Leave No Trace/ River Corridors (ACA)
PLAN AHEAD AND PREPARE
-Learn about river-specific issues, regulations and permits.
-Use a river guidebook and map to plan your trip.
-Schedule your trip so that you encounter appropriate river flows for your group’s ability.
-Prepare for extreme weather, hazards and emergencies.
-Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use; visit in small groups.
-Repackage food to minimize waste.
-Know river skills and carry the necessary equipment to minimize your impact.
TRAVEL AND CAMP ON DURABLE SURFACES
-Durable surfaces include rock, gravel and sand.
-Focus activity where vegetation is absent.
-Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.
-Select a campsite large enough for your group.
-When on day hikes in the river corridor, walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when muddy.
-In pristine areas, disperse use to prevent creation of new campsites and trails.
-Leave campsites clean and natural looking.
DISPOSE OF WASTE PROPERLY
-Pack it in, pack it out
-Use a washable, reusable toilet or other approved method to pack out human waste, toilet paper and tampons. Check local regulations.
-Liquid wastes can be dumped into main currents in many high volume (over 500 cfs) rivers. In low volume rivers, scatter liquid waste 200 ft. from water, away from camp and trails. Check local regulations.
-Urinating directly into the river is often the best option. Check local regulations.
-Use a tarp in the kitchen to catch food and trash, which attract unwanted animals.
-Pack out all the small food particles and small pieces of trash.
LEAVE WHAT YOU FIND
-Appreciate ancient structures, artifacts, rock art and other natural objects, but leave them undisturbed.
-Do not build structures or dig trenches in campsites.
-Avoid introducing non-native species, including live bait, by cleaning equipment between trips.
MINIMIZE CAMPFIRE IMPACTS
-Minimize campfire impacts by using stoves.
-Use a fire pan or designated fire ring for open fires and charcoal.
-Elevate the fire pan and use a fire blanket to catch embers.
-Use dead and downed wood no larger than an adult’s wrist to keep the fire small.
-Consider bringing your own firewood or charcoal.
-Burn all wood and charcoal to ash. Carry out ash with other garbage.
-Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
-Never feed wildlife; it damages their health, alters natural behaviors and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
-Protect wildlife by storing food and trash securely.
-Control pets or leave them at home.
-Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, or when food is scarce.
BE CONSIDERATE OF OTHER VISITORS
-Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
-Communicate with other river visitors about your floating and camping plans.
-Leave larger camps for larger groups.
-Avoid camping or eating near major rapids where scouting and portaging take place.
-Non-motorized crafts usually have right-of-way over powerboats; slower boats should keep to the right.
-Let nature’s sounds prevail.
Following these principles will help protect and conserve our rivers.
For more information and materials:
1-800-332-4100 or www.LNT.org
540-907-4460 – www.americancanoe.org
Leave No Trace Center For Outdoor Ethics
“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”
– Margaret Atwood