BREAKING: Seidlitz Sidelined! BLM Temporarily Reassigns Burning Man Supervisor

Gene Seidlitz runs the Winnemucca Field Office for the Bureau of Land Management. He has overseen Burning Man successfully for many years. This year, in the wake of Chocotacogate and the ditching of Humboldt General for CrowdRX, he has been transferred to Siberia the minerals program while Burning Man happens. A former 40-year Veteran of the BLM has come out of retirement, to run what will be his first Burning Man.

From the Reno Gazette-Journal:

With only a month before Burning Man, the BLM official usually tasked with overseeing the event’s permitting process has been reassigned temporarily.

Gene Seidlitz (L) talks to Special Agent Dan Love (R). Image: Boing Boing

Gene Seidlitz (L) talks to Special Agent Dan Love (R). Image: Boing Boing

Winnemucca District Manager Gene Seidlitz began a 120-day assignment as acting deputy state director for minerals in the BLM’s Nevada state office in Reno on Monday. He will return to his role in the Winnemucca office after November, according to a BLM statement early Monday evening.

Robert Towne, a 40-year veteran of the BLM, started as the acting Winnemucca District manager. He will be in charge of BLM operations outside of law enforcement at this year’s Burning Man, which is scheduled for Aug. 30-Sept. 7.

The Winnemucca office each year is charged with issuing Burning Man’s more than $4 million special recreation permit, the largest in the country. The permit allows 68,000 people to attend the celebration of arts and free expression in the Black Rock Desert during the week leading up to Labor Day.

Seidlitz will continue to work on the permit in an advisory capacity. It will be the first time that Towne, who is coming out of retirement to take the temporary position, will work on the Burning Man permit and event

State BLM officials and Burning Man organizers were supposed to meet throughout July, though neither organization’s representatives have disclosed whether the state office has revised the BLM requests…

Robert Towne, coming out of retirement for his first Burning Man.

Robert Towne, coming out of retirement for his first Burning Man.

Towne began his federal career in Coeur d’Alene National Forest in Idaho and then with the Salem, Eugene, and Prineville BLM Districts in Oregon. After serving five years as the Spokane District Manager, Towne became Deputy Assistant Director for the National Landscape Conservation System and Community Partnerships in Washington, D.C. In 2014, he also served as the interim District Manager for the BLM Eugene District.

He retired recently and since has been living in Spokane, Wash.

During Seidlitz’s temporary reassignment, he will supervise the solid and fluid minerals program for the BLM throughout the state of Nevada. BLM Nevada has the largest mining program of any state BLM office, with 49 percent of the BLM’s mining claims nationwide.

“All of us in the state office appreciate Gene’s willingness to support the minerals program,” said Acting Nevada State Director John Ruhs. “His experience will be a valuable asset as we continue to search for a permanent deputy state director. We also look forward to having Robert Towne’s leadership and expertise in Winnemucca in the meantime.

Read the full story at the Reno Gazette-Journal.

The BLM Press release suggests Seidlitz will still be keeping a keen eye on things at Burning Man:

During his assignment in the Nevada state office, Seidlitz will continue to work on the BLM’s Special Recreation Permit (SRP) for the Burning Man event, currently scheduled for late August and early September in the Black Rock Desert. Seidlitz will serve in an advisory capacity to the SRP team while Towne, as District Manager, serves as BLM’s leader for civilian operations during the event.

What the heck is going on over there?

10 comments on “BREAKING: Seidlitz Sidelined! BLM Temporarily Reassigns Burning Man Supervisor

  1. Pingback: Sheriff Asks Org To Pony Up More Money and Officers | Burners.Me: Me, Burners and The Man

  2. Pingback: The Great Public Land Heist Has Begun – Are We Part Of It? | Burners.Me: Me, Burners and The Man

  3. Pingback: Burning Man, Bugs, and the CIA | Burners.Me: Me, Burners and The Man

  4. I’m surprised the theme hasn’t yet been ‘Crash and Burn”. I’d love a year where the National Guard is called out to BM to provide humanitarian aid and the organizers are kicked off the playa for incompetence and for being a threat to public safety.

    The only reason this doesn’t happen every year is that Burners tend to keep their shit together.

    • Wonder what refreshments the Guard would require…..

      Right now, a brace of 20 tkts on SubHub would set you back about a quarter million. Guess what? If I am paying $25K for a regular ticket (NOT PnP), the moop/LNT thing ain’t gonna be pretty. Then again, it is a private party, and I was not invited.

      Out of necessity, do you think the BOrg will start selling water? Maybe charge to use the port-a-potties?

    • The BLM, and their police, are making attempts towards doing so, a government, and police takeover of Burning Man, utilizing their Unified Command, might they desire to do so in due of a rubbish rationale of safety.

      Within their rubbish 20 points is ‘Participant Evacuation Contingency Plan’, of ‘A comprehensive participant evacuation contingency plan has not been developed with affected cooperators. BLM, BRC, and the other cooperators need to develop a contingency plan in the event of an emergency which requires the city to be evacuated. Without an evacuation contingency plan public safety is compromised.’ In addendum of ‘BRC Event Table of Organization’, of ‘BLM requires a detailed Table of Organization (TO) of BRC’s management program … in order for BLM to respond to emergencies it is necessary to quickly identify and contact specific BRC staff in various departments down to the field supervisor level’, and in addendum of ‘BRC Event Management Program Description’ of BLM ‘desires a more detailed description of In order to effectively respond to event management issues, BLM needs to refer to a detailed program management description.’ In addendum of, within point 1, of ‘During a rain event which closed the city in 2014, the plan to establish unified command was not followed properly. HGH’s 2014 AAR, page 19, states, Given that a unified command system was not correctly stood up … the failure of not including all critical partners in the UC organization … As a result, public safety was impacted by the lack of effective unified command (UC).

      This permits of the Unified Command of the BLM, and of their police, of their wet dream of the ability to gain control of the city, without going through the BMOrg in the proper manner. For what rationale might it be utilized, perchance, the Unified Command of the BLM, and of their police, ordering of the closing, and of the evacuating of BRC in due of rain is forecast for Sunday, and Monday, of exodus? Or, perchance, ordering of the closing, of no more fun is permitted, in due of winds, and a whiteout, in a most similar manner of the police ordered of the closing of EDC in due of solely 30 miles per hour winds?

      The prior decisions, of the BLM, in regards of the closing of Gate for one night in due of too many people with tickets, and fo the closing of Gate for one day in due of the 15 year old girl exploring Burning Man, compromised safety. Their Unified Command, of the BLM, and of their police, must not have their wet dream desired ability to gain control of the city, and declare Burning Man closed, no more fun is permitted, and of all Burners must evacuate the playa.

  5. My prior comment upon the untruthful information supplied to the BLM Director, and to the newspapers, in regards of the statements of 13 of their rubbish 20 points were not addressed:

    “Kudos to Ms Kane for her awesome reporting.

    The update to her reporting of BLM’s 20 worries on Burning Man emergencies, sanitation is most shocking.

    ‘In April, Burning Man submitted a 40-page working document that addressed “every single point” that the BLM made, according to Burning Man CEO Marian Goodell.’, with details, within the newspaper article, of the responses. By appearances, Mr Seidlitz, the BLM Winnemucca Burning Man manager, or whomever stated 13 of the 20 points were not addressed, was not truthful to the BLM Director, and to the newspapers.

    Might I do this to an employer, I would be most deserving of being fired.”

    In addendum of not being willing to labour, with Burning Man, to complete the permit in a manner that maintains Burner culture of fire and of radical self sufficiency, and not restrain the most abusive actions of the BLM police, in terms of both money, and of harassment of Burners, the reassignment to manage a broom closet is most appropriate.

  6. Towne looks like he might be a hippie, Oregon and all. That could be good.

    Don’t know about Seidlitz. The reassignment could be a promotion if it was not temporary. Could also be a chocotaco reprimand.

Leave a Reply