The mission of the National Outdoor Leadership School is to be the leading source and teacher of wilderness skills and leadership that serve people and the environment. At NOLS, the wilderness is our classroom. Since its founding in 1965 by mountaineer Paul Petzoldt, NOLS has graduated more than 30,000 students. Each year, more than 2,200 students complete NOLS courses, which are run as 14 to 95-day wilderness expeditions.
The international headquarters of NOLS are in Lander, Wyoming. Branch schools are located in the Rocky Mountains (Wyoming), Alaska, the Pacific Northwest (Washington), the Southwest (Arizona), Kenya, British Columbia, Mexico and Patagonia (Chile). In the U.S., NOLS courses are run in 18 national forests, 21 national parks and on Bureau of Land Management land in seven states for a total of over 100,000 user days a year. Internationally, we operate in 14 national parks and preserves.
Masters of Leave No Trace Training Course NOLS, recognized for years as the pioneer of minimum-impact camping, was asked by federal land managers to develop curriculum and provide training for the fledgling Leave No Trace Program. The result is the Master of Leave No Trace Training Course-a five-day backcountry trip led by NOLS instructors and an agency “host.” Participants are federal agency personnel, outdoor educators and leaders from major backcountry user groups. Participants discuss and practice minimum-impact camping skills, wilderness teaching techniques and wildland ethics. Graduates of the course, or “Masters”, take the information and materials presented by NOLS and use it to teach both their colleagues and the public.
Over 300 Masters Course alumni are already teaching minimum-impact camping techniques and ethics to thousands of wildland users around the world. After their course, NOLS networks with Masters through a newsletter, published three times per year, to provide curriculum updates and facilitate educational efforts.
In 1996 we are offering 18 Masters Courses across North America, addressing region-specific techniques appropriate for hiking, river running, canoeing, sea kayaking and horsepacking. Courses will be held in Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, California, Washington, Alaska, North Carolina, Michigan, Minnesota, Virginia and Maine. Please call the NOLS Leave No Trace office in Wyoming (800-332-4100) for more course information and dates.
Target Regions Since appropriate camp and travel practices vary somewhat based on local ecology and the type of activity undertaken, we have identified twelve Target Regions, listed below, for which we are developing LNT materials and Master of Leave No Trace courses. As of Summer 1995, the LNT office has produced informational materials for nine of the twelve regions.
Leave No Trace
P.O. Box 997
Boulder, CO 80306
Web: National Outdoor Leadership School