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Apr 23, 2014

With a wingspan of nearly 10 feet, the California Condor is one of the largest birds in North America. Condors can travel close to 50 miles per hour and cover over 200 miles in a day searching for food. They range from areas near the coast in California to the deserts of Utah and California. Condors can live up to 60 years in the wild and produce one egg per year.

The California Condor use to be prevalent all over the western United States, but due to habitat loss, lead poisoning, poaching, DDT, and the abundance of power line accidents, the Condors population dropped to about 22 that remained in captivity. Thanks to a captive breeding program their numbers have increased to around 330 birds with 175 flying in the wild in California, Mexico, Utah, and Arizona. Thanks to the Endangered Species Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act Condors can have their habitat protected under federal law.   

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According to the Utah Division of Wildlife, lead poisoning is the cause of dozens of condors deaths. Condors are scavengers and sometimes find either an animal that has been shot, but never recovered by the hunters or an animal carcass that has been cleaned by hunters in the field. Information gathered from the Arizona Game and Fish Department shows that when a lead bullet enters a deer for example, the bullet loses 30 percent of it mass on impact and lead fragments are scattered throughout the deer. The remaining lead in the animal from the shattered bullet is ingested by the condor and causes it to have lead poisoning. Condors hunt in groups, so several birds can be infected from one carcass. Lead poisoning is the leading obstacle to condor recovery in Arizona and Utah. Below are some recovery efforts enacted by states to help condors recover.

·      Since 2005 Arizona has been providing hunters in condor country with copper bullets to replace lead bullets.

·      In 2008 California banned lead bullets in condor habitat.

·      In 2010 Utah provided a similar program to Arizona were they provided copper bullets for voluntary use.

Using copper bullets over lead is superior for many reasons. All copper bullets have more knock-down power, are less toxic, and don’t shatter like lead. In an Institute for Wildlife Studies survey in Arizona, 93% of hunters agreed that non-lead bullets preformed better or similar to lead bullets.

Thanks for reading and remember to be like Bigfoot and Leave No Trace.

Pat and TJ  

Leave No Trace’s Patrick and Theresa Beezley are part of the 2014 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, Coleman, Hi-Cone, The North Face, REI, Smartwool and Yakima.

Apr 23, 2014

The Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers, our national mobile education program, are conducting the following training events across the country in May and June.  We hope to see you at an event!

Check out the Team Calendars - sort by team or by your state for the most up to date event listings.

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For more information about these or to attend, visit the event calendar. We hope to see you on the road!

 

California:

  • Kings Beach Elementary School – Kings Beach
  • Tahoe Mountain Sports – Kings Beach
  • Boys & Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe – Kings Beach

 

Colorado:

  • Ragnar Trail Relay – Snowmass
  • Snowmass Mammoth Fest – Snowmass
  • Telluride Bluegrass Festival – Telluride
  • Lyons Outdoor Games – Lyons
  • Subaru Elephant Rock Cycling Festival – Castle Rock
  • Go Pro Mountain Games - Vail

 

Florida:

  • Let’s Go Camping – Sarasota
  • Junior Ranger Camp – Sarasota
  • Florida Trails Association – Pinellas Park
  • Florida Folks Festival – White Springs
  • Kids Fishing Clinic at Fort Clinch State Park – Fernandina Beach
  • Talbot Islands State Parks – Jacksonville
  • North Florida Trailblazers – Jacksonville
  • SUP Sarasota Race Series – Sarasota

 

Georgia:

  • GoPher a Campout & National Get Outdoors Day at Sweetwater State Park – Lithia Springs, GA

 

Idaho:

  • Clearwater National Forest Powell Campground – Lolo
  • Warm Springs Wilderness Trailhead - Lolo

 

Maryland:

  • Healthy Kids Day at Trap Pond State Park – Cambridge
  • Camp Conowingo – Conowingo

 

Montana:

  • Mountain to Meadow Half Marathon & 5K Fun Run - Lolo

 

Nevada:

  • Incline Elementary School – Incline Village
  • SOS Outreach – Incline Village
  • Kids for Conservation Festival – Incline Village

 

New Hampshire:

  • Take Back the Park with the Student Conservation Association - Manchester

 

New York:

  • The North Face Endurance Challenge – Bear Mountain
  • Adirondack Mountain Club – Lake Placid
  • Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson Camporee – New Paltz

 

Ohio:

  • Simon Kent Council Camporee – Chilicothe

 

Pennsylvania:

  • BSA Troop 339
  • Birdsboro Community Workshop – Bridsboro
  • York County Youth Development Center – York
  • Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort – Shawnee on Delaware
  • Riverfest at Nesbitt PArk – Wilkes-Barre, PA

 

South Carolina:

  • BSA Swamp Fox District Ladson Day Camp – Summerville

 

Utah:

  • Sundance Mountain Resort Kids Camp Staff - Provo

 

Virginia:

  • Dominion Riverrock – Richmond
  • Trout Unlimited Tri-State Conservation & Fishing Camp – Syria

 

Washington D.C:

  • The North Face Endurance Challenge

 

West Virginia:

  • Appalachian Trail Conservancy – Harpers Ferry

 

Wyoming:

  • Grand Teton Lodge – Moran
  • Pinedale Aquatic Center – Pinedale
  • Jackson Hole High School - Jackson

 

Apr 21, 2014

Chattanooga, Tennessee: As Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers, we are lucky to teach people of all personalities, in a variety of different places all over the country - students with different levels of engagement in the outdoors. The beauty of Leave No Trace is that it is relevant and applicable to anyone at any level; whether you are mountaineering or simply walking your dog at the local park - you don’t need to be an outdoor expert to see the benefits of practicing Leave No Trace outside!

However, we often teach youth in urban areas that have very little interaction with wild and natural settings. The ethics of Leave No Trace often don’t make sense in their minds because they see the outdoors as something separate from their urban realities. So how do we bridge the gap between the city and the woods?

A very important piece of practicing Leave No Trace in urban areas is being able to understand the connection we have as a community to our outdoor spaces. Think about what we need to live a happy, and healthy life in the city:

·      Clean air to breathe

·      Clean water to drink

·      Healthy food to eat

·      Energy to run the places where we live, learn, and work

Where do these things come from? Air, water, food and energy all come from nature. Without nature, Earth wouldn't be such a lovely home for us to live and play.

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MAKING THE CONNECTION BY UNDERSTANDING RESOURCES

Did you know everyday each person throws away about 5 pounds of trash? This adds up to a lot of garbage and wasted materials! Where does all our garbage go? Trash that is not recycled goes to a landfill. Landfills are vast patches of land where trash is taken. The purpose of a landfill is to bury the trash in such a way that it will be isolated from groundwater, will be kept dry, and will not be in contact with air. Watch this video: Where Does My Trash Go?

Recycled goods are products made of earth’s raw materials (wood, metal, etc.). These products can and should be recycled. At a recycling center, materials can be crushed, broken down, and later turned into new cans, bottles, and paper.

Earth's raw materials are finite. This means we only have so much of everything, and eventually it will all get used up. Practicing the 3R’s helps conserve our resources.

Where does our drinking water come from? Water comes from rivers, lakes and streams. Where does litter usually end up when it’s thrown on the ground and not a trashcan? Into our rivers, lakes and streams. Water sources for hundreds of millions of people – are being seriously depleted or dangerously polluted. Approximately 40 percent of the rivers in the U.S. are too polluted for fishing and swimming. Water gives us many things - food, hydration, and energy to make things we use and wear. We are facing dirtier, unsafe water and there is a very big risk of water shortages and scarcity. Watch this video: All Hands on Earth

Leave No Trace means taking simple steps to protect our planet. We can use the Seven Leave No Trace Principles as guidelines to help us reduce, reuse, and recycle our resources whether we are indoors or outdoors. When we use Leave No Trace Ethics, we can redefine the day-to-day choices we make and in turn protect the vital resources we need to live.

Stay tuned for more ideas on bridging the gap between nature and urban settings!

 

Ninjas for Nature – dani & roland

 

Leave No Trace’s Dani and Roland Mott are part of the 2014 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, Coleman, Hi-Cone, The North Face, REI, Smartwool and Yakima. 

Apr 18, 2014

The dangers from smoking don’t stop once a cigarette is stubbed out. Cigarette butts leach toxic chemicals and carcinogens that pollute the environment. They’re poisonous to people, wildlife and can contaminate water. Yet they’re the number one littered item on US roadways and the number one item found on beaches and in waterways worldwide.

April 22nd is Earth Day, and in observation of this day, Leave No Trace continues our campaign with the American Legacy Foundation to rethink cigarette butt litter. We have put together a list of reasons to kick those butts, but not to the curb. These places should be butt-free every day because of the negative impact on the environment, various ecosystems, and ultimately our collective public health.

  1. In the forests – Animals are wildlife eaters and could ingest the toxins from cigarette waste if we’re not careful.
  2. Parks and playgrounds – Eliminating toxic butts from the reach of children is common sense. Kids could put these butts in their mouths, or play with them in ways you might not want them to.
  3. The ocean and other waterways – In 2010, more than one-million cigarettes were removed from American beaches and inland waterways during the International Coastal Cleanup. Leached chemicals from these products can damage aquatic ecosystems. The only butts on beaches we should see are not the ones from cigarettes.
  4. National landmarks and parks – America is beautiful. Let’s remember to keep it that way by tossing butts into bins.
  5. Your driveway – Cigarette butts on your driveway can end up leaching toxic chemicals into the soil of your front yard or into the water that impacts public water supplies.
  6. The road – Though you don’t want that cigarette polluting your car, you also don’t pollute the environment. It is not ok to throw that toxic butt out of the window.

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We have all been entrusted to protect our planet, yet cigarette butts remain one of the only socially acceptable forms of littering left. The billions of littered cigarette butts annually amount to enormous environmental and public health threat that our communities are left to pay for. Let’s rethink cigarette butts this Earth Day and create a healthier world for the future.

Susy Alkaitis, Deputy Director for Leave No Trace

 

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