Leave No Trace

The Appomattox River, Virginia

From the National Park Service and Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics

Each of us plays a vital role in protecting our national parks. As we spend time outdoors, in the natural world and in wilderness, it’s important to be conscious of the effects our actions may have on plants, animals, other people, and even entire ecosystems. Following the Leave No Trace Seven Principles, summarized below, can help us minimize those impacts. They can be applied anywhere, at any time, while taking part in recreational activities.

o Plan Ahead and Prepare

o Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

o Dispose of Waste Properly

o Leave What You Find

o Minimize Campfire Impacts

o Respect Wildlife

o Be Considerate of Other Visitors

These principles were established by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, and built on work by the US Forest Service, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management in the mid 1980s. This relationship continues today. The principles are based on and informed by scientific research in the fields of recreation ecology and human dimensions of natural resources. Take a look at the science behind the principles on the Leave No Trace website.

Thank you for doing your part to protect our natural world.

Leave No Trace Seven Principles © 1999 by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics: www.LNT.org.