Leave No Trace (LNT) has become the official education and outreach policy for managing recreational use in parks and wilderness areas throughout the United States. It is based on seven core principles that seek to minimize impacts from backcountry recreational activities such as hiking, climbing, and camping. In this paper, we review the history and current practice of Leave No Trace in the United States, including its complex role in the global political economy of outdoor recreation. We conclude by suggesting a new framework for building on the successes of Leave No Trace, while moving beyond its self-imposed limitations, and recapturing wilderness recreation as a more collaborative, participatory, productive, democratic, and radical form of political action.
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Document Type: Research Article
Bill Lane Center for the American West, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA
Department of History and Environmental Studies Program, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA
Publication date: 01 March 2009
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