|An Arctic Ground Squirrel posing for a perfect picture |
in Denali National Park.
Five bears were killed in Yellowstone in 2010 by the time the article was published. It's depressing, and it reminded me of one of the most important lessons I've learned over the years when it comes to playing outside.
Those of us who enjoy the outdoors and wild places have a responsibility to protect them and to leave them as we found them.
This doesn't just mean avoiding tromping all over vegetation by staying on established trails. It doesn't just mean disposing of the plastic water bottles or granola bar wrappers you use properly.
It means having an inherent sense of respect for the outdoors, its inhabitants, and for others who revel in its beauty. And keeping wildlife wild doesn't just apply to big wildlife like the bears in Yellowstone.
|A pair of Dall Sheep just off the road in Denali National Park. They're easy to spot in autumn!|
We have to remember that we're visitors to their home, and approaching them for a better photo or a closer look can be incredibly stressful to them. If we're able to enjoy the outdoors without affecting its inhabitants, we'll all be much better off, and euthanized bear stories may be fewer and further between. The Leave No Trace website has some great resources on education and ways to minimize your impact on the outdoors, check 'em out!
What Leave No Trace principle do you think is most important? Leave a comment!