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The Mission of The Center The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is an educational nonprofit organization dedicated to the responsible enjoyment and active stewardship of the outdoors by all people, worldwide. The Center achieves its mission through education, research, partnerships and volunteerism.

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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 produce educational 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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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 nine staff members in Boulder and three teams of traveling educators that provide education, training and outreach across the United States.

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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 four 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 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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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: 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: Basin Recreation in Idaho helps provide Leave No Trace information to many frontcountry recreationists just outside of Boise.

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Corporate Partners Corporate Partners are key financial supporters of many of the Center’s education and outreach programs. Corporate Partner: 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: Colorado Fourteeners Initiative trains hundreds of individuals each year through their Peak Steward Program, Adopt-a-Peak and various other course offerings. Leave No Trace is a key component of all Colorado Fourteeners Initiative trainings, allowing them to effectively share the information with hundreds each year.

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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: 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.

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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: 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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Leave No Trace Individual Membership Leave No Trace is a membership-driven education organization: your support allows the Center to offer and grow it’s programs and educational outreach. Over 4,300 individuals from 50 states and over a dozen countries are rapidly changing the face of conservation today as Leave No Trace members. Leave No Trace members represent a strong and connected community of volunteers, educators and passionate recreationists that are committed to protecting our recreational resources.

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Impacts & Science

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Overview of Recreational Impacts

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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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Visitor Statistics Wilderness recreation visitor days: 7 million in 1975 15 million in 1985 20 million in 2000 National Park Service visits 33 million in 1950 172 million in 1970 275 million in 2007 Questions: Does increasing visitation = increasing impacts? Are we enjoying the outdoors in a sustainable way?

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Cumulative Impacts Leave No Trace education is critical when you consider the combined effects of millions of outdoor visitors. One poorly located campsite or campfire may have little impact, but thousands of such instances can degrade natural resources and recreation experiences. To protect our resources, it is important to recreate responsibly and educated ourselves on the practices of Leave No Trace.

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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. Social science research tells us about visitor perceptions and behaviors.

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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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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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Plan Ahead and Prepare Overview The “Why”: Ensures the safety of your group. Adds to the enjoyment of the experience. Helps you minimize your impact on the land. The “How”: Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you’ll visit. Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use. Consider traveling with a smaller group to minimize social and resource impacts. Plan your meals carefully to avoid leftovers. Repackage food to minimize waste.

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Plan Ahead and Prepare Selecting Appropriate Gear Learn about the areas you plan to visit before you go. A lot of information is available via the internet. Prepare for extreme weather, hazards and emergencies. Bring a map and compass and plan where you are going. Let others know when you plan to return!

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Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces Overview The “Why”: Prevents soil erosion and vegetation damage. Prevents the establishment of trails and campsites. The “How”: Stick to established trails and campsites. Choose to travel on durable surfaces such as rock, gravel, dry grasses and sand. Select durable campsites that are big enough to accommodate your group. Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.

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Durable Surfaces Established trails and campsites Rock/Gravel/Sand Dry Grasses Snow Impacted Areas

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Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces Popular Areas Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites when provided. Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy. Stay on established, resistant sites. Keep campsites small. Focus activities in areas where vegetation is absent or where site is most impacted.

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Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces Pristine Areas Spread out and travel on resistant surfaces when off trail or in pristine areas. This will prevent the creation of new trails. Avoid places where impacts are just beginning. Choose a pristine campsite with resistant surfaces. Disperse activities to avoid impacts.

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Durable Surfaces Research Study: Grasses and herbaceous cover after 250 tramples. Results Grass Intact = 100% Herbaceous cover intact = 40% Conclusion: Grasses are both more resistant (durable) and more resilient (recover quickly).

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Dispose of Waste Properly Overview The “Why”: Avoids pollution of water sources. Minimizes spread of disease. Protects local plants and animals. Avoids the possibility of others encountering it. The “How”: Pack it in, Pack it out—even what others left behind. Properly dispose of trash, human waste and dirty dishwater.

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Dispose of Waste Properly Wastewater Strain wastewater and pack out food particles and uneaten food. Washing near water sources can result in biological and chemical contamination of water sources. Always carry water at least 200 ft. from any water source to bathe or wash dishes.

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Dispose of Waste Properly Human Waste Walk at least 200 ft. from water, campsites and trails and use the “cat-hole” method to bury human waste 6-8 inches deep. Carry out toilet paper to avoid creating “TP flower gardens.”

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Leave What You Find Overview The “Why”: Increases enjoyment and sense of discovery for others. Prevents lasting damage to trees, plants, historical and cultural sites. The “How”: Leave flowers, rocks and cultural artifacts as you find them. Treat living plants with respect. Picking or damaging them prevents reproduction and survival. The best campsites are found not made. Avoid altering your campsite.

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Leave What You Find Cultural and Historical Sites Respect cultural sites. They represent the history of an area. Observe cultural artifacts without disturbing them. Leave all natural objects for the next visitor to enjoy.

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Minimize Campfire Impacts Overview The “Why”: Campfires can cause lasting impacts on the land, such as forest fires. Trash in fire rings can attract wildlife. The “How”: Use a lightweight stove for cooking and a candle or gas lantern for light. Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans or mound fires. Keep fires small. Use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand. Burn all wood to ash and out campfire completely.

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Minimize Campfire Impacts Campfire types and alternatives Camp stoves Pan fires Mound Fires Candle/Lantern

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Respect Wildlife Overview The “Why”: Maintains the safety of your group. Maintains the health of the ecosystem and its inhabitants. The “How”: Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them. Never feed animals. Protect wildlife by storing your food and trash securely. Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young or winter.

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Respect Wildlife Pets Pets can seriously injure wildlife. Keep pet under control at all times to ensure their safety, the safety of wildlife and that of other visitors. Consider leaving pets at home.

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Respect Wildlife Feeding Wildlife Never feed wildlife or allow them to obtain human food or trash. Wildlife attracted to human food often suffer nutritionally and expose themselves to predators and other dangers. Feeding wildlife destroys their health, alters natural behaviors and teaches them life-threatening habits.

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Respect Wildlife Bear Country Protect your food and bears by hanging bear bags or use bear-proof food containers. Bears that obtain human food become “problem bears” that must be relocated or euthanized.

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Respect Wildlife Safe Distances Enjoy wildlife from a distance for your safety and their’s. You can tell if you are too close if your presence or actions cause a change in behavior or response in the wildlife.

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Be Considerate of Other Visitors Overview The “Why”: Everyone enjoys the outdoors in a different way. All outdoor visitors are sharing a common, finite space. Consideration helps everyone have a positive experience. The “How”: Be courteous. Yield to other users when necessary. Take breaks and camp away from other visitors when possible, and avoid stopping or camping on the the trail. Let nature’s sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.

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Be Considerate of Other Visitors Diverse User-Groups Be considerate of other visitors and their experience. Respect other types of recreational use. Don’t be afraid to ask other groups where they’re planning on camping. Save big sites for larger groups.

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Be Considerate of Other Visitors Horse Use Stock users must exercise greater care to minimize their impact and that of their stock. Ghost Rider and Backcountry Horseman Associations provide additional low impact training and information. Communicate with the riders you encounter! Often they will ask you to step to the downhill side of the trail to avoid spooking the horses.

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Be Considerate of Other Visitors Which of these groups would you rather see while you are recreating outdoors? A C B

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Benefits of Leave No Trace Avoids or minimizes the need for restrictive management regulations. Better planning leads to trips that are safer and more fun. Prevents avoidable impacts; minimizes unavoidable impacts. Protects the quality of natural environments and recreation experiences for other and future generations.

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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 or borrowed from the Center or is available through the “Packing with PEAK” grant. PEAK began as a partnership program between the Center for Outdoor Ethics and REI in 2001. PEAK educates youth ages 6-12 about Leave No Trace through hands-on activities.

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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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Education Review Committee The Education Review Committee is a standing committee of the Board of Directors. The ERC develops, reviews and revises educational materials, training programs and curriculum. The ERC ensures that all Leave No Trace educational materials are consistently and effectively presented, and are based on current research. Members of the ERC represent a broad range of professional expertise.

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State Advocate Program The Center has a thriving community program with advocates in over 45 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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Leave No Trace e-tour The e-tour is a partnership program between the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and Coleman Outdoor Products. The e-tour brings hands-on demonstrations, interactive activities and general Leave No Trace education to retail stores, camps and youth-serving organizations across the country from June-August. The e-tour inspires youth to get outside while promoting Leave No Trace practices. The program focuses heavily on recreation in the frontcountry.

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Frontcountry Program Frontcountry is defined as outdoor areas that are easily accessible by vehicle and mostly visited by day users. 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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Frontcountry Program Roots Approximately 85% of recreation in the U.S. occurs near urban centers: day hiking, biking, picnicking, skateboarding, fishing, running, car camping, etc. There are specific recreational impacts unique to frontcountry areas, such as: user/social conflicts, pet management issues, graffiti and vandalism, pet waste, private property trespassing, off trail hiking, etc. Land managers and others need the ability to locally tailor specific Leave No Trace information to more effectively reach frontcountry audiences.

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Frontcountry Impacts and Visitor Issues Pet waste and management Crowding and user group conflicts Trash Trail erosion

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International Programs The Center has international branch organizations in Canada, New Zealand Ireland and Australia as well as dozens of 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. Trainer Course: A 2-day field course resulting in a certificate of completion. Taught by Master Educators across the country. Awareness Workshop: A 30 min to full day introductory workshop about Leave No Trace designed for the general public. Three-tiered Training Structure The Center offers training options across the country.

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Leave No Trace Success Stories Leave No Trace reaches an estimated 10 million outdoor visitors each year. More than 400 organizations have partnered with the Center to support Leave No Trace education and outreach. Various educational materials, including the entire youth program, were translated into Spanish to provide much needed tools for land managers and educators working with the rapidly growing Spanish speaking population visiting public lands. Connect Grants for Culturally-Diverse Communities and other grant programs have enabled the Center to provide educational resources and scholarship funds to organizations working with multicultural populations.

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Website www. LNT.org The Leave No Trace website provides comprehensive information about minimum impact outdoor recreation, programs, trainings and services.

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Community Network The Community pages help connect Leave No Trace community members across the country. Contact information for State Advocates, Master Educators, partners and course instructors/hosts are available on each state’s community page.

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Online Community The Center has a thriving online community, which helps provide outreach to diverse demographics. The community blog on the Center’s website is updated with new posts daily by staff and guest bloggers. The Center also has accounts on My Space, Facebook and Twitter, where it pilots special fundraising projects such as the “Bigfoot Challenge”. There are over 20,000 supporters on Facebook alone.

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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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Get Involved Visit the website or call the Center to obtain Leave No Trace information. Become a supporting member or join as a partner of Leave No Trace. Learn & apply Leave No Trace practices on your next outdoor trip. Take a Leave No Trace Master Educator, Trainer Course or Awareness Workshop and teach others about minimum impact outdoor recreation.

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

Tags: leave no trace education outdoor recreation ethics

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