One thing I worry about with this presentation is that it can be a pretty sensitive topic in my neck of the woods. Last year went well, but when I went as a participant it was a little more heated. One of my patrol members, like a lot of locals I know, was pretty set against Leave No Trace.
The perception is of big, bad government agencies telling people what they can't do on public land. I once heard of one person who reportedly once stormed out of a Scout meeting yelling something about "nobody is going to tell me what to do on my land."
My patrol mate went off on how he can't even take horses into the back-country anymore because they make him use weed-free hay, and it's too expensive, and their just trying to keep everyone out, and he should be able to do what he wants, etc., etc.
I can understand the resistance against big government and some bureaucrat in Washington dictating your life. But that's not what Leave No Trace is about. At least, I don't think so.
It's also nothing new.
This comes from Scouting for Boys by Robert Baden-Powell:
"Remember the only two things you leave behind you on breaking up camp: 1. Nothing. 2. Your thanks to the owner of the ground."I also remember an illustration in my old Boy Scout handbook (it's also in my dad's even older one) that showed a sort of "before and after" set of pictures. The before was pristine and clean, the after was trashed. The caption on the illustration said something like "Let no one say, and say it to your shame, that all was beauty here until you came."
Although our understanding of what we now call Leave No Trace has changed since Baden-Powell's day, the Boy Scouts have always promoted responsible use of the land.
In my mind, Leave No Trace, is simply about the choices that I make when I am out with my boys. As someone who enjoys the outdoors, I don't want to mess it up for anyone else. That's it. I sum it all up in the phrase "A Scout is Courteous."
I just don't understand how people can have such a problem with that.