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Leave No Trace Trainer Course With Rock/Creek & Outdoor Chattanooga

Become a Leave No Trace Trainer! Rock/Creek & Outdoor Chattanooga are hosting a Leave No Trace (LNT) Trainer Course on the weekend of April 11th & 12th, 2015. The LNT Trainer Course is an informative, practical, and fun two-day workshop on the ethics and practice of minimum-impact recreation and travel. Course participants will learn skills and teaching techniques through lectures, skits and discussions in a spectacular outdoor setting at Lula Lake Land Trust.

The course is designed for people who actively teach others outdoor skills, or provide recreation information to the public. On completion of this course, participants will be registered as Leave No Trace Trainers with the national Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and will receive a certificate of course completion as well as their Leave No Trace Trainer lapel pin.

2015-02-leave-no-trace-poster When: April 11th, 2015 8:30am to April 12th 5:00pm
Where: Lula Lake Land Trust, Lookout Mtn, GA
Cost: $65 (includes LNT materials & one dinner)
Instructors: Adam Cogbill and Terri Chapin, both are Leave No Trace Master Educators
Equipment: Participants will need their own personal camping gear, shelter, stove, mess kit, and weather-appropriate clothing. A detailed equipment list will be provided upon registration. If you can’t provide your own gear, we may be able to outfit you with certain items by prior request.
Meals: Saturday Dinner meal will be provided and incorporated into the instructional curriculum. Dietary requests considered. Participants will need to bring materials and food for all other meals.

Register by March 25, 2015
with Outdoor Chattanooga [email protected] or 423-643-6888

A few words by Adam Cogbill
Why is Leave No Trace so important?

About a year ago, there was a lot of buzz about a scout troop who destroyed an ancient rock formation in Goblin Valley State Park. This incident was a harsh reminder that, along with the innumerable amount of positive benefits to outdoor recreation, there are also negative consequences if not done so in a responsible manner. Events like this forebode us to ask: why is the Leave No Trace program important?

By gaining an understanding of the Leave No Trace principles, and learning how utilizing them can minimize your impact on the environment, we will build lifelong outdoor advocates with strong outdoor ethics. More importantly, by learning how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly, we ensure future generations will be able to enjoy the amazing places we have available to us today. Those generations will in turn grow to have, as George N. Wallace states in his essay Authority of the Resource, an “intrinsically motivated stewardship of wilderness” that develops out of an “understanding of how their actions affect the way nature operates.”

The next logical question to ask then is, what is an “outdoor ethic” and how does it drive the Leave No Trace program?

If you would have asked author, ecologist, and conservationist Aldo Leopold, he might have told you, ethical behavior, in regards to the environment, “is doing the right thing when no one else is watching- even when doing the wrong thing is legal.” But according to Merriam-Webster, “ethics” is defined as, “rules of behavior based on ideas about what is morally good or bad.”

Simply put, an outdoor ethic is a moral environmental compass by which to know what is “right” or “wrong.” The Leave No Trace program is the leader in building that compass and is the most widely accepted outdoor ethics program in the nation. Mr. Leopold was ahead of his time when he wrote “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”

A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.

Not all examples like the Goblin State Park incident are so black and white; likewise, when we are playing outside, responsible recreation is not always a matter of right and wrong. Part of the reason Leave No Trace has been so effective is that they have intentionally centered their vision around creating “principles” and not “rules” or “laws,” the idea being that each individual would come understand and adopt these principles as their own ethic and not feel as though they were hard-and-fast laws to abide by.

Whether you’ve never heard of Leave No Trace before or you need a little refresher, here are the seven “principles”, and a few notes on each to help spark some thoughts.

1. Plan ahead and prepare.
Almost all situations that involve questionable environmental practices could be avoided by planning ahead before you visit. Know what and what not to bring, weather concerns, regulations, and cultural and environmental things to consider. Fail to plan, plan to fail as someone once said.

2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
Durable surfaces are things that don’t show signs of your impact or have already been set aside as an existing trail or campsite.

3. Dispose of waste properly.
Pack it in, pack it out. Whether things you bring into the wilderness are “biodegradable” or not, pack out trash, leftover food, hygiene products, and anything else you bring with you.

4. Leave what you find.
Don’t touch or remove cultural or historic artifacts. Leave beautiful rocks, plants, and other natural objects for others to enjoy after you.

5. Minimize campfire impact.
Where fires are permitted, always use an established fire ring if there is one. Keep fires small enough to put completely out, and burn all wood to ash if possible.

6. Respect wildlife.
Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers. Remember that the wilderness is their community, not your commodity.

7. Respect other visitors
Be courteous and protect the quality of others experiences. Let nature’s sounds prevail, and avoid using stereos or other loud noises when others are around.

Whether you find yourself visiting the wilderness once a week or once a year, we encourage you to learn more about Leave No Trace practices and principles.