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Leave No Trace for the Boy Scouts of America A National Education Program Designed to Teach Stewardship, Land Ethics, and Outdoor Skills on Public Lands.

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Presentation on theme: "Leave No Trace for the Boy Scouts of America A National Education Program Designed to Teach Stewardship, Land Ethics, and Outdoor Skills on Public Lands."— Presentation transcript:

1 Leave No Trace for the Boy Scouts of America A National Education Program Designed to Teach Stewardship, Land Ethics, and Outdoor Skills on Public Lands

2 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.

3 Overview of Visitor Impacts

4 Vegetation Impacts Vegetation loss Spread of non-native species Tree damage Soil Impacts Loss of organic litter Soil compaction Soil erosion

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

6 Social Impacts Crowding Conflicts

7 Cultural Resource Impacts Theft of artifacts Damage to historic structures Damage to cultural features

8 Loving Our Public Lands To Death? National Park Service visits: 33 million in million in million in 2000 Wilderness recreation visitor days: 7 million in million in million in 2000 Increasing visitation = Increasing impacts? Combined visitation to undeveloped public lands: 670 million in 1992

9 Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics Partners with federal agencies, manufacturers, retailers and others to promote minimum impact messages. A non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and inspire responsible outdoor recreation through education, research and partnerships. Bureau of Land Management U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service National Park Service U.S. Forest Service

10 Leave No Trace (LNT) Leave No Trace (LNT) Leave No Trace staff develop and distribute educational materials, promote LNT initiatives with federal agencies and cooperating organizations, and conduct fundraising. For more information: or The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is based in Boulder, Colorado.

11 Current Status The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is guided by an Executive Director and a Board of Directors with corporate, non-profit and government representatives. $700,000 budget and 11 staff in 2001 Funding is primarily derived from corporate manufacturing and retail partners (N=250 currently).

12 Why Leave No Trace ? Why Leave No Trace ? 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. Leave No Trace might seem unimportant until you consider the combined effects of millions of outdoor visitors.

13 LNT practices are science-based: The LNT Message 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 attitudes, behaviors, and social norms.

14 Prevent avoidable resource and social impacts Minimize unavoidable impacts Preserve the quality of resources and recreation experiences The LNT Challenge

15 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

16 1. Plan Ahead and Prepare Poor camping & hiking skills that unnecessarily impact natural resources or degrade the experiences of other visitors. Problem: Soap in streams Expansion of campsites Campfire impacts Creation of new trails

17 1. Plan Ahead and Prepare Adult and youth leaders can learn, apply, and teach Leave No Trace skills and ethics. Solution: Information & Training Workshops, Trainer, & Master courses

18 1. Plan Ahead and Prepare Large group sizes that are noisy and crowd out other visitors. Problem: Displacement of others at popular sites Noise Crowding Conflicts

19 1. Plan Ahead and Prepare Obtain sufficient leadership to travel and camp in smaller groups, even when there arent group size limits. Solution:

20 1. Plan Ahead and Prepare Use of equipment that unnecessarily increase resource impacts. Problem: Do you really need an axe or saw?

21 1. Plan Ahead and Prepare Select equipment that facilitates Leave No Trace practices. Solution: 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

22 2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces Widening trails by hiking two or more abreast, creating new trails, and cutting switchbacks. Problem:

23 2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces Solution: Stay on formal trails when possible, walk single file in the center of the tread. Dont create new trails.

24 2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces Creating new campsites or enlarging existing sites by developing new tent sites or trampling vegetation around campsites. Problem:

25 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.

26 Durable Surfaces: Sand Previously Disturbed Surfaces Grass Rock/gravel

27 3. Dispose of Waste Properly Trash left behind, food spilled, left-over food buried or partially burned. Wildlife attracted to campsites. Problem:

28 3. Dispose of Waste Properly Pack it in, Pack it out: Inspect campsite for trash and spilled foods, including micro-garbage. Dont burn trash or food. Strain dishwater through a screen to remove food particles. Pack these out, along with leftover food. Solution:

29 3. Dispose of Waste Properly Pollution of water from washing or improperly disposed human waste. Problem:

30 3. Dispose of Waste Properly Carry water for washing dishes or your body 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Solution:

31 3. Dispose of Waste Properly 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. Solution:

32 4. Leave What You Find Souvenir collection and artifact theft (e.g., flowers, fossils, historic or cultural artifacts, deer antlers, wild animals as pets). Problem:

33 4. Leave What You Find Explain why souvenir collection is not sustainable. Leave natural and cultural objects for others to see. Solution:

34 Proliferation and migration of campfire sites. Problem: 5. Minimize Campfire Impacts

35 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. 5. Minimize Campfire Impacts Solution: LNT virtual campfire!

36 Damage to trees from axes, saws & knives, depletion of firewood, large fire pits filled with charcoal and unburned trash and food. Problem: 5. Minimize Campfire Impacts Troop 375

37 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. 5. Minimize Campfire Impacts Solution: Burn all wood to ash, put fires out completely and scatter cleaned ashes to keep fire pits small.

38 6. Respect Wildlife Disturbance of wildlife, displacing them from areas of preferred habitat. Problem:

39 6. Respect Wildlife Solution: Enjoy wildlife at a distance. You are too close if your presence or actions elicit a response from wildlife.

40 6. Respect Wildlife Feeding wildlife (unintentional or intentional), attracting them to people and developed areas. Problem: Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.

41 6. Respect Wildlife Never feed animals or allow them to obtain human food or trash. Even a few pieces of GORP are a meal for many animals. Dont teach wildlife to be beggars! Solution:

42 6. Respect Wildlife 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. Problem:

43 6. Respect Wildlife Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely. In bear country hang bear bags or use bear-proof food canisters. Solution:

44 7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors Crowding, particularly at attraction sites, along trails during rest breaks, and in popular camping areas. Problem:

45 7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors Take breaks off-trail, dont monopolize attraction sites and popular camping areas. Camp away from trails and other visitors. Solution:

46 7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors Conflicts with other groups, particularly with visitors seeking solitude. Problem:

47 7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience. Let natures sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises. Solution:

48 Better planning leads to safer trips and lighter packs Prevents avoidable impacts, minimizes unavoidable impacts Protects the quality of natural environments and recreation experiences Benefits of Applying LNT Avoids or minimizes the need for restrictive management regulations or use limitations

49 What Can I DO? Visit the website (www.lnt.org) or call the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics ( ) 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 Masters course and then teach others. Become a supporting member of Leave No Trace.

50 Boy Scouts of America LNT Awareness Award Requirements 1. Recite and explain the principles of Leave No Trace. 2. On three separate camping/backpacking trips, demonstrate and practice the principles of Leave No Trace. 3. Earn the Camping and Environmental Science merit badges. 4. Participate in a Leave No Trace-related service project. 5. Give a 10-minute presentation on a Leave No Trace topic approved by your Scoutmaster. 6. Draw a poster or build a model to demonstrate the differences in how to camp or travel in high-use and pristine areas.

51 The End The End Happy trails and remember to... Happy trails and remember to... Leave No Trace !

52 This slide set was developed for the national Leave No Trace program. Copies may be obtained from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. Shorter versions can be developed by omitting slides or local images may be substituted to adapt the program to specific areas. Developed by Jeff Marion, Ph.D. Leader, Cooperative Park Studies Unit, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA ,


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