Resources: Leave No Trace - Outdoor Ethics
Leave No Trace
Instilling values in young people and preparing them to make moral and ethical choices throughout their lifetime is the mission of the Boy Scouts of America. Leave No Trace helps reinforce that mission, and reminds us to respect the rights of other users of the outdoors as well as future generations. Appreciation for our natural environment and a knowledge of the interrelationships of nature bolster our respect and reverence toward the environment and nature.
Leave No Trace is an awareness and an attitude rather than a set of rules. It applies in your backyard or local park as much as in the backcountry. We should all practice Leave No Trace in our thinking and actions--wherever we go.
We learn Leave No Trace by sharing the principles and then discovering how they can be applied. Leave No Trace instills an awareness that spurs questions like "What can we do to reduce our impact on the environment and on the experiences of other visitors?" Use your judgment and experience to tailor camping and hiking practices to the environment where the outing will occur. Forest, mountain, seashore, plains, freshwater, and wetland environments all require different minimum impact practices.
Help protect the backcountry by remembering that while you are there, you are a visitor. When you visit a friend, you take care to leave your friend's home just as you found it. You would never think of trampling garden flowers, chopping down trees in the yard, putting soap in the drinking water, or marking your name on the living room wall. When you visit the backcountry, the same courtesies apply. Leave everything just as you found it.
Hiking and camping without a trace are signs of an expert outdoorsman, and of a Scout or Scouter who cares for the environment. Travel lightly on the land.
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