Antarctic sea ice shrinks to smallest ever extent

Sea ice around Antarctica has shrunk to the smallest annual extent on record after years of resisting a trend of manmade global warming, preliminary US satellite data has shown. Ice floating around the frozen continent usually melts to its smallest for the year towards the end of February, the southern hemisphere summer, before expanding again as the autumn chill sets...

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In this ‘weird, lost corner of America,’ the beach of your dreams awaits in the remotest national park

National Park of American Samoa, 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, is spread over parts of Tutuila, Ta’u and Ofu. It attracted 13,892 visitors last year, about what Yosemite gets in a summer day. Probably fewer than 300 of them found their way to the park’s greatest asset, a beach on Ofu with creamy sands, volcanic boulders, serrated mountain ridges and turquoise...

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This is what climate change looks like

Two years ago this month, in a well-publicized and much lampooned political stunt, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) brought a snowball to the Senate floor to highlight the “unseasonable” cold and cast doubt on climate change. The Republican lawmaker would have been hard-pressed to find a snowball anywhere in his home state this past weekend. Oklahoma just endured a spell of...

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The most scenic stretch of the Oregon coast: Boardman State Park

It’s hard to pin down a specific stretch of coastline as the most scenic – isn’t the whole thing beautiful? – but then again, it’s hard to argue against Boardman State Park for the honor. Officially the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, the 12-mile stretch of coastline runs along the southernmost part of the Oregon coast,...

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5 possible futures for the EPA under Trump

Donald Trump has long talked about reining in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is in charge of enforcing federal laws on air and water pollution. It’s a top priority for his supporters in the fossil-fuel industry. But there’s still a lot of uncertainty over what, exactly, this will look like. Trump himself has been all over the map on the agency’s future....

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Trailfoody Food Kits for Day Adventurers

Having trailfood ready to go, you get out the door faster and get to the trailhead sooner. Wouldn’t you rather be there already instead of futzing around for food? Trail food has to get you to those special places, sure. But Trailfoody believes that taste is part of the adventure too. Each month, Trailfoody selects premium foods that are healthy, have the right nutrient...

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7 Ways To Get Fit For Your Weekend Hike

Alright, so you’ve decided you want to go hike a mountain. Even the most fit person needs to be sure they’re prepared to start hiking — as climbing that big hill takes a lot more endurance than your average gym session. Your first hike requires you to not only be physically fit, but also mentally fit and prepared. What if one of your friends comes up and says “I did it —...

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Free Community Seed Swap

Sponsored by Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy Every year around this time, anticipation of spring begins with the laying out of garden beds, checking the planting calendar, eyeing the Farmer’s Almanac… and the appearance of seed catalogs to browse and daydream of warmer times. With that excitement comes; CMLC’s 2017 SEED SWAP – a free sharing of seeds that staff,...

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From mountains to sea: North Carolina woman relives six months spent hiking the state

  If you’d polled Kimberley Brookshire’s friends a couple years ago, they’d likely have said the chances were slim to none that the Charlotte resident would ever think seriously about leaving it all behind to hike more than 2,000 miles through North Carolina. “I wasn’t much of an outdoors person,” said Brookshire, 32. But she is now. Last fall, Brookshire...

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The Ozark Trail Could Make Missouri a Hiking Destination. Why Isn’t It Finished?

Forty years ago this week, state and federal officials in Missouri issued a dry document to announce a grand ambition. In a 43-page proposal dated February 7, 1977, they stated their aim to blaze a footpath through the Ozarks, the rugged highlands that roll across southern Missouri. It wouldn’t be easy. The native flora, fauna, terrain and certain human occupants...

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7 of the Grandest Adventures in the Southwest

Adventures in the American Southwest are trips of a lifetime that will challenge you physically and engross you spiritually, leaving an unforgettable and enduring impression of the richest wild places on the planet. The Southwest contains literally thousands of amazing hikes. Therefore, Southwest Discoveries decided to separate the wheat from the chaff and give you the...

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Hiking Patagonia With National Geographic

  It took the world a long time to discover Patagonia, the trendy adventure area shared by both southern Chile and Argentina. While other mountaineers had been hiking and climbing the Alps and Rockies for over a century, Patagonia wasn’t explored much until the 1980s. In fact, the recreational area didn’t become mainstream until the 21st century, when more...

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Anatomy of a good hike leader

From lowering blood pressure and decreasing anxiety to reducing the risk of a heart disease diagnosis or reversing the course of diabetes, the benefits of hiking are numerous. The American Hiking Society also includes weight loss, stabilizing cholesterol levels and reversing the effects of osteoporosis among the many benefits. Hiking can be more than a good time — it can...

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National Parks Commemorate African American History Month

From the bustling streets of Manhattan to the quiet wilderness of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the National Park Service preserves many pivotal, but lesser known, sites related to the African American experience. These places are among the dozens of national parks that convey stories of soldiers, educators, musicians, entrepreneurs, and freed slaves who blazed trails for...

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Revisiting Malheur, one year after the occupation

Allice Elshoff first saw Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 1959. The 82-year-old, who lives in nearby Bend, Oregon, still goes there “whenever I can get away,” to bird-watch and volunteer. But this spring, on her first visit after the January 2016 occupation by armed anti-federal militants, everything felt surreal, she says: She had to notify refuge staff in advance...

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The Trouble With Climate Change and Truths We Don’t Like

How does one reconcile the overwhelming evidence that the world’s atmosphere is being disrupted with the perception of the 30 percent of Americans who do not believe in climate change? Here’s a thought experiment: If there are 10 M&Ms in a bowl, and then you count the 10 M&Ms, you would have to “believe,” right? Many scientists aim to persuade climate skeptics...

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Patagonia to Withdraw from Outdoor Retailer in Response to Utah Gov. Herbert’s Decision to Rescind Bears Ears Protection

Last month, Patagonia’s founder and CEO, Yvon Chouinard stated, “If [Utah] Gov. Herbert doesn’t need us, we can find a more welcoming home. Gov. Herbert should direct his Attorney General to halt their plans to sue and support the historic Bears Ears National Monument. He should stop his efforts to transfer public lands to the state, which would spell disaster for...

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The Real Beauty of Forests

It’s easy to forget all the amazing things forests do for us. Take a few minutes to discover why the trees in America’s National Forests play such a vital role in our world. The following infographic was provided by the National Forest Foundation. The NFF works with the U.S. Forest Service to care for 193 million acres of National Forests in 42 states +...

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The Wagon Wheel Project – Nuclear Fracking

  A late-1960s Atomic Energy Commission plan to extract Wyoming natural gas with five underground nuclear explosions won strong initial support from the oil and gas industry and the federal government. Finally, however, the idea stalled, thanks to the emergence of more information on possible dangers, to Washington politics, and especially to intense local...

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Pacolet Area Conservancy Kicks off its Spring Hiking Series February 17th

Join the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) for five Friday hikes offered to the public, free of charge, this spring. The community is invited to enjoy the beauty of our Carolinas with PAC. Come see what the work of many conservation organizations have done for the preservation of area natural resources and take in the beauty of the arrival of spring. Starting February 17,...

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Unified Warrior Foundation plans Continental Divide Trail hike

Unified Warrior Foundation is planning a Continental Divide Trail hike, beginning in late March 2017. “Unless the issue of veteran suicide is constantly kept in the minds of Americans, it will silently disappear as many important issues do because of the vast amount of information we all have to compete with,” said Eshleman. “Keeping this issue alive is a fight in...

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Rebuilding our national parks would advance America’s proudest natural legacy

Many of our iconic places are suffering from neglect. From deteriorating roads, bridges and buildings to threatened environmental resources, these natural and historic treasures have fallen into disrepair. Conditions at most of the 412 National Parks, Battlefields, Monuments and Seashores have worsened in recent years because administrations and Congress have continually...

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2,958 miles of Kansas hiking trails just a click away

Just a few clicks on a website and people can access information on 2,958 miles of trails in Kansas. That’s right, trails that you can hike, run, bike, or horseback ride. With a few more seconds worth of clicks you can find which trails are within an hour of your house, which ones you can complete in a half-day and which ones are graveled or paved. You can also learn...

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FAQ: The effects of WNC’s 2016 fall fire season

Did the fires hurt wildlife? The impact will unlikely be large enough to affect overall populations, and long-term the fires will result in a flush of green in the understory that will ultimately benefit wildlife. Will the fires increase the chance of flooding and landslides? With more than a month elapsed since the report’s Dec. 12 completion and multiple heavy rains in...

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Congressman who introduced national parks drilling bill got $250K from Big Energy

It’s safe to say that Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.) is no friend of environmentalists. He boycotted Pope Francis’s speech to Congress in 2015 because the pontiff addressed climate change. He received a score of 3 percent that year from the League of Conservation Voters, significantly below the House average of 41 percent. But his latest move came as a surprise to many....

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Nantahala’s Panthertown Valley to grow, improve access

As president of the nonprofit Friends of Panthertown, Margaret Carton has worked for years to protect her beloved Panthertown Valley in Jackson County. As the “feet on the ground,” the group has worked since 2005 to maintain trails, install steps around waterfalls to create safe footing, and give educational programs. With a deal underway with Mainspring Conservation...

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How to reset your body clock — and get better sleep — with hiking boots and a tent

Are you sick of going to bed late and waking up tired? Then grab your hiking boots and a tent. A new study suggests that a couple days of camping in the great outdoors can reset your circadian clock and help you get more sleep. The circadian clock is an internal clock that tells your body when it’s time to go to sleep and when it’s time to wake up. Scientists track this...

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I Was a Black, Female Thru-Hiker on the Appalachian Trail

The first person to hike the full length of the Appalachian Trail, a white man named Earl V. Shaffer, wanted to “walk the Army out of his system.” That was in 1948. Since the 1970s, when 775 hikers completed the trail, the number of “thru-hikers” has doubled each decade so that in the 2000s, close to 6,000 hikers covered all 2,190 miles. Most of those people still look...

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House Votes to Repeal Stream Protection Rule

  I am disgusted… for dozens of reasons, but let’s talk about the Stream Protection Rule. The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) of the Department of the Interior studied the effects of mountaintop removal coal mining for nearly the entire length of the Obama Administration, fielding more than 100,000 requests for comment....

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10 great hikes to Georgia’s best views

There’s just something magical about a great summit view. Whether the hike spans miles or minutes, a good climb to a spectacular view makes a great workout – and, hey, at least the return hike is (usually) downhill. Hike these great Georgia hikes to a favorite to savor the view from the top and catch some celebration time at the summit. Georgia’s beauty is simply...

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A massive climate march is coming to Washington in April

The People’s Climate March will descend on D.C. with an intersectional coalition of green and environmental-justice groups, indigenous and civil-rights organizations, students and labor unions. The march will take place on Saturday, April 29, 2017, exactly 100 days into Trump’s presidency. In January, the Women’s March gathered half a million demonstrators in D.C. alone....

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The BLM leases lands near Chaco Canyon for $3 million

On January 25, 2017, the Bureau of Land Management leased nearly 850 acres of land for drilling in northwest New Mexico, netting close to $3 million. The agency offers leases on millions of acres of public land per year, but this latest sale was unusual. Not only was it the first time that the BLM has conducted a lease sale online rather than live in the New Mexico...

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