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  • Writer's picturePublic Lands Hate You

Leave No Trace Principle #8 – Share Responsibly

***Posted to the @PublicLandsHateYou Instagram account on 9/25/2019***

Leave No Trace Principle #8 – Share Responsibly

I’ve personally adopted this 8th principle, and I encourage you to adopt it as well. Social media is creating new ways to share and celebrate our public lands, but reckless and irresponsible sharing can and IS having a tangible negative impact.

Sharing responsibly means think about WHAT, WHY, and WHERE you’re sharing.

WHAT – Are you sharing content clearly showing behavior that is responsible and legal? Use of Photoshop and “camera angles” to hide the truth and make your content appear to be something it’s not gives others the wrong idea about what’s acceptable on our public lands. If pets are required to be on a leash, why Photoshop out the leash and send the message that off leash pets are allowed?

WHY – Are you sharing because you love a place and want to share information about that place to encourage others to visit, enjoy, and preserve it? Or are you sharing exclusively because it’s a pretty, eye catching location that will get more people to enter a contest?

WHERE – Are you sharing a location that is equipped to handle a potential influx of visitors if your content goes viral? Norris Geyser Basin in YNP is equipped with boardwalks, signage, and staff to help prevent resource destruction from huge quantities of visitors. A remote hot spring in a wilderness area? Not so much.

If you feel the need to geotag a location, PLEASE consider the three W’s. Geotagging gives everyone the EXACT location of a natural feature without any relevant context or information. Would you give the keys to a Ferrari to someone who has never driven a car before? No? Then why would you give the exact location of an environmentally sensitive area to someone who may not have the necessary experience or knowledge to safely visit that area and treat it with care and respect?

If you do want to geotag a location on your public lands, consider tagging the local visitors center or ranger station, where others can get all the information they need to visit safely and responsibly!

So share your favorite public lands! They belong to YOU! But please remember, what you share on social media CAN have impacts in the “real” world.

See what I did there? What, Why, Where. WWW. Like the World Wide Web. Social media. Get it? So remember the three W’s, and share responsibly.

What can you do if you see a company, influencer, or acquaintance sharing in an irresponsible manner? Reach out to them! Kindly share your thoughts on the issue and discuss the topic!

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