Hot Spot - Delta National Forest, MS

The Delta National Forest is experiencing severe impacts from outdoor activities. As one of the 2018 Leave No Trace Hot Spots this protected area will receive a site-specific blend of targeted training, expert consulting, education programs, and service projects to help this threatened area on its road to recovery. 

The Delta National Forest in Sharkey County Mississippi is home to a large bottomland hardwood forest, seasonally flooded timber and small swamps that drain into the Big and Little Sunflower Rivers. It is the only national forest composed of bottomland hardwood forest in the country. This ecosystem is dependent on flooding and considered a forested wetland. Delta National Forest is a popular destination for camping, hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing. The primary impacts come from hunters using ATVs or UTVs. Hunters utilize the forest's motorized trail system for easy access to various parts of 60,000 plus acre forest. The result of this usage is the pollution of and damage to riparian areas and the detrimental erosion and widening of motorized trails. 

The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is teaming up with US Forest Service staff from the Delta National Forest to execute a week of targeted training, education programs and service work with agency staff, key stakeholders and members of the local community. The overall goal of these efforts are the long-term improvement of resource conditions, increased awareness of impacts in the forest, elevated Leave No Trace programs within agency management plans and increased use of Leave No Trace skills and ethics by the visiting public. This week of action based events is just one step in helping the Delta National Forest on its road to recovery.