Leave No Trace around Lake Tahoe
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.
Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and its Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers team are partnering with the Lake Tahoe Outreach Committee and other Lake Tahoe organizations to host community events and educational activities June 6-13. As visitors flock to the outdoor recreation wonderland that is Lake Tahoe, the trails, beaches and forests are experiencing an increase in use and the associated impacts of trash, trail erosion and shoreline degradation.
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 Lake Tahoe can have a negative effect,” said Emy Gelb, 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.”
Traveling Trainers will be hosting events in the Lake Tahoe area with local volunteers, agency groups and in schools throughout the week and the following events are free and open to the public:
Tuesday, June 7 — Tahoe Talks Brown Bag Lunch: Protecting Our Shoreline from Trash
Learn about steps to reduce waste, manage trash, be bear aware and keep plastic out of Lake Tahoe. Hear from Leave No Trace and local experts about trash cleanups, recycling efforts and recent messaging campaigns to encourage locals and visitors to clean up their act. For more information contact Marilee Movius, community engagement manager at The League to Save Lake Tahoe, firstname.lastname@example.org, 530-541-5388 or Devin Middlebrook, environmental education specialist with Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, email@example.com, 775-589-5230. The event will be held at Fairway Community Center, Fireside Room, 330 Fairway Drive, in Tahoe City.
Saturday, June 11 — Tahoe Bike Challenge Path Clean Up, 9:30 a.m. to noon with lunch celebration following cleanup
Join Tahoe agencies for a bike path clean-up day. Volunteers can meet at one of four locations throughout South Lake Tahoe to pick up litter from the areas around our bike paths. Then the groups will get together at the League to Save Lake Tahoe office (2608 Lake Tahoe Blvd.) for a free lunch, raffle and celebration after noon. Additional details can be found at clean-tahoe.org/bike-path-cleanup.
Sunday, June 12 — Native Species Festival, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Taylor Creek Visitor Center
Learn more Leave No Trace tips and practices with games and activities for all ages. There will also be a nature walk taking place with the Traveling Trainers from the festival.