Heads up to those traveling into Burning Man — police are targeting the area and it’s been reported that lengthy vehicle searches and drug dogs are holding up traffic. Organizers call these traffic stops “overly aggressive” and “unconstitutional” for tribal land.

As Burning Man’s online journal explains, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is conducting intensive law enforcement operations on Highway 447 in Wadsworth and Nixon. This activity is expected to continue throughout the weekend and possibly into next week when the gathering is underway. As 60,000 people begin to arrive, this is inevitably going to cause some problems.

“While we respect and appreciate the important work of law enforcement, we are greatly concerned by the real and potential negative impacts of this surge in activity,” Burning Man expresses in a statement.

“The Burning Man organization does not condone any illegal activity. We urge our participants to obey all local, state, and federal laws, and we appreciate the role of law enforcement. We are also, however, very concerned about the current and potential safety and operational impacts of the Bureau of Indian Affairs operation, particularly as we ramp up to our busiest time on site.”

The organization has shared the following concerns with the BIA:

  1. Black Rock City Operations
  2. Public health and safety
  3. Traffic congestion
  4. Negative economic impact on the tribe
  5. Lack of coordination with state agencies

If you’re traveling into Burning Man, there is some detailed information about what to do to prepare for the drive and for potential encounters with law enforcement officers. Read more here.


Sources: Reno Gazette Journal, Burning Man