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Leaving no trace workshop cosponsored by LSSI, KLT, and local Boy Scouts



Leaving no trace
September 24, 2012

By GARRETT NEESE (gneese@mininggazette.com)
The Daily Mining Gazette

OSKAR BAY - It's one of the enduring precepts of camping: Leave the site as you found it

Over two days at the Marsin Nature Center, a group learned tools to help them better teach the concept to others.
Leave No Trace is concerned with outdoors ethics, said master educator Norm Petersen: "How to behave outside, how to interact with the environment and other people."

The Leave No Trace class covered concepts such as campsite selection, waste disposal and minimizing campfire impacts.
Petersen said he's better able to get his messages to stick when he gets people up and moving."

He put those principles into play with a discussion on the most durable camping surfaces. Petersen passed out samples of different substances - concrete, water, dry grass, flowers - and had the group line up in a semicircle, with the most durable of the group on the right.
Most of the lineup didn't budge from the initial sorting out. Some tweaks came in group discussion.

Water stayed as most durable throughout; however, Petersen bumped snow up to second, ahead of concrete and asphalt.
"Are we damaging the ground below it?" Petersen asked. "Not with an adequate snow cover."

Petersen then repeated the process, except this time factoring in suitability for camping. Paved surfaces took a hit.

After that, the class cooked dinners using portable burners (less impact than campfires).

Greg Fox, another of the instructors, gave another small tip to people sitting by him: not tearing off the top of a wrapper completely, thereby avoiding a piece of loose trash.

Rick Chischois is a sixth-grade English and science teacher at Chassell Township Schools. He signed up for the class as preparation for possibly taking part in a nature skills class the school is launching <taught by Mark Ware and Mary Markham as part of their Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative project>.

"For us, it's definitely good, helps us teach the youth, get them started young," he said.

The workshop was sponsored by the Keweenaw Land Trust, Boy Scout Troop 207 (Hancock), Bay Lakes Boy Scout Council, and the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative.

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