

  2. Downright ironic.

  3. nyp says:

    So the US economy added another 223,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate dropped to 5.3%.

    I blame that job-killing ObamaCare.

  4. nyp says:

    Another interesting stat:
    Since January 2009, private sector has accounted for 109% of total job growth.


  5. When you don’t count the number of Americans who have given up looking for a job…you get the rosy picture you try to paint. I’d be willing to wager that the 223,000 jobs number…WILL be revised down again, like they are most every month! (And you fail to mention that for sustained growth the new job creation rate needs to be between 250,000 and 300,000…so the economy weakly wobbles on)

  6. Steve says:

    Job growth as an economy tries to climb out of recession….who would think?

    oh,,,never mind.

  7. nyp says:

    1. We left the recession in 2010. Economy has not been in a recession since then.
    2. Job growth over the past 12 months has averaged 250,000. In the past two years we have added 5.6 million jobs. Not too shabby.
    3. The downwards revisions in April and May that one commentator desperately seizes on were largely due to lower government employment than previously estimated.

    4. But, most importantly, I’m really confused: we were told that ObamaCare would wreck the American economy and would absolutely kill job creation. What happened with that? Could it possibly be that all those sorts of claims were just a bunch of b.s.?

  8. “However, the Labor Department said the biggest reason for the fall in the unemployment rate was because people out of work gave up looking for a job and were thus no longer counted as unemployed.”

  9. Now back to the subject at hand…though it pains me to say it, Harry is sounding reasonable…and Kornze should be looking for another job. These demands are preposterous…and reek of government extortion.

  10. Rincon says:

    The middle class has been in recession since 1980.

  11. And that has what to do with the Burning Man permit regulations being pushed by the BLM?

  12. Did you just get back from a Bernie Sanders rally?

  13. Rincon says:

    Everyone was debating whether the economic glass today is half empty of half full. That only applies to the rich. For the middle class, the glass has been empty for 35 years. In 2014 dollars, average hourly wages are lower today than in 1980.

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