Posts for category Environment


Austin’s Burning Flipside: Taking Leave No Trace to the Next Level

 

Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the Burning Man regional event. By working with authorities to override a long-term population cap, Burning Flipside organizers have successfully rewritten the rules!

Photo by Mark Kaplan.

Photo by Mark Kaplan.

In order to increase the event’s capacity, State regulations required Flipside organizers to provide potable water, daily trash service, trash receptacles, cups, napkins, lighting and other services. But Flipside is a Leave No Trace event based on personal accountability; participants are expected to bring in everything they need and pack it out when they leave (sound familiar?).

The vast majority of large-scale events and festivals do provide trash cans, based on the assumption that attendees are not interested in picking up after themselves. Leave No Trace events like Burning Man and Burning Flipside have a different ethos. The latter trust that community members are not only perfectly capable of cleaning up after their own wild rumpuses, but that they feel satisfied and self-reliant as a result of doing so.

We come together, build something amazing, burn it to the ground and then pick up every last cinder. It’s an achievement we’re proud of, and it’s part of what defines us as a community rather than merely an event. We do it because we respect the land and the right of others to enjoy the land once we depart.

Incorporating trash services would change the very nature of what Flipside is about and Austin Artistic Reconstruction (AAR), the organization running Flipside, wasn’t willing to subvert the community’s values just to sell more tickets.

Faced with a choice of either going against our community’s values by providing trash cans, or limiting the population, AAR did what they had to do:

They changed the rules.

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November 1st, 2012  |  Filed under Environment

MOOP Map Live 2012: Your Questions Answered!

Your pal The Hun! Photo by Vertumnus; click for full size.

Hello out there all you MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire! It’s been a couple of weeks since Burning Man passed its BLM site inspection, and I’ll be honest: I’ve missed you! Almost as much as I miss my Playa Restoration family, now scattered to all corners of the earth to return next August.

You and I also have some loose ends to tie up. While I tried real hard to respond to every comment during MOOP Map Live 2012, I eventually ran out of time. Now I’m back to answer your questions!

First, A Note.

Going forward, let’s agree to be good to each other. The Restoration team understands that people are giving huge gifts of time, money, art and entertainment! We also understand how disappointing it can be when you don’t score as well as you’d like on the MOOP Map. Please, remember that the MOOP Map is a collaborative effort. The Restoration team’s job is to report the facts of what they find, and they do that as accurately as humanly possible.

When I post results here, do I call people names or insult what they did? Of course I don’t. Please offer me and my teammates the same respect, and extend that respect to every single one of your fellow Black Rock Citizens.

Now. These are some of the most common questions I’ve been asked this year. Don’t see your answer? Leave a comment and I’ll do my best!

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October 17th, 2012  |  Filed under Environment, News

BLM Site Inspection: PASSED.

Two of our BLM site inspectors, holding what remained of the Man as of 11am this morning. Click to enlarge.

Hip-hip-HURRAH! Three cheers for YOU, Black Rock City. You did it again. You threw a humdinger of a whizbang, and left without a trace. That’s straight from the mouth of the Bureau of Land Management, who just completed their site inspection. They’re still tabulating the precise results, but at a glance they can tell us that YES, we passed, and Burning Man can happen again next year.

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October 11th, 2012  |  Filed under Environment

MOOP Map Live 2012: FINAL RESULTS!

Hello out there, MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire! Well, this is it. The moment you’ve been waiting for has arrived. It’s almost time to unveil the COMPLETE 2012 MOOP MAP!

Finishing strong with one final cheer. Photo by Vertumnus; click to enlarge.

Let’s have a big hand for the Playa Restoration team, who covered more ground in 2012 than they’d ever done before. Kudos too to Mother Nature, also a major player in this game, who kept the winds low and the temperature moderate so our team could knock this one out of the park. It’s a year that will go down in legend, folks, and you were here to watch it happen.

Just some of the amazing people who make Playa Restoration the best time of the year. Photo by Vertumnus; click to enlarge.

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October 8th, 2012  |  Filed under Environment

MOOP Map Live 2012: Day 6 Results

Hello out there all you MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire. We’re back with the penultimate installment of MOOP Map Live 2012! Yes, that’s right, another incredible season is drawing to its close, and the last teensy remnants of Black Rock City have been swept away by the amazing Playa Restoration crew.

Let’s give a shout out to that crew now, as we examine the well-dusted machine that is our 115-member Restoration team. This group of highly trained, dedicated and foolhardy individuals join forces to create the ultimate Playa Zamboni, inhaling MOOPy dust and exhaling pure drifted playa.

Phase One of this process belongs to the imposing MOOP Line Sweep, a 75-member force with another 15 acting as support. The Line Sweep marches tirelessly from block to block, capturing every morsel of MOOP it can — all without breaking pace. See video:

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October 4th, 2012  |  Filed under Environment

MOOP Map Live 2012: Day 5 Results

Welcome back all you MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire! The Hun here, reporting from Reno where I, along with my 115 Playa Restoration teammates, am sadly scrubbing the last of the playa dust from our various crannies.

I hate to see you leave, DPW … Photo by Vertumnus; click to make it bigger.

Plumb tuckered lil DPW dogies. Photo by Vertumnus; click to enlarge.

Yes, the Restoration team has completed their mission, sweeping more of Black Rock City than has ever been done, and giving every last ounce of their legendary stamina to make sure our site is clean, so we can have Burning Man again.

Of course, we won’t know the fate of next year’s event until the BLM inspection in a couple of weeks. Between now and then, I’ll be sending you the final results of MOOP Map Live 2012 — our running record of what those intrepid MOOPers have unearthed from the dust of this year’s festival.

I won’t make you wait any longer, folks. Here are the results of Day 5, in which the MOOP Line marched all the way from 7:00 to 2:00 along the blocks between Foxglove and Columbine.

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October 3rd, 2012  |  Filed under Environment, News

MOOP Map Live 2012: BLM Inspection Postponed

Hello out there MOOP maniacs! Just a brief post to let you know that, due to a scheduling conflict, the Bureau of Land Management has postponed Burning Man’s site inspection (originally scheduled for today). It has been rescheduled for two weeks from now, on October 17.

The DPW Playa Restoration team has nonetheless finished their job and cleared the playing field, and the Black Rock Desert has been successfully restored to a pristine and featureless (and MOOP-free) state.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more results from how the Restoration season played out, and it will be my honor to share with you the results of the BLM inspection as soon as it happens. Barring any inclement weather or other force majeure, that ought to be two weeks from now.

Thanks for staying tuned! We’ll be serving up more MOOP Map results shortly.

October 2nd, 2012  |  Filed under Environment, News

MOOP Map Live 2012: Day 4 Results

Hello out there, all you MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire! After a nail-biting interlude, we are BACK with the results of the next round of MOOP Map Live 2012. Our brave Playa Restoration moopers are nearly done combing Black Rock City, and let me tell you, this year they’re going above and beyond to cover more of the city than has ever been mooped!

Some of you diehard fans out there have noticed that there’s a significant delay between when each round wraps up, and when we post the score here. That’s because mooping is an art and a science! Read on to find out more.

Each morning, D.A. and the Playa Restoration team review the current map and lay out a plan for the day. Photo by Vertumnus; click for full size.

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