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From Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation
The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation is joining with the Green Mountain Club, the Vermont Ski Areas Association and the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers to encourage backcountry enthusiasts to learn and abide by ‘Leave No Trace’ principles this winter.
Leave No Trace is a nationally recognized program designed to help outdoor enthusiasts travel safely and reduce their impacts in the backcountry. The program strives to educate those who enjoy the outdoors about techniques to prevent and minimize impacts to natural resources.
“Vermont has a vast beautiful backcountry through which Vermonters and our visitors can ski, snowboard, snowshoe and snowmobile. While there are few things better than fresh tracks in knee-deep powder, these temporary tracks are the only evidence of our presence that should be left behind,” said Jason Gibbs, commissioner of the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation. “Everyone who ventures into the backcountry this winter can ensure their own safety and help to protect our natural resources by knowing and abiding by the Leave No Trace principles.” Vermont’s state parks also promote Leave No Trace on-site educational programs during the spring and summer camping season, Gibbs added.
The Green Mountain Club offers a variety of Leave No Trace outdoor ethics presentations and workshops, either at its headquarters or on the trail. For more information, or to sign up for a course, visit www.greenmountainclub.org/ or call 802-244-7037.
“Everybody who gets out in the backcountry in wintertime—by ski, snowshoe, snowboard, or snowmobile—experiences a special thrill of adventure and solitude. The Leave No Trace principles call on us to leave places just as pristine as we find them.” said Ben Rose, executive director of the Green Mountain Club.
Vermont’s ski areas are also encouraging outdoor adventurers to learn the commonsense principles. “Backcountry excursions often originate from or near ski areas and we want to be sure everyone has the information they need to be safe in the backcountry and help us be stewards of these important resources,” said Parker Riehle, president of the Vermont Ski Areas Association. “We join with our partners in encouraging everyone who visits the backcountry this winter to learn and abide by the Leave No Trace principles.”
Jay Peak Ski Resort, for example, has been a leader in encouraging Leave No Trace backcountry skiing principles and has been out in front of the effort to promote responsible backcountry skiing ethics. As most backcountry skiers know, responsible backcountry skiing and riding is about finding your own lines through the woods – not about cutting new ones. To help spread this message, Jay Peak has crafted a clever new campaign they’ve dubbed “If you can’t hack it, don’t hack it.”
Snowmobilers also enjoy the backcountry experience and do their part to protect the places they love. They know when they leave the groomed trail they are trespassing, going where they don’t belong, and they remember the snowmobiler’s motto, “Safe Riders! You Make Snowmobiling Safe,” said Bryant Watson, executive director of the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers.
“Snowmobiling is a fun and family-oriented activity and VAST is pleased to work with all of our winter recreation partners to encourage everyone to do their part to help protect and preserve access to backcountry lands and the ecosystems they contain by learning the Leave No Trace principles,” Watson added.
The Winter Leave No Trace principles are:
1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
3. Dispose of Waste Properly
5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
6. Respect Wildlife
7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more information, visit: www.lnt.org
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Updated December 24, 2008
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