Tread Lightly
The Concept...

The Program

Tread Lightly! is dedicated to protect public and private lands through education. Emphasis is placed on responsible use of off-highway vehicles, other forms of backcountry travel and low impact principles applicable to all recreation activities.

 Through educational materials, editorial coverage, and manufacturer-generated advertising and promotions, Tread Lightly! has been able to urge outdoorsmen to be responsible toward the environment and to help preserve future opportunities for outdoor recreation.

 The Message

The major points of the Tread Lightly! education program can be easily summarized:

Travel only where motorized vehicles are permitted. Never blaze your own trail.

Respect the rights of hikers, skiers, campers, and others to enjoy their activities undisturbed.

Educate yourself by obtaining travel maps and regulations from public agencies, complying with signs and barriers, and asking owners' permission to cross private property.

Avoid streams, lakeshores, meadows, muddy roads and trails, steep hillsides, and wildlife and livestock.

Drive responsibly to protect the environment and preserve opportunities to enjoy my vehicle your wild lands.

 Now and Future

While most outdoor recreationalists have a respect for the land, there are still those, who, for whatever reason, continue to damage the environment.

 Over the last three decades, millions of acres of land have been closed or restricted because of potential and real damage. Closures continue! This startling statistic, combined with an increase in outdoor recreation, has made the Tread Lightly! message a crucial one. A message we must get across today.

Tread Lightly!'s Membership / Sponsorship Philosophy

Tread Lightly!, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to protect public and private lands through education. Emphasis is placed on responsible use of Off Highway Vehicles, other forms of backcountry travel, and on low impact principles applicable to all recreational activities. It is not required to be a sponsoring member of Tread Lightly! In order to display the Tread Lightly! trademark. However anyone displaying the mark must agree to the Tread Lightly! principles through the form of "Participation Agreement". This agreement commits the organization to principles of the ethics we support.

Sponsorship, while optional, proves to be highly beneficial in several ways. The most significant benefit comes from the legitimacy derived by clearly demonstrating sincerity and commitment towards Tread Lightly! principles. Since we are simply committed to ethics education, we have no political activist affiliation. This orientation allows us to focus strictly on assuring that we make the minimum impact on the lands we use. This is a simple but powerful message to an increasingly concerned public.


There are additional benefits relating to a corporate image, advertising and public relations. The key element is perceived legitimacy. Today's public is less tolerant of hypocrisy at all levels of business and government. Therefore, legitimacy through active support and demonstrated directly to the Tread Lightly! principles, open the door to these additional benefits. Together these benefits prove to be good business for both industry and recreation.

We have developed the official sponsor logo, and encourage supporting members to display the notation of Official Sponsor of Tread Lightly! in advertising and promotional materials. Due to the commitment of the media to the Tread Lightly! program, this delivers meaningful recognition to consumers on behalf of the sponsor.

Finally, sponsors are invited to annual Tread Lightly! programs where members, staff, and government come together to review the program. In addition, there is an opportunity to experience various forms of backcountry recreation to get a better understanding of the need, as well as consumer behavior. These programs can be particularly valuable for forming cross and inter-industry relationships, benefiting business activities.