Why do AZ Burners want to own land?

(NOTE: This document is a work in progress. Updates will be made to this doc as more info is gathered, suggestions are incorporated into the plan, etc)

To have a permanent home for Arizona Burners to feel safe, secure and welcome, that will be available for future generations of Burners.

Having our own land gives us peace of mind, knowing we all have a place to gather,

create, and grow as a community.

It’s also a better fiscal decision.

To get the best possible new home, we need input from the community.

Who will protect and care for the land?

What will we allow on the land?

Where will the land be?

When will this happen?

The research and information on this page has been gathered and processed by volunteers, not industry professionals. All the information and research on this page is subject to change, based on input by our community, legal, etc. If you have research that shows a better answer, let us know. We need everybody’s input, to make the best possible decisions. There is a submission form below.

Overview ppt Presentation

Who: Who will decide what land to buy?

The land purchasing team consists of Regional Contacts and AZ Burner community members who work professionally in Arizona real estate and land appraisal.

The land purchasing team will combine research, professional knowledge, and community input to determine the best land to purchase for AZ Burners.

Land Team Org Chart

Who will decide what we do with the land:

An AZ Burner community volunteer-run committee, working with the AZ Burner Leadership Team, will gather community input to identify what we will use the land for and how we will regulate the usage of the land. The committee will also write up policies and procedures for the land. Do you think you belong on this team? Do you think you should head up this team? Fill out the feedback form at the bottom of the page, and let us know.

Who will manage and maintain the land:

The land team will be led by a board of trustees (currently Arizona Artistic LLC - Serpico, Qqtpie, Goodstart), whose duties are to create and enforce policies that protect the land and keep it available for community use. This team will have an active Regional Contact, a trusted long term community member/lawyer, and a person with education and experience with land. These team members will change as needed with the intent to eliminate conflicts of interest.


The AZ Burner community will decide what will be allowed to be done on and with the land, and what land rules will be followed. This separate board of community members will not have more than one representative that is also on the land team. The team will include an active regional contact and trusted community members. These team members will not be determined until the role is more completely defined by public input.

Where / What

Where the land will be, is a question with a lot of factors to consider. Several years of research have been done already, but new information is needed to have a more complete picture. If you have knowledge or skill with any of the criteria listed below, let us know. If you have criteria that hasn’t been addressed, let us know.




A safe environment to burn

To be able to burn as often as possible

Search for a location with the least amount of fire restriction dates.

Denuded land areas

Zoning that allows us to gather and participate with our community

Permanent zoning

A cooperative and transparent relationship with local governments

Hold events on the land

Permanent rezoning

Have a good relationship with county government services

Land Access

Double wide for bidirectional traffic

Permanent access to land without crossing private property.

Emergency Services

911 service and close hospital

Find property within 45 minutes of a hospital

Receptive Community

Great or no neighbors

surrounded by BLM, state trust, or industrial property



Water tanks on site until well


Perfect weather

Look at long range forecasts

Enough land to support the next 10 years of AZ Burner growth

To have land big enough to hold a 3,000 person event

70+ acres or 40 now with option for 40 more

Bring in enough money to cover yearly expenses

Generate sustainable income

Community discussions to determine land uses

Land Stability

Land protected from lawsuits

Have a separate non-profit "Arizona Arts" own the land, and lease it to Arizona Artistic Conflagrators LLC, and others, to hold events. Land users provide additional insurance.

Reduced event expenses

Sustainable toilets and roads

Have a multi year plan to become sustainable.

Ability to build permanent structures

Art, toys, toilets, roads

Check for endangered animals or plants that may inhibit builds.


NOW!  We need as much input as possible, to get the best land for our community.  Step forward if you want to be engaged

Phase II is to determine how we will make the land sustainable. What needs to be done for upkeep, security, generating income, and setting land use rules. What do we, as a community, want our land to be? There will be several public meetings held to gather input, to make a comprehensive land management plan.


Arizona Artistic LLC (Tim & qqtpie - pending Juan Carlos) has been formed to purchase/hold the land.  AZ Burners will fund the land (down payment, loan/financing, etc).  Land purchase money will also come out of ticket sales (funding purchase of land instead of rental). Money not raised through ticket sales will be raised through donation efforts and events. There will be a planning committee to assess and develop donation efforts. We will need community members to fill these roles.

What Team - What we want

How Team - How we do the thing



We are collecting feedback/questions so that we can add them to the list of items we as a community need to consider. See the form a the bottom of this webpage.


  1. Here's where we are -
  1. We need event space for Saguaro Man 2020
  2. Land team to create management structure/group.  Want to get involved? Join!
  3. committed to setting up legal entity, structure for adding/removing board members, and determining policies and processes.  3 month commit.
  1. Needs -
  1. Would require upkeep (taxes, management, maintenance, etc)
  2. Structure to own land (charity, non-profit or B-corp)
  3. Board or team enlisted to support
  4. Financial expertise
  1. Concerns -
  1. Community members may question if we can  manage land effectively
  2. Is it a good  use of land/money for 2 events a year?
  3. How would we guard against squatters on land that is not used for most of the year?

Do we have a “caretaker”, is that a paid position?

Minimum 3 month contracts with community members or farm networks like WOOFers. Willing Workers On Organic Farms. People agree to watch and report on the land in exchange for free rent. The Land board members oversee the contracts and reports.

  1. Could the land be rented out for other events? Is it worth the risk?

Land will have insurance , about $600 a year. Individual events will have separate insurance.

FAQ - What happens when the current leaders step down?

Currently the plan is to transition it to the land trust group by the end of 2020, or when the land team decides it's the "right time" (it's the land teams decision, not mine/ours - the land team has the "community experts").

The goal/intent is to get the event producers off the LLC as soon as possible (and preferably the RCs too), and move to a true non-profit structure (with board members, governance, fiscal reporting, etc) that is managed by a subset of our community.  Separation of duties and all that.

We've been soliciting for people to step forward into the land team for the last 1.5 years, and just had a new person join after the announcement.

We are encouraging participation/volunteers in the process.

Open Concerns/issues -

Concern that it may be harder to get land as an LLC as opposed to a private individual.

Appendix - Meeting notes

Meeting 6/26/19 -

Discussion of buying a “section” 500 acres and selling to AZ burners in parcels from that 540 acres - $99k  Managing land that isn’t ours -Who gets what land?  Equitable.

How do we share with burners who are interested in investing and buying a piece of “buffer land”

Who is interested in buying “buffer land ($5-10k) - TC

How do we manage the land? - LNT, Environmental impact, regular care?

Next Steps - How to form the entities?

2 paths - forming LLC and selecting land criteria -

What - Land - Cookie, Mark, Rich, Karen

        Form criteria for success in purchasing land

How - Structure - TC, Malena, Juan, Ron

        Legal advice for structure - Non profit, LLC, B corp

Guiding principles of land - Mission, Vision Strategy -

Vision - Want input - Land trust independent of the community.

Land management to set restrictions and parameters for use.

Who can use, for what - Take care of future preservation of the land

Meeting 7/11/2019 -


Need organizational agreement, Attorney review Sharing overarching principles -

Attorney to draft the draft document.  

Get communities input - Create document -

Separate legal entities

Legal power - What gets delegated -  delegation - get community input

Malena -

2 tier or 3 tier structure - What’s the difference?  Discuss with lawyer -

Malena to review arcosanti organization document

Setting up entities, paying for event land with event fees.  

Rental income - sustainability of the project - How can it sustain it - No nonprofit is successful on a volunteer team - How are the people who are spending time on these projects -

Ron - Talked - Missed points -

TC - Want to avoid getting piece of land with no “out clause”, public opinion could go south, can’t get most of our money out.

Burning Man LLC model - Stipends - salaries - Changes significantly of the character of the board - Paid people and volunteer people.  Culture where volunteer rises to get slight paid, and privileges.  Cautions against this approach

What we want to do, what what property, when.

Malena -

Value exchange for the time put in.  Even a stipends.  something to feed.  Grow into these positions - terms for certain positions - executive director - worked with the staff and board - have roles balance each other out.  Limit on how much volunteering you can do.

Add 2nd nonprofit and LLC - 3 tier arcosanti model -

JC -

One asset and s board - stipend for caretaker who may live on land -

Shouldn’t be financial motivation - wants to make it more professional

Malena -

Amount of work r

JC - Land is there to support the principles - not just AZ Burners - Allied groups - Rent lant - LNT group, more complicated organization - getting it together for each group.

Stewarding the land so that like minded groups can share it on multiple levels - A lot of time/effort to manage growth to 3000 participants.  Land renewal cycles -

TC -

ARe there LLC that are regional that are paid - Paid beyond the gerlach regional - What’s the big vision - What’s the appropriate growth process.  Start with saguaro man and decompression and test foundations of future growth.  Discuss timing   What does the dream space look like.  plan for how we get there.  

Juan Carlos - Discussion about what is AZ Burning Man as a separate thing.  Need to form LLC with correct

Malena - Dream big about the land - What’s long term goal beyond hosting 2 events a year - Where are finances and staffing?  how do we make considerations -

Mark -

If you come to them with a suggestion - to have all documents - Tennants - List of criteria - Does it uphold the ideal of burning man culture, apply the 10 principles, rented to other organizations, to get to specify the specifics.  


Outline of corporation documents to say - LAnd separate from AZ Burners - Bigger picture of AZBurners - Holistic reimagining of AZBurners culture - LAnd independent org and structure from azburners.   Make it a professional organization -

Malena - In land document - Roots. tree trunt and leaves - Good starting documents -   Edit version that is specific for the lawyer meeting - August 15th - 1pm - what subject matter experts, how many people - Sent before the meeting - Here’s what I want to talk about - Tuesday the 31st 7pm

July 31 - HOW Team Call

Present: Ranger HouseCall, Mark, Malena, Rich

How important is it that we rent the land to other groups in order to raise funds to sustain the expenses of the land ownership? Are our events enough or do we need to bring in additional income?

Misc Notes

How Team - How we do the thing

Questions for the Lawyer (Is this a free consultation? How much time do we have with them?)

What Team - What we want

1/14 - Land what meeting - Tiernan, Qqtpie, Dad, Culann, Juan Carlos, Sunny

Introductions -

Update - We have a handful of parcels to look at from Bruno, Culann and Cookie - These have been input into airtable - https://airtable.com/shrmtS2HzvcOb6sfK

Tiernan is working to collect over 90 parcels meeting our criteria and is working to have it up by Thursday.  We need the Parcel .csv file from realtor.  Working to get info from cookie.

We will have boots “on ground” looking at parcels 1/19/2020, 1/26/2020, 2/2/2020

Recommendation to reach out to Matt G. for project management skills.

Interim Governing System - How Team - To create 1-2 year transition plan from interim holding group to Land trust structure.

Validated -- Holding org created -

Arizona Artistic LLC - Formed 1/1/2020

Tim and Pam