MOOP Map Live 2012: …AND THEY’RE OFF!

Moopers at the starting line. Photo by Vertumnus. Click to enlarge!

Hello, hello, HELLO to all you MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire! Welcome to our LIVE coverage of the event of the year, the thrilling final quarter of Burning Man 2012, the nail-biting conclusion to a rollercoaster season. That’s right: We’re about to start creating this year’s MOOP Map.

If you’re tuning in for the first time, here’s what you need to know: Burning Man may technically be over, but for the 115 members of the Playa Restoration team, it’s just getting going. These all-star, highly attuned and maniacally dedicated moopers are about to comb the width and breadth of Black Rock City, picking up every last piece of MOOP they can before time runs out. What will they find? Will they finish in time? We’re about to find out.

But what is MOOP? Why, that’s Matter Out Of Place.

And why are we picking it up? BecauseĀ the Bureau of Land Management allows Burning Man to use the Black Rock Desert on the condition that we Leave No TraceĀ of our event. And because every member of the Playa Restoration team is committed to erasing any remnants of the incredible Burning Man hullabaloo, and returning this desert to a pristine, featureless state.

What’s the MOOP Map? It’s a record of the amount of MOOP found by the Restoration team as they pass through every city block, every art site and every square foot of land they can cover before time is up. If you mooped your camp, it’ll be marked green on the map. If you didn’t moop as well as you could have, you’ll be marked yellow or (gasp) red. Here’s 2011’s MOOP Map for reference.

Why is time running out? The BLM arrives on October 3 to inspect Burning Man’s footprint on this desert — and let me tell you, they’re expecting that footprint to be small. In order to ensure that Burning Man meets the BLM’s strict standards, Playa Restoration must inspect the entire city, foot by foot.

Why do you put the MOOP on the Map? Because Leaving No Trace isn’t just up to these 115 brave moopers: It’s YOUR job to leave this playa spotless! Playa Restoration is here to tell you how you did. How did you do? Did you moop your camp? The whole world’s about to find out.

Ooh can I come join you? Maybe next year, and only if you’re ready to give it your all with the world’s #1, never defeated, all-star mooper team.

The 2012 Playa Restoration team. Photo by Vertumnus. Click to enlarge!

Right now, the most important thing you can do is to cheer on your home team, led by the one and only, the fearless, the mighty D.A.

Coach D.A. steps onto the field, MOOP Map in hand. Photo by Vertumnus. Click to enlarge!

This year, with Black Rock City bigger than it’s ever been, D.A. recruited a bigger team than this town’s ever seen. For the first time ever, there are over 100 people scouring the playa for MOOP in all its forms. Many of them are hardened veterans, with years of experience and highly specialized skills. Some of them are rookies, wet-eared and eager for the fight. But they’re all out there right now, as I write this, kicking up dust in a joyous fury.

The Playa Restoration line sweep stretches across the playa. Photo by Vertumnus. Click to enlarge!

Yes! The race is on, and our team will emerge victorious as ever. Will your camp be victorious in your own MOOP efforts? Did you score green, yellow or red? Tune in daily between now and October 4th to find out.

This is The Hun, signing off.

All photos by Vertumnus!

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.

60 thoughts on “MOOP Map Live 2012: …AND THEY’RE OFF!

  • So much love for you all! Thank you for your dedication and believing in our city. I look forward to sharing the resto experience with you all at some future time, but until then… Thank you!

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  • It’s too band Black Rock Desert itself doesn’t make a map showing all the scarification and pollution caused to it over the last 25 years of this hipster tailgate party.

    But I guess it’s enough that most of the rebar gets pulled from the ground. Too bad the rest of us can’t drive there safely anymore.

    But you kids continue to pat yourselves on the back. Great job.

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  • From a newb who had an awesome first burn, stayed til the bitter end and loved every second of it but got seriously depressed seeing all the garbage on the highway I want to thank each and every one of you that stay behind, for everything you do to cover our collective asses so we can all return next year. THANK YOU! We love you!

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  • As one who used to camp at the playa back in the 1970’s I can say that it is cleaner now than it was then.

    I remember old, half buried cars and appliances, tons of old cans and broken bottles, signs with holes shot through them, and all kinds of random litter as well as the debris from ranching (cow pies, hay, barbed wire and fencing, etc).

    In fact, we used to hunt for old, purpled bottles and glass out there. Pieces of metal, railroad ties and car parts made for hazardous driving. This Nevada native also remembers when the sides of every road (paved or dirt) looked like a dump.

    There was enough detritus out there to support flies. I remember being amazed at how far away one could hear a fly buzz there. The amount of flies have been greatly reduced to the point I didn’t see one at all in 2012.

    Let’s not forget that it was a popular pastime in the ’80’s to take a 4-wheel drive and spin donuts in the mud until one got stuck. This caused huge damage to the playa. Often, folks left the stuck vehicles there.

    I don’t recall that any of the numerous keggers that people had out there being a Leave No Trace Event.

    The Burning Man event takes its toll for sure, but the fact is, thanks to the Burning Man org., and the efforts of their volunteers and participants, the playa is much more clean than it was before Burning Man happened.

    Now, the trash left on the roadside after the event, yeah, that needs to be addressed– My fellow burners I am looking at you!

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  • thank you very much for all your hard work. i hope that it is going well. it was my first year out on the playa this year and i plan to go back next year and most likely and hopefully many years to come. i understand the importance of this work and it is the reason this event keeps going. we all appreciate it very much. thanks again and good luck.

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  • Hun,

    I’m looking forward to the updates.

    Needless to say, I was filled with anticipation waiting for our block to be graded last year. What a relief to have a clean and green rating six years in a row!

    Kisho,

    Thank you for your post! Often we forget the playa was here long before Black Rock City. Given your detailed account, I can only imagine was found, removed, and disposed of that wasn’t due to Burning Man. It’s nice to know the efforts put forth by the participants don’t go unrecognized.

    Looking forward to the Moop Map updates as they become available!

    Eric

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  • Thank you moop patrol! You are all my personal heroes. If the default world didn’t grab me by the asshole and pull me back kicking and screaming (ie. my job), I would gladly be out there along side you all, picking up shit till the cows came home. Throughout the week I make sure to go out of my way to pick up garbage for at least an hour a day… hope this helps at least a little bit.

    hanks again for all your efforts, see ya next year!
    Zee

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  • To the 115 person Playa Restoration Team:

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you,
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, and Thank you.

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  • Thanks so much to the team for all of your hard work! Those of us who spend time de-MOOPing our own camps and other MOOP randomly throughout the Burn salute you and your great work!

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  • Reef – I thought about writing a response to your comment, but I think Kisho’s comment does a great job! Nobody’s claiming to be perfect here. I appreciate the fact that you care about the playa surface, and I know what you’re talking about … I remember when it was a lot more driveable too. Also remember finding a LOT more ammo shells. Go figure.

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  • Wayne, Kisho – Amen to the highway trash! We’re trying to get the word out about that, but there’s always room for a few good Burners to step up and do your own information campaign, or even organize people to help check loads at Exodus. Just an idea ….

    and Kisho, thanks for the excellent comment. I really appreciate that perspective.

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  • Thanks again Hun for keeping us up to date on the progress in the Black Rock Desert. I was a faithful reader last year and frequent facebook cross-poster. I hope it is go go go as much as possible. I am rooting for y’all!

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  • Great seeing you along the MOOP walk on wednesday and chatting you up. Hope you and the crew are doing well in the beautiful desert drinking nice cold beers after a long day of MOOPing. Love and thanks.

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  • Awesome work guys! I just want you to know I spent an hour picking up every last one of my neighbors pistachio shells he so generously donated to the playa upon leaving. I can only imagine what you guys go through. Thank you!

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  • Hahaha…. pistachio shells. I know your pain, Matt. I think people tend to believe that pistachio shells are not MOOP. It’s the only explanation for the sheer number of them we find! Thanks for putting in your time!

    crow :)

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  • Thank you so much. I truly hope to be a part of your efforts next year. I know I am sure at least one person says that each year, but I have some unfinished business out there after this year and am gonna need a lot more time on the playa to take care of it, so I may as well help clean up.

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  • You people are the greatest!
    You have your work cutout for you though. I caught a virgin burner digging a 3’x10′ hole about a foot deep to pour his gray water! I caught him just before he dumped his water. When I told him about his wrong doing he said “Why don’t they tell us about these rules”! Oh yes he did!
    So he said he would fix the hole before he left and put a tarp down for his gray water. Then when he left, he just pulled up the tarp and dumped the gray water in the hole anyway, which he didn’t fill in anyway!
    Damn!
    6:45 and H. You can’t miss it! :…(

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  • Thanks to Mile High I discovered your site…MooooP Oooonnnnnn another example of the amazing amount of intention, attention, sweat, tears and laughter that make Burning Man what it is. THANK YOU…wish our cities could be cleaned-up this way!

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  • I bet the critics of the “hipster tailgate party” have probably never spent a day in the desert, beach, campground, 4×4 trail or their own community picking up trash.

    Oh, heavens… A few people can’t dump their trash and old furniture, or go racing across the playa, because more people pay more money to use it and leave less trash out there. The playa environment doesn’t care about tire tracks… Only people who want to haul balls across the playa on the one hand while mocking the efforts of BRC do that.

    THANK YOU to the MOOP crew. We did everything we could to make 9:00/D Not Your Problem.

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