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874 Wilderness Responsibility

students backpacking through tall grass

When a visitor comes into our homes there is a certain etiquette of social responsibility that governs their actions. Basically, the visitor shows respect, is gracious, is careful to avoid doing any damage, and follows the "house" rules.

In the parks a similar responsibility exists. When we go to the Parks, Public Lands, and wildernesses, we are the visitors. (from Metro to Mountain Journal #868, Wilderness Responsibility)

My wife teaches at a private school. Each fall, her entire grade goes on an adventure trip to the mountains of North Carolina. For many of the students it is their first time away from home, and for many more, it's their first trip into the backcountry. The students have to quickly learn how to eat, sleep, live, and travel in the mountains.

When my wife returns from the trip (exhausted), I get to hear the trip stories. Every trip is different, but they all are successful.

After this year's trip, one students' parents wrote a special note to each teacher (and included coffee shop gift cards!). The parents were able to see the positive effects the trip had on their child. The notes were gracious and thankful.

So many things in life we take for granted, but if we understand their importance to humanity, we then seek the opportunity to be gracious. Wilderness areas are precious gifts.

When we are gracious of the opportunity to experience the wilds ... we are then, thankful for the lands and are willing to accept the practices of responsible, environmentally correct, usage. We use the Public Lands with minimum impact because we see the importance of wilderness being wild and untrodden for ourselves and the generations to come. We extend our graciousness with the hopes that even more lands might be set aside and protected.

A few gracious notes ...

Give thanks often - give special thanks to politicians, land managers, volunteers, etc.

Kindly show graciousness to others, but also demonstrate through action. Give of money and/or time to help preserve the lands or promote programs.

Treasure your time in the wilderness and share the experience with others.

Demonstrate a reverence to nature's sanctuary.

Treat the lands with care. Always practice and promote minimum impact usage.

Students at an overlook

A moment of ... Wow!

Be gracious for the opportunity to experience the wilderness and to share it with others.

Happy Gracious trails

Minimum Impact Usage - intro

Minimum Impact Usage - Wilderness Responsibility

Minimum Impact Usage - Wilderness Responsibility - Respect

Minimum Impact Usage - Wilderness Responsibility - Gracious

Minimum Impact Usage - Wilderness Responsibility - Avoiding Damage

Minimum Impact Usage - Wilderness Responsibility - House Rules

Minimum Impact Usage - Actions

Minimum Impact Usage - Actions - Knowledge

Minimum Impact Usage - Actions - Planning

Minimum Impact Usage - Actions - Giving Back

Minimum Impact Usage - Actions - Awareness and Prevention


Other links

Wilderness Education Association

Leave No Trace



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