The Sounds of (Wild) Silence

The New York Times recently wrote an article about the field of "soundscape ecology" and how the sounds of nature can be just as important as the sights. In the piece, titled "Whisper of the Wild," the author emphasized how the quiet of nature, free from the sounds of humans and their engines, may be going extinct. It followed the trail of a researcher in Denail National Park where they are attempting to capture ecological soundscapes in their purist forms.

You don't have to travel all the way to Alaska to appreciate the sounds of nature. Many people come to the outdoors to experience the sounds of nature. Whether it's a bird call, chirping crickets, or a bubbling stream, our outdoor experiences are enriched by what we hear. An important component of the seventh principle of Leave No Trace, Be Considerate to Other Visitors, is to let the sounds of nature prevail. The study in Denali also emphasizes the key role that sounds play in ecosystems for wildlife including insects, birds, and predators seeking their prey. By keeping down unnatural sounds, you can limit your audio impact. So next time you go into the woods, try and take notice of what you hear and not just what you see.

Quiet as a Tortoise (not as Loud as Your Engine),

Quinn & Frank