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Apr 17, 2015

Monterey, CA: The Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers are meeting and working with mountain/road bikers at the Subaru Sea Otter Classic this weekend. Our title partner Subaru supports this event and has a sizeable presence at the festival. The other Partners that help support Leave No trace that are in attendance at the SSOC are Yakima, Big Agnes, Honey Stinger, Osprey, Experticity, and Clifbar. We appreciate the support we receive from all of these partners and are fortunate to have the support they provide.

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Bikers from all over the country have come to compete in mountain bike/road races, view the latest bikes and gear from various brand names, and have a good time riding the trails and roads together at the Subaru Sea Otter Classic. A biking trade show is an excellent opportunity for Leave No Trace to expand partnerships and gain more impressions among the biking community. According to the Outdoor Industry Foundation, mountain biking is very popular in the US with close to 40 million annual participants. Mountain biking peaked in 2001, but has remained consistently popular in the United States. Reaching bikers that share the trails with hikers, horseback riders, and OHV/ATV riders is important to promoting the Leave No Trace.

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Bikers can have various impacts on the parks and forests. Bikers should remain vigilant in minimizing their impact to reduce increasing trail damage, prevent interrupting sensitive wildlife, keep the trails safe, and keep access to the trails open. Using Leave No Trace on the trails can help minimize impacts and make the trails a better place to ride.

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During your next ride plan on practicing some simple Leave No Trace techniques.

1.     Be prepared with a helmet, proper clothing, bike repair products, a first aid kit and food/water.

2.     Avoid riding during significantly muddy conditions and if you do encounter a puddle, ride right through the puddle rather then around it, so you don’t increase the size of the puddle. Avoid skidding your tires, which can erode the trails.

3.     Pack out all wrappers, litter and leftover food. Use the bathroom 200 feet away from water and dig a 6-8 inch cathole. Urinate away from the trails and water sources.

4.     Avoid spreading invasive species (seeds) on your bike or in your clothing from one are to another. Building unauthorized berms, bridges, and ladders is not recommended.

5.     Stick to the trails to avid startling wildlife. Avoid wildlife during sensitive times of the year such as: mating, nesting, winter, dusk, and dawn.

6.     Yield to hikers and equestrians (move to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock). Yield to climbing cyclists. Do not race on recreational trails.

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

Pat and TJ

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.

Apr 15, 2015

Enjoy our video about the Point Reyes National Seashore Hot Spot. 

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

Pat and TJ

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.

Apr 07, 2015

Point Reyes National Park, California: Wilderness areas provide and preserve recreational areas, ecological areas, historical sites, and scientific/educational sites for people to utilize and for wildlife to call home. Roads, buildings, cell phone towers, or any development cannot be place in a Wilderness area; they are untouched landscapes for future generations to enjoy. Leave No Trace is an essential part of enjoying a Wilderness area due to the fragile ecosystems involved in some areas, the amount of people visiting certain Wilderness areas, and the various recreation activities that take place throughout the Wilderness areas on the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, the National Forest Service, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service lands.

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On September 3rd, 1964, Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Wilderness Act into law and dramatically changed the way the United States protects the landscape with just the stroke of a pen. It may have taken a second for LBJ to sign that piece of paper, but it took years for Wilderness advocates to place that historic piece of paper under LBJ’s pen. Howard Zahniser first drafted the Wilderness Act bill in conjunction with the Wilderness Society in 1955 and after 9 years of edits, 66 re-writes, 18 hearings, and lots of hard work the Wilderness Act became law. The Wilderness Act provides Americans with the National Wilderness Preservation System.  After 50 years of the Wilderness Act being the law of the land, 103 million acres of land have been designated as Wilderness in the US with 120 laws supporting this vital system.

At Point Reyes National Park, California, the Phillip Burton Wilderness consists of 32,000 acres of land and water for over 7 million residents of the Bay area and other visitors to enjoy along the Point Reyes National Seashore. The PB Wilderness Area makes up almost 50% of the Point Reyes National Seashore.  Point Reyes is one of the 12 Hot Spots selected by Leave No Trace in 2015. With Point Reyes National Seashore’s proximity to San Francisco and its important Miwok Native American tribal sites, over 150 miles of trails, abundant recreation activities, and diverse wildlife both on land and in the sea, this area is a perfect Hot Spot opportunity for Leave No Trace to work with.

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Just off the Point Reyes coast you will find miles of open water containing some of the biologically rich but threatened areas on Earth in the Gulf of the Farallones. From tiny plankton to enormous gray whales this area is biologically rich and teeming with wildlife, but while it contains nutrient rich waters, endangered species need this space as an area for protection. Over 25 different endangered or threatened species call this area home such as killer blue and humpback whales.

Some simple ways that you can minimize your impact when traveling to Point Reyes National Seashore:

1.     Be aware of the local rules and regulations regarding fires, sensitive wildlife closures on beaches, and traveling/camping during non-busy times of the year.

2.     Poison oak keeps people on the trail, but minimizing you impact on non-durable surfaces is important due to the threatened and invasive plant life found throughout the seashore.

3.     Knowing where and how to dispose of your solid human waste is essential in some areas of the seashore while bathrooms are provided at backcountry campsites.

4.     Leaving areas as you find them and not taking any item from the park is required by law throughout the National Park Service.

5.     Knowing when and where you can have a campfire is vital in this seashore due to the history of campfires spreading to wildfires. A campfire that got out of control and burned thousands of acres through the park caused the Vision forest fire. 

6.     Stay 300 feet away from any marine life that is hauled out on the beaches to keep from disturbing and pups during sensitive times of the year. Secure your food and trash away from wildlife using either the required bear boxes or hanging it 12 feet off the ground, 6 feet from the trunk of a tree, and 6 feet from the branch it is hanging on. Do not paddle towards a marine mammal but view it though binoculars. It may seem like a seal pup is abandoned, but its mother is just searching for food and leaving it on the beach. Do not approach it to try and help it! The Marine Mammal Protection act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the Marine Sanctuary Act protect wildlife throughout the park.

7.     Be considerate of other travelers when you paddle. Let natures sound prevail and try to be aware your impact on other visitors since sound travels easily on water. Stay in a group when paddling. People don’t mind seeing one group of paddlers compared to seeing multiple boats over the course of several minutes. Consider wearing bright clothing so you stand out to motorized boats and if you have a radio use channel 16 to communicate with other vessels.

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

Pat and TJ

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, Hi-Cone, REI, and Smartwool.

Apr 02, 2015

Boulder, Colorado: A campfire can be an integral part of any campout for people. A fire is nature’s TV and allows people to congregate around it and focus on the fire for hours. Campfires provide us with warmth, light and of course, smores. We do have to be responsible with campfires because of the variety of impacts that can result from them; a single spark can cause a forest fire, campfires can scare rocks or boulders if they are built too close, burning trash emits toxic chemicals into the air and our lungs, and lastly, firewood can contain unknown and unwanted guests. We have all heard about or seen signs stating that it is important not to move firewood from one camping area to another. Campers are advised to buy their campfire wood in the area they are camping in to prevent the spread of insects and disease from one forest to another. Why is this? What is everyone so worried about?

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Campfire wood can harbor tree killing insects and diseases without the person transporting it knowing about their presence. These insects and diseases kill forests and are difficult to exterminate by land management agencies. Trees and other plants have adapted to the insect and diseases in their area. Animals adapt to eating the pests that would harm forests, but due to the influx of pests from outdoor recreationalists, forest cannot defend themselves from the new insects and disease being transported. Since new pests to a forest don’t have any natural predators or anything else stopping them, they are able to reproduce and spread at an alarming rate.

Below is a list of common invasives that can invade your firewood. There are many other invasive out there, but these are some of the more common threats.

Asian Longhorn Beetle

Emerald Ash Borer

Hemlock Wooly Adelgid

Spruce Aphid

Asian Gypsy Moth

How far is too far? According to Dontmovefirewood.org, 10 miles is about the most you should travel with firewood, with the traditional distance of 50 miles being considered too far now. You can use the State-by-State map from dontmovefirewood.org to help you find what regulations and rules are in your area.

You may want to bring wood from your own backyard from your own healthy trees. Even if your campfire wood seems fine, free of burrowed-out-holes, or any other signs of an infestation you should still consider that it might potentially be contaminated. It is considered to be too difficult to detect any pest with the naked eye. Even if you intend on completely burning down all of your firewood to ash (thus destroying any contaminates in the wood), there is still the potential for a wood chip with infected larva to fall on the ground, spores could be washed off in a storm, or a piece of firewood could fall off during transport in the back of a truck.

At Leave No Trace we encourage people to enjoy campfires, but to enjoy them responsibly. Please know where your wood is from and do not transport it. Thanks for reading and remember to be like the Center’s mascot Bigfoot and Leave No Trace.

Pat and TJ

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, Hi-Cone, REI, and Smartwool.

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