“Camping in the Old Style” Re-created at the Cradle of Forestry

The Cradle of Forestry in America invites the public to explore a re-created campsite of the early 1900’s during its “Camping in the Old Style” event, Saturday, October 14, 2017. A classic camping interpretive team known as the Acorn Patrol demonstrate the low-tech/high-skill approach as practiced in the outdoors during what some historians consider the...

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Trump moves to cancel landmark Obama climate change rule

The Trump administration officially moved to kill the Obama-era climate change rule for power plants, fulfilling a campaign pledge but setting off what is expected to be a bitter legal battle between the EPA and several states, health and environmental groups. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt signed an agency proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan, which would have sped...

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Congressman Introduces Legislation To Extensively Rewrite Antiquities Act

  A Utah congressman long unhappy with the authority given presidents under The Antiquities Act to establish national monuments has introduced legislation that would extensively rewrite the century-old act. If enacted, the rewrite would limit the purposes for which monuments could be created, require environmental review of proposed designations, and allow...

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There’s enough wind energy over the oceans to power human civilization, scientists say

New research finds there is so much wind energy potential over oceans that it could theoretically be used to generate “civilization scale power” — assuming, that is, that we are willing to cover enormous stretches of the sea with turbines, and can come up with ways to install and maintain them in often extreme ocean environments. It’s very unlikely that we would ever...

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How the Mt. Everest region is thriving two years after the deadly earthquake

In a colorful Buddhist monastery perched at 12,787ft, Nima Sherpa sits cross-legged on a brocade pillow, calmly chanting mantras in a monotone at 5am. It’s a daily ritual the monk wrapped in a burgundy robe has been practicing at the Tengboche Monastery in Nepal’s remote Khumbu region for the last 15 years and one that makes his mind and body feel purified whenever he’s...

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The Most Underrated Endurance Workout? Hiking

Have you ever met anyone who regretted taking a good, hard day hike? Me neither. There’s something special about moderately paced movement through nature that leaves one feeling refreshed, renewed, and satisfied. Recent studies show that a walk in the woods—especially at the right tempo—is a superb way to build endurance and strength. For a study published earlier this...

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How Armenia Plans to Become the Next World-Class Hiking Destination

Dilijan National Park stretches across the mountains of Armenia’s northeastern Tavush region, 92 square miles of beech and oak tree forests and pine-covered slopes that delve into deep gorges with wandering streams and rivers. Brown bear and deer are frequent park visitors, lured by the scent of blackcurrants and gooseberries, while rarer flora like Armenian Saint...

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The Yosemite most people never see: 10 dazzling hikes

Gazing at the spectacular scenery surrounding Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy reservoir, one can’t help but marvel. Nature has endowed Tuolumne County with such splendor, it almost doesn’t seem fair. That these riches are so easily accessed by hiking trails makes us all the luckier. Before this lake was formed at Yosemite National Park, Hetch Hetchy was a glacier-carved,...

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How to not die in the Smokies

When you think about the Great Smoky Mountains, you might conjure grand vistas, verdant forests or majestic elk. Your thoughts might not immediately jump to death and destruction. But that is exactly what adventure travel writer David Brill of Morgan County, Tenn., dives into with his new book, Into the Mist: Tales of Death and Disaster, Mishaps and Misdeeds, Misfortune...

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Humans Today Have Even More Meanderthal DNA Than We Realized

An international team of researchers has completed one of the most detailed analyses of a Meanderthal genome to date. Among the many new findings, the researchers learned that Meanderthals first mated with modern humans a surprisingly long time ago, and that humans living today have more Meanderthal DNA than we assumed. Before this new study, only four Meanderthal...

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House Committee on Natural Resources votes to gut the Wilderness Act

  A stealth attack on the Wilderness Act comes in the form of H.R. 3668, the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act, introduced by Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina. It would affect every wilderness in the nation. On September 15, 2017 the SHARE Act was passed by the Committee on Natural Resources and sent to the full House of...

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The best hiking trails in Metro Detroit

The leaves are changing and it’s the perfect time to enjoy the many hiking trails around metro Detroit. Many of the area’s Metroparks and nature preserves offer scenic views and multiple trails for hiking, cycling, cross country skiing, and horse riding. A linked map marks the pathways that offer all or some of these. The map spans as far north as Kensington Metropark to...

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The Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests: An Economic Powerhouse for Western North Carolina

  If you’re one of the 4.6 million people who visit the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests each year, you already know how incredible this corner of the Southern Appalachians is. Perhaps you’ve paddled down the Tuckasegee River, climbed at Looking Glass, or hiked in Linville Gorge. No matter your preferred form of adventure, you know the Nantahala-Pisgah...

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Marci Spencer – Author and Historian

Healer of bodies and forests   A retired nurse practitioner, Marci Spencer is the author of Clingmans Dome: Highest Mountain in the Great Smokies, Pisgah National Forest: A History, and the recently released Nantahala National Forest: A History all published by The History Press. Her children’s book, Potluck, Message Delivered: The Great Smoky Mountains Are...

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Cradle of Forestry Hosts Forest Festival Day and Woodsmen’s Meet October 7

The Cradle of Forestry invites people of all ages to celebrate the forest heritage of western North Carolina during the annual Forest Festival Day on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017 from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. This is the Cradle’s largest event of the year. This activity-filled, family event commemorates the traditions of mountain living and craft in the Cradle’s unique...

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Reopen Chimney Tops Trail October 6

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials will open the Chimney Tops Trail to a newly developed observation point starting Friday, October 6, 2017. The entire trail has been closed to the public since the Chimney Tops 2 Fire event occurred in late November 2016. “We are excited to complete the work on the Chimney Tops Trail in time for the fall color season in Great...

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Death of gas and diesel begins as GM announces plans for ‘all-electric future’

After nearly a century of building vehicles powered by fossil fuels, General Motors — one of the world’s largest automakers — announced October 2, 2017 that the end of GM producing internal combustion engines is fast approaching. The acceleration to an all-electric future will begin almost immediately, with GM releasing two new electric models next year and an additional...

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Oral Rabies Vaccine (ORV) Program – Air Drops Over Western North Carolina

Beginning in the late 1970s, a strain of rabies virus associated with raccoons rapidly spread along the east coast of the United States northward from Florida and southward from West Virginia. As the virus invaded new areas, there was an explosive increase in rabid raccoons, with many states reporting over 500 cases in a year. Compounding the problem, raccoon-variant...

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Earthjustice Wins 16-Year-Long Battle to Protect 50 Million Acres of Forests

  A decades-long fight over a landmark rule protecting wild forests nationwide took another successful–and possibly final–turn after a U.S. district court threw out a last-ditch attack by the state of Alaska against the Roadless Rule. Adopted in the closing days of the Clinton administration, the Roadless Rule prohibits most logging and road construction in...

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Good news! Global carbon emissions stayed mostly flat in 2016.

This marks the third year in a row with no increase in CO2 emissions, according to a new report published from the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. That’s largely due to a shift away from coal to natural gas, which tends to produce more electricity more efficiently, and renewable energy. The five largest emitting countries plus the European Union, which...

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National parks set their sights on being litter-free

  “I know how to eliminate litter at national parks,” he told the Undersecretary of the Interior. “How? How?” he responded, animated. The Interior’s collective yearning to take on littering could create a template that could be effective for park districts across America. The Interior manages the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and...

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Nantahala, Pisgah forest planning focuses on recreation

The Access Fund is one of many members of the two collaborative groups – the Nantahala-Pisgah Forest Partnership and the Stakeholders Forum – working on recommendations for the Nantahala and Pisgah Plan Revision. The years-long project holds the potential to change the way millions of people use the two giant forests that spread across the mountains of Western North...

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In the Teton Wilderness, where two oceans begin

The camp is located 22 miles from the Turpin Meadow trailhead along the famous plateau where North Two Ocean Creek makes a baffling break into two, sending Pacific and Atlantic creeks toward their namesake oceans. It’s usually reachable terrain by mid-June, once the sunshine in the high country has erased the last signs of winter atop Trail Creek Pass. Right now, in the...

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10 Health Problems That The Outdoors Can Help Prevent And Treat

Should your doctor tell you to “take a hike,” you may want to listen. With more and more scientific studies uncovering different health benefits from spending time outdoors, is the healthcare industry not fully appreciating ways of preventing and treating disease? During an October 2016, White House Roundtable session entitled “Health Benefits of Time...

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5 Awesome Inca Sites that Aren’t Machu Picchu

Everybody knows that Machu Picchu is THE place to visit in Peru. However, there are many other fascinating Inca sites that are worth a visit, and most are within easy reach of Cusco. If you are backpacking on a budget and can’t afford to visit Machu Picchu, or simply want to explore more, the Sacred Valley is filled with Inca ruins to discover. On the hill above Cusco...

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76 women on a glacier are changing the world

Heidi Steltzer’s job, as she puts it, is “hiking where no one else will go.” As a mountain and polar ecologist studying rare plants, she’s accustomed to traveling to breathtaking Arctic vistas to chase flora along mountain ridges. But watching glaciers calve on her first trip to Antarctica last December was a one-of-a-kind experience for the scientist. “You kind of want...

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Have crosscut, will travel; Sawyers from Bitterroot National Forest aid hurricane recovery effort

Three sawyers from the Bitterroot National Forest of Montana are taking their crosscut saws to hurricane-ravaged Georgia to help clear trees in wilderness areas there. The three — Amelia Shields, Sierra LaBonte and Katherine Bicking — left the Bitterroot National Forest, where they worked all summer clearing trails. They expect to be available for work on the...

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National Parks Struggle With a Mounting Crisis: Too Many Visitors

The rocky shorelines, shifting deserts and winding canyons of the country’s 59 national parks have been hallmarks of American vacations for generations. But the number of park visitors has reached an unprecedented level, leaving many tourists frustrated and many environmentalists concerned about the toll of overcrowding. In 2016, the National Park Service tracked a...

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National Parks offering free admission for 3 days this fall

The National Park Service offered 10 fee-free days in 2017, but nearly a third of those days are yet to come. This fall, travelers will get three opportunities to get into national parks free of charge: on Sept. 30 for National Public Lands Day, and on Nov. 11 and 12 for Veterans Day weekend. On those days, all entrance fees will be waived, though camping and other fees...

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Mountain highs: trekking without borders in the Balkans

The views from Kosovo’s highest peak are incredible. It’s a tricky thing to confirm in a blanket of murk and howling winds. This is the 2,656m summit of Mount Gjeravica, where a shabby concrete marker displays a defaced plaque commemorating Kosovo’s first and only Olympic medalist. Climbing the tallest mountains in Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro, there’s more to the...

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