Leave No Trace

The Black Rock Desert is a place unlike any other — a wide expanse of possibility set in the heart of the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area. This is part of the nation’s prized National Conservation Lands, a special designation given by the U.S. Government to some of the most scenic, culturally rich, scientifically important and yet least known public lands in the country. We are proud to build Black Rock City in this stunningly beautiful location and equally committed to respecting and protecting this special place.

In light of this commitment, Burning Man is the largest Leave No Trace (LNT) event in the world — LNT is one of our core principles — it is up to all of us to remove all Matter Out of Place (MOOP) from Black Rock City. There is no garbage collection service in BRC — we are all responsible for properly removing all trash. Everything you bring might become trash: tent stakes, bottle caps, ashes, wood debris, orange peels, cigarette butts, pistachio shells, rope fibers, sequins—even abandoned bikes. According to our permit with BLM, we have a very short window of time to restore the playa to its original condition. We can only satisfy BLM stipulations and pass inspection if ALL citizens share in the responsibility to line-sweep their camps and the city.

Burning Man has a volunteer-led environmental compliance team, made up of Earth Guardians and Black Rock Rangers. Now in its third year, this team provides LNT outreach and helps participants fix common environmental issues such as vehicle oil leaks and wastewater spills. Burning Man must do this as part of the terms of our permit. Help us help you. If our team finds an issue, you’ll have 24–48 hours to fix it. You may face a citation or eviction if you don’t actively check, prevent, and fix oil and wastewater spills. If you need help, visit the Rangers and Earth Guardians. We are here to help.