Court Lifts Injunction Blocking Mexican Gray Wolf Releases

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to lift a preliminary injunction blocking further releases of highly endangered Mexican gray wolves into the wild within New Mexico. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) can now resume wolf releases within the state. Mexican gray wolves, or lobos, are the most endangered gray wolf subspecies in the world. Lobos are facing...

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In 4 days, a river that had flowed for millennia disappeared

The latest consequence of climate change is rivers “pirating” each other’s water. Nearly a year ago, scientists noticed that the water level of the Slims River in British Columbia was extremely low. So they hopped into a helicopter and flew upstream to investigate. What they found startled them: A second, more powerful river, the Kaskawulsh, had stolen the Slims River’s...

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Fact-checking Trump’s Antiquities Act order

“San Juan County is now the epicenter of a brutal battle over public lands,” Orrin Hatch, the senior senator from Utah, said as he stood before the Senate on April 24, 2017 and railed against former President Barack Obama’s end-of-term designation of the Bears Ears National Monument. Hatch spoke in anticipation of President Donald Trump’s order to “review” all national...

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Smokies Park Recruits Volunteers for Cataloochee Valley

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is seeking volunteers to assist rangers with managing traffic and establishing safe wildlife viewing areas within the Cataloochee Valley region. Volunteers will receive information and training in wildlife behavior, safe viewing practices, and cultural history. Cataloochee is a remote mountain valley on the eastern edge of the park...

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Help Hike 1,175 Miles in One Day

On September 9, 2017, Friends of the Mountains to Sea Trail need you to collaborate with hundreds of others across North Carolina to hike and paddle the entire 1,175 miles of the MST in one day. Registration is now open for all legs – follow the instructions on mstinaday.org to sign up. MST in a Day commemorates a speech on September 9, 1977 by Howard Lee, then the...

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park Announces Synchronous Firefly Viewing Dates

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have announced the 2017 dates for firefly viewing in Elkmont. Shuttle service to the viewing area will be provided on Tuesday, May 30 through Tuesday, June 6. All visitors wishing to view the synchronous fireflies at Elkmont must have a parking pass distributed through the lottery system at www.recreation.gov. Every year in...

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Conservation Partners Add 1,058 Acres Near Fiery Gizzard Trail To Tennessee’s South Cumberland State Park

The Conservation Fund and The Land Trust for Tennessee, in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) and the Open Space Institute (OSI), announced the addition of 1,058 acres to South Cumberland State Park in Marion County. The acquisition connects more than 7,000 acres of protected public and private land, conserves forestland and...

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Centuries-old Medicine Wheel draws many to national forest in Wyoming

For centuries, the Medicine Wheel in the Bighorn National Forest in Wyoming has been used for prayer and vision quests by the Crow Tribe and other Native people. Visitors come from all over the world to hike up Medicine Mountain to the wheel, a National Historical Site managed by the Bighorn National Forest with guidance from the Medicine Wheel Alliance. The Medicine...

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A Bear’s-Eye View of Yellowstone

What do bears eat? How far do they roam? Find out in this interactive journey through the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. For the first time, trek into the wild backcountry of America’s first national park and see what it looks like from a bear’s point of view. Special cameras were attached to the tracking collars of two grizzlies and two black bears in...

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On the trail of John Muir: Hiking in the naturalist’s footsteps around Northern California

John Muir had a passion for the outdoors that’s legendary and his extensive writings include accounts of his California adventures, ascending Mount Shasta in a snowstorm, walking all the way from San Francisco to Yosemite, and simply sauntering around Mount Wanda with his two daughters near his Martinez Ranch. Muir first arrived in San Francisco from New York by...

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Why Hiking Matters

Nature Deficit Disorder noun 1. The human cost of alienation from nature. Okay, it’s not actually in the dictionary… yet. The term was coined by journalist Richard Louv in his modern classic study Last Child in the Woods to describe the negative effects of a steep, one-generation slide in children’s exposure to the natural world. Louv points to the obvious reasons:...

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Dog’s Death Spotlights Use of Cyanide ‘Bombs’ to Kill Predators

Sodium cyanide is considered by the Department of Homeland Security to be a potential weapon for terrorists. It’s a key ingredient in the M-44s, or “cyanide bombs,” used by Wildlife Services, an obscure agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to kill wildlife predators on public and private lands in the West. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,...

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The Earth just reached a CO2 level not seen in 3 million years

Some records aren’t meant to be broken — but when it comes to climate change, humans still haven’t gotten the memo. Last fall, the Earth passed a major climate milestone when measurements taken at Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Observatory showed that atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide had passed — potentially permanently — 400 parts per million. This week, measurements...

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America’s rapidly growing wind industry now employs more than 100,000 people

More than 100,000 Americans now work in the wind industry, which is adding jobs much more rapidly than the economy as a whole, according to new data released this week. “We are hiring at a nine times faster rate than the average industry in the country,” Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), a trade group, said at a press conference. According...

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Tips for Scoring a Hard-to-Get National Park Backcountry Permit

by Michael Lanza - The Big Outside The first time I backpacked in Yosemite National Park, more than 25 years ago, I applied months in advance for a permit to start at the park’s most popular trailhead, Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley—and I got it. I had no idea at the time how lucky I was. I’ve since been shot down trying to get permits for popular hikes in parks like...

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Kentucky coal company announces plans to build the state’s largest solar farm

A Kentucky coal company announced that it is planning to build a solar farm on a reclaimed mountaintop removal coal mine and that the project would bring both jobs and energy to the area. The company says the farm will give jobs to displaced coal miners. Berkeley Energy Group, the coal company behind the project, billed it as the first large-scale solar farm in the...

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Groundbreaking for final phase of ‘missing link’ of Foothills Parkway

It’s the beginning of the end for the “missing link” of the Foothills Parkway. While crews still are completing the bridges along the 1.65-mile “missing link,” the paving of the entire 16-mile stretch of the Foothills Parkway between Walland and Wears Valley is scheduled to get underway this spring, with a groundbreaking ceremony featuring U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander,...

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Announcing a new champion for expanding the protection of precious natural resources and quality of life

After a thoughtful and well considered process, the board of directors and staff of Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) in Henderson, Transylvania and parts of neighboring counties in North Carolina, and the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) in Polk County, North Carolina, and the Landrum area of South Carolina, are excited to announce a consolidation of the two...

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How to Prevent Injuries While Hiking

Hiking is great fun for all ages and sizes. Like any other person who has the zeal and passion for amazing views and high alpine trails, sometimes you forget that the activity is strenuous and has several potential dangers. If you have been hiking for some time, chances are you have had a taste of what it is to get one of more of the following injuries. An injury from...

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A new kind of green: Developers trade golf courses for hiking trails, gardens to draw buyers

A few decades ago, the go-to centerpiece for many master-planned communities was a golf course, with buyers clamoring for homes that backed up to the green whether they were avid players or not. Today, golf courses have faded from favor in new communities, giving way to more inclusive amenities, such as extensive trail networks, education centers and shared gardens that...

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Walking the Garden of Ireland: Wicklow Way

The Wicklow Way is Ireland’s oldest way-marked long-distance walk. The 128 km long walk takes you through the incredible Wicklow Mountains and through County Wicklow, known as the Garden of Ireland. Wicklow Way passes through Wicklow Mountains National Park and through Glenmalure, the longest glacial valley in Ireland. You’ll also walk past Glendalough, a 6th century...

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Tennessee Smokies on My Mind – A Photo Essay

Every April I like to make a two-day trip to the Tennessee side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I usually stay overnight at the Cades Cove Campground. It is a glorious time in the Smokies. The spring ephemeral wildflowers are busting out all over. The weather is warming and the days are getting longer. The rivers, creeks and streams are usually full of cool,...

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High Country Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway Chapter – Clean-up of Tanawha Trail, April 23, 2017

The High Country Chapter of FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian State Chapter, will host a clean up of the Tanawha Trail, Sunday, April 23, 2017 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. The Tanawha Trail, stretching 13.5 miles from Julian Price Park to Beacon Heights, parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway on Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. Tanawha, the Cherokee word for...

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What Gear Do I Need For Hiking?

Hikers in general are an eclectic lot. If you asked 15 different hikers what kind of hiking gear you need for a comfortable day hike, chances are that you will get 15 different answers. Of course, some of these answers will have a few items in common. You know, things like don’t go hiking in your flip flops. So preferably, the first piece of gear you will need will be...

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9 simple ways to be a better national parks visitor

America’s best idea, the national parks, continue to rise in popularity each year. 2016 saw the third year in a row where attendance to the national parks broke the previous all-time attendance record. Over 330 million visitors enjoyed the 417 national park sites last year, and that number is almost certainly going to increase yet again this year. With these kinds of...

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Public Library Card in Colorado Offers Hiking Perks

When it comes to Colorado’s great outdoors, the Mesa County Public Libraries are here to help connect you to local scenic hiking trails at no cost. Bob Kretschman, Public Information Manager of the Mesa County Public Libraries said, “With a library card you can do a lot more than just check out books. This parks pass program lets you actually get out and...

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Yellowstone Prong, Blue Ridge Parkway

Yellowstone Prong has some of the most rugged terrain in all of the Pisgah Ranger District. Paralleling the Blue Ridge Parkway from Looking Glass Rock Overlook at milepost 417, and climbing the drainage from Skinny Dip Falls to Yellowstone Falls, this hike in, along, and above Yellowstone Prong may be the most challenging mile I have undertaken. You will scramble over...

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National Parks are Fee Free the Next Two Weekends

The National Park Service has long encouraged visitors to avoid peak crowds by planning their trips in the spring. And to give you even more impetus, here’s another good reason to visit this month: free admission. For four days in April, 2017 — April 15, 16, 22 and 23 — the National Park Service will waive entrance fees at the 118 national parks that normally charge...

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How to Be Mindful on a Hike

“Hiking in nature provides an opportunity to tune in — both to our own experience and to the world around us. While it can be easy to get lost in thought or daydreams while hiking, the simple practices of mindfulness can draw us more closely into our experience of the natural world.” — Khalila Archer, program director at Inward Bound Mindfulness Education. Start by...

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Trekking the Danakil in Ethiopia

After a three-hour hike, you crest the ridge. Before you is the glowing caldera, filled with dancing fountains of lava. Ethiopia is increasingly making its mark on global tourism. Once just the province of dedicated Peace Corps workers and intrepid backpackers, newly built roads and new hotels are opening it up to the broader tourist market. But even for the most veteran...

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