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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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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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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New national parks around the world

Southern Chile is famous for Torres del Paine national park in Patagonia but much more of the region’s spectacular landscape is now being made accessible. Donations of vast tracts of wilderness by foundations run by US philanthropists and environmentalists to the Chilean state has led to the creation of national reserves covering 4.45m hectares. 17 national parks and...

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A dose of nature: doctors prescribe a day in the park for anxiety

For many patients, like Lauren Huddle, 31, a big dose of Mother Nature is exactly what she needs after a stressful day. “I have pretty bad anxiety and depression,” said Huddle of Bellingham, Washington. “And I don’t do well with pharmaceuticals, so my husband Nate would actually tell me all the time, ‘just go outside, you’ll feel so much better.’” And...

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Here Are 7 Ways to Be Sustainable — Without Breaking the Bank

When you have everything, it’s really easy to take things for granted. You know, when you can easily afford to buy a new tube of toothpaste, you don’t need to squeeze every last bit of toothpaste out of the tube, and then cut it open to get more of the paste that didn’t squeeze out, just to keep from having to spend money on more toothpaste in that moment. That might...

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How Trump’s EPA Is Moving to Undo Fracking Wastewater Protections

Back in 2008, residents of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and surrounding areas received a notice in the mail advising them to drink bottled water instead of tap water—a move that U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) internal memos at the time described as “one of the largest failures in U.S. history to supply clean drinking water to the public.” The...

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23 breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage destinations in the U.S. and why you should visit them

Most likely, you have been to a UNESCO World Heritage site in the United States without knowing it. Remember that Griswoldian summer vacation to the Grand Canyon? The high school field trip to Independence Hall in Philadelphia? The college tour of the University of Virginia? Congratulations! That’s three in your pocket. But don’t stop now. You can collect all 23,...

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Blue Ridge Parkway traffic in Asheville area will slow for ‘pavement preservation’

The sweet hum of spring and summer on the Blue Ridge Parkway will be slightly stifled with slower traffic and single-lane closures as a major repaving project gets underway. The road work is in an effort to upgrade the more than 80-year-old scenic motor road and keep it from crumbling under the weight of 16.1 million visitors a year. The National Park Service is...

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Friends Helping Friends – Invasive Weed Removal

Friends of Roan Mountain have a great opportunity to assist the Roan Mountain State Park. Japanese Knot Weed Removal on June 2, 2018 This event is part of a new partnership with RMSP with a commitment of service to the park. This is where you get to be an active part of the relationship. Join in on Saturday, June 2, 2018 at the Park to assist in the removal of the...

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Someone, somewhere, is making a banned chemical that destroys the ozone layer, scientists suspect

Emissions of a banned, ozone-depleting chemical are on the rise, a group of scientists reported, suggesting someone may be secretly manufacturing the pollutant in violation of an international accord. Emissions of CFC-11 have climbed 25 percent since 2012, despite the chemical being part of a group of ozone pollutants that were phased out under the 1987 Montreal...

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This could be the biggest advance in aluminum production in 130 years

Apple, the largest publicly traded company in the world, joined a major collaboration last week that could change how it gets one of the key components that makes its ubiquitous gadgets look so sleek: aluminum. And it is looking as though, simply by seeking out a greener component for iPhones and Macs, the tech giant just might push an entire industry in a new direction....

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Are electric cars worse for the environment?

  If you believe the headlines, traditional automobiles are speeding toward a dead end. All those V8s, V6s and turbocharged vehicles we’ve grown to love will soon be replaced by squadrons of clean, whisper-quiet, all-electric vehicles. And if you believe the headlines, the environment will be much better off. Policymakers at every level have done their part to...

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Red wolf status grim, review says

  A five-year red wolf status review, released April 24, 2018 showed that only about 40 red wolves are left in the wild with only three known breeding pairs remaining. The review, released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, recommends no change in the red wolf’s status as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The USFWS is expected to release a new...

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WNC experts discuss sustainability of outdoor recreation

Head into Pisgah National Forest on any day of the week, and you’ll find activity out on the trails. From hikers standing atop Max Patch bald, enjoying stunning views of Mount Mitchell, to mountain bikers riding beside white pine and mountain laurel on the Foster Creek Trail, outdoors enthusiasts take advantage of Pisgah as just one of Western North Carolina’s hot spots...

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National Parks Rangers Being Sent To Organ Pipe Cactus NM, Amistad NRA To Help With Border Control

Teams of law enforcement rangers next week will be dispatched from around the National Park System to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona and Amistad National Recreation Area in Texas on a rotating basis to help with border control. At a time when the National Park Service’s law enforcement ranks are stetched thin, according to Public Employees for...

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Quakes, eruptions prompt closure of Volcanoes National Park on Hawaii Island

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park closed late May 4, 2018 because of increasing concerns for the public’s safety. It is not safe to be at the park on Hawaii Island, which is at the center of increasing seismic and volcanic activity, park Superintendent Cindy Orlando said in a news release. The decision to close the park, on the southern tip of Hawaii Island, was made...

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Removal of Olympic National Park mountain goats could start in late summer

  It might be time to start saying your goodbyes to Olympic National Park’s mountain goats. Some could be removed from the park as early as this summer. The National Park Service released its final goat-management plan, and the agency’s preferred plan — to remove as many goats as possible for relocation to the North Cascades and then kill the remaining animals...

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Forest Service apologizes for damage to Appalachian Trail during patrols of pipeline protests

The U.S. Forest Service apologized for damaging the Appalachian Trail with all-terrain vehicles during its patrols of a pipeline protest. In a news release, the agency admitted that its law enforcement officers used the ATVs from April 11 to April 30 on a short stretch of the scenic footpath that follows the ridgeline of Peters Mountain in the Jefferson National Forest...

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Fireflies are disappearing. Here’s why — and what you can do to help.

Fireflies were a source of great pleasure when I was kid. My friends and I would chase them through our yards on summer nights, catching them in our palms and delicately moving them to mason jars, where they’d light up our bedrooms. But now, fireflies are disappearing on a much larger scale. For years scientists have “been warning that the world’s estimated 2,000 species...

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Rock Stacking, or ‘Natural Graffiti,’ and its Ecological Impact

Rock stacking might appear to be a harmless and fun outdoor activity, but it is detrimental to fragile riparian ecosystems. These temporary natural installations may be an expression of patience and balance to the ego of the builder, but to some naturalists who practice “Leave No Trace” ethics, it is often seen as nothing more than evidence left behind that the...

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The 10 National Parks with the Most Endangered Species

National parks are critical for protecting the animals and plants that live in them, and no park denizens need that protection more than endangered species. The Endangered Species Act has helped boost the populations of numerous imperiled species since it became law in 1973, and it has contributed to the recovery of iconic species such as the bald eagle, which was...

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Pisgah National Forest could use a lot of help on Pisgah Pride Day

May 5, 2018 is the third annual Pisgah Pride Day at the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest near Brevard, NC. Hosted by the nonprofit Pisgah Conservancy, the work day will convene at the Pisgah Ranger Station, where volunteers will be dispatched to perform trail work, remove invasive species, pick up trash, plant a rain garden near the fish hatchery to help...

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NASA releases extraordinary images of U.S. national parks from Space

NASA astronauts Ricky Arnold and Jeff Williams have shared breathtaking pictures taken from the International Space Station (ISS) over the last two years. Stunning snaps reveal aerial views of Earth’s most extraordinary landscapes. Astronaut Ricky Arnold shared with his 23,000 Twitter followers a scenic view of America’s first park, Yellowstone National Volcano. The...

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What does it take to be a National Park Service law enforcement ranger?

Danielle Breakell graduated from her law enforcement training academy this week. She has the skills to take down an armed fugitive, as well as a black bear or a bison. She’ll be able to read perpetrators their Miranda rights, while also citing the Endangered Species Act. And she will gladly write tickets for littering along with driving under the influence. Breakell, 29,...

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Smokies Celebrates 20 Years of New Species Discoveries

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is celebrating 20 years of conducting biodiversity inventories. Park managers, biologists, educators, and non-park scientists initiated an effort to discover all life in the Smokies through an All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) on Earth Day in 1998. The non-profit partner Discover Life in America (DLIA), created in 1998,...

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Chestnut Mountain: A Gift for All of Tennessee

Alex Wyss vividly recalls his first visit to Chestnut Mountain in 2013. “I was struck by how spectacular this property was,” says the Director of Conservation for The Nature Conservancy in Tennessee. “A very large forested property—nearly 6,000 acres. In great condition. Gorgeous scenic views. We already knew it was in a biologically rich area and in close proximity or...

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