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Aug 22, 2015

Laurel Hill State Park, PA: Festivals are a great way to enjoy music, the company of family, friends, and the great outdoors! This past weekend the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers attended the Laurel Hill Bluegrass Festival at Laurel Hill State Park in Somerset, Pennsylvania. This free music festival has more than 10,000 visitors over the weekend. With the help of the Pennsylvania State Parks, the community members, and the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers the local area remains just as beautiful afterwards as it was before!

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Laurel Hill has done a great job to keep the park clean during their festival. While this festival was not an overnight experience, attendees had the option to camp overnight at the designated campground close by. The managers incorporate Leave No Trace education into the fun filled weekend camping experience! This includes Leave No Trace hikes through the state park and awareness workshops held right in the public campground.

The rangers have worked together to provide plenty of trash and recycling bins throughout the festival as well as bathrooms for all of the people visiting. Bringing great music to an outdoor venue puts smiles on peoples faces! Leave No Trace made an effort to talk about tips while at the festival. Below are some great ways to incorporate Leave No Trace into your next festival and park experience!

  • Plan Ahead and Prepare: Bring a reusable water bottle to help eliminate waste and to stay hydrated.
  • Dispose of Waste Properly: Use available trash and recycling bins and consider picking up some litter along the way to make the experience better for everyone. Always remember to use available restrooms/port-a-potties. If you are out on a hike a cannot find a facility, walk to the “facili-trees” by going 200 feet from any trail, water source, or campsite and dig a cat hole 6-8 inches deep!
  • Stick To Designated Trails and Durable Surfaces
  • Be Considerate to Other Visitors: Be kind to others. Everyone wants to create a memorable experience in the great outdoors just as much as you!

 

We hope you all have the chance to enjoy some more summer events and outdoor activities! Enjoy music, friends, and the great outdoors!

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If you want to learn more tips and tricks to minimizing your impact when outside, you can find a Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer event near you by visiting our calendar!

Adventure on!

Steph and Andy – Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers, East Coast Team

Leave No Trace’s Stephanie Whatton and Andy Mossey 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.

 

Aug 20, 2015

Pumphouse Campground and Launch Site, CO: This past week we spent time fishing and paddling along the Colorado River near Gore Canyon. Fly-fishing along a beautiful river with mountains and canyons all around is every angler’s favorite day in the outdoors. There are over 60 million anglers in United States, making it one of the most popular and oldest sports. With such a large amount of people getting out to use the nation’s waterways, utilizing Leave No Trace skills and ideas can alleviate the impacts that anglers can have.

Some examples of impacts commonly found at fishing areas are; bait cups and fishing line left on the shoreline, fish entrails left on the shoreline, and undesignated trails that form at popular areas. At popular fishing areas, being considerate to other visitors is of the upmost importance when anglers are in close proximity to each other and sometimes being almost shoulder-to-shoulder when they are casting into the water. Leave No Trace for fishing covers a lot of the same impacts and techniques that you would find in any other outdoor activity, but there are a few specific considerations for anglers.

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When an angler is done with or needs to remove monofilament fishing line from their reel, they need to make sure to pack it out. According to the US Forest Service, monofilament fishing line takes 500 years to photodegrade. Fishing line can be an entanglement hazard to both wildlife and people swimming or spending time on the shoreline.  The use of lead for sinkers or jigs can impact wildlife when eagles, loons, herons, and other birds ingest it and suffer from lead poisoning. Between 1980 and 1996 the University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center found lead poisoning in 138 of the 650 eagles treated. Rather then using lead, stainless steel, tin and bismuth can be a better alternative.

In the past, anglers would commonly throw fish entrails into the woods or leave them out on rocks for wildlife to consume. Leaving entrails on the shoreline can be a problem because it attracts animals like bears to popular areas, as well as it is unsightly and smells. The recommended practice is to pack entrails out in a zip lock bag and bring them home for disposal. If packing out entrails is not an option, then deep-water disposal, moving water disposal, or digging a hole to place them in is recommended. Whirling disease is a condition that affects the nervous system of rainbow or cutthroat trout by making them losing their sense of direction. If whirling disease has affected fish in your area, do not use the deep water or fast moving water disposal because the entrails can spread the disease.

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

Pat and TJ - Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer West Central Team

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.

Aug 18, 2015

East Lansing, MI: Have you ever heard the adage, “You can’t know what you don’t know”? It is a truism covering experiences far and wide, but no matter the subject, one hard to swallow pattern within this adage seems to always hold strong: We can not see where we are headed until we arrive.  For us at the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, we challenge this stubborn reality and ask you to join us in the efforts.

Last week the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers East Central Team attended the National Order of the Arrow Conference, commemorating 100 years of brotherhood and service for the Order of the Arrow: an elite fraternal society within the Boy Scouts of America.  We were proud to represent Leave No Trace at the event, speaking to scouts at awareness workshops and highlighting our educational partnership that reaches millions of people annually. 

With this 100-year celebration, we began thinking about all the changes organizations go through over the years: honing in on their missions, seeing which outreaches are successful and adapting their practices to the latest research.  In the last 100 years, the Order of the Arrow has shifted its focus from being a brotherhood of honor campers to high adventure conservation and servant leadership.  Now, the Order of the Arrow plays an integral role in the community service branch of the Boy Scout model. 

This evolution and fluid growth is what makes an organization strong and relevant to the changing times.  This type of change is similar to the way Leave No Trace principles and practices have evolved over the years.  Did you know that the idea of “minimum impact” camping started in the mid 1960’s just after the Wilderness Act was passed?  Sounds about right, but recreationists and educators at the time did not really know what that meant because they did not have as much research and data to base their practices.  Additionally, they were not faced with the increased numbers of recreationists that are hitting the parks today.  With a rising 1.6 billion visits to our parks systems each year, it is becoming even more important that we all put forth the extra effort to be shining environmental stewards—an ever evolving practice.  In the beginning, respecting the wild lands meant hiding trash so no one else would find it; burning toilet paper and food scraps; sinking empty bottles in lakes and ponds; disposing of excrement in intertidal zones for decomposition.  Through research studies and investments in education, new minimum impact practices were discovered: we now encourage you to pack out all of your trash, always thinking, “Would it be here if you weren’t?” Information like this can only come after we have been around long enough to see and study the effects we have on the land and wildlife. Dedication to environmental research is an integral part of developing educational material and fueling the evolution of Leave No Trace ethics.  This education will help us know where we are headed before we arrive, before we are a day late and a dollar short—realizing the irreversible impacts before us. 

The Boy Scouts of America, having 2.4 million members, could potentially be a large source of damaging impact on our recreation lands; but thanks to our awesome partnership and a host of Leave No Trace champions, we are able to have millions of environmentally conscious, exemplary stewards of our lands: stewards that are trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. 

A HUGE thanks goes out to our partners, the Boy Scouts of America, and our compliments on a job well done with 100 years of the Order of the Arrow. 

Katelyn & Blake

Leave No Trace’s Katelyn Stutterheim and Blake Jackson 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.

Aug 15, 2015

Boulder, CO: Parks offer a wonderful space for friends and families to get together and connect with nature. Frontcountry settings like this have unique social and physical impacts from their visitors. With more and more people getting outside, parks and open spaces see heavy use. The Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers spent the day in the frontcountry and noticed some avoidable impacts. Here are some tips and tricks to help minimize your impact while on your frontcountry adventure in your local parks or open spaces. 

Know Before You Go

  • Be sure to bring enough food and water for the days adventure. Having supplies for your day will maximize your comfort and safety, increasing the quality of your experience!
  • Planning to take your pet on your adventure? Remember, bring along your pet leash and always bring a bag to collect dog waste. 
  • Read up on the rules and regulations of the area that you are going and always remember your map! 

 

Stick To Trails 

  • Stick to durable surfaces to avoid picking up "hitchhikers" and spreading invasive species.
  • Avoid stepping off of the trail, and onto delicate vegetation or wildflowers. Once they are damaged, they may not grow back. 
  • Respect private property by traveling on designated trails. 

 

Trash Your Trash

Being mindful that our wrappers and garbage make it to trash bins is a sure way to keep our parks clean. Keeping our parks clean creates a higher quality experience for everyone! Do your part to trash your trash.

  • Pack it in, Pack it out! 
  • Let's work together to protect our water sources. Avoid putting soap, food, and waste in our water sources. 

 

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                       Used fishing line left hanging in a tree after a day out on the lake

Leave It As You Find

  • Bring along your camera to take photos instead of taking souvenirs, so that the next person can enjoy the space just as much as you. 
  • Treat living plants with respect. Avoid carving into trees, this could kill them! 

 

Be Careful With Fire

Having a fire is aesthetically pleasing! If you plan to stay overnight, be sure to check the land regulations to see if a fire is permitted. 

  • Use existing fire rings and keep your fire small.
  • Avoid burning trash or food. Remember, pack it in, pack it out!
  • Avoiding transporting wood from far away locations. it could harbor tree killing insects or diseases. Buy wood from a local vendor. 

 

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Keep Wildlife Wild

Human food is not healthy for wildlife. Feeding wildlife encourages habituation, which can lead to safety issues for both people and animals.

  • Bring your binoculars to keep a safe distance.
  • Do not approach or feed wildlife.
  • Store your food and scented items securely. 

 

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Be Considerate To Other Visitors

The frontcountry is for everyone! These are public spaces designed for recreation and relaxation. With more and more people going out to enjoy these areas, our decisions while outside have a big impact on other visitors.

  • Avoid loud phone calls.
  • Control your pets.
  • Keep group sizes small.
  • Let nature's sounds prevail! 

 

Have fun outside and keep exploring! To explore more helpful tips, check out our full list of Frontcountry Principles.

Steph and Andy – Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Team East

 

Leave No Trace’s Stephanie Whatton and Andy Mossey 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. 

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