Southern pine beetle on the rise across the South

Smaller than a grain of rice, the southern pine beetle (SPB) is considered “the most destructive forest pest in the South”. This menacing label appropriately reflects the devastation it can cause, with outbreaks capable of costing millions of dollars between lost timber and management costs. Fortunately, SPB outbreaks are cyclical, typically occurring every 10-15 years....

Learn More

At The Wave, competition for hiking permits is fierce

Ranger Ron Kay glanced at an anxious crowd crammed into a U.S. Bureau of Land Management office in Kanab, Utah. “All these hopeful faces,” he murmured as the minutes counted down to a drawing for permits to hike to The Wave, an iconic basin of striated orange sandstone just south of the Utah-Arizona state line. More than 80 applications were stacked in front of Kay on...

Learn More

‘Dangerous Drift-Prone Pesticide’ Threatens Millions of Acres, Hundreds of Endangered Species

Public interest organizations representing farmers and conservationists made their legal case in a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Monsanto Company last week, challenging EPA’s approval of Monsanto’s new “XtendiMax” pesticide. XtendiMax is Monsanto’s version of dicamba, an old and highly...

Learn More

10 Tips for Hiking Downhill

Hiking downhill is often taken for granted. In the minds of some it represents the equivalent of “backcountry gravy“; the reward that follows the exertion of a long, challenging ascent. Yet hiking downhill takes its toll. Twists, slips and tumbles are most likely to occur while descending and no other type of hiking causes more wear and tear on the joints and muscles. By...

Learn More

A diverse portfolio: Seed bank works to protect genes of WNC plants

It’s been just about 10 years since the day Joe-Ann McCoy, then living in Iowa and working as the national medicinal plant curator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, got a life-changing call from her home region of Western North Carolina. It was the N.C. Arboretum in Asheville, and they wanted to know if she’d be interested in trading her secure government job for a...

Learn More

Chemours’ GenX pollution worries spread to West Virginia

A Teflon chemical that last year contaminated a North Carolina river that provides drinking water to a region of more than 200,000 people also has been detected at a well under a Chemours facility in West Virginia, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In an apparent effort to determine the extent of the chemical, called GenX, in the area’s water,...

Learn More

How the Chattanooga region’s trails are built and maintained

Mason Boring and Clayton Morgan held adjoining handles of a perforated lancetooth two-man saw, pulling the more-than-70-year-old piece of equipment back and forth. The two were clearing a fallen tree from Fodderstack horse and hiking trail in Cherokee National Forest. Boring estimated it had been five years since a crew came to clear the path. That’s what brought...

Learn More

Wildlife habitat, water quality protected in Sandy Mush

When locals speak of Sandy Mush, it’s often in the same breath with words like “sacred land,” “pure,” and “paradise.” So protecting this bucolic expanse of farmland amid North Carolina’s Newfound Mountains of northwestern Buncombe County has been a life’s work for many who live in or who just love the area. The Ellis family recently worked with the Southern...

Learn More

The National Park Service is stuck in $11.3 billion hole, but jacking up fees isn’t the way out

Three years ago, the National Park Service banned trucks and buses heavier than 10 tons from crossing over the Arlington Memorial Bridge, a major transportation artery connecting Virginia to Washington D.C. And there’s speculation that the U.S. Secret Service now refuses to cross the 82-year-old concrete span, though the agency would not confirm whether this was...

Learn More

Nova Scotia blessed with trails for outdoor adventurers for all ages

It’s very easy to take to the warm and cozy of the couch during Nova Scotia winters: ripe with freeze and thaw, rain and snow and bone-chilling cold snaps. However, more often these days there has been a growth in those that dare to venture out of the house and on to the trails that criss-cross the province. For more than 10 years Hike Nova Scotia, a non-profit hiking...

Learn More

A hiking trail connecting NYC to Canada is in the works

During his 2017 State of the State address, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo laid out an ambitious proposal to develop 350 miles of new biking paths and hiking trails that will connect New York City to both Canada and Buffalo through Albany. Dubbed the Empire State Trail, the whole project will stretch 750 miles and include roughly 400 miles of existing trails. It’s...

Learn More

Nine Tips for Hiking Havasu Falls

Havasu Falls sits atop the desirable adventures for many hikers from the first time they see a picture of the aqua blue water cascading down red rock walls into the crystal pool below. On the hike, you will see Navajo Falls, Havasu Falls, Mooney Falls and Beaver Falls which are some of the most picturesque waterfalls and dramatic scenery found in the Grand Canyon. There...

Learn More

Hiking across the greenest island in the Caribbean

“They say: stand still in the soil too long in Grenada and even you’ll start to grow.” The southern Caribbean isle of Grenada, with its volcanic earth and generous lashings of both “liquid” and regular sunshine, is ludicrously lush. Every backyard, mountainside, valley and verge seems rife with nutmeg, cocoa and soursop, banana palms, guava, ginger lilies and dreadlock...

Learn More

Blue Ridge Parkway’s Linn Cove Viaduct to Close for Repairs

The National Park Service announces the closure of the Linn Cove Viaduct on the Blue Ridge Parkway for surface repaving and bridge maintenance from March 1, 2018 through May 24, 2018. These projects require a full closure of the Parkway, including closure of the trail below the bridge; with the reopening coinciding with Memorial Day weekend. The Linn Cove Viaduct is...

Learn More

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Recruits ‘Adopt-a-Plot’ Volunteers

Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers are recruiting volunteers to adopt a monitoring plot in areas throughout the park. In an effort to track nature’s calendar, or phenology, volunteers will collect information as part of an important research project tracking seasonal biological data such as plant flowering dates and the presence of migratory birds. Previous...

Learn More

Montana’s Weatherman Draw offers winter hiking, ancient exploration

Winter hiking often involves snowshoes, but not if you wander along the southeastern edge of the Beartooth Mountains into Weatherman Draw. Weatherman Draw creases one of the driest areas in Montana — a place where rain and snow are rare visitors. That makes it a great place to hike when more popular mountain trails are snowed in. By summertime, it’s too hot to hike...

Learn More

Idaho legislature votes to remove climate change from new science education standards

Lawmakers in Idaho voted to adopt new science standards for the state, but chose to remove key references to climate science. The vote came just days after public testimony from students and teachers overwhelmingly supported including climate science in the public school standards. “At what point do we trust our teachers?” Rep. Sally Toone, a Democrat who voted against...

Learn More

First look at Pacific Crest Trail after Columbia Gorge fire

Branches flew. Trail tools smoothed the earth. Stones tumbled downhill, crackling like Rice Krispies as gravity took hold. The trail workers are back. Hardhat-clad crew leaders began work last month on a section of Pacific Crest Trail that’s been closed near the Columbia River Gorge tourist town of Cascade Locks since a wildfire ripped through the region last summer. The...

Learn More

Trekking Patagonia: from glaciers to temperate forest, it’s a world of its own

It’s said that if you eat the berries of the calafate bush you will return to Patagonia. Patagonia is a place that’s wild and windswept and so capacious it could constitute its very own country. There are two Patagonias, the forest-cloaked Andes straddling Chile and Argentina, and the Argentinian steppe that flares eastwards for about 400 kilometres before...

Learn More

Linked to the landscape: Community envisions Plott Balsams’ future

The doors opened, and the room filled — with hikers, bikers, ecologists, conservation workers, economic development professionals and Cherokee tribal members alike who were intent on making their voices heard during a public forum last week, which took input on plans that will impact the future of Waterrock Knob and the Plott Balsams. “What I love is the passion that...

Learn More

This coyote was stealing newspapers, so here’s what the delivery man did

It’s not uncommon to hear about city residents running into conflicts with urban coyotes. Usually it’s because of run-ins with pets, or coyotes getting too close for comfort around people in parks or yards. But sometimes a conflict arises for more surprising reasons. In one San Francisco neighborhood, trouble popped up for the newspaper delivery man when his...

Learn More

Trails in the South Carolina Lowcountry you may not know about

The Lowcountry is an ideal place for anyone who loves the outdoors; visitors and resident alike enjoy the subtropical climate while biking, swimming, kayaking and golfing. Both amateur and expert hikers can find many opportunities to hike in the Lowcountry, too. All a hiker needs is a pair of shoes and perhaps some company, and he or she is ready to walk through enormous...

Learn More

An artist is reimagining the UK’s national parks in the style of J.R.R. Tolkien’s maps

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are iconic fantasy adventures, and readers return to them time and again because of the rich detail that defines the world. Tolkien’s prose is aided by his beautiful maps of Middle-Earth, which comes with simplified, beautiful forests, mountains, and typography that has set the standard for fictional cartography ever...

Learn More

Nature Conservancy Sets Stage to Add 955 Acres of Public Access to Jones Gap State Park

In warmer months, it’s common to see a line of cars waiting outside Jones Gap State Park as early as 9 a.m. on the weekend. Jones Gap has only 36 parking spaces; when those are full, the park is considered “at capacity” and the gates close until more visitors can be accepted. With 415,852 visitors welcomed to the Mountain Bridge Wilderness area last year – a figure that...

Learn More

Scientists discover ancient Mayan city hidden under Guatemalan jungle

Researchers using a high-tech aerial mapping technique have found tens of thousands of previously undetected Mayan houses, buildings, defence works and pyramids in the dense jungle of Guatemala’s Peten region, suggesting that millions more people lived there than previously thought. The discoveries, which included industrial-sized agricultural fields and irrigation...

Learn More

This Woman Is Helping Create Some of the World’s Greatest National Parks

Former Patagonia CEO Kristine McDivitt Tompkins has spent a quarter of a century preserving public lands across Chile and Argentina. Last month, news broke that Chile would officially add 11 million acres to its National Park system, thanks to decrees signed by conservationist Kristine McDivitt Tompkins and Chilean president Michelle Bachelet—that’s three times the size...

Learn More

North Country Trail Association offering online maps

Following the blue blaze markers along the North Country Trail is a good way to stay on the trail, as is a good old-fashioned waterproof, tear-resistant paper map. A little technology, though, can’t hurt. Matthew Rowbotham, the North Country Trail Association’s Geographic Information System coordinator based in Traverse City, also encourages accessing and using the...

Learn More

The national monuments slashed by Trump will officially be open to mining today

At 9 a.m. EST Friday, February 2, 2018, the extractive industry will gain drilling and mining access to previously protected American land, according to an order issued by President Donald Trump late last year. Trump took an unprecedented step for a U.S. president in December — signing a proclamation that dramatically reduced the size of two national monuments. Bears...

Learn More

Truck driver plows into Peru’s 2,000-year-old archeological enigma

Peru’s world renowned Nazca Lines were damaged when a rig plowed into the ancient site, the country’s ministry of culture said. The driver was arrested after he allegedly ignored warning signage and drove over UNESCO World Heritage site, the ministry said. He was later released after a magistrate said there was not enough evidence to prove that he had acted...

Learn More

Arizona elk headed to West Virginia

Dozens of Arizona elk will soon roam southern West Virginia’s reclaimed coal fields, bugling a call of the wild not heard in the Mountain State since the Civil War. The Arizona Game and Fish Commission last year voted to send 60 elk to help the effort. In late January a team of wildlife managers and volunteers captured and quarantined the animals at a state wildlife...

Learn More

Tips for keeping your hiking strength and endurance during winter

While we certainly need periods of rest and relaxation to thrive, becoming relatively inactive for months on end is rarely a good idea for your health and well-being, especially when you’ve spent the past several months hoofing it to amazing hiking destinations and building up your strength and endurance. The good news is there are many ways to take the next step in your...

Learn More

Chile Adds 10 Million Acres of Parkland in Historic First

American philanthropists and the Chilean government pledged to protect the land nearly a year ago. Now, it’s official. Chilean president Michelle Bachelet officially declared a major expansion of Chile’s parklands, creating two new national parks and protecting vast swaths of the country’s rainforests, grasslands, and other wild terrains. “With...

Learn More
Page 1 of 1101232040Last »