Utilizing the power of science, education and stewardship of people and partners,
Leave No Trace is on a mission to ensure a sustainable future for the outdoors and the planet.
Incorporated in 1994, the Leave No Trace organization was founded to promote sustainable wilderness and backcountry travel but has grown over the last 3 decades to advocate for care, responsibility and stewardship - no matter where or why people are getting outside.
What We Do:
Through a combination of proven education, collaborative science and sustainable outdoor recreation initiatives, Leave No Trace has been a foundational voice guiding people in how to best recreate respectfully and care for outdoor areas. Leave No Trace works to ensure the places we love most will remain healthy, happy and protected for future generations.
How We Work:
Leave No Trace is tackling some of the most acute problems facing our natural world due to the ever-increasing impacts from outdoor recreation. By empowering individuals with clear, science-based guidance on how to enjoy their favorite outdoor areas responsibly, Leave No Trace enables a collective effort to protect vulnerable natural areas and wildlife. We are rooted in real-world solutions, on-the-ground experience and collaborative partnerships to advocate for sustainable outdoor recreation.
Major program developments provide quality education while broadening the program's reach, including our: 1) Subaru/Traveling Teams Program, with 3 teams of educators throughout the U.S.; 2) the Leave No Trace Hot Spots program - identifying areas suffering from severe human-related impacts that can thrive again with LNT solutions; 3) PEAK - Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids - that reaches over 100,000 diverse youth annually; 4) Conduct human-recreation impact studies and research; 5) Complex community initiatives for localized support, training & regional volunteerism; 6) International programs, training options & branch organizations; 7) An extensive scholarship program; and 8) designation of Gold Standard Sites - exemplary models of best Leave No Trace practices and education on public lands areas.
Evidence-Based Science & Technology:
Science, specifically recreation ecology and human-dimension research, is the foundation of our work. With these tools, we can provide proven education to people and partners looking to follow sustainable, low-impact practices.
Utilizing our community to identify areas that have been "loved-to-death", we can help prevent further impacts and reverse the damage that has already taken place. Join us in Leave No Trace Citizen Science projects to share what impacts you are seeing to make a difference.
Working With Companies and Government Entities:
The private sector has a significant influence on how we get outdoors and the gear we utilize. That's why we're applying our science & expertise to help businesses make better decisions. Additionally, by advocating for investment in educational programs and research, we can unlock new avenues that allow us to scale up our work far beyond what traditional funding can do alone.
Our partnerships with local, state and federal government entities and land managers allow us to provide messaging and education to millions of people. As more people plan travel and vacations around outdoor recreation, the more important our work is with tourism groups to ensure the popular natural areas are cared for so they can continue to be appreciated and visited for generations to come.
Partnering with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities:
Lasting stewardship must actively involve the people linked to the lands and areas we seek to protect, and their voices must be foundational to the work we do. We are continually learning and transforming how we show up as a partner and education provider.
As the Leave No Trace office is located in Boulder, Colorado, we as a staff would like to acknowledge this area as the traditional territories of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute), and Očeti Šakówiŋ (Sioux) peoples.
Leave No Trace is a member-supported organization that relies on people like you! Not only is individual action essential to outdoor stewardship, but it is also necessary to fund our education efforts and initiatives around Colorado and beyond. Become a member today to show your dedication to the protection of our outdoor areas.
"Leave No Trace is the most simple and honorable concept growing in the outdoor movement today."
- Royal Robbins, Climber and Outdoor Pioneer
"I believe that Leave No Trace is the absolute least I can do in exchange for hiking, camping and backpacking in outdoor and wild spaces. Stewardship of the environment is critical to ensuring that generations after me can continue to enjoy the same trails I hike and woods I wander in. Leaving no trace is a small investment that reaps big returns." -Victoria, Leave No Trace Member and Master Educator
"Through the Leave No Trace Principles, my high school students are not only learning how to live respectfully in their outdoor playgrounds, they are also becoming environmental stewards on a global level. The simple yet profound values presented by Leave No Trace change young people at a vital time in life."
- Amber DeBoer, Outdoor Leadership Program Instructor, Warren Tech School - CO
"Leave No Trace for me became a lifestyle. Born initially out of a simple task of picking up others trash, I hated seeing litter all over the place when I was taking a walk or hiking somewhere. And at some point I realized it was more than just a visual clean up to our environment. This is our Earth, our children's future and their children's... we need to take care of it in so many ways to ensure the quality of life that we now enjoy for all of our future generations."
- Deb Herlihy, Worscter Chapter AMC, Leadership Chair
"I feel very blessed that our Creator has given me the opportunity to teach with my son what we believe is the best way to save our Planet for future generations. The Leave No Trace lifestyle."
- Carlos Alvarado, Leave No Trace Trainer (teaching cub scouts)