Tourist ambassadors taught ethics of the woods
LAKE PLACID — The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism is readying a team of ambassadors to get on social media and promote the Adirondacks, but the group was given a quick course in Leave No Trace ethics before they hit the trail.
On Tuesday, the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Seth Jones hosted a LNT course in Lake Placid for the ambassadors, who are supposed to promote the Adirondacks through photos and posts on social media. While learning the basics of LNT, such as properly disposing of waste and respecting wildlife, ambassadors were also given ideas on how to promote those principles through their social media postings.
Jones stressed that LNT ethics can be applied to any outdoor activity, from sitting on a dock drinking a beer to backcountry skiing. He said the golden rule of LNT is to be considerate of other visitors and that planning ahead is of the utmost importance.
“This is a place that, to me, is very special,” ambassador and two-time Olympic luger Jayson Terdiman said. “This is where I’ve been training my entire career, for the last 20 years. I saw this as a way to show the rest of the world a little bit of this special place that has such meaning to me.
“I’m very big on climate change,” the doubles luge athlete for Team USA continued. “If we’re all able to be aware of what we’re doing to the environment at all times, hopefully we can slow down the erosion or the change, and allow more people to enjoy what we already have. I think this was a great little seminar.
“This would be great for anyone that’s trying to be outdoors. This is very important stuff.”
Jones, who is the Mountain Club’s education director, said he thinks the more personal connection ambassadors have will help spread the LNT message.
“Using those seven principles will help people recreate responsibly,” he said. “We all need to be helping with this message; it’s not just organizations like (the state Department of Environmental Conservation) or (Adirondack Mountain Club). And what I think is really amazing with ambassadors is they have their own audience. It’s more of a peer-to-peer audience, and that can be really influential in changing behavior.
“DEC or ADK (an acronym used by the Adirondack Mountain Club) sometimes come across as more of an authority, and sometimes having these messages from a peer group is a lot more powerful. So I’m hoping they can help us on that peer-to-peer level.”
For more information on Leave No Trace principles, go to www.lnt.org.
Leave No Trace principles:
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.