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BWB NEWS 07/01/2024

Report Back: BWB Spring Summit 2024

The 2024 BWB Spring Summit marked our 8th gathering and our third consecutive year at Hualapai Flat, the historic site of Black Rock City 1997, located at Fly Ranch. Themed “Participating in the Parable,” this summit provoked thought on the interplay between stories and landscapes: How do narratives shape land, people, and culture? How will knowledge of what has and does exist inform the dream of the future?

We were honored to host three members of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, enriching our discussions with traditional stories and insights into Northern Nevada. Our programming revolves around three pillars: Serve, Learn, and Celebrate, guiding our engagement throughout the event.

The **‘Serve’** element focuses on giving back to the land, ecosystem, and greater community. Some of these projects included:

This year we added a second effigy burn on Friday night, but unlike traditional effigies, this one was designed to create biochar—a form of charcoal that enriches soil and sequesters carbon. The burning process was planned and demonstrated by Micheal Witman and Ray Cirino who shared their passion and knowledge throughout the process. We created roughly 30lbs of Biochar which is the equivalent to around 60lbs of sequestered carbon!

Conversations buzzed at the fire about the importance of environmental stewardship and the shared mutual commitment to exploring sustainable practices. As the blaze died down, the flames were doused with water and wood vinegar and the next day participants had an opportunity to learn more and continue to process the biochar.  The biochar that was produced will be used to fertilize community gardens, enhancing soil health and promoting sustainable agriculture on Fly Ranch and beyond. 

The **‘Learn’** element focuses on peer-to-peer learning and sharing. Some of our sessions included:

  • Opening Circle (Crimson Rose) 
  • Personal Storytelling  (Carmina Becerra) 
  • Heroes & Ancestors (Suotonye DeWeaver)
  • Future Storytelling (Ilana Lipset)
  • Fly Ranch Land Walk (Matt Sundquist) 
  • BioChar Workshop (Micheal Witman and Ray Cirino) 
  • Meditation & Movement (Adrienne Jezick and Anejlika)
  • Making Art with Mycelium (Miguel Guzman and Yvonne Ihoo) 
  • Earth Mandala Art (Armando Davila)
  • Indigenous Wisdom Stories (Dean Barlese) 
  • Journey of a Water Keeper (Beverly and Autumn Harry) 
  • Collaborative Effigy Building Workshop (Nick Palmer)
  • Cyanotype Art (Justin Katz) 

The **‘Celebrate’** element focuses on meaningful rituals and celebrations which include:

Gathering off-grid allows us to immerse ourselves in conversations and experiences without distraction. Being able to share ideas, passions, projects, and perspectives is part of what makes this experience so special. Many new connections were formed and we look forward to inviting more people to explore Fly Ranch with us in 2025.

The BWB Summits are small group gatherings of less than 100 people, and the weekends have a participant-driven, unconference programming style with a focus on connecting with the land, each other, and ourselves. If you are interested in attending an upcoming Summit you are invited to express interest ( To learn about upcoming Summits and other events, subscribe to our newsletter and/or the BWB community activation calendar

*Special thanks to Annie Coleman (producer), Molly Rose (producer) Neha Sharma (producer), the team at Fly Ranch, Nevada Properties(NVO), and Burning Man Project staff, who are critical collaborators in this series. These events are volunteer and participant-driven, and while we can’t include everyone we’d like to thank…. Arian Brackett (Medical), Widget (FAST-Fire Arts Safety Team), Beverly and Autumn Harry (Indigenous Activists/Water protectors), Dean Barlese (Pyramid Lake Paiute Elder), Charles Michel (Kitchen/DJ), Brian Capobianci (Music), Jurgis DID (Music) Jaya Shingal (Ranger) Jedi C.S. (Kitchen), Alicia (Kitchen), Michelle Wong (Soil Testing), Micheal Witman and Ray Cirino (BioChar Effigy), Corey and X-tina (Solar Powered Sound System), Nick Palmer (Effigy), Shade Shifters (Shade), Wild Wes (Site-ops), Ecozoics Toilets) and Square One Camp (Kitchen Infrastructure).

Our 2024 Slide Deck is also available for viewing.

Past Report Outs:
2023 Spring Summit Report 
2022 Spring Summit Report
2021 Spring Summit Report
2020 Green Theme Camp Summit (virtual) Report
2020 Virtual Spring Summit Report
2019 Fall Summit ‘Sustainability & Regenerative Culture’ Report
2019 Spring Summit Report

***Want to learn more about the event from the perspective of a participant? Check out this article written by 2023 BWB Spring Summit guest Joseph Miller, Indigenous Community Relations Coordinator, Friends of the Inyo***


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