2014 MOOP Final Scorecard

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?

Restoration volunteers help to conduct the BLM inspection.

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.

Armed with boxes, bags and GPS units, the inspection teams are briefed by the BLM.

We always find moop. But it's never much.

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.


Previous years:


12 comments on “2014 MOOP Final Scorecard

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  6. I don’t see how the moop map matters. If the playa gets trashed, DPW has to work harder. So what? They volunteer to be out there so they get to play Mad Max for 2 months. They do it for almost no money in exchange for comradery (take that to the bank) and their little private party. Basically, they’re there to save BMorg money on hiring a real crew.

    So if no one volunteers for DPW next year because it’s too messy and hard to do for free, BMorg won’t profit so much. They’ll hire a real crew to do the same work. So what’s the difference if you get a green or red mark?

    • Well if your camp likes it’s placement than you want to make sure your camp is moop free. Each year the org looks at how much moop was left by your camp, how many complaints your camp received and so on. Inorder to decide what placement you get. So that’s why the moop mapatters.

  7. My only question is what do the different red marks mean, like a red outline box, red L shape and red dots? I know red X mean a large item but a little explanation on the others would be great. Thanks..

    • They say “We’re not posting details of what was found in each spot. If you are a theme camp, your Placement representative may have more detailed information for you in a few months (when the entire Moop Map is finalized). Please be patient: we have much more work to do before we can pass detailed information along.”

  8. I can say when I have been out on that search (yes I have done it with BLM) rebar pushed straight into the ground is considered a very small piece of moop. sadly another piece was out of my section and thus did not count. I did grab a picture of it to document how dangerous rebar tent spikes can be. do remember the areas are gone over and over and over before the official inspection occurs and any paper and stuff that flys away is not considered moop

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