Thieves Using Bluetooth Scanners To Target Vehicles At Hiking Trailheads

Thieves are using a simple Bluetooth exploit to figure out which vehicles hold devices like smartphones/laptops, and they are using this technology to target vehicles parked at trailheads knowing their owners are off on a hike. Bluetooth scanners are simply apps you download legally. Choose from one of the dozen or so options, download, turn it on and it displays the...

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Federal Judge Refuses To Dismiss Lawsuit Over Deadly Fire At Great Smoky Mountains National Park

  A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit against the National Park Service stemming from the deadly Chimney Tops 2 fire at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, holding that the park’s Fire Management Plan required that area residents be notified of the wildfire. When the Chimney Tops 2 fire was reported atop one of the many ridges of the...

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The first woman to walk all 21,500 km of the Trans-Canada Trail

After two years, 21,500 kilometers and hundreds of pictures, Sarah Jackson has finally made it from Victoria, B.C. to St. John’s, Newfoundland by walking the Trans-Canada Trail. She’s one of a small handful who have decided to tackle the whole length and the only woman to complete the whole thing from one end to the other. The trail (also known as The Great Trail) is the...

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The Arctic may emit billions of tons of carbon into the air, in a long-dreaded climate feedback

The Arctic is undergoing a profound, rapid and unmitigated shift into a new climate state, one that is greener, features far less ice and emits greenhouse gas emissions from melting permafrost, according to a major new federal assessment of the region. The consequences of these climate shifts will be felt far outside the Arctic in the form of altered weather patterns,...

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The world’s supply of fresh water is in trouble as mountain ice vanishes

High in the Himalaya, near the base of the Gangotri glacier, water burbles along a narrow river. Pebbles, carried in the small river’s flow, pling as they carom downstream. This water will flow thousands of miles, eventually feeding people, farms, and the natural world on the vast, dry Indus plain. Many of the more than 200 million people in the downstream basin rely on...

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New Zealand volcano: Hikers were inside crater just before eruption

Dramatic aerial footage shows tourists hiking inside a volcano crater on New Zealand’s White Island just minutes before a violent eruption killed at least five people. The image, shot by New Zealand’s Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, was taken about five minutes before the volcano erupted at 2:15 p.m. local time. A small group of people can be seen in the...

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Yosemite hikes off the well-beaten path

Dappled sunlight kisses the valley floor of Yosemite National Park. Granite monoliths, gushing waterfalls and giant sequoias abound. The wilderness is calling. But instead of hitting the trails in a place John Muir called “by far the grandest of all the special temples of nature,” you’re sitting in a traffic jam, vying for limited parking. More than 4 million visitors...

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A massive Canadian fossil trove reminds us how fleeting life on Earth can be — and how much peril we’re in

We ascend a sheer mountainside in the Canadian Rockies. Our destination, high on the cliff face, is a jumble of 510-million-year-old rocks known as the Burgess Shale. Formed during the middle part of the Cambrian period, the shale boasts tens of thousands of perfectly preserved fossils from the dawn of the animal kingdom. Many were soft-bodied organisms whose existence...

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Critical Wildlife Corridor in WNC State Natural Area Protected

In 2019, Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC) completed the purchase of an assemblage of properties in the Cane Creek Mountains totaling 456 acres, to permanently protect an important ridgeline corridor through the Yellow Mountain State Natural Area. SAHC’s acquisition of the land protects habitat for rare plants and animals, clean water sources and scenic...

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Conservation and Affordable Housing Fit Together at Little White Oak Mountain

What’s the opposite of saving land? For some people, what comes to mind is a housing development: the felled forests, bulldozers scraping over raw dirt, roads and buildings replacing trees. That seemed likely to happen at Little White Oak Mountain, in Polk County, near Columbus, NC. Not long ago, the mountain was slated for an upscale development of over 700 houses....

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‘Monumental’ NSW bushfires have burnt 20% of Blue Mountains world heritage area

More than 10% of the area covered by New South Wales national parks has been burned in this season’s bushfires, including 20% of the Blue Mountains world heritage area, state government data obtained by Guardian Australia has revealed. The amount of bushland destroyed within NSW national parks dwarfs that of the entire previous fire season, when 80,000 hectares were...

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A pipeline runs through it

The pink ribbons start in northern West Virginia. Tied to flimsy wooden posts stuck a few inches into the earth, they’re easy to miss as they whip in the crisp, fall wind. Heading south, they dot landscapes for 600 miles, marking the proposed route of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. They pass over cave systems and watersheds, climb up and down densely forested Appalachian...

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Exxon knew — and so did coal

“Exxon knew.” Thanks to the work of activists and journalists, those two words have rocked the politics of climate change in recent years, as investigations revealed the extent to which giants like ExxonMobil and Shell were aware of the danger of rising greenhouse gas emissions even as they undermined the work of scientists. But the coal industry knew, too — as early as...

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Hikers united by lost hat connect over healing power of outdoors

Two men say a chance encounter on Mount St. Helens has given them a renewed perspective about the healing power of hitting the trails. Scott Brown made a post on a hiking Facebook page Friday hoping to return someone’s hat. The post said, “did you or your friend get hurt on Helens on Thanksgiving? I found your hat!!” Brown had no idea how special the hat was when...

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British Army Veteran Becomes First Double Above-Knee Amputee To Climb Kilimanjaro

  A British Army veteran who lost most of both his legs in an incident in Afghanistan recently became the first double above-knee amputee to make it to the summit of the highest mountain in Africa, Kilimanjaro. James Rose was on a tour of Helmand Province with the 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment in 2009 when he stood on the pressure plate of an improvised...

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6 Trails with the Worst Weather—And Why You Should Go Anyway

You may want to plan your next hike for a warm, sunny day—but where’s the adventure in that? Besides, the most memorable hikes are rarely the picture-perfect ones. If you want real solitude, and a raw, visceral experience in nature, go where everyone else refuses. These six weather-beaten, heat-blasted, totally untamed trails are the perfect place to get started. A word...

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Winter Middle Tennessee hikes offer stark beauty and some good exercise too

Lots of people think the primo Middle Tennessee hiking is in the fall with all of the color of the changing leaves. Or maybe in the spring when the trees are starting to leaf out with their new growth. But there is a lot to be said for a winter hike too, according to state naturalist Randy Hedgepath, who says winter walks can offer some stark beauty and a few other...

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A Nighttime Walk to Celebrate the Winter Solstice

To celebrate the winter solstice – the longest night of the year – a nighttime walk to Hooker Falls will be hosted by Conserving Carolina on Saturday, December 21, 2019 in DuPont State Recreational Forest, at 7 p.m. Meet at the Hooker Falls parking lot on DuPont/Staton Road in DuPont State Recreational Forest. There is no charge for this event and it is open to the...

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UN calls for push to cut greenhouse gas levels to avoid climate chaos

Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases in the next decade to avoid climate chaos, the United Nations has warned, as it emerged that emissions hit a new high last year. Carbon dioxide emissions in 2018, also accounting for deforestation, rose to more than 55 gigatonnes, and have risen on average by 1.5% a year for the past...

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Hiking the Sandias in central New Mexico

From climbing massive mountains then skiing down them up north, to desert backpacking and rock climbing down south, there are outdoor activities year-round in New Mexico. For many students at the University of New Mexico, these outdoor activities are popular, but it is not always necessary to take a three-hour drive to have a good time outside. Exploding 5,000 feet above...

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The Problems with the BLM Moving to the West

On November 12, 2019, more than 300 employees at the Bureau of Land Management’s Washington, D.C., headquarters received letters saying they had 30 days to decide whether to move to Grand Junction, Colorado, or other regional offices—and then 90 more to pack up and go. This was part of a plan, announced in July by Department of Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, to move...

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Smokies rangers will patrol Mexican border, arrest migrants

The Trump administration has ordered rangers from national parks around the country to travel to the U.S.-Mexico border to fight illegal immigration and drug traffickers. The directive has seen park rangers from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park in Alaska, the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and Zion National...

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A Complete Guide to Grand Canyon Hiking: The Best Tours, Trails, and Tips

Hiking in Grand Canyon National Park isn’t for the faint of heart (or weak of quads). The canyon is a vast, desert landscape, full of cliffs, steep drops, and loose, rocky earth. Weather is a mixed bag that can range from intense heat to severe thunderstorms, depending on the season and which part of the canyon you choose to explore. “There is no easy trail in the Grand...

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Wildlife refuges suffer under budget cuts and staff shortages

The National Wildlife Refuge System, a branch of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, protects more than 850 million acres of land and water. From the marshy Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Florida to arid landscapes like the Desert National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada, the Refuge System is home to nearly every species of bird, fish, reptile and...

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Smokies outdoor education center turns 50, plans expansion

As it nears the end of its 50th anniversary year, the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont has its eyes set on the half-century to come. Within five years, the nonprofit aims to build out a second campus to supplement its existing facilities in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s Walker Valley. “It’s a big project and we don’t want to rush it,” said Caleb...

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Easy Ways to Break in New Hiking Boots

You’ve got plans for a big hike—a multi-day backpacking trip or a long day hike to a high point—but your suitable footwear is either worn out or nonexistent. Here’s what not to do: buy brand-new hiking boots right before your outing, ensuring you have no time to wear them before you start trekking up a mountain. That almost guarantees trip-ruining foot problems like...

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Evidence of Many Varieties of Economic Benefits Linked to Trails

Trails and greenways impact our economy through tourism, events, urban redevelopment, community improvement, property values, health care costs, jobs and investment, and general consumer spending. Americans do spend a great deal on outdoor recreation. A 2006 Outdoor Industry Foundation study found that “Active Outdoor Recreation” contributes $887 billion annually to the...

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Panthertown Valley in Nantahala National Forest selected for recreation impact intervention

Panthertown Valley is one of 14 locations nationwide to be selected as a 2020 Leave No Trace Hot Spot. Hot Spots identify areas suffering from severe recreational impacts that can thrive again with Leave No Trace solutions. Each location receives a unique, site-specific blend of programs aimed at healthy and sustainable recovery. Since 2012, Leave No Trace has carried...

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Coastal Forests Face Rising Sea Levels, Increased Salinity

Ghost forests aren’t some spooky legend. They’re patches of dead and dying trees that haunt the coastlines of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia where sea levels are rising and land is sinking. USDA Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service scientists are working with partners across the coastal plain to understand where these watery graveyards...

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Explore the great outdoors by hiking

Why not get outside and take a hike this Sunday on National Take a Hike Day? Your mental and physical health might depend on it. If you knew that nature could make you happier, healthier, and more creative, would you make more of an effort to spend time outdoors? In her book, “The Nature Fix,” Florence Williams shows that nature does in fact make us happier, healthier,...

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The Best Day Hiking Near Seattle

Within an hour or two of downtown Seattle, you can be in desolate wilderness, hiking through evergreen forests with views of Puget Sound, Mount Rainier, and the Olympic range. The Seattle, WA area is full of great hikes, but some of them are more well-known and crowded than others. The hike up Mount Si is hardly a secret. You can find half of Seattle here on sunny...

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Get big views of downtown Phoenix on this less-used South Mountain hiking trail

South Mountain cuts an impressive profile in the skyline south of downtown Phoenix. The “mountain” isn’t a singular massif as the name implies, but a conglomerate of three parallel ranges that sit within the park boundaries and dovetail in a way that creates a fascinating environment of canyons, washes and rugged pinnacles. Over 50 miles of trails explore the park’s...

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