Leave No Trace e-News                                         June 2008
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In This Issue
News You Can Use - Proper Waste Disposal
Community Highlight - First-ever Leave No Trace State Advocate Retreat a Success!
International Partners Highlight
Partnership Highlight - Osprey Packs launches Kid's Contest
Road Wisdom - Pointers for Festival-goers
Store SALE - Pocket and Frontcountry Guides
Update Your Mailing and Email Address
Growing up, did your family have any traditions around summer vacations?  Visiting the same campground or lake every summer?  Packing the family in the car and heading out to explore our country? Recently while spending an evening with a several good friends who all have young families, we were discussing what makes a great family vacation. 

Everyone agreed that while we all wanted exceptional summer trips, we had different ideas as to how they might look.  The common thread in the conversation was the desire for special experiences and the memories that lead us toward stronger family bonds.

We plan and pack for the first of our summer forays, and whether catching crawdads, encounters with larger wildlife, or an epic midnight thunderstorm, we will come back rich in memories and perhaps a little more connected as a family.

Here's to enjoying summer!

Kurt Achtenhagen
Director of Finance and Operations
eNews You Can Use
FishingDear Education Department:

I have a Leave-No-Trace etiquette question: how should a backcountry trout fisher deal with trout entrails and remains of cooked trout?
Happy Angler


Dear Happy Angler,

As for proper disposal of uncooked fish remains, we'd first advise checking with the local land manager to see what they require and/or suggest. Otherwise, here are some other recommendations:

FishDisposing of fish entrails: Special care needs to be taken when dealing with the fish entrails. Many anglers follow the tradition of scattering entrails in the woods or out on rocks for wildlife, but this practice is no longer recommended. Today, the best disposal methods are determined by a number of factors including how long you will be out fishing, whether bears live in the area, if whirling disease is a concern, and what the local regulations dictate.

When entrails are tossed into the woods or on the shore, they attract wildlife. Animals and birds have been observed following both hunters and anglers in hopes of obtaining a free lunch of guts. These animals lose their natural wariness of people and can become a nuisance or worse. Entrails that are not eaten by wildlife will rot and smell and make the area undesirable for those who visit after you, so please do not leave fish guts dangling in the bushes or sitting out on a rock.

The best possible way to dispose of fish entrails-as with any kind of waste-is to pack them out. Consider using doubled zip-lock bags or some form of bear-proof container for this purpose. When waste is packed out, its impact on the aquatic environment is zero, however, for extended backcountry trips or when bears are a major concern, packing fish entrails out may not be feasible.

If you can't pack out your fish entrails, you have a number of other options such as burial, deep-water deposition or moving water deposition.  Check with local land managers to find out what they recommend. In some states, there are laws that determine how you should dispose of fish entrails, in others, there are just guidelines. Either way, the land managers will be able to help you.

Water deposition - either in water greater than 10 feet deep or in large rivers and streams - is an acceptable technique in some areas where bears are a concern such as Alaska. However, in many of the West's trout waters, this practice is unacceptable because of the incidence of whirling disease. Whirling disease, which affects trout and other salmonids (trout and salmon family), can be spread by infected entrails. So in areas where the disease is a concern, do not throw fish guts into the water. Water disposal is also illegal in some states such as Minnesota.

Burning is not recommended because it requires a big, hot fire to effectively consume the entrails and such a fire may have undesirable side effects.

If you are worried about whirling disease and you can't pack the fish entrails out, bury them in a cat hole. Cat holes should be at least 200 feet from camps and water and at least 6 to 8 inches deep. Wildlife may dig up the entrails, but burial does prevent the spread of whirling disease and minimizes the impact of smell on other visitors.

Whirling disease: This condition affects the central nervous system of trout, especially rainbow and cutthroat, causing the infected fish to slowly lose its sense of direction and begin swimming in circles. This odd behavior accounts for the name of the disease. Whirling disease is spread through spores released by an infected salmonid fish (the disease does not affect humans or non-salmonid fish). It has caused severe declines in certain western trout populations.

Whirling disease spores are waterborne, so anglers should wash and, if possible, disinfect any equipment that has been in contact with water where salmonids live to help prevent the spread of the disease. This includes boots, waders, float tubes, lines, and tackle.

Fish entrails removed from fish caught in infected areas should either be packed out or buried deeply in a cathole. For more information on Whirling Disease, please visit http://www.whirling-disease.org/.

As for properly disposing of fish waste leftover from cooking, we'd strongly recommend pack it all out. We wouldn't recommend burying or leaving out for scavengers. As a last resort, on a long trip where packing out is not a realistic option, we might - ONLY IN BEAR COUNTRY - recommend burning the remains. However, there are many factors to consider regarding the use of fire to dispose of waste - are fires legal, are the current conditions conducive to having a safe and responsible fire, is there an adequate source of firewood, etc.

Checking with local land managers and putting some thought into the best disposal options will ensure a safe and eco-friendly outing.

Happy Trails,
The Education Department

Photos courtesy of Ben Lawhon.

Community Highlight
First-Ever Leave No Trace State Advocate Retreat A Success!
PNW State Advocate Retreat
On May 31st and June 1st, Leave No Trace held the first regional State Advocate Retreat in the Pacific Northwest. Attendees included Washington State Advocate, Gina Pearson; Oregon State Advocate, Georgia Bosse; California State Advocate, Liz Williams; Nevada State Advocate, Justin Robbins; Key Volunteers, Jim Virgin and Erika Miranda; and Washington Water Trails Association SEA Kayaking Team, North Moench and Ella Goodbrod.  We had very productive weekend and learned a lot from each other.

In 2008, Leave No Trace will be hosting a total of three regional State Advocate Retreats. These retreats are designed to foster networking amongst current advocates and key volunteers in their local area. During these two-day retreats we will provide updates from the Center, brainstorming sessions on various community topics, Leave No Trace activities and time for advocates to share experiences with each other. Our plan is to hold three to four advocate retreats per year in different regions, so if we aren't in your neck of the woods this year please look for us in 2009.  These retreats will be organized by the Senior Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Team with additional staff attending to help facilitate workshops. Thanks to Keen Footwear Hybrid.Care for their support of these regional conferences.

We are looking forward to building on the success of this first retreat in order to provide our State Advocates the training, resources and support they need. We are already in the midst of planning for our next State Advocate Retreat on July 19th and 20th near Silverthorne, CO.  We are still looking for Volunteer State Advocates in Alaska, Arizona, South Dakota, Nebraska, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Maine. If you live in one of these states and you are interested in learning more about the program, contact Dave@LNT.org.

Photo: courtesy of Dave Winter.
International Partners Highlight
Ireland's Newsletter Canada, Ireland and Australia Get The Word Out to their Constituents.

The three Leave No Trace international branches are not just focusing recreation groups in their countries on the Leave No Trace program.  They are also doing vast and occasionally elusive work of building community, conceptually, around Leave No Trace.

The organization - Australia, Canada and Ireland - have built unique programs to support their cultures, ecosystems and speak to their constituents.  Recently, we have been enjoying international communications with the branch organizations, thus we thought we would take the opportunity to share a couple of their newsletters with you.  Check out the following links for the most recent newsletters:

For more information about Leave No Trace's international programs and initiatives, please visit our website.
Partnership Highlight
OspreyOsprey Packs Launches Leave No Trace Kid's Reading and Writing Contest

In the spirit of fostering stewardship and passion in youth for the wild places left on our planet, long-standing corporate partner of Leave No Trace - Osprey - has launched the Sprint Series Kid's Reading and Writing Contest. 

Osprey is seeking great writing that highlights kid's very best adventures with a backpack and demonstrates an understanding of the Principles of Leave No Trace - which Osprey believes is a key component in preserving our wild places.

"We are a proud partner of Leave No Trace," says Gareth Martins, Director of Marketing, "and you'll find their seven principles screened inside all our packs - including the Sprint Series."

We are encouraging all of our youth members and volunteers serving youth communities to participate in this fun contest.  How, you ask?

You must be 6 -16 years of age to enter. NO GROWN-UPS! In 250-500 words, tell about a place you have hiked or backpacked that was especially memorable for you. Why is it special to you? Did you have a special encounter with an animal? Mother Nature? Was the area threatened?  Was it well taken care of? Last but NOT least, pick one of the Leave No Trace principles and tell us how you applied it to your adventure.  You are also welcome (but not required) to include a photo of yourself.

Essays are being judged by a pack of wild animals, and our friends at Osprey.  All winners will receive one Sprint Series pack, be featured on Osprey's website and be featured in an upcoming Leave No Trace newsletter.

We asked Osprey how long this contest will last.  Their answer?  "Until we get every kid out there hiking and Leaving No Trace!"

For more details and to enter, visit the Contest webpage.

If you are interested in learning more about the Leave No Trace partnership program, please visit our Partners Page, or call 303.442.8222 x.105. 

Road Wisdom
Leave No Trace, Now That's A Reason to Party!

From:  JD Tanner and Emily Ressler
Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers

Cody - Traveling TrainerWhat's summer without a festival or two?  Good music, good food, good beverage: all are worthy of a good old fashion get together once the weather turns warm and the days grow long.  Even the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers are getting in on the action this summer.  Team East spent a few days celebrating all things climbing at the New River Rendezvous is West Virginia; Team West lived it up at the Lyons Outdoor Games in Colorado; and we're getting into the groove at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival next week.

While Leave No Trace may not be in the forefront of festival-goers minds this summer, it's something to consider as we take part in these sultry celebrations.  Trampled vegetation, litter, and dog waste are just a few of the impacts that are often left in the wake of some festivals.  Combine that with junk food addicted wildlife and you may feel like it's raining on your parade. 

So, what's a Leave No Trace savvy festivarian to do?  Well, Plan Ahead and Prepare, of course, and brush up on our Leave No Trace recommendations for the frontcountry.  So, whether your checking out the Huckleberry Festival in Montana, the Mosquito Festival in Texas, or heading out to the Nevada desert for Burning Man, having a Leave No Trace game plan will help you celebrate in style.

Tips for Enjoying your Summer Festival Experience
  • Before your arrival, repackage all of your food into reusable containers.
  • Re-use is the name of the game! Try to re-use your plates, utensils, cups, etc.Keep a tidy camp! Secure your campsite belongings well to reduce disarray from winds.
  • If possible, bring a bicycle to travel around town and nearby areas once your camp is established instead of having to use the car for errands and picking up supplies. Better yet, bike to the festival if possible!
  • Separate your trash into categories for composting and recycling.  Encourage the festival organizers to provide these disposal services.
  • Do your part to help clean up any litter that you see during the festival. Be a model for others.
  • Bring all of your food from local farmers' markets or your own garden.
  • Modify your tarp to reduce run-off in an effort to prevent erosion and muddy camping.
  • Use recyclable or rechargeable batteries.
  • Establish a clean and green camping community! Collaborate with other nearby campers to share your resources and to work to Leave No Trace in a fun and festive manner!
See you on the road,

Emily Ressler and JD Tanner
     Senior Team
Read More from the Road on the Traveling Trainer Blog.

Stay tuned for next month: the first Road Wisdom
from our etour team, Kate and Tracy!

Store Promotion

Pocket Guides
Leave No Trace Pocket and Frontcountry Guides on Sale!

Both 12 page guides offer concise, general information about the skills necessary to minimize recreational impacts wherever your outings take you. These are excellent, low cost alternatives to the Skills & Ethics booklets.  The Pocket Guide is also available in Spanish. 

Both guides are regularly $0.50 each, now 20% off through the end of June, and can be found in the online store!

Photos: Frontcountry Guide, left; Pocket Guide, right.
Moved? Moving?
Changing things up?

Please keep your email and mailing addresses current!

is another step the Center is making toward a more consistent online communication for our community, in an effort to conserve resources and our planet!  Please help us by e-mailing info@LNT.org to update your records.