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Fall 2004 Issue
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    NOLS & OIA Protest Utah Oil & Gas Lease Sales
    Issue Room
    You Can't Translate the Word "Wilderness"
    New Wilderness Legislation
    NOLS Wilderness Ethics Go Global
    Behind the Scenes at NOLS
    NOLS Rallies for Wilderness
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NOLS Wilderness Ethics Go Global

As NOLS celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Wilderness Act in the U.S., we also celebrate the wilderness areas that serve as our classrooms in other parts of the world. Learning to be a steward for wild lands is an important NOLS lesson no matter where you take your course, and NOLS’ international locations are doing more than ever to share the school’s wilderness ethics with the farthest reaches of our planet.


  • NOLS has been supporting efforts to privately protect the Conception Bay Peninsula, a rugged strip of land that sits right out the front door from the main facility at NOLS Mexico. NOLS provides logistical support to teams of scientists studying this unique peninsula for conservation projects.
  • As this remote part of Mexico opens up to tourism, NOLS is also involved in educating rural communities about Leave No Trace conservation practices, codesigning a certificate program at a university that teaches responsible use of tourist resources.
  • NOLS Mexico runs programs for Mexico’s National Park Service (CONANP) to train park rangers in recreation/tourism impact monitoring. In this program, NOLS helps CONANP determine goals and objectives for their tourism management programs.
  • NOLS Mexico supports a small environmental education center that focuses on teaching school children about marine mammals, water conservation, natural protected areas, recycling, and Leave No Trace. The center works directly with the local school system and brings multiple classes of students a day to the program, often more than 400 students a week.


  • In the “land down under,” NOLS is a founding partner and the major contributor over the past three years to Leave No Trace Australia. This outreach effort has grown to a national program, with three LNT Master courses offered in 2004. NOLS also received a grant from the Australian Federal Government for translating and adapting the LNT curriculum to the Australian environment. NOLS actively works with local land managers on LNT issues as LNT principles are becoming more of a nationally accepted program. “Our efforts with LNT are our way of giving something back to the environment and the people of Australia,” says NOLS Australia Director David Summers.


There’s a long list of NOLS wilderness stewardship programs in Patagonia, a positive sign that these ethics work in any language and setting. NOLS has earned a reputation in the area as a leader in the environmental and education industry, both in public as well as private institutions. Here are some highlights:

  • Real, on-the-ground experience is always the best teacher. That’s why NOLS Patagonia is now offering Spanish courses that take educators and students into the wilderness to learn LNT, or No Deje Rastro. These Spanish courses include mountaineering and sea kayaking courses for outdoor educators, school teachers, tour guides and senior high school students in Chile.
  • NOLS Patagonia works with both the Minestry of Education in Chile, as well as the Chilean Forest Service, to distribute outdoor education materials and develop park ranger training that emphasizes wilderness ethics.
  • For the third year, NOLS is working with the Chilean Trail Initiative to provide advice on experiential education and the environmental impacts associated with recreation.

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