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How Tread Lightly! Works


Benefits of Tread Lightly!
Tread Lightly! teaches its members how to enjoy nature ethically.
Tread Lightly! teaches its members how to enjoy nature ethically.
David De Lossy/Getty Images

Tread Lightly! is one of the most vocal and effective advocates for outdoor ethics, particularly in relation to motorized and mechanized vehicles. In addition to the organization's work in the United States, Tread Lightly! also has sister organizations in Canada and New Zealand.

The work of Tread Lightly! offers both tangible and intangible benefits for outdoor recreationists and the environment in which they play. Some of the tangible benefits are increased visibility and awareness of outdoor ethics issues through public service campaigns and community outreach efforts. Other tangible benefits are the trail restoration and construction work organized by Tread Lightly! and its partners.

One of the biggest intangible benefits of Tread Lightly! is that it fosters a wider culture of ethical outdoor recreation. Along with organizations like Leave No Trace, Tread Lightly! and its community of Tread Trainers spread a positive message of stewardship, not a set of restrictive rules. As more and more people become aware of the potentially destructive impact of sports like off-roading, the recreation culture itself will evolve a new set of expectations for ethical behavior, much like the awareness of global warming has fueled a green cultural shift.

As a non-profit organization, Tread Lightly! is in a unique position to connect the multiple stakeholders who impact the future of outdoor recreation in America. Tread Lightly! has the grassroots capability to organize volunteers to spread the outdoor ethics message and participate in restoration projects. It has the visibility to attract corporate sponsors who want to attach their name to the good work of land stewardship. And since Tread Lightly! was once a government program, it still has strong ties to government resources like the National Park Service, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and Army Corps of Engineers.

Keep reading for lots more information about outdoor recreation and the environment.