As an Eagle Scout I can tell you I know a little bit about being out in nature and respecting the environment. Allow me to boil it down to a short and simple phrase that tells you how I prefer to act in nature.
“Leave this world a little better than you found it” -Robert Baden Powell
If you like to go out into nature and wilderness this is a good rule to follow. There are always deviants in society that will leave their Marlboro cigarettes on the ground, making things worse for those that come after them. I am a humble landscape photographer though.
It is not my position to tell you how to behave in nature. It is my responsibility to document the landscapes I see, and as a landscape gets destroyed by those who do not practice the rules of leave no trace it is all I am left to document. Recently, there was a large fire in the Columbia River Gorge caused by humans. It is my plan to document this destruction not because it is beautiful, but as a reminder how fragile these ecosystems are.
This is not a topic I take lightly or claim to be easy in practice. Nobody is perfect, but even if one person is encouraged to behave with more awareness in nature and our wilderness I will be content.
“Happiness is not mere pleasure, not the outcome of wealth. It is the result of active work rather than passive enjoyment of pleasure.”
-Robert Baden-Powell in ‘How to be happy through rich or poor’ (1930)