Seven Principles

Forces of Nature

Stewards of natural resources and nature, the Natural Lands Trust in Pennsylvania owns 40 properties with 21,000 acres as well as conservation easements on more than 19,000 acres. How do they save land, steward natural resources, and connect with nature? They manage it through volunteers in their Force of Nature program and high quality professional staff, of course. This weekend, the Leave No Trace e-tour team stopped in for two different training sessions with these groups to talk about the principles of Leave No Trace, how to apply them in frontcountry settings, and the ways to approach...

What have you found lately?

Removing natural objects of beauty or interest is both a social and an ecological impact. In other areas, like National Parks, it is illegal to remove them. Leave the gift of the discovery for the next person and the important nutrients, within this skull for example, behind for the many creatures who depend on these finds for their diet. Share your outdoor ethic with someone on your next adventure and show them one of the many ways we can still capture memories of the cool things we see and Leave What You Find . Can you identify this skull? It was found in the Colorado Rockies. Recreate your...

It is what YOU make it.

On the trails, Utah. Today, mountain biking is one of the most popular forms of trail recreation. Responsible riding is essential to preserve the experiences you work so hard to get to and keep safe along the way. The International Mountain Bicycling Association ( IMBA ) formed to encourage low-impact riding, volunteer trailwork participation, cooperation among different trail user groups, grassroots advocacy and innovative trail management solutions. IMBA also created a standard code of mountain biker conduct, these six Rules of the Trail, recognized around the world are: 1. Ride OPEN trails...

Mines & Pines

In an area once dominated by mine pits, the Leave No Trace e-tour team visited with an inspired and inspiring group of high school students to talk about Leave No Trace, protecting the outdoors, and really making an impact in your community. Along with the S.A.L.T., or Service Adventure Learning Team, from Crosby-Ironton High Shool, we headed out on a "Mines & Pines" event where we camped, talked about issues the students cared about, and got to enjoy some great outdoor recreation. Not content to simply master the skills of Leave No Trace, these students approach both their peers at...

One of 10,000

Bears were on the loose In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, the Leave No Trace e-tour set up on just one lake this Monday -- Lake Bemidji. Visiting a beautiful town, the First City on the Mississippi, we got a chance to go to Lake Bemidji State Park to work with a stellar group of high school students. They were joining us from Voyageurs Expeditionary High School in town, a cool school where some of these students will later this year have the opportunity to take the Leave No Trace knowledge and skills they learned on Monday with them on trips to the Badlands of the Dakotas as well as Florida! Each...

Minnesota Summertime

A Minnesota Sunset While the e-tour rolls into Minnesota and the start of summer there, which can mean only one thing -- flat water canoeing. Canoeing is a great way to enjoy the lakes region of the U.S. and Canada, so if you're packing up and heading out to a chain of lakes this summer, here are a few Leave No Trace tips for your paddling: Wear great boots -- Trails between lakes are, because of the fact that they go between lakes, much more likely to be muddy than usual trails. So make sure you have great boots so you can tromp right through that mud and protect the vegetation and...

Open Places are Great Spaces

Little Missouri River in Theodore Roosevelt National Park The e-tour has made it to the Dakotas! Over the past 48 hours, we have traveled from Nebraska to South Dakota to the northern reaches of North Dakota, arriving in Minot today for a couple days of training. It's been a perfect way to experience National Parks Week , as we have been lucky enough to stop in two different National Parks in the Dakotas -- Wind Cave and Theodore Roosevelt National Parks . These treasures of the prairies, Black Hills, and badlands highlight both unique geology and incredible wildlife. One of the coolest...

Skills-Propane/Natural Gas Canister Disposal

Spring is in the air; time to start planning trips, sorting gear, and possibly, replacing old equipment. But what are you supposed to do with those old, empty (and partially full) gas canisters for your stove? It's not always as easy as tossing it into the trash. Here are some things to know when disposing of old gas canisters: Most fuel canisters are steel and can be recycled along with your Dr Pepper cans. Just burn off any residual fuel and puncture empty canisters before recycling. Crushing empty cans with big rocks seems to work well. Note: Make sure canister is completely empty...

Responses for the April Situation

Here’s the Situation: While camped in an area that does not allow collection of wood for fuel, you notice people a few campsites over dragging large logs to their fire ring. It's getting dark and the temperature is dropping, but the campsite host that typically sells firewood isn't around and the wood is locked up. While driving in, you noticed another campsite host a few miles up the road. What do you do? What you said: Head over to their campsite, introduce myself, invite them to hang out with us at our campsite without a fire, but good company. Maybe get into talking about...

And the Crowd Goes Wild!

Have you ever witnessed a user created shortcut along trail switchbacks? While these additional trails may look harmless, unnecessary erosion occurs, thereby damaging the actual trail. In addition, vegetation alongside the trail, which may be home to sensitive wildlife habitats including plants and animals, gets trampled as the trail is widened. Leave No Trace recommends to avoid cutting trail switchbacks as you travel along the established trail. Going up! The trail goes to the right, the shortcut to the left. Leave No Trace is your one stop shop to learn more about why it is important to...

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