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May 21, 2015

Yosemite National Park, California: This past weekend the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers attended the Access Fund’s Climbing Stewardship Training in the most beautiful setting imaginable, Yosemite. The Access Fund is a non-profit advocacy organization for rock climbers that helps ensure that climbing areas throughout the country remain open for climbing. Thanks to the Access Fund’s efforts, climbing areas around the country remain open as well as new climbing areas are being re-opened every year. The Climbing Stewardship Training is a new project for the Access Fund and this inaugural training weekend definitely set a high bar for their future trainings. Climber advocates from all over California met in Yosemite for trainings on trail building techniques, climbing specific issues, and minimal impact messaging practices.

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The Access Fund is similar to The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics in that they have a traveling team similar to the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers program. The AF’s Conservation Team, Amanda and Mike, travels the country building and improving trails at climbing areas. Thanks to the AF’s Conservation Team’s wealth of experience, they are able to teach and promote suitable trail building procedures and proper crag etiquette.

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The Climbing Stewards Training consisted of networking, trail building techniques, trail building underneath the expansive 3,000 foot tall El Captain, Leave No Trace training, and much more. The climbers from around the country were there to learn how to incorporate proper climbing procedures at their crags. At this training the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers put on training about how to effectively communicate to climbers Leave No Trace messaging. Climbers are an interesting user group as they require staging areas under cliffs, routes to their climbs from the main trail, and access to areas that other user groups can’t access. Climbers care a lot about the areas they utilize and thanks to the Access Fund’s efforts and their new Climbing Stewardship Training series, climbing areas around the country are better off thanks to their efforts.

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

Pat and TJ

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.

May 15, 2015

Festival season is upon us and this year many non-profits are taking the lead on leaving less of an impact on festival sites.  What Leave No Trace principles do you plan on following when you attend music festivals this summer?  Read the full article here!

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May 13, 2015

Smith Rock State Park, Oregon: Last summer the National Park Service banned the use of drones (unmanned aircraft) in all of their 84 million acres which include: parks, monuments, historic sites, and seashores Drone use has been banned due to safety, noise, and impacts to wildlife. For the most part drones are allowed in municipal spaces as long as they fly below 400 feet, stay away from populated areas, and don’t interfere with aircraft (cnn.com, 2014). Individual state parks and entire state park systems have adopted this ban as well due to concerns within their own parks. As of now, drone use is only temporarily banned in National Parks until a more comprehensive plan can be developed for their use. Leave No Trace does not have a specific stance on drone use, but does recommended following the rules and regulations of the land management agency. Leave No Trace as an organization encourage people to enjoy the outdoors responsibly without impacting wildlife or other visitors.

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Below is a short list of drone related impacts found in parks that had contributed to the ban:

·      In Zion National Park a drone hovered closely to a heard of bighorn sheep. The noise and presence of this drone scattered the baby sheep from their mothers.

o   A fine of up to 5,000 dollars and six months in jail is the penalty for flying a drone in Zion National Park.

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·      Drones flying overhead at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in California can easily disturb seabirds, seals, shorebirds, and sea otters.

·      Nesting peregrine falcons in Yosemite National Park are affected by the presence of drones flying too close.

·      A climber was buzzed by while climbing at the Fisher Towers in Utah. While climbing can be a spectator sport at times in busy areas, typically climbers are able to escape the crowds by climbing higher and higher, yet with a drone there are limited chances for peace and quiet.

·      Despite the fact that drones are banned in Yosemite National Park, drones still continue to buzz the walls while climbers and wildlife utilize and survive on the cliffs.

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Drones will continue to become more common over time as they become more popular and affordable. Until management plans can be created to effectively handle the impacts that they can have on wildlife and other visitors, a ban seems likely to stay in place for a the time being.

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

Pat and TJ

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.

http://climbing.about.com/od/staysafeclimbing/fl/Drones-Banned-in-National-State-and-Local-Parks.htm

http://www.cnet.com/news/as-national-parks-issue-drone-bans-some-states-fall-in-line/

May 11, 2015

Vandalism continues to be a major problem in parks.  Which of the Seven Principles does this issue conflict with?  Read the full article here.  

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