Leave No Trace
© Ron Niebrugge--www.wildnatureimages.com
Plan Ahead and Prepare. Choose realistic goals, bring proper gear, learn backcountry skills, know the terrain, and make contingency plans. It’s not only important for your safety; good planning makes it easier to leave no trace in the backcountry.
Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces. Despite the rugged appearance, the rocky shores and cliffs of Kenai Fjords are vulnerable to human impact. Fragile alpine vegetation is easily damaged and can take years to recover.
Dispose of Waste Properly. Nobody wants to find your old toilet paper sticking out from under a rock. Proper waste disposal not only keeps the backcountry looking pristine, it is extremely important for health and safety of campers and wildlife.
Leave What You Find. Take only memories (and photos!). One of the unique features of the Kenai Fjords coastline is the “ghost forests” – dead standing trees whose roots were inundated with salt water during the ’64 earthquake. Do not cut them up for firewood. Unlike parks in the lower 48, however, recreational rock collecting (by hand without tools) is permitted in Kenai Fjords and most Alaskan National Parks.
Respect Wildlife. In the backcountry, you are a visitor. Be mindful that you are sharing this place with bears, shorebirds and other wild residents. Take care not to let your actions impact their behavior or damage their habitat.
Be Considerate of Other Visitors. Few good camping and landing sites exist along the rugged Kenai Fjords coast, and every year more and more people visit this backcountry wilderness.
For more information on the principles of Leave No Trace, visit the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics
Did You Know?
Snowfall on the Harding Icefield can exceed 100 feet each year. After 4-10 years of compression snow turns into glacial ice.