Leave No Trace eNews                                July 2009
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Bigfoot Challenge
 Bigfoot Challenge

Help us celebrate education in motion by taking the Bigfoot Challenge this year!  By visiting www.lnt.org/bigfootchallenge or catching up with the Traveling Trainers at an event this summer, you have a chance to take part in the Leave No Trace Bigfoot Challenge.

By participating in the challenge, you're not only entered to win some great outdoor prizes from our partners, but you will help us continue Leaving No Trace just like Bigfoot has been doing for years!

Take the Bigfoot Challenge!
Six days,
seven nights,
84 miles,
61 rapids,
big waves,
sand, sun, campfires,
       = BIG FUN!

I had the good fortune of spending seven days rafting on the Green River in Utah last week through Desolation and Gray Canyons with a great group of river rats. There were twenty-four people on the trip, ten of whom were under the age of eight. Needless to say, it made for an incredible experience.

Albeit challenging at times but wonderful nonetheless.

It was so inspiring to see how much the kids loved the river, and how they related to the environment. While the big priorities were being safe and having fun, we managed to work in some Leave No Trace as well. We made games of seeing who could find the most trash at our campsites, helped the kids understand why we pack out all of our waste and taught them how to wash dishes on the river. All good lessons about leaving places better than they were found.

While my garage currently looks like a rafting rummage sale - gear strewn everywhere - I can't wait to get back on the river.

See you on the water.

Ben Lawhon
Education Director
eNews You Can Use

Fire panDear Education Department,

I am a Leave No Trace Trainer and I have a question about fire rings.

Last weekend I was backpacking in a Wilderness Area and encountered several fire rings.  Some looked very new, and some were growing moss. My father and I decided that the ethical thing to do was to scatter the rocks and ashes, and disguise the area.

I'm curious about the Leave No Trace best practice for multiple fire rings, and when and how to dismantle them.

Thoughtful Hiker


Dear Thoughtful Hiker,

Thank you for your email and your support of Leave No Trace practices. While your intentions were good, it's often best to inform the land management agency and allow them to decide how to resolve the issue. This practice can be linked to the Leave What You Find principle. Many times they may have field folks inventorying and dismantling the rings themselves, so, make note of where they are, and let the local agency know.
That said, in popular campsites, Leave No Trace does recommend leaving a single, small, clean rock ring centered in the campsite. Dismantle and clean up any extra fire rings within the campsite area to leave the site better than you found it.

A happy and safe backpacking season to you!

The Education Department

Photo: Alexis Ollar demonstrates how to Minimize Campfire Impacts, by highlighting an alternative way to build a campfire: through the use of a fire pan.
MORE eNews You Can Use
70 Youth Say "YES" to Sustainability

Wrangell Institute No. 1A story about the Youth Environmental Summit (YES), with the Wrangell Institute for Science and Environment, Alaska:

"Over 70 first through eighth graders participated in the second annual Youth Environmental Summit (YES), May 27th-28th in Chistochina.  The event brings together youth throughout the Copper Valley to engage in hands-on activities that promote their understanding of environmental issues and instill a sense of responsibility to act as stewards of the beautiful natural resources in our region.  Building on the 2008 theme of YES to Preservation, this year the Summit focused on YES to Sustainability.

Wrangell Institute No. 2Students learned about eating locally, where our food comes from and how it gets to Alaska They also participated in tours of the Chistochina recycling center, a new solar demonstration project and a sustainable home demonstration. 

As part of the service project component, older students built a fish rack for a local elder.  Younger students learned about community beautification by painting a local home, painting flower boxes and recycled tire planters, and transplanting seedlings.

Leave No Trace lessons emphasized the importance of caring for the land and leaving places cleaner than we found them.  Students also participated in games and arts and crafts, and the event culminated with a youth coordinated puppet show that highlighted the lessons learned throughout the two days.

Coordinated by the Native Village of Gakona, the Summit relies on many partnerships and sponsorships to offer the event for free to any young person from the Copper Valley. YES is an annual event held the last week of May. For more photos and information, visit www.nvgakona.com."

-Janelle Eklund, President, Wrangell Institute and 2009 Connect Grant recipient

Photo captions:
Glenn Hart, Education Specialist for Wrangell St. Elias National Park shows a caribou antler to the Summit participants while discussing the principle Leave What You Find. Photo by Vic Bruss.

Janelle Eklund, President of the Wrangell Institute demonstrates camping equipment to the Summit participants while discussing the principle Minimize Campfire Impacts.

My Backyard
My Backyard (...Is Not Filled With Dog Poop!)

OllieAs we're all aware, Leave No Trace emphasizes a Pack it in, Pack it out mentality - and this includes dog waste.  

From the Frontcountry Ethics Reference Card:

Trash Your Trash and Pick Up Poop.
Use a plastic bag to pack out your pet's poop to a garbage can.

While this task can be come increasingly stinky on long (and multi-day) hikes, I've discovered a great compromise!

Meet my backpacking Lab, Ollie: The photo here shows Ollie on top of Sunshine Peak, her first 14er (July, 2008).

Instead of (me) lugging around days worth of her less-than-pleasant smelling deposits, she
carries it herself in her own pack!  

There are several great manufacturers making dog-specific packs.  Just make sure to balance the load, and keep a light load to maximize the fun factor for your pooch. For example, Ollie just carries her food and waste (in separate air-tight containers, of course).
Road Wisdom
Contributed by Alexis Ollar and Topher Marlatt
Leave No Trace e-tour Team

communityCommunity Counts

Throughout the years we have come to realize just how fortunate we are to be part of the Leave No Trace community.  To know that we are part of something that brings humans together in unity for the protection and preservation of "our" lands and provides a sense of inner-pride and connection to our favorite outdoor places.  As a wise person once told us, we only get one planet so take care of it, and we intend to do so through practicing and promoting Leave No Trace in our community and in our travels. 

Knowing that there is a network of individuals, families, and organizations out there that feel passionate about the outdoors, and the preservation of these places provides the realization that what Leave No Trace gives to us are guidelines for human beliefs and actions.  At the end of the day we know that the education and outreach we provide as the e-tour has tangible effect on our natural resources.  Leave No Trace has through the years, developed and inspired a community of conscience folks that understand the overwhelming importance of practicing and promoting the skills and ethics of the organization.

We have felt extremely privileged to meet folks who feel much the same way as we do, and believe that together we can accomplish the goals of Leave No Trace.  We have come to realize that practicing the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace will be a life long pursuit for us and commend the many others out there that preserve and enhance the biotic community through responsible recreation and the active stewardship of the places we love and feel connected to.

Happy Trails,
Alexis and Topher


Celebrate your summer thirst with a new Laken Waterbottle!
The Laken Classic Bottle 0.6 Liter, is a must have for any thirsty outdoor enthusiast!  Extruded from a single piece of aluminum, the Laken Classic aluminum water bottle is both functional and environmentally-friendly. A BPA-free liner makes the Classic a safe alternative to traditional polycarbonate bottles or disposable bottles.

Now 20% off through the end of July! Regularly $17.95 each, now just $14.35.

Get yours today at the Leave No Trace online store!

Offer Expires: July 31st, 2009.

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.