Leave No Trace History and Programs

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The Mission of The Center The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics teaches people how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly. The Center achieves its mission through education, research, partnerships and volunteerism.

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History

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Leave No Trace Program Roots The Leave No Trace program originated in backcountry and federally-designated Wilderness areas in the 1960’s, following the passage of the Wilderness Act in1964. In the 1970’s, the federal agencies began to develop educational brochures. The program was slogan-based, with little national leadership or inter-agency coordination. Early names for the program included: Wilderness Manners, Wilderness Ethics, Minimum-Impact Camping and No-Trace Camping.

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Leave No Trace Program Development In the 1980’s the “No Trace” program was developed by the U.S. Forest Service wilderness managers as a humanistic approach for wilderness ethics and low impact hiking and camping practices. Leave No Trace was selected as the name for an expanded national program by the early 1990’s; partnership formed with four land management agencies and the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). NOLS taught the first “Master Educator Course” in the Wind River Range in 1991 and helped develop education and training materials.

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Leave No Trace Early nonprofit In 1993 there was an Outdoor Recreation Summit in D.C., which recommended the creation of a nonprofit called Leave No Trace, Inc., with national headquarters in Boulder, CO. In 1994, Leave No Trace, Inc., the nonprofit, was created to guide development, establish partnerships, distribute educational materials and conduct fundraising.

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Today

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Leave No Trace Nonprofit In 2003, Leave No Trace Inc. became the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, often referred to the “The Center.” The Center partners with land management agencies, outdoor equipment manufacturers, retailers, outfitter/guide services, youth-serving organizations, nonprofit organizations and educational institutions to promote minimum impact outdoor recreation. The Center has eleven staff members in Boulder and three teams of traveling educators that provide education, training and outreach across the United States.

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Strategic Priorities In addition to the Center’s education, training and outreach, the organization has a current focus on three key areas in order to reach new and emerging audiences with Leave No Trace skills and ethics: Frontcountry Kids Local

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Leave No Trace Organizational Focus Leave No Trace plays a critical role within the conservation community because of its unique focus on people as the solution to recreation-related impacts. The Center believes that empowering people to develop a sense of communal ownership of the outdoors generates a more sustainable, more environmentally educated global community.

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Leave No Trace Organizational Focus Educate, Connect, Protect: We educate people about minimum impact skills and responsible outdoor recreation. We connect people to their natural world so that they care about its future health. We protect ecosystems by creating lifelong outdoor stewards. Approximately $.80 of every $1 raised by the Center directly supports programs that train and educate millions each year.

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Leave No Trace Partnership Structure Federal agency partners State and local agency partners Corporate partners Small Business partners Nonprofit partners Educational partners Outfitter/Guide partners Retail partners Media partners International partners

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Federal Agency Partners The Center for Outdoor Ethics is under a Memorandum of Understanding with the five largest land management agencies in the U.S. to provide Leave No Trace education on public lands. Each agency has staff trained in Leave No Trace who train other agency personnel and the general public. The federal agencies have national Leave No Trace coordinators who serve as non-voting advisors on the Center’s Board of Directors and the Education Review Committee. The agencies play a critical role in providing Leave No Trace information to millions of outdoor enthusiasts each year.

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Federal Agency Partners Map of Federal Lands

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Federal Land Use USFS – 180 million visits per year BLM – 60 million visits per year NPS – 280 million visits per year FWS – 40 million visits per year Army Corps – 335 million visits per year

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Annual State Park Use ?

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Annual State Park Use Total Park Visits: Over 740 million per year Number of state park units: 6,600+ Total economic impact on communities: Over $20 billion Percent of visitors with children: 64% Miles of trails: 44,219 Number of campsites: 220,329

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State Agency Partners As millions of people visit State Park systems each year, these land management agencies are becoming more essential in spreading Leave No Trace information. The Center signed an MOU with the National Association of State Park Directors in 2007 and is working to integrate Leave No Trace into exiting State Park programs and trainings. State Agency Partner example: The Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources has an annual visitation of 10 million on lands they administer, most of which are easily accessible and are frequented by day-users.

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Local Agency Partners Because more than 85% of all outdoor recreation takes place in areas that are easily accessible and visited by day-users (i.e. the frontcountry) local partners are critical to educating the public about Leave No Trace. The Center works with a wide variety of local land managers across the country to create site-specific Leave No Trace information that is more locally-relevant. Local Agency Partner example: Basin Recreation in Idaho helps provide Leave No Trace information to many frontcountry recreationists just outside of Park City, UT.

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Corporate Partners Corporate Partners are key financial supporters of many of the Center’s education and outreach programs. Corporate Partner example: REI has provided a broad range of support for various educational initiatives including funding for both Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids (PEAK) and Connect Grants for Culturally-Diverse Communities. REI responds to the core needs of the Center and focuses on what will make the organization thrive.

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Nonprofit Partners The Center partners will many nonprofits who train their staff in Leave No Trace or incorporate Leave No Trace into their own programs. Nonprofit partner example: The American Camp Association has over 7,000 members, serves millions of youth annually and accredits over 2,400 camps. The Leave No Trace PEAK program is used by ACA camps across the country, educating thousands of youth annually about Leave No Trace in a fun, effective and meaningful ways.

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Educational Partners Educational partners are critical to the success of the Leave No Trace program by developing providing Leave No Trace training, outreach and education. Staff and students who receive Leave No Trace training often go on to educate the general public. Educational Partner example: Universities such as Northern Arizona University have been key to reaching college students with Leave No Trace education. NAU has also developed an adaptive Trainer Course for persons with disabilities. NOLS has thousands of students annually who each learn about Leave No Trace.

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Outfitters and Guide Services Retail, Outfitter and Guide Service partners provide unique opportunities to reach many first-time users with minimum impact education. Guide/Outfitter Partner example: The Yosemite Mountaineering School is a guide service whose guide manager is one of the 3000+ Master Educators in the country. Staff is formally trained in Leave No Trace, allowing them to incorporate Leave No Trace information into their trips. They also regularly conduct Leave No Trace trainings and workshops.

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Impacts and Science

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Soil Impacts Loss of organic litter Soil compaction Soil erosion Vegetation Impacts Vegetation loss Invasive species Tree damage

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Wildlife Impacts Disturbance of wildlife Altered behavior Reduced health and reproduction Water Resource Impacts Turbidity, sedimentation Soap and fecal wastes

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Social Impacts Crowding Conflicts between various user groups

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Cultural Resource Impacts Theft of artifacts Damage to cultural and historic features and artifacts

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Leave No Trace Related Research Recreation Ecology research tells us about recreation impacts and how they can be reduced by managers and visitors. Human Dimensions research tells us about visitor perceptions, attitudes and behaviors.

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Recreation Ecology Research Much of the recreation ecology research that Leave No Trace is based on can be traced back to the 1980’s and 1990’s. Early researchers included: Hendee, Marion, Cole, Hammitt, Roggenbuck, etc. Much of this early research was carried out by agency scientist - USDA Forest Service, US Geologic Survey and National Park Service – and still is today. General focus on recreation-related impacts such as erosion, trail impacts, camping impacts, wildlife impacts, tree damage, campfire impacts, cultural resource impacts and vegetative impacts. Recreation ecology takes into account the managerial implications of visitor use and the associated impact.

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Human Dimensions Research The social science research is generally referred to as human dimensions of natural resources, and involves, “The scientific investigation of the physical, biological, sociological, psychological, cultural and economic aspects of natural resource utilization at the individual and community level” (Ewert, 1996). The primary federal land management agencies in the U.S. have historically approached management of lands used by the public for recreation, “as a natural science endeavor requiring purely technical solutions.” While suitable technical solutions to resource management problems have been identified, the human dimensions of resource management have had far less focus.

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The Seven Leave No Trace Principles Plan Ahead and Prepare Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces Dispose of Waste Properly Leave What You Find Minimize Campfire Impacts Respect Wildlife Be Considerate of Other Visitors

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The Leave No Trace Challenge Prevent avoidable resource and social impacts. Minimize unavoidable impacts. Preserve the quality of resources and recreation experiences.

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Programs

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PEAK: Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids The program is presented as a “pack” of six activities. Additional activities, a Teen program and materials in Spanish are also available. The PEAK program can be purchased from the Center or is available through the “Packing with PEAK” grant. There are free downloadable activities as well. PEAK educates 120,000 youth annually, ages 6-12 about Leave No Trace through hands-on activities. PEAK Online is a collection of 5 fun, interactive web-based activities to help kids learn about Leave No Trace.

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Traveling Trainer Program Subaru provides support and vehicles for the Traveling Trainer Program. Traveling Trainers are teams of field educators who provide Leave No Trace outreach and education to diverse audiences across the country. Beginning in 1999, this partnership has allowed the Center to reach millions of individuals each year. The Traveling Trainer program’s hands-on approach is one of the most effective ways to engage the public in Leave No Trace education.

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State Advocate Program The Center has a thriving community program with advocates in over 48 states. Advocates are volunteers in their respective states who help coordinate and conduct Leave no Trace training, outreach and education for the public. Advocates receive training, materials and financial support from the Center. Tens of thousands are reached annually through the Leave no Trace State Advocate program.

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Frontcountry Program Frontcountry is defined as outdoor areas that are easily accessible by vehicle and mostly visited by day users. 85% of outdoor recreation today happens in frontcounty areas. The Center is working with many partners across the U.S. to develop frontcountry programs that help protect these resources and reach the increasing number of individuals recreating in these areas.

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International Programs The Center has international branch organizations in Canada, New Zealand Ireland and Australia as well as 60+ partner organizations, agencies and educational institutions around the world. Center staff offer Master Educator Courses and other training options to the international community.

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Leave No Trace Training Master Educator Course: An intensive 5-day field-oriented course offered by one of the Center’s course providers in various regions of the country. Currently 6000+ Master Educators worldwide. Trainer Course: A 2-day field course resulting in a certificate of completion. Taught by Master Educators across the country. Currently over 28,000 Trainers. Awareness Workshops: A 30 min to full day introductory workshop about Leave No Trace designed for the general public. Millions trained. Three-tiered Training Structure The Center offers training options across the country.

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Social Media – Over 80,000 followers

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Publications and Materials Materials are available through the online store or by calling the Center. Many educational materials are also available in Spanish. 101 Ways to Teach Leave No Trace Outdoor Books/Guides

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How can I get involved? Join Leave No Trace as a member or partner Practice Leave No Trace when outdoors Visit the Leave No Trace website and educate yourself Tell others about Leave No Trace Take a Leave No Trace course Introduce a kid to Leave No Trace through PEAK Online Simply put – enjoy the outdoors responsibly!

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Leave No Trace is about enjoying the outdoors responsibly. It starts with you!

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1.800.332.4100 info@LNT.org www.LNT.org

Summary: This presentation outlines the history of Leave No Trace, the Center for Outdoor Ethics' mission and programs, and the impacts caused by visitors.

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