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Mountain Holly

Code of Conduct

Mountain Holly
  1. Advance your own and others' respect for and understanding of nature:
    • Becoming knowledgeable serves to enhance our appreciation of nature and helps to minimize human impact on nature.
    • Learn about wildlife and habitats, especially species which are endangered, threatened, or rare, and the factors that make them vulnerable.
    • Share your knowledge of and respect for nature with others.
    • If you find a plant, animal, or fossil that may be rare, notify your local expert, museum, or university.
    • Whenever possible, volunteer to help with wildlife population surveys and other studies.
  2. Always put the welfare of wildlife ahead of your desire to view it:
    • Moving slowly permits wildlife to become accustomed to human presence.
    • Keep your visit brief and quiet.
    • Keep your distance, especially from nests, dens, and other animals; never separate young from their parents.
    • Use recordings and similar methods of attracting birds sparingly and not at all in heavily birded areas.
    • Replace any rocks or logs overturned when searching for aquatic or terrestrial animals.
    • Carefully return reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates to their habitat if you must handle them. Better still, observe them without touching.
    • Do not handle birds or mammals except in cases of emergency.
    • Leave wild plants in their natural habitat and do not pick or uproot them unless they are to be destroyed through development.
    • Leave fossils on-site except where they are numerous and/or likely to be damaged by erosion.
  3. Always preserve the integrity of natural areas and ecosystems:
    • Never disturb the habitat of endangered, rare, uncommon, or threatened plants or animals, particularly during reproductive cycles or breeding seasons.
    • Whenever possible stay on existing roads and trails to avoid trampling and reduce the disturbance to wildlife and their habitats.
    • Carry a litter bag and carry out any trash, even if it isn't your own.
    • Only you can prevent forest fires.
    • Avoid supporting commercial trade in plants or animals taken from the wild.
  4. Always respect the rights of others:
    • Be courteous to others.
    • Behave in a manner that will enhance the image of naturalists everywhere.
    • Respect the privacy and property of others by obeying "No Trespassing" signs and asking landowner permission before entering private or posted properties.
    • Follow all rules, regulations, and laws governing public use of natural areas.
  5. When in groups, individuals must assume special responsibilities:
    • Take care to alleviate disturbances and problems which multiply when moving through areas in groups.
    • Individual actions must be in the best interests of the group but principally in the interest of nature.
    • The conduct of the group must reflect a sensitivity to nature.
As a leader: [Naturalist's Code of Conduct, adopted April 1997]