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? Because the Bureau of Land Management allows Burning Man to use the Black Rock Desert on the condition that we Leave No Trace 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 lifetime 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 as the Man burned on Monday. 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.

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