Old and new growth intermingle in BC's magical forests |  <i>Patrick Troughton</i>
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Leave No Trace

Great Canadian Trails is committed to responsible travel and true sustainability. We are aligned with Leave No Trace Canada, an international educational program with a goal of promoting the responsible use of natural areas during outdoor recreation activities. The program offers simple techniques and Principles which help to minimize the negative impact produced by anyone visiting the outdoors – from the remote back country to urban parks and even to the backyard. The principles used are continually evaluated and updated based on independent research conducted by recognized leaders in outdoor education and related fields.

In addition to protecting our natural heritage and enhancing the quality of our outdoor experience, the program is actually an aid to managers of recreation areas. This is accomplished through educational events and messaging with the goal of making hikers, campers and other users aware of their impact on nature and by encouraging them to modify their behaviour while enjoying our parks and wild places.


The principles of Leave No Trace that Great Canadian Trails subscribes to are:

Leave No Trace_logo-canada Colour

  • Plan Ahead and Prepare
  • Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  • Dispose of Waste Properly
  • Leave What You Find
  • Minimise Campfire Impacts
  • Respect Wildlife
  • Be Considerate of Your Hosts and Other Visitors

 

History of the Leave No Trace Program
As outdoor recreation gained in popularity in over the last 30 years, the number of visitors to natural areas has increased considerably around the world. In the United States, faced with a real threat of significant degradation of popular sites, caused by sharply increased wilderness visitation, managers had two options: to close the access to a number of park sections in order to allow regeneration, or to educate visitors about the minimum-impact methods. Four, U.S. government agencies, including the National Park Service, as well as the National Outdoor Leadership School, then worked to jointly create a science-based, Leave No Trace program. Today, the Leave No Trace Centre for Outdoor Ethics is a non-profit organization, founded in 1994 in Boulder, Colorado and is responsible for the administration of the program and overall organization.

In 2004, a small group of Canadian educators, aware of comparable issues, recognized the importance of introducing the Leave No Trace program in Canada. Today. Leave No Trace Canada is supported by organizations such as Parks Canada, Scouts Canada, Mountain Equipment Company and many more. In 2005, the organization Leave No Trace Canada became an official branch of the United States program. Chapters can also be found in Ireland and Japan.

 

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