Marlborough Mid-Week : January 21st 2015
12 MARLBOROUGH MIDWEEK, JANUARY 21, 2015 NEWS Maintaining a pristine wilderness This week Department of Conservation partnerships ranger Clare Moore talks about leaving not a trace, when we enjoy the great outdoors. I n living memory there were blank spaces on the maps of New Zealand’s mountains, but things have changed quickly. More and more of us like to get out and explore the farthest reaches of our beautiful country and share these experiences with others all over the world. We are climbing, biking, kayaking and tramping through our wildest places, and now realising that this wilderness is finite and that people are everywhere! It’s more important than ever that we are aware of our impact on the outdoors (both the wild and not-so-wild places we love to visit) and ensure that the effect on nature of our recreation or travel is minimised. Hopefully you will have heard of the environmental care code. This is a series of guidelines for all users of the outdoors to follow to minimise their impact on the outdoors, and preserve its natural state for others to enjoy. This code has been around for many years, but is now being enhanced by another way of thinking, from the Leave No Trace New Zealand organisation. Leave No Trace is a charitable organisation that aims to get us thinking about minimising the impact of our visits to the natural and cultural heritage areas of New Zealand. It depends on our awareness rather than on rules and regulations. There are seven principles: 1. Plan ahead and prepare. 2. Travel and camp on durable ground. 3. Dispose of waste properly. 4. Leave what you find. 5. Minimise the effects of fire. 6. Respect wildlife and farm animals. 7. Be considerate of others. These principles are covered in more detail in the organisation’s handbooks and on its website, but they are asking us to be much more aware about the way we interact with nature. We need to think about such things as ensuring we are well prepared (to avoid having to damage plants to build emergency shelters, for example), whether we really need to make a fire and how to remove signs of it afterwards, as well as choosing campsites where we will not damage delicate plants underfoot. This all applies whether we are camping at White’s Bay with 50 other people, or far from a track on the tops in Nelson Lakes National Park. Leave No Trace offers training courses to educate land managers, outdoor educators, tourism operators, club and youth group leaders and the wider public. Its courses are informative, practical, hands-on and a lot of fun. An online introductory version is available on the Department of Conservation website (type ‘‘leave no trace’’ in the search bar). I strongly encourage you to visit the website to learn more – leavenotrace.org.nz – and do a more advanced training course to help you fully understand the principles and apply them to your outdoor experiences. We all love our experiences in the outdoors to be free of other people’s litter, toilet waste and noise, and to see nature in an undamaged state. We must always think of the people coming behind us and make sure that they have the same quality experience. Into the wild: Being prepared is a good way of ensuring you make no impact on the environment, when out enjoying the great outdoors. Photo: SUPPLIED Fly the flag for your team for only $2.50! Pick up your official ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Flag (normally $5.99) when you buy the Marlborough Express, Sunday Star-Times or Sunday News from BP Connect or BP 2go. Participating stores only while stocks last. Promotion runs from 26 January – 22 February 2015. Flag RRP $5.99 without purchase of newspaper.
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