Letter to the Editor: Slacklining and Trees

Thanks for the great article promoting slacklining. We all come to Montana and MSU to get a great education and to enjoy the myriad of athletic pursuits available. Part of both education and enjoying the great outdoors is insuring that we tread lightly so others have the same opportunity as we did. That is the reason we have some requirements for using trees for slacklining on campus … to insure those trees and the people who enjoy them are protected for the continued enjoyment and safety of all. The requirements, with some hints on how to meet them, are:

  • provide protection between bark and slackline strapping. This can be corrugated cardboard, carpet scraps, or bath towels.
  • attach to only coarse barked trees. If you can insert a quarter in the ridges of the bark and the top of George Washington’s head is not visible the tree has coarse bark.
  • the tree must have a diameter of at least 12″ measured 2′-0″ above the ground. The distance between your wrist and elbow is about 12″.
  • be considerate of other activities including pedestrian circulation. Pedestrian circulation includes the worn paths in the turf.

By following these requirements we are all doing our part to preserve opportunities for everyone as well as providing an example of respect for the environment and community for others to emulate. Now go out there and enjoy.


E.J. Hook

Environmental Services Manager, MSU