Want to help ensure our trails are there for many generations to come? Leave No Trace is a universal philosophy that could and should be part of any outdoor experience.
There are Seven Principles to remember.
The idea is simple – leave the places you enjoy as good or better than you found them. The Leave No Trace organization believes that if people do something, even something simple, to help take care of the recreational resources they cherish, we will all benefit. Cleaner water, fewer wildfires, fewer negative encounters with wildlife, less damage/loss of cultural and historic artifacts are just a few of the benefits of adhering to Leave No Trace.
It’s impossible to leave absolutely no trace of your visit to the outdoors. However, the primary goal of Leave No Trace is to prevent the avoidable impacts and minimize the unavoidable impacts. By doing so we can protect and preserve both natural resources and the quality of recreational experiences. This can also minimize the need for restrictive management activities by land managers.
“Areas like Lake Havasu City attract many visitors that the economy relies on. With that, comes increased lake activities such as water sports, camping, and trail usage, to name a few,” says Tucson-based Cindy de Leon Reilly, Arizona Leave No Trace Advocate and Master Educator.
“These increases create negative impacts such as trash, erosion, wildlife (in the water and on land), and vegetation impacts. Educating both visitors and residents in Leave No Trace ethics is a start to caring for the region and its resources.
“As a hiker, gear up with your essential gear and pack out your trash. Packing out others’ trash would also help. Additionally, know where you are going and respect the wildlife at a distance. Leash your pet, as to not disturb others. Enjoy the beauty of nature and leave only your footprints. And know the rules and regulations in the area, as it will be beneficial to the region,” Cindy advises.
“Ultimately, the bird species, insects, fish, and other wildlife will increase in numbers. Visitors will become more considerate, and residents would be more appreciative of the results.”
The Leave No Trace Seven Principles are:
- Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Dispose of Waste Properly
- Leave What You Find
- Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Respect Wildlife
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors