Trails 2000

Based in Durango, Colorado, Trails 2000 is a 501c3 organization that builds and maintains trails; educates trail users and encourages connectivity on road, path and trail.
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What is Leave No Trace?

July 2, 2019

What is Leave No Trace?

In 1994, Leave No Trace was incorporated as a nonprofit organization. This was the beginning of an era for conservation minded outdoor adventurists.

Leave No Trace is, essentially, a code of ethics. These ethics concern how we interact with the outdoors– especially when it comes to leaving behind potentially harmful waste, creating dangerous situations, and removing nature from their rightful places. There are seven key guidelines that inform the Leave No Trace mantra. Each one centers around respecting the environment and minimizing our impact on the world around us.

Trails 2000 promotes Leave No Trace ethics in our TrailKids program and through our educational efforts. Here are the 7 Key Facets:

The Seven Key Facets of Leave No Trace

Plan ahead and prepare well   

Taking the time to thoroughly plan trips in advance helps you make conscious decisions and prepare for unexpected challenges. Giving yourself ample time to prepare ensures that you can take every step possible to minimize damage to the land. Not only is it a great way to ready yourself to Leave No Trace, but it also ensures your safety for the duration of your trip.

Travel and camp only on durable surfaces

Travel should be restricted only to marked trails whenever possible. Make sure you understand the regulations surrounding areas you explore thoroughly to ensure you’re adhering to rules and minimizing your impact on the environment.

Regardless of where you walk or set up camp, be sure you do so on durable surfaces. Rocks, sand, and gravel are ideal because they can stand up to constant trampling. Don’t cause damage to delicate surfaces just to snag a good view.

Properly dispose of waste

Much of the waste we leave behind after outdoor adventures won’t begin to decompose for decades (if it does at all). Even biodegradable or “eco-friendly” waste belongs in trashcans– not sitting out where it has the potential to harm wildlife. Remember, pick up your dogs poop bags, too because they can’t.

Leave what you find

Removing rocks, plants, and archaeological artifacts from their natural environments robs others of the chance to experience a sense of discovery.

For the sake of your surroundings and your peers, it’s best to take nothing but memories.

Minimize campfire impacts

Campfires have the potential to be catastrophic if not properly managed. If you must build a campfire, camp where wood is abundant and don’t build fires at high elevations or in desert settings. Once your fire is extinguished, there should be no evidence that it was ever there. Douse your fire with water.

Respect wildlife

Respecting wildlife helps keep animals and humans safe. Considerate outdoor enthusiasts take steps to observe wildlife from afar. Allowing animals the freedom to roam uninterrupted is a central part of preserving our natural ecosystems.

Be considerate of other visitors

Its just good policy: treat others the way you want to be treated. Trails 2000 suggests the idea of “Just Say Hi” when passing other trail users. A smile does wonders.

How Trails 2000 is Making a Difference

Since 1989, our team has been dedicated to connecting communities. Whether we’re out working to modernize and maintain trails or educating the public, our work is always informed by our commitment to preserving the natural landscapes around us. We work to improve trails across Southwestern Colorado and hope that you’ll consider “leaving no trace” the next time you venture out onto one of our numerous breathtaking, immersive trails.

Become a Trails 2000 contributor or consider donating to fund the program today. Still have questions? Let’s talk about ways that you can get involved in your community and help build trails that will be enjoyed by generations to come. Drop us a line. We’d love to chat with you about all things trails, connectivity, and community.


Happy Trails!


©2020 Trails 2000 • PO Box 3868 • Durango, CO 81301 • 970-259-4682


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