Imagine that we are on a visit to a museum. The exhibits are beautiful and delicate, the surroundings mysterious and fascinating. How would we conduct ourselves? Would we trample through roped areas, break open exhibit cases, or cut apart furnishings and start a fire? On our way out, would we remove a painting as a souvenir? Of course not!
If we learn to think of the lake and its associated desert and forest environments as a museum, not with walls and cases, but as a living museum, where the animals are wild and their habitat sensitive we can learn to minimize our impact to that living museum. Tread Lightly is not a set of rules or regulations. Rather, it is first and foremost an attitude and an ethic. Tread Lightly is about respecting and caring for wild lands, doing your part to protect our natural/cultural resources. Below, are the five principles that make up this important ethic.
• Stay on designated trails and waterways open to your type of use (boat, personal watercraft, on foot, or bicycle).
Respect The Environment And The Rights Of Others
• Respect and be considerate of other users so that all can enjoy a quality experience.
Educate Yourself, Plan and Prepare Before You Go
• Obtain a map at visitor/information centers, campgrounds, boat launches or by mail.
Avoid Sensitive Areas
• The Shrub-Steppe ecosystem found in the southern half of Lake Roosevelt NRA is very unique. Much of the ground is a living “biological soil crust” that is very fragile. This soil is composed of cyano-bacteria, lichens, mosses, algae and fungi. These dark knobby-looking crusts help stabilize and bind soil materials which helps prevent both wind and water erosion. The crust is a nitrogen fixer, thus aids in plant growth. Once these soil crusts are busted by foot or vehicle traffic, they take a very long time to recover. Please Don’t Bust the Crust!
Do Your Part
• Take out everything you bring in. Do not burn garbage; cans do not burn and plastics emit toxic fumes. Challenge yourself to leave the area cleaner than you found it!
Remember by practicing the
Tread Lightly! principles
T ravel responsibly
R espect the rights of others
E ducate yourself
A void sensitive areas
D o your part
you not only protect the outdoors,
Did You Know?
When the Grand Coulee Dam was finished and the lake filled, 11 towns were submerged. Every structure was cleared or burned. Soon, the rising waters covered the forlorn concrete foundations with water and darkness. Some towns died, others were built above the new lake, replacing what was lost.