Leave No Trace in Every Park

Fees vs. Taxes: Feed the Iron Ranger

Loma Mar, California : Ever hiked right past that “Iron Ranger,” one of those tamper-resistant fee boxes found at a day-use area, trailhead, or campground, and thought, “I pay my taxes, don’t I?” It’s true that tax revenues help fund our public lands, but as a percentage of the federal budget, we’re not talking about a lot of your tax money. Let’s say your family paid $7,000 in federal taxes last year. According to our modest calculations, [1] you’ll have contributed $5.38 toward the National Parks’ budget and $8.49 toward the U.S. Forest Service budget. And, with wildfire...

How to Bring Leave No Trace to Your Community

Tucscon, AZ: We've been on the road for 10 months now, and often, folks just can't get enough of Leave No Trace. Once they see how effective Leave No Trace can be, they want Leave No Trace programming to come to their organization or local park. Ever wondered how to get Leave No Trace education into your community? Here are three ways to help share the Leave No Trace love: Bring in the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers Here at the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, we have four teams of two that travel the country specifically teaching Leave No Trace...

Eastern Hot Spot Excitement

Paradise Valley, AZ: 2018's Hot Spot program is in full swing! Our Hot Spot program identifies areas suffering from the severe impacts of outdoor activities - areas we believe can thrive again, by implementing Leave No Trace solutions. Each location receives a unique blend of educational programs, service projects, follow-up programs, and more. The result? Areas on the road to a healthy and sustainable recovery! We've chosen 20 Hot Spots for 2018, but we of Team East Central are particularly excited about one in particular: We know you were looking forward...

Parks are Taking Action to Protect Vital Resources

Ocala National Forest, FL: Trash is an eyesore when hitting the trails! While on the road, we have observed (and picked up) our fair share of other peoples throw away items. Our favorite trails, and public spaces don’t always have to look like a rubbish bin however. In fact, in Juniper Springs Recreation Area land managers have prohibited single use, disposable items on the popular Juniper Springs Run; and guess what? It works! This pristine paddle enters protected wilderness and is a very unique ecosystem with a gorgeous subtropical climate. It is because of these...

Successes, Great and Small

Page, AZ : So it's February. You've had a month to settle in to your New Year's Resolutions - and while they could be going great, some of us have inevitably done a bit of backsliding over the last month. Life has a way of getting in the way, and when you don't have the time you hoped you'd have, it's easiest to let the new things slide. It can be hard to feel unable to do as well as you'd like to at a new habit, whatever you're trying to do. But we're going to let you in on a little secret that's helped us out a lot: You don't have to be perfect. It's so...

Beachcombing, Leave No Trace Style

Pensacola Beach, FL : January gave us the opportunity to be on the beach for a while, and we've discovered that the beach in winter is one of our favorite places to be. While we traded in our bathing suits and sandals for puffy coats and trail runners, by making sure to Plan Ahead and Prepare , we were able to go at a time when we had the beaches mostly to ourselves. As our favorite activity is beachcombing - examining everything that's been washed ashore - we thought we'd show off some beachcombing Leave No Trace style, that can be practiced no...

Three Things You’ll Be Glad You Didn’t Forget on Your Next Winter Outing

Saranac Lake, NY: It’s the middle of a cold winter in much of the country. Here in New York, we have experienced mind-numbing cold, almost too cold to get outdoors while witnessing extreme temperatures down to -25ºF. With temperatures like these, planning ahead for winter outings is no joke, and a failure in the planning process has the potential to result in serious safety issues. To aid in your wintertime outings, here are three essential cold weather tips for your next pre-trip planning session. A Thermos of Hot Tea – Beyond warm clothing and planning for...

Protecting the Most Photographed Spot on the Appalachian Trail

Eugene, OR: When we think of the Appalachian Trail, we think of high adventure, green mountain vistas - and, of course, McAfee Knob. A Leave No Trace Hot Spot in 2015, McAfee Knob is beloved by thru-hikers and day hikers alike, all of them making the four-mile trek from Virginia Highway 311 - and some heading the four miles back to the trailhead parking lot - just to snap that picture of them and that iconic view. As a part of our Hot Spot Revisit program, a pair of Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers went back to McAfee Knob this year, and brought back some tips on how...

Take Me to the Beach

Oregon Inlet, NC: Hurricane season is here with a force this year. Unprecedented energies have pummeled coastal environments in the southern United States and secluded islands of the Atlantic. These storms, so devastating to locals and the environment, significantly alter the lay of the land. With each storm surge and the flooding which follows, coastal ecosystems are proving their vital role in aiding to protect people, homes, and shoreline habitats. Sand dunes are most effective barriers from winds and flooding when left intact. Footprints, although small individually,...

Mad About Our Latest Hot Spot

Wytheville, VA: There's a fair amount of indoor climbing in central Ohio - but what about outdoor climbing? The dolemite cliffs along the Mad River just outside of Springfield have been an illicit climbing spot for the last two decades, but they are illicit no more. About 40 acres on the south side of the river have been turned into the Mad River Gorge and Nature Preserve, and the Clark County Parks District has plans to add about 60 acres to the property. Team East Central recently conducted a Hot Spot in the area, and found a budding community of climbers, locals, and land...

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