Friday, December 2, 2011
The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics recently completed work at Mount Rainier National Park’s Paradise Area, a 2011 Leave No Trace-designated “Hot Spot.” Located in Washington, Mount Rainier National Park receives up to two-million visitors a year. At Paradise, the most heavily visited area of the park containing 26 miles of trails, recreation-related impacts have been severe. Miles of additional social trails and damage to subalpine meadows caused by off-trail travel have resulted.
In partnership with the National Park Service, the Center implemented a multifaceted education program to mitigate these impacts. The Center provided Leave No Trace training for key park service staff and over 50 volunteers, developed Paradise-specific Leave No Trace information, created Leave No Trace signage for visitors, and provided consultation on best management practices for minimizing recreation-related impacts. The Center also hosted three Seattle-based events to involve the local community and raise awareness about the initiative.
“The adoption of Leave No Trace at the park will play an active role in preserving it for generations to come. We are very proud of this important work with the National Park Service,” says Dana Watts, Executive Director for the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.
In its second year, the Leave No Trace Hot Spots initiative raises awareness about natural areas around the country facing the threat of irreversible environmental damage. As part of the initiative, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics works with volunteers, nonprofit organizations, friends groups and governmental agencies to reduce the impact of recreational activities in the selected endangered area. This goal is achieved through community outreach, education, training, signage, educational materials and local collaboration.
For more information on the 2011 Hot Spots initiative, as well as ways to get involved, visit http://www.lnt.org/01_community/hotspots.php.