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Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace

The Seven Principles of Leave No Trace provide an easily understood framework of minimum impact practices for anyone visiting the outdoors. Although Leave No Trace has its roots in backcountry settings, the Principles have been adapted so that they can be applied anywhere — from remote wilderness areas, to local parks and even in your own backyard. They also apply to almost every recreational activity. Each Principle covers a specific topic and provides detailed information for minimizing impacts.

The Seven Principles are well established and widely known, but they are not static. The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics continually examines, evaluates and reshapes the Principles. The Center’s Education Department conducts research — including publishing scholarly articles in independent journals — to ensure that the Principles are up to date with the latest insights from biologists, land managers and other leaders in outdoor education.

7 Principles

Plan ahead & prepare

Travel & camp on durable surfaces

Take your waste home

Leave It how you found it

Minimize campfire impacts

Respect wildlife

Be considerate

Todays Problems

Trashed Natural Areas

A cumulative impact from every discarded wrapper can devastate a natural area—removing trash is a simple but important and effective act of stewardship.

Polluted Water

Water is precious to all life. Simple, easy-to-follow advice helps ensure that rivers, lakes and oceans receive high levels of protection.

Misinformation in the Outdoors

Simply checking the forecast can save your life. From camping skills to safety measures, there is no such thing as too much information for an enjoyable outdoor adventure.

Wildlife at Risk

Wildlife should be just that—wild. Providing access to human food, or even just approaching too closely, is more harmful than most people imagine.

Damaged Trails

Trail erosion can permanently alter the landscape and is preventable when people adopt Leave No Trace principles.

Destructive Fires

Careless actions, such as leaving campfires unattended or casually discarding cigarettes, are among the most common causes of destructive wildfires, leading to billion-dollar losses and the death of people and wildlife.

Connecting Youth to Nature

Kids are spending less time outside than ever before. Leave No Trace works every day to help develop our future champions for nature.

Crowded Parks

Overcrowding can cause disruption to wildlife, harm to the natural landscape and even lead to social conflicts.

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