The Tread Lightly! concept originated from a task force created by the US Forest Service in 1985. The task force was created due to concerns with the increase of visitors to public lands for recreational purposes. It was concluded that a long term informative program was needed to increase public awareness, that special care of the land must be exercised by recreationalists if opportunities are to continue. Accordingly, the Tread Lightly! program was developed. It's based on the same premise as 'Smokey Bear' and 'Woodsy Owl' programs where Smoky Bear and Woodsy Owl focus on fire and litter respectively, Tread Lightly! emphasizes low impact principles, applicable to all forms of recreational activities. Soon after Tread Lightly!'s development by the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management adopted the program. Corporate America joined forces with the Federal Government's efforts by promoting Tread Lightly! like they had championed the "Don't Drink and Drive" and "Buckle Up" safety programs. Given the popularity of the program, the Federal Government determined, in order to optimize the program's operational and promotional potential, it was logical to transfer the management of Tread Lightly! from the Government to the Private Sector. In October of 1990, approximately 50 companies and organizations founded the non-profit organization, Tread Lightly! Inc. Tread Lightly! Inc. is dedicated to spread the word of responsible outdoor recreation, Nationally and Internationally.