This could be the biggest advance in aluminum production in 130 years

Apple, the largest publicly traded company in the world, joined a major collaboration last week that could change how it gets one of the key components that makes its ubiquitous gadgets look so sleek: aluminum. And it is looking as though, simply by seeking out a greener component for iPhones and Macs, the tech giant just might push an entire industry in a new direction....

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Are electric cars worse for the environment?

  If you believe the headlines, traditional automobiles are speeding toward a dead end. All those V8s, V6s and turbocharged vehicles we’ve grown to love will soon be replaced by squadrons of clean, whisper-quiet, all-electric vehicles. And if you believe the headlines, the environment will be much better off. Policymakers at every level have done their part to...

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Ten Springtime Outdoor Safety Tips

That first warm and sunny day of the spring practically begs us to run outside and hit the trail again. As everything turns green and wildflowers shout their colors, spring can be one of the most exciting times to explore our National Forests. Regardless if this is your 50th or 5th spring hitting the trails or finding the perfect early season camp spot, it’s always a...

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State Capitol, Charleston, West Virginia – A Photo Essay

West Virginia was founded in the midst of the American Civil War, the only state to form by separating from a Confederate state. An enabling act was approved by President Abraham Lincoln admitting West Virginia to the Union, on the condition that a provision for the gradual abolition of slavery be inserted in its constitution. President Lincoln issued a proclamation...

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Red wolf status grim, review says

  A five-year red wolf status review, released April 24, 2018 showed that only about 40 red wolves are left in the wild with only three known breeding pairs remaining. The review, released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, recommends no change in the red wolf’s status as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The USFWS is expected to release a new...

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WNC experts discuss sustainability of outdoor recreation

Head into Pisgah National Forest on any day of the week, and you’ll find activity out on the trails. From hikers standing atop Max Patch bald, enjoying stunning views of Mount Mitchell, to mountain bikers riding beside white pine and mountain laurel on the Foster Creek Trail, outdoors enthusiasts take advantage of Pisgah as just one of Western North Carolina’s hot spots...

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Catalina Island beckons with new hiking trails, vestiges of old Hollywood

This 76-square-mile fortress of rock is marooned 23 miles off the coast of Los Angeles. Catalina is one of eight of the Channel Islands, and it’s the only one with a significant civilian population. Latest figures put the number around 4,000 people, almost all of them clustered in the port of Avalon. This diminutive city creeps up on the horizon like a postcard of tiny...

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Blessed hiking in the Accursed Mountains

The Peaks of the Balkans is an epic long-distance trekking route, through the mountainous borderlands of Montenegro, Albania and Kosovo. Over a distance of 192 kilometres it meanders along remote valleys and over high passes, taking in some of the finest scenery this ruggedly beautiful corner of Europe has to offer. The route involves slipping backwards and forwards over...

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Rocky Mountain National Parks 15 Best Day Hikes

While massive glaciers shaped the meadows and peaks, Rocky was an inhospitable land. It was not until some 11,000 years ago that humans began venturing into these valleys and mountains. Spearheads broken in the fury of a mammoth’s charge and scrapers discarded along a nomad’s trail tell us little about the area’s early native peoples. Even though it was...

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National Parks Rangers Being Sent To Organ Pipe Cactus NM, Amistad NRA To Help With Border Control

Teams of law enforcement rangers next week will be dispatched from around the National Park System to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona and Amistad National Recreation Area in Texas on a rotating basis to help with border control. At a time when the National Park Service’s law enforcement ranks are stetched thin, according to Public Employees for...

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Why are New England’s hiking trails so beat-up?

The next time you find yourself cursing as you stumble and sweat up a steep, rocky trail in New Hampshire, here’s one target for your wrath: Horses. Or, rather, lack of horses. “Out West, trails like the Pacific Crest Trail were graded for horses, so the incline never goes above 5 percent. That’s a major reason why they’re smoother and less steep,” said Roger Moor, whose...

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Tips help you stay safe when hiking near where rattlesnakes live

Rattlesnakes and hiking go hand-in-hand. But the more you know about them, the safer you will be. From timber rattlers high in mountain meadows to western diamondbacks in the deserts, you will find rattlesnakes. Proper clothing is a must when hiking near where rattlesnakes live. Wear closed toe shoes Wear long pants Staying on trail is key to avoiding a rattlesnake...

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Seattle to run bus routes to trailheads

The timber industry used to raise a cry of “elitist backpackers” whenever proposals to create parks, wilderness areas or protected recreation lands in mountains close to Seattle came up for a public hearing. There are an awful lot of elitists these days, particularly on mountain trails in populous King County. Crowds are such that the first leg of a popular...

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Work being done to perfect the Pacific Northwest Trail

The Pacific Northwest Trail is meant to showcase pristine wilderness, but the portion that passes through Skagit County, Washington isn’t living up to the rugged nature of the majority of the trail’s 1,200 miles. Hikers who walk the length of the trail spend months climbing mountains, scrambling over brush and dodging high tides along the coast as they make their way...

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Ouray Perimeter Trail surges in popularity

  A six-mile long hiking trail that almost encircles Ouray, Colorado has become one of the most popular paths in the San Juan Mountains. According to trail registers, more than 25,000 people trod the decade-old Ouray Perimeter Trail in 2017 — and that figure represents a mere fraction of actual users. “According to Forest Service estimates, the true number of...

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Quakes, eruptions prompt closure of Volcanoes National Park on Hawaii Island

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park closed late May 4, 2018 because of increasing concerns for the public’s safety. It is not safe to be at the park on Hawaii Island, which is at the center of increasing seismic and volcanic activity, park Superintendent Cindy Orlando said in a news release. The decision to close the park, on the southern tip of Hawaii Island, was made...

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Removal of Olympic National Park mountain goats could start in late summer

  It might be time to start saying your goodbyes to Olympic National Park’s mountain goats. Some could be removed from the park as early as this summer. The National Park Service released its final goat-management plan, and the agency’s preferred plan — to remove as many goats as possible for relocation to the North Cascades and then kill the remaining animals...

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Forest Service apologizes for damage to Appalachian Trail during patrols of pipeline protests

The U.S. Forest Service apologized for damaging the Appalachian Trail with all-terrain vehicles during its patrols of a pipeline protest. In a news release, the agency admitted that its law enforcement officers used the ATVs from April 11 to April 30 on a short stretch of the scenic footpath that follows the ridgeline of Peters Mountain in the Jefferson National Forest...

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May Day Flowering at Pisgah National Forest – A Photo Essay

What better way to spend May Day than wildflower hunting on Pisgah National Forest? We always think of the national park in the Smokies as being the go-to destination for Spring wildflowers in Western North Carolina. However, Pisgah National Forest is right up there. As you will see from the gallery below, there is quite the wide variety. I picked two destinations in the...

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Fireflies are disappearing. Here’s why — and what you can do to help.

Fireflies were a source of great pleasure when I was kid. My friends and I would chase them through our yards on summer nights, catching them in our palms and delicately moving them to mason jars, where they’d light up our bedrooms. But now, fireflies are disappearing on a much larger scale. For years scientists have “been warning that the world’s estimated 2,000 species...

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Rock Stacking, or ‘Natural Graffiti,’ and its Ecological Impact

Rock stacking might appear to be a harmless and fun outdoor activity, but it is detrimental to fragile riparian ecosystems. These temporary natural installations may be an expression of patience and balance to the ego of the builder, but to some naturalists who practice “Leave No Trace” ethics, it is often seen as nothing more than evidence left behind that the...

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The 10 National Parks with the Most Endangered Species

National parks are critical for protecting the animals and plants that live in them, and no park denizens need that protection more than endangered species. The Endangered Species Act has helped boost the populations of numerous imperiled species since it became law in 1973, and it has contributed to the recovery of iconic species such as the bald eagle, which was...

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Hiking etiquette: How not to be a jerk on the trail

Most everybody hikes for their own personal experience – be it adrenaline-fueled exercise or a contemplative walk – but that doesn’t mean you can completely ignore your fellow hikers. Trail etiquette is incredibly important, especially as more and more people crowd trailheads this spring and summer, but what does it mean to hike politely? For hikers encountering other...

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Hiking to the scenic summit of Oahu’s Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail

The nearly 5-mile round-trip trail is known for its unimpeded views of East Oahu. From the top of the ridge, at an elevation just shy of 1,600 feet, you’re treated to a panorama of Waikiki, Honolulu, Waimanalo and Konahuanui, the highest peak in the Koolau Mountain range. Wiliwilinui Ridge sits to the left of the popular Koko Crater, and is part of three mountain ridges:...

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Pisgah National Forest could use a lot of help on Pisgah Pride Day

May 5, 2018 is the third annual Pisgah Pride Day at the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest near Brevard, NC. Hosted by the nonprofit Pisgah Conservancy, the work day will convene at the Pisgah Ranger Station, where volunteers will be dispatched to perform trail work, remove invasive species, pick up trash, plant a rain garden near the fish hatchery to help...

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National Trails Day 2018

National Trails Day® is Saturday, June 2, 2018. Join this historic event and leave the trail better than you found it. In a single day, we’ll collectively improve 2,802 miles of trail—the distance across the United States. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the National Trail System, pledge to pack out trash, join a trail work project, or clean up a park. Make...

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NASA releases extraordinary images of U.S. national parks from Space

NASA astronauts Ricky Arnold and Jeff Williams have shared breathtaking pictures taken from the International Space Station (ISS) over the last two years. Stunning snaps reveal aerial views of Earth’s most extraordinary landscapes. Astronaut Ricky Arnold shared with his 23,000 Twitter followers a scenic view of America’s first park, Yellowstone National Volcano. The...

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Artist paints women hikers

In 2014, Sky Evans came across a photo on the internet of Colorado’s Hope Pass. An Oregon woman Evans knew was hiking the Continental Divide Trail and had posted the photo to her blog. Evans asked if she could paint the image. “I wind up having this amazing experience with this painting in that it was like nothing I had ever done before,” Evans said last week at her home...

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Israel by Foot program makes country’s abundant, varied trails easy to find

Most tourists come to Israel either out of religious sentiment or because of an interest in the country’s abundant historical and cultural sites. Others come to enjoy the beaches and night life of Eilat or Tel-Aviv. But aside from these known attractions, Israel is also a unique hiking destination. What makes Israel – a tiny country without high mountain ridges –...

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Pacific Crest Trail celebrates 50 years

Thirty-six and a half miles east of Lake Isabella is the historic route discovered by Joseph Rutherford Walker in 1834 known as Walker Pass. Because the pass connects the Great Basin and the interior of California, it was only logical that when a walking and equestrian trail extending from Mexico to Canada was conceived, Walker Pass would be a vital section of that path....

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Trekking on Turkey’s historic Ephesus-Mimas Route

An historic 709-kilometer route in İzmir, Turkey that connects ancient Greek Ionian footways awaits visitors who want to enjoy nature as well as learn of the culture and history in the region. The main part of the route consists of six footways connecting ancient cities such as Ephesus, Colophon, Lebedos, Teos, Klazomenai, and Erythrai. The route starts in Ephesus in...

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What does it take to be a National Park Service law enforcement ranger?

Danielle Breakell graduated from her law enforcement training academy this week. She has the skills to take down an armed fugitive, as well as a black bear or a bison. She’ll be able to read perpetrators their Miranda rights, while also citing the Endangered Species Act. And she will gladly write tickets for littering along with driving under the influence. Breakell, 29,...

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