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Question about Leave No Trace ethics on wilderness islands.

Are protective laws Included in The Leave No Trace ethical guidelines regarding loud noise disturbances on wilderness islands?

3 Replies

Refer to the NPS web page on Leave No Traces principles and practices:

These include a brief statement at the very end -avoid loud voices and noises

You mention wilderness islands and I think immediately of Channel Islands National Park which contains a proposed wilderness island-Santa Rosa Island and one de facto wilderness island - San Miguel Island - de facto because joint ownership with the US Nay inhibits formal wilderness designation, but trust me, SMI is definitely on the wild side.

SMI is definitely noisy, however, with a wry large pinniped colony (mostly Northern Elephant Seals, at the far western end - Point Bennett.  You can hear them from five miles away- sounds just like Dodger Stadium (pre-covid19).  There is also the occasional missile launch from Point Conception on the mainland, with occasional loud, noisy glitches.

SRI is managed as a wilderness, pending formal designation, but since it was a working cattle ranch until recently, it has a ways to go to achieve a true wilderness atmosphere.  But it is coming - the vegetation is rebounding nicely.

Both islands are sparsely visited so noise from that sources is hardly an issue.

Other wilderness islands in other parks may have different situations, but the guidelines are clear....

I hope this helps answer your query....


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The EPA is the direction I’ll take with my concerns regarding airborne traffic noises and their negative effects on Cumberland Island, Georgia.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


Are you sure the EPA has any jurisdiction in the matters that concern you?  It might be more productive to talk to the NPS (especially with respect to wilderness values) and  local state an county offices.

It wasn't clear to mee that we were discussing an East Coast situation.  Vastly different conditions out west....




Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.