need, find an organization to schedule a cleanup (or organize one yourself!). Packing out includes hygiene products (ladies, consider a natural sea sponge for your menstrual cycle when camping in the wilderness, no paper to throw away or pack out), always wash dishes 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use biodegradable soap.

IV. Leave What You Find: this is a big problem….more on this later! Basically, it means to preserve the past by not touching cultural or historic structures or artifacts, leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them, avoid introducing or transporting non-native species, do not build structures, rock cairns or rock “art/graffiti”, or change flows of water.

V. Minimize Campfire Impacts: use

small backpacking stove for cooking, use flashlight or candle, use established fire rings, don’t bring in outside wood which introduces invasive species, keep fires small using sticks not large branches/ logs, put out completely.

VI. Respect Wildlife: observe from a distance (also a big problem), never feed wildlife and manage your food us- ing proper bear and wildlife protocol so they do not connect humans with food (bear attacks are on the rise), control pets or leave at home (dogs attract bears), avoid wildlife during mating/sensitive seasons.

VII. Be Considerate of Other Visi-

tors: realize that when you change the landscape (create fire scars, rock cairns, etc.) you have changed the natural ex- perience for the next nature lover. Be courteous, step to the downhill side of a trail, take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors, let nature’s sounds prevail (keep your voice and loud noises down)

Many of you may have heard of LNT

and already practice it. For some, this may be the first time you have ever heard of it. Others may already practice some or parts of LNT naturally or perhaps you learned it in Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts or some other outdoor venue. One of the biggest prob- lems we have facing us today is that as a society we are getting outdoors more (that is a great thing!) but we are also in danger of loving the outdoors to death. Literally. So it is imperative that we strive to interact with the outdoors in the most positive, minimal impact manner that we can. This is where LNT is so important. DROP THAT ROCK! DROP THAT

SHELL! Rock stacking, cairns, rock “art”, rock “graffiti”, rock collecting, and shell collecting are wreaking havoc on our ecosystems, and the scary part is that most tourists and travelers don’t even know they are doing major harm to the ecosystem they love so much. Let’s start with the rocks. When we move rocks in a stream bed or river bed, we are altering the flow of water, which opens up the chances for

more erosion and silt/sand deposits. Every single rock in or near the bed of a water- way is slowing the flow of water. They are also hosts to many micorganisms and al- gae. Algae is crucial to produce oxygen in the water for aquatic life. Rocks are also roofs for crayfish, small fish and a hiding place for eggs (like the salmon likes to spawn under). (www.wideopenspaces. com)

When we take a rock, we are taking a roof and a nursery away from a living being. We are forever altering the flow of water, which could also block the path a fish may need to take upstream to spawn. One may say, "what's the big deal? It is just ONE rock for crying out loud". So, that reasoning means the one rock you took has no effect on the ecosystem? What about the Smoky Mountains here in NC, not far from the Triad? Annually, there are over 10 million humans that visit the Smokies. What if even a fraction of those TEN MILLION people took just ONE rock home each year. Even ONE rock per per- son for even a small percentage is DEVAS- TATING to the ecosystem of that stream or river. In NC, we have the ancient and endangered hellbender salamander and moving rocks is detrimental to their habi- tat. A ranger in Ricketts Glen State Park found 100 (that is ONE HUNDRED) rock “piles/art” in the park. This problem is growing and it is up to us, who are now aware, to know that it is NOT okay to take even one rock. There are a few exceptions. For in-

Daniel Lackey, FNP-C E.



1860 Pembroke Road • Greensboro, NC 336.617.5665

rgy Daniel Lackey, FNP-C

Daniel Lackey, FNP-C is a board certified Nurse Practitioner. His background is in Emergency Medi- cine, with 5 years of experience as an ER nurse. His nurse practitioner degree includes specialties in fami- ly practice and adult gerontological acute care. Following his true pas- sion, however, he also obtained a certification in functional medi- cine. He finds it is truly rewarding and efficacious to address the root cause of illness instead of viewing the body as separate systems.

336.768.3335 NOVEMBER 2018 27

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