Posts in leave no trace

September 25th, 2013  |  Filed under Environment

Restoration Honors the Temple of Whollyness

Greetings MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire! I’m here in Gerlach with 120 members of your DPW Playa Restoration home team. They are preparing to enter the damp, sticky and frigid playa — armed only with MOOP sticks, shovels and magnet rakes — to eradicate the final traces of Burning Man 2013.

Burning Man Playa Restoration 2013, Day 8.

Burning Man Playa Restoration 2013, Day 8.

The season is skidding to a close as we dodge rainstorms and near-freezing temperatures; we may even get a little snow this evening. Summer is officially a dusty memory, but still the MOOP lines march on.

Burning Man Playa Restoration 2013, Day 8.

As many of you have remarked, the line sweeps are covering a lot of ground this year, and in record time. On Day 4, 45 city blocks disappeared under the moopers’ feet. And yes, the Playa Restoration All-Star team is one hell of a crew — but the line sweeps’ pace ultimately depends on YOU, and how well Black Rock City practices Leaving No Trace. When the city blocks are green and MOOP-free, the Resto line sweepers move at a fast clip. And this year, we’ve encountered a whole lot of green blocks.

In fact, we’re seeing green this year in all sorts of places. So while Playa Restoration continues marching through the city grid, let’s take a moment and turn our eyes elsewhere: far out in the deep playa, where the Temple of Whollyness once stood.

Photo by Curious Josh / curiousjosh.com

Photo by Curious Josh / curiousjosh.com

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September 24th, 2013  |  Filed under Environment

MOOP Map Live, Day 4: How to Get the GREEN

Greetings MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire! It’s time for another installment of the Burning Man 2013 MOOP Map, our faithful record of how Black Rock City upheld its commitment to Leave No Trace on the playa.

Photo by Phoenix Firestarter!

Photo by Phoenix Firestarter!

Your Playa Restoration All-Star moopers are hard at work this very moment, braving extreme weather and mounting grumpiness on the frigid, wintry Black Rock Desert. Let’s get a big hurrah for the home team!

Photo by Phoenix Firestarter!

Photo by Phoenix Firestarter!

Today, though, I have the privilege to share some stories from just a few of the theme camps that make our city so vibrant and unique. Because let’s face it: Without the massive amount of love, time, effort and cash that goes into creating each Burning Man theme camp, our city would be a very different place. What theme camps bring to Black Rock City is absolutely irreplaceable.

Not only that, but if theme camps didn’t bust their butts to Leave No Trace, we would have a LOT more trouble passing the annual BLM site inspection. Theme camps are about the biggest gifts I can imagine, so this year I’ve asked some of them to share their own stories of Leaving No Trace.

Robot Heart participants doing a line sweep after a mobile party in the open playa

Robot Heart participants doing a line sweep after a mobile party in the open playa

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September 22nd, 2013  |  Filed under Environment

MOOP Map Live, Day 3: State of the Playa

Burning Man Playa Restoration 2013, Day 1.

Hello MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire! The Hun here, reporting from Gerlach where the Black Rock Desert is putting on its winter coat. Yes, the weather is here — in fact, 2013 has been a particularly weathery year.

As if rebelling against the warm, dry winter that preceded it, this summer has surprised us with monsoon rains and flash floods. You probably remember the storm that stranded 160 DPW on the playa in August. That event was one in a series of showers, a weather pattern that is far from ordinary in this dry, sun-baked country.

Burning Man Playa Restoration 2013, Day 6.

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September 20th, 2013  |  Filed under Environment

Introducing the Playa Restoration Awards!

Hello MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire! It is my very great pleasure to introduce the first-ever Playa Restoration Awards, aka The Restos.

D.A., Playa Restoration Manager, introduced the game-changing BRC MOOP Map in 2006, and since then we’ve seen a huge shift in consciousness about what it means to Leave No Trace at Burning Man. As the city has grown, it has become impressively green and MOOP-free — so MOOP-free, in fact, that the “red spots” really tend to stand out.

It is easy to look at this year’s MOOP Map and make a judgment about the camps, projects and parties that were scored red. But to do so would be to overlook the unique, unquantifiable and incomparable magic that so many of these groups bring to Black Rock City.

How do you put a score on the experience of watching the sun rise with the people you danced next to all night? How do you count the connections made by bringing friends and strangers together for new, mind-opening experiences? How could you possibly judge a project’s worth solely by what it left behind, without simultaneously celebrating it for what it created?

Sunrise at Robot Heart. Photo by Paretz Partensky.

Sunrise at Robot Heart. Photo by Paretz Partensky.

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September 19th, 2013  |  Filed under Environment

MOOP Map Live, Day 2: The Going Gets Tough

BurningMan_PlayaRestoration2013_JessicaReeder-0775

Greetings MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire! I’m here on the drifted shores of the Black Rock Desert, where your Playa Restoration All-Star moopers are hard at work removing every last trace of Burning Man. Our home team is hell-bent for victory — but let me tell you, Day Two was no cakewalk.

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September 18th, 2013  |  Filed under Environment

MOOP Map Live 2013: Day 1!

Greetings MOOP maniacs and line sweepers extraordinaire! It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for all year. The 2013 DPW Playa Restoration All-Star team is proud to present the very first glimpse at this year’s Burning Man MOOP Map.

Burning Man Playa Restoration 2013, Day 1.

Burning Man Playa Restoration 2013, Day 1.

The MOOP Map is a graphical representation of what we discover as we comb the Burning Man site for Matter Out Of Place. Find out more about how it works here, or read on to see the first day’s MOOP score!

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September 17th, 2013  |  Filed under Building BRC, Environment

MOOP Map Live 2013

Burning Man Playa Restoration 2013, Day 1.

Greetings from the remains of Black Rock City, where 120 brave members of the DPW Playa Restoration team are storming the streets and doing what they do best: Making sure Burning Man 2013 upholds its promise to Leave No Trace.

Burning Man Playa Restoration 2013, Day 1.

The stakes are higher than we ever could have imagined. With the Bureau of Land Management’s site inspection looming on October 2, we’ve got just 2 weeks to make sure our city is up to the BLM’s exacting standard. We’ve never failed before, but with so many Black Rock Citizens at Burning Man 2013 (not to mention a larger city grid than ever before), we’re certainly covering a lot of new ground.

Our goal: To scour the city and remove all Matter Out Of Place, in the process creating this year’s MOOP Map.

Burning Man Playa Restoration 2013, Day 1.

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August 26th, 2013  |  Filed under Dematerialize, Environment

Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Offers Trash Collection

Photo via USDA NCRS on Wikipedia.

Photo via USDA NCRS on Wikimedia.

We’ve talked a lot about trash: how to reduce it, ways to manage it, and where to take it after Burning Man is over. The latter is always the biggest challenge, year after year.

New this year: The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe’s stores on Highway 447 in Nixon and Wadsworth will be accepting Burner refuse for 24 hours a day, starting Saturday of the Burn until Tuesday after the event (more details below).

The program is offered through the Public Utilities Department (PUD) of the Tribe and is designed to target last year’s issue of nasty overflowing dumpsters at both stores.  The PUD will have dumpsters at both stores again, but this year they will man those stores for 24 hours a day, Saturday of the Man Burn thru Tuesday post event. The PUD will charge $5.00 for regular and properly bagged refuse. They will also accept (but charge more for) carpet ($25), sofas, bedding, etc.  Check out both stores on Highway 447 to properly dispose of your trash, support the tribe and grab a snack for the road.  And don’t forget to say “THANK YOU!”

The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe (PLPT) has lived here for thousands of years. The land we travel through–and the land we camp on–is considered sacred and has always been theirs. Visit the Paiute Tribe’s website to learn more about their history, Pyramid Lake, their business amenities, and the incredible work they do with endangered and ancient trout.  By providing trash services to Burners, this year the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe (PLPT) is raising money for the community while doing you a BIG favor. Don’t forget to say thank you!

Details on trash drop-off:

  • Drop off points are at the PLPT stores  on Hwy 447 in Nixon and Wadsworth (at Interstate 80).
  • Trash is $5 per bag.
  • Carpet and oversized items will be accepted, but will cost more to drop off.
  • All of the money collected will benefit the tribe.

Ways to say “thanks”:

  • Drive slowly through town! You are passing schools and neighborhoods.
  • Stop at Fry Bread stands, have a snack and donate to the local food drive.
  • Visit the Museum and Visitors Center (near the junction of 446 and 447 at the Nixon store) to see great art and learn about Paiute culture and history.
  • Respect the lake: you must obtain a permit to camp there.
  • Saty “Thank you” to everyone you interact with from the tribe – it’s that simple!

A final reminder: Nixon is 60 miles from Gerlach. Your trash needs to be secured well enough to make that 60 mile drive. There is no place to drop trash near the Black Rock Desert. Pack it out!