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David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
LNT? Study shows hikers effect the predatory balance of wildlife on 10/05/2011 12:02:29 MDT Print View

"Even the occasional hiker on a trail is enough to ward off elk and wolves and affect the predatory balance of wildlife in a park, a study released Friday shows."

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/prairies/nature-walks-jolt-hungry-predators-study-says/article2178764/

How does this effect your thoughts on hiking and Leave No Trace? Is LNT really possible,
or just a goal to approach?

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: LNT? Study shows hikers effect the predatory balance of wildlife on 10/05/2011 12:17:43 MDT Print View

50 m is about 150 ft from the trail. When solo I often startle animals and even with a group in the Gila, we surprised a little black bear, who hauled his butt up a steep hill.

Based on my own unscientific observations, I'm certain there's other variables such as group loudness, wind direction, weather, and how colorful the hikers clothes are vs. whether the animal can see color or motion. Knowing a few serious turkey hunters, there's a reason they are really dressed up in camo during dry bird season.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: LNT? Study shows hikers effect the predatory balance of wildlife on 10/05/2011 12:23:47 MDT Print View

On the other hand, when hiking trails in the wilderness I see lots of deer tracks on the trails. I think we do them a favor by making through-ways that are easier walking than cross country. This counters at least to a small extent the adverse effects we have on wildlife. Just anecdotal...

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Interesting point Jerry on 10/06/2011 10:28:35 MDT Print View

Jerry brings up an interesting consideration...

In my local backcountry too, the wildlife seems to use some of the trails more frequently than the hikers. We had a series of fires burn up most of our forest over the last five years followed by big winter rains; a lot of our trails were obliterated and some, still, have not been cleared or re-worked.

On the occasions that we've hiked some of these trails to assess damage or begin clearing, we've had to rely on predator tracks (bears and cougars) to figure out where the trails were/are.

I've witnessed plenty of wildlife turn tail and run at the sight of humans and I could understand how the presence of hikers could disrupt or alter animal behavior, but there's clear evidence that wildlife takes advantage of hiking trails to move about their territory more easily too.

Photobucket

Edited by NickB on 10/06/2011 10:34:24 MDT.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
LNT? Study shows hikers effect the predatory balance of wildlife on 10/06/2011 11:10:20 MDT Print View

It's a goal to approach.

I'm always somewhat amazed by counterarguments based on the fact that you can never really truly be 100% LNT.

Of course you can't, but you can strive to be.

It's like assuming that since I can't be good all the time, I might as well just be bad.

Jesse Glover
(hellbillylarry) - F

Locale: southern appalachians
Re: LNT? Study shows hikers effect the predatory balance of wildlife on 10/06/2011 11:10:55 MDT Print View

"Is LNT really possible"

No it's not possible.

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
LNT on 10/06/2011 11:21:10 MDT Print View

Craig, I'm not sure if your response was directed at me or just in general, but I fully agree with you. I try to practice LNT, especially with respect to stealth camping and believe it's a reasonable goal to strive for.

I haven't read the study, so I don't know what conclusions the researchers drew, but I was just agreeing with Jerry's comment that perhaps our presence in the backcountry isn't entirely negative on wildlife.

. ..
(dgowler)
Re: LNT? Study shows hikers effect the predatory balance of wildlife on 10/06/2011 12:52:07 MDT Print View

I live a couple hours from banff, most of my hiking is in that corridor of the rocky mountains. Using "leave no trace" and "banff national park" in the same sentence is a bit of a joke. The article mentioned the amount of traffic through there but it failed to mention that "back country camping" in banff, Jasper, kananaskis, includes picnic tables, steel fire rings and split firewood. Luxuries like that are magnets for idiots who pack in glass 60 pounders of crown royal and love to cut trees down despite the firewood. Leave no trace is a wonderful catch phrase for parks Canada to drop to appease greenpeace, but it doesn't really exist in those places.

If they did this study in the actual bush, real wild places which Alberta/BC has an abundance of, this might all mean something.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
LNT is Good. 100% LNT is Extremism! on 10/06/2011 13:06:16 MDT Print View

Much more often than not, striving for 100% indicates brain shutoff and emotions amok.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: LNT is Good. 100% LNT is Extremism! on 10/06/2011 13:15:53 MDT Print View

Benjamin, I've told you forty million times never to exaggerate.

--B.G.--

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: LNT is Good. 100% LNT is Extremism! on 10/06/2011 13:25:36 MDT Print View

>Much more often than not, striving for 100% indicates brain shutoff...

I'd rather brain shutoff be because of striving for 100% than the countless other reasons so many peoples' brains have already shut off. :)

Yeah, its a goal to approach.

Anything we do at any place and any time has an impact to some degree. I'd rather there be trails through the wilderness where the young generations can hopefully learn to appreciate nature rather than raising a generation of careless ignoramuses who wouldn't give a rip. Too many careless ignoramuses as it is.....

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: LNT is Good. 100% LNT is Extremism! on 10/06/2011 13:26:10 MDT Print View

But 100% is hardly an exaggeration! :)

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: LNT is Good. 100% LNT is Extremism! on 10/06/2011 13:28:27 MDT Print View

"I'd rather brain shutoff be because of striving for 100%"

Spoken like a true Tea Partyer. :)
































(just kidding, but you know what I mean about extremism... which one can find in pretty much every field)

Craig Savage
(tremelo) - F

Locale: San Jacinto Mountains
LNT? on 10/06/2011 14:01:41 MDT Print View

I'll be thinking of this over winter after the Sierra Club's new reflectors are pounded in the trees at the local State Park. you know, the xc-ski and snow shoe people will have minimal impact as they navigate their new virtual road in the mtns

Brian UL
(MAYNARD76)

Locale: New England
Re: LNT? Study shows hikers effect the predatory balance of wildlife on 10/06/2011 14:37:59 MDT Print View

All this study shows is that animals are scared off from trails. The real question is ....so what? We need an other study to stow if there are any negative consequences from this. Seems people are simple assuming that this is negative because we have been brainwashed into believing human = bad. News flash- mankind is nature, we belong here we have been in the "wilderness" for millenniums walking on trails. I think nature has already worked us into the balance of predatory behavior.

Tommy Smith
(someguysname) - F

Locale: Texas
Re: LNT? on 10/06/2011 15:24:42 MDT Print View

I think Leave No Trace just chose a bad name. Theres no possible way to completely leave without a trace of ever being there...this is what LNT is (their principles in case you dont recognize them and what I think they mean):

Plan Ahead and Prepare
Know where you're going and how to use a compass to minimize the use of blazes and cairns?

Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
Would an established trail count as a Durable surface?

Dispose of Waste Properly
duh...

Leave What You Find
Look, but dont touch or take

Minimize Campfire Impacts
another duh?

Respect Wildlife
bear bag it so they dont become habituated?

Be Considerate of Other Visitors
another big duh...

Edited by someguysname on 10/06/2011 15:26:00 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
building a fire on 10/06/2011 16:03:41 MDT Print View

Does building a small fire in an area with lots of down wood leave a significant trace?

The wood gets reduced to minerals which get washed into the soil and get taken up by plants.

Building a fire is a miniature version of a natural forest fire. After a forest fire there is often a flush of growth.

I'm not talking about if you're above the treeline and there are just a few gnarled dead trees around. Like in the Sierras.

If you "harvest" trees and actually take them away that would have much more impact.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
LNT. Yes, Literally. on 10/06/2011 16:33:28 MDT Print View

Oh No!!!! They said NO trace...I...I...I think I just left one when I peed in that bush!!!! What do I do??? If I step on a twig, have I left a trace? Does the CO2 I exhale count as a trace? What if I pick up a rock to pound in a tent stake and I scratch the rock or don't put it back right...What then??? How come a bear gets to leave a trace but humans don't get to leave a trace when all of us come from Mother Nature? Holy $hit, I just stepped on an ant!!!!! Can't take the pressure, I'm gettin' outta here!!!!


________________________________________________________________________________________


Maybe it's just me, but I don't think that "Leave as Little Trace as is Realistically Possible Depending on Your Situation and Environment (and Generally Just Try and Do the Very Best You Can to Minimize Your Impact on the Land)" is a very catchy slogan for educational and branding purposes.

Brian UL
(MAYNARD76)

Locale: New England
Re: LNT. Yes, Literally. on 10/06/2011 17:00:40 MDT Print View

Minimal impact or land steward ship. But I guess Im one of those who prefer rational attainable goals over sloganeering, emotional marketing and idealism.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
LNT on 10/06/2011 17:13:09 MDT Print View

"Leave No Trace" is a catchy term and easy to abbreviate. However, it really should be "Leave As Little Trace As Possible." IMHO, that's better psychology than setting the impossible goal of no trace left whatsoever.

On the other hand, LALTAP is a lousy acronym!

LNT is sort of like the Ten Commandments: We try, but we will always fall short.