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Colorado Springs piloting Leave No Trace, Birding Ethics

Leave No Trace Birding
Posted at 11:04 AM, Aug 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-14 13:04:18-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — An effort initiated in Colorado Springs expands the principles of Leave No Trace to include the impact of people on birds. “Our Natural Resource team contacted the Leave No Trace center and asked if they could help them develop a set of birding ethics, said Trails, Open Space & Parks (TOPS), Ranger Supervisor, Gillian Rossi. The new Leave No Trace birding ethics principles are about to be launched.

Natural Resource teams often survey bird populations as an indicator of human impact on the health on public lands. “Healthy birds indicate healthy land and especially healthy birds that are returning to properties year after year,” said Rossi.

People, especially the rapidly growing number of people out using public open spaces, increase the potential to impact bird habitat. It motivated the addition of birding ethics to Leave No Trace principles.

The birding principles are customized versions of other Leave No Trace ethics. For example, dispose of water properly is especially important to bird health. “We’ve seen things in nests like cigarette butts or plastic straws,” said Rossi, “Cigarette butts are definitely not something you want around birds and baby birds.”

Click here to learn more about Leave No Trace.