Leaving No Trace 2023: The MOOP Map and a Wet and Wild Come-from-behind Victory

TL;DR

Black Rock citizens — participants as well as members of the Playa Restoration crew — faced new Leave No Trace (LNT) challenges caused by embedded Matter Out of Place (MOOP) and miles of hardened mud ruts following the exceptional weather in 2023. And we did it! Although close, Black Rock City passed the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Post-Event Site Inspection AND reduced the total MOOP average by 25% compared to 2022. Eleven out of the 120 BLM test points exceeded the 1 sq.ft./acre average — all in the City Grid. This year we saw another rise in the lag bolt/tent stake/rebar category, making it once again the #1 Worst MOOP. Resto also documented a significant increase in wood, cardboard, and plastic MOOP due to complications associated with traversing the mud. The success of LNT depends on the community! Resto exists to work with you, NOT to do it for you!

One of the 10 Principles of Burning Man, Leaving No Trace states:
“The Burning Man community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.”

Resto Special Forces Crew scouring Gate Road for MOOP (Photo by DA)

A Wet and Wild Come-from-behind Victory

After a wet and wild Burning Man event, Black Rock City citizens put in a solid leave no trace effort under extraordinary conditions. Then the Playa Restoration All-star Team followed up these efforts with a tremendous amount of heart. The result? We did better than just ‘barely passing the BLM Post-Event Inspection’, as had been reported. Facing unprecedented challenges in the dried-up mud, our communal effort brought the total average amount of MOOP down 25% compared to 2022, as reported by the BLM.

Black Rock City’s average debris area for 2023 is under 0.4 sq.ft./acre — less than it was back in 2011 when our population was only 53,963! Way to go, Black Rock City!

However, 11 test points out of 120 did exceed the one square foot per acre standard, bringing us to the 10% allowable amount implemented by the BLM in 2019.

That isn’t to say that this victory was easy. Hell no. Participants were advised against driving in the mud because vehicles can get stuck. But also, driving in playa mud creates deep ruts that later dry and harden like concrete. Remediating the ruts and their effects on MOOP was one of the most complex Leave No Trace challenges we’ve ever faced.

Burning Man 2023, Before the Storm

Remember the event before the storm hit? We experienced no wind, no punishing dust storms, and no MOOP blowing out to the perimeter/trash fence. Burning Man 2023 was beautiful and on track to be one of the cleanest ever.

You know what happened next. It poured. Some people grabbed what they could and struggled against the mud to get off the playa. Some made it off. Others got stuck. Many left the detritus of their escape attempts — wood, cardboard, carpet — behind in the mud, which then dried.

But that was the exception. Most of you stayed, had your Burn, let the mud dry, cleaned up your camps and projects, and drove off the playa.

Given these challenges, yet knowing that the Black Rock City community is generally good at cleaning up, and knowing that the event was clean before the storm, Resto had a fighting chance at following up the community’s heroic efforts against the unknown terrain of hardened mud ruts and potential MOOP, big and small.

Resto Trash Train Takes a First Pass to Pick up Big MOOP

Resto Trash Train Crew after a couple weeks of dealing with big MOOP (Photo by DA)

Despite what things may have looked like during Exodus, most items that initially appeared to be abandoned — infrastructure, trash, and vehicles — were picked up by the owners. As the last participants left the playa, we received encouraging intel from the Resto Trash Train Coordinator, Lexington: the number of large abandoned items was not as high as feared — only about 4½ 40-yard dumpsters — close to the same volume as in 2022, and similar to previous years. For a peak population of 74,126 this was not bad. This was the first sign of hopeful news.  

Resto Highway Cleanup Tackles Road Debris

Highway Cleanup Manager, Barbarella sits atop her vehicle with the team of the day, after emptying out the road debris (Photo by DA)

Meanwhile, Highway Cleanup was on the road, documenting and picking up road debris that typically flies off of vehicles during Exodus. Again, hopeful news was reported, this time from Highway Cleanup Manager, Barbarella. The highways were looking even better than in previous years.

Playa Restoration All-Star Team Assembles for MOOP Sweeps

With good news from the pre-Resto operations, we would soon reach the moment of truth with the Playa Restoration All-Star Team assembling to follow up Black Rock citizens’ Leave No Trace effort.

The Resto MOOP Sweeps Teams faces rolling whiteouts (Photo by DA)

The 150-person Resto team represented not only the best of the Black Rock City Department of Public Works (DPW), but also stellar participants from many departments, theme camps, art projects, Regional Events, and the worldwide community. We needed all the good help that we could sustain to MOOP sweep the more than 3,600 acres, or approximately 157 million square feet, of BRC.

As soon as Resto hit the playa, it was clear that some camps were immaculate, while others struggled to clean up. Sometimes those camps were right next to each other. The areas that were clean were fairly clean, but the areas that were MOOPy were very MOOPy. The time-consuming challenge of 2023 would involve prying embedded MOOP from the playa surface and navigating the irregular terrain.

Based on Resto’s data, the volume of MOOP in all debris categories — such as  lag bolts/stakes/rebar, plastic debris, cardboard debris and wood debris — went up. Resto hustled to scour BRC multiple times, ultimately picking up the most MOOP ever and filling the dumpster to the limit.

Operation Playa Zamboni vs. the Mud Ruts 

While peeling up embedded MOOP from the playa surface was challenging, there was a new complication: the miles of dried mud ruts funneling through the city streets, down through Gate Road, out to the 8 Mile and 12 Mile exits, and everywhere in between. In accordance with our Leaving No Trace principle, we made it our highest priority to flatten the playa back to its natural state. 

“Operation Playa Zamboni” was born. Using a box grader, a compression roller and water truck, we leveled the surface, compressed the soil until it was hard-packed, and then reset it with water. Resto MOOP sweeps were already moving through BRC; we therefore needed careful coordination: MOOP sweeps first, then Operation Playa Zamboni, and then a second MOOP sweep. Amazingly, it went like clockwork and none too soon. The inspection was coming up quickly.

BLM Post-Event Site Inspection

On Wednesday, October 11 the BLM returned to the playa to supervise the Post-Event Site Inspection. All of our efforts — every Burner who followed up their commitment to Leaving No Trace by carefully MOOP sweeping the playa, paired with the dedicated work of the Playa Restoration crew — led up to the big game — and it was another close one. Even closer than 2022. Yes, we passed.

The standard:

  1. The BLM’s allowable MOOP standard is 1 square foot per acre on average. 
  2. However, as of 2019 BLM’s Environmental Impact Statement, Black Rock City must not fail 10% or more of the 120 Test Points. Out of the 120 Test Points, if 12 or more exceed the .002% standard, we fail the whole Inspection.

Out of the 120 BLM test points, we exceeded the allowable standard on 11 test points. All of the 11 failing test points were in the City Grid — Esplanade to K Street, 2:00 to 10:00 — none of them were on the open playa or other locations outside the City Grid. 

Read the full BLM report here.

Example of a test circle from the BLM Post-Event Inspection (Photo by DA)

In the above graph, you will see the debris average by category: City Grid (2-10 Esplanade to K), Open Playa (2-10 Esplanade to fenceline) Walk-In Camping (2-5 K Street to fenceline), and Other (5-10 K Street to fenceline). In 2023, every category improved. 

Of all four categories, the City Grid — where everybody camps — has consistently revealed the most MOOP. Additionally, it is the only category to exceed the 1 sq.ft./acre average. With 90% of the City Grid occupied by placed camps, it is critical for placed camps to uphold the LNT principle with their communities and improve their cleanup performance. 

Also within the City Grid, the open camping areas (non-placed camps) have unfortunately shown a growing MOOP trend, especially on the back blocks. In 2023 there was an entirely red block on the MOOP Map between 8 and 8:15 on K street that required multiple sweeps. In 2022, there was an entirely red block between 8:15 and 8:30 on K street. Is there a coincidence in the nearby locations or is there a consistent trend with lack of accountability? While it is great that there are open camping blocks dedicated to participants who are not necessarily affiliated with theme camps, some of these areas are occupied by big camps and have also become some of the MOOPiest. Without immediate improvement, there will be a need for a process to hold open camping areas accountable.

MOOP Map 2023 

(Click on the image to zoom in / view the 2023 MOOP Map in more detail.)

In 2022, we introduced an alternate, “Clear Version” of the MOOP Map where the historical standard color of green was replaced by the color white (clear) to keep the focus on the severity and locations of MOOP.  Moving forward, this will now be the official standard of the MOOP Map.

Looking at the 2023 MOOP Map, you can see that the majority of Black Rock City was clear (formerly green). Great job! However the red areas were especially hard hit and time consuming. We will need to see significant improvement in 2024.

MOOP Trends in 2023

(Photo by DA)

Lag Bolts/Tent Stakes/Rebar Were the #1 MOOP (Again), and Even Worse Than Last Year

The #1 Worst MOOP: Lag bolts/rebar/tent stakes rose from 1,023 to 1,547. Essentially spikes left in the ground, this is the most dangerous MOOP issue on the playa and you need to get a handle on it. 

  • If you installed lag bolts with your impact driver, then you need to remove it the same way. 
  • If you don’t have an impact driver, you can use a handy pair of vise-grips or multi-tool to simply twist any type of spike out of the ground.
  • If you tie markers to your lag bolts before you put them in the ground, they won’t get lost under dust/mud and you can remove them when it’s time to go. 

ALL SPIKES PUT IN THE GROUND MUST BE ACCOUNTED FOR AND REMOVED BY THE PARTICIPANT, CAMP, OR PROJECT THAT PLACED THEM. 

Click to open BRC 2023 GPS marked locations of tent stake/rebar, cement stakes, and lag bolts. (Note: The GPS waypoints appear bigger than the stakes and are not to scale.)

Assorted Matter Out of Place

There were approximately a thousand instances of recorded Assorted Matter Out of Place. This is the button that we press on our GPS app when the types of MOOP are so overwhelmingly varied that it’s impossible to discern one from another. Need a refresher on how to MOOP sweep your camp? Watch this.

Cardboard MOOP

Cardboard debris (Photo by DA)

Most of the items that failed us on the inspection were cardboard — the cardboard that you put on the ground to walk or drive on, smushed into the ground and left there to harden with the playa. By the time Resto got to it, it was difficult to find, camouflaged by mud, and shaped like playa cracks. We had to use knives to scrape it off the surface. With about 1,000 recorded instances, the cumulative square footage of cardboard had one of the biggest MOOP impacts of 2023.

Plastic Debris 

There was a big bump in plastic debris — up from 308 recorded instances to 1,020. Notable were the fashionable plastic trash bags over boots to keep the mud from sticking: a decent solution, except when they break apart and embed into the playa, and get left behind by their wearer. 

Wood Debris

(Photo by DA)

Up from 400 to 870 recorded instances, wood debris, the former #1 worst MOOP, more than doubled in 2023. Like cardboard, wood was used to create platforms over the mud, or placed under tires to gain traction. Again, the wood was then left behind in the mud. Pick it up. 

Burn Scars

Previously not a problem, burn scars spiked from 10 to 146. By the looks of it, some of you, during or after the rains, lit fires directly on the ground at your camp. This is prohibited and subject to fine by the BLM.  

Carpet/Rug/Textile/Fiber Debris 

Carpets take up a lot of area, and with 187 recorded instances in 2023, up from only twenty in 2022, this MOOP is on the rise. So, why this year? The rain? Was your rug wet? Whatever the reason, you need to pack it out. 

Leaving No Trace Is Always a Come-from-behind Victory (But It Shouldn’t Be)

(Photo by DA)

With more than 70,000 participants, the success of the Leaving No Trace principle has always depended squarely on our community. Yes, the Burning Man Black Rock City community remains undefeated since the inception of the BLM Post-Event Site Inspection, but there has never been an inspection that would have passed without the follow-up cleanup effort of the people of Resto. 

If you’re reading this article, chances are you and your crew have a steadfast commitment to Leaving No Trace in BRC. Nonetheless, we all can do better next time, rain or shine. On behalf of my team that stayed behind in the mud for over a month and pulled 1,500 tire-popping lag bolts/stakes/rebar and scraped up embedded cardboard and plastic, and scooped up burn scars — the ultimate responsibility of Leaving No Trace remains with all of you.

In the coming months, Placement and Resto will be engaging in conversations with the most challenged camps about their LNT plans. We’ll be assessing their MOOP sweep operations, mandating that participants MOOP test their theme camps before departure, and insisting that all lag bolts/stakes/rebar are all accounted for and removed from the playa without a trace. We’re curiouser and curiouser to hear how you plan on Leaving No Trace in 2024, and we know there will be an overall improvement.

Playa Restoration 2023 Facts

  • Black Rock City extends over more than 3,600 acres.
  • The peak population of Black Rock City in 2023 was 74,126.
  • 1 square foot per acre is the allowable standard of MOOP.
  • The 1 square foot per acre allowable standard of MOOP translated into percentages means that we must be under .002% in order to pass a test area. Any amount over .002% is a fail.
  • 11 is the number of one-square-foot-per-acre test areas that BRC cannot exceed failing.
  • 11 is the number of one-square-foot-per-acre test areas that BRC failed in 2023.
  • 109 is the number of one-square-foot-per-acre test areas that we passed in 2023.

Cover image features the 2023 MOOP Map and Playa Restoration logo

About the author: DA

DA

DA, wings on fire, crash-landed smack dab in the middle of Burning Man 97, ticket in hand, and never left. Three burns later, DA was adopted by the Department of Public Works' Clean-Up Crew and was awestruck at the transformative power of Leaving No Trace. DA grew to be leader, transforming the Clean-Up Crew into the Playa Restoration All-Star Team, and creating the first Moop Map in 2006 as a way to visualize the community's Leave No Trace effort. As a poster artist, DA has illustrated the launch of the Burning Man Theme for 2006 Hope and Fear: The Future, 2007 Green Man, 2008 American Dream, 2013 Cargo Cult, and 2015 Carnival of Mirrors. DA loves the Black Rock Desert and believes that if we, the community, continue to Leave No Trace, then together we can keep building and burning the world over.

46 Comments on “Leaving No Trace 2023: The MOOP Map and a Wet and Wild Come-from-behind Victory

  • Mike Drutar says:

    Thank you Resto and DA! Loved reading about the zamboni!

    Not my crew but we have to give a shout out to PlayAlchemist. They were all red in 2022 and they said they would do better. This year looks like a big improvement. As one of the more visible camps on playa, this is good to see.

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  • Cempath says:

    Contact information to get photos of moop from non placed camps? Not looking to shame anyone but know who was camping at a couple red sites and they’d like to know how the f’d up.

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    • Papa Bear - Placement says:

      Hi Cempath! We unfortunately don’t have an easy way to pinpoint open camping areas where we may have logged photos or more information. The best thing is for them to work on doing better in Open Camping next year!

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  • Nikipedia says:

    Nice work DA and crew. This looks like it was a tough year, but I never doubted y’all. Hopefully more camps learn their lessons and start cutting down on the stuff that makes easy moop.

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  • Monica Salazar says:

    Thank you so much Resto Team

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  • A poopy situation says:

    sooooo…. will United Site Services not be allowed back based on every single toilet block being solid red and their HQ also being solid red?

    Report comment

    • R.O.D. says:

      The mud made the porta-potties an interesting challenge. For those who haven’t been on the playa when it rains: The mud is STICKY. You end up with a couple inches stuck to the bottom of your shoes. This gets tracked into the porta-potty, where it gets deposited.

      There were several days that the portos couldn’t be serviced due to the pump-out trucks not being able to drive the muddy roads. Things got messy.

      At one point I took my shovel to the bank of portos that I used the most and dug 6 inches of mud out. As you might expect, this mud is saturated with bits of toilet paper.

      I was also there for Playa Restoration. Due to sanitary concerns, the areas where the porta-potties had been placed were left for a specialized team to handle. My impression, however, is that it wasn’t so much because of the amount of moop, but because the mud had been churned up so badly around the portos.

      I would give United Site Services a bye on this one. No one properly anticipated what the rain would do.

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  • Becca aka Bacon says:

    Thanks so much Restoration Team!!! And great job, my home of 745&Esplanade for having a clear block!!

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  • Elsa says:

    Thank you Resto team for your unwavering commitmentto LNT. We will all do better

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  • Linka says:

    My biggest piece of MOOP was my cell phone charging cord. That was an accident I only realized I must have dropped when I couldn’t find it during exodus, but I’m sorry! The playa provides, and a friendly burner gave me hers. I love Burning Man ☺️ Thank you for all you do!

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  • One F says:

    I’m a little surprised Frogcamp did so bad. With all of their (canvas?) tarps on the ground I expected them to just roll all the moop up and roll out.

    Maybe a new floor isn’t actually the way. . .

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  • Greg Watson says:

    First off, thanks again to DA and the resto team – this is some of the hardest work out there, and I’m very grateful.

    And, is there a way to find out what was recorded in our camp? I was one of the last to leave – I’m on Temple Crew and stayed for Temple LNT, so we left Friday night. There were two other of my camp mates with me, we did a two hour sweep ( one of us with a metal detector, who did a final sweep after the other two of us left). And yet we have a huge red section… I find that very hard to believe. It is by where our Porto’s were, so is that from United?

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    • Papa Bear - Placement says:

      Hello! The colored MOOP Map is only part of the picture that our scribes capture during Playa Restoration. Sometimes we are also able to capture more specific data for an area. If your camp lead didn’t receive an email it’s likely there wasn’t data recorded at your camp location. Red or yellow on the MOOP Map means that our line sweeps had to slow down to pick up some MOOP. It is often random and assorted in nature, 0.5″ or smaller, and is often unidentifiable broken debris.

      Your camp lead can email placement@burningman.org and we can double check to see if they should have received an email or not.

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  • B Cumbers says:

    Kind of makes one wonder if the extreme use of resources is really worth it, and doesn’t feel very self aware or transformative in how the planet is being used.

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    • Bill Fridl says:

      Years before my first Burning Man I bought a small Toyota RV and periodically traveled. I loved polishing the skills involved in getting my water to last longer, my rechargeable battery to last longer, my propane to last longer. My sense is that attending Burning Man teaches people those same skills – how to make precious supplies last. And I think that those behaviors do carry over to life away from the Playa… I hope that they do.

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  • Mary Poppins says:

    The level of thought, care and human understanding which goes into the Playa Restoration operation is second to none. Thank you for sharing such a detailed and well written analysis DA. All the respect and love -mp

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  • L/idk says:

    Is there a way to see what moop was recorded in a given red zone? I was part of an unplaced camp out between I & J, and we busted ass to de-moop before leaving. We’d like to know if we missed something so we can do better next time.

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  • Dinan says:

    Is it possible to see photo evidence for a camp that receives a red score? We really spent so much time and energy cleaning and left our camp in great shape. The red score is a very upsetting shock. Anyway to see photos that lead to this score? Thank you all. I appreciate all you do.

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    • Papa Bear - Placement says:

      Hello! The colored MOOP Map is only part of the picture that our scribes capture during Playa Restoration. Sometimes we are also able to capture more specific data for an area. If your camp lead didn’t receive an email it’s likely there wasn’t data recorded at your camp location. Red or yellow on the MOOP Map means that our line sweeps had to slow down to pick up some MOOP. It is often random and assorted in nature, 0.5″ or smaller, and is often unidentifiable broken debris.

      Your camp lead can email placement@burningman.org and we can double check to see if they should have received an email or not.

      Report comment

  • Bill Fridl says:

    This is great news. I hope that Burning Man can get this accomplishment covered by the national press. (Once the Playa rains made the national news many articles–and particularly the accompanying comments–suggested that a bunch of spoiled hippies and leftists were destroying precious wilderness.)

    Thanks so much to everyone who worked so hard on this cleanup!

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  • Allowiscious says:

    Resto, I am so impressed with your efforts, Glad to say Rogue Nation got a clean bill of health–as we have in the past–but its obvious just how much 2023 was an extraordinary effort. Thank you so much for everything. We love You!!

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  • HelpDesk says:

    For the first time in 8 burns our camp has red on this map.

    Our feedback was entirely about rust and metal debris from the underside of our container, which is delivered by the container program.

    I understand what happened, but what is the point of flagging this to theme camps or marking it on the moop map? We work hard every burn to clean up every last bit of moop, moop the roads around us, help neighbors moop etc.

    If containers are causing problems for resto, and I’m sure they are given this report, what can be done about it? Can we start placing a platform under them or something?

    I’m not trying to call anyone out, just looking for answers that can improve our footprint on the playa. I greatly respect and appreciate the hard work the container program and resto do every year. Thank you!

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    • 10E says:

      ShopVac. Yes, it means you might be bringing home some playa dust along with your rust and metal bits but that can be contained in some 5 gallon buckets for easy transport. A tarp under the container might not be a bad idea either.

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      • HelpDesk says:

        It’s 20 foot shipping container through the container program. The helpful photos all show rust under the feet of the container, and it weighs a few thousand pounds, so shopvac won’t help unless we also bring a container handler which seems a tid bit excessive.

        Theme camps don’t transport it or remove these, so a tarp isn’t an option unless the container program starts placing them. I suspect a tarp would get destroyed pretty easily under such a heavy object, so it would probably take something more substantial.

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  • circlemaker says:

    One of the things that concerned me in 23 is, I saw very few people throughout the week carrying moop bags and picking things up as they moved about the city. While mud was still soft enough I put on rubber gloves that I brought took a garbage bag and something to dig with and went down to the nearest Porta potty’s and spend a couple of hours scraping up toilet paper mostly. Several people joined me during this effort. I suggest expanding the campaign to get people to carry a moop bag.
    I was strongly told the first year I went in 2015 that any piece of moop I saw was mine to pick up.
    next year I will bring a magnet. And I think our camp should invest in a metal detector. I appreciate the suggestions. would love to see some technology improvement ideas about temporary ground covers. Our camp used a tarp on the ground and it did produce some disintegrated pieces. we did keep sweeping it up and putting it in the garbage but I’m sure some of it escaped. If anyone has better ideas as to what can be put on the ground in a temporary tent kitchen, it will be very much appreciated.
    thank you immensely for your very detailed information about Resto

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    • Militant Mooperator says:

      I too seldomly see anyone picking up moop. While my bike basket is full and my bags filled, its amazing to see people walk or ride over obvious moop, every day. Its extremely sad to be honest. It was drilled into me to pick up every piece i saw on my first Burn. I had a women come up and ask me where the garbage cans were this year. That LNT principle doesnt seem to respected by most, even veteran burners, unless its a ground score. The community as whole fails hard every single year. Failing 11 random areas is like getting a D+ grade in school. I feel so bad for Resto that had the daunting task of cleaning up after us. So a huge thanks to them!

      This article has so many conflicting statements. On one side we did 25% better than 2022(after Resto efforts), then it said LNT picked up more moop than ever before, but then thanks the Burning Man community for doing such a great job, but then says Resto is suppose to work with us not pick up after us. And some how 4 1/2 40ft dumpsters of large moop is actually not that bad.

      The truth is we need to do WAY better. Im not sure what percentage of attendees even know what the 10 principles are, but its gotta be less than half at this point. So many people are just coming for the party and leaving it like they do at Cochella.

      Camp leads need to stress to their campmates the LNT principle every year, otherwise how are all the new people suppose to understand the importance?

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      • Playagia says:

        I totally agree. Too many contradictions in the data.
        I don’t understand why BORG refuses to allow or provide trash disposal services like every human city in the last 20,000 years.
        Trash is emerging from the mud as we type and the rain falls. Lots of traces. Metric tons of traces.

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    • Leslie Landberg says:

      The tarp idea is a winner. Granted the wind still will blow, but a covering on the ground just seems an ideal solution. The biggest issue, honestly, is just people’s attitudes. So many come to BM with a shitty consumerist, spectacle collecting mindset. They think they’re at Coachella, but with boobies and weird art.

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  • doug says:

    Our camp has never had a large red surface on our map before…this year was a challenge as we could not rake the hardened surface…but we do not understand how such a large space of red was moop failed. 25 people stayed 2 days after our All camp clean ups (2 x this year, due to rain)…and we did the same lines the Burining Man Moop Group does in their videos. And the area in question…I personally mooped that area with our team and remember one small hot spot which we attacked and cleaned. I am not sure where a 25 x 25 stretch surfaced, especially since almost that entire area was under geotex. We are not sure what happened after we left our frontage…but our moop notes never mentioned this on our moop report…yet there it is…the big red square…like a Moscow landmark.

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  • RESTO, thank you, thank you.
    As my first Burn, when driving out, I was shocked, and disappointed, and confused, by what I saw.
    You all crushed this. Thank you.
    We did better than one years. We must do so much better.

    One question: why is the last road, Kraken, solid red all the way around? is the from ruts in the mud?

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  • Alan Wenokur says:

    Great job BRC and thank you REsto as always! I’m curious about the large number of lag bolts/stakes found outside of the K street perimeter (but not in walk-in). Where are those coming from?

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  • Some Seeing Eye says:

    Well written. You might put your user research-user experience designers to work on camp breakdown. I was not there in 2022 where people had heat, wind, and COVID stresses. 2023 had rain stress, I was there.

    For exodus, people were stressed about family responsibilities, school, employment, returning rentals, flights, and more. Those directly impact breakdown and LNT.

    The Org discussing how to plan your post-burn is a good topic. The West has many outdoor and indoor possibilities to plan as a time buffer when exodus is delayed.

    That time buffer can make final camp LNT, ideally daylight hours, better.

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  • Randy Butera says:

    First off, big shout out to DA and the Resto team!! Thanks for all you do!

    Second: You say “If you tie markers to your lag bolts before you put them in the ground, they won’t get lost under dust/mud and you can remove them when it’s time to go”
    Can you show an example of a marker on a lag bolt? People like photo examples, and this is an educational opportunity.

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  • Rance Oby says:

    I’ve never been to Burning Man, but hope to go sometime before i shuffle off. I just want to say I’m really proud of all of you who performed the masterful restoration work on the playa. You did an incredible job. I truly wish that the media would report this very positive outcome as thoroughly as they reported the event when the rains hit. That left a negative and very unfair picture. Again, great job!

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  • Leslie Landberg says:

    I’m sort of a newbie when it comes to the inner workings of burning Man theme camps. I’ve registered a few and I’ve certainly worked for a few and in my time I’ve seen people behaving very badly. But it was always my understanding that you guys were held to a very high standard and if you screwed up you would never be invited back. I’m kind of amazed that people who are all red and had an enormous camp and put people through all that unnecessary work would even be allowed to operate on a subsequent year, at least maybe not without putting out a few thousand dollars to offset the cost of all of those people coming through their site for all those weeks. Anyway my mind is blown and maybe somebody can explain it to me.

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  • poca says:

    RE: “rise in the lag bolt/tent stake/rebar category”

    Lots of tough old stuff surfacing after the rain too.

    :D In 2023, it took a mooper with a sharp eye, an hour, 2 diggers, a crow bar, and finally a borrowed truck with a tow winch to dig a big old boy from a previous year out of our plot.

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  • Sierra Novack says:

    Resto you rock! Thank you!
    Marking lags/rebar/spikes is a great idea. How is it done? What should we use?

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    • Kirsten Weisenburger says:

      Pick up a roll of something called marker tape at your local hardware store. It’s bright. It’s the same stuff people use to mark hiking trails. Tie a piece to the top of every lag/rebar/spike before you put it in the ground. Make sure it’s just long enough so the little ends protrude out of the dust. Voila!

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  • CeCe says:

    Way to go Resto team. DA – great article and wrap up and teachable moments for us. I wasn’t able to find the green Moop map version but that is a great idea for those Debbie Dowers who like to talk mad $h*t about burners littering. Props to the Highway Resto team too! Great idea that one.

    I have to say I was surprised to see that the MOOP was not as bad as past years given the severity of the weather and the mud this year. Good job Burners!

    Thanks to everyone who picked up after everyone.

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  • TEX says:

    Frog camp>> pop-up camp with the markings of a pop-up. Lots of moop. Hope to see you guys at 10 and K next year…

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  • Mike Bilbo says:

    It saddens me that the City is not practicing LNT like you ought to be. The map is similar to 2022 when there was no Muddypocalypse. I’m the BLM permit guy back in the day, now retired, who in 1998 compelled not just Burning Man, but BLM too – that we needed to figure out how to get going on true macro- and micro-debris cleanup and inspection. Will Roger wasn’t happy when I brought it up, but the team in classic BMan style buckled down and started figuring it out, kudos to Will, Larry and all. As a Leave No Trace Master Educator, together with Marian Goodell, Harley Dubois, Karina O’Connor, we founded the Earth Guardians in 1998 as a way to start influencing BRC especially on the LNT Principal, “Be Considerate of Other Visitors,” ie, the follow-on Playa visitors. DA and his wonderful crew should not be left friggin holding the bag and cleaning up after quite a number of irresponsible camps, mud or no – you just can’t be dropping the ball like that. Playa Resto should not be just squeezing by. If BRC flunks the inspection, it goes on probation, and if they flunk again a following year, that’s where the permit ceases to be. And let me tell you about the other events that were once out there that no longer are out there due to not caring a damn about LNT, even with the big clues – BMan’s and Earth Guardians, and other BMan websites telling you how to Leave No Trace!!! Marian Goodell has written that we are the largest Leave No Trace event in the world, and yes we are, but only after the responsible camps and Playa Resto get it done. Come on Family – 2024 let’s do what we can to have Clear. Yellow and Red have got to go away. We really need to get back to the notion and goal of Greening the Burn. Please.

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  • Rob Didriksen says:

    kudos to the Resto team for a successful 2023 cleanup! What a monumental undertaking!

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