Comparing Day-Users' and Overnight Visitors' Attitudes Concerning Leave No Trace


  • B. Derrick Taff Penn State University
  • Peter Newman Penn State University
  • Wade M. Vagias National Park Service
  • Ben Lawhon Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics


leave no trace, attitudes, visitor b


Leave No Trace is the most prominent educational message used to influence behaviors of protected-areas visitors with the end-goal of sustaining or improving resource conditions. The vast majority of previous research regarding Leave No Trace has focused on backcountry-overnight visitors. However, by sheer numbers alone, day-users are by far the largest user group of protected areas and research regarding this user-group is insufficient. The purpose of this study was to compare day-users' perceptions (perceived knowledge, awareness and support, and attitudes) of Leave No Trace with those of overnight users. Results indicate that day-users' and overnight users' perceptions of Leave No Trace are largely congruent, and suggest that similar messaging approaches may be employed in day-use and backcountry areas in the future.




Regular Papers