News Release

Buffalo National River named Leave No Trace Gold Standard Site

Park Rangers in uniforms and masks are being handed a sign that reads 'leave no trace gold standard' by a group of leave no trace representatives
Leave No Trace representatives present Buffalo National River staff with Gold Standard award


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News Release Date: August 24, 2020

Contact: Cassie Branstetter, 870-365-2744

Harrison, Ark. – The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics recently announced the designation of Buffalo National River as a Leave No Trace Gold Standard Site, joining an elite group of 12 parks nationwide to earn this honor. Buffalo National River is the sixth National Park Service site to receive this designation and the first in Arkansas.

Leave No Trace is a set of principles that teach people how to recreate responsibly and with minimal negative impacts on the environment. In order to be named a Leave No Trace Gold Standard Site, a park must meet the following criteria:
  • Demonstrate successful implementation of Leave No Trace outdoor skills and ethics into management, programming, outreach and education efforts at the site.
  • Formally train staff and community partners in Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics.
  • Include Leave No Trace language and messaging on signs at trailheads, visitor centers and campgrounds as well as in pamphlets, maps and other distributed materials for visitors.
  • Facilitate Leave No Trace interpretive programs including ranger talks, campfire events and trail outings for visitors.

“Leave No Trace is thrilled to announce Buffalo National River as a designated Gold Standard Site,” said Dana Watts, Leave No Trace Executive Director. “The hard work of staff and local community stakeholders means that Buffalo National River is a leading force in the Leave No Trace movement nationally and an example of how effective the role of education is in protecting our public lands.”

Buffalo National River will host a public celebration of this designation at a later date. Event details will be announced on the park’s website and social media pages.

For more information about Leave No Trace at Buffalo National River, visit

About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.

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The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics presents a wooden plaque to Buffalo National River and community partners for the park's recent designation as a Leave No Trace Gold Standard Site.

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402 N. Walnut Street
Suite 136

Harrison, AR 72601


(870) 439-2502

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