About this time last year, the world was ruled by uncertainty. As Winter 2020/21 winds down, locally there is still a significant amount of uncertainty. But, we have learned so much over this last year about what we can do to keep a sense of “norm” in our lives.
It isn’t surprising that people turned to outdoor recreation as something we could do. Recreating outdoors was a safe way to stay healthy, mentally and physically, when there was so much that we couldn’t do.
Just like a concert hall, or baseball stadium, or parking lot, the lands we recreate on have a capacity. It’s harder to gauge, a bit subjective, and no matter the “carrying capacities” or “limits of acceptable change”, outdoor recreation is hard to regulate.
With this in mind, it is up to all of us to practice, to teach and to promote the techniques and philosophies that can give our lands a fighting chance to sustain an ever increase in use. There are several organizations that exist solely to educate the public on ways to minimize impact and preserve the natural world. Take a few minutes to refresh your knowledge and pass it on while you are out adventuring!
Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics – A focus on education and instilling a set of guidelines known as the 7 Principles, the organization accomplishes its mission by providing innovation, skills and research to help people care for the outdoors. By working with the public and those managing public lands, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics focuses on educating people—instead of costly restoration programs or access restrictions—as the most effective and least resource-intensive solution to land protection. Click on the links below to learn more about each of these organizations and what they are doing to promote stewardship and ethics for outdoor recreation.
Tread Lightly! – Also following a set of guidelines, the T.R.E.A.D Principles guide this organizations’s efforts to protect and enhance recreation access and opportunities by promoting outdoor ethics to heighten individuals’ sense of good stewardship. Tread Lightly!’s goal is to balance the needs of the people who enjoy outdoor recreation with the need to maintain healthy ecosystems and thriving populations of fish and wildlife. Including both land and water, and representing nearly every form of outdoor recreation including, but not limited to hunting, recreational shooting, fishing, and boating, they promote safe and responsible use of motorized and mechanized vehicles in the outdoors.
Recreate Responsibly – Established due to the pandemic, the Recreate Responsibly Coalition aspires for everyone to have a holistic outdoor experience by advancing all aspects of responsible recreation: keeping yourself, others, and outdoor places safe; accessing outdoor benefits essential to the human experience; and building an outdoors for all through justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. The Coalition has developed guidelines for Summer as well as Winter.
Thanks for taking a few minutes to refresh your skills, now get out there and enjoy!