Running the trails of the Bighorn National Forest leaves athletes in awe. Due to the scenery and the people of our community, hundreds of runners continue participating in the Bighorn Mountain Wild and Scenic Trail Run.

While most of the athletes, some local and some from other areas of the country and world, treat our forest and trails with respect, some could use a reminder about the importance of Leave No Trace principles.

The volunteers and staff for the event work hard to ensure things run smoothly. They’ve even implemented a new effort this year to go “cup free.”

Despite the efforts and the conscientious respect paid by many runners, though, trash is often still found along the trails after the race. Sometimes runners don’t realize they miss their pocket as they stuff wrappers in their pants and keep going. But all should be aware of the impact that has on our beautiful Bighorns.

Leave No Trace principles are one way to ensure our mountains remain beautiful and accessible for years to come. They remind us to:

• Plan ahead and prepare.

• Travel and camp on durable surfaces.

• Dispose of waste properly.

• Leave what you find.

• Minimize campfire impacts.

• Respect wildlife.

• Be considerate of other visitors.

While not all apply to the runners (we hope none have to start a campfire), they still serve as reminders of best practices when recreating in the great outdoors.

As runners arrive in town next week, we wish them luck and ask that all work to keep our Bighorns beautiful.