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Jul 20, 2015

Hornings Hideout, OR: In the practice of Leave No Trace we ask that you please leave what you find. To communicate this principle we utilize the maxim, "Take only pictures, leave only footprints." As Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers we are often in amazingly beautiful locations and find ourselves asking the question, "How do we take better pictures and capture the moments that inspire us to keep playing outside?" In order to bring you practical tips, as well as ways to improve your creative process surrounding photography, we caught up with Professional Photographer Woods Wheatcroft at the Northwest String Summit. He was on-site capturing a sustainable movement that is taken place at festivals nationwide - the transition to using Klean Kanteen reusable pint glasses over those infamous red plastic cups that in years past have sprout up like flowers after a desert rainstorm when the music grinds to a halt. Imagine the difference we could make if ever festival goer was required to drink with a reusable cup! Alas, we digress. Watch the interview to see what goes on behind the lens! To see beautiful photos click over to www.woodswheatcroft.com. Enjoy your world and please leave what you find.

"The still photo is still magic and there are still magicians that reach deep into the top hat and pull out rabbits. Woods Wheatcroft has the hat; he can bring the rabbit."

Behind The Lens: Interview With Pro Photographer Woods Wheatcroft

Sam: My Name is Sam I am a Subaru/ Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer and I am here with Woods Wheatcroft. Woods what do you do for a living? 

Woods: I am a Professional Photographer.

Sam: Nice.

Sam: Woods, if you could give people one piece of advice on taking great photos what would it be?

Woods: Shoot everything and you will eventually gravitate towards your interest. I feel like in my case I’ve gravitated towards the life I want to live. Which is an outdoor life. So the lifestyle photography that I shoot tends to be the life that I am living...it is the life that I’m living. I blur the lines between work and play. 

Sam: What is your favorite location you’ve ever shot photos at?

Woods: My Favorite location would probably have to be the Torres Del Paine down in Chile, but on a more consistent and frequent basis I love going to Death Valley. Death Valley’s incredible. Between the light and the circumstances it is almost like the absence of so much, gives so much. It's like a blank canvas and any idea can be played here or there and it’s wonderful. I like the desert a lot.

Sam: Ok. Chile and the Desert it is?

Woods: Yep.

Sam: What do you carry in your camera kit when go out to shoot photos?

Woods: I typically travel pretty light... I feel like it’s a light kit in terms of photographers. I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark III and I still love film, but I love instant film so I shoot with an old polaroid. And then I’m also shooting a little tiny Fuji Instax camera. It’s super fun. 

Sam: Oh Cool!

Woods: There is still the immediate gratification out there and with film it’s really fun! I’ve actually done it a lot at this festival. Take photos, give them to people. It’s wonderful.

Sam: Any tips for shooting compelling photo’s of people?

Woods: Um…sure, I love shooting people. It’s one of my favorite subjects. People offer so many dynamic, spontaneous opportunities. I try to steer my ship away from the predictability, the looking at the camera, the cheesy. I really like to get people in a creative circle and know that my circle is sort of established and as that breaks apart I do find those real moments within that. That to me is a compelling shot of a person. When they don’t really know they are being photographed.

Sam: How do you make people feel comfortable around a camera?

Woods: Tequila

Sam and Woods: (Laughing together)

Jenna: Woods you spend a lot of time in beautiful areas, why do you think it is important to practice Leave No Trace?

Woods: It feels like a no-brainer to me. It’s much easier for me to pick up something when I see it out there. From micro trash all the way to cleaning up hot springs. I’ve been doing that for years. I take trash bags into places where I know there’s going to be evidence of other people out there, but even in my own experiences I feel like it’s...

Jenna: You’re compelled to do it?

Woods: No, It’s… Yeah It’s easy.

Jenna: That’s great! Yeah it is easy.

Woods: It’s easy for me and it can be easy for everybody!

Jenna: Yeah I agree. Just trying to leave places better than you found them?

Woods: Always. 

Jenna: My name is Jenna and we’ve had a wonderful time chatting with woods, if you’d like to see more of his photography you can visit www.woodswheatcroft.com and he shoots for some really awesome brands like Patagonia, Ibex, Kavu and Klean Kanteen to name a few. He does some great work. Check him out!

Jenna: Thanks so much for hanging out with us we had a great time!

Woods: You bet, thank you! 

Jenna and Sam

Leave No Trace’s Jenna Hanger and Sam Ovett 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.

Jul 14, 2015

Savage River State Forest, MD—The devastating invasion of the Gypsy Moth is still apparent almost a decade after its fateful descent upon the majestic White and Red Oak of the Savage River State Forest. 

Invasive species have a detrimental effect on ecosystems across the world but are largely ignored until they hit close to home, destroying precious resources that in some cases we cannot get back.  Such was the case with the American Chestnut in the early 1900’s when an invasive fungal infection was accidentally introduced by imported Chinese Chestnut trees.  The result: billions of American Chestnuts were destroyed.  The U.S. Department of Interior has reported spending one hundred million dollars in a single year on invasive species prevention, eradication, and habitat restoration across the nation; and yet, the battle still rages on. Cost of invasive species--fact sheet

The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics believes that education and awareness is key to protecting our environment and this prevailing issue, to eradicate invasive species, is no different.

In the summers of 2006 and 2007, the Savage River State Forest was attacked with consecutive waves of Gypsy moths.  The moths swept through the area, leaving a wake of destruction that resulted in thousands of dead trees.    

Note the hundreds of barren trees in the distance--even after almost a decade of healing.

How the Maryland Department of Natural Resources reacted to such devastation was extremely clever.  The department decided that instead of cutting down the stately trees, they would commemorate the forest by turning the stumps of selected trees into totems symbolizing strength and wisdom.  The strength needed to stand tall against the invasion of the moths, and the wisdom we must garner so such fates do not happen again.  The battle in the old growth forests of Garrett County, MD will be remembered as visitors pose next to the oak carvings and read the plaques describing the battle.

This Bald Eagle, constructed from the remnants of a great Red Oak, is meant to symbolize strength and vigilance as it overlooks the Savage River State Forest.  Close by, a White Oak stands tall as a black bear watching over travelers who pass, as a reminder of the dangers that invasive species inflict and the role that we play in protecting our forest and the animals whom live there.  The black bear also represents one of the many wild treasures found in the forest that were affected by the gypsy moth invasion. 

The third, a familiar face to us all, is Smokey Bear.  The Forest Service mascot’s mission, to prevent forest fires, has been the longest running public service announcement, and one of the most widely recognized educational, campaigns in the history of the nation.

As outdoor enthusiasts, we all need to remember that while it may not be Smokey’s main objective, invasive species can be just as harmful and deadly to an ecosystem as a forest fire.

Stop the spread of invasive species and always remember to:

  • Use a boot brush to rid your shoes of any seeds, insects, etc. that might be trying to hitch a ride.  
  • Head to a carwash to clean your tires’ tread or your boats’ bottom before leaving the area.
  • ALWAYS use local firewood.

Go here for more tips and tricks to prevent invasive species from spreading.  If we each play a hand in fighting the invasives, then we, too, will stand tall.    

Katelyn Stutterheim and Blake Jackson

    

Leave No Trace’s Katelyn Stutterheim and Blake Jackson 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.

 
Jul 12, 2015

Cataract Canyon, UT: Overnight paddling on a river is one of the most relaxing and at the same time exciting trips one can take. Riding over rapids or through swift water is always an exhilarating challenge, yet the letting the current float you down stream to your next campsite can be so peaceful. River corridors definitely focus impacts on certain areas, which can be both tricky to minimize some of our impacts and at the same time convenient for preventing other impacts. Here are the top 5 ways to minimize you impacts on river corridors.

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1.     Do your homework: Know the rules and regulations of the area you are paddling in.

a.     Research the human waste disposal requirements to see if you should pack out solid human waste or dig a cathole. Check to see if liquid waste can be dumped directly into the water source (typically the flow has to be over 500cfs).

b.     Research what invasive species are in the area and how you can prevent their spread.

c.      Check to see if you can have a fire, if you need a fire pan, and if wood or driftwood collection is allowed.

d.     Be prepared to properly secure your food from animals and check to see if bears are active in the area. Check local leash laws and if dogs are allowed on the river corridor.

e.     Check to see if there are group size regulations and if you need a permit.

2.     Good campsites are found, not made: Choose sandy beaches or gravel bars for your campsites. If you are unable to find sand or gravel to camp on, find a previously used campsite and try to minimize spreading the boundaries (soil compaction makes up the extent of a site and plant life is the boundary line).

3.     Let nature’s sound prevail: Sound travel well over water. Avoid using stereos and keep a low profile when you paddle past a camp. Please allow others to have a true wilderness experience by respecting their time on the water.

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4.     Be a good paddling neighbor: Leave large campsites for larger groups and don’t send runners (one boat paddling ahead of the party to secure a campsite for that night). Sending a runner boat can cause parties to compete and rush their trip, which leads to unsafe paddling.  

5.     Keep a clean camp: Dispose of your solid waste properly and liquid waste properly. Make sure food doesn’t get left around for animals to find because it encourages habituation and attraction in the animal. Pack out all your trash and check for micro trash (small pieces of trash like the corner of a granola bar wrapper).

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

Pat and TJ - Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer West Central Team

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.

Jul 09, 2015

Albuquerque, NM: Meet Steph and Andy, the newest addition to the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers program. Leave No Trace is fortunate to have them join the team to bring their environmental science backgrounds, outdoor adventure backgrounds, guiding experiences, and teaching experiences. Steph and Andy will be taking the East Coast region, which stretches from Maine down to Florida. They will be right at home since they are native New Yorkers from the Huston Valley and will be able to relate their experiences growing up in the Adirondacks with all of their future groups in throughout the East.

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Steph and Andy are both avid rock climbers, love backcountry skiing, enjoy hiking, participate in both road and mountain biking, and have whitewater rafting experience. They grew up enjoying the mountains in the East and eventually moved to Salt Lake City to explore, ski, and climb the mountains in the West. They have guided clients down rapids and at crags, as well as worked at Snowbird Ski resort, Utah. They truly love the outdoors and have traveled throughout the world in search of adventures and new experiences.

Name: Steph Whatton

Region: Team East

Favorite Outdoor Activity: Backcountry Skiing

Favorite of the Seven Principles: Respect Wildlife

Fun Fact: She spent the whole summer of 2011 backpacking across Europe (7 countries total)

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Name: Andy Mossey

Region: Team East

Favorite Outdoor Activity: Rock Climbing

Favorite of the Seven Principles: Plan Ahead and Prepare

Fun Fact: Loves to talk in accents

If you live out East and are interested in having a free educational program facilitated by these two, fill out an event request.

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

Pat and TJ - Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer West Central Team

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.

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