Most of us are probably familiar with, or at least have heard of the Leave No Trace program. It is also known as LNT. The first thing that comes to mind is the old saying “Pack it in and pack it out.” This is a good place to start but LNT is much more than this. There are actually seven Principles of LNT. Also, LNT applies to everyone, not just equestrians. The principles apply to hikers, bikers, boaters, kayakers, snowshoers and many more.
The Seven LNT Principles, and very simple examples, are:
- Plan ahead and prepare – check the weather and trail conditions
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces – do not cut switchbacks
- Dispose of waste properly – remove manure from trailheads by taking it home in your trailer
- Be considerate of others – respect private property
- Respect wildlife – never feed wildlife
- Leave what you find – allow others a sense of discovery by leaving rocks, plants, archeological artifacts and other objects of interest as you find them
- Minimize campfire impact – use existing fire rings instead of building new ones and be sure to leave them cleaned out for the next campers
This is just a very quick sampling of all the great information available in the LNT program. The LNT Principles are guidelines as situations vary. This means that we must incorporate a lot of common sense as well.
Back Country Horsemen (BCH) promotes, teaches and practices LNT. Our mission in short is to preserve and enhance the rights of responsible horsemen to use horses and mules on public land. We believe that LNT is a major factor in keeping access to our public lands.
In fact, education is a major benefit of Back Country Horsemen membership. We have programs in chainsaw and crosscut saw certification, first aide, safety, packing and leadership. Many activities take place at the Leadership training in January and the rendezvous in March. In addition, monthly chapter meetings often include a variety of educational programs.
For more information about Back Country Horsemen, and our education programs go to www.bchw.org or www.pbchw.com or call me at 509-466-2225.