Nominations Open for Gold Standard Sites

February 12, 2018 (Boulder, CO) With more than 12 billion visits to public lands every year, the need for Leave No Trace education and practices are more important now more than ever. As part of this effort, Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics designates Gold Standard Sites as beacons of excellence for other public lands across the country to emulate.

Nominations are open from February 12th through March 31st and can be submitted by land managers in the areas where they are working. 

To date, 10 areas across the country hold the Gold Standard Site designation. The Center will designate 10 more areas — national parks, national forests, grasslands and waterways, wildlife refuges, land trusts, county and city managed areas or any other public lands – by July 2018. By receiving this highest standard of recognition these areas become model sites, encouraging other public lands to ensure that minimum-impact education is part of everyone’s experience when spending time outdoors.


Criteria to consider in nominations includes:

·      History of successfully implementing Leave No Trace into efforts at the site.

·      Staff that is trained in Leave No Trace.

·      Leave No Trace signage and language available to visitors throughout the site.

·      Leave No Trace programs available to the public.

“The San Juan County community believes that if people do something, even something simple, to help take care of the places they cherish, we will all benefit. The very nature of Leave No Trace lends itself well to fostering a cooperative spirit of stewardship and together we can succeed in establishing this culture of stewardship in the San Juan Islands.”

 - Noreen M. Ignelzi, San Juan County Leave No Trace Coordinator 

Nominate a site here

Current Gold Standard Sites include:


  1. San Juan Islands; Washington
  2. Knob Noster State Park; Knob Noster, Missouri
  3. New River Gorge National River; Glen Jean, West Virginia
  4. Isle Royale National Park; Houghton, Michigan
  5. Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area; Sand Springs, Georgia
  6. Coconino National Forest; Flagstaff, Arizona
  7. Cheaha State Park; Delta, Alabama
  8. Olympic National Park; Port Angeles, Washington
  9. Shenandoah National Park; Luray, Virginia
  10. Acadia National Park; Bar Harbor, Maine

Learn more about current Gold Standard Sites