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Leave No Trace Leave No Trace

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					                 Leave No Trace
               Outdoor Skills and Ethics




A National Education Program Designed to Teach Stewardship,
       Land Ethics, and Outdoor Skills on Public Lands
            Presentation Objectives

Review the goals of LNT educational efforts.

Review methods for evaluating the efficacy of LNT
  educational efforts.

Review some recent research findings.
                 Why Leave No Trace ?

 One act of tree damage and one
  additional campfire ring may
  have little significance, but
  thousands of such instances
  seriously degrade natural
  resources and recreation
  experiences.
 The Leave No Trace program is
  designed to avoid or minimize
  impacts to resource and social
  conditions by modifying behavior
  through education to reduce per
  capita impacts.
The LNT Challenge

 Prevent avoidable resource
  and social impacts

 Minimize unavoidable
  impacts

 Preserve the quality of
  resources and recreation
  experiences
Goals of Evaluating Efficacy

 Demonstrate utility/effectiveness of the LNT
  educational program.
 Justify investment of staff and funding on LNT efforts.
 Improve effectiveness of educational efforts through
  evaluations.
 Others?
A Classification of Visitor Actions
That Cause Impact

 Careless – picking wildflowers
 Unskilled – firewood gathering and campfire building
 Uninformed – feeding wildlife
 Unavoidable – trampling along a trail
 Illegal – theft of artifacts

    Which actions can education address?
Theoretical Basis for Visitor Education

 Theories of Persuasion
    Central Route – relies on visitor attention, consideration and
     internalization of a message.
    Peripheral Route – relies on the source of the message: a well-
     known spokesman or authority figure (land manager).

 Theories of Moral Development
    Preconventional – respond best to law enforcement actions
    Conventional – respond to opinions of others or societal norms
    Postconventional – consider justice, fairness, and self-respect
Methods to Assess Efficacy of Education

 Test of Knowledge
    Pre- and Post-test of knowledge gain.

 Reported Behavior
    Ask visitors what they have done differently.

 Observation
    Unobtrusive observation of visitor behavior/actions.

 Change in Conditions
    Measured changes in natural or social conditions compared to a
     control (requires a scientific experimental design).
Summary of Research Results

 Most studies have found educational efforts to be successful
  in increasing visitor knowledge and altering visitor
  behaviors.

 Few studies have attempted or been successful in measuring
  actual changes in resource or social conditions.

 Regulatory messages that threaten sanctions are more
  effective than purely educational messages.
Summary of Research Results

 Effectiveness is related to:
    Content – simple, interesting, and useful information is most
     effective. Consistency is also important.
    Delivery – timing relative to it’s use and source credibility.
     Experiential learning is best, followed by personal contacts,
     brochures, and signs (least effective).
    Audience Characteristics – match message to audience
     knowledge and needs.
    Theoretical Grounding – employ best approach for the audience,
     or multiple approaches.
Message Delivery – timing is everything
Biocentric Messaging
Durango LNT Lab Project

 Animas River Trail, LNT Poster Evaluation
   Study done by Yu-Fai Leung and Aram Attarian, NC State.
   Evaluated visitor preferences and effectiveness of two LNT
    posters: traditional and modern (artistic) designs.
   Visitors overwhelmingly preferred the modern design and it was
    rated more highly for 9 of 10 factors (e.g., attention, design,
    attractiveness, information). “Authority” was the exception.
   61% had heard of the LNT program and most scored above
    60% on an LNT test of knowledge.
Durango LNT Lab Project

 Animas River Trail, LNT Poster Evaluation
   3135 visitors were observed: 4.2% stopped to read the posters (1 in
    25). Walkers were more likely to stop (6.1%) than joggers (0.7%)
    or cyclists (1%).

   Dogs off leash: No poster (3.3%), traditional (1%), modern (2.4%).

   Used a social trail: No poster (2.4%), trad. (0.7%), modern (2.1%).

   Response rate to follow-up survey 8 wks later was low (34%).

   There was a small increase in LNT knowledge (2.8% - 10.7%) but
    no significant difference based on poster type.
LNT Trainer Course Evaluation

 Jeff Marion and Melissa Daniels, starting this month.
 Why the Trainer Course was selected…
 Pre- and Post-course surveys with a Follow-up survey 4
  months later.
 Test of LNT knowledge – 25 item multiple choice test
 Ethics – 18 item Likert scale test
 Reported Behavior – pre-course and follow-up comparison
 Secondary Instruction – documentation of training efforts
LNT Trainer Course Evaluation

 Please notify Melissa Daniels (medaniel@vt.edu, 540-231-
  3596) of any Trainer courses in April-July, 2003.
 Instructors will be sent a package of pre- and post-course
  surveys and asked to distribute, collect, and return them to
  Melissa.
 We will send followup surveys to participants via mail
  about 4 months after the course (or e-mail them to complete
  an online survey).
What Can I Do?

 Conduct “in-house” evaluations.
    Test of knowledge, reported behavior, observation, monitor
     natural and social conditions.
    E.g., Acadia study on cairns by Charlie Jacoby…

 Fund formal research studies or request others to sponsor
  research. (e.g., Aldo Leopold Wild. Res. Program).
                        The End




Happy trails and remember to . . .   Leave No Trace !

				
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