Leave No Trace e-News                                         July 2008
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In This Issue
News You Can Use - Leave What You Find
Community Highlight - Environmental Sustainability Closer to Home
Request for Proposals - Master Educator Course Providers
Partnership Highlight - National Geographic Maps
Road Wisdom - Family Camping 101
Store SALE - Leave No Trace Banners
Update Your Mailing and Email Address
Rapids, eddies, rocks, rafts, friends and fun. That's what July is all about. Over the 4th I spent three days paddling Colorado's only Wild and Scenic River, the Cache la Poudre. Just yesterday, I finished a two-day trip on the Upper Colorado River with the rest of the Leave No Trace Center staff; our annual pilgrimage to this section of river known locally as "the Pumphouse."  Tomorrow, I'm leaving for a three-day trip on yet another Wild and Scenic river, the Rio Chama, in New Mexico. I just can't seem to get enough water.

The thing about whitewater that intrigues me most is that every trip is different. The water levels, rapids, weather and company are different each time. However, the feeling is the same - being part of something bigger, something wilder. For me, there is nothing quite like feeling the pull of the current against the oars as the raft starts to move downstream into the unknown.

As you head out to enjoy the world around you, be sure to stop and smell the roses.  As someone once said, 'Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.'

Ben Lawhon
Education Director
eNews You Can Use
Dear Education Department:

OspreyMy family will be camping later this summer. I visited your website to help plan for our trip, but I have a question:

In the past, my children have learned a great deal by picking up fallen leaves, pine cones, seeds, and small rocks. If I understand your principles correctly, these things are not acceptable. Can you help me better understand or elaborate a bit on this concept?  I want my children to learn and experience nature, not feel as though they are in a museum.


Concerned Parent


Dear Concerned Parent:

Thanks for the email. You definitely present a question that is asked on a regular basis.

The principle "Leave What you Find" definitely has more of an ethical backbone to it than the other principles; therefore it is often harder to interpret. While the other principles do involve ethics, they are also supported by scientific research that provide recommendations such as: camp 200 ft. from water, spread out when traveling through pristine environments, etc.

We believe the kids version gets the point across better, "Leave It As you Find It". When we enjoy the outdoors we want to leave it the same, if not better, than how we found it for the next person! The issue of not picking wildflowers is fairly accepted. Taking a picture will create something more long-lasting and beautiful anyway.

However, we're fairly certain every person in the outdoor community has a few rocks or a pinecone or shell in their house from one of their outdoor trips, most likely from when they were a kids. Regarding this topic, we think about the cumulative effects of people taking home pocketfuls of rocks and not putting much thought into what they'll do with them after. Are they just going to sit in a drawer and never be looked at again?

A good alternative is to put some kind of limitations (for lack of a better word) on what they can pick up. Maybe on a beach full of seashells they pick out their one or two favorites. Chances are, they'll pay a lot more attention to what they are picking up and, in the end, they will remember the experience more.

The hardest point to get across regarding Leave No Trace is that it is not a set of stringent rules to follow in the outdoors. You can think of it as a spectrum, there are certainly people who will pick up every single crumb and drink their greywater (and good for them!), while there are others who might consider the principles and think, maybe next time I will not try and get so close to that deer (now being better informed about safe distances from wildlife).

If we (as the Center for Outdoor Ethics) speak to only one end of the spectrum then we miss the majority of the people who sit somewhere in the middle.

So, if this answer leaves you with nothing else, I hope it reminds you that Leave No Trace is about making good decisions and thinking about those who will come after us, which is what we want to instill in our kids anyway! Does that make sense?

Thank you for your thoughts!

Education Department

Photo: Kids playing "Watch Your Step" PEAK Activity.
Community Highlight
OspreyEnvironmental Sustainability Closer to Home.

We are all feeling the crunch of rising gas prices, and as often as we hear gripes and groans about the expense of fuel, we can also start to hear an inkling of positivity.  Now, stick with us here, but we are beginning to see some really great changes coming out of the situation.  Lifestyle changes, increasing awareness, innovative technology and a new focus on sustainability have crept into the lives of nearly every person on the planet this year. 

With the effects of rising transportation costs being felt nationwide, it seems that a renewed focus on sustainable lifestyle choices is reaching every neighborhood. 

A few of the positive changes we have witnessed lately:

1. Rising fuel prices have caused an interest in the four-day workweek to conserve gas, reduce congestion on the roads, and save the environment.

2. A re-kindling bicycle industry has spurred some people to ditch four wheels in favor of two. It is much cheaper to ride your bicycle to work, if possible, and it is great for your health.

3. Local food has seen an increasing interest because of the many miles most food has to travel to get to your grocery store. Farmers Markets are ever more popular and even larger retailers are trying to capitalize on people's interest in buying local to save the environment and to support localization.

4. Mass transit systems and public transportation projects are getting new funding to help alleviate fuel costs. Subways, bus systems and commuter rails are increasingly becoming a more cost-effective means of travel.  Innovative rent-a-bike and car share programs are springing up in cities nationwide. 

The Center is constantly seeking out ways to become more sustainable in the office, as well as promote sustainable recreation.  Reducing our impact on and off the trail (while also keeping an eye on our wallets) is becoming a priority for us all. 

Photo: courtesy of Catherine Smith.
Request for Proposals
Osprey Proposals for Master Educator Course Providers for 2010 Now Accepted.

The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is requesting proposals from organizations interested in becoming official providers of the Leave No Trace Master Educator Course, as described in this Request for Proposal (RFP).   
Interested parties should submit a letter of intent by August 15th, 2008 to:

Ben Lawhon <ben@LNT.org>
Education Director
Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics
P.O. Box 997
Boulder, CO  80306

Full proposals, if requested by the Center, are due by October 15, 2008.  
The letter of intent should be no more than two pages and should include a brief
organizational background, explanation of why the organization desires to provide the Master Educator course and target audience(s) for the course.

The Center is committed to equal opportunity and equal treatment for all qualified
individuals. For all Master Educator courses, authorized providers agree not to
unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, religion, marital status, veteran status, disability, or any other factors that have no bearing on one's ability to participate in a Master Educator course.

For more information on the Request for Proposal process, please download the informational .PDF on our homepage under "Recent News."

Partnership Highlight
National Geographic MapsPaving - or Mapping - the Road to Partnership.

Motto: Telling the world's story through maps.
Location: Evergreen, Colorado and Washington D.C.
Learn More: http://www.natgeomaps.com
Why we love them: As far as we are concerned, National Geographic Maps is the gateway to adventure.  If you've ever picked up an issue of National Geographic and had the map fall out of the inside - that was National Geographic Maps. The pictorial inlays in magazines showing far off places and newly discovered lands - that was National Geographic Maps.  Your primary school map that rolled up above the chalkboard, or the map you bring with you on a hike - yes, you guessed it, National Geographic Maps.
What they do with Maps: "Plan Ahead and Prepare," the first principle of Leave No Trace, is a world closer to reality because they uncompromisingly map just about anything and everything, in each and every unique corner of the earth.  On the cutting edge of technology, TOPO! Explorer was recently launched as an outdoor recreation mapping software that allows users to interface with a seamless map of the United States, and integrates a wide variety of features such as photo and video posting, GPS-compatibility and blogging.
What they do with Community:  National Geographic is actively engaged in conserving the environment and precious natural lands.  For over a decade, National Geographic Maps has partnered with Leave No Trace and has been involved in various special projects such as the sponsorship of educational materials and mapping of the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer teams across the U.S.
This year, National Geographic Maps is also launching a Sponsored Athlete Program.  To highlight the endeavors and work of outdoor enthusiasts and professionals, like those in the Leave No Trace community, National Geographic Maps annually sponsors individuals in numerous categories to help make their passion a full-time reality.  Leave No Trace's Connecticut State Advocate, Rex McRee, is the first member of Leave No Trace to be officially sponsored through this program.  Interested?  Check out the application requirements online.

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
Family Camping 101

From:  Kate Bullock and Tracy Howard
Leave No Trace eTour

    With another 4th of July come and gone, it is time to take advantage of the warm summer nights.  Getting outside and going camping with your loved ones is a great way to build tradition and gain a connection to the outdoors.  With the rising price of gas these days, camping is a cost effective vacation that can begin at a local campground or even in your own back yard!  If camping is an intimidating prospect for you and your family, here are some pointers to get your family under the stars in no time.

    When planning for a camping trip, preparation is crucial in order to maximize the safety and enjoyment for all members of your group.  Consult the internet, books, and friends about enjoyable wilderness areas.  Once you've selected a campground, call ahead to find out if reservations are required or if they rely on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

    Now it's time to pack.  Create a checklist with the family to get everyone excited about the trip.  Consider weather, group size, and trip length while gathering the gear and food you will be bringing.  Remember clothes to protect you from cold, heat, and rain.  Repackaging food in reusable plastic bags and containers can minimize the trash at your campsite.  This will help you pack out everything you pack in.  Another option to simplify camp chores is to pre-cook meals at home and keep them stored in a cooler.  Also, one or two-pot meals are great for camping! Use a camp stove for cooking instead of a campfire.  Be sure your tent is waterproof and a first-aid kit is a must for all of those unexpected bumps and bruises. Investing in modern gear will aid in the safety and environmental responsibility of your camping experience.       

    Upon arrival, one thing to remember is that a good campsite is found, not made.  Choose a site that will be appropriate for your family.  Think about proximity to restrooms and play areas and the amount of space needed for your tent and kitchen areas.   Involve the children as much as possible during the set-up and break down of camp.  This will allow the entire family to feel involved and get excited about their camping experience. 

    Being prepared with games and activities for your trip will keep the children occupied and give the adults time to relax and enjoy.  One recommendation is to bring a flash light for every child in your family.  This will prevent avoidable arguments.  Flashlight tag is a fun game to play once the sun goes down.  Before the sun sets, be sure to establish the boundaries for the game so that no one gets lost.  When its time to turn in for the night, a flashlight is great for bed-time stories or shadow puppets on the tent wall. 

    Camping can be a fun and exciting adventure for the whole family.  Let the Leave No Trace principles guide your camping trip so you can enjoy the outdoors responsibly and teach your children to appreciate the beauty of the natural world.  For more information about Leave No Trace, check out the website www.lnt.org   

Happy Camping,

Tracy and Kate
     eTour 2008
Read More from the Road on the Traveling Trainer Blog.
Store Promotion

Pocket Guides

The New Leave No Trace Banners Now On Sale!

Eye catching 24" x 42" weather resistant, durable banners listing the seven Leave No Trace Principles. Excellent for interpretive centers, retail shops, or as a visual aid for presentations.  Now 30% off through the end of July!

Regularly $39.95 each.

Get yours today by visiting the online store!

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.