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Between 1965 and 1980, backcountry visits jumped from 4 million visitor days per year to 10 million per year. (A visitor day is a 12 hour stay by one person.) In 1984 the number grew to 15 million visitor days up 275 percent in less than 20 years. The numbers of backcountry (and frontcountry) visitors continue to grow at a fast pace. As cities grow and populations encroach upon wildlands and recreation areas, we must do more than just pick up litter and extinguish campfires; we must learn how to maintain the integrity and character of the outdoors for all living things. However, Leave No Trace is not simply a program for visiting the backcountry, it is a way of life, and learning Leave No Trace concepts begins at home.
The knowledge and concepts enabling visitors to Leave No Trace are easily taught both before and during outings. With a little preparation, you can teach people the value of our reviving natural areas and methods to preserve them for future generations.