Lesser Known LNT

Leave No Trace

Lesser Known LNT


If you plan to burn your art, you must do so in a way that doesn’t leave burn scars on the playa floor. A burn scar is a discoloration of the surface soil caused by chemical changes in the minerals due to contact with fire. They can last for many years and over time they form bumps, which are hazardous to vehicles. The BLM will issue citations for burning anything directly on the playa surface. To learn how to prevent burn scars, visit our Burn Scar Prevention page.


Do not excavate holes in the playa larger than six inches in diameter and two feet deep for ANY purpose. Larger holes easily erode within a year’s time, even when carefully backfilled, leaving a visible mark and creating a serious safety hazard to drivers throughout the rest of the year. When digging, it is best to use an auger or a posthole digger, NOT a shovel. Bag the dirt you are removing so that it doesn’t blow away in the wind. Refill the hole by carefully tamping the soil back into place (an inverted sledgehammer works well). Repeat this process every few inches while dampening the soil.


The collection, excavation or vandalism of archaeological artifacts is prohibited on public lands. If you find something that appears to be an authentic artifact, contact a Black Rock Ranger. If you are curious about the many Native American and pioneer historical sites in the surrounding Black Rock Desert Region, please contact the Oregon California Trail Association and join an organized exploration.