Leave No Trace Completes Work at Mount Rainier National Park

The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics recently completes work with volunteers and park representatives to put excessive recreational impacts at the Paradise Area of Mount Rainier National Park in check.

The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics recently completed work at Mount Rainier National Park's Paradise Area, a 2011 Leave No Trace-designated “Hot Spot.” Located in Washington, Mount Rainier National Park receives up to two-million visitors a year. At Paradise, the most heavily visited area of the park containing 26 miles of trails, recreation-related impacts have been severe. Miles of additional social trails and damage to subalpine meadows caused by off-trail travel have resulted.

In partnership with the National Park Service, the Center implemented a multifaceted education program to mitigate these impacts. The Center provided Leave No Trace training for key park service staff and over 50 volunteers, developed Paradise-specific Leave No Trace information, created Leave No Trace signage for visitors, and provided consultation on best management practices for minimizing recreation-related impacts. The Center also hosted three Seattle-based events to involve the local community and raise awareness about the initiative.

“The adoption of Leave No Trace at the park will play an active role in preserving it for generations to come. We are very proud of this important work with the National Park Service,” says Dana Watts, Executive Director for the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.

In its second year, the Leave No Trace Hot Spots initiative raises awareness about natural areas around the country facing the threat of irreversible environmental damage. As part of the initiative, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics works with volunteers, nonprofit organizations, friends groups and governmental agencies to reduce the impact of recreational activities in the selected endangered area. This goal is achieved through community outreach, education, training, signage, educational materials and local collaboration.

For more information on the 2011 Hot Spots initiative, as well as ways to get involved, visit http://www.lnt.org/01_community/hotspots.php.

About the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics
The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics teaches people of all ages how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly, and is the most widely accepted outdoor ethics program used on public lands. As the leader in sustainable recreation practices, the Center trains a nation of outdoor advocates to put Leave No Trace principles into action. Through relevant and targeted education, research and outreach, the Center seeks to ensure the long-term health of our natural world. www.LNT.org.

About Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier National Park is the fifth oldest national park, established in 1899. The park's boundaries encompass pristine stands of old growth forests, subalpine meadows, an inland rain forest, alpine lakes, waterfalls, geothermal hot springs and mineral springs. At 14,410 feet, millions of people can see Mount Rainier on a clear day, and it stands as an icon of the Pacific Northwest. The park contains the greatest single peak glacial system in the United States, with 26 glaciers radiating from the mountain's summit and slopes. It is also the second most seismically active volcano in the Cascade Range. The park's resources are accessible to a large, diverse, and growing population.