Black Rock Dessert, NV — As the battle for control wages between Burning Man event organizers and the Bureau of Land Management or BLM, the government agency has one trick up its sleeve to finally get the upper hand on the popular, week-long art festival located in the middle of the Nevada Dessert: no toilets. In what is being called the most “blatant and arrogant move to disrupt one of Earth’s most popular events,” organizers suspect that this latest blockage is an attempt to shut the festival down for good.
“BLM doesn’t want us there anymore,” said ‘@RhinoMountain,’ a 9 year veteran of the event from his Nevada City, CA home. “And now they’re asking us to build them a 5 million dollar compound with flushing toilets. Just for them. Yet, if we need to take a crap, we have to drive all the way to Reno. It’s bullshit.”
According to the BLM, the agency has become increasingly concerned about the event’s impact on the fragile desert ecosystem.
“I know people are going to say that we want Burning Man gone,” said BLM Ranger Doug Blankenshire in a Gish Gallop telephone interview. “But the issues are far more nuanced than that. You know details. Our decisions to not grant the event access to toilets was based on 5 year study we commission from Rundex [Editor’s Note: The Rundex Family Foundation] who said that the best way to preserve the desert, would be to put in real toilets. Which is what the BLM is requesting.”
According to organizers, installing flush toilets in the middle of the desert is a ridiculous and implausible request. And that “porta-potty” type lavatories are a sensible and manageable way to control human waste.
“The net effect of this mandate is that people are going to have to get in their cars and drive miles to crap,” continued a clearly irritated and mood-elevated RhinoMountain. “and people are just going to start crapping and pissing on Playa.”
The Burning Man LLC leaders say they are filing appeals with the BLM and that the event will go on without toilets, but are advising participants to be ready for long toilet lines.