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Dec 11, 2013

With the end of 2013 in sight, we would like to say Thank You to all our Community Partners for their support and generosity this year. Together, we are protecting the outdoor places we all love and enjoy.

We have a wide variety of Community Partners -- one might be your local guiding company or climbing gym; another might be your neighborhood school or Parks and Recreation Department. In the end, all of them have the same goal—to educate people how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly.

Besides being part of this powerful movement of education, there are lots of other benefits of partnering with Leave No Trace:

  • Use of the Leave No Trace logo for marketing, communications, and education.
  • Visits and training opportunities from the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers.
  • Receive complimentary Partnership Packages every year.
  • Receive a 10% discount with every purchase on the Leave No Trace online store.
  • Listing of your organization’s website link on the Leave No Trace Community Partners page.

We are very happy to say that, in 2013, 113 new Community Partners joined the Leave No Trace effort! Can you find one local to you?

How do our Community Partners incorporate and promote Leave No Trace in their work? Find out from them directly!

“Our participation in Leave No Trace Ethics begins with our Guide training. They are taught the Leave No Trace principles and expected to uphold them whether it's forgoing the use of disposable items for our daily picnics in Grand Canyon National Park, or "pack it in, pack it out" while hiking or backpacking.” ~ Cari Murphy from All-Star Grand Canyon Tours in Flagstaff, Arizona

“We have hosted the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers at our headquarters in Bend, OR and invited outdoor leaders from the community to attend.” Emilie Cortes from Call of the Wild Adventures, Inc. in Bend, Oregon

“The Green Mountain Club’s group outreach program works with diverse organizations to achieve the goal of maximizing everyone’s enjoyment of the Long Trail. Adapting the Leave No Trace principles to the task has been hugely successful in increasing groups’ success both as stewards of the natural world and as positive members of the social environment that forms at our remote shelters.” Thorin Markison from Green Mountain Club in Starksboro, Vermont

"All of our Park Rangers are trained in and practice the Leave No Trace principles, and we educate the public on these principles on a daily basis while we patrol the trails here in Austin, particularly when it comes to disposing of waste properly and leaving what you find." Michael Sledd from City of Austin Parks and Recreation in Austin, Texas

“Very early on in the development of our products and company, we knew we needed a partner to offer sound advice on outdoor ethics and campfire safety. Leave No Trace has helped us educate our customers on the value of stewardship and low impact camping.” Chris Weyandt from in Roseville, Minnesota

“As an outdoor retailer, adventure travel company, and outdoor skills course provider, with a mission focused on responsible outdoor recreation, our partnership with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is essential.  Working together, we are making a difference in preserving our outdoor spaces, both front and backcountry.  Any way we can support that, count us in.” Douglas Wagoner from Green Earth Outdoors in Georgetown, Indiana


Thanks again to all of our Community Partners! We truly value your support, generosity, and commitment to Leave No Trace!


Dec 04, 2013

Joshua Tree National Park is home to over 400 rock formations with 8,000 climbing routes; with all of the routes, this park has something for all ability levels. The rangers at the National Park Service recognize how important Joshua Tree is for climbers and make sure that they teach people to minimize their climbing impacts. With hundreds of climbers coming in every weekend the park has spent time and money focusing on building relationships with climbers, developing an open dialogue, and offering educational resources for climbers.


In order to promote the principles Respect Wildlife and Leave What You Find, Joshua Tree initiates educational efforts and management decisions to help preserve wildlife and cultural areas. Certain areas are closed to climbers for nesting raptors in order to ensure that the birds have a chance to thrive undisturbed. Find the current closures here. In order to project cultural sites, the park requires climbers to climb 50 feet away from all rock art and cultural sites. The park even covers up rock art with chalk to reduce the chance of people damaging them. Lastly, in order to reduce the impact that invasive species can have, the park uses volunteers and staff to manage the Sahara Mustard that is trying to spread through the park.

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Dispose of waste properly is important to educate climbers about and Joshua Tree does a great job promoting people to dispose of their human and trash waste properly. The park encourages climbers to use facilities if they are available, if not then climbers should urinate on a durable surface to reduce the chance of wildlife defoliating plants because they will dig into the soil for the salt deposited from our urine. If a climber needs to dispose of their solid human waste and they are away from a bathroom then they should dig a 4-6 inch hole in a sunny place 200 feet away from water, washes, trails, crags, or their backcountry camp. The park even mentions not burying toilet because wildlife will dig it up.


Don’t bust the crust and stay on designated trails is displayed on signage throughout the park. Side trials and destruction of Cryptobiotic Crust is always a problem in desert climbing areas, but Joshua tree uses a combination of well placed signage and educating climbers to minimize these destructive impacts.


Rangers minimize climbing specific impacts at Climber’s Coffee held at the Hidden Valley Campground every Friday and Saturday from October to May. Free coffee is provided for climbers and an open dialogue on climbing issues are discussed. Some of the issues addressed are proper bolting procedures, removal of tattered webbing, not leaving unattended top ropes, and not chipping the rock to create new holds.

We have been impressed by Joshua Tree National Park’s efforts to reduce climbers impacts and appreciate them hosting us at their Climbers Coffee event. 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 2013 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, The North Face, REI, Smartwool and Yakima.


Dec 02, 2013

We’ve all heard the saying, “If you don’t use it, you lose it”.  The valuable teaching techniques and skills learned in the 5-day Leave No Trace Master Educator Course are no exception.  This invaluable training is recognized and highly regarded throughout the world and the profile of graduates is extremely varied; from outdoor retail executives, school teachers, USFS and NPS backcountry rangers, to scout leaders, college outing club members, outfitters and guides.

Unless you're regularly teaching Trainer Courses or Awareness Workshops, it’s easy to fall out of practice in conveying important skills and ethics.  For this very reason, the Center has just created and released an Online Refresher Course for all Master Educators! Now Master Educators can “brush up” on their skills, administrative protocols, teaching techniques, etc. before stepping back into the classroom.


The Center will soon mandate the annual retaking of this assessment by Master Educators prior to their facilitating of Trainer Courses. If you’d like to view the online course for yourself, please see here:

Dec 02, 2013

Describe in 10 words a world without Leave No Trace: How will I explain this environmental degradation to my kids?


On one of our early adventure outings to document Abiqua Falls, a beautiful and remote waterfall in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, I had a wonderful conversation with a fellow visitor. He shared with me his concern that by providing a generation of tech-savvy adults with a snapshot of some of the most awe-inspiring natural places, along with the maps and tools they’ll need for their visit, the website would be promoting the degradation of the very places we’d like to protect. It was a conversation I’ve had many times with numerous people since then, and one I’d like to keep having.

Outdoor Project was founded with a belief that spending time outdoors is an integral part of the human experience, and by spending time outdoors we will have a deeper connection to our natural world and collectively will do more to protect it. Our platform on inspires people to get outside and explore the outdoors. We have engaging and comprehensive content on over 500 adventures and campgrounds in the Pacific Northwest, and that’s just the beginning!
It’s sometimes easy to forget the sheer number of people who are not aware of the concepts of Leave No Trace and the basic principles of Outdoor Ethics. We may also forget that when we enjoy something for ourselves, we run the risk of ignoring the fact that others want to have that same experience afforded to them. We have all found ourselves at some point in a pristine habitat only to encounter trash left by other visitors, or to be distracted by visitors who aren’t being considerate of the other people sharing the same place. And this is just one critical reason to be educated in the principles of Leave No Trace. As outdoor adventurers, we are only visitors to the places we go to explore, while many other creatures call it home, and as visitors it’s our responsibility to make sure we don’t leave our muddy footprints on the floors and dirty dishes in the sink, or make such a racket that we bother our hosts.

The seven principles of Leave No Trace are simple. With a little bit of time and minimal effort, anyone who wants to explore the outdoors can become equipped with the basics of outdoor ethics. On Outdoor Project, we are passionate about interweaving educational content with the adventures we cover. Our education section focuses on flora, fauna, and the human, natural and geological history of the places we’ve visited. As an Educational Partner of the Center, we incorporate the educational materials developed by the Center to ensure our visitors and members get access to the basic teachings of Leave No Trace.
This partnership with the Center is so essential to our business, and so exciting at the same time. We are eager to continue working to broaden the appeal for ethical exploration of our beautiful natural places.

     Jared Kennedy, Co-Founder and COO of Outdoor Project (