Leave No Trace In The News

New Paltz, NY: The Peekamoose Blue Hole has become an Internet celebrity. Now selected, as a 2017 Leave No Trace Hot Spot, the Blue Hole needs a new type of fame, one that recognizes its fragile ecology. This geologic formation is wild in nature and unfortunately; its fame has exponentially increased the number of visitors and the impacts, which follow them.

With anywhere from 600-2000 visitors in a weekend the ¾ acre footprint of the Blue Hole has seen its fair share of impacts. Soil erosion, trampled vegetation (including small plants, flowers, and primarily mosses), litter, food waste, human waste, pet waste, loud music, social trails, and wildlife impacts (bears), make up the primary impacts of concern for this area.

You can help protect wild gems like the Blue Hole by getting involved with Hot Spot efforts near you, participating in community cleanups, and educating yourself about Leave No Trace practices. Together, we can work hard to protect the places we love all across the country.

Take a look at more great information about the Peekamoose Blue Hole Hot Spot. If you would like to learn more about the Hot Spot program and to see if one is coming to your area in 2018, follow this link.

Enjoy your world & Leave No Trace,


Steph & Andy

Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Team East

Leave No Trace's Stephanie Whatton and Andy Mossey are part of the 2017 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free, mobile education to communities across the country. Proud partners of this program include Subaru of America, REI, Eagles Nest Outfitters, Deuter, Thule, Klean Kanteen, Smartwool, and Taxa Outdoors.

Boulder, Colorado: Are you ready for the 2017 Solar Eclipse Across America? Check out our video and blog below for tips on preparing for this historic event! 

1. Know before you go: With over seven million people traveling to see the eclipse, you're sure to find lots of traffic, and little to no cell phone service, food, or other supplies available in the path of totality. Make sure you bring everything you'll need for a five to six day trip, since most agencies anticipate that roads in and out of the eclipse zone will be gridlocked at least two days before and after the eclipse. Bring all the information you'll need in a reliable (paper) format. 

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2. Water: You need this to survive, and there's no guarantee that you'll have a safe supply when you get to where you're going.

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3. Food: Most stores will sell out of staples before the eclipse occurs, and with traffic backed up, there's no telling when they'll get a resupply.

4. Stove and fuel: Much of the eclipse path is through high-risk fire areas, and there are campfire bans in effect in many states. A camp stove and extra fuel will keep you well fed and help protect the area you're visiting. 

5. Clothes for all weather: It's likely that you'll see hot sun, rain, and cold nights during your stay, so remember to pack for all possibilities. 

6. Shelter: Many eclipse viewers are planning to camp; bring a reliable tent, and make sure that you set up on a durable surface in a designated campground.

7. Trash bags: Don't add your litter to the pile. Plan to bring your trash and recycling home with you. You can reduce your trash by repackaging your food at home before you hit the road. 

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8. Human waste bags: There probably won't be enough portable bathrooms for everyone, so it's not a bad idea to bring some of these along. Remember to pack out your waste. 


9. First aid and extra medicine: Don't be an unnecessary burden to local EMS and hospitals - have the meds and first aid supplies you'll need with you before you leave for the eclipse. 

10. Solar viewing glasses: If you want to view the next eclipse in North America, in the year 2024, you'll need your sight, so make sure to view the eclipse from behind solar viewing glasses. 

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Have a safe and enjoyable solar eclipse!

Enjoy Your World. Leave No Trace.

Jessie and Matt, Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers Team West

Leave No Trace's Jessie Johnson and Matt Schneider are part of the 2017 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free, mobile education to communities across the country. Proud partners of this program include Subaru of America, REI, Eagles Nest Outfitters, Deuter, Thule, Klean Kanteen, and Smartwool.




Boulder, Colorado: From its chiseled, thru-hiking calves to its swollen rock-climbing forearms, the U.S. outdoor industry has been flexing its muscles lately. According to the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), a trade organization in Boulder, Colorado, American consumers now spend more on outdoor recreation ($887 billion) than they do on gasoline and fuels ($304 billion), motor vehicles and parts ($465 billion) or pharmaceuticals ($466 billion).

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OIA’s definition of “outdoor recreation” is broad, including everything from archery to scuba diving. But even the most traditional outdoor activities have become powerful economic drivers. Americans spent more on trail sports gear ($20 billion) than they did on home entertainment ($18 billion) last year, according to the OIA data.

The newfound brawniness of the outdoor economy also carries political implications. This summer, media outlets like the New York Times and Associated Press closely covered the move of the Outdoor Retailer trade show—one of the outdoor industry’s biggest events—from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Denver, Colorado. Many industry leaders pinned their support for the move on the perception that Colorado’s public lands policies are more focused on conservation and recreation than in Utah, where extraction and development are sometimes favored.

In both economic and political terms, outdoor recreation is no shrinking violet. Even more growth seems inevitable—American national parks broke the previous year’s visitation record in 2016, hosting 331 million visits, while state parks hosted more than double that number with at least 730 million annual visits.

Outdoor enthusiasts are sometimes tempted to blame the degradation of natural resources solely on industrial pollution or large-scale land development, but in truth the collective impacts of human recreation are substantial. As the OIA data reveals, the outdoor industry has become a major economic driver—and there’s no such thing as an industry worth $887 billion that does not impact that natural world. Some of that impact derives from manufacturing and shipping recreation equipment, but it also comes from the activities themselves, which often occur in pristine and sensitive environments.

The non-profit Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is firmly in favor of expanding opportunities for people to experience natural areas and enjoy recreational opportunities. For nearly two decades, the organization’s mission has been to protect the outdoors by teaching and inspiring people to enjoy it responsibly.
Dana Watts, the Center’s Executive Director, says “Most people want to be low-impact, but they don’t always have the skills they need. When recreational visitors are exposed to Leave No Trace they see how easy it is to help protect our shared recreational resources.” Watts adds that Leave No Trace is not an all-or-nothing proposition. “Even a simple thing, like teaching people why it's important to pack out their orange peels and other food waste instead of tossing them into the woods, can have a big effect over time.”

Last year, the Center reached more than 15.5 million people, helping them understand how to take simple steps that lessen their impacts. As the size and force of the outdoor economy grows—with annual participation now measured in the hundreds of millions—so does the need to expand efforts to protect the natural environments that support its growth. Leave No Trace is poised to play a key role in this effort. 

— Mark Eller is the Foundations Director at the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. 

Boulder, CO: Rita Hussman vividly recalls the day she received a call from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics letting her know that she had been chosen to be the new Minnesota State Advocate — she was in the middle of teaching a Leave No Trace workshop to children at Metropolitan State University. It's that kind of constant dedication that helped her recently earn the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

“I don’t think of what I do as volunteering because it's so critical,” Rita said of her Leave No Trace volunteer experience. “There is no question that, now more than ever before, all people need to be aware of the impact we have on our environment.”
The award, “recognizes, celebrates and holds up as role model Americans making a positive impact as engaged and deeply committed volunteers.” Hussman received a gold-level honor, which means she has volunteered over 500 hours of her time in the past year. It's the highest honor in this category other than the Lifetime Achievement award.
Hussman has volunteered with Leave No Trace since 2006, working for more than a decade to promote outdoor ethics as State Advocate and leader of the Minnesota Chapter of Leave No Trace. She plans to continue her efforts to teach Leave No Trace and contribute to the state's thriving recreation scene. 

Boulder, CO:  The member-driven Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics protects the outdoors by teaching people to enjoy it responsibly. It is the most widely accepted outdoor ethics program used on public lands. Through targeted education, research and outreach, the Center ensures the long-term health of our natural world.

One way we reach the public is through the creative freedom of our Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers. The Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer program consists of four teams of two educators that travel across the country in Subarus teaching people how to protect and enjoy the outdoors responsibly. The Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers offer programs to the general public, volunteers, youth, nonprofit organizations, friend groups, governmental agencies, and more on Leave No Trace skills and techniques intended to reduce the impact of outdoor activities in communities around the United States. The Traveling Trainers do all of this while traveling and living out of their Subaru, camping over 250 nights a year! In 2015 alone, the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers will reach 15 million Americans.

This video was written, produced and directed by Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers Team East Central 2016/17.


If you want to sing along or share the Leave No Trace Seven Principles in a rap here are the lyrics:

Pack it in, Pack it Out. No Need to shout.

We got 7 principles to talk about.

The first when you care, is Plan and Prepare.

When in the outdoors be safe and aware.

The second preserves our natural resources.

So travel and camp on Durable Surfaces.

The third gets ignored until it's in your face.

Please make sure to dispose of your waste. 

Number 4 is a core, for when you explore.

Just leave what you find I have to implore.

5 keeps you alive, but in this syntax.

Minimize campfire impacts.

Protect wildlife and keep your distance.

If you don't then this beauty you may not witness.

Last but not least be considerate of others.

This is Leave No Trace.

Word to your mothers. 


Travel Well,

Amanda and Greg - Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Team East Central

Leave No Trace’s Amanda Neiman and Greg Smith are part of the 2017 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free, mobile education to communities across the country. Proud partners of this program include Subaru of America, REI, Fjall Raven, ENO, Deuter, Thule, Taxa Outdoors and SmartWool.

Oklahoma City, OK: Have you ever been to Oklahoma City? Oklahoma City is home to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Paseo Art District, grain silos repurposed into climbing gyms, the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum and the Martin Park Nature Center.

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According to their website the "Martin Park Nature Center is a hub for nature exploration and education for visitors of all ages.  Guided hikes, education programs and an interactive learning center provide visitors a place to learn about nature and wildlife in a serene, suburban environment.” 

Leave No Trace has been in Oklahoma City for the past week conducting a Hot Spot at the Martin Park Nature Center. What is a Leave No Trace Hot Spot?  Many outdoor areas across our nation are negatively impacted by recreational use – we’re literally loving the land to death. The reason is usually not malicious intent to harm; rather it’s simply a lack of knowledge or skills. The end result, however, is usually the same: Litter, invasive species, habituated wildlife, dog waste, trail and campsite erosion, water sources polluted with human waste, names carved in trees, campfire ring proliferation, cigarette butts along a trail, damaged cultural and historic sites, pets chasing wildlife – the list goes on and on. We call these areas Hot Spots - sites that are damaged but that can recover and become healthy again after specific Leave No Trace applications. By identifying and working with Hot Spots across the nation, we rapidly move toward recovering and protecting the places we cherish for future generations. Learn more about our Hot Spot program HERE.

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Leave No Trace is helping the Martin Park Nature Center continue their efforts to minimize user impacts and educate the public about how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly. Martin Park has minimum-impact curriculum throughout the park.  Martin Park is a great example of Leave No Trace in Every Park because visitors to Martin Park are not only introduced to Leave No Trace by park staff, with the map of the park, with signs throughout the park and the park website when visiting but they also have the opportunity to use Leave No Trace on trails, on the playground, at the wildlife viewing station, by recycling, and using provided facilities while enjoying the park.

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Over the past week the Hot Spot included a combined 500 volunteer man-hours by local Oklahoma Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts.  There was a cleanup at Lake Hefner held on kayaks that took over 60 pounds of trash out of the lake.  The Hot Spot week had 20 individual invents in 7 days including a Leave No Trace themed Scavenger Hunt for St. Patrick's Day.  This Scavenger hunt introduced over 300 park visitors to Leave No Trace games and practices in just 3 hours!

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Travel Well,

Amanda and Greg - Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Team East Central

Leave No Trace’s Amanda Neiman and Greg Smith are part of the 2017 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free, mobile education to communities across the country. Proud partners of this program include Subaru of America, REI, Fjall Raven, ENO, Deuter, Thule, Taxa Outdoors and SmartWool.

Isabella Lake, CA:  The 2016 Hot Spots are off to an amazing start at the Kern River in California.  Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers, Jenna Hanger and Sam Ovett worked tirelessly to educate tourists on outdoor ethics.  Read the full article here

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Boulder, CO: Former volunteer, Mattie Schuler digs deep on what it means to commit to Leave No Trace. Read the full article here.

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With numbers of backcountry visitors increasing each year, REI's experts want you to brush up on your 7 principles knowledge!  Read the full article here

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Volunteers and staff at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy have created a series of unique videos that instruct visitors on how to minimize their impact on the Appalachian Trail.  The series contains 16 videos that can all be viewed on YouTube

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