Sunday, April 8, 2012

Klamath Falls Bonanza Blitz

Talking Leave No Trace with the US Forest Service & Fish and Wildlife!

The Leave No Trace e-tour was invited to Klamath Falls, Oregon, for a community-wide Leave No Trace blitz! The results? Awesome. After driving back into winter snow, the week kicked off with events at a couple of the city's elementary schools. In two days, we got to speak to eight different classrooms, making over 200 brand-new Leave No Trace experts! These students were dialed in on what to do with trash when they're hiking, fishing, and hanging out around their beautiful city. Trash Your Trash! We were incredibly impressed with how much some of the youth of Klamath Falls already knew. When talking about how to minimize campfire impacts, one third grader even mentioned that it was important not to build a campfire above the treeline! That's wild!

Rocking Gear from The North Face at Crater Lake National Park!
This part of Oregon, surrounded by the marks of volcanic legacy, has a wealth of National Forests, National Wildlife Refuges, and Crater Lake National Park. We spent a day with some of the top-notch personnel from the US Forest Service and US Fish & Wildlife Service. It was great to talk with them about some of the issues they are dealing with in the area and asked some tough questions of us. Chatting about interactions between different user groups, people making unauthorized markings on trails, and the ever-present human waste issues, we got to cover a lot of territory. Not content to just talk about the backcountry, this group was really focused on how to get this information to the frontcountry users they see throughout the area. Whether supplying outdoor information to new visitors or working backcountry Nordic ski patrol, they want to make sure everyone gets to learn about Leave No Trace!
Quinn teaches Girl Scouts about catholes!
No Leave No Trace blitz is complete without a little trail cleanup, so on Saturday we teamed up with a stellar group of Girl Scouts to help out at a local park. Before we grabbed our trash bags and gloves to put in a little service work, we talked about all seven Leave No Trace principles with a variety of games and demonstrations. One highlight was when the girls were really excited to learn about digging catholes! These young campers are going to be lifelong environmental stewards. After our cleanup, we all enjoyed some smoke-free s'mores -- graham crackers, Nutella, and fluff. An awesome alternative to having a campfire while still enjoying one of the most fun things in the outdoors!

Rogue River Ramblin',

Quinn & Frank

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