Leave no trace partners locally to help smith rock

June 21, 2016

Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics' mission is to protect the outdoors by teaching and inspiring people to enjoy it responsibly. After participating in Smith Rock's 23rd annual Spring Thing trail cleaning/building day, they saw the need to put that mission to the test with the Smith Rock Needs Your Help Project.

Trail damage to Misery Ridge at Smith Rock State Park
Trail damage to Misery Ridge at Smith Rock State Park

Over 700,000 visitors come to the park's 758 acres yearly, with 19,000 campers using The Bivy campground. Climbers, birders, hikers, trail runners, horseback riders, mountain bikers, and paddlers all use the park.

With the small acreage, impacts are accumulating at a significant rate. You see the damage daily as people cut trails to keep from walking the full length of a switchback.

The Project aims to educate to hopefully preserve the fragile ecosystem of the park.

Smith Rock Needs Your Help Project sign on Misery Ridge Trail
Smith Rock Needs Your Help Project sign on Misery Ridge Trail

The Leave No Trace Center worked with Oregon State Parks and Recreation, Chockstone Climbing Guides, and members of the local community to create site-specific messaging for those recreating in Smith Rock State Park.

The messages aren't all about staying on trails. Since the mission is to teach and inspire park goers to be responsible, they cover everything from self-preparedness to controlling your pet.

Signs are posted at key stations with all the principles as well as scattered in various areas along park trails.

Smith Rock Ranger Scott Brown and Smith Rock Needs Your Help signage
Smith Rock Ranger Scott Brown and Smith Rock Needs Your Help signage

Park Managers need the public’s help to ensure everyone visiting Smith Rock State Park can enjoy this spectacular and unique place today and well into the future.

The Project finalizes by saying, "Be An Upstander Not a Bystander" and do your part by following the principles, telling others, and volunteering when you can.

Well said Leave No Trace.

Smith Rock Needs Your Help poster--click to enlarge