Sample Frontcountry Programs


As the inaugural site for the Leave No Trace Frontcountry Program, City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks(OSMP) lands were an ideal setting for an education program. OSMP manages 40,000 acres of land and 130 miles of trails in a semi-arid high plain and forested foothill environment. Visits to OSMP lands number 3.5 million, the majority of which are frequent visitors (defined as one to seven visits weekly). The top management concerns faced by OSMP land managers include: dog waste, dog management, off-trail hiking, litter, user conflicts, and picked herbs/flowers/berries.

Leave No Trace program educational treatments include: distribution of educational brochures, development of a volunteer ranger program, posting of information on trailhead kiosks, placing of uniquely shaped signs along trails and posting staff at Leave No Trace information tables at popular trailheads. The local access cable channel and area newspapers also carried information about the Leave No Trace on Open Space program.

Research on the program's success revealed two key points: 1) There was a 17% increase in awareness of the Leave No Trace program during the first three months of the program (education programs considered successful demonstrate an 8% increase in awareness). 2) Behavioral studies showed an 85% compliance with the Leave No Trace on Open Space principles. Overall, the program has been proven extremely successful and is being expanded system wide on OSMP lands.


This Bureau of Land Management (BLM) site is a world class rock climbing destination on the outskirts of Las Vegas. The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (RRCNCA) is comprised of 197,000 acres in the Mojave Desert. Over 1.1 million visitors come to climb, hike, bike and sightsee in the area with its dramatic sandstone and limestone rock formations, Joshua trees, yucca plants and endangered desert tortoises. Top management and visitor concerns include: rock climbing impacts, dog waste, dog management, trail conflict, litter, and flower picking.

Leave No Trace information was developed to address these topics and will be distributed in a number of ways including: via climbing rangers and volunteers, at the entrance fee booth, and at the visitors' center. BLM rangers will assess the results of the program as it is implemented.


The Animas River Trail runs through the heart of Durango and serves as a recreation outlet and commuter trail for the town. The trail is located in a riparian zone surrounded by arid and semi-arid high desert. Top management and visitor concerns include: trespassing on adjacent private lands, river and trail use conflict, dog waste, dog management and social trail development.

An educational program developed to address these concerns involves: two types of large posters (4 feet by four feet), trailhead contacts and brochures. 

The results of the educational initiative will be formally assessed through on-site surveys, observational data and physical measurements. At this time, the Animas River Trail educational initiative is underway and scientific assessment is ongoing.


The C&O Canal NHP is an urban recreation outlet that starts in Georgetown and runs 180 miles north along the Potomac River through DC, MD, VA, and WV. The environment is a riparian zone in an eastern hardwood, deciduous forest. The southern terminus of the trail and the park is decidedly urban with management issues including: visitor safety, user conflicts, graffiti, litter, dog waste and social trail development.

The C&O Canal NHP is unique in that it is a "Trash Free Park" that contains no trashcans. In lieu of rubbish bins, the park provides small, recycled plastic bags that assist visitors in taking their litter home with them. This program has successfully reduced litter in the park by approximately 75%, but poses some issues for the proper disposal of dog waste.

At this time, Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and the National Park Service are working together to craft language and a waste disposal program to address these concerns. With the help of a federal grant, implementation of the Leave No Trace program for C&O Canal will likely involve a general brochure, trailhead signs, a proposed volunteer education program and site improvements. Park Service personnel will assess results as the program is implemented.


This suburban Denver greenway is a heavily visited site with great potential as a Leave No Trace Frontcountry site. With a patchwork of land ownership including Douglas County Division of Parks and Trails, the Town of Parker, and Cherry Creek State Park, the challenge is to implement an education program to be supported by all management bodies. Current management issues along the Cherry Creek Greenway include: litter, social trail development, trail conflict and vandalism. As a potential Frontcountry site, the Greenway offers a great opportunity for Leave No Trace education to reach yet another audience in a diverse setting.