What is Tread Lightly?
Tread Lightly! and its partners lead a national initiative to protect and enhance recreation access and opportunities by promoting outdoor ethics to heighten individuals’ sense of good stewardship. Tread Lightly!’s goal is to balance the needs of the people who enjoy outdoor recreation with our need to maintain healthy ecosystems and thriving populations of fish and wildlife.
The scope of our work includes both land and water, and is representative of nearly every form of outdoor recreation including, but not limited to hunting, recreational shooting, fishing and boating.
We also have a niche in promoting safe and responsible use of motorized and mechanized vehicles in the outdoors.
We offer a myriad of programs, training and educational material to help educate recreational individuals and groups across the nation on the importance of treading lightly. Tread Lightly! is also a member-based organization. Without the help and support of our members, we would be unable to deliver award-winning programs and campaigns.
The Five Tread Lightly Principles
Travel Responsibly on land by staying on designated roads, trails and area. Go over, not around, obstacles to avoid widening the trails. Cross streams only at designated fords. when possible, avoid wet, muddy trails. On water, stay on designated waterways and launch your watercraft in designated areas.
Respect the Rights of Others including private property owners, all recreational trail users, campers and others so they can enjoy their recreational activities undisturbed. Leave gates as you found them. Yield right of way to those passing you or going uphill. On water, respect anglers, swimmers, skiers, boaters, divers and those on or near shore.
Educate Yourself prior to your trip by obtaining travel maps and regulations from public agencies. Plan for your trip, take recreation skills classes and know how to operate your equipment safely.
Avoid Sensitive Areas on land such as meadows, lake shores, wetlands and streams. Stay on designated routes. This protects wildlife habitats and sensitive soils from damage. Don’t disturb historical, archeological or pale-ontological sites. On water, avoid operating your watercraft in shallow waters or near shorelines at high speeds.
Do Your Part by modeling appropriate behavior, leaving the area better than you found it, properly disposing of waste, minimizing the use of fire, avoiding the spread of invasive species and repairing degraded areas.