Nine out of ten people who visit the outdoors are uninformed about Leave No Trace or the importance of minimizing their impacts. With over 13 billion trips into the outdoors in the U.S. alone every year, people are causing significant preventable damage, and that damage is adding up. Leave No Trace is on the forefront of changing this troubling trend—the littered parks and damaged trails, the formidable impacts of fire, polluted waterways, damage to historic artifacts and serious wildlife issues.
Consider the facts:
- Americans pay $2.1B to fight fires in parks and forests, almost 90% of which are caused by humans.
- Wildlife in our parks are routinely relocated or euthanized due to conflicts with humans. The National Park Service cites human garbage as the origin of many of these unfortunate and unnecessary conflicts.
- Grand Canyon National Park, alone, has $11M in trail maintenance needs, and more than $5M in critical trail work is needed at Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The Leave No Trace organization is built upon the belief that if people do something, even something simple, to help take care of the outdoors that they cherish, we will all benefit as does the outdoors. Leave No Trace is a universal philosophy that can be part of any outdoor experience. The very nature of Leave No Trace lends itself well to fostering a cooperative spirit of stewardship.