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Sep 01, 2015

Boulder, CO--Thanks to Subaru, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics has the means to travel across the country teaching Leave No Trace Ethics.  The Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers live out of their XV Crosstrek Hybrid, camping nearly 250 nights a year as they travel to different venues to teach minimum impact practices.  The core of the education revolves around the Leave No Trace Seven Principles which can be applied/implemented in every day life—whether planning for a five day trek in the backcountry or heading to work.  The Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers will reach 15 million Americans this year—delivering programs, workshops, and trainings geared towards promoting responsible recreation so we can enjoy the outdoors, a finite resource, for years to come.  The educators mold their lesson plans to accommodate all different audiences spanning from youngsters to land managers and forest rangers.  We, the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers East Central Team, and the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics want to express our grandest appreciation for Subaru’s outreach and care for the environment—insert BIGGEST hi-fives from your pals at Leave No Trace. 

Remember, if you sign up to be a member of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, you will also become a member of Subaru's VIP program and can save up to $3,300 on your next Subie!  Oh yeah.

"On the road again, just can't wait to get on the road again." --Willie Nelson

Leave No Trace’s Katelyn Stutterheim and Blake Jackson are part of the 2015 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, Deuter, Hi-Cone, REI, Smartwool, The North Face, and Yakima.

Aug 30, 2015

Smith Rock State Park, OR: Take a look inside our day pack and learn what we, The Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Team West, bring to plan ahead and prepare for a day of rock climbing at Smith Rock State Park.  

Raw clips from Smith Rock State Park.

Climb, eat, sleep, leave no trace, repeat; that was our schedule in Smith Rock State Park. The high desert has it's perks - crisp cool air filled our tent in the morning, followed with copious amounts of sunshine throughout the day. The rock climbing was high quality and abundant. Volcanic vistas rose tall in the distance, beckoning budding mountaineers. And, after a long day playing on the rocks and dodging rattlesnakes on the hike in and out of the park, sleep came easy and food tasted better. 

For those of us who have the good fortune to call the grand vistas and breathtaking landscapes of the world our playground, it is our responsibility as visitors to heed the words of our mothers and pick up after ourselves. This includes doing our best to be good stewards of the places we choose to play. A great way to do this is through practicing Leave No Trace!

"With great power comes great responsibility" - Spiderman

Looking into Smith Rock from the parking lot.

The view inside our tent.

5 pitches up and walking gingerly.

Taking in the view from the 4th belay station.

By following the Leave No Trace Seven Principles we can all choose an active role in minimizing our impact.

The Leave No Trace Seven Principles:

  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors

Enjoy your world!

Jenna and Sam - Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers Team West

Leave No Trace’s Jenna Hanger and Sam Ovett are part of the 2015 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, Deuter, Hi-Cone, REI, Smartwool, The North Face, and Yakima.

Aug 29, 2015

Marion, NC: Steep rock walls, towering peaks, and cascading waterfalls create the wilderness area of the iconic, Linville Gorge. Any outdoor enthusiast would feel at home in the gorge with miles of trails connecting the river with the peaks above. With an increasing amount of visitors each year, the gorge is under threat of being loved to death. The Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers made their way to the Linville Gorge for a week long Hot Spot to help aid in the protection of this heavily used wilderness area.

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The major impacts that we witnessed during our adventures in the gorge are considered avoidable impacts. Here are some examples of what we found.

·      Trash on the trail and in fire rings

·      Cutting switchbacks and social trails

·      Pet and human waste impacts

·      Campsite widening

·      Rock scarring

Here are some suggestions on how to minimize these avoidable impacts.

·      Pack it in, pack it out and always remember to repackage your food before a trip to minimize waste in wilderness areas

·      Bring a bag along to dispose of pet waste properly

·      Dispose of human waste properly by digging a cat hole 6-8 inches deep

·      Stick to the trail

·      Minimize your footprint by sticking to the boundaries of your campsite

·      Keep your fires in designated fire rings and remember to check the rules and regulations before having a fire

Thanks to the help of the Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS) & the Pisgah National Forest Rangers we were able to reach out to the visitors of the Linville Gorge through education, outreach and service projects helping to minimize the overall impacts in such a fragile wilderness area!

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We had the opportunity to participate in an invasive species removal at the summit of Table Rock Mountain. To all visitors that know the gorge, Table Rock Mountain towers above the forest floor and is one of the most popular places in the gorge. Here, invasive species are beginning to grow taller than the native plants blocking out sun and altering the natural ecosystem. Here are a few tips and tricks to help stop the spread of invasive species.

·      Clean off the soles of your shoes off after spending time in the forest

·      Brush your pets fur to eliminate any hitchhikers

·      Wash your gear and clothing

·      Wash the tread of your tires before adventuring to a new place

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With everyone’s help we have the opportunity to minimize these avoidable impacts and keep the gorge looking gorge-ous! Looking to find out more about Leave No Trace Hot Spot Programs?? Click here!

Enjoy your world!

Steph and Andy – Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers, East Coast Team

Leave No Trace’s Stephanie Whatton and Andy Mossey are part of the 2015 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, Deuter, Hi-Cone, REI, Smartwool, The North Face, and Yakima.

Aug 26, 2015

Boulder, CO: The non-profit organization Keep America Beautiful (KAB) is involved in the reduction of waste and the beatification of communities throughout the country. KAB was founded in 1953 and has over 1,200 local affiliates in the US. Throughout the 60s and 70s seminal research was conducted by the KAB to determine littering behavior in the US. Today KAB is still continuing their littering research and has several notable findings. (Shultz and Stein, 2009)

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According to the KAB, Littering in America: National Findings and Recommendations by Wesley Schultz and Steven Stein (2009), there are various reasons why people are inclined to litter from contextual variables to personal variables. Contextual variables can include the availability of trashcans, the accumulative impact of other litter in the area, and even weather. Personal variables include age, awareness, attitudes and feelings of personal responsibility. Stein and Schultz’s study showed that 15% of littering behavior had to do with the contextual demands and 85% had to do with personal variables.

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Shultz and Stein found that variety of conditions seem to encourage or discourage littering in public places. Not surprisingly, the most commonly littered items found by KAB are cigarette butts, food waste, and wrappers. Food waste items such as food waste are more likely to be thrown out due to the misconception that they will biodegrade very quickly. A few of the personal variables that discourage littering are if people feel a connection with their community or have a strong sense of personal responsibility they are less likely to litter. Age was a factor as well, older people are less likely to litter than younger people. A contextual variable from the the report found that it appears that the presence of trashcans increases the likelihood that someone will dispose of their waste properly, as does a how busy or rushed someone is and cannot be bothered to throw away their trash.

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A very positive finding from Shultz and Stein is that littering has decreased over the decades. A very similar study (sample size and methodology) from 1968 compared to the current 2009 Littering in America study, found that 50% of people admitted to littering in 1968 compared to only 15% of people in 2009.

Shultz and Stein's 2009 study and the 1968 study were conducted mostly in urban areas, but community parks were an area that was studied. Roadways, residential areas, and even loading docks were also observed and used in the KAB report, which are not areas that are outside of Leave No Trace’s scope. With that said, it is still interesting and important to understand why people feel that littering is okay and what variables affect their decisions.  Leave No Trace is concerned with littering in the backcountry and frontcountry (any outdoor area close to the road) areas where people are traveling and camping. Leave No Trace’s third of the seven principals is dispose of waste properly which covers the proper disposal of trash as well as human/pet waste.

Thanks to Wesley Schultz, Steven Stein, and Keep America Beautiful for their Executive Summary: Littering in America.

Thanks for reading and remember to be like the Center’s mascot Bigfoot and Leave No Trace.

Pat and TJ - Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer West Central Team

Leave No Trace’s Patrick and Theresa Beezley are part of the 2015 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, Deuter, Hi-Cone, REI, Smartwool, The North Face, and Yakima.

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