The annual site inspection is crucial to Burning Man’s future. We must prove, year after year, that our activity can leave a minimal impact on the Black Rock Desert’s ecosystem. If we fail, we will not be permitted to return here. And without the playa, what would Burning Man become?
It’s for this inspection that we all strive so hard to Leave No Trace, to pack it out, to moop our camps, to never let it hit the ground — all the things that the Burning Man community accepts as our shared responsibility. We understand that our actions make a difference, not just for the beauty of this desert and the surrounding lands, but for the future of our own city.
The inspection is based on a simple requirement: To pass, Black Rock City must leave behind less than one square foot of moop per acre of land. To achieve a fair representation, the BLM selects 60 points throughout the city, including high-traffic areas and city blocks as well as burn sites and open areas. At each point, we inspect 1/10 of an acre, and must find less than 1/10 of a square foot of moop. It’s all collected in baggies, each marked with their GPS coordinates, and it will all be carefully processed by the BLM to create an accurate measurement of Burning Man’s impact trace.
Over the course of a few hours, five teams inspected those 60 spots and returned with their findings. After reviewing the moop that was found in 2014, the BLM has given us a tentative “pass.” It’s not official — and won’t be for quite some time — but unofficially, things look good for 2015. And that’s a big deal. Remember what we built, what we created, what we accomplished this year? It is all balanced by this: we truly left no trace. That’s just short of magical, Black Rock City.
2014 MOOP Map is greener than ever
There can be no doubt that 2014′s success was a community effort. More than ever before, we are working together to control our trace on the playa. Even with a high percentage of virgin Burners, we have shown that we can uphold the Leave No Trace principle. How do we know? Just look at the map!
Moop Map Legend
GREEN: Low Impact to No Impact Trace. The moop line moves at a normal walking pace, picking up very little.
YELLOW: Moderate Impact Trace. The line must slow down in order to pick up all the moop here.
RED: High Impact Trace. The line must stop to clean up hotspots or very moopy areas.
This may well be the greenest Moop Map we’ve ever seen. Congratulations to all of us: veterans, newbies, camp leaders, LNT leads, volunteers, organizers, line sweepers and moop maniacs extraordinaire. We did it.