News & Updates

Leave No Trace Expands Gold Standard Designation

Erin Collier - February 22, 2024

Leave No Trace is expanding our Gold Standard designation program.

Gold Standard has long been our highest form of recognition for parks and protected areas. With this expansion, programs, youth serving organizations, and outfitters and guides will also be able to work toward that same recognition.

Based on the Leave No Trace Assessment, Gold Standard provides a framework for developing in depth Leave No Trace programming and education. Completing the work required to achieve the designation builds a well developed Leave No Trace educational program that can result in more informed visitors, less recreation related impacts, reduced search and rescue needs, and more resilient parks and protected areas. 

Take a look at the new designation areas. 

Gold Standard Outfitters and Guides

The Gold Standard Outfitter & Guide designation is for outfitters, guides, and anyone leading trips into the outdoors in an official capacity. With many outfitters and guides as longstanding Community Partners, it is our hope that this designation acts as a new resources for these important partners. 


The Gold Standard Program designation is for organizations managing or assisting in outdoor recreation or education work such as Friends Groups, trail organizations, ambassador programs, conservancies, etc. We have even designated our first Gold Standard Program, the Grand County Trail Ambassadors. 

Youth Program

The Gold Standard Youth Program designation is for youth serving organizations such as camps, school programs, etc. This is an updated version of our youth program accreditation and part of our larger Leave No Trace for Every Kid initiative, providing tools for teaching youth Leave No Trace.

You can learn more about the new designation and the existing Gold Standard Site designation for parks and protected areas here or reach out to [email protected] with questions. Leave No Trace is excited to expand this successful program and bring our resources to even more organizations.

Let’s protect and enjoy our natural world together

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