Why Artists are Heading to National Parks and Monuments

When the sun rises at Moraine Park in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), it slowly peaks out from behind Eagle Cliff, casting a pink-orange morning glow onto the pine-flecked slopes of the Continental Divide. The William Allen White Cabin, once owned by the eponymous Pulitzer Prize–winning writer, has a front-row seat to the grandeur. Inside, the scene is just as...

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Pisgah Ranger District seeks public input on proposed recreation project

The Pisgah National Forest will be holding an open house on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 from 5-7 p.m. at the Pisgah Ranger Station to discuss a proposed project to increase the sustainability of recreation. “The project is not intended to address all possible improvements on the Pisgah Ranger District, but includes timely projects that consider the social, ecological,...

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Fire funding fix comes with environmental rollbacks

Congress accomplished something unprecedented last week: They passed a bipartisan solution to a knotty budget issue that has hobbled the U.S. Forest Service’s ability to do restoration and fire-prevention work in Western forests. The $1.3 trillion federal spending package included a long-sought funding fix for wildfire response. Starting in 2020, the Forest Service will...

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Blue Ridge Parkway announces 2018 opening dates

Cold but dreamy snowfalls punctuated by balmy, hurry-up-and-hike days made for an unpredictable winter on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but according to the calendar, it’s officially spring. Soon campgrounds, visitor centers, picnic areas, and historical sites will be ready for the influx of travelers. In 2017, more than 16 million came to experience the mountains and the...

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Stunning drops in solar, wind costs mean economic case for coal, gas is ‘crumbling’

Prices for solar, wind, and battery storage are dropping so rapidly that renewables are increasingly squeezing out all forms of fossil fuel power, including natural gas. The cost of new solar plants dropped 20 percent over the past 12 months, while onshore wind prices dropped 12 percent, according to the latest Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) report. Since 2010, the...

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Petrified Forest National Park: 10 tips for your visit

One of the largest concentrations of petrified wood in the world is found at Petrified Forest National Park in eastern Arizona, about 110 miles east of Flagstaff and 210 miles west of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Scientific studies show that the petrified trees found within the park date back 211 to 218 million years. Add to that dramatic, colorful geological formations and...

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Dam removal projects restore WNC waterways

Nonprofits, community groups and government agencies throughout Western North Carolina are now working to remove a legacy of outdated dams. Although challenging, the process offers benefits for the wildlife, safety and recreation potential of the area’s waterways. Ecology provides the primary impetus for most dam removal projects. At the most basic level, eliminating...

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Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge, a former nuclear weapons plant, prepares to open hiking trails this summer

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to open the Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge in Colorado to the public this summer despite attempts to block developing the refuge, which circles a shuttered nuclear weapons production facility. Private tours have already started, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refuge manager David Lucas said. No hard date exists yet for the full...

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Tragically lost in Joshua Tree’s wild interior

In June 2010, Bill Ewasko traveled alone from his home in suburban Atlanta to Joshua Tree National Park, where he planned to hike for several days. Ewasko, 66, was an avid jogger, a Vietnam vet and a longtime fan of the desert West. A family photo of Ewasko standing at the summit of Mount San Jacinto, another popular hiking destination in Southern California, shows a...

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Tips for staying safe while hiking in Arizona

Thanks to amazing weather and topography, southern Arizona can be a hiker’s dream. That dream can become a nightmare if you don’t take basic precautions or plan ahead, especially when the temperatures soar. When the heat comes, hiking or other outdoor activities should be limited to early morning hours and be completed no later than 10 a.m. Anyone planning on...

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UN reports see a lonelier planet with fewer plants, animals

Earth is losing plants, animals and clean water at a dramatic rate, according to four new United Nations scientific reports that provide the most comprehensive and localized look at the state of biodiversity. Scientists meeting in Colombia issued four regional reports on how well animal and plants are doing in the Americas; Europe and Central Asia; Africa; and the...

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Hiking: What to wear in the great outdoors

There’s that saying, “you can never be too overdressed for any occasion,” while that saying is commonly referred to dates, dinners, events and other entertainment type activities it’s also 100 percent applicable for hiking but for a different reason. When it comes to hiking clothes, you should think about where you are going and how challenging...

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New ‘Celtic Camino’ spurs second coming for Irish pilgrim trails

Did you know pilgrims don’t have to start their ‘Camino’ in Spain? That a ‘Celtic Camino’ allows you to kick off the route in Ireland? For just over a year now, walkers who complete a ‘Celtic Camino’ – by walking at least 25km of a pilgrim trail in Ireland – can collect a special certificate issued by the Camino...

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So Many Cacti Are Getting Stolen From Arizona’s National Park, They’re Being Microchipped

Visiting America’s national parks will forever change you. The remarkable beauty that these vast areas have to offer is almost impossible to truly describe — which is why people are often tempted to take a piece of the park home with them in the form of a plant, rock, or something more precious. But it should go without saying you should never, ever vandalize or steal...

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Tanglefoot National Recreation Trail – Mississippi

The Tanglefoot Trail is Mississippi’s longest rails-to-trails conversion, a ten-foot wide asphalt multi-use trail that runs 43.5 miles through the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in the Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area. Visitors will experience a bit of local history as they pass through fields, forests, meadows, and wetlands along the path of the...

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Kolob Canyons at Zion to Close for Construction Projects

Access to portions of the Kolob Canyons District of Zion National Park will be restricted due to a construction project beginning May 1, 2018. The project involves reconstructing sections of the road, repaving the entire road, and adding accessible parking, sidewalk, and toilet facilities. All of Kolob Canyons Road, the Visitor Center, and parking lot off of Interstate...

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Omnibus spending bill would increase funding for national parks and wildfire suppression

The spending bill passed by the House and Senate on March 22, 2018 would increase funding the National Park Service needs to address its nearly $12 billion maintenance and repair backlog. Under the proposal the Park Service would receive a 9 percent increase to its budget. The measure includes about $160 million to make repairs that would help growing numbers of visitors...

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Smokies Park Recruits Trail Volunteers

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced several volunteer workdays beginning April 5 through April 28, 2018 along heavily-used trails and nature loops as the park prepares for the busy summer season. These opportunities are ideal for people interested in learning more about the park and the trails program through hands-on service alongside experienced...

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Hurricane Harvey’s toxic impact deeper than public told

More than a half-year after Hurricane Harvey flooded America’s largest corridor of energy and petrochemical plants, records show the storm’s environmental assault was more widespread and severe than authorities publicly acknowledged. Piecing together county, state and federal records, The Associated Press and Houston Chronicle catalogued more than 100...

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7 great Middle Tennessee trails for Spring Hike Day

With spring officially here, shake off those winter blahs with one of Tennessee State Parks’ “Happy Spring” hikes, where all 56 of our state parks will offer at least one ranger-led hike on March 24, 2018. Whether you are up for a strenuous all-day outing or a leisurely walk outdoors, or something in between, Tennessee parks have some great options. And...

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Ozark Trail Association Taum-A-Hawk Hiking Race 2018

The Ozark Trail Association is proud to announce the 2nd annual Taum-A-Hawk Hiking Race, a one-day event open to the public, to take place on Saturday, June 9th, 2018 along thirteen miles of the Ozark Trail Taum Sauk Section from Taum Sauk Mountain State Park to Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park located in Iron County, Missouri. Traversing through the most scenic and...

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Maine trio completes Appalachian Trail’s remote 100-Mile Wilderness in winter

At the end of February, three Maine men set out on snowshoes to hike the 100-Mile Wilderness, the most remote section of the Appalachian Trail stretching about 100 miles from Monson to Baxter State Park. They completed the arduous journey, over mountains and across half-frozen streams, in nine days, a feat very few hikers accomplish in the winter. For February, the...

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National Park Service warned lease sale could harm national monument in Utah

The Bureau of Land Management disregarded a request by the National Park Service that it hold off leasing 17,000 acres of public land in Utah because of concerns that drilling there could harm Hovenweep National Monument’s views and air, groundwater and sound quality. All 13 parcels were sold online as part of a broader sale, with the lease prices ranging from $3 to...

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Massachusetts-New Hampshire hiking loop nears completion

  If the array of trails in Massachusetts’ North Quabbin region, including those along the Millers and Tully rivers, could be connected to the network of trails up near Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire, New England would have a world-class hiking jewel of its own. The North Quabbin Trail Association, in partnering with municipalities, naturalists and...

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Graphene is the most conductive material on earth; it could charge a cell phone in just five seconds.

Measuring one million times less than the width of a human hair, graphene is harder than diamonds and 200 times stronger than steel. Small, strong, and flexible, it is the most conductive material on earth and has the potential to charge a cell phone in just five seconds or to upload a terabit of data in one. It can be used to filter salt from water, develop...

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Former Senator’s Wyoming Ranch Purchased for National Forest

The Bridger-Teton National Forest has acquired a sprawling former ranch that had been the largest remaining private inholding along the Upper Gros Ventre River valley in northwest Wyoming. The $3 million purchase of the 990-acre property roughly 30 miles east of Jackson was recently announced by the U.S. Forest Service and The Trust For Public Land. The land had been...

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11 tips for trekking in the Himalayas

The good news is you don’t need to be Sir Edmund Hillary to experience the Himalaya Mountains. In fact whatever your age, abilities or experience almost everyone can hike the Himalaya. As the highest mountain range on the planet, the Himalaya have long been a draw for explorers heading to Nepal, India, Bhutan, Tibet, and Pakistan. Furthermore, the countries the Himalayas...

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Cog Railway closure could impact recreation on Pikes Peak

In an unexpected turn earlier this week, the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, which had stopped operating for the winter for maintenance work, announced that it would not resume operations in the spring, and may not operate for several years — or ever again. Other than a yet-to-be-seen impact to local tourism, both in visitor numbers and revenue, the closure of the railroad may...

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Celebrate 50 years of hiking with Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association

April 21-22, 2018 weekend will see the kickoff of a season of celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association, Inc. (GHTA), an association of nine member clubs stewarding a 500 km trail stretching from Port Hope (Lake Ontario) at the southern terminus, to Devil’s Glen near Glen Huron, (just south of Blue Mountains) at the western terminus....

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Trail Days in Silver City will celebrate the 40th birthday of the Continental Divide Trail

The 40th birthday of the Continental Divide Trail will be celebrated during Silver City Trail Days. The event takes place April 27-29, 2018 and is the fourth annual Trail Days festival. It not only celebrates the Continental Divide, but also the outdoor culture of New Mexico and Silver City being a gateway community. “Trail Days brings people from all over the...

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23 Ways Hiking Makes You Healthier

Hiking outdoors offers lots of perks like fresh air, nice views, together with the sounds and smells of nature. So next time when somebody suggest you join a hike, thank them for taking care of your health. There is research that has proven that spending quality time outdoors will boost creative problem-solving talents and attention spans by around 50%. Hiking offers...

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How Long Do Hiking Boots Last?

Few pieces of gear are as beloved as a favorite pair of boots. Not only do they accompany you on your most scenic adventures; most of the time they bring you there. So it’s understandable you wouldn’t want to part with them – even if they’re ratty, ragged, and smell like a wet barn. Well, there’s good news: Your boots can live a longer, happier life. And you can...

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