Sustain Our Nation's Forests and Grasslands

White River National Forest and Leave No Trace connect with communities to promote environmental stewardship

Photo: Woman in Forest Service uniform talks to hikers in front of a trail head sign littered with trash
Forest Service staff and the Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers hosted numerous community events and educational activities in hopes of raising awareness of recreating responsibly. Trash was left at a trailhead sign from someone unaware of the “pack in, pack out” principle. Forest Service photo.

Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and its Traveling Trainers team partnered with the Aspen–Sopris Ranger District on the White River National Forest to host community events and educational activities June 26–July 3.

Photo: Man holding a flip chart talks to hikers standing in a meadow surrounded by aspen trees.
Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers offered opportunities for visitors to experiencing the outdoors responsibly. Forest Service photo.

The Hot Spot Program is a key component of the Leave No Trace in the Every Kid in a Park initiative. The program raises community awareness and brings solutions and prevention measures to popular natural areas around the country facing heavy recreational use and consequently, the misuse of trails, parks, and open space areas. Leave No Trace selected Conundrum Hot Springs as a ‘Hot Spot’ to help raise awareness about outdoor recreation ethics in natural areas.

The scenic and popular Conundrum Hot Springs has experienced an increase in overnight visitor use resulting in excessive trash, human waste, damage to vegetation and trees, and trail erosion over the recent years. 

Throughout the week, the traveling trainers and Forest Service employees conducted educational outreach up and down the Roaring Fork Valley, visited with recreationists at the Conundrum Trail Head and the Aspen Farmers Market, and hosted workshops for Forest Service employees, local outfitters, guides, and volunteers.  

Get Involved — take the LNT Bigfoot Challenge. For more information visit us at our YouTube channel,  our Facebook page, and our blog.