Black bears back in eastern Nevada after 80-year absence

More than 500 black bears have returned to parts of their historic range in the Great Basin of Nevada where the species disappeared about 80 years ago, scientists say. A new study says genetic testing confirms the bears are making their way east from the Sierra ranges north and south of Lake Tahoe along the California line. In some cases, recent generations have moved...

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New land added to Nantahala National Forest for water quality, hiking trails

  A highly prized 50-acre slice of forest will remain forever untouched as it officially becomes part of the Nantahala National Forest. The relatively small Fires Creek parcel on the Cherokee-Clay county line of the 500,000-acre forest was the object of a contentious, decade-long battle among the private landowners, the U.S. Forest Service and forest visitors...

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UNESCO World Heritage sites in New Mexico

When people think of the United States, ancient ruins are typically not the first thing that pops to mind. Many New Mexicans are so accustomed to ancient ruins and petroglyphs in their backyard that they no longer marvel at their mysteries or splendor. Overlooking the historical and natural treasures of New Mexico is a mistake, detracting from the overall experience....

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Art Rangers: A New Way to Support the Preservation of National Parks

The national parks system in the United States has provided enjoyment of the outdoors for millions of people since 1916 when the National Parks Service was founded. For over 100 years we have had access to some of the most incredible hikes and views to be found on the planet. As is similar to any well used item, the parks often fall into disrepair and need to be...

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Internal watchdog says Dept. of Interior should focus on climate change. It isn’t.

With control of one-fifth of the land area of the United States, the Interior Department is expected to be challenged by more intense wildfires, rising seas and other effects of climate change over the next fiscal year, a new internal government watchdog report has found. Interior’s Office of the Inspector General listed climate change as among the “most significant...

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Doomsday on Ice

In a remote region of Antarctica known as Pine Island Bay, 2,500 miles from the tip of South America, two glaciers hold human civilization hostage. Stretching across a frozen plain more than 150 miles long, these glaciers, named Pine Island and Thwaites, have marched steadily for millennia toward the Amundsen Sea, part of the vast Southern Ocean. Further inland, the...

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Security firm was paid to build a conspiracy lawsuit against DAPL protesters

The private security firm TigerSwan, hired by Energy Transfer Partners to protect the controversial Dakota Access pipeline, was paid to gather information for what would become a sprawling conspiracy lawsuit accusing environmentalist groups of inciting the anti-pipeline protests last winter in an effort to increase donations, three former TigerSwan contractors told The...

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Viewing platform at Oregon’s famous Multnomah Falls top appears to have survived devastating fire

  A circular, wood deck viewing platform at the top of Multnomah Falls is believed to have survived the Eagle Creek fire, a U.S. Forest Service official said. “We’ve not gotten up there to assess the condition,” said Rachel Pawlitz, spokeswoman for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, which is part of the Forest Service, “but from aerial flights, it...

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Join Park Rangers for Smokies Service Days

Great Smoky Mountains National Park has extended the “Smokies Service Days” program into December 2017 with the addition of three new opportunities. These single-day volunteer projects help complete much needed work across the park and are ideal for people interested in learning more about the park through hands-on service. Launched in July 2017, this program engages...

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Final conservation easement on treasured land atop Bearwallow Mountain

Standing here more than 2,200 feet above the valley and twice that distance above sea level, it feels like you could reach out and touch the toy-like houses scattered over the orchards miles below. In one of those homes, Nancy Lyda may be gazing up this way, enjoying the view of the mountaintop she and her family have worked to protect for all time. Nancy’s mother, Pearl...

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Find Your Public Lands Adventure

Are you craving some fun in the sun, a thrilling outdoor experience or a chance to witness an incredible natural phenomenon? America’s public lands offer endless opportunities for fun and adventure. Whether you’re an experienced rafter or a novice, the Grand Canyon in Arizona is the perfect place for individual or group rafting trips. Rafting the Colorado River provides...

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Democrats Are Shockingly Unprepared to Fight Climate Change

There’s a wrinkle in how the United States talks about climate change in 2017, a tension fundamental to the issue’s politics but widely ignored. On one hand, Democrats are the party of climate change. Since the 1990s, as public belief in global warming has become strongly polarized, the Democratic Party has emerged as the advocate of more aggressive climate action. The...

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Love the Outdoors? The U.S. National Parks Are Hiring

Have you ever wished you could spend your workdays surrounded by awe-inspiring nature? You can now make that dream a reality: the National Park Service is hiring for a variety of positions across its U.S. parks for next year. California’s Yosemite National Park, for example, is currently taking applications for roughly 300 different jobs for next summer. The positions,...

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Grandfather Restoration Collaborative Recognized for U.S. Forest Service Award

The Grandfather Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina, and a collaborative group of partners from the community, non-profits, and local and state groups have received the 2017 Restored and Resilient Landscapes Award from the U.S. Forest Service Southern Region. Since 2012, the Grandfather Restoration Collaborative has been working on restoration...

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Stevens Creek land protected near Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy recently purchased 147 acres at Stevens Creek, a quiet cove on the eastern edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The acquisition permanently protects important habitat and water resources near the remote Cataloochee Valley area of the park. “Wrapped on three sides by publicly owned land, this pocket of prime forest...

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Air quality improves in North Carolina

North Carolina set a record low for number of unhealthy ozone days with the close of the 2017 season Oct. 31. Since March 1, the state has recorded just four unhealthy ozone days with concentrations higher than the 70 parts per billion ozone standard set by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2015, the best outcome since the previous record low of five unhealthy ozone...

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Tyson Foods Linked to the Largest Toxic Dead Zone in U.S. History

Less oxygen dissolved in the water is often referred to as a “dead zone” because most marine life either dies, or, if they are mobile such as fish, leave the area. Habitats that would normally be teeming with life become, essentially, biological deserts. What comes to mind when you think of Tyson Foods? A chicken nugget? A big red logo? How about the largest toxic dead...

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Proposed National Park Covering 40 Percent of Iceland

A committee researching guidelines for establishing a national park in the central highlands of Iceland has submitted its final report to the Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources. The report provides a comprehensive overview of the area’s nature, existing protection, utilization, and infrastructure, as well as four scenarios envisioning one or more new...

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Pilot Program at Grand Teton National Park Informs Future of Composting

As part of the Zero-Landfill Initiative, Teton County, Wyoming is making great inroads with new composting waste removal efforts. The Zero-Landfill Initiative is a collaboration between Subaru of America, Inc., National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), the National Park Service (NPS) and park concessioners to reduce the amount of visitor-generated waste that...

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5 ways to win the war on plastic pollution

Almost all of the world’s newly-manufactured plastic ends up as waste or marine litter, when it could instead be used to solve big problems like affordable housing, infrastructure improvement, and sustainable consumer products. This was the challenge that experts from academia, civil society and the private sector set out to tackle at Australia’s inaugural conference on...

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A reminder that this weekend national parks are fee-free for Veterans Day

This Friday, Nov. 10, 2017 is Veterans Day in the United States. Dedicated to those who have served their country, the federal government has set aside this day to honor those still alive and those fallen. The National Park Service does their part to remember veterans by waiving entrance fees at all National Park Service sites for Nov. 11 and 12, as they typically do...

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The benefits of public wildlands, explained

We’ve all seen the Instagram pictures of hikers clad in brand-name outdoor gear relaxing in front of picturesque mountain lakes or perching on impossibly angled red rock in all their glory. It’s easy to see that public lands, which include everything from national monuments to national parks and national forests, are beautiful and can provide great photo ops,...

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New national forest charter launched at UK’s Lincoln Castle

  A new forest charter that aims to put trees and woods back at the heart of people’s lives has been launched on the 800th anniversary of the original. The event took place at Lincoln Castle – home to one of only two surviving copies of the original charter that granted public access to royal land in England. The new document aims to protect...

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Fragmented Forests Causing Animals to Vanish

Expanding human activity has been eating away at Earth’s forests and the disappearing woodlands are causing certain species of animals to vanish along with them, according to a new study. The findings concluded 85 percent of animals living in forests are affected by fragmentation, which impacts all species and ecosystems, but each animal group is impacted differently....

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Trump administration releases report finding ‘no convincing alternative explanation’ for climate change

The Trump administration released a dire scientific report November 3, 2017, detailing the growing threats of climate change. The report stands in stark contrast to the administration’s efforts to downplay humans’ role in global warming, withdraw from an international climate accord and reverse Obama-era policies aimed at curbing America’s greenhouse-gas output. The...

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The three-degree world: the cities that will be drowned by global warming

When UN climate negotiators meet for summit talks this month, there will be a new figure on the table: 3C. Until now, global efforts such as the Paris climate agreement have tried to limit global warming to 2C above pre-industrial levels. However, with latest projections pointing to an increase of 3.2C by 2100, these goals seem to be slipping out of reach. “[We] still...

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Forest Service Report Assesses the State of U.S. Forest Health

Insects, diseases, droughts, and fire threaten forests. Each year, the U.S. Forest Service assesses threats facing the nation’s forests. Forest managers, scientists, and decision-makers rely on the annual reports. The U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station recently published the 2016 Forest Health Monitoring report. The report is the 16th in the annual series, and...

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The Interior Department Scrubs Climate Change From Its Strategic Plan

In the next five years, millions of acres of America’s public lands and waters, including some national monuments and relatively pristine coastal regions, could be auctioned off for oil and gas development, with little thought for environmental consequences. That’s according to a leaked draft, obtained by The Nation, of the Department of the Interior’s strategic vision:...

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Tesla Turns Power Back On At Children’s Hospital In Puerto Rico

Tesla has used its solar panels and batteries to restore reliable electricity at San Juan’s Hospital del Niño (Children’s Hospital), in what company founder Elon Musk calls “the first of many solar+battery Tesla projects going live in Puerto Rico.” The project came about after Puerto Rico was hit by two devastating and powerful hurricanes in...

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Fracking chemicals and kids’ brains don’t mix

Multiple pollutants found in the air and water near fracked oil and gas sites are linked to brain problems in children, according to a new science review. Researchers focused on five types of pollution commonly found near the sites—heavy metals, particulate matter, polycyclic aromatic hydrobcarbons, BTEX and endocrine disrupting compounds—and scrutinized existing health...

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Rising Seas Are Flooding Virginia’s Naval Base, and There’s No Plan to Fix It

The one-story brick firehouse at Naval Station Norfolk sits pinched between a tidal inlet and Willoughby Bay. The station houses the first responders to any emergency at the neighboring airfield. Yet when a big storm hits or the tides surge, the land surrounding it floods. Even on a sunny day this spring, with the tide out, the field beside the firehouse was filled with...

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Brace For A Big Jump In National Park Entrance Fees

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke moved yesterday to find a way to boost funding to address the National Park Service’s maintenance backlog, proposing to substantially increase park entrance fees during the “high season” for vacations. It’s a move that seemingly would do little to address the backlog, estimated at roughly $12 billion, while hitting...

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