History of the Rangers

Est. 1992

Black Rock Ranger Patch

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 alternative to local or federal law enforcement covering vast territories, such as the Texas Rangers, Arizona Rangers. 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. Before 1997, the Burning Man event did not have a perimeter fence and participants were stretched over vast areas of the playa. Rangers were created to monitor and assist participants in the desert environment. With the dawn of the trash fence in 1997, this search and rescue function evolved to address life and safety issues within the perimeter of Black Rock City.

Since their formation, the Rangers have always seemed to go where needed. In 1998, the Rangers established what is now the Emergency Services Department (ESD), which later spun off as a separate department in 2003. They have been the starting point for a few other Departments in Black Rock City, including the Gate, Perimeter and Exodus teams.

Today, as the population of BRC grows larger and more diverse, the role of the Rangers as servants to the safety and well-being of the community is more critical than ever before. Truly, the Ranger role is an echo preserving the shared values of the Burning Man event within our ever-expanding and changing community.