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Burning Man bought Fly Ranch

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#1 Bseek


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Posted 10 June 2016 - 09:59 PM

Not sure if this fits the Advocacy & Stewardship forum or not, but thought some might be interested in this news. 





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#2 craig333


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Posted 11 June 2016 - 02:24 PM


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#3 ski3pin



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Posted 13 June 2016 - 12:36 AM

The Burning Man phenomena is far beyond my ability to add an insightful comment, but anytime a large tract of property changes hands it will be interesting to see how this plays out for overall public benefit.

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#4 Foy


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Posted 13 June 2016 - 12:38 PM

There is a bit of steam in the air about this (pun intended) on soakersforum.com, with much of the angst directed to how the private donors which paid the $6.5 million might not expect or receive preferred access. 


A bit of background includes the fact that the original founders of the for-profit LLC which owns and operates Burning Man formed a separate Section 501©(3) organization, a qualified public charity, to acquire and hold Fly Ranch. This charitable not-for-profit status is granted by the IRS after a thorough review of the application, including overall program operating plans.  One of the core requirements for charitable not-for-profit status is that no assets or income may "inure" to the benefit of private individuals involved in the organization as directors, volunteers, or employees, and that the assets and income must be held and handled in the manner required by the approved application.  I am certain the annual income tax returns for the organization are public records and I suspect the application is as well. 


Since charitable not-for-profit status allows donors to claim income tax deductions for their contributions to the organization (much like the Red Cross, Sierra Club, churches, United Way), retention of such status by strict adherence to the operating standards of the application is of paramount importance, where failure to do so can cause the charitable not-for-profit status to be revoked by the IRS.  Given the size and scope of the Burning Man organization (and the for-profit LLC was donated to the not-for-profit as a subsidiary with the intent that it continue to operate the annual spectacle on the playa), one might assume that many thousands of individuals and organizations will be watching the developments closely.



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#5 BillM


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Posted 14 June 2016 - 04:28 PM

This can't be good, I foresee access restrictions ahead.

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#6 srileo


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Posted 25 May 2018 - 05:24 PM

2 years after this thread started, I just got back from a visit to Fly ranch. The Friends of Black Rock Society in Gerlach, nv conducts weekend tours of the natural geysers on the ranch. It is twice a day on saturday and sunday. $40 for adults. Fly ranch is about 25 minute drive from Gerlach. Scenic drive for sure. 
Well, the tour is of a very small portion fo the ranch - just the part around a small dam on their property and the two geysers. 1.5 mile hike. The volunteers who led it are knowledgeable and pleasant, but like all things burning man, a bit overzealous in their protection. ("please do not walk on the grass" to my 4 yr old son) and were even a bit secretive about other parts of the ranch and its ecology. Photography was forbidden except that of the geysers. ("we ask that you have a digital-free experience") This i found truly irksome. They strictly forbid private visitors, or overnight camping (understandable- it being private property now), and gently deflect potential campers to the available camping on the playa. 


All in all, i am glad BlackRock owns this beautiful ranch instead of some cow-herder or miner, but i do wish we did not have to pay $40 and be chaperoned and hustled out on the clock. 

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