Leave No Trace in Every Park, a New National Campaign was Launched on January 30, 2015
As part of a national campaign to establish a Leave No Trace outdoor ethic across the country, 12 diverse sites were chosen in 2015 to set Leave No Trace in Every Park into motion.
With millions visiting the outdoors, never before has there been such a need for Leave No Trace education. In response, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics selected 12 scenic and popular sites as "Hot Spots." Hot Spots are areas that have experienced visitor-created impacts, including excessive trash, damage to vegetation and trees, trail erosion, and disturbance to wildlife. These Hot Spots, part of Leave No Trace's new, multi-year campaign called Leave No Trace in Every Park, will bring Leave No Trace to life with education and outreach programs that work to turn the tide on long-term damage to nature.
Leave No Trace Hot Spots raise community awareness and bring solutions to popular natural areas around the country facing heavy recreational use and, consequently, the threat of harm to parks, forests, and protected areas. The Center's education team supports the program, as does its Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers, who visited each of the 12 sites to provide training programs, service projects, and general education about how people can reduce impacts while enjoying our nation's shared outdoor places.
"We look at the cumulative effect of recreational use. The bottom line is that our favorite outdoor spaces are impacted over time," according to Ben Lawhon, Leave No Trace's Education Director. "In most cases, the land impact is not due to a malicious intent to harm nature and wildlife. Instead, it's simply the lack of information and Leave No Trace education."
In late 2014, the Center received 83 nominations for Hot Spots, and selected 12 geographically and ecologically diverse sites, nationwide. Volunteers participated in community-based projects in their parks, and the Center engaged with partners and friends' groups around the nation to begin activating Leave No Trace in communities far and wide.
According to the U.S. Forest Service's Stacy Duke, "The Leave No Trace Hot Spot program was an excellent service provided to the Hoosier National Forest in 2014. The program was very well organized and highly beneficial in supporting the Forest’s efforts in mitigating user impacts."
The slate of 2015 Leave No Trace Hot Spots were:
- Saguaro National Park, Tucson, AZ (February 2–9)
- Travis County Parks, Austin, TX (March 23–30)
- Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County, CA (April 6–13)
- Tillamook State Forest, Wilson River Corridor, Tillamook, OR (June 1–8)
- Mt Bierstadt, Arapahoe/Roosevelt and Pike National Forests, CO (July 13–20)
- Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area, Huron-Manistee National Forest, MI (August 10–17)
- Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, Pisgah National Forest, Nebo, NC (August 24–30)
- Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, Castle Rock, WA (August 31–September 7)
- McAfee Knob, Appalachian Trail, Roanoke County, VA (September 23–30)
- Ventana Wilderness, Los Padres National Forest, Monterey County, CA (October 5–12)
- Pinnancle Mountain State Park, Little Rock, AR (October 5–12)
- The Bayou Teche Water Trail, Arnaudvile, LA (October 26–November 2)
The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics provided information about each Hot Spot, as well as past and current opportunities to get involved at www.LNT.org.
Two Leave No Trace events were offered at Point Reyes National Seashore during the weekend of April 11, 2015: