A year-round opportunity to explore the potential of the Burning Man community.
In 2016, Burning Man Project bought Fly Ranch. The 3,800 acre parcel in northern Nevada has hot and cold pools, three geysers, wetlands, 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 could expand Burning Man Project’s activities to 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 could become a place to experiment with shelter, energy, water, environmentalism, new models of living, working and governance.
We’ve spent this year researching the land. Fly Ranch is divided into dozens of parcels legally zoned for agricultural use. We have found and mapped several hundred artifacts, including old farm equipment, mining cores, and an airplane. We’ve identified several families of federally protected horses, two state permitted dams, and several invasive plant species. The zoning for our wells currently limits the ways we can use water.
To protect the property, Fly Ranch is not currently available for public use. The site is private property and trespassing is not tolerated. Starting this Fall, we plan to begin nature walks, and in the next eighteen months, we hope be able to invite 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 process will be transparent, aim for consensus, use technology, and hopefully serve as a template for future land-based projects. Our website is a work in process 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. Reach 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, community participation will be essential. Fly Ranch will be a collaborative endeavor requiring a vast array of skills, ideas, and contributions and you are invited to participate. If you want to join the conversation, please follow the link below.
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.
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 your time, energy, expertise, and ideas.
We’ve had almost 3,000 people sign up to get involved through our participation page. Starting in Fall 2017, we would like to start offering one nature walk per week, and will soon have a website ready for scheduling visits.
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