BSA is involved with the Forest Service's new initiative to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act. The initiative is based around the 9 wilderness areas in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forests. These 3 National Forests are being managed as one.
The initiative is based around the first principal of Leave No Trace ~ "Plan Ahead And Prepare" and works like this.
- Print out and read the instruction sheet.
- A Scout leader will download the "Plan Ahead And Prepare" form, fill it out during a unit discussion indicating which wilderness area they are going to and what they are doing to Plan Ahead and Prepare. This includes knowing specific regulations of the area, the group size limits (follow them), and what they are going to do to be "Bear Aware". There is a Bear Aware slide-show at the link below that at least the Scout leaders need to view so they can pass on the information to the Scouts. Remember you are going into a Wilderness area.
- After the form is filled out a Scout leader over 18 will then give it to the District Outdoor Ethics Advocate who will in turn give him/her enough plastic Leave No Trace hang-tags for their entire group and a small zip tie to attach it (this is important) to their jacket or backpack. The group will need to plan on taking a group picture on their outing.
- After their outing to the Wilderness area the Scout leader will download and during a unit discussion fill out the "Earn a Pin" form stating how their Plan Ahead And Prepare plans went and what they could do different next time to make for a more enjoyable experience.
- The completed form, as well as the group picture, will then be sent to the Forest Service, address is on the form, who will then send them a very nice enameled pin that is approximately 1/2" by 1".
Scouts can visit all 9 of the Wilderness areas if they want but separate forms are needed for each trip.
This program will last until September 2015.
P.S. - This activity can be done as a family as well using the same forms. Please don't double-dip on the pins as they are in limited supply.
The following resources are available to all: