Low Impact Wilderness
Protecting the wilderness is a vital part of our responsibility as visitors to these areas. Every person can play a role to protect the environment, and these roles can simply be nothing more than leaving a minimum impact while visiting.
Every visitor should follow leave no trace guidelines. These simple guidelines include:
---Plan your trip ahead of time. Contact the organization(s) that manage the region you are visiting before you trip to determine their rules and regulations.
---Travel and camp on durable surfaces. Avoid hiking through or camping in sensitive meadows. If hiking on trail, stay within the width of the trail and do not shortcut switchbacks. Camp at least 100 feet from water sources.
---Packing out all of your trash. If you see trash on the trail, pick it up.
---Dispose of human waste properly. Solid human waste should be buried 6-8 inches deep AT LEAST 100 feet from any water. The cathole should be covered and disguised when through, and toiletries should be packed out with other trash. In some areas, users are recommended to pack out all solid human waste in "wag bags".
---Take no souvenirs - leave what you find. This includes artifacts such as arrowheads, as well as natural resources such as flowers.
---Minimize campfire impacts. Campfires can cause lasting impacts on the wilderness. Where campfires are legal, use existing and established fire rings, keep fires small, and completely douse campfires when you leave. In the Sierra Nevada, there are many places where campfires are illegal, including higher elevation areas (these elevations and areas vary based upon management agency - please contact the management agency in charge of the area you are visiting to find out specific regulations). In these areas, use a lightweight stove for cooking.
---Respect wildlife. Wildlife should be observed from a distance and never fed. Pets should controlled at all times (some regions within the Sierra Nevada restrict pets, contact the region you are visiting for specific regulations).
---Respect other visitors. Be courteous of
others you meet on the trail. Avoid loud noises. Step to the
downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.
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