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April 16, 2015

Leave No Trace Principles

Gales Creek trail

The basis for the Leave No Trace principles are to leave nature in the same or better condition than you found it.

1. Use established trails: Don’t create new paths or cut-throughs which add to the amount of trail maintenance done by not only our national and state parks crews, but also by many volunteers.

2. Leave it: Leave what you find in place, including wildflowers and vegetation. Some wildflowers depend on the current plants to regenerate and picking them can cause them to die out.

3. Pack it out: If you brought it in, be sure to pack it out. Don’t leave anything behind, including tissues, food, plastic, etc. Even if labeled biodegradable, it can take years for things to decompose.

4. Wildlife: Don’t feed wildlife, which creates dependency and unhealthy habits, as well as a nuisance. Bears, chipmunks, and other animals aren’t as cute when they rummage through your pack or campsite for food and won’t leave you alone. Teach your children to respect nature by not interfering with it.

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