Natural Lands Trust staff had the privilege to undergo two days of training last week with Dusty and Amy Allison from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.
We spent the two days walking around the preserve, stopping now and then to hold workshops led by Dusty and Amy and each of our land managers on subjects that help people minimize their impact on the places they love. These include outdoor ethics, how to prepare (and prepare our visitors) for trips in the outdoors, sticking to trails, keeping wildlife wild, managing pets (and their people), and teaching "leave no trace" to children.
We talked about communication styles, teaching techniques, and how to approach people non-confrontationally about things they are doing and how that might impact a preserve.
In the photo above preserve managers are role-playing visitors in encounters at the preserve.
Increasingly land managers at our preserves have become people managers of greater numbers of visitors, and we want to be as effective at this as we are with land management. We want you to enjoy your time at the preserves and want the natural resources to be fully available to future visitors.
Leave No Trace started as a "backcountry" ethic but with greater numbers of people recreating in the "frontcountry" on day trips to local natural areas LNT has added lessons for these places.
Dusty and Amy have wonderful stories from their travels (they are on the road 10 1/2 months of the year) and are effective teachers. Crow's Nest is a pretty wonderful place to hold outdoor workshops. We've already started incorporating the Leave No Trace message in our information kiosk and some brochures; look for it to improve your experience here when you visit.