Leave No Trace in Every Park

Raft right this summer

Boulder, Colorado: It’s another scorching summer, and that local lazy river is looking pretty nice right now. But before you head to the creek with your floats and your friends, here are a few things to keep in mind… Map the route: Plan a route and locate a few existing, durable trails that lead to the water. By knowing the area, you can find exit routes that avoid stepping on creekside plants and further eroding stream banks. Check to see if you’re passing through residential areas or past busy trails, and keep the volume down along the...

Wilderness Words: Humus

Littleton, CO: Let's talk about humus. Humus is the dark organic material in fertile soils, full of microbes that can break down human waste. It's the perfect environment if you need to dig a cathole. Hummus, on the other hand, is a Middle Eastern chickpea spread. It's not the right environment for digging a cathole. Learn more about the difference between humus and hummus in the video below. Leave No Trace's Joe Besl and Joe Creaghead are part of the 2018 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free, mobile education to...

In praise of Colorado 13ers

Westcliffe, CO : 14ers are a point of pride in Colorado, for better and for worse. These 14,000+ peaks set the state apart, and nearly every resident can tell you how many they’ve hiked. The most difficult peaks call for serious mountaineering skills, but even relatively accessible 14ers require lung-busting climbs. It's Colorado credibility. But as the state’s population grows, these peaks are getting loved to death. There are only 54 to 58 14ers ( depending on who you ask ) , meaning all aspiring peakbaggers direct their attention to the same limited number of...

3 Tips for Protecting Sea Turtles

Hampton, VA: Going to the beach this summer? You may not know it, but the months of May through early October are prime sea turtle nesting season in North America. Right now, there may be a mama turtle laying a nest of over 100 little eggs on a beach near you. Check out our video and blog below for three easy things you can do to help protect these beautiful creatures! Tip #1: Pack up your stuff and throw away trash - It's easy for your things to get away from you on a windy day on the beach, and it might seem convenient to leave your beach chair or sun shade out on the sand...

What are we even doing here? A reflection on the value of Leave No Trace

Lansing, Michigan - Folks frequently raise various issues when we introduce them to what we do with Leave No Trace: “Shouldn’t you be trying to eliminate plastic?” “Residents of Flint don’t have access to clean drinking water.” “What are you doing about the opening of our public lands to extraction?” As an environmental ethics organization, the wide variety of environmental ethics issues are laid at our feet, many of which are serious and urgent issues. We respond by acknowledging the importance of dealing with single-use plastics, addressing social injustice, preserving public land for...

Kanarra in the Coal Mine

KANAB, UTAH-- The Joes started the year in Southern Utah, which seemed like another planet compared to our Midwestern roots. Slot canyons are wild, y’all! Immediately after hiking part of Buckskin Gulch, we stopped at a Kanab coffeeshop, picked up a copy of The Southern Utah Independent , and saw a story that caught our eyes. Local land managers had imposed fees on a similar slot canyon just 50 miles northwest. Why? Human waste! According to the SU Independent , Kanarra Falls Canyon has seen a significant uptick in users with an equivalent increase in impacts,...

Skills Series: Grey Water Disposal

Pocahontas State Park, Virginia: When camping, we produce wastewater, or “grey water,” whenever we wash ourselves or our clothing, clean our dishes or brush our teeth. Check out our video to learn more about how you can protect your favorite camping areas by properly disposing your grey water: Improper grey water disposal can pollute streams, harm wildlife and diminish other visitors’ experiences, so it’s important to learn how to deal with it properly. Even biodegradable soap can linger a long time in streams and lakes, and the food scraps from dirty dish water can attract wildlife, who...

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 suppression costs up...

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...

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