Seeds of Change - Enjoying Wildflowers Responsibly

Thank you so much for taking the time to consider these guidelines.  The goal is not to stop enjoying wildflowers, but to do so in ways that will preserve them for the future:
  • Stay on designated trails. Avoid creating your own pathways, especially by trampling through an area of lesser blooms to get to what you perceive is prime territory.  If you are determined to go into the actual flower displays (and again, this is highly discouraged), please minimize further damage by walking only in the footsteps of those who have trampled before you. 
  • Don't pick wildflowers. Not only is it illegal in most cases, but as noted below, it will diminish that year's crop of seeds, lessening the chance of future generations of blooms in that location. 
  • Don't assume that abundant wildflowers are common and reproduce easily.  In many instances, large displays of wildflowers appear only in ideal conditions.  Some years, they will be few in numbers or not bloom at all.  They depend on the abundant years to reproduce enough seed for the future.  If you pick, damage or destroy the flowers in abundant years, it will be more difficult for them to come back in sparse ones.  In addition, rarer flowers may be hidden among the more prolific ones.  They may not come back at all if they do not have a chance to produce seeds.
  • Respect private property by staying on the public side of the fence.  Also, be aware that a fence doesn't always mark the true boundaries of the property.  Fence placement is often arbitrary and dictated by the natural environment.  The property actually may extend beyond the fence or may not be fenced at all.  Whenever you're in an area that is not clearly set aside for public use, assume it's private and be respectful. 
  • Watch where you park.  Preferably, park only in designated areas.  At a minimum, be sure you're in a safe area to pull over and your car is completely off the road.  And of course, don't park in the flowers.  Sometimes their best displays are at roadside.
  • Don't picnic in the middle of the flower fields.  That quilt or blanket that makes you comfortable may obliterate the flowers and other vegetation underneath. 
  • Don't leave anything behind.  Dispose of all trash including leftover food, packaging, diapers, etc., in appropriate bins or pack it out with you.
  • Photographing wildflowers.  Be careful when composing your shots to avoid destroying flowers and vegetation with your equipment.  Don't sit, lie down or otherwise mangle the flowers to get a better photograph. Minimize the damage you cause as much as possible.  If you use models, have them follow the same rules. 
It is often said, "Take only memories or photographs; leave only footprints..."  I would amend that to say,

"Take only memories or photographs;
and try not to leave any footprints in the flowers..."

Full Rainbow Hugging a Field of Lupine Dreams

Thank you so much for your efforts to protect and preserve our beautiful wildflowers!