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Jan 16, 2014

Muir Woods National Monument is a natural escape from the fast-based life and concrete jungle of Oakland and San Francisco, California. In the early 1900s, William and Elizabeth Kent owned what is now Muir Woods and sold the land to the federal government in order to protect it for future generations to enjoy. The Kents also wanted it to be named after John Muir for his activism and promotion of Wilderness. President Theodore Roosevelt designated it a National Monument on January 9, 1909. In December we traveled to Muir Woods National Monument and walked the boardwalk trail through the massive redwoods. As we walked along the boardwalk we noticed signs promoting Muir Woods as a natural sound scape. The signs reminded us to keep our voices down and preserve the quiet environment.


Not only is Muir Woods stunning visually, but also another intention of the area is to provide people with a chance to hear and experience nature’s sounds. The sound of birds, wind rusting branches, and the flowing creek abound as you walk through the forest. Protecting natural sounds for people falls under the Leave No Trace principle, Be Considerate to Others. Research has been conducted on Muir Woods and the promotion of natural sound scales.


According to Pilcher, Newman & Manning (2009) the National Park Service has been studying how different sounds inhibit people’s recreational experience for over 20 years.  Natural quiet is a protected resource according to the Park Service and is protected in various initiatives through legislation and education. The 1972 Noise Control Act was enacted to decrease the noise pollution caused at construction sites in parks. The 1987 National Parks Overflight Act developed management and assessment of the impacts that planes have on visitors as they fly over National Parks. Under the 1987 National Parks Overflight Act, Grand Canyon National Park is was able to receive the attention to the flight noise pollution it was receiving.  

Protecting and preserving natural sounds is integral to providing a natural experience. Thanks to the management plan of the National Park Service, heavily visited areas, like Muir Woods can still provide natural sound for its’ visitors.

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 2014 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.

E. Pilcher, P. Newman, & R. Manning. (2009). Understanding and Managing Experiential Aspects of Soundscapes at Muir Woods National Monument. Environmental Management. 43:425–435.

Dec 29, 2013

Many Leave No Trace members have told the Center that programs for kids are the most important aspect of Leave No Trace’s work.  After taking a hard look at the Centers programing, it has been identified that programing for youth, needs to be increased in order to fulfill the requests we receive for youth programing. 

To answer this demand, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics has created a new fund.  The Next Generation Fund was created simply to help educate more kindergarten through 8th graders about Leave no Trace ethics. 

Did you know:

  1. Requests for on-the-ground Leave No Trace programs for kids are at a record high.
  2. 90% of requests for Leave No Trace programs, a majority for kids, are declined because of limited resources.
  3. The Center has new kindergarden-8th grade programs in the works to support teachers and youth educators in their classrooms.  But we need to get those programs into their hands

Funds collected for The Next Generation Fund will help the Center obtain the resources to:

  • Train up to 25,000 more kids in 2014.
  • Provide hands-on training for teachers in the schools we visit.
  • Reach kids in 48 states with 45 minute to 2 hour Leave No Trace       workshops.
  • Introduce free, Leave No Trace activities for teachers to use in the classroom.

It costs $2 to provide a Leave No Trace program for one child.  The Center is working with members and other supporters to raise $50,000 by December 31st, 2014. 

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If you are interested in becoming more involved, please don’t hesitate to make a donation to the Next Generation Fund today.

Dec 19, 2013

Answer:  Yes!  We have found that the most impactful place to introduce Leave No Trace to folks is at an event taking place in your own community.   While the Center is located in Colorado, we have worked hard to ensure a Leave No Trace presence in local communities across the country.  Using our Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer program, our State Advocate program, and local Master Educators, Leave No Trace outreach and education is at your fingertips.


The Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer program is our main arm of outreach, delivering mobile education to millions in 48 states.  The Traveling Trainers travel coast to coast, camp 200 nights a year, and offer free Leave No Trace programs for all ages and user groups.  Their schedule is determined by our supporting partners, by grants we’ve received, and by requests from YOU.  We hope you use the link above and invite us to your community.

Our team of State Advocates coordinate outreach, build alliances and provide education and training in their states. Your State Advocate is your first line of contact if you want to get involved, volunteer, schedule a training or find out about Leave No Trace events locally.  If the Traveling Trainers can’t make it to your requested event, your State Advocate will be the first place you are referred.  Don’t hesitate to reach out to your Advocate as a strong, local Leave No Trace resource.

Our highest level of Leave No Trace training results in what we call a Master Educator.  Master Educators are eligible to conduct both Trainer Courses and Awareness Workshops, which are designed for the general public to learn, practice and promote Leave No Trace.  There are currently over 6,000 Master Educators across the country and the ones listed on our website have requested to be posted as a local resource for folks in their community seeking training or outreach support.  Check out our Get Involved page and select your state to find Master Educators near you.

Through targeted education, research and outreach, the Center seeks to ensure the long-term health of our natural world.  We look forward to bringing Leave No Trace to your community!



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!