Leave No Trace COVID-19 Research

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The COVID-19 Pandemic is Changing the Way People Recreate Outdoors

On March 11th, 2020, the World Health Organisation officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic. The pandemic is rapidly altering daily life and leading to changes in the way we spend time outside. In an effort to gather timely and relevant data on national recreation patterns, before, during, and after the pandemic, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics worked quickly with its research partner, Pennsylvania State University, to offer guidance to land managers, recreation providers, and outdoor enthusiasts across the country.

Over 1000 outdoor recreationists from the Leave No Trace community were surveyed across the USA in a 48-hour window from April 9-11, 2020. The results of this assessment are intended to provide valuable information for managing the changing recreational use of public lands, predicting spikes in recreation, and offering insight for land managers as they work to protect the natural world.

To view the findings click here.