The Trump administration really doesn’t want this climate lawsuit to go to trial

The lawsuit, brought by a group of 21 children and young adults against the federal government, alleges that the United States government has violated the plaintiff’s constitutional right to a healthy environment. The lawsuit is based on the old legal doctrine of public trust, which holds that it is the government’s responsibility to preserve certain natural resources...

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Teenager Is on Track to Plant a Trillion Trees

Children are not often invited to speak to the United Nations General Assembly. But there stood Felix Finkbeiner, German wunderkind in his Harry Potter spectacles, gray hoodie, and mop-top haircut—with a somber question about climate change. “We children know adults know the challenges and they know the solutions,” he said. “We don’t know why there is so little action.”...

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The hands behind the Forest Service’s iconic signs

Inside a storage room at the Forest Service’s Flagstaff Ranger District headquarters, shelves, floorspace and tabletops are crammed with wooden signs. Simple and sturdy, the signs are hand carved with messages marking everything from trails and riparian areas to places closed to camping or motorized vehicles. But these signs, rich in historic character, wouldn’t exist...

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National Park Soundscapes

Natural and cultural sounds awaken a sense of awe that connects us to the splendor of national parks, and have a powerful effect on our emotions, attitudes and memories. From the mysterious calls of bugling elk in the Rocky Mountains to the patriotic, bugling trumpets heard across a historic battlefield, these sounds are part of a web of natural and cultural resources...

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Women who made wilderness history

Women around the world have always played a significant role in environmental conservation. There have been so many throughout time that some of them tend to slip through the cracks of history and mainstream media. On this International Women’s Day, let’s push some of those names into the spotlight. These are just a few of the thousands of women who have and...

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Smokies Park Invites Public Comment on Cades Cove Solar Energy Project

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials invite the public to comment through March 20, 2017 on a proposed sustainable energy project. The National Park Service is proposing a solar power system to support the electrical power needs of the Cable Mill area in Cades Cove. This project would reduce usage of traditional fossil fuels and provide opportunities for park...

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Breathe Deep (and then thank the EPA that you can)

The postcard is almost 40 years old. Angelenos of a certain age will recognize it-a wide-angled, aerial shot of the downtown core of Los Angeles and its then, much-more modest skyline. Framed by the intersection of the Santa Monica and Harbor freeways, the whole scene is muffled in a brown smear of smog. Barely visible in the deep background, just poking above the thick...

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Spring in the Smokies

Spring has sprung in the Smokies. Daffodils have popped up, trees are budding, and grass is sprouting green but that’s not necessarily a good thing. For a lot of the country spring has arrived about 3 weeks too soon, a growing result of climate change according to a recent study shared by the US Geological Survey. Looking at data spanning the past 112 years, the...

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The great Greenland meltdown

From a helicopter clattering over Greenland’s interior on a bright July day, the ice sheet below tells a tale of disintegration. Long, roughly parallel cracks score the surface, formed by water and pressure; impossibly blue lakes of meltwater fill depressions; and veiny networks of azure streams meander west, flowing to the edge of the sheet and eventually out to...

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Antarctica’s sea ice just hit the lowest level ever seen

Since it’s summertime there, sea ice cover is poised to drop even further. Sea ice can fluctuate from year to year, but over the past 20 years, Antarctica has lost 61,390 square miles of ice — a Florida-sized chunk. That’s Act I of the unfolding Antarctic drama. In Act II, the continent’s fourth-biggest ice shelf, Larsen C, sheds a Delaware-sized iceberg. It could break...

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China smashes solar energy records, as coal use and CO2 emissions fall once again

With millions of jobs up for grabs, China seizes clean tech leadership from United States. We are witnessing a historic passing of the baton of global leadership on technology and climate from the United States to China. The new U.S. administration has said it will abandon climate action, gut clean energy funding, and embrace coal and oil — the dirty energy sources of...

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Can Grasslands, The Ecosystem Underdog, Play an Underground Role in Climate Solutions?

Globally, grasslands are one of the most converted and least protected ecosystems. The rich soil of Earth’s grasslands plays an important role in feeding the world and because of this much of our grassland has been converted to row-crop agriculture. Loss of grasslands is a big problem for two reasons: The continual conversion of native grassland puts all grassland...

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Scientists sound the alarm on impending ‘major extinction event’

In June of 2016, a group of scientists reported that a tiny rodent found only on a single island off the coast of Australia had officially gone extinct — the first mammalian causality, according to the scientists, of man-made climate change. The tiny mammals might have been the first to go extinct due to man-made climate change, but it’s unlikely they’ll be the last. One...

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Picture the Past: Forest History Society Repeat Photography Project

The Forest History Society has recently launched a web resource showcasing sets of repeat photographs for scientific study and education in the domain of forest and land management in support of the Society’s mission. Repeat photography is the practice of taking photographs of a specific location at two or more different times. It is a powerful visual resource for...

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Could Grizzlies Make Good Neighbors?

For 20,000 years, grizzly bears padded over Washington’s North Cascades, foraging for berries and plants, hunting small prey, and fishing for salmon in frigid streams. Then a few centuries ago, white settlers showed up and starting shooting, and driving the bears out. Today only a handful of grizzlies remain in these mountains. Documentaries and fictional films, from...

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Is It Okay to Enjoy the Warm Winters of Climate Change?

This is not how February is supposed to feel. From D.C. to Denver, from Charlotte to Chicago, towns and cities across the United States have posted strings of record-breaking summery days in what is normally the final month of winter. Wednesday was only the third time since 1880 that Green Bay, Wisconsin, cracked 60 degrees Fahrenheit in February. Ice on the Great Lakes...

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Canadian National Parks News: Update on Infrastructure Work

With an influx of visitors expected to visit Canadian National Parks in 2017 Parks Canada has spent the past several months getting some of its most popular visitor attractions ready for Canadians who want to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation by visiting national parks and national historic sites. Parks Canada will continue to upgrade its infrastructure...

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37% of Norway’s new cars are electric. They expect it to be 100% in just 8 years.

The global electric vehicle (EV) revolution reached another milestone last month as EVs made up 37 percent share of Norway’s car market. Norway understands the future of ground transport is electric and has been pushing EVs harder than almost any other country in the world with incentives such as an exemption from the 25 percent value added tax for new cars. In December,...

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Massive camera trapping project goes statewide in NC

Do you ever wonder what animals lurk in the wildest parts of the state? Or in your own backyard? With spring just around the corner, now is a great time for North Carolina residents, particularly those in the central and western parts of the state, to help uncover the secrets of local wildlife. By participating in “NC’s Candid Critters,” a new research project of the...

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NOAA-supported National Phenology Network data shows plants leafing out 10-20 days earlier than normal

The USA-National Phenology Network is tracking the start of the spring season across the country using models called the Spring Leaf and Bloom Indices. HOW DOES THIS YEAR STACK UP AGAINST THE RECENT PAST? We can evaluate whether spring is arriving early, late, or right on time this year at a location by comparing the day of year the Spring Leaf Index requirements were...

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NASA is defiantly communicating climate change science despite Trump’s doubts

If you peruse NASA’s social media feeds dedicated to climate change, you would have no clue a new administration has taken power that has expressed doubts about the reality or seriousness of the issue. Every day, NASA has dutifully posted updates on Twitter (@nasaclimate) pertaining to climate change science, including some that are in direct contradiction to statements...

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Smokies park rangers need citizen science volunteers

Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers are recruiting volunteers to adopt and monitor tree plots. The volunteers will collect information at tree plots throughout the park as part of an important research project tracking phenology, or cyclic and seasonal biological changes. For each plot of trees, volunteers will record when trees leaf out and when leaves start to...

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Outdoor Retailer convention leaving Utah

After an unproductive meeting between Gov. Gary Herbert and outdoor recreation business representatives, industry leaders say they hope to find a new location for the Outdoor Retailer shows “as soon as possible.” “Unfortunately, what we heard from Governor Herbert was more of the same,” according to a written statement by the Outdoor Industry...

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Revel in Teddy Roosevelt’s Legacy

The next fee-free day of 2017 is just around the corner. In honor of Presidents Day, all national parks will waive their admission fees on February 20. Take advantage of the opportunity at any of the sites that President Theodore Roosevelt helped designate himself or enjoy his lasting legacy which lives on at any of the over 400 parks across the National Park System. The...

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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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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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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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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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