Leave more trace

Loynes, Christopher (2016) Leave more trace. In: Nature Connections 2nd Interdisciplinary Conference: Getting Connected to Nature, 15 June 2016, University of Derby, UK. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The North American approach of ‘leave no trace’ has crossed the Atlantic to the UK. In the USA the organisation sets out to promote the ethic that will minimise human impact on public lands (https://lnt.org). The seven principles of the organisation focus on human behaviour during a visit to public land. It can be argued that this intention, whilst well meaning, ignores the many impacts that are the result of human behaviour when not visiting public lands, the ecological and, especially, the carbon footprint (Chambers et al; 2000) of everyday life and of travel to public land. Arguably these impacts are far more significant on the health of the ecosystems of public lands and elsewhere. This opens the ‘leave no trace’ concept to criticism (Alagona & Simon, 2012). Of course the ‘leave no trace’ approach has value in fragile ‘wilderness’ settings. However, in Europe the areas that can truly be called wild land are few and far between (Agnoletti, 2006). Despite this the ‘leave no trace’ ethic is becoming widespread and sometimes, I would suggest, an unhelpful approach. An appropriate response might be ‘leave more trace’ in order to protect and sustain the habitats and the wildlife we have come to value as part of our culture. I suggest that ‘leave no trace’ has another more pervasive consequence in that it strengthens the modern view of humans as separate from nature (Rawles, 2010). This is reinforced by the objective ‘leave no trace’ which is necessarily predicated on the idea that humans are apart from nature and not a part of nature (Beery, 2014). So, to open this up to debate, I offer the maxim of ‘leave more trace’ i.e. that humans are a part of nature and that we inevitably leave a trace. What matters is what this trace is. This acknowledges that traces are inevitable and encourages a debate about what traces are reasonable, proportional and ethical; and what are not.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Departments: Faculty of Health and Science > Science, Natural Resources and Outdoor Studies > Outdoor Studies
Depositing User: Christopher Loynes
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2016 11:20
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2017 06:56
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/2258

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