Submitted by Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics
The San Juan Islands National Monument made a top 10 list of public land recreation areas that demonstrate “leave no trace” ethics. The national organization Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics selected the 2017 winners, from across the country, that promote outdoor skills, ethics and stewardship that help preserve and protect their natural landscape.
The new gold standard designation is part of the center’s Leave No Trace in Every Park initiative that recognizes outdoor spaces demonstrating the highest standard of practicing and promoting “leave no trace ethics.” The San Juan Islands National Monument on Lopez was listed as one of the 10 areas named that will act as models for other public lands across the country to emulate.
“We are excited to formalize a program that recognizes the hard work and achievements that all of these public lands have made to demonstrate ‘leave no trace’ ethics and successful implementation of our practices,” said Dana Watts, executive director of Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. “With our Leave No Trace in Every Park campaign, it’s our goal to award all outdoor areas across the country with the gold standard designation to ensure the beauty of our landscapes is preserved for the future.”
Each area underwent a rigorous application process to be named a gold standard site and was ultimately selected based on combinations the following criteria:
• A history of successfully implementing “leave no trace” outdoor skills and ethics into management, programming, outreach and education efforts at their sites
• Have staff formally trained in “leave no trace.”
• Post “leave no trace” signage throughout trailheads, visitor centers and campgrounds as well as leave no trace language and messaging included in pamphlets, maps and other distributed materials for visitors.
• Offer “leave no trace” interpretative programs including ranger talks, campfire events and trail outings to its visitors.
For more information, visit www.lnt.org.