We love our National Parks and hope that generations to come will still be able to enjoy their majesty and beauty. That is why the Yosemite Mountaineering School believes so strongly in outdoor ethics and the Leave No Trace(SM)
philosophy. Help us be good stewards of our park by following these seven basic Leave No Trace principles.
1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
A little preparation can go a long way in reducing your impact on the environment. Plan your trip to avoid sensitive areas, learn in advance any permitting issues, and travel in small groups to reduce impact. Small steps, like re-packaging food and carrying the equipment that you will need to stay warm (a lightweight stove, extra clothing etc.) without having to light a fire, help you to minimize evidence of your passage.
2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
To leave a lighter footprint on places that we explore, travel and camp on durable surfaces, including pavement, rock, gravel, dry grass and snow. In popular areas, stick to established trails and campsites to concentrate impact and preserve the surrounding areas. In places where few people ever go, spread out to disperse your impact, and avoid areas where impact is visible.
3. Dispose of Waste Properly Pack It In, Pack It Out.
It is essential to maintaining the beauty of our parks to take all the things you brought in back out with you again. Learn tricks to minimize the amount of waste you will create in the wilderness. On short trips, use designated restrooms before you start. On longer trips learn how and where to dig a cathole, and carry out all toilet paper and garbage.
4. Leave What You Find
Leaves flowers, rocks and pinecones there for everyone to enjoy. Especially in high traffic areas, if everyone took “just one” there would soon be nothing left for those who come later.
5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
Large blackened fire rings are an eye-sore. You can minimize campfire impact by bringing a stove for cooking, and keeping fires small and in existing fire rings when necessary.
6. Respect Wildlife
Sharing wilderness with the animals that live there is a particularly rewarding experience and also a delicate balancing act. Pursuing an animal to get that perfect picture, or luring them closer with your lunch, destroys that balance and endangers the wildlife. Protect wildlife by maintaining a healthy distance and keeping your food secure.
7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
In addition to wildlife, we also share the outdoors with other people. Some ways you can keep your impact on other visitors low include: avoiding loud voices or noises, learn and follow appropriate trail etiquette and avoid camping in high-visibility areas.
To learn more about Leave No Trace(SM), visit the website. Help us preserve the Yosemite experience for everyone by following these simple and important guidelines.