As part of a national campaign to establish a Leave No Trace outdoor ethic across the country, 12 diverse sites are chosen to set Leave No Trace in Every Park into motion.
January 30, 2015 (Boulder, Colo.) With millions visiting the outdoors, never before has there been such a need for Leave No Trace education. In response, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics has just selected 12 scenic and popular sites as “Hot Spots.” Hot Spots are areas that have experienced visitor-created impacts including excessive trash, damage to vegetation and trees, trail erosion, and disturbance to wildlife. These Hot Spots, part of Leave No Trace’s new, multi-year campaign called Leave No Trace in Every Park, will bring Leave No Trace to life with education and outreach programs that work to turn the tide on long-term damage to nature.
Leave No Trace Hot Spots raise community awareness and bring solutions to popular natural areas around the country facing heavy recreational use and, consequently, the threat of harm to parks, forests and protected areas. The Center’s education team supports the program, as does its Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers who will visit each of the 12 sites to provide training programs, service projects and general education about how people can reduce impacts while enjoying our nation's shared outdoor places.
“We look at the cumulative effect of recreational use. The bottom line is that our favorite outdoor spaces are impacted over time,” according to Ben Lawhon, Leave No Trace’s Education Director. “In most cases, the land impact is not due to a malicious intent to harm nature and wildlife. Instead, it’s simply the lack of information and Leave No Trace education.”
In late 2014, the Center received 83 nominations for Hot Spots, and has selected 12 geographically and ecologically diverse sites, nationwide. Volunteers will participate in community based projects in their parks, and the Center will engage with partners and friends’ groups around the nation to begin activating Leave No Trace in communities far and wide.
According to U.S. Forest Service’s Stacy Duke, “The Leave No Trace Hot Spot program was an excellent service provided to the Hoosier National Forest in 2014. The program was very well organized and highly beneficial in supporting the Forest’s efforts in mitigating user impacts.”
The slate of 2015 Leave No Trace Hot Spots are:
1. Saguaro National Park, Tucson, AZ (February 2nd-9th)
2. Travis County Parks, Austin, TX (March 23rd-30th)
3. Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County, CA (April 6th-13th)
4. Tillamook State Forest, Wilson River Corridor, Tillamook, OR (June 1st-8th)
5. Mt Bierstadt, Arapahoe/Roosevelt and Pike National Forests, CO (July 13th-20th)
6. Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area, Huron-Manistee National Forest, MI (August 10th-17th)
7. Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, Pisgah National Forest, Nebo, NC (August 24th-30th)
8. Mount St Helens National Volcanic Monument, Castle Rock, WA (August 31st-September 7th)
9. McAfee Knob, Appalachian Trail, Roanoke County, VA (September 23rd-30th)
10. Ventana Wilderness, Los Padres National Forest, Monterey County, CA (October 5th-12th)
11. Pinnancle Mountain State Park, Little Rock, AR (October 5th-12th)
12. The Bayou Teche Water Trail, Arnaudvile, LA (October 26th -November 2nd)
The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics will provide information about each Hot Spot, as well as opportunities to get involved at www.LNT.org.
About Leave No Trace
The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics in a national nonprofit organization that protects the outdoors by teaching people how to enjoy it responsibly. Leave No Trace in Every Park is the Center’s new, multi-year campaign that incorporates Leave No Trace programs and educational opportunities across the country. Leave No Trace in Every Park takes many forms from interpretive materials, staff and volunteer training, public education initiatives, onsite signs, junior ranger programs, Leave No Trace Hot Spots, Demonstration Sites and more.