Leave No Trace
By David Riggs
Last May I chaperoned my daughter s 8th-grade class trip to Yosemite National Park. Organized by their science teacher, Ms. Coleman, the trip was the culminating experience to wrap up and tie together the curriculum from the previous two years.
While in the park the kids attended the Yosemite Institute (http://www.yni.org/yi/), an outstanding program that pledges to provide educational adventures in nature s classroom to inspire a personal connection to the natural world and responsible actions to sustain it. And they deliver.
The class was separated into hiking groups consisting of 10 kids and two chaperones. Each hiking group was lead by a skilled guide with experience in the fields of natural history and environmental interpretation. Our naturalist, Bec, shared her passion for the park with the kids by teaching them about plant and animal life, the park s ecosystem, ecology, current environmental issues, and outdoor safety (the falls, rivers, and streams were raging because of the spring snowmelt). Each group spent a lot of time learning; by touch, smell, and sight. And there was plenty of time for questions and discussion.
But we also hiked. A lot. Some of the teenagers could have done with less hiking, but hey, we were in hiking groups. Besides, it was great to be outdoors in the fresh air and beautiful surroundings.
Photo by Rebecca Riggs
As a group we learned much from Bec during our week in the park. But one point she emphasized the first day stuck with me as I m sure she hoped it would all of us: Leave No Trace (LNT). The LNT philosophy is the cornerstone of The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics (http://www.lnt.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and inspiring responsible outdoor recreation through education, research and partnerships. By educating the public about recreational impacts, as well as techniques to prevent and minimize such impacts, LNT works to build public awareness, appreciation, and respect for our wild lands. Very simply, it means that when you go into a natural setting, those who follow behind should never see any evidence that you were there. Not a bad philosophy, anywhere you go.
Why do I mention this? Because LNT is an important philosophy for editors, as well. When I edit an article I strive to comply with the LNT philosophy. However, in the July issue I inadvertently introduced a spelling error the proverbial typo. Maybe you didn t even notice but that s not the point. I pride myself on providing you with clean, clear copy that will assist you in your development endeavors. The typo in question was not a showstopper; it didn t alter any code or obfuscate any of the technical wizardry of our very competent writers. But it was there, and for that I apologize.
With that, get out and enjoy some fresh air. And get to Yosemite if you ever have the chance it s absolutely spectacular. In the meantime, I ll be here honing my LNT skills. Thanks for reading.
David Riggs is editor-in-chief of asp.netPRO and its companion e-newsletter, asp.netNOW. Reach him at mailto:[email protected].