Shawnee National Forest Hot Spot

This past week the Leave No Trace Hot Spot week was held in the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois. A Hot Spot is an area in the country that has been selected by Leave No Trace for a concentrated Leave No Trace effort through the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Team and the office staff in Boulder, Colorado. The Shawnee was selected because people in Southern Illinois, Chicago, St. Louis, and all over the Midwest are loving areas of the forest to death, especially the Garden of the Gods Wilderness and Recreation Area in the Shawnee. Some impacts that the Hot Spot program is focused on addressing are litter, invasive species, habituated wildlife, dog waste, trail and campsite erosion, water sources polluted with human wastes, names carved in trees, filthy campfire rings, cigarette butts along a trail, damaged cultural and historic sites, and pets chasing wildlife.

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This Hot Spot is a chance to address the issues in the Shawnee and help the National Forest to minimize these impacts caused by their visitors. Below is a video containing information on the Leave No Trace effort in the Shawnee and the good people who contributed to making this such a great week. Thanks to our partners Southern Illinois University and Touch of Nature!

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, REI, Smartwool and Yakima.