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Embracing Leave No Trace Principles on Springtime Adventures

Keep these seven concepts in mind when you start your spring adventures outdoors.



As the snow melts away and nature awakens from its winter slumber, spring beckons us to the Backcountry Wilderness Area. Whether hiking through on a Nature Walk, going on a horseback trail ride, or mountain biking on the Highlands Point trails, the allure of springtime adventures is undeniable. However, as we immerse ourselves in these experiences, it's essential to remember our responsibility to preserve and protect the Backcountry Wilderness Area and other wild places. This is where Leave No Trace principles come into play.

Leave No Trace (LNT) is a set of seven guidelines designed to minimize our impact on the environment while enjoying outdoor activities. These principles serve as a compass, guiding us toward sustainable practices that ensure our fun doesn’t negatively impact nature. Let's delve into how we can implement Leave No Trace ethics during our springtime explorations.

Plan Ahead and Prepare: Before setting out on your adventure, take the time to research the area you'll be visiting. Familiarize yourself with any regulations, weather forecasts, and potential hazards. By adequately preparing, you can minimize unexpected situations and reduce your impact on the environment.

Recreate on Durable Surfaces: Spring can bring soggy trails and fragile vegetation. Stick to designated trails whenever possible. Avoid trampling on delicate flora, hiking/biking on muddy trails. Don’t forget to stay clear of trails closed during the nesting season for wildlife.

Dispose of Waste Properly: If everyone drops a granola bar wrapper on the trail, the trash distracts from the natural beauty and negatively impacts wildlife. Pack out all trash, leaving no trace of your presence behind.

Leave What You Find: Spring is a time of renewal, with flora and fauna emerging from dormancy. Resist the urge to pick wildflowers or disturb wildlife. Leave natural objects and cultural artifacts untouched for others to enjoy. Remember, taking souvenirs disrupts the ecosystem's balance and deprives others of experiencing nature's beauty.

Minimize Campfire Impact: The staff at the Backcountry Wilderness Area is always on alert to wildfire dangers. Outside of monitoring conditions, fires used at Backcountry Base Camp are always monitored and properly taken care of.

Respect Wildlife: Spring is a crucial time for wildlife, with many species breeding or raising their young. From the golden eagle nest on Wildcat Mountain and the elk calves to all of the small mammals and birds between, keep a respectful distance and observe animals from afar. Avoid feeding wildlife, as it can disrupt their natural behaviors and lead to dependency on humans for food.

Be Considerate of Others: As nature awakens, so do fellow outdoor enthusiasts. Respect their right to enjoy the outdoors by keeping noise levels down, yielding to others on trails, and maintaining a friendly demeanor. The Backcountry Wilderness Area trails are multi-use and geared toward recreationalists of all ages. Share the trails courteously, leaving room for everyone to savor the serenity of springtime.

By incorporating these Leave No Trace principles into our outdoor adventures, we not only minimize our impact on the environment but it's our collective responsibility to tread lightly and ensure that future generations can continue to experience the close-to-home nature experiences in the Backcountry Wilderness Area. So, as warm weather entices you to the trails, a program at Base Camp, or on an adventure outside the Backcountry Wilderness Area remember to leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but memories, all while respecting the delicate balance of nature.


 

Sami Dhainin, Program Administration Coordinator

Sami serves as the powerhouse of operational harmony, managing and coordinating various facets of our programs. From ensuring compliance to engaging with the community, she plays a pivotal role in facilitating the smooth functioning of the programming in the Backcountry Wilderness Area.

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