Shorter and more pictures than a novel. Longer and more detailed than a blog post. These long reads are best enjoyed when you've got 10 minutes or so to spare. So refill that coffee cup, get a fresh beer, or throw another log on the fire. This could get interesting.
This piece explores how influencers and Leave No Trace Center are incorrectly using the buzzwords “bullying” and “shaming” in response to legitimate call-outs. It gives examples of how call-outs have a positive impact when corporations and influencers are caught engaging in harmful behavior and refuse to respond to private constructive criticism. It questions how Leave No Trace Center can be effective in combating harmful behavior on your public lands by educating 20 people at a time, when influencers are broadcasting incorrect information to their friends and followers by the thousands. At the end of the day, call-outs have a place in protecting our public lands.
The piece investigates how 10 of its 13 Board of Directors have ties to outdoor recreation-based corporations including @REI, @keen, @Cricket, and more. It reveals that LNTC has actually put a copyright on the Leave No Trace Principles and charges underfunded land management agencies $1,000 per year to use them, despite having a “Leave No Trace In Every Park” initiative. It looks at how Dana Watts, who made $156,104 in 2018 as the executive director of the LNTC, is partially compensated not on the LNTC’s positive impacts to public lands, but the net earnings of the organization. It also exposes how the LNTC has even started sending supportive messages to influencers who are caught, and subsequently called out for, illegal behavior on YOUR public lands. It also offers up some simple solutions that I believe can help get the Leave No Trace Center make a major course correction before they lose the respect of people who treasure and respect our public lands.