Thursday 6 July 2017

Leave No Trace Upon the Earth but Footprints and Echoes

White Pelicans taking off

“Leave no trace upon the earth but the footprints of your compassion and the echoes of your laughter.” Ann Oshiro-Kauwe 

Whether we’re hiking in the woods or along a river, it seems harmless to stick a pine cone in our pocket or throw an apple core into the bushes. And yet it’s not because if each and every person did the same thing, it would have a significant impact on our natural surroundings. Over 300,000 people visited Saskatchewan’s national parks in 2015/16. To ensure that our neighbours can also enjoy our wilderness areas, each of us needs to do our part to walk gently on the land and leave no trace.

Leave No Trace Canada is a national non-profit organization dedicated to building awareness, appreciation, and respect for our wildlands, and EcoFriendly Sask is one of their partners.

Leave No Trace Principles
Plan Ahead and Prepare (plan meals that reduce waste, hike in small groups, avoid wilderness travel during spring snow melt)

Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces (stick to the trails, use established campsites when available)

Dispose of Waste Properly (bury or pack out human waste)

Leave What You Find (don’t tie tent guy lines to trees or turn over lichen-covered rocks)

Minimize Campfire Impacts (use a camp stove or a fire pan)

Respect Wildlife (observe wildlife from afar, keep food and garbage away from animals)

Be Considerate of Others (keep noise down, choose earth-toned clothing and gear to lessen visual impact)

sun spangled creek

Leave No Trace Skills
The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics has some additional ideas that you may not have thought of – from sleeping under the stars to cleaning your bicycle.

Even Biodegradable Camp Soap Can Pollute

Hammock Camping

Feminine Hygiene

Invasive Species and Cleaning Gear

Are You a Considerate Mountain Biker?

There Are Birds on Those Cliffs

Additional Resources
Outdoor Explorations in Saskatchewan

Adventure Smart

Search and Rescue Saskatchewan Association of Volunteers