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Who is Tread Lightly!?


Tread Lightly!® is a nonprofit organization whose mission is “To empower generations to enjoy the outdoors responsibly through education and restoration.”  While its mission incorporates all forms of outdoor recreation, Tread Lightly!’s core focus is the ethical
use of motorized and mechanized vehicles on both land and water.


In 1985, the US Forest Service launched the Tread Lightly! program as a means of addressing concerns about the impacts from increasing numbers of visitors to the great outdoors for recreational purposes.  In 1990, to maximize the program’s effectiveness, management responsibilities were transferred to the private sector, making Tread Lightly! an apolitical, not-for-profit organization.


Tread Lightly! is funded by donations from individual members, corporations, dealerships, clubs, retailers and other organizations interested in spreading the message of responsible and ethical use of the outdoors.  Federal Partners include the National Park Service, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and Army Corps of Engineers.


What does Tread Lightly! Do?


Tread Lightly!® focuses its programs and efforts in education and restoration to further the goals of responsible and ethical recreation. 


Current programs include Tread Trainer™--  a training course designed to produce instructors of the Tread Lightly! ethic, deemed “Master Trainers.”  Restoration for Recreation™ is another important element of Tread Lightly! that aims to construct, enhance or restore recreational sites across the country.  The organization also produces a multitude of educational pieces for outdoor enthusiasts, hunting educators, advertising agencies, the government and children of all ages.


Tread Lightly! is thus an ethical and educational force in bringing together and unifying a broad spectrum of stakeholders including agencies, industry, media, conservation and enthusiast groups, and concerned individuals who share a common goal -- to find a balance between humans and nature.

Free Stuff to Download

Printed Public Service Announcements Tread Lightly! Activity & Coloring Book Featuring Lightfoot Guide to Responsible ATV Riding
  Responsible ATV Riding  

Travel & recreate with minimum impact
Respect the environment and the rights of others
Educate yourself plan and prepare before you go
Allow for future use of the outdoors, by leaving it better than you found it
Discover the rewards of responsible recreation


To leave a good impression, you need the right information. Through education and stewardship, Tread Lightly! empowers generations to enjoy the outdoors responsibly. If we increase public awareness and encourage responsible outdoor practices, the great outdoors will be accessible, open and well preserved for years to come.

Your participation is vital to our work.

Make a difference!



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