Forest Service Report Assesses the State of U.S. Forest Health

Insects, diseases, droughts, and fire threaten forests. Each year, the U.S. Forest Service assesses threats facing the nation’s forests. Forest managers, scientists, and decision-makers rely on the annual reports. The U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station recently published the 2016 Forest Health Monitoring report. The report is the 16th in the annual series, and...

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Vets cross paths while hiking cross country

While one veteran begins his hike across America, another group is about to finish one — all in support of their fellow veterans. Navy veteran Shane Moore, 45, started a hike from Jacksonville Beach, Florida a few weeks ago and passed through Youngstown and Panama City this week while on his way to San Diego, where he hopes to finish in late March. Moore is traveling...

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Hiking is now the most popular adventure activity for travelers

  A new study on adventure tourism has revealed that hiking has become the number one most enjoyed activity for active travelers, overtaking a range of other popular pastimes such as kayaking, scuba diving and horse-riding. Conducted between 2015 and 2016 by the Adventure Travel Trade Association, the report states that adventure tourism is one of the fastest...

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“I Think of the Mountain”: History of Hiking in South Korea

The CIA World Factbook describes South Korea as “mostly hills and mountains.” 64 percent of the country’s land is forest, according to a 2014 report by Korea Forest Service. Given this geography, hiking naturally is a popular pastime in South Korea. Or is it so natural to assume so? The history of hiking — in its modern form as a popular leisure activity — is actually...

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A Hidden Irish Paradise of Vertigo-Inducing Fun

By European standards, Ireland’s County Donegal, tucked into the country’s far northwest corner, may as well be Mars. But for adventure travelers, it’s a hidden frontier packed with wind-bitten landscapes to hike or mountain-bike, rowdy coastline to surf, and 500-foot sea stacks to climb. That is, if you’re brave enough. The county is nearly 1,900 square miles but has...

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How an adventurer intends to walk 7,500 miles with a camel named Kingston

Global adventurer Karl Bushby is preparing for his 7,500-mile walk – on a camel named Kingston after his home city. The former paratrooper, who is hoping to become the first person to walk an unbroken path around the world, is joining six other hardened trekkers for the next leg of his journey. Called ‘Steppes To The West’, the journey will take the...

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Continental Divide Trail, from New Mexico to Montana, will challenge hikers

Bored with your extracurricular activities lately? Now’s the season to hike some outstanding Bureau of Land Management trails. While there are several trails the public can enjoy in the Las Cruces area, there’s one in southern New Mexico that will challenge a hiker’s skills and add some miles to their soles. We’re talking about the Continental Divide National Scenic...

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Something Wild: The Dangers of Hiking the Whites

The wooden bridge at the trail head is the gateway to 45,000 acres of protected land, in the heart of the White Mountain National Forest. As Steve Smith, editor of the Appalachian Mountain Club’s White Mountain Hiking Guide points out, “Many a long journey has started here, and ended here.” We’re not far along our own journey when Smith and Mike Dickerman of Bond Cliff...

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From Andes to Amazon: trekking through the Bolivian jungle

Branches came crashing down and leaves tumbled. Overhead, a howler monkey was putting on a display, standing upright, chest puffed out, pelting me with whatever was at hand. Eventually, realizing that this grinning biped wasn’t going anywhere, he gave up, sat astride his lofty branch and went back to eating fruit. That was just one of many captivating encounters in...

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Adventurer sparks Eurasian rebirth of hiking tourism

The international group of young adventurers who set up operations in a disused building on the outskirts of Dilijan National Park, a two hours’ drive north of the Armenian capital, do not quite look like game-changers. Indeed, they live communally, don simple outdoor gear and bunk down in tents at night, but that is all it has taken to kick off the ambitious...

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An 82-Year-Old Broke the Appalachian Trail Age Record

After hiking for more than seven months, 82-year-old Dale Sanders completed the Appalachian Trail on Thursday, October 26, 2017 officially becoming the oldest person to finish the 2,190-mile trek. Sanders, known on the trail as “Greybeard,” broke a record previously held by Lee Barry, who set the mark in 2004 at age 81. “I feel numb right now. It’s really a euphoric...

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The Interior Department Scrubs Climate Change From Its Strategic Plan

In the next five years, millions of acres of America’s public lands and waters, including some national monuments and relatively pristine coastal regions, could be auctioned off for oil and gas development, with little thought for environmental consequences. That’s according to a leaked draft, obtained by The Nation, of the Department of the Interior’s strategic vision:...

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Tesla Turns Power Back On At Children’s Hospital In Puerto Rico

Tesla has used its solar panels and batteries to restore reliable electricity at San Juan’s Hospital del Niño (Children’s Hospital), in what company founder Elon Musk calls “the first of many solar+battery Tesla projects going live in Puerto Rico.” The project came about after Puerto Rico was hit by two devastating and powerful hurricanes in...

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Fracking chemicals and kids’ brains don’t mix

Multiple pollutants found in the air and water near fracked oil and gas sites are linked to brain problems in children, according to a new science review. Researchers focused on five types of pollution commonly found near the sites—heavy metals, particulate matter, polycyclic aromatic hydrobcarbons, BTEX and endocrine disrupting compounds—and scrutinized existing health...

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In Search of Fall Color in the Smokies – A Photo Essay

There is no denying 2017 has been a disappointing year for fall foliage in the Smokies — so far. That’s why I titled this essay In Search of… you really have to look hard to find much beyond a few patches of yellow. The oranges and reds have been nonexistent. I started the day before dawn from Cades Cove driving toward Gatlinburg on Little River Road,...

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Rising Seas Are Flooding Virginia’s Naval Base, and There’s No Plan to Fix It

The one-story brick firehouse at Naval Station Norfolk sits pinched between a tidal inlet and Willoughby Bay. The station houses the first responders to any emergency at the neighboring airfield. Yet when a big storm hits or the tides surge, the land surrounding it floods. Even on a sunny day this spring, with the tide out, the field beside the firehouse was filled with...

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Brace For A Big Jump In National Park Entrance Fees

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke moved yesterday to find a way to boost funding to address the National Park Service’s maintenance backlog, proposing to substantially increase park entrance fees during the “high season” for vacations. It’s a move that seemingly would do little to address the backlog, estimated at roughly $12 billion, while hitting...

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Inaction on climate change carries a big price tag, federal report finds

The Trump administration’s reluctance to confront climate change threatens to create a massive burden on taxpayers, as a lack of planning by federal agencies leaves the government ill-equipped to deal with the fallout from rising temperatures, according to independent congressional investigators. The report released yesterday from the Government Accountability Office...

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Hiking the World Like a Pro

Karen Berger, author of ‘Great Hiking Trails of the World: 80 Trails, 75,000 Miles, 38 Countries, 6 Continents’ said that she has been an outdoors person at heart since she was a kid. “Summer camp was probably my earliest experience of sleeping in tents and living outdoors, and I remember coming home and thinking that indoor air conditioning just felt wrong,”...

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Hypothermia: What Is It? How to Identify Symptoms, Prevent, and Treat

Hypothermia is one of those conditions that is often discussed and yet rarely described as anything more than simply being out in the cold for too long. The reality is quite a bit more complex and the consequences of ignoring the symptoms often lead to extreme end results, sometimes even death. Hypothermia is a condition where a person’s body temperature is significantly...

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Rich Mountain Loop at Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

This was the first trail I hiked in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It was back in 2008 or so, well before I started this website. So I thought it must be time, nearly 10 years later, to do it again and tell you about it. Rich Mountain Loop is a combination of three trails: Rich Mountain Loop Trail, Indian Grave Gap Trail, and Crooked Arm Ridge Trail. Most people...

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Flathead Forest research project seeks to adapt forests to climate change

  It takes a different kind of patience when you sign up to study a forest. A research project started in one lifetime might not bear fruit until the next generation of scientists comes along. Across the country, forest researchers are setting the stage for projects they hope eventually will offer insights on management techniques that will help forests of all...

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10 Amazing Day Hikes in Olympic National Park

Figuring out how to see the most of Olympic National Park can be daunting to a first time visitor. With nearly a million acres of park to explore and encompassing four majestic and varied ecological regions, there is just so much to see. Although many people choose to backpack into the more remote sections of the park (with the appropriate permits), there are so many...

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When is a natural wonder too secret to write about?

By Erin Alberty of The Salt Lake Tribune Leprechaun Canyon was a quiet place the first few times I visited. The whispers of my friends and family echoed off the towering orange walls. No one else was there. There was no official parking or trail marker; our group met at a mile marker on State Road 95 north of Lake Powell. Word was this was a “secret” canyon. I kept it...

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Beginner’s Guide to… Hiking. Oh, the places you’ll go.

Despite the nearly constant rain of the Pacific Northwest, a hike is almost always a good idea. There are so many trees out there, ones that are beautifully green and ones whose leaves are changing colors as we speak. There are mountains and snow and waterfalls ready to inspire us to take care of the world we live in. The wild deer and the unique birds await for us to...

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Pollution kills more people each year than war, AIDS, and malaria combined

  A landmark new study on the public health impacts of global pollution found that toxic air, water, and soil are responsible for the deaths of nine million people each year, more than the number that die from war, hunger, malaria, and AIDS — combined. The study warned that pollution is so dangerous it “threatens the continuing survival of human societies.”...

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Congressional attack on national monuments ignores America’s conservation history

The misleadingly named “National Monument Creation and Protection Act,” which narrowly passed the House Natural Resources Committee last week, is an assault on our public land heritage. H.R. 3990 would make it harder to create new national monuments and would authorize presidents to reduce the size of all existing monuments, from the Canyons of the Ancients in Colorado...

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Wild is the wind: the resource that could power the world

The wind rips along the Humber estuary in Hull. It’s the kind that presses your coat to your back and pushes you on to your toes. “A bit too windy,” shouts Andy Sykes, before his words are swept away. He is the head of operational excellence at the Siemens Gamesa factory, which supplies blades – the bits that turn – to windfarms in the North Sea. At 75 metres long, they...

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With fast-charging, electric cars will soon match or beat gasoline cars in every respect

Electric cars are on the verge of solving the last challenge they face in competing with gasoline cars — speed of recharging. The race to solve this has gotten so heated that Amazon was just granted a U.S. patent to use its drones for charging. But long before anyone lets Amazon try to dock battery-carrying drones on their car’s roof, it seems likelier that one or more...

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National Park Service survey finds widespread harassment

Nearly 40 percent of National Park Service employees experienced some form of harassment over a 12-month period, according to long-awaited survey results released by the agency. The survey assessed sexual harassment, hostile work environment and gender discrimination in the nation’s parks, monuments and recreation areas. About 19 percent of respondents reported...

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Nine-year-old completes ‘triple crown’ of thru-hiking, says his ‘feet are happy to be done’

Christian Thomas certainly deserves a rest day — preferrably one that includes a stop at his favorite Chinese restaurant. On Sept. 18, 2017 upon completing a 3,100 mile hike of the Continental Divide Trail, the nine-year-old hiker became the youngest person ever to earn the “triple crown” of thru-hiking. Having finished both the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail...

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Over The Black Glacier: Trekking Iceland’s Sólheimajökull

We’ve travelled two hours from Reykjavík to Sólheimajökull, an outlet of Iceland’s fourth biggest glacier, Mýrdalsjökull, to take in the views before trying our hand at ice climbing. With unseasonably good weather, we drive through Iceland’s stunning scenery bathed in rare autumn sunshine. Sheer rocky cliffs are decorated with waterfalls that cast spray up into the air....

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