Sierra Nevada College launches Leave No Trace campaign | SierraSun.com

Sierra Nevada College launches Leave No Trace campaign

Special to the Bonanza

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — The 2014 Sierra Nevada College Leave No Trace Campaign launched Oct. 22, creating strong new incentives for students to apply the seven principles of Leave No Trace to campus life.

The campaign adapts the responsible ethics described by Leave No Trace, which originally applied to wilderness environments, into a code of conduct that makes sustainability-thinking part of their campus culture as well.

For example, while in the backcountry, "Respect Wildlife" may mean packing out food remains, in the "front-country," students pledge to check campus Dumpsters to ensure they are locked; "Minimizing Campfire Impact" becomes responsible disposal of cigarette butts and steps to reduce energy consumption by turning lights off and keeping doors closed in heated buildings; and "Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces" is applied to parking only in designated spaces on pavement and staying off dirt and landscaping.

During the campaign, which runs through Dec. 9, students can take a pledge on the campaign's Facebook page to participate in a menu of sustainable activities and behaviors that reinforce the seven backcountry Leave No Trace principles (Plan Ahead and Prepare, Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces, Dispose of Waste Properly, Leave What You Find, Minimize Campfire Impacts, Respect Wildlife, and Be Considerate of Other Visitors) on campus.

Students and staff hold each other accountable for collecting points for each activity, and prizes will be awarded at the end of the campaign.

SNC students helped start the campaign last year because they wanted a tangible way to support and grow the college's culture of sustainability and wilderness ethics. The Leave No Trace principles dovetail nicely with two of SNC's core themes — sustainability and professional preparedness.

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Leave No Trace was first practiced by backpackers who wanted to establish guidelines for minimizing their impact on the wilderness, and has become most widely accepted outdoor ethics program in the world.

The SNC campaign has also led to a partnership with the international Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, which operates in all 50 states and 30 countries. The partnership allows students to be a part of an international community of "LNT'ers," and gives them access to the Center's practical educational tools and resources.

This article was submitted by Sierra Nevada College, Nevada's only nonprofit, accredited, private four-year college. Visit sierranevada.edu to learn more.