07 July 2016

Why You Should Care About Conservation

I am not what you would call "conservation minded". The concept of conservation has always appealed to me, but more in the "I want my grandkids to have a planet to enjoy so I'll recycle this" type of a way, and less of a "I am going to dig deep into political policy to figure out what it means for me" type of a way.

Put simply: I know conservation is important and I know I should care about it, but I need conservation-ey things explained to me like I'm a 5-year old. Since I'm more of an armchair conservationist - not naturally inclined toward reading conservation articles or researching new initiatives - I need someone to tell me what is going on, why it is important, and how I can make an impact.

Lucky for me, in my role as the Membership and Marketing Director at The Mountaineers, I get to participate in pretty cool projects which help me understand conservation and stewardship better. Our most recent endeavor involved translating one of our "Low-Impact Recreation" seminars into a series of videos laying out the transferable skills of Leave No Trace for the everyday adventurer. I wrote these videos and am really proud with how they turned out. Check them out:

Hiking



Eating



Camping



Using the Bathroom



Basically: stay on the trail, camp in established areas, always take your toilet paper with you, a fed animal is a dead animal, etc. To someone who has spent a lot of time outside, most of these skills seem really obvious, but I'll admit even I learned something new. I hope you'll watch all of the videos and use the skills to become an outdoor ambassador: someone who is mindful of your impact on our wild places, and who follows the ethics of leave no trace to preserve our outdoor playgrounds for generations to come.

I know I will. After all my grandparents met in the Sierra Club on a trail stewardship day. Here they are 30 years ago, fighting for my ability to recreate today. If they were willing to spend time preserving nature for me (and we all know how much I like it!), I should damn well do my part to protect our wild playgrounds for the next generation.

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