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Mar 19, 2015

Incline Village, Nevada: Incline Village Elementary School is a partner of Leave No Trace and their support is shown through their commitment to providing Leave No Trace education to all of their 500 students. Preschoolers up to fifth grade students took part in learning about how they can minimize their impact every area from their local parks, ski resorts, Lake Tahoe, to the wilderness surrounding their community. The kids at Incline are definitely fortunate to live in the beautiful area that they do and their teachers and principal recognize that and want to not only foster a love of the outdoors, but also develop respect for it as well.

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For 3 school days we taught 18 different 45 minutes session teaching 25-30 students per class what Leave No Trace is, connected them to their outdoor environment, and taught them how to use the Leave No Trace seven principles. Our teaching style is a progressive walk through each principle with an activity/demonstration per principle. Kids chased each other simulating impacts verse wildlife, in our impact and wildlife activity to demonstrate how our impacts are detrimental to wildlife for Respect Wildlife. They ran a relay race with cards that had gear listed on them to signs with each of the principles for Know Before You Go. One of our favorite games, Ok/No way, was used to give the students examples of what is a minimal impact behavior and what is not for everything from Be Careful with Fire, Leave What You Find, and Be Kind to Other Visitors. Several other games from a simulated hike, a Bigfoot Says version of Simon says with the principles, and a guessing game about each principle were used to keep the kids engaged, happy, and learning the different aspects of Leave No Trace.

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We even got to answer outdoor ethical questions on Leave No Trace when the question about Leave What You Find inevitably came up. A young girl asked, “if there are a thousand wildflowers, wouldn’t it be okay to pick at least one”. We explained that the seven principals are not rules, they are good suggestions/guidelines and that it is a personal choice to follow the principles. We detailed how wildflowers need to drop seeds for next year’s growth and that if thousands of people came through that area and pick a flower, the accumulative impact would overwhelm the field of wildflowers.

At the end of each of our sessions with every class we challenge the students to teach Leave No Trace to at least two other people using either the yellow kids hang tag or the frontcountry tag for the older grades. We love this part of the workshop because it promotes a sense of responsibility for their new knowledge set. It is one thing to know how to Leave No Trace, but Leave No Trace is a concept that can be spread and held onto for life.

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.

Mar 17, 2015

Boulder, Colorado: Congratulations to the Leave No Trace Art Contest Winners!

Below are the three people who either put together an original work of art or took an amazing photo. We want to thank them and all of the other people who entered their art work! Thanks to these artists, we will be able to provide more Leave No Trace inspired content on our website and our social media pages.

This photo was taken by Alex Quinn.

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This was created by Brian Post.

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This was created by Kyla Bowes Aiken

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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 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.

 

Mar 14, 2015

San Antonio, TX: Just because we’ve cleaned up our fishing line, doesn’t mean it can’t impact wildlife. Check out this short clip to find out how you can properly dispose of fishing line and help keep our riparian areas beautiful!!

Until next time,

Court and Nick
 

Leave No Trace’s Courtney and Nick Bierschbach 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, and Smartwool.

Mar 12, 2015

San Diego, CA- From the Everglades in Florida to the Puget Sound in Washington, sea kayaking is a popular and adventurous activity throughout the nation’s 95,440 miles of coastlines and lakeshores. Sea kayaking impacts are focused primarily on a small strip of land where kayakers are landing and camping. Use the Leave No Trace Seven Principles listed below to minimize your impact when you are out sea kayaking.

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A beach along Lake Superior. 

1.     Plan Ahead and Prepare- Know the rules and regulations of the area you are paddling and camping in.

a.     Know where you can camp and where you can’t camp. Depending on where you are determines where you can camp. In the Apostle Islands National Seashore you have to have a permit and if you have more than eight people in your party, you need a group permit. Know if whether or not the land you are docking on is private or public land.

2.     Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces- Camp and hike on durable surfaces. Use established campsites if they are available.

a.     Durable surfaces include gravel, sand, dry grass, and compacted soil.

b.     Choose a kitchen area that will have a sturdy durable surface since that is the area that receives the most impact.

c.      Choose a site that is large enough for our group. Camping on or laying your boats/equipment on vegetation can enlarge an established campsite.

d.     Use a tide chart to establish the high tide mark for that day.

e.     Avoid trampling sand dunes with vegetation growing within them. That vegetation helps hold the dunes together.

3.     Dispose of Waste Properly- Pack it in and pack it out!

a.     Pack out all of your trash and trash that you find.

b.     Pack out your human waste.

c.      Pee on durable surfaces. Animals with salt deficient diets defoliate plants with urine found on them due to the high salt content in our urine.

d.     Dispose of game entrails. Check local regulations for disposal of fish entrails. Consider disposing of entrails directly into the ocean or bury them away from fresh water.

e.     Dispose of wastewater properly- In salt water, dump wastewater directly in the ocean or below the high tide line. In fresh water dispose of it 100 feet away from water. Be aware of bears in the area and follow rules and regulations.  

4.     For the purposes of keeping this blog concise, we are going to skip over Leave What you Find. The suggested guidelines are the leave what you find for the next person to see, don’t build camp furniture or leave your mark, and avoid transporting invasive species.

5.     Minimize Campfire Impacts- How to make a pit fire.

a.     Consider using a lightweight camp stove for the advantages of not needing fire wood, a highly unlikely chance of starting a forest fire, and easy clean-up.

b.     Mound fires and fire pans can be effective, but a pitfre is a nice minimum impact fire for sea-kayakers. A pit fire is simply a Dig a shallow pit in an area with no vegetation. In coastal environments dig it below the high tide line. Be sure to burn the wood down completely and scatter the ash into the ocean.

c.      Use driftwood for firewood, but if there is not a steady supply of driftwood use dead, downed, dinky (about the size of your forearm), and distant sticks for your firewood.

6.     Respect Wildlife- Marine considerations.

a.     Be aware of sensitive times for animals. Animals are particularly sensitive to people during times of scarce food, guarding young, birthing, or defending and territories.

b.     Marine mammals are protected under the US Marine Mammal Protection Act, which requires people to stay a safe distance to ensure their normal behavior.

c.      Know the rules and regulations associated with bears in your area and never leave food in your boat. Hang it form a tree 12 feet up and 6 feet from the branch and trunk or use a bear canister.

d.     Studies have shown that kayakers approaching or turning towards marine mammals that are hauled-out (up on rocks or the shore) can startle them leading to young being trampled or young being separated from their mothers.

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La Jolla Cove, California. 

7.     Be Considerate of Other Visitors- Share the beaches and let natures sound prevail!

a.     Communicate and coordinate with other parties and to see where people will be camping in order to leave larger beaches for large groups.

b.     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.

c.      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.

d.     Sound travels easily across water. Let natures sound prevail and try to be aware your impact on other visitors.

Thanks for reading and remember to be like Bigfoot and Leave No Trace when you are out sea kayaking!

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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