“Leave No Trace combines knowledge and judgment with ethical responsibility” "Tell me, and I will forget; Show me, and I may remember; Involve me and I will understand..."
Leave No Tracefor the Boy Scouts of America A National Education Program Designed to Teach Stewardship, Land Ethics, and Outdoor Skills on Public Lands
Presentation Objectives • Provide an overview of resource impacts resulting from recreational use. • Review WHY a national Leave No Trace educational program is needed. • Introduce and describe Leave No Trace practices most applicable for Boy Scouts.
Take only photographs, Leave only footprints… Boggled by the minimum impact slogan, the Scoutmaster takes only photos of footprints…
Overview of Visitor Impacts Leave No Trace “Virtual” Campfire
Vegetation Impacts Vegetation loss Spread of non-native species Tree damage Soil Impacts Loss of organic litter Soil compaction Soil erosion
Wildlife Impacts Disturbance of wildlife Altered behavior Reduced health & reproduction Water Resource Impacts Turbidity, sedimentation Soap & fecal wastes
Crowding Conflicts Social Impacts
Loving Our Public Lands To Death? BSA: > 5 million members, 308 Councils, 138,000 units 50,000+ Troops & 17,000+ Crews = 300,000+ weekend trips 10,000+ weekend multi-group trips 5,000+ week-long trips 1,000+ week-long multi-group trips Estimated annual outdoor BSA use on public/private recreation lands: Increasing visitation = Increasing impacts? Over 15 million user days!
Why Leave No Trace ? • Leave No Trace might seem unimportant until you consider the combined effects of millions of outdoor visitors. • One poorly located campsite or campfire may have little significance, but thousands of such instances seriously degrade natural resources and recreation experiences. • To protect our resources we must take the responsibility to educate ourselves and practice the skills and ethics necessary to Leave No Trace.
The LNT Challenge • Prevent avoidable resource and social impacts • Minimize unavoidable impacts • Preserve the quality of resources and recreation experiences
The Seven LNT Principles 1. Plan Ahead and Prepare 2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces 3. Dispose of Waste Properly 4. Leave What You Find 5. Minimize Campfire Impacts 6. Respect Wildlife 7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
1. Plan Ahead and Prepare Problem: • Poor camping & hiking skills that unnecessarily impact natural resources or degrade the experiences of other visitors. • Soap in streams • Expansion of campsites • Campfire impacts • Creation of new trails
Information & Training Workshops, Trainer, & Master courses WWW.LNT.ORG 1. Plan Ahead and Prepare Solution: • Leaders and participants can learn, apply, and teach Leave No Trace skills and ethics.
1. Plan Ahead and Prepare Problem: • Large group sizes that are noisy and crowd out other visitors. • Displacement of others at popular sites • Noise • Crowding • Conflicts
1. Plan Ahead and Prepare Solution: • Obtain sufficient leadership to travel and camp in smaller groups, even when there aren’t group size limits.
Do you really need an axe or saw? 1. Plan Ahead and Prepare Problem: • Use of equipment that unnecessarily increase resource impacts.
1. Plan Ahead and Prepare Solution: • Select equipment that facilitates Leave No Trace practices. • Use backpacking stoves for cooking • Bring a trowel to dig cat-holes • Bring a piece of screen to strain dishwater • Use a candle lantern instead of a campfire
2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces Problem: • Widening trails by hiking two or more abreast, creating new trails, and cutting switchbacks.
2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces Solution: • Stay on formal trails when possible, walk single file in the center of the tread. Don’t create new trails.
2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces Problem: • Creating new campsites or enlarging existing sites by developing new tent sites or trampling vegetation around campsites.
2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces Solution: • Use only well-established campsites that are large enough for your group or split the group and camp on separate sites. • Focus activity in core use areas on the most durable surfaces.
Sand Grass Durable Surfaces: Rock/gravel Previously Disturbed Surfaces
3. Dispose of Waste Properly Problem: • Trash left behind, food spilled, left-over food buried or partially burned. Wildlife attracted to campsites.
3. Dispose of Waste Properly Solution: • Pack it in, Pack it out: Inspect campsite for trash and spilled foods, including “micro-garbage.” Don’t burn trash or food. • Strain dishwater through a screen to remove food particles. Pack these out, along with leftover food.
3. Dispose of Waste Properly Problem: • Pollution of water from washing or improperly disposed human waste.
3. Dispose of Waste Properly Solution: • Carry water for washing dishes or your body 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap.
3. Dispose of Waste Properly Solution: • Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the hole when finished.
4. Leave What You Find Problem: • Souvenir collection and artifact theft (e.g., flowers, fossils, historic or cultural artifacts, deer antlers, wild animals as pets).
4. Leave What You Find Solution: • Explain why souvenir collection is not sustainable. Leave natural and cultural objects for others to see.
5. Minimize Campfire Impacts Problem: • Proliferation and migration of campfire sites.
LNT “virtual” campfire! 5. Minimize Campfire Impacts Solution: • Use a lightweight stove for cooking and a candle lantern for light. • Only build a campfire when permissible, in areas with an adequate wood supply, and if an existing fire site is present.
Troop 375 5. Minimize Campfire Impacts Problem: • Damage to trees from axes, saws & knives, depletion of firewood, large fire pits filled with charcoal and unburned trash and food.
5. Minimize Campfire Impacts Solution: • If you do build a campfire … keep fire small and burn for a short time to conserve fuel. Use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand. • Burn all wood to ash, put fires out completely and scatter “cleaned” ashes to keep fire pits small.
6. Respect Wildlife Problem: • Disturbance of wildlife, displacing them from areas of preferred habitat.
6. Respect Wildlife Solution: • Enjoy wildlife at a distance. • You are too close if your presence or actions elicit a response from wildlife.
6. Respect Wildlife Problem: • Feeding wildlife (unintentional or intentional), attracting them to people and developed areas. • Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
6. Respect Wildlife Solution: • Never feed animals or allow them to obtain human food or trash. Even a few pieces of GORP are a meal for many animals. Don’t teach wildlife to be beggars!
6. Respect Wildlife Problem: • Bears that obtain human food become “problem bears” that must be relocated or killed. Wildlife should not pay with their lives due to our carelessness with food.
6. Respect Wildlife Solution: • Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely. In bear country hang bear bags or use bear-proof food canisters.
7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors Problem: • Crowding, particularly at attraction sites, along trails during rest breaks, and in popular camping areas.
7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors Solution: • Take breaks off-trail, don’t monopolize attraction sites and popular camping areas. Camp away from trails and other visitors.
7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors Problem: • Conflicts with other groups, particularly with visitors seeking solitude.
7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors Solution: • Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience. • Let nature’s sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.
Benefits of Applying LNT • Better planning leads to safer trips and lighter packs • Prevents avoidable impacts, minimizes unavoidable impacts • Protects the quality of natural environments and recreation experiences • Avoids or minimizes the need for restrictive management regulations or use limitations
What Can I DO? • Visit the website (www.lnt.org) or call the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics (1-800-332-4100) to obtain LNT brochures, booklets, and other information. • Learn and apply LNT skills and ethics on future trips! • Complete the BSA LNT Awareness Award, take a Trainer or Master’s course and then teach others. • Become a supporting member of Leave No Trace.