Hey there sports fans, MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire. The Hun here, reporting from Gerlach where Burning Man is entering its final inning.

Though the festival ended weeks ago for most, the brave men and women of the DPW Playa Restoration crew have stayed behind to make sure this epic year ends in an epic win. To do that, they’re picking up every single piece of MOOP in town, making sure Burning Man honors its commitment to Leaving No Trace.

This is the crew that makes sure Black Rock City passes its annual inspection by the Bureau of Land Management, so we can do it all again next year. The stakes are high, and the standards are higher — but your Restoration team is strong and experienced, and they haven’t lost a game yet.

Like I said, this is the final inning and that inspection date is less than three weeks away. The Restoration team’s success depends on all the people who came before, all those valiant Burners who picked up errant water bottles and tucked their cigarette butts into their socks, who stayed an extra hour to MOOP their campsites.

And oh yes, the people of Black Rock City are just as dedicated to Leaving No Trace as the Restoration crew is. For proof, we turn to the MOOP Map, an annual chart showing the cleanliness of the city as DPW Playa Restoration found it.

Here’s how it looked in 2010:

Green means clean and red means messy.
Click the map to see it bigger!

That’s one clean city, folks.

Now in years past, we used to make you wait for weeks, even months while we compiled all the data, fact-checked, watched instant replays and made abso-totally sure the MOOP Map was complete. This year, you won’t have to wait. I’ll be giving you daily reports and fresh updates from the front lines, as we fill in the MOOP Map block by block.

Follow the line sweepers across the playa in (almost) real time! Bite your knuckles in anticipation as the front line approaches your camp! Cheer on the brave MOOPers as they comb the desert for lost earrings, glowstick connectors and pine needles!

And be sure to tune in around October 6, when we’ll be announcing the results of the BLM inspection. Will Burning Man happen next year? It’s all up to the valiant and vigilant DPW Playa Restoration team.

Stabby bravely leads Restoration MOOPers across the wide white desert.

There are some 90 team members out walking the desert as I file this report. They’re strong. They’re weird. And they’re all amped up on the Leave No Trace mentality.

Bad Idea is a champion MOOPer in the Australian leagues.

These are the people in charge of your future, Black Rock City. They’re the walking, MOOPing, hot-pants-wearing representation of your integrity, your ideals and your highest wishes for environmental stewardship.

As we go, I’ll tell you more about your team members, how they do what they do so well — and how you can support the Burning Man home team in 2012 and beyond.

Surly wants your MOOP, and he wants it bad.

I’ll be back tomorrow with our first report. Get pumped, sports fans. Put yourself in a MOOPin’ mindset with this short educational video created by DPW’s own Patches the Jew.

Want more? Be sure to peruse the Matter Out Of Place blog, a veritable treasure trove of MOOPy goodness.

This is The Hun, signing off ’til tomorrow.

About the author: The Hun

The Hun, also known as J.H. Fearless, has been blogging for Burning Man (and many other outlets) since 2005, which is also the year she joined the BRC DPW on a whim that turned out to be a ten-year commitment. Since then she's won some awards for blogging, built her own creative business, and produced some of the Burning Blog's most popular stories and series. She co-created a grant-funded art piece, "Refoliation," in 2007, and stood next to it watching the Man burn on Monday night during a full lunar eclipse. She considers that, in many ways, to have been the symbolic end of Burning Man that was. The Hun lives in Reno with DPW Shade King, Quiet Earp. You may address her as "The Hun" or "Hun". If you call her "Honey" she reserves the right to cut you.

42 thoughts on “MOOP MAP LIVE 2011!

  • oh well look at that. The 10 & J corner from 2010 is all red. All those fake feather mohawks and packaged RVs surely leave a mark. Often when you are at BRC just for the party and your I.V. drip is more important than seeing art, one can get a bit blurred and forget to clean up after yourself.

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  • Now Tim, surely you can think of something nicer to say than that. Got any comment on the many, many green blocks? The folks who didn’t clean up well in 2010 have already heard about it, more than once. There are lots of things that you can say to add to a productive conversation, without insulting other people.

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  • Glad to hear it. Sorry for my bitterness. Early morning. I think it is awesome that the city is greener and greener. I love that it gets greener as it gets bigger. I didn’t know that those folks had been slapped on the wrist. I thought that since I saw even more of the featherhawks this year that no one really cared. They used to tell you at the gate, no feathers they make a mess. I guess not anymore. You can take my comment down as it seems to not be useful.

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  • I don’t know how to take ’em down but it’s all good! I think we all get irked sometimes, but overall, most people leave their camps spotless and that’s something to be happy about. Thank you for understanding, and for caring!

    I honestly don’t know what’s up with the feathers either, but it seems like feather boas were the main problem. I still don’t see many of those around.

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  • Looking forward to seeing our camps results, been green since we started but I wasn’t there for monday this year. Everyone knows the deal though so I’m confident! Came back to camp with my backpack full of found moop every night this year, hope it helped.

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  • feather boas and all feather costumes are searched for at the gate,,, and when found, the customer is given the option of having GATE care for the item or the customer can turn around and find a home off playa for said item. PGE cares.

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  • I always assume that the corner camps will be unfairly dumped on by the millions of ravers and dancing. No matter how good they de-moop when they leave, the playa will churn up after a week millions of little bits that disappeared under dancers. While we can get on them for not mooping better, I figure some amount of red is inevitable…

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  • We ran a bar and our friend from Disco Nights had the great idea of “monetizing” drinks… Two pieces of moop in the bag – you get your drink… Most people loved this and were very happy to help moop in return for a drink. great interaction, everyone helps out….. perfect. (thank you Tony – good idea)

    The real dampener though was the folks who answered “what’s Moop?”. some got drinks, some didn’t….. either way, they were all informed it was rubbish and told to go read the survival guide, or the website, or anyone of the other million pieces of communication fired at them in the run up to the event…. very depressing.

    rescued by the willingness of all others to help…. thank you loving Moopers….

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  • thanks to tony, Thank You! that is for sure worth trading for! What’s Moop? is just about as bad as not having a water container.

    Ah well, we are a diverse lot, but only the strong make it in our city!


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  • Thing is, as I explained to Tony at the time, teh problem with the drinks for MOOP strategy is that you then open yourself up to the dangerous realm of counterfeit MOOP. You’ll need to bring a few extra contractor sacks….

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  • To turn around Tim’s initial comments, (which I can sadly identify with – Jaded Burner camp is an always popular camp ;)), on the flip side, I know of many a site that would have been glaringly red when whoever camped there left Black Rock City, but by the time their neighbours have left, is in the green. Civic Responsibility, sometimes unfortunately, can mean picking up after the flailers. I’m looking at you, circle of rented rvs and 24 hour geni’s across the street from us last year.
    I’ve often tried to think of ways to tackle ignorant moopers (apart from physically tackling them) and the “moop barter bar” is a pretty good and creative one. I hope to see more of that next time I’m in BRC :)
    Never leave camp without a mug!

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  • hip, hip hooray for those awesome souls that clean up! My cup runneth over in appreciation and admiration for ALL that you do!

    Thank you, thank you…a million times thank you!

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  • Something our camp did last year that really worked. If you know someone who has photoshopping skilz, pull up the full sized satellite photo you gleefully found your campsite on (other burners do that right?) resize it and make it partially transparent. Set that layer over the official MOOP map (once it is released), resize it using the streets as landmark and voila – you can now see exactly where the mess was. Last year I was concerned by a large red spot in our general vicinity, and was able to determine it was an RV farm next to us, and not our own camp. Peace.

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  • Thanks to the Moop fishing expedition over around 3:00 & Esplanade this year. I was hooked by their late night glow stick fishing, and it was one of my favorite experiences of the event. I loved that people cared enough to thank me for stopping to pick up a stray glow stick on the playa.

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  • Ben – You definitely helped. Without a doubt. Thank you.

    Misfit, thanks for clarifying that bit. I haven’t worked Gate yet so I don’t know all the policies. I think feathers are just in style right now, so we’re bound to see a few more than in previous years.

    Deadletter – Hi! And you’re right. The big theme camps on the edge of the playa do tend to be messier, and we take that into account. They may still get a yellow or red on the MOOP Map, but we talk to them about why that happened. They do a lot for the community, and that’s worth acknowledging. Aside from “Leave No Trace,” there are nine other Principles guiding our community. Each of us is probably better at some than we are at others.

    “Thanks to Tony” – what a great idea! I love it. An excellent opportunity to educate as well. I’ll pass on that idea to friends.

    Pi – You are the best kind of Burner. We should all pick up after our neighbors… even though it sucks sometimes.

    Starmonkey, that’s a great strategy. We try to be as detailed as possible about the grid, so people can tell how their camp did. Just remember not to take it too seriously — it isn’t an exact science, so if you’re totally certain you MOOPed the crap out of your site, that’s all you need to know.

    Opus – Yes!! The jugs work great. I’ll get into that more in the future too.

    Sirin, that’s one of my favorites too. Year after year, it always makes me laugh.

    Thank all of you for your comments!!

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  • Hey Burners: Pull Your Stakes. Pull Your Neighbor’s Stakes. Let not that piece of rebar nor wobbly bit of cheap tent stake remain in the ground. If you see someone striking camp and hammering anything into the ground, ask to be sure, “Do you need help pulling that?”

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  • Erection: Sunday night on my bike I ran into a piece of rebar that a neighboring camp left in the ground. Went sprawling and got some wicked Playa Rash. So not only is it moopy, it’s also dangerous.

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  • what Erection said! ’cause you really don’t want karma to bite you next year as you run a tire over a stake. and even better, use rebar you can twist out with a pair of vice-grips rather than those v-shaped thin metal dagger stakes some tents come with that all but have to be dug out with a shovel, really. spent an hour 2010 digging out a neighbors left-behinds of that type grrrrr.

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  • Thank you guys! May you find 2:58 and Luscious on the outter ring spotless! Glowstix + MOOP….. ugh! And yes, feathers seemed to be in-vogue this year…. not so much as boas but, masks and hairpieces, etc……

    A hug to you all…….


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  • Hi There,

    Just wondering how a red is classified – I was sad and confused to see that our camp had a clear red patch and was 100% yellow (3:00-3:10 and J) We weren’t a huge camp to start and 4 of us took our time Sunday with exodus and we were feeling really good about our anti-moop footprint.

    We definitely were trying to be very concious about it and thought we combed pretty well – we’re very open to suggestion and although I don’t know if you have an actual detailed moop report if you do we would love to get it – we want to be green and will put more effort in next year but again – interested in what the moop actually was – thanks!

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  • oh – wait – now I see that map is 2010 – now I understand – that was the location of the camp called ‘the portal patch’ which really belonged on 2:00 with their monster bass kit – that makes more sense – OK – we’ll wait with fingers crossed!

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  • Yes on the rebar and stakes! I almost ran over one yesterday, as it happens. It was covered with a water bottle, but that wouldn’t have stopped it from damaging my tire.

    ~Lancho – I think we’ve already passed through 2:58 and L, so we’ll be releasing your results soon… My fingers will be crossed for you, but I’m guessing you already know your camp was spotless :)

    Mark U – Great job MOOPing your camp! Yes, that map is from last year, sorry for the confusion. I’ll be talking more about how we grade things, starting today.

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  • After desperate years of wondering how to participate as a chef.
    Lots of hippies are really good cooks, lots of artists are really good cooks. Being a professional chef is a tough art to show off at BM, chocolate dipped bacon and jalapeno cheddar corn muffins not withstanding. At Roger’s a young woman once fed me her cucumber tabbouleh, brought me to my knees so to speak, I was humbled.

    But MOOP. I am a moop wizard. Where do I go to sign up to be on this team?

    I once found a contact lens in a snowbank! Anthropology at it’s freshest! A study of humans and what they drop. I’m in. Put me in touch, ooo let me touch the person in charge. I found my place on the playa. As a baker I’m always in charge of “crumb control central”. He he he, I can be R Crumb Control 2012. He he

    I could come now with water and garbage bags?

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  • Arthur! The Restoration roster is full for this year, but you can always submit a volunteer questionnaire for next year:

    There are plenty of ways to share your amazing talent without coming to the desert. One of the best ways to get involved is to learn more about the methods we use to clean the Black Rock Desert, then help educate theme camps and Burners at large on how to prevent MOOP and how to clean it up.

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  • First off, Re: the first few comments, I just gotta say how much I love you guys. On any other forum where one comment was contradicted by another the usual thing is for the argument to quickly disintegrate into . . . “gay”. Was inspiring to see a genuine acceptance of a mistake and an attempt to correct it on the internet. So yeah, thanks for that guys.

    I tried to be really vigilant with the moop this year, but I thought it would be cool to share a few of the things that gave me a little extra boost . . .

    The first was acknowledgment from other burners. Not that I was particularly looking for it, it was always nice to get a smile or a nod from another burner after picking up a bit of moop. Especially if I had pockets full of it already, it kept me going strong.

    Second thing that was really cool was running into a girl who was misting people. It was hot and dusty, as it is, so I ran over to ask for a spray. She happily obliged, but as I was basking in the cool fresh awesome she said, “Okay, but now the deal is you have to pick up at least 25 pieces of moop today, and then pick up some more.” Luckily, I didn’t run into 25 pieces of moop that day, meant people were doing their job, but it was a nice reminder to be even more attentive than I already was. I had a mission. It became a game.

    Aaaand the last awesome moop experience I had was with a camp, who’s name I forget, right on the esplanade. Kind of like moop fishing, I wandered across a tiny bottle of whiskey lying on the playa and as I bent down to pick it up a voice came over a megaphone somewhere, “WAIT.” I looked around. “THANK YOU . . . DRINK IT.” I was dubious at first but after them assuring me it was alright I had a little swig and then put it back like they asked for the next unsuspecting demooper. Was nice to get a little prize.

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  • Also, Re: Hate the gate . . . Really? I mean, really? Nobody deserves or should have to worry about your moop except you. And though, yeah, getting through the gate can suck sometimes, it is still a part of going to Burning Man and is necessary to help everything on the other side going smoothly. They are just doing their job and I’m sure that in the long run they will be able to make your life easier if you do your part to help support theirs, rather than attempting to hinder it.

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  • I’m just going to see if I can get that “hate the gate” comment deleted… seems more like trolling than anything else. Don’t bother responding to it, folks.

    Apollo, great stories! And thank you so much for being aware, and filling your pockets. It makes such a huge difference when people like you take the time to pick up MOOP.

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  • Thank you dpw and all my fellow burners who are moop conscious. We have bags on our camel backs for moop at all times AND the wonderful rangers at tokyo outpost were kind enough to loan us a rake for clean up. May you find the corner of 9 and D pristine! Cool Aid Oasis has zero tolerance for moop! I love love love the moop trade in idea and we are soooo gonna use that. Blessings to all of you! )”(

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  • I spent four hours each on two consecutive days picking up moop with my friend. We decorated our moop sticks to their playa finest and hit the open areas around the art pieces, and in doing so met some very fine people to share conversation with. We were often thanked for our efforts and I was called Mr Moop Man by many (it became a term of indearment). To say the least, we both had fun in de-mooping the playa and giving back to BRC. The feathers were a bitch and other than the normal detritus one would normally expect to find overall it wasnt bad. I found a blinking Nemo buried in the dust which now graces a spot over my desk at work; a reminder of how one can be rewarded for their efforts and of the fun I had mooping. Thanks to all who spent the time to moop up… it isnt a glorious job but a very important one. See ya next year on the playa, moop stick in hand and a smile on my face!!

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  • Just one note to my note above: I’d meant to type: GLOWSTIX = MOOP! Dang those things, as pretty as they are for their brief arc of glowing…… when you look at their minute “active” life span versus everything that goes into producing them, and then dealing with them as waste, it doesn’t even close to make sense…. yes, even in the face of the invasion of the Donnie Darkwads.

    And hey…. while I’m here again: THANK YOU deMOOPERS!


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  • P.S. Just remembered a most excellent MOOP trap…. riding down 3:00, headed home with paniers full of ice, I stop to pick up a big chunk of moop in the road, and as I reached down to get it, it whisked away….. look up, and there’s a couple of guys cracking up with a fishing pole and line attached to the moop…. brilliant! Invited me in for a drink but, melting ice kept me on my path….

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  • Thank you restoration crew for your loving service. I hope to help you some year. We cleaned and detailed our area ready to leave on Tuesday morning. But Monday night distant neighbors shot off firecrackers and bottle rockets. I’d like to bring greater awareness that these items leave MOOP. I don’t see the shooters seeking their firecracker pieces. This was a big bummer. It is hopeful to see the map more green with each passing year. xoML

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  • I was told by a member of the Earth Guardians that I could get a report of what exactly was recovered from the area of our theme camp that made it a yellow on the MOOP map. Whom do I contact? We were at 7:30 and E.

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