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Leave No Trace Principles Help Preserve National Parks

Arches National Park
A Missoula Boy Scout troop recently collected 7 pounds of trash at Arches National Park.

What do poor planning, spilling micro-trash, and rock collecting have in common? It’s all behavior to avoid if you’re visiting national Parksplike Arches, Canyonlands, and Mesa Verde. KZMU Radio in Moab recently spoke with a park ranger who breaks down seven principles she says will ensure recreationists leave no trace during their visit.

Karen Garthwait of Moab considers herself a lifelong volunteer, beginning at age three stuffing envelopes with her mom for the American Heart Association. Her dedication to public service now includes her 17 years of service to the national parks, first as a ranger at Arches National Park and now as an employee of both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.

In that position, she oversees interpretive media and assisting with their volunteer program. Karen led a litter clean up service project at Sand Dune Arch shortly before Earth Day, which yielded a surprising seven pounds of trash, made up mostly of the small stuff.

Review the seven Leave No Trace principles from the National Park Service.

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Mark Duggan provided online production of this story for KSUT.

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