Leave No Trace 101 workshop promotes protecting natural resources

LEAVE NO TRACE — Heather Vivian from Respect Marquette County educates on the impacts of outdoor recreation as part of the organizations mission of protecting natural resources.
LEAVE NO TRACE — Heather Vivian from Respect Marquette County educates on the impacts of outdoor recreation as part of the organization’s mission of protecting natural resources.
Benjamin Bures

Respect Marquette County and the Marquette Area Chapter of the North Country Trail Association partnered to present a Leave No Trace 101 Workshop at Barrel and Beam Wednesday, Nov. 15 for any and all hikers to attend.

Respect Marquette County was created by Travel Marquette as a part of their strategic plan to lessen the effects of outdoor recreation on Marquette’s natural resources. Susan Estler, the CEO of Travel Marquette, said when they brought Cathy Ritter in from Colorado, she proposed to Travel Marquette stakeholders what the state of Colorado had done about the same issue. After the stakeholders agreed they settled on the term, respect, to use for the campaign. 

“This year what we’re really trying to do is reach out to different types of community partners,” Estler said. “We’re trying to get our partners involved with the presentation, so it’s not just Travel Marquette banging on about tourism. There are other organizations that are involved with it.” 

Respect Marquette County advocates for the responsible stewardship of the natural spaces in Marquette County by calling on locals and visitors to respect the culture and natural resources in Marquette County.

Story continues below advertisement

Travel Marquette’s Community engagement manager, Heather Vivian, who heads Respect Marquette said community-wide effort made by a coalition of over 30 partners — including NMU — is one of the most important parts of their program. 

The goal of Respect Marquette County is “to get people aware of how to be a respectful trail user, how to protect our natural resources,” Vivian said. “Obviously Marquette is so special. We’ve got such amazing, beautiful places to recreate and play.” 

Respect Marquette County is also involved with the national Leave No Trace organization. Leave No Trace educates the public about how individuals can play their part in protecting our natural resources and provides research, educational training in the promotion of stewardship.

Respect Marquette County uses their seven Leave No Trace principles to educate people about minimum impact practices for outdoor recreation.

Vivian said Respect Marquette County and Leave No Trace are important because most of the trails that are maintained by volunteers would not be sustainable if people did not follow the principles of Leave No Trace.

Vivian suggests following National Parks Service on social media as another way to educate yourself on protecting our natural resources, as well as visiting their Respect Marquette County website, where you can find the seven Leave No Trace Principles. Vivian added that volunteering with local trail organizations will allow you to immerse yourself into the community responsible for maintaining the trails allowing you to understand the issues they deal with.

More to Discover