Special events this week focus on preservation and protection

Leave No Trace Selected Breaks Interstate Park as a ‘Hot Spot’ in the Nation to Help Raise Awareness Among Local Patrons about Outdoor Recreation Ethics in Natural Areas 

The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and its Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers team are partnering with Breaks Interstate Park to host community events and educational activities April 21-24. The park has seen an increase in trash, damage to vegetation and trees, and trail erosion over recent years.

The Hot Spot Program, a key component of the Leave No Trace In Every Park initiative, raises community awareness and brings solutions and prevention measures to popular natural areas around the country facing heavy recreational use and consequently, the misuse of trails, parks and open space areas.

“The cumulative impact of so many people enjoying Breaks Interstate Park can have a negative effect,” according to Blake Jackson, Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer. “In most cases, the land impact isn’t due to a malicious intent to harm nature and wildlife. Instead, it’s simply lack of Leave No Trace education and practices.”

“We are thrilled to work with the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers to help raise awareness for the future enjoyment and preservation of our beautiful landscape,” said Breaks Park Superintendent Austin Bradley.

The Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers will be hosting training events with Breaks Interstate Park local volunteers, agency groups and in schools throughout the week and the following events are free and open to the public:

Thursday, April 21, Leave No Trace at Hillbilly Days, downtown Pikeville 

Stop by the Leave No Trace booth for fun and interactive activities for all ages and learn tips on how to preserve and protect the environment while enjoying the outdoors.

Saturday, April 23, Leave No Trace River Clean Up 11 – 4 pm: Join Leave No Trace to clean up sections of the Russell Fork River. Where: Meet at Ratliff Hole River Access. This river clean up will tackle both an upstream location and downstream location. Paddling competency is required for some sections of river. For more information contact: Jason Foley, info@kentuckywhitewater.com.

Sunday, April 24, Boy Scout Workshop, 9 am – 12 pm.  Local Scout Troops will be participating in a Leave No Trace Workshop at Pine Mountain Trail Head and Shelter. Breaks Interstate Park, Carson Island Rd, Elkhorn City, KY 41522. For more information contact: Austin Bradley, Superintendent Breaks Interstate Park, abradley@breakspark.com.

LEAVE NO TRACE TIPS

1. Trash your Trash

Put litter—even crumbs, peels and cores— in garbage bags and carry it home or throw it in trash receptacles. Extra food, even apple cores and banana peels can do great damage to wildlife. Did you know it takes up to two years for orange or banana peels to decompose in nature; more than 10 years for plastic bags and more than 80 years for aluminum cans to decompose?

2. Dog Dogma

Use a plastic bag to pack out your dog’s poop to a garbage can. Dog waste can be harmful to the natural environment and can cause the spread of disease.

3. Take Only Pictures. Leave Only Footprints

According to U.S. state and national park services, Americans logged 1.6 billion visits to national and state park lands last year. If we all took a memento from nature during those visits, the landscape would change dramatically. Fill the memory card on your camera rather than your pockets and leave nature as you found it for others to enjoy.

4. Keep Wildlife Wild

Human food is unhealthy for all wildlife and feeding them can have unfortunate consequences such as drawing them to people and roads and making them sick.

5. Refuse the Makeover

No need for a major remodel of nature. Bring your own lightweight camp or picnic furniture and conveniences such as camp gas stoves, sleeping pads, chairs and lanterns. When you leave, it should look as though you were never there.

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