A year-round opportunity to explore the potential of the Burning Man community.
In 2016, Burning Man Project acquired Fly Ranch. The 3,800 acre parcel in northern Nevada is home to dozens of hot and cold pools, three geysers, wetlands, a playa, an old farmhouse, dozens of animal species, and more than 100 identified types of plants.
In the long term, the possibilities are vast. Fly Ranch will be able to expand Burning Man Project’s activities and amplify Burning Man’s cultural impact in a wider world beyond Black Rock City. It can serve as an incubator for the Burning Man community to take ideas from our temporary city and give them a real-world testing ground. It can become a place to experiment with shelter, energy, water, environmentalism, new models of living, working and governance.
If you’d like to learn about what we’re up to, check out the Fly Ranch Roadmap. We’ve spent this year researching the land, and have found and mapped several hundred artifacts, including old farm equipment, mining cores, and an airplane. We’ve identified several families of horses, two state permitted dams, and several invasive plant species.
You can join one of our walks to come explore the property first-hand. In the next eighteen months, we will be inviting collaborators to the space to begin mapping out future projects. We’re wholly donation-funded and to make our hopes a reality, we will need to raise funds to cover programming, insurance, taxes and staffing.
Our website is a work in progress meant to share what we know and the next steps we hope to take. Read on to learn more. Stay up to date with the Fly Ranch Newsletter and the Fly Ranch section of the Burning Man Journal, or reach out to us at gro.namgninrubnull@hcnarylf.
Fly Ranch opens the door to new cultural experiments and art and innovation projects on a scale never before envisioned. And like Black Rock City, these projects will be driven by the community. Fly Ranch will be a collaborative endeavor requiring a vast array of skills, ideas, and contributions. If you want to join the conversation, please sign up for the Fly Ranch Newsletter.
The Fly Ranch Project
Fly Ranch is a roughly 3,800-acre parcel of land that features 640 acres of wetlands, dozens of natural spring-water pools ranging in temperature from hot to cold, sagebrush-grasslands, and a small area of playa that opens onto the Hualapai Flat. It is truly an oasis in the desert.
This project is an evolving one. What is important is not just what we do with the space, but how we choose to go about it. We have started identifying the project values that will drive our actions. We’re wholly donation-funded and to make the future of this project a reality, we will need to raise money to cover programming, projects, insurance, taxes and staffing.
Read More: The land, our values and finances.
Our process will require a balance of playfulness and seriousness, planning and spontaneity, group work and individual contributions. As you may notice, every time we learn something, it usually leads to several more questions. While we discuss our values as part of a long-term vision and project, our current planning is focused on the short term.
We’ve identified priorities for the next 12 months and have been learning about other projects we can look to for guidance and inspiration, as well as some first steps we hope to take on the property. We would like for our process to be transparent and inclusive and plan to leverage technologically progressive resources and open source tools whenever possible.
Read More: Reaching consensus, mental models, first projects, and use of technology.
2018 will be a year of putting capacity into action. We will be deploying open-source technology tools for sharing information about the property and for anyone to participate in proposing, discussing, and collaborating on projects for the site. In April, the gates of Fly Ranch opened to the public as we began hosting open days for locals, leave no trace trainings, field trips for schools, and a Nature Walk program in collaboration with Friends of Black Rock-High Rock, a local conservation group. Check out our full Roadmap to see what we’re working on over the next year.
Read More: Fly Ranch Roadmap
The most important thing we can do with Fly Ranch right now is to sit and observe the environmental factors at play, including the plant and animal residents of the land. As stewards of Fly Ranch, we are not responsible just for what we want to do with this property moving forward, but for the history of the space and its many inhabitants.
We’ve identified 107 different plants, 41, kinds of birds, and photographed antelope, horses, foxes, and falcons on the property. We’ve started studying the water from the pools, geysers, and wells. We’ve also found scrap metal, hoses, core samples, pieces of cars, an airplane, discarded machinery, and barbed wire, which you can see on an interactive map.
In the coming months and years (because honestly, projects of this magnitude take time), there will be many opportunities to participate in visioning the future of Fly Ranch. We will need contributions of time, energy, expertise, and ideas.
You can come experience Fly Ranch first hand by joining one of several Nature Walks each weekend.
Read More: Visiting, Volunteering & Getting Involved
Fly Ranch is the next step in the grand experiment that is Burning Man. It is poised to become a platform for cultural growth and social impact upon which our community can apply its inspiration, creativity, and passion.
Your donation will support the envisioning, planning, and programming for this inspiring next step in Burning Man’s evolution.
A wellspring of innovation.
Photos: Sashwa Burrous, Justin Lewis, Zac Cirivello
Map: Carson Linforth Bowley
Geyser Graphic: Android Jones