Easter Island Is Eroding

The human bones lay baking in the sun. It wasn’t the first time Hetereki Huke had stumbled upon an open grave like this one. For years, the swelling waves had broken open platform after platform containing ancient remains. Inside the tombs were old obsidian spearheads, pieces of cremated bone and, sometimes, parts of the haunting statues that have made this island...

Learn More

Hiking the authentic Great Wall of China, without the crush

The “Great Wall” is a bit of a misnomer, as there was never one single structure that spanned modern-day China. Rather, a number of large defensive walls were built by various rulers from as early as the Fifth Century B.C. through the mid-17th century, often hundreds of miles apart and with little relationship to one another. Yet one of those sections, the “Ming Wall,”...

Learn More

Lack of snowpack leaves the West hung out to dry

The lack of snow across the West this winter points to a parched summer ahead. In California, Colorado, and across the Southwest, the snowfall has ranked among the lowest on record. The last four months have also been among the warmest throughout most of the region. Parts of eight states are already under “extreme” drought conditions. Snowy, chilly winters are critical...

Learn More

Parts of national forest closed for Mountain Valley Pipeline construction

The U.S. Forest Service says it is closing parts of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests in Virginia and West Virginia as construction begins on the Mountain Valley Pipeline. The department issued an emergency closure order affecting land in Giles County and Montgomery County in Virginia, and Monroe County in West Virginia. According to a release from the...

Learn More

At Bears Ears, Trump and Zinke ignored everyone but industry

In April 2017, Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, said of former President Barack Obama and the newly designated Bears Ears National Monument: “In making this unilateral decision, our former president either failed to heed the concerns of San Juan County residents, or ignored them completely.” If Hatch were an honest man, he would say exactly the same about President...

Learn More

How to plan the perfect trip to Sequoia National Park

Quick – what’s the largest living thing in the world? The honor goes to the giant sequoia – the “god of the woods” to conservationist John Muir – and the best place to see it is in Sequoia National Park in California’s rugged Sierra Nevada mountains. Located some 225 miles north of Los Angeles, the park stretches across 631...

Learn More

Microplastics are ‘littering’ UK riverbeds

According to a study that analysed sediments from rivers in north-west England, microscopic plastic beads, fragments and fibers are littering riverbeds across the UK – from rural streams to urban waterways. Scientists from the University of Manchester tested river sediments at 40 sites throughout Greater Manchester and found “microplastics everywhere”....

Learn More

Elkmont rehab work resumes next week in Smokies

Great Smoky Mountains National Park crews will remove 10 buildings from the historic Elkmont site beginning today. The work marks the end of major demolition that began in 2010. The road along the site of the former Wonderland Hotel will be closed to pedestrians during demolition. Officials hope to have the work finished by April 30. Crews plan to preserve the buildings...

Learn More

Active Southern West Virginia starts hiking program in four state parks

Active Southern West Virginia, which partners with the New River Gorge National River to provide enhanced outdoor exercise opportunities in the region it serves, is expanding into the state parks system to host monthly guided hikes. The four-year-old nonprofit dedicated to improving regional public health offers a variety of group activities in the New River Gorge,...

Learn More

Federal plan to auction mineral rights near Great Sands Dunes National Park opposed by environmentalists

Plans by a federal agency to auction off mineral rights on 18,000 acres near Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve to oil and gas drillers has placed Colorado at the center of growing controversy over President Donald Trump’s energy-production initiatives. Environmentalists want to block the federal Bureau of Land Management’s push to lease out the mineral rights...

Learn More

Fire and Ice: The Pacific Crest Trail in the Era of Climate Change

“Last year was the most challenging year we’ve had in terms of dealing with closures on the PCT,” said Beth Boyst, who for the last 11 years has been the trail’s chief administrator with the U.S. Forest Service (the PCT passes through all different designations of federal and state land, but USFS holds the lead oversight role). Boyst’s tenure has...

Learn More

Save our national forests with a simple fire funding fix

  It should be a simple nonpartisan fix to a budgeting issue that every year strips the U.S. Forest Service of its ability to adequately manage millions of acres of federal land and the trails, roads and structures that allow Americans to enjoy their forests. Instead, for more than two decades the issue has eluded common sense, mired in an unnecessary proxy...

Learn More

2018 Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

The eighth class of Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame honorees will be inducted on Friday, May 4, 2018 during the annual Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame Banquet at the Allenberry Resort in Boiling Springs, PA. The 2018 Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame class honorees are William Kemsley, Jr. of Taos, New Mexico; the late Elizabeth Levers of New York, New York; the late George...

Learn More

Sen. Alexander introduces bill to restore national parks

Sen. Lamar Alexander has introduced a bipartisan bill to help address the $11.6 billion National Park Service maintenance backlog. The National Park Restoration Act would use revenues from energy production on federal lands to rebuild roads, buildings, campgrounds, trails and water systems in national parks across the country. The Tennessee Republican said the main...

Learn More

Federal court denies Trump’s last-ditch attempt to derail the youth climate lawsuit

A federal court has denied the Trump administration’s last-ditch effort to prevent a landmark climate lawsuit from going to trial. It called the motion “entirely premature” and argued that the administration had failed to reach the “high bar” required for dismissal. “There is enduring value in the orderly administration of litigation by the trial courts, free of needless...

Learn More

Ever Wanted to Thru-Hike the Lake Tahoe Rim Trail? Here’s Your Guide.

The 170-mile-long Tahoe Rim Trail passes through three wilderness areas and two mountain ranges as it takes hikers from 6,200 feet to higher than 10,000 feet in elevation. In the Desolation Wilderness, you find pristine alpine lakes and granite peaks, in Meiss Meadows, you stroll through hip-high fields of wildflowers, and at the base of Tahoe’s highest mountain, Freel...

Learn More

Feral cattle terrorize hikers and devour native plants in a California national monument

Sand to Snow National Monument is a quiet place — its mountainous high desert and cascading streams a draw for those seeking panoramic views, tranquillity and solitude. But on a recent morning, the serenity was ruined by a menacing bellowing, making it clear passing hikers weren’t alone. On a ridgeline near a popular stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail, five feral...

Learn More

8 risks that spring hikers should be aware of before hitting the trail

As the cold winter air turns milder and snow melts from the streets, those sitting inside throughout winter might be itching to get out and go on a hike. “With spring hiking, there’s a handful of additional risks and there’s items that I recommend people take to mitigate those risks,” said Wesley Trimble, program outreach and communications manager for the American...

Learn More

The Cold War’s Toxic Legacy: Costly, Dangerous Cleanups at Atomic Bomb Production Sites

Seventy-five years ago, in March 1943, a mysterious construction project began at a remote location in eastern Washington state. Over the next two years some 50,000 workers built an industrial site occupying half the area of Rhode Island, costing more than $230 million—equivalent to $3.1 billion today. Few of those workers, and virtually no one in the surrounding...

Learn More

Cat Owners: Let’s Go Hiking! Cats: Yawn

Vladimir has seen more of the U.S. than most Americans. For the past two years, he has visited 50-plus national parks, traveling in a renovated 1989 Toyota motor home with Cees and Madison Hofman and their infant son. He goes kayaking, hiking and rappelling. Between adventures, he naps, eats and watches the passing scenery out the RV window. He never has to pitch in for...

Learn More

GSMNP prepares for thru-hiking season after record year

After another record year in 2017, backcountry managers with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are asking visitors to consider ways to enjoy the park while minimizing their impact. With overall park visitation and Appalachian Trail hiking both growing, the number of people entering the park has grown significantly. “2017 in terms of thru-hikers, we saw the...

Learn More

Linking Donors: The Private Funding Behind the Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is an interesting animal in that, not unlike the huge trail itself, it links together a lot of varied parts. The nonprofit is a cooperative of local, state and federal government agencies, and 31 local organizations looking after a footpath that spans 14 states and more than 2,000 miles. As you can imagine, working across that many...

Learn More

Long process of revising plans for NC national forests nears crucial point

In November 2012, the U.S. Forest Service began work on a comprehensive revision of the Land Management Plan for North Carolina’s Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests. It reasonably might have been expected to end in 2016. Instead, the politically complicated process remains underway with some crucial stages just ahead. If the prospect of assisting a large federal...

Learn More

From ghost towns to hiking trails, this is the ultimate guide to Death Valley

  If you have ever driven to Las Vegas on Interstate 15 from Southern California, then no doubt you have stopped in or rolled by the small town of Baker, known as the Gateway to Death Valley. It’s also home to the World’s Tallest Thermometer and the Mad Greek, a great place to get some road food as well as fresh strawberry shakes. There are more and more new...

Learn More

Emails reveal oil and gas drilling was a key incentive to shrink Utah national monuments

From the start of the Trump administration’s review of national monuments, agency officials were directing staff at the U.S. Department of the Interior to figure out how much coal, oil, and natural gas had been placed off limits by the Bears Ears’ National Monument designation. Environmental activists and public lands advocates feared Trump was pushing to reduce the size...

Learn More

Interior Secretary Zinke cancels Chaco Canyon lease sale to frackers

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has canceled an oil and gas lease sale near Chaco Canyon in northern New Mexico until the agency can further review the impact on cultural artifacts in the area. The sale was set for March 8. Zinke said that “there have been some questions raised” so the Bureau of Land Management will hold off on the sale of about 25 parcels on 4,434...

Learn More

Solar and wind power alone could provide four fifths of U.S. power

  A new study finds that wind power and solar photovoltaics could by themselves meet 80 percent of all U.S. electricity demand. It’s especially encouraging for two additional reasons. First, the price of solar and wind have been dropping rapidly. Second, the study only examined how wind and solar could power the grid. In doing so, it found these two sources...

Learn More

The Wyoming Public Lands Initiative risks collapse

Launched in 2015, the Wyoming Public Lands Initiative seeks local consensus on the future of 42 BLM wilderness study areas and three Forest Service study areas located in 13 Wyoming counties. There are eight committees in nine participating counties, a participant said. The initiative sought to address more than 750,000 acres of federal wilderness-study lands in the...

Learn More

A hiking hotel in the Alpine forest of Italy blends seamlessly into the landscape

  A new hotel that’s hoping to attract hikers to the Italian hills in South Tyrol has been built to seamlessly blend into the surrounding countryside. The Hotel Bühelwirt in South Tyrol, Italy has recently been reconstructed with a beautiful dark exterior and large windows offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and forest. Every one of the 20...

Learn More

Hiking the Appalachian Trail through hail and high water

Five miles into his 2,200-mile hike, Tom Abel was welcomed to the Appalachian Trail by pelting quarter-inch pellets of hail. The 15-minute storm of stinging ice missiles would not be all that Mother Nature had in store for the 68-year old during his six-month journey from the summit of Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park, Maine, to the summit of Springer Mountain in...

Learn More

Forest Service turns to volunteers for trail repair

The U.S. Forest Service hopes to double the workload of its volunteer helpers as it attacks a backlog of trail maintenance largely in Montana. The Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex’s 3,200 miles of trail arrived No. 1 on a Forest Service priority list for trail work. So did the Continental Divide Scenic Trail; its largest segment passes through Montana. And the Central...

Learn More

BLM speeds ahead on Grand Staircase-Escalante plans

Federal authorities at Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument are moving forward to create new plans for managing the area, despite several legal challenges to the monument’s boundaries. Conservationists say they are concerned about a rush to create new plans before the courts weigh in on the boundaries. President Donald Trump last year announced he would...

Learn More
Page 2 of 1131232040Last »