‘Leave no Trace’ principles remind people to be conscious when enjoying the outdoors this summer

Raleigh County

The grass is greener, the trees are budding, and the sun is glistening off the streams. Spending the summer at state and national parks in southern West Virginia brings views that will take your breath away.

However, with more people embracing nature, and even spending nights outdoors, Director of Education for the Raleigh County Solid Waste Authority, Sherrie Hunter, explained more trash is coming with them.

“People do everything to prepare for a wonderful picnic with their family and they’re enjoying the beautiful scenery; then do your part and take away all of that trash,” Hunter said.

Public spaces, like Little Beaver State Park and Sandstone Falls, have trash cans and recycling bins available near picnic areas and camp sites, but it is important for outdoor adventurers to bear some things in mind before parking their RVs or casting their fishing lines.

To keep these sites pristine, Supervisor of the New River Gorge National Rive, Dace Bieri, encouraged following the seven ‘Leave No Trace’ principles.

“‘Leave no Trace’ is basically a way to visit the park without leaving anything behind,” Bieri said. Basically leaving the place as nice as you found it or even nicer.”

Those seven principals include:

  1. Planning Ahead and Preparing: Knowing what clothes to bring for certain weather, learning about the areas you visit.
  2. Camping on Durable Land: Use existing camp areas, trails, and water supplies.
  3. Throwing out Trash: Put any litter in trash cans or carry it home. Use bathrooms and outhouses when available.
  4. Leave what you Find: Leave plants, rocks, and historical items as you find them. Treat living things with respect.
  5. Minimize campfire Impact: Use a camp stove for cooking, Be sure it’s OK to build a fire wherever you are,
  6. Respect Wildlife: Observe animals from a distance, NEVER touch or follow them.
  7. Be Mindful of other Visitors: Make sure the fun you have outdoors does not tamper with anyone else’s.

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