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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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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Take the Kids: Hike – Ramble along the Forest Trail at Prairie Ridge Ecostation

You’ll find Prairie Ridge Ecostation in west Raleigh, a few miles from the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh. The museum’s outdoor learning lab offers all kinds of activities for all ages, including weekly play days and storytimes. You’ll also find short, easy-to-navigate trails for little ones. The ecostation’s Forest Trail, is...

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These are the most Instagram-worthy waterfall hikes in all 50 states

There are times when the treadmill or stairclimber comes in handy, but Mother Nature is really the ultimate gym. Hiking not only provides epic Insta opportunities, but leaves you feeling accomplished, refreshed, and more motivated to conquer whatever life throws your way (including, you know, poison ivy or bears). And nothing makes a hike feel more magical than turning...

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Global warming cooks up ‘a different world’ over 3 decades

We were warned. On June 23, 1988, a sultry day in Washington, James Hansen told Congress and the world that global warming wasn’t approaching — it had already arrived. The testimony of the top NASA scientist, said Rice University historian Douglas Brinkley, was “the opening salvo of the age of climate change.” Thirty years later, it’s clear that Hansen and other...

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The 11-Year Quest to Find the Middle of Nowhere

  A couple from Florida got sick of trekking into the backcountry only to contend with hordes of other people. So they embarked on a search for the most remote spots in every state. “I was walking down a very crowded Florida beach on a training hike,” Ryan says, “and I was in my late thirties. Something was welling up inside me. I knew I wanted to do something...

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Best Town For Hiking in Every State

Hiking is one of just a few sports that doesn’t require a gym membership or a pile of expensive gear. That being said, one necessity for an exceptional hike is beautiful scenery. Traversing green forests and taking in breathtaking views along the way makes for an unparalleled experience, and each state has at least one town that’s home to a handful of picturesque trails....

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How New England gave the nation the gift of hiking

Two hundred years ago, New Hampshire innkeeper Abel Crawford had a problem: guests at his White Mountain hotel were clamoring for the chance to summit the iconic Mount Washington. But without an established path, those intrepid enough to try would often get lost or return in tatters, having battled with scree and brush for miles. So Crawford, and especially his son Ethan...

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After Malheur, side effects of the Bundys’ extremism linger

High Desert Partnership began about 15 years ago, as a conversation between Chad Karges, who was then deputy manager for the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, and a cattle rancher named Gary Marshall. Relations between local ranchers and refuge employees had been volatile for decades, as the two sides butted heads over livestock and wildlife. The bad blood extended...

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Antarctic ice loss has tripled in a decade. If that continues we are in serious trouble.

Antarctica’s ice sheet is melting at rapidly increasing rate, now pouring more than 200 billion tons of ice into the ocean annually and raising sea levels a half millimeter every year, a team of 80 scientists has reported. The melt rate has tripled in the past decade, the study concluded. If the acceleration continues, some of scientists’ worst fears about rising oceans...

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A Village in Ecuador’s Amazon Fights for Life as Oil Wells Move In

At the headwaters of the Amazon River system in eastern Ecuador, the nighttime jungle is not quiet at all. The chatter of nocturnal canopy birds and crickets, mixed with the submarine sonar–like pinging of tree frogs, is startling to the first-time visitor. The 80 or so Waorani villagers who live here find comfort in these sounds. They tell them that their ancestral home...

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Giant African baobab trees die suddenly after thousands of years

Some of Africa’s oldest and biggest baobab trees have abruptly died, wholly or in part, in the past decade, according to researchers. The trees, aged between 1,100 and 2,500 years and in some cases as wide as a bus is long, may have fallen victim to climate change, the team speculated. “We report that nine of the 13 oldest … individuals have died, or at least their...

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Accessible Hiking Trails To Check Out In Maine

Although some of us are still recovering from the winter or dreading another nor’easter, spring has officially started in Maine. As temperatures rise, many have already begun looking for a way to get outside and celebrate the outdoors. Luckily, Maine has no shortage of outdoor attractions, and many are accessible to those with limited mobility and people with...

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Wildcat Rock Trail Wins National Award

The national Coalition of Recreational Trails has granted its annual achievement award for trail design and construction to Conserving Carolina and its trails coordinator, Peter Barr, for Wildcat Rock Trail. Conserving Carolina opened this 3-mile trail in the Hickory Nut Gorge to the public in 2017. Senator Richard Burr and Representative Mark Meadows presented the award...

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Yellowstone National Park is a natural laboratory for researchers

Yellowstone National Park is an incredible natural laboratory. Researchers from around the world travel to Yellowstone every year to conduct scientific studies across a range of disciplines, from A(nthropology) to Z(oology) and everything in between. Managing this constant influx of scientists is a full-time job, not only in terms of ensuring that their work is used to...

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Retirees wanted a place to hike, so they built their own trails

When it comes to being young at heart, the residents at Tellico Village are trailblazers. In 2017, a group of residents wanted hiking trails, but the cost would have been too substantial to take on. They decided to build trails themselves. “As retirees, it’s great when you accomplish something like this,” said Jim Lilley, a resident and athletics...

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Tower of Trash

Our planet has a population of over 7.5 billion people and as a result we dump a massive 2.12 billion tons of waste per year. This is partly because 99% of the stuff we buy gets thrown out within 6 months of purchasing – this isn’t including food, human, electronic and medical waste either. This waste ends up in a variety of different locations; landfill sites,...

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In Chile, a Gorgeous, Very Rainy and Sometimes Lonely Journey

The “Route of Parks” should be emblazoned in your mind: “Road trip!” Technically, the “route” is a rebranding of a portion of Chile’s epic Southern Highway, or Carretera Austral, which stretches from the industrial city of Puerto Montt in the north to the skinny tip of the country in the south. As part of that, this January, the Chilean government signed an...

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Cradle of Forestry Invites All Ages to Pink Beds BioBlitz

The Cradle of Forestry in America invites nature enthusiasts of all ages and knowledge levels to the Pink Beds BioBlitz on Saturday, June 16, 2018. Be a citizen scientist with naturalists and forest scientists to discover the diversity of life in this special part of Pisgah National Forest, and add to knowledge gained about the area. Those who would like to participate...

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See a black bear while hiking? Don’t panic; follow these steps

  It might be easy to think you won’t run into a bear while on a hike – but it can happen, and it’s important to always be prepared. Colorado Parks and Wildlife gave a few tips for what to do if you run into a bear on the trail. If you surprise the bear, you should: stay calm stay still let the bear identify you before leaving the area When leaving the scene,...

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Crane’s Nest Nature Center & Store: Historical Context

The building that currently houses the Crane’s Nest Nature Center & Store at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon was built in the mid-1930s by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps, at the same time as many of the other structures at Refuge Headquarters. In fact, most of the historic infrastructure located throughout Malheur Refuge was installed by...

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Why the loss of amphibians matters

Amphibians matter to humans more than we tend to realize. The number of amphibian species around the world has been plummeting at an incredibly rapid rate in recent decades, and this decline poses a serious threat. About 200 species of frogs have vanished since 1980, according to a 2015 study. These extinctions are due to many factors, including herbicides, habitat loss,...

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Recreation is redefining the value of Western public lands

Once, the West’s public lands were valued primarily for the timber, minerals and fossil fuels they held, which were extracted and then sold around the world. In the 1970s, more than two dozen Western counties relied on timber for at least a fifth of their revenue, while energy companies expanded onto public lands for coal and natural gas. Small communities swelled with...

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The water war that will decide the fate of 1 in 8 Americans

Lake Mead is the country’s biggest reservoir of water. Think of it as the savings account for the entire Southwest. Right now, that savings account is nearly overdrawn. For generations, we’ve been using too much of the Colorado River, the 300-foot-wide ribbon of water that carved the Grand Canyon, supplies Lake Mead, and serves as the main water source for much of the...

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Preparation Tips for First-time Plus Size Hikers

You may be overwhelmed before you even start your first hike. You may also be so worried about your physical ability to hike, your stamina, and safety that you are hesitant to even set foot on the trail. There is plenty of advice on the Internet. As a first-time plus size hiker, accept the challenge to get outside and enjoy nature. Don’t wait until you lose that 20...

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Megafires, Wildland Fires, and Prescribed Burns

Healthy forests are important for clean and abundant water supplies. A recent USDA Forest Service study examined how wildland fires, including megafires, and prescribed burns affect river flow. The study is the first nationwide look at fire impacts on surface freshwater resources. Led by Dennis Hallema, research hydrologist and ORISE fellow, the research team analyzed...

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A Truckload of Plastic Enters Our Oceans Every Single Minute—This Has to Stop

Our oceans are facing a plastic pollution crisis. The equivalent of a truckload of plastic enters our oceans every single minute, every day, all year long. Not only are plastics entangling and killing marine life, they are ending up on our plates through the seafood we eat and polluting our tap water. More and more people are realizing that this is a crisis we must...

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You’ve Never Seen National Parks Looking Like This Before

The world’s national parks are a unique natural resource. Not only for their biological diversity but also for their beauty and accessibility – many are otherworldly, an environment alien to our everyday but close enough to travel to with relative ease. Every park is different too. So whether you’re looking to explore waterfalls or lakes, jungles or deserts, glaciers or...

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Hikers’ paradise: walking holidays in Dolomites Val Gardena

The beauty of the Dolomites is beguiling. The minute you set eyes on the towering peaks, the stretch of the Alps that looms over north-eastern Italy, you’ll want to get up close to them. Thankfully the mountain range has some of the finest and most accessible alpine walking routes in Europe. The Dolomites Val Gardena region in the southeast of South Tyrol is the place to...

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Clearing a path: It takes a village to keep North Country trail ready

Leaving civilization behind, hikers on the North Country Trail come for the beauty, the views, the solitude and the forests. “It’s the longest, skinniest National Park in the nation being four feet wide and 4,600 miles long, and people from all across the nation come and they especially come to the western U.P. [Michigan] in general to see our trees,” said Connie Julien,...

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