Waterrock Knob Celebration

The Conservation Fund and the National Park Service will host an event to commemorate the National Park Service’s Centennial and celebrate the protection of lands surrounding Waterrock Knob, a major scenic destination on the Blue Ridge Parkway. An effort to conserve more than 5,000 acres in the Plott Balsam Mountains and much of the spectacular views from Waterrock Knob...

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Greenland lost a staggering 1 trillion tons of ice in just four years

It’s no news that Greenland is in serious trouble — but now, new research has helped quantify just how bad its problems are. A satellite study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, suggests that the Greenland ice sheet lost a whopping 1 trillion tons of ice between the years 2011 and 2014 alone. And a big portion of it came from just five glaciers,...

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You’ll Never Believe How Cheap New Solar Power Is

Solar energy has grown 100-fold in this country in the past decade. Globally, solar has doubled seven times since 2000, and Dubai received a bid recently for 800 megawatts of solar at a stunning “US 2.99 cents per kilowatt hour” — unsubsidized! For context, the average residential price for electricity in the United States is 12 cents per kilowatt-hour. Solar energy has...

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The Republican platform attacks the environment

The Republican Party’s 2016 platform was released at its national convention in Cleveland. It contains sections called “A New Era in Energy” and “Environmental Progress.” Ha. If you want a guide to what Republicans would do with full control of the federal government, you couldn’t get a better one than this 2,400-word part of the platform. Cancel the Clean Power Plan...

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Top science groups tell climate change doubters in Congress to knock it off

More than half of the Republicans in Congress question the science of human-caused climate change, according to the Center for American Progress. The presumptive Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump, has also said he is not “a great believer in man-made climate change.” In a letter dated June 28, 2016, 31 leading U.S. scientific organizations sent members of...

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The world’s clouds are in different places than they were 30 years ago

In a new study published in Nature on Monday, July 18, 2016 scientists say they have for the first time thoroughly documented one of the most profound planetary changes yet to be caused by a warming climate: The distribution of clouds all across the Earth has shifted, they say. And moreover, it has shifted in such a way — by expanding subtropical dry zones, located...

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Smokies superintendent taking steps to educate latest generation

On a recent summer morning a group of middle schoolers joined Cassius Cash, superintendent of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, for a short hike along the Porters Creek Trail in the park’s Greenbrier district about six miles east of Gatlinburg. It was a gentle trail — at least by Smoky Mountains standards — that allowed plenty of opportunity to savor the...

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Monumental decision: All eyes look to Interior Secretary Jewell on divisive Bears Ears issue

This is big, raw countryside with tumbling landscapes of jutting Navajo sandstone cliffs bleached by grueling heat and sprawling bluffs that rise proud and angry from a sagebrush floor. There is nothing diminutive in this bold and unforgiving land that is so overwhelmingly expansive and complex one can lose a sense of time and being — wrapped in serene beauty that can...

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Fire On Grand Canyon National Park’s North Rim Blows Up To More Than 11,000 Acres

Firefighters on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park contending with gusting winds on Sunday, July 17, 2016 were hoping “existing roads and natural features” would help them gain control over a lightning-sparked wildfire that made a four-and-a-half-mile run the day before. The winds Saturday pushed the Fuller Fire to the northeast through the Saddle...

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Congressman Proposes Massive Giveaway of Taxpayer-Owned Energy Resources to the State of Utah

A controversial legislative proposal released July 14, 2016 by Representative Rob Bishop (R-UT) would transfer all federally-owned energy and mineral resources in southern Utah to state control, paving the way for massive new uranium, coal, and oil extraction across the area’s national forests, redrock canyons, and other public lands. The bill, known as the Public Lands...

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More Than Just Parks | Grand Teton

Jim and Will Pattiz are media professionals who have a passion for our national parks. Their More than Just Parks plan is to create short films for each of the 59 US National Parks to give people a completely unique viewing experience. They hope that this will encourage folks to get out there and have a one-of-a-kind experience of their own in our national parks. It is...

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This year’s GOP platform pushes federal land transfers

The Republican Party is drafting its 2016 platform, which represents a hard swerve to the right on social issues. But other parts of its stance have long been consistent – most notably, its push for transferring federal lands to state control. Party platforms are not binding, but they do demonstrate party priorities – what the base thinks are the most important issues...

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Shenandoah: The hemlock’s last stand

Shenandoah is haunted by ghosts. Just 15 years ago, the eastern hemlock tree, the mighty Redwood of the East, was a scenic highlight of Virginia’s Skyline Drive, creating the shady groves that put Shenandoah National Park on the conservation map. Now 95% of them are dead, rotting on the forest floor or still standing above the canopy as gray ghosts, with a few...

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The Appalachian Ranger District Will Hold a Public Meeting to Discuss The “Twelve Mile” Project

The Appalachian Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest will hold a public meeting on July 14 from 2-5 p.m. at the North Carolina Arboretum to learn the public interests and issues related to a developing proposal for the “Twelve Mile” project. The proposed area for the project is the southwestern most part of the Appalachian Ranger District adjacent to...

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The Otherworldly Beauty of Badlands National Park

The land is big and mostly flat. There are endless fields of corn, wheat and soybeans. Colors of green and gold paint the earth for miles. But as you travel west, the farmland gives way to wild grasses. It grows tall here under a huge blue sky. Farther on, however, the grass becomes much shorter. A strong dry wind blows continuously from the west. Suddenly, the land is...

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Historic Victory: 4 Teenagers Win in Massachusetts Climate Change Lawsuit

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court found in favor of four youth plaintiffs in a critical climate change case. In 2012, hundreds of youth petitioned the DEP asking the agency to comply with the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) and adopt rules reducing the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, but that petition was denied. As a result of DEP’s reluctance...

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Piles of Dirty Secrets Behind a Model ‘Clean Coal’ Project

The fortress of steel and concrete towering above the pine forest here is a first-of-its-kind power plant that was supposed to prove that “clean coal” was not an oxymoron — that it was possible to produce electricity from coal in a way that emits far less pollution, and to turn a profit while doing so. The plant was supposed to be a model for future power plants to help...

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Tenacious, mysterious and maybe endangered — a wolverine roams the West

Four days before Christmas in 2008, a blur of brown fur scrambled along the snowy Continental Divide in Wyoming. The terrain and the conditions were brutal, food scarce. The bait a biologist placed in a wooden trap proved irresistible. As soon as the creature crawled in, a signal alerted researchers miles away. They rode a snowmobile deep into the mountains, near...

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A Magical Mycology Tapestry

Mushrooms weave a network of ecology, medicine, food, and farming. Encountering a mushroom in the forest provides a glimpse to a web that is largely unseen, underground. The mushroom is a fruiting body that emerges from a network of branching mycelium, a cellular structure interwoven in soil. This mass thrives by connecting to other organisms, especially the roots of...

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The Cactus Smuggler: Are Desert Plants Being Loved to Extinction?

The smugglers carried their tiny prizes tucked away in suitcases of jalapenos and dirty laundry. The spicy fruit was supposed to deflect inspections. Perhaps they thought the dirty laundry would do the same. Another rare item sat nestled in a new box of Uncle Ben’s Rice. Russians had a hard time finding Uncle Ben’s Rice back home, says Nicholas Chavez, Special Agent in...

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Overlooked Wildlife Experiences in Our National Parks

Think of wildlife in U.S. national parks, and certain images pop to mind: Bears. Bison. Elk. Wolves. All spectacular critters, to be sure. But the National Park Service protects a wide range of wildlife, large and small. Some of these species are cryptic or elusive. But other smaller denizens offer fascinating viewing opportunities. For example, Great Smoky Mountains...

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New North Carolina Bill Allows Duke Energy To Dodge Coal Ash Cleanup Again

While residents and environmentalists urge Duke Energy to clean up its coal ash pits, North Carolina’s biggest utility — and the governor’s former workplace — just got another pass from the legislature. Duke will likely not have to clean up seven of its unlined coal ash pits, where the byproduct of coal-fired power plants is stored. Instead, the company can opt to simply...

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Our Wild

The Wilderness Society’s mission is to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. They contribute to better protection, stewardship and restoration of our public lands, preserving our rich natural legacy for current and future generations. They are a leading American conservation organization working to protect our nation’s shared...

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National Parks Are Worth $92 Billion to Americans

A day at a national park with your family and friends might be priceless to you, but these natural treasures have a quantifiable value to the U.S. government: $92 billion, according to a new report from the National Park Foundation. To put that in perspective, that’s greater than the annual GDP of Ukraine or Sri Lanka, which are $90.52 billion and $82.1 billion,...

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This 21-Year-Old May Have Found The Way To Clean Up The Plastic In Our Oceans

Boyan Slat was just 16 when he realized he wanted to rid the oceans of plastic. It all happened after he dove into the problem in the most literal way while snorkeling in Greece and finding more drifting plastic than fish swimming. “I thought, that’s a real problem. How can we come up with a solution for that?” Slat recalled. Indeed, the problem is real and large. Around...

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4 States Struggling to Manage Radioactive Fracking Waste

The Marcellus Shale has transformed the Appalachian Basin into an energy juggernaut. Even amid a recent drilling slowdown, regional daily production averages enough natural gas to power more than 200,000 U.S. homes for a year. But the rise of hydraulic fracturing over the past decade has created another boom: tons of radioactive materials experts call an “orphan” waste...

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What Brexit And Trump’s Rise Mean For The Global Community’s Fight Against Climate Change

E pluribus unum — out of many, one — has been an official motto of the United States since June 20, 1782. Writ large, it could be the motto for climate action. There have always been two poles representing how the world might respond to the increasingly painful reality of climate change (or indeed any global scale problem). At one pole is unity driven by our moral...

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More Cold Mountain land conserved

Cold Mountain is a Western North Carolina peak so beloved and romanticized, there are even a best-selling novel, Hollywood movie and microbrew bearing its name. But even though the 6,030-foot summit is protected as part of the Shining Rock Wilderness of Pisgah National Forest, and the state Cold Mountain Game Lands protect land on the western slopes, large chunks of the...

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4 worst ways climate change is harming wildlands

Climate change is devastating wild lands and the wildlife that thrives inside them, according to findings of a government study. The National Climate Assessment had some alarming findings that have direct impact on our wild lands. Climate change is already affecting some of our most prized natural resources and it’s only getting worse. The report was written by...

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How Photography Shaped America’s National Parks

Have you ever gotten a postcard from a national park? Chances are the picture that comes to mind—maybe the powerful eruption of Old Faithful spouting up in Yellowstone or the rocky depths of the Grand Canyon—is the same shot that people across the world have seen. There’s a reason for that. The idea of America’s national parks that’s ingrained in the collective...

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Defending Mongolia’s Growing National Park System

A few months ago, when Mongolian national park director Tumursukh Jal was on an official visit to the Grand Canyon, one of his hosts asked a simple question: “How many national parks do you guys have there in your home country?” When Tumursukh mentioned there were 99 of them, his US colleagues seemed a bit nonplussed. “That many, really?” The issue that worries Tumursukh...

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You Will Recognize The Names Of The Companies That Emit The Most Methane

Frackers across the country — in places like Texas, Colorado, North Dakota, and Oklahoma — are spewing millions of tons of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere, nullifying any climate impacts of cleaner-burning natural gas. The biggest names in natural gas, including ConocoPhillips, BP America, and Exxon, are responsible for more than half the methane...

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