Devils Tower National Monument – A Photo Essay

Devils Tower, an important landmark for Plains Indians tribes long before the white man reached Wyoming, was called Mateo Tepee or Grizzly Bear Lodge by the Sioux. A number of legends describe the origin of Devils Tower. “One legend tells of seven little girls being chased onto a low rock to escape attacking bears. Their prayers for help were heeded as the rock...

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Sacred Native American Sites Are Not Your Playgrounds

Deep in the Grand Canyon, on land that Havasupai Native Americans have called home for generations, is a place known as Beaver Falls. It’s an unimaginative name for an otherworldly landscape, where turquoise water tumbles over a series of terraces gouged into red desert walls. To legally reach the falls, you have to pay the Havasupai $140, hike ten miles to the tribe’s...

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The State of the Nation’s Forests

Forests are constantly changing with weather, disturbance, and conversion to other land uses, but how do we know if year-to-year changes are just a one-off or part of a larger shift? Annual summaries of forest health are key to our understanding, say the editors and authors that produced Forest Health Monitoring: National Status, Trends, and Analysis 2017. Scientists...

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Swiss Re limits thermal coal coverage

Swiss Re Ltd. will not provide insurance or reinsurance to businesses with more than 30% thermal coal exposure. The Zurich-based reinsurer has started implementation of its thermal coal policy, adopted as part of Swiss Re’s “strong commitment” to adopt the principles of the Paris climate agreement, which reaffirmed a goal of limiting the global temperature increase below...

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Castle Trail and Medicine Root Loop, Badlands National Park

The Castle Trail is the longest in Badlands National Park, but can be broken up with three distinct trailheads. Medicine Root connects with Castle Trail at Saddle Pass and Old Northeast Road creating a loop of about five miles. The terrain is mixed grass prairie and arroyo, with views of the Badlands pinnacles throughout. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife. It is...

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Deepwater Horizon disaster altered building blocks of ocean life

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster may have had a lasting impact upon even the smallest organisms in the Gulf of Mexico, scientists have found – amid warnings that the oceans around America are also under fresh assault as a result of environmental policies under Donald Trump. Lingering oil residues have altered the basic building blocks of life in the ocean by...

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Cultural hiking in Italy: Tuscany trekking from Florence to Siena

Of all the various modes of travel, by foot is the most intimate and also the most natural. Hiking allows you an often overlooked and underrated relationship with your surroundings. Walking forces you to interact, take your time, and truly inhale the world around. Nowhere else on the globe are these intangible benefits more celebrated than the famed Italian countryside...

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Bumblebee Has Officially Been Added To The Ever-Growing List Of Endangered Species

It’s official, the bumblebee has been added to the ever-growing list of endangered species along with the grizzly bear, the northern spotted owl, the gray wolf, and about 700 other animal species which are extinct. Once abundant in the grasslands and prairies of the East and Midwest, the rusty-patched bee has now been restricted to protections in the continental US...

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Private Investment Will Jump Start Rural Economy

Ringed by miles of abandoned coal mines, the Wayne National Forest is surrounded by some of the most economically distressed communities in southern Ohio. A unique partnership with private investors, local leaders, a university, and nonprofit partners is helping to change that. The Forest Service is working with the National Forest Foundation and Quantified Ventures to...

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Flood Damage Repair at Linville Falls

At the request of the Blue Ridge Parkway Maintenance out of Gillespie Gap, the Crabtree Falls FRIENDS of the BRP Chapter and the NC High Peaks Trail Association assisted in the cleanup of flood damage at Linville Falls on Monday, June 25, 2018. Eleven members and friends of the chapter worked on this project. The team had two goals: Remove flood debris from the upper...

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Hell Canyon Trail, Black Hills National Forest

I think of the Hell Canyon Trail in Black Hills National Forest, South Dakota as two hikes. There’s the stroll through the canyon with lush trees and bushes and a wide assortment of colorful wildflowers. Then, there’s the path along the canyon rim that exposes the devastation of the 2000 Jasper Fire, the largest in Black Hills history. The undergrowth is...

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Husky saves deaf hiker, and dozens of others, on Alaskan trail

This rescue dog is making it his life’s work to rescue others. Nanook, an Alaskan husky, has been known to scout the trailhead of the 24-mile long Crow Pass Trail, about half a mile from Girdwood, Alaska, looking for hikers to assist on their journey. Nanook’s heroics were on full display when he rescued deaf Rochester Institute of Technology student Amelia Milling. She...

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How to Prepare for Your First Backpacking Trip

The thought of backpacking in the outdoors can be scary for some people. The idea of carrying everything you need from water to toilet paper on your back for an extended period of time can be challenging for some to overcome. Especially knowing you have to carry that weight for miles at a time. Say you wanted to go backpacking but had never actually done anything longer...

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How to Prevent and Treat Hiking Blisters

For hikers and backpackers having happy feet means happy trails. There’s nothing worse than painful hiking blisters that get worse with each step and seriously keep you from enjoying your time in the outdoors. The good news is that these annoying injuries can be remedied, but you’re even better off learning how to prevent hiking blisters in the first place. A blister is...

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Climate change is making it harder to revive damaged land

Carianne Campbell remembers the exact moment she fell in love with the Sonoran Desert. As a botany major in college, she joined a class field trip to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument on the southern border of Arizona, arriving and setting up camp in the dark. Emerging from her tent the next morning, Campbell, who grew up on the East Coast, caught her first glimpse of...

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20 Mining Claims Have Been Staked On Land Trump Cut From Monument Protection

At least 20 new mining claims totaling about 460 acres have been staked on land President Donald Trump removed from national monument protection late last year. The claims indicate there is interest in extracting minerals from lands that until recently were off limits to such development. Trump signed a pair of proclamations late last year reducing the size of the...

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8 Things to Know Before You Hike the Appalachian Trail

Stretching more than 2,190 miles across 14 different states, the Appalachian Trail may be the best long-distance hiking route in the entire world. Each year, 3 million people trek at least a portion of the trail, with just a fraction of those walking its entire length. Those “thru-hikers” learn a lot during early days of their journey, and most will tell you...

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How to Escape a Wildfire When You’re Hiking

On Labor Day weekend 2017, Oregon’s backcountry ignited, the night sky glowing red from flames. Peter Ames Carlin, his wife, and their three children were among 176 hikers who were surrounded by a wildfire on the Eagle Creek Trail, a short jaunt from Portland in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (NSA). As the blaze blocked a safe exit to the north, to the...

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Cathedral Spires to Black Elk Peak, Black Elk Wilderness

This is the hard way to get to the summit of 7,242′ Black Elk Peak, the highest in South Dakota. But, it affords you the opportunity to hike through the incredible Cathedral Spires, massive granite pinnacles that dominate the landscape in the Black Hills National Forest. Between the spires and the summit you pass through the rugged Black Elk Wilderness, named for...

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The Egyptian Hike That’s Rewriting History

The Sinai Trail has been dubbed one of the best new hikes in the world, and was awarded best new tourism initiative. While there are harder, headier walks, none are so rich with history – and none are built upon such unlikely bonds. Bedouin tribes have long escorted pilgrims from all corners across the Sinai – Muslims en route to Mecca, Christians to St Catherine or...

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The Hiker’s Guide to Trail Etiquette

  It might feel like there aren’t any rules out in the great outdoors, but there are certainly guidelines you should follow. Whether you’re new to hiking or always been confused about the do’s and don’ts of the trail, this guide will clear things up. Hiking uphill is harder than hiking downhill most of the time. And when people hike uphill, they tend to...

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7 summer hikes near Salt Lake City you won’t want to miss

There’s something about summer that inspires people to head outdoors. And when you’re surrounded by tons of gorgeous mountains, hiking seems like the natural choice. The amount of local hikes to choose from, however, can get overwhelming. Enter the second edition of “Best Hikes Salt Lake City” by Lori J. Lee. Not only does it contain a comprehensive list of great hikes,...

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The Bountiful Benefits Of Bringing Back The Beavers

Few species manipulate their surroundings enough to make big ecological changes. Humans are one. Beavers are another. At one point, the rodents numbered in the hundreds of millions in North America, changing the ecological workings of countless streams and rivers. As settlers moved West, they hunted and trapped them to near extinction. Now there are new efforts across...

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Mount Rushmore National Memorial – A Photo Essay

“Let us place there, carved high, as close to heaven as we can, the words of our leaders, their faces, to show posterity what manner of men they were. Then breathe a prayer that these records will endure until the wind and the rain alone shall wear them away.” — Sculptor Gutzon Borglum America’s presidential history is alive in stone. Majestic...

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Leave No Trace includes your hiking posts on social media

Social media plays a big role in many people’s lives, and it’s only natural that our love of sharing would extend to the outdoors. As more and more hikers are enjoying trails, it’s important to remember that social media can have an impact on how good hiking behavior is shared in the hiking community. The national Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics released a set...

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Hike, Rock Climb, Fish + More in California’s Eastern Sierra

California’s Eastern Sierra is a fascinating landscape, a land where 14,000-foot summits descend to sage-filled plains, where the oldest trees on earth still stand atop wind scoured ridges, where geothermal springs pepper one of the word’s largest calderas, and where limestone columns rise from an ancient alkaline lake. Found amongst and within these unique...

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Centennial and Lookout Point Trails, Wind Cave National Park

This hike in the heart of Wind Cave National Park combines two trails to make a 5-mile loop, and the two couldn’t be any more different. Centennial Trail takes you through lush meadows, and a rocky canyon lined with pine, while Lookout Point Trail experiences the wide open spaces of the South Dakotan prairie. Centennial follows the path of Beaver Creek through the...

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Oil and Gas Fields Leak Far More Methane than EPA Reports

The amount of methane leaking from the nation’s oil and gas fields may be 60 percent higher than the official estimates of the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a new study in the journal Science. The study, led by a group of scientists from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), presents some of the most compelling evidence to date that switching to gas...

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19 New National Recreation Trails designated for 2018

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced the designation of 19 new National Recreation Trails in 17 states, adding more than 370 miles to the national recreation trails system of more than 1,000 trails in all 50 states. “By designating these new national trails, we acknowledge the efforts of local communities to provide outdoor recreational opportunities that can be...

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Needles Highway at Custer State Park, SD – A Photo Essay

The Needles Highway in western South Dakota’s Custer State Park is more than a 14-mile road — it’s a spectacular drive through pine and spruce forests, meadows surrounded by birch and aspen with fields of bright wildflowers, and rugged, almost other-worldly, granite mountains. The road’s name comes from the needle-like granite formations which...

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UT program planning 652 mile multi-modal trail system along entire Tennessee River

  A group of University of Tennessee students have been working on a massive project to make the entire Tennessee River more accessible. It’s a multi-modal trail system that will stretch from Knoxville to Paducah, Kentucky. This is a product of two years of hard work done by students and professors in UT’s School of Landscape Architecture. The vision for the...

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Nearly 40 Years After Paul Fugate Disappeared, Effort Renewed To Find Missing Ranger

Nearly four decades ago, on January 13, 1980, Ranger Paul Fugate took a break from his job at Chiricahua National Monument in southeastern Arizona to take a hike, and vanished. Now renewed interested in the case has prompted the National Park Service to triple its reward to $60,000 for information that could solve the mystery. Without providing details, the Park...

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