The "Leave No Trace" program aims to promote and inspire responsible outdoor recreation through education, research and partnerships. Our public lands are a finite resource whose social and ecological values are linked to the integrity of their natural conditions and processes. Low impact ethics and skills are critical management components and help reduce the need for more direct and regulatory forms of management.
The "Leave No Trace" phrase was first used within the USFS as the name for minimum-impact messages targeted to non-motorized recreational activities. It was intended to provide a single message instead of the various rules and messages developed earlier.
Today, "Leave No Trace" includes a nationally recognized minimum impact educational system that educates outdoor user groups, federal land management agencies and the public through training and educational materials. "Leave No Trace" does not provide simple rules for outdoors behavior. They also provide the rational for each practice and emphasize the need for visitors to assume the responsibility to educate themselves and apply the learned skills.
The LNT Educational Model emphasizes the development and dissemination of effective and accurate LNT skills and ethics. The knowledge and expertise for this model is gleaned from the federal agencies involved in LNT, scientific research, industry, NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) and other outdoor educators. Core LNT literature includes the Skills & Ethics booklet series and LNT plastic reference tags that list the principles and core statements describing low impact travel and camping practices.
"Leave No Trace" is a non-profit organization. The majority of its funding is generated from grants and corporate sponsors. "Leave No Trace" also depends upon the donations of time by thousands of volunteers. Individuals who have completed the "Leave No Trace" trainer courses commonly volunteer their time to present information to interested groups. Targeted audiences include youth groups, retail store employees, guides, and school classes. Federal agency staff also devotes considerable time conveying LNT information to area visitors, user groups, and schools and provides numerous LNT messages in forest and park literature and on trailhead bulletin boards.
For more information on Leave No Trace please visit their website at: www.LNT.org.