In The News

Leave No Trace in the news.

#OptOutside this Friday

Overland Park, KS: Each year, half of Americans don’t experience the outdoors at all. No fishing or hiking. No climbing or biking. No paddling around the lake and no picnics at the park. Yikes! That alarming stat comes from our friends (and partners) at REI, who are hoping to change our increasingly indoor culture with their #OptOutside initiative , which returns November 23. Somehow, the day after Thanksgiving became a consumer free-for-all, where Americans flock to the stores instead of the outdoors. But REI will again shut its doors on Black Friday, encouraging its...

Under Fire

What the California Wildfires Say About Leave No Trace Education As this is being written, it has been reported that the 59th person has perished at the raging hand of California’s Camp Fire. The Camp Fire of Butte County in Northern California, which has scorched 140,000 acres and leveled nearly 9,000 homes as of Monday morning, got its name, consequently, for its positioning near a road named Camp Creek, not because it was started from a camp fire. As fires rip through California today, however, it is impossible not to reflect upon the state of wildfires in the United States. Not all...

Happy birthday, Teddy Roosevelt!

Bryce Canyon, UT: Ever been to the Grand Canyon? How about Yosemite, Devils Tower or Crater Lake? If you appreciate these American all-stars, you can thank Teddy Roosevelt. While president from 1901-1909, Roosevelt designated nearly 230 million acres as public land, including part or all of the parks above, plus other gems like Wind Cave, Mesa Verde, Muir Woods, Petrified Forest and the United States Forest Service. Today, Roosevelt’s conservation legacy lives on across the nation’s public lands. His birthplace in New York City is a National Historic Site, he has an...

Anatomy of a Successful Hot Spot

Aspen, CO: Imagine a cross between a frat party and a Phish concert. Now drop that scene onto a high alpine basin with a small hot springs pool and you’ve got an idea of the trouble that was facing Conundrum Hot Springs until recently. Trash, discarded clothing, exposed piles of human waste (yup, poop), loud groups and music playing on speakers, vegetation damage from trampling and firewood gathering, human-wildlife conflicts, and safety risks to unprepared hikers marred the wilderness character of this otherwise idyllic spot high in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness...

Researchers Discover Traces of Pharmaceuticals and Other Contaminants in Colorado Backcountry Lakes

Denver, CO: Researchers from the United States Geological Survey in Colorado published new findings detailing the discovery of pharmaceuticals, hormones, pesticides, and other contaminants in both remote and accessible lakes of Rocky Mountain National Park. Common contaminants detected from water samples in this study were caffeine, camphor, para-cresol, and even DEET (the active ingredient in many insect repellents). While some of the contaminants discovered can be attributed to naturally occurring sources, other traces of pharmaceuticals, including oxycodone, are clearly a result of human...

Google Earth Highlights Leave No Trace Research

Boulder, Colorado: The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics has partnered with technology giant Google to showcase the Center’s research efforts in Denali, Grand Teton and Yosemite National Parks. View the interactive story on Google Earth. “It’s incredibly exciting that Google is putting this spotlight on Leave No Trace,” says Dana Watts, the Center’s Executive Director. “Our story provides a stunning representation of the ways that our research teams are partnering with national parks to help improve visitor experience and protect natural resources.” The Leave No Trace story...

Leave No Trace Will Team with Google and Access Fund at Summer Outdoor Retailer Show

Denver, Colorado: The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is joining forces with technology giant Google for the Summer Show at Outdoor Retailer , North America’s largest trade show for the outdoor industry. The Access Fund will also be joining the party —both non-profits are based in Boulder, Colorado. Each organization will debut an original storytelling project on Google Earth , which combines high-resolution maps and dynamic flyover views with videos, still photography and text. Presentations and gear giveaways to benefit both non-profits will be held daily at their shared space...

Leave No Trace: The Movie and the Movement

Boulder, Colorado: Recently, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics staff ventured away from our desks to catch a matinee showing of a film with the familiar-sounding title. Leave No Trace the movie is a compelling story in which Ben Foster and Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie play a father and daughter living in self-imposed exile, camping and foraging on the outskirts of civilization. Living in a tent and keeping quiet in the woods—how could a summer movie be better aligned with the Leave No Trace movement and the Center’s work, right? Actually, that’s not quite...

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,...

Leave No Trace Launches Citizen Science Monitoring Program

Boulder, Colorado: Citizen science is a popular movement that allows people from all walks of life to help advance scientific research by collecting and sharing data. The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics recently announced a new citizen science pilot project, scheduled for this summer. A grant from the U.S. Forest Service will help fund the project in Colorado’s White River National Forest. The Conundrum Hot Springs area, near Aspen, Colorado, will be one of the focus areas for Leave No Trace's citizen science monitoring pilot project this...

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