Who are the Rangers?

“Rangers rise from the dust when they’re needed and recede when they’re done.”


Rangers traditionally protect life and natural environments. They patrol a range, by definition an expanse of land, and are members of one or more regional communities. Historically, Rangers were an earlier alternative to local or federal law enforcement covering vast territories, i.e. the Texas Rangers, Arizona Rangers, etc. Rangers are the traditional guardians of our community.

In 1992 Danger Ranger founded the Black Rock Rangers to serve a search and rescue function in the Black Rock Desert. This search and rescue function of the Black Rock Rangers was naturally expanded to include life-safety issues within the perimeter of what was to become Black Rock City. Since the beginning of the event, the city has grown in size and population. In 1996 several accidents and incidents gave rise to concerns about community safety. One result was the establishment of new community standards in 1997 regarding citizen behavior as it involved driving and firearms. This was also the first year that Black Rock City was enclosed by a perimeter fence. Today, as the population of BRC shared values grows larger and more diverse, the role of the Rangers is more critical than ever before.

Responsibilities and Duties

It is the primary responsibility of Rangers to preserve the safety, welfare, and quality of experience of our community. Rangers should:

  • Provide information and serve as a community communications conduit.
  • Prevent vehicles from endangering pedestrians, bicyclists and campsites.
  • Keep all roads clear for pedestrians, bicycles and emergency vehicles.
  • Inform participants of potentially hazardous weather situations.
  • Observe interactions between participants & outside agencies as needed.
  • Maintain safety perimeters and scene control as needed.
  • Assist participants in acclimating to the black rock city environment and community.
  • Mediate situations and/or disputes between participants.
  • Address and report any instances of non-consensual physical or sexual assault.
  • Provide other non-confrontational mediation and safety activities as needed.
  • Always stay in radio communication with khaki while on shift.
  • Always have their partner’s back while on shift.
  • Avoid the temptation to just point & laugh.

Ranger Teams

Various operational teams within the Ranger Organization require year-round coordination and supervision to administer, plan, and carry out their work at the event. These leadership groups are called by various self-selected names (Cadre, Cabal, Circle, etc.) and are made up of experienced Ranger members from each group.

Volunteer Coordinators
Our Volunteer Coordinators try to ensure that individual Ranger’s needs are being met and that Rangering continues to be a rewarding activity. They are usually the first people that applicants come into contact with, and they are always available to veterans with ideas and concerns.

We have learned over the years that it is necessary and appropriate to evaluate prospective Rangers before bestowing the khaki shirt and hat that identifies them as Dirt Rangers. Not everyone is cut out for Rangering, and after their first shift, not every applicant will feel that Rangering is right for them. Each new prospective (Alpha) Ranger, will walk a shift and be Mentored on the Playa in a setting similar what they will face on a full Ranger shift.

The Black Rock Ranger training team develops and reviews a training curriculum designed to reach alpha and veteran Rangers.

Shift Lead Cadre
In addition to their critical role in providing guidance and support to Dirt Rangers on the playa, the Shift Lead Cadre works year round to develop and implement policies.

Sanctuary / Green Dots
Green Dots are Rangers who help participants through situations that have a strong emotional, psychic, or internal component. Green Dots are first and foremost patient listeners who seek to hold space for participants undergoing inner transformation or experiencing internal distress.

Tech Team
The Tech Team supports all Ranger technical needs.

Law Enforcement & Agency Liaison
A small group of Rangers who work as law enforcement agency liaisons.

Ranger Art-Safety Team
The Ranger Art-Safety Team is responsible for coordinating Ranger activity with regard to art safety. This group functions as part of the Performance Safety Team (PST), which includes representatives of the Art department, ESD, Fire, DPW, Fuel Storage, licensed pyrotechnicians, and other advisers.

Rapid Night Response
Getting qualified rangers to serious situations fast, amidst the challenging and complex nighttime environment.

Intercept addresses vehicle safety concerns within Black Rock City and to convey how seriously we take vehicle safety to the various Law Enforcement Agencies who would otherwise take matters into their own hands.

The purpose of Echelon is to have Rangers supporting Rangers in the logistical details that make all of our work possible.