Tread Lightly!

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Tread Lightly! is a non-profit organization in the United States with the mission of responsible outdoor use with the use of "ethics, education and stewardship".[1] Tread Lightly! is supported by individuals, small business and corporations. As off-roading with vehicles such as ATVs, off-highway motorcycles, snowmobiles and four-wheel drives like Jeeps and pickup trucks is becoming more and more popular, it poses more of a threat to the natural resources.[2] Off-road vehicles are only a part of the problem that Tread Lightly! addresses. All outdoor recreation poses a threat to the ecosystem.[2] People who engage in activities such as camping, hiking, fishing and hunting need to be careful in the outdoors so as not to destroy it for others.[2]

History[change | change source]

Tread Lightly! was started by the United States Forest Service in 1985 as a public awareness program.[3][4] In 1990, through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Tread Lightly! became a nonprofit organization. Today, Tread Lightly! is recognized as an important non-political organization.

Land Rover Great Divide Expedition[change | change source]

Land Rover’s inaugural Great Divide Expedition in the fall of 1989 helped launch Tread Lightly! as a non-profit focused on supporting and encouraging stewardship on America’s lands and waterways. Since the Great Divide Expedition, Tread Lightly! and partners like Land Rover have built and led a national movement to protect and enhance recreation access and opportunities. They do this by promoting outdoor ethics to heighten awareness.[5] To mark the 25 year anniversary of The Great Divide Expedition, Tread Lightly! and Land Rover reunited for the 2014 Great Divide Expedition. Land Rover auctioned off a fully restored 1990 Range Rover Great Divide replica as well as the opportunity to be a guest of Land Rover on a nine-day adventure.[6] The auction raised more than $55,000 for Tread Lightly!, the largest single donation in the nonprofit's history.[7]

About[change | change source]

The organization is "managed and financed by companies like Ford and Toyota." It leads awareness workshops and restores trails.[4] The Washington Times noted in 2001 that "most manufacturers of off-highway vehicles — including Ford, GM, Jeep, Land Rover, Subaru and Toyota are active in this effort."[8] The organization has also worked with auto manufacturers to try to change the off-road images used in TV commercials. Toyota, Nissan and Mercedes-Benz have asked Tread Lightly to review their ads. At least one company cancelled a TV spot the organization didn't like.

Tread Lightly! "offers extensive online tips and guidelines on being more responsible in hiking, camping, boating, hunting, horseback riding, ATVs and more," the Deseret News has reported.[9]

Criticisms[change | change source]

Some off-highway enthusiasts, though, according to the New York Times, have been opposed to the concept, with Brad Lark, the publisher of the website extreme4x4.com, calling Tread Lightly! "a veiled form of extreme environmentalism." An anonymous writer on offroad.com was quoted as saying: "I don't Tread Lightly. I trample. From tree-huggers to their totalitarian signage that follows. I trample all in the path of freedom's future."[4] Brad Ullrich, the site's land-use editor, described the column as "tongue-in-cheek."[10]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Tread Lightly!". Boy Scouts of America. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Dave Roos. "How Tread Lightly! Works". HowStuffWorks. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  3. "TreadLightly.org "About Us"". Retrieved 2009-01-03.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Jason Tanz, "Driving: Making Tracks, Making Enemies," New York Times, January 2, 2004, website screen 4
  5. "Tread Lightly! Kicks Off Year-Long Celebration of 25th Anniversary with Historic Land Rover Charity Auction on eBay". businesswire.com. Business Wire. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  6. "Tread Lightly! Kicks Off Year-Long Celebration of 25th Anniversary with Historic Land Rover Charity Auction on eBay". businesswire.com. Business Wire. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  7. "Range Rover donation, auction raises more than $55,000 for Tread Lightly!". dealernews.com. Dealer News. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  8. Christopher Keane, "Learn to Tread Lightly Off-Road," Washington Times, February 16, 2001 Registration required.
  9. Lynn Arave, "Outback Ethics: Motto in the Wilderness Should Be 'Tread Lightly,' " Deseret News, October 24, 2009. Registration required.
  10. Tanz, website screen 5

Other websites[change | change source]