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  • Rylee T

Reflecting on Earth Week and National Volunteer Week

What does it mean to truly appreciate the beauty of the Colorado wilderness? 

Of course, one way is by taking an ATV or Jeep into the forest and ripping around in the beautiful landscape with friends and family. Another way is venturing into solitude and pondering one’s deep thoughts miles from the closest town. Another way, which we highly value at Backbone Adventures, is volunteering our time and resources to help keep the areas we love as clean and garbage-free as we can. Respecting the natural beauty and integrity of the trails, roads, and areas where we recreate is vital to maintaining that beauty for ourselves, our neighbors, and all visitors to come.

Last week, April 21st-27th, was National Volunteer Week. This just happens to coincide with Earth Week, which fell on April 14th-22nd this year. We figure this is a perfect time to reflect on past years’ volunteer opportunities, think of new ways to be stewards of the land, and pass on the important Leave No Trace principles that help those visiting our great outdoor spaces protect our wild spaces. 

You’ve likely heard of the seven Leave No Trace principles that guide all visitors of outdoor spaces: 

  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare

  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

  3. Dispose of Waste Properly

  4. Leave What You Find

  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts

  6. Respect Wildlife

  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors

As we are out on trail, we can utilize these principles to ensure the next person to come through has the ability to have the same great experience as the one that was left for us. Staying on trail at all times, packing out all food waste and garbage, being respectful of wildlife and not feeding them, and being considerate of other trail users are all ways we can be stewards of the land while also enjoying it to its fullest extent. 

Another way to further these principles is to get out and give the land a helping hand if folks before us have not treated it with respect. Our staff routinely runs trail to pick up litter left behind by trail users who have not followed these principles, and we have held day-long events with the sole purpose of cleaning up after visitors who have not respected the land as we do. Next time you’re out on trail, remember the principles of Leave No Trace and if you happen to spot some trash while you’re out on your next off-roading adventure, you know what to do. 

For more information on our stewardship of the national forest, trail cleanups, and more, visit:

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