Leave No Trace e-News                                      August 2008
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In This Issue
News You Can Use - See You At The Trailhead!
News You Can Use - Dear Education Department
Partnership Highlight - Spadout.com
Request for Proposals - Master Educator Course Providers
Community Highlight - The Legend of the Swirl
Road Wisdom - Recreational Consciousness
Store SALE - Leave No Trace Activity Guides
Update Your Mailing and Email Address
Natural Order

In this order, Americans in the outdoors are:  1. Bicycling 2. Fishing, 3. Hiking, 4. Camping and, 5.  Trail Running according to a recent Outdoor Industry Association Participation Study. Another OIA study on youth pegged kids, ages 6-17, as: 1. Bicycling 2. Running; 3. Skateboarding; 4. Fishing; 5. Viewing wildlife.

Among American participating in outdoor activities, 37% of youth participate in outdoor activities at least twice a week, more than other age groups. Though this is still not enough activity, according to the Centers for Disease Control, this trend is worth paying attention to.

We consider these trends carefully when determining new programs and curriculum, what communities most need from Leave No Trace, if our resources go to fishing or biking or youth development, and in what order. We also talk with rangers, researchers and members like you to hear about what is working and what's next.

We're all ears so let us know how Leave No Trace can have a positive impact your community.

Susy Alkaitis
Deputy Director
eNews You Can Use
Lair of the Bear See You At The Trailhead!

The Senior Team and Education Department recently provided some Leave No Trace outreach at Lair O' the Bear Park, a popular frontcountry recreational site just west of Morrison, CO in Bear Creek Canyon. On any given weekend in the summer, the area is populated by individuals and families going mountain biking, hiking, fishing, picnicking and wading in Bear Creek.

In order to engage some of the day visitors, we stashed various pieces of trash attached to small signs in English and Spanish that read "Thank you for helping keep this park clean. Please bring this piece of litter to the Leave No Trace booth for a prize." The activity was a creative way to engage children and families, as many returned from their outings with full grocery bags of trash  and recyclables they'd collected. The picture shows some of the participants with their wares.

As mentioned, many of the participants went above and beyond, showing that a little creativity in outreach and education goes a long way!
Photo: Sarah Folzenlogen with hikers at the Lair O' the Bear Park.
eNews You Can Use
Dear Education Department,

I do many of the Leave No Trace programs for my community. I regularly use materials from the PEAK (Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids) program as well as your 101 Ways to Teach Leave No Trace and your Activity Guide. Some of the consistent themes we discuss are recycling and the decomposition rates of various trash items. I have noticed that the timelines of how long it takes for certain items to decompose have changed or appear different in some of your educational literature.
Can you explain the changes?  I have gone online to look and can find conflicting information due most likely to studies in different environments and such. I would like to have this information so I can explain to people why the numbers are what they are.

Recycling Rock Star

Dear Recycling Rock Star,

Thank you for your question and support of Leave No Trace!  You are certainly right, there is a variety of data available regarding decomposition rates. We have conferred a number of sources over the years and are currently working to provide consistent information as our educational materials are revised.

Some of the reasons for the variation in information include, as you've indicated, environmental factors such as: moisture, aspect, elevation, soil type, oxygen level, etc. Any combination of these factors can slow or increase the rate of decomposition, so many of the numbers provide represent a range and/or average of different rates.

We've included a link to a website that shows just how decomposition rates of common items differ in anaerobic landfills and in open air. This data is a compilation of information from NASA, the EPA, United Nations Environmental Programme and other environmental agencies/organizations.


If you have anymore questions, please don't hesitate to contact us! Thanks for doing your part to Leave No Trace.

Education Department
Partnership Highlight
Community PageSpadout: [spad-out] n.

Abbreviation for the web-based company, Sport Adventure Outdoors ("Sp"ort "Ad"venture "Out"doors)

Location: Based in Chicago, IL
Learn More: www.spadout.com

Why we love them: Spadout is a company dedicated to helping consumers find the best price on outdoor gear. It provides comparison tools to help experts and novices alike find the gear they need at the prices they want. Spadout also provides educational articles that help readers understand and use the equipment they have.
What they do with Community:  It is Spadout's belief that promoting responsible recreation will help our community foster a more beautiful, healthy environment in which to enjoy any outdoor activity.

"To put our money where our mouth is," says Mark Silliman, Owner of Spadout.com, "our crew designed the 'Spadout Gives Back' campaign."  This campaign not only reallocates advertising dollars to nonprofits like Leave No Trace, but also allows the Leave No Trace community to get involved in giving back to the environment.

Here's how it works: If you write a review or invite a friend to Spadout, they donate up to 4 dollars per person to the charity of your choice. All you do is donate a few minutes of your time educating our community about outdoor products, and Spadout will help Leave No Trace educate our community on how to use them responsibly.

Check it out for yourself, and we can create together a positive contribution to the environment and our community.

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. 

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

LogoThe Legend of the Swirl!

We're frequently asked around the Center about the meaning of the Leave No Trace logo.  It's not uncommon to get a least 1 call a week with some reference to the logo.  The following are a few of the terms that we've heard over the years: "swirly gig," "pinwheel," "hurricane," "whirlpool" and "galaxy."

With such creative terms for the logo, you can imagine that the explanations of the Leave No Trace emblem get quite original as well.  I've heard folks incorporate everything from water to space in their meanings of the symbol we're all so fond of (side note:  we know of at least 3 people who have Leave No Trace tattoos!).

I thought it was time to share the Center's "unofficial" definition of the Leave No Trace logo.  Consider the circle in the middle to be a fond outdoor experience or your favorite place to play outside.  The surrounding lines represent the ways we interact with that experience or in that space: with enjoyment, wonder, appreciation, and awareness we come into and out of the experience with as little impact as possible.

This is, of course, up for interpretation.  Leave us a comment on the blog and let us know what the Leave No Trace logo means to you!
Road Wisdom
Recreational Consciousness

From:  Alexis Ollar and Topher Marlatt
Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers

Alexis OllarIf you follow all of the Leave No Trace Principles then being considerate of others will come naturally. Here are some tips for being considerate of a few specific user groups:

Mountain Biking
  • Yield to hikers and equestrians. Slow down, establish communication, and pass safely, being prepared to stop and dismount if needed.
  • When descending, yield to climbing cyclist.  Cyclists that are climbing are working harder, and if stopped, may have a difficult time restarting.
  • Travel in small groups. Keep group size less than 5.
  • Don't race recreationalist trails. Racing popular trails can be a safety risk, and can possibly lock up tires causing excessive erosion on trails.
  • Let nature's sound prevail. Be conscious of the noise you & your bike make while out riding.
Rock Climbing
  • Climb and camp out of sight and sound whenever possible.
  • Keep climbing parties to groups of 2 or 3 per climbing route.
  • Make popular routes available to other climbers, by rotating routes at the crag.
  • Maintain a cooperative spirit by offering aid to fellow climbers in need.
  • Access depends on you.  Always obey rules and regulations, and check up to date access information and closures.
  • Be courteous to others by sharing the open waters.
  • Save larger campsites for bigger groups, and inquire what other groups plans are to lessen campsite congestion.
  • Safety first while on the water. Know how to perform self-rescue, as well as to how to provide aid to other sea kayakers. 
  • When traveling in groups, stay close in case of an emergency.
  • Check information on boat traffic while planning your route.
These tips can help minimize social impacts in the outdoors, and heighten ones enjoyment while recreating. Our rule on the road and in life is "Respect gets Respect".  We believe that a little respect and some common courtesy will help forge a conscious recreational community.

Happy Trails,
Alexis and Topher
Team East

Photo: Alexis Ollar.
Read More from the Road on the Traveling Trainer Blog.
Store Promotion

Activity Guide
Leave No Trace Activity Guide to Teaching Leave No Trace On Sale!

A 72-page guide full of activities designed to help share the value and importance of Leave No Trace principles with young people; many can be adapted for adults. Teaching materials include Background Information, Quick Concept activities, and Activity Plans. 

Now 20% off through the end of August! Regularly $9.95 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.