The vast majority of those involved in outdoor recreation as opposed to those involved in sport are not affiliated with any organisation. As a result most involved in the recreation learn about it by trial and error. This lack of knowledge leads to the continuing repetition of damaging actions and problems for land managers, which can be minimised by a simple public education program. Because of the ongoing reductions in public spending and increasing calls on land managers to provide for increasing use of these natural areas the responsibility for education is falling back onto those who gain financial reward from these recreations to finance the education of users to ensure the long term viability of the recreation.
While there have been many programs previously they have always been ad hoc, localised and reactive, Tread Lightly! is providing a coordinated, national, proactive awareness campaign based on the Tread Lightly! principles to educate participants in outdoor recreation.