Wednesday, January 2, 2008

State Parks Forge Partnership with Leave No Trace

The National Association of State Parks Directors, composed of the leaders of America's fifty state park systems and Puerto Rico, and the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, a nonprofit organization that teaches outdoor environmental skills and ethics, just signed a formal partnership agreement. The agreement is intended to engage individual state parks around the country with Leave No Trace on-site educational programs. The partnership will work to expose millions of park users to environmental messages and minimum impact skills as well as make available new training resources for state park employees.

Upon signing the agreement, Leave No Trace's Executive Director Dana Watts said, "This is a vital step for the thousands of state parks in our country. Leave No Trace is already the environmental ethics program of many federal land management agencies and this important partnership with state parks extends the clear, concise Leave No Trace program to people enjoying their local recreational resources."

The United States has 5,842 state parks and over 827 million people use the state parks each year. This agreement makes widespread Leave No Trace programming available to the National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD) as well as individual state parks.

Greg Butts, President of NASPD, noted that the Leave No Trace is a perfect fit for the nation's state parks stewardship responsibilities. Butts said, "It's a people program, it's a behavior program, and it's a program that will reduce maintenance issues and increase stewardship on the part of our park visitors."

The Leave No Trace program promotes a consistent, minimum impact message for visitors to recreation lands. The organization is dedicated to the responsible enjoyment and active stewardship of the outdoors by all people worldwide. Since its founding in 1994, Leave No Trace has provided training in every state in the U.S. and over 25 countries. There are more than 25,000 active volunteers and members who help provide trainings and outreach that impacts more than 22 million people annually in the U.S. alone.

a news release of Leave No Trace, "State Parks Forge New Environmental Partnership", Sept 28, 2007
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