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!
How Much MOOP Do You Find?
This year, it was about 5 square yards of MOOP, at a depth of about 1 foot. In addition, we pulled up about 2 yards of recyclable metal, mostly steel (i.e. rebar).
Fun Fact: We probably only found about 10 or 15 aluminum cans this year! Way to pack out those redeemables, BRC!
What Do You Find?
MOOP is mostly little bits of stuff. Wood chips, cigarette butts, pistachio shells, carpet fibers, sequins. Repeat.
However, after a shindig like Burning Man, you can find almost anything imaginable in the dust! Most of it still isn’t valuable — the cameras and costumery tend to get picked up during and just after the event — but it’s not uncommon to come across a ring, or a rare coin (who brings those to the desert?), or a neat-o souvenir. We’re on the honor system just like you, but in the vast majority of cases, they get posted on the Lost & Found boards.
This year’s notable MOOP:
- Wood chips, splinters & sawdust … sigh
- Cigarette butts. The Black Rock Desert: Still Not A Giant Ashtray.
- Pistachio shells. Biodegradable, but still MOOP.
- Carpets, buried in the deep dust!
- Oil and water spots. Dig up damaged dirt, folks!
What About Rebar and Stakes?
This year, we estimate the Restoration team pulled up at least 500 tent stakes and rebar. Most of that was from Burning Man, but don’t forget that thousands of people camp on the playa each year for various occasions, and they all need stakes for their tents.
Rebar and stakes are notoriously difficult to remove. This video shows you how to remove them. If you can’t get a stake out, find a neighbor with a tool, or mark it with a flag! DON’T hammer it in for somebody’s tire to find later.
Metal detectors would work, but they’re logistically and financially not feasible right now. Got a metal detector at home? Next year, bring it and see what you find. We’d love to hear about it.
What Do The MOOP Map Scores Mean?
The scores — green, yellow and red — are based on one metric: How fast the Line Sweep moves. Green means smooth sailing — there’s not much MOOP, so we move at a good pace. Red is a full stop, picking up bits on our hands and knees. Yellow is stop-and-go.
The More You Know: Yellow is not a bad score! RED is a bad score. If your camp scored a yellow, that means you’re close to green! And green is awesome.
Remember, just because almost all of Black Rock City is green, doesn’t make green anything less than AMAZING!
If I Scored Yellow or Red, Am I In Trouble?
If you scored yellow and you’re not a theme camp: Heck no. Keep on striving for awesome.
If you have a little red (or yellow) spot in your green camp: HECK NO! For all we know, a unicorn ran over a dragon in that spot, after you had already mooped your camp to perfection and left the desert.
If you are a theme camp (especially a big one): Talk to the Theme Camp Placement team. I wouldn’t so much call it “being in trouble” as “working to find a solution.” Remember, everybody knows you’re giving an incredible gift, and we’re all on the exact same team. Deep breaths.
Seriously, This Is So Not Cool. I Mooped My Camp So Good. Why Did I Get A Yellow.
As I mentioned before, we just report what we find. Also, a yellow is OK! It’s also OK to be disappointed: in the Universe, in your mooping skills, in the Map, in your leaky water tank, in everything you’ve ever known! Now, remember that you KNOW you mooped your camp, and that’s what matters in the end. For all the reasons explained above.
This is probably the last time I’ll talk about this until 2013. My time is limited, but if you are really freaked about your score and you aren’t a theme camp, leave a comment and I’ll do my best to tell you what we found at your camp. I can probably only help you if your entire camp is red or yellow. If it’s a little spot, don’t sweat it.
What About That Big Yellow Strip?
Refer to the three previous answers first. Then: That’s how the team found it, and I unfortunately have no more information. Except that there were about 60 experienced Restoration team members involved, and they all agreed on it. I trust them, and now that you know how close “green” and “yellow” can be, I hope it all makes more sense!
Why Can’t I See the MOOP Map in High Resolution?
Patience, grasshopper. We’re still going through the details to make sure all the spots are where they should be. In a matter of weeks, the high resolution map will be published so you can get right in there and see exactly how your camp did.
Lots of you have mentioned that you can’t read the camp names. That is true. It’s not up to me to decide whether those should be legible in the end — but right now, I think it’s best that each of us just focus on our own camps and not worry about what other people did.
All that said … I did hear a little rumor about a fellow named Fiver and his totally unofficial MOOP Map overlay on a satellite photo of BRC 2012 … but you didn’t get it from me.
What Is Your Favorite Part of Burning Man?
Playa Restoration. That’s all folks, see you later! Love your work — The Hun