As cities grow and populations encroach upon surrounding bush, it is critical that we endeavour to maintain natural and cultural heritage in their original states. Leave No Trace Australia promotes and inspires responsible outdoor
recreation through education, research and partnerships. The program strives to build awareness, appreciation and respect for our natural and cultural heritage and is dedicated to creating a nationally recognised and accepted outdoor ethic that promotes personal responsibility and land stewardship. It encourages all outdoor enthusiasts to do their part to maintain public lands for the benefit of fragile ecosystems and for future generations.
People enjoy the outdoors in myriad ways. We explore on foot, kayak, horseback, mountain bikes, boats, dive gear, skis, and crampons, to name a few, and there are more of us pushing our sports to greater extremes and into more remote parts of the natural world everyday. Our experiences are personally satisfying, but they can have a negative impact on the environments we visit and the animals we observe.
Australia’s natural environments and cultural heritage are diverse and beautiful. They can also be fragile. Polluted waters, displaced wildlife, eroded soils, and trampled vegetation are just some of the results linked directly to recreational activities or just simply, human presence. Public education and awareness of minimal impact skills through the Leave No Trace skills and ethics program could prevent considerable damage in the future. Educated local communities can minimise their day to day impacts and visitors to their area will learn to reduce their cumulative impacts so as not to diminish the integrity of the local cultural and natural heritage. At the heart of Leave No Trace are seven principles for reducing the damage caused by outdoor activities. However, Leave No Trace concepts can be applied anywhere— in the remote outback and wilderness, in urban parks, or in our own backyards.
Leave No Trace principles and practices extend a sensitivity and hospitality to other visitors to the outdoors, to culturally significant country and sites and to the natural environment. They are based on an abiding respect for nature, culture and people. This respect, coupled with good judgment and awareness, will allow you to apply the principles to your own unique circumstances. We can respect and protect the places and wildlife that inspire us in Australia and beyond. Let us aim to educate ourselves and adopt the skills and ethics that enable us to Leave No Trace.