Valles Caldera transition to National Park Service celebrated

This sprawling parcel of land in northern New Mexico that’s home to vast grasslands and one of North America’s few super volcanoes became part of the National Park Service this past weekend. U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, members of the state’s congressional delegation, tribal leaders and others gathered at Valles Caldera National Preserve for a celebration to...

Learn More

Exxon’s Climate Concealment

Millions of Americans once wanted to smoke. Then they came to understand how deadly tobacco products were. Tragically, that understanding was long delayed because the tobacco industry worked for decades to hide the truth, promoting a message of scientific uncertainty instead. The same thing has happened with climate change, as Inside Climate News, a nonprofit news...

Learn More

How the U.S. Army Saved Our National Parks

When Capt. Moses Harris and his troops from Company M, First Cavalry marched into Yellowstone in August 1886, the world’s first national park was in chaos. Fourteen years of corrupt or incompetent management by political appointees threatened its existence. There had been little protection of the park’s natural wonders. Congressional funding was an afterthought....

Learn More

Massive Coral Bleaching Event Is Sweeping Across The World’s Oceans

For the third time in recorded history, a massive coral bleaching event is unfolding throughout the world’s oceans, stretching from Hawaii to the Indian Ocean. A group of ocean scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) confirmed this bleaching event is being brought on by a combination of a strong El Niño pattern, a warm water mass in the...

Learn More

Not Even National Parks Are Safe From Fracking

America’s national parks cover nearly 52 million acres — an area roughly the size of Kansas — and contain some of the most incredible natural landscapes in the country. Sweeping valleys, frosted mountain peaks and immaculate waterways host a range of incredible wildlife, many of which are threatened or endangered. National parks are also public lands, maintained by the...

Learn More

US Forest Service seeks applicants for Recreation Advisory Committee

Asheville, N.C. Oct 6, 2015 – The U.S. Forest Service is seeking nominations to fill 11 positions on a new Southern Region Recreation Resource Advisory Committee for national forests across the Southeast. The committee will take on the important task of recommending whether forests in 13 southern states and Puerto Rico adopt new recreation fees or change existing...

Learn More

Food Industry To Congress: We Need You To Act On Climate Change

Leaders from some of the world’s biggest food companies urged Congress to support a strong global agreement on climate action, in advance of the U.N. climate talks happening in Paris this December. In a letter published in both the Washington Post and Financial Times, the chief executives from Mars, General Mills, Unilever, Kellogg, Nestle, New Belgium Brewing, Ben...

Learn More

Aspen stands in Southwest suffering from fungal disease

Visitors marveling at the fall foliage in national forests might find that some of the aspen leaves are brown and blotchy or gone already. Spores released from leaves and twigs that were infected by a fungus last summer were carried to new leaves by splashing rain and wind this year. The result is that instead of presenting golden yellow colors, leaves in some aspen...

Learn More

Shell’s giving up drilling in the Arctic Ocean. Now what?

On Sept. 28, 2015, Shell captured national attention when it announced that the exploratory well it drilled in hopes of extracting the first barrels of oil from Alaska’s Chukchi Sea was a bust. The company didn’t strike enough oil to make further exploration economically viable. Effective immediately, it’s backing out of the Arctic Ocean “for the foreseeable future.”...

Learn More

Solar Company Announces Huge Step Forward In Efficiency

They are calling it the “most efficient rooftop solar module in the world.” Residential solar company SolarCity announced that its Buffalo, New York “gigafactory” will be producing solar panels that are more efficient — and 30 percent more powerful — than its previous version. This is good news for customers. Using more efficient, more powerful modules means homeowners...

Learn More

Duke energy’s coal ash problems quietly spread

It’s no surprise that Duke Energy’s legendary coal ash problems don’t stop at the North Carolina border. As you may remember, Duke pleaded guilty to nine criminal violations of the federal Clean Water Act as a result of a massive coal ash spill in 2014 and mismanagement of dozens of ash ponds in North Carolina. Duke’s crimes landed the company a $102 million fine and...

Learn More

America’s wildfire crisis is getting worse. Here’s what Congress can do.

We have reached a new fire normal, a clear signal that a changing climate will inevitably require an adjustment to how we manage our forests if we wish to maintain the benefits they offer, such as providing half of our nation’s water supply. In response to this unprecedented wildfire risk, for the first time in its history, the U.S. Forest Service will spend more than...

Learn More

Arizona Trail Association receives State’s top Environmental Excellence Award

The Arizona Trail Association (ATA) was given top honors at Arizona Forward’s 35th Annual Environmental Excellence Awards ceremony in Phoenix. The ATA was awarded The Crescordia, the highest award given by Arizona Forward, for “their unique approach to fostering long-term environmental sustainability throughout the state” in addition to their Seeds of...

Learn More

Water Source for Alberta Tar Sands Drilling Could Run Dry

The source of water used for drilling in the Alberta tar sands could dry up in the coming decades, according to new research. The questionable future of the Athabasca River threatens the longevity of fossil fuel extraction in the world’s third-largest crude oil reserve. Scientists at the University of Regina and University of Western Ontario in Canada looked at 900...

Learn More

China Will Pony Up $3.1 Billion to Help Poor Countries Fight Climate Change

China followed up its promise to create the world’s largest cap-and-trade program with yet another significant climate policy announcement: It will commit to spending $3.1 billion to help developing countries slash their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change. China’s financial commitment, along with its new carbon market, are part of a...

Learn More

Cradle of Forestry Hosts Forest Festival Day and Woodsmen’s Meet

The Cradle of Forestry invites people of all ages to celebrate the heritage of western North Carolina during the annual Forest Festival Day on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015 from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. This is the Cradle’s largest event of the year. This activity-filled, family event commemorates the traditions of mountain living and craft in a unique and beautiful setting....

Learn More

So what happens when America’s seniors find out what climate change means for their grandkids?

Few things strike fear into the hearts of politicians like a disgruntled grandparent entering a voting booth. Seniors wield immense political power in the United States, a fact made plain by their voting record. In the 2014 midterm elections, a year of historically low voter turnout, nearly 59 percent of adults aged 65 and older pulled the lever on Election Day. Just 23...

Learn More

Emerald Ash Borer and its Enemy Wasps

Since emerald ash borer was first detected in Michigan in 2002, the non-native invasive beetle has killed tens of millions of ash trees across the U.S., and continues to infest new regions, including Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Within its native range in Asia, emerald ash borer is attacked by a variety of predators including several species of parasitoid wasps...

Learn More

National Public Lands Day 2015 on the BRP

For lovers of the Blue Ridge Parkway, every day is public lands day. But on September 26, 2015 why not make it official with a volunteer project? National Public Lands Day is billed as the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. Last year, more than 175,000 volunteers and park visitors celebrated at more than 2,100 public land sites in all...

Learn More

Keep Jumbo Wild

Deep in the wilds of British Columbia lies a rugged valley – cherished alpine backcountry that deserves permanent protection. At the headwaters of the Columbia River, Jumbo Creek cascades out of deep snowpack, past crumbling glacial ice, wildflowers, and grizzly tracks. The Jumbo Valley has long been revered for its beauty, and to the Ktunaxa Nation, it is known as...

Learn More

More than half of Senate urges reauthorizing Land and Water Conservation Fund

More than half the members of the U.S. Senate are urging chamber leadership to pass a bill reauthorizing a federal conservation program before it expires at the end of the month. Fifty-two senators, including 12 Republicans, signed a letter from Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) calling on Senate leadership to push a Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) bill this month. The...

Learn More

New Smokies Chief Ranger Announced

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Superintendent Cassius Cash announced that Steve Kloster has been selected as the new Chief Ranger. Prior to this position, Kloster was the Tennessee District Ranger, as well as serving as interim Chief Ranger during several temporary assignments totaling 27 months. Kloster succeeds Clayton Jordan who was recently selected as Smokies...

Learn More

With 765 wilderness areas, some are bound to have odd names

America’s hundreds of protected Wilderness areas have names as varied as their landscapes, with wide-ranging origin stories to boot. Names matter. The word “wilderness” still wrongly carries connotations of danger, desolation, even abandonment (consider the way we use it in popular idioms). This was all the more true in 15th- through early-20th-century America. The...

Learn More

California’s Historic Drought Is Now Officially Even More Historic

It’s been at least half a millennium since California has been this dry. The snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains — which provides nearly a third of the state’s water supply — is the lowest it has been in 500 years, according to a new study published in Nature Climate Change. The researchers compared blue oak tree rings during known time periods of precipitation,...

Learn More

The Forest Service just had to divert another $250 million to fight wildfires

Top administration officials wrote Congress this week to urge it–once again–to change the way it budgets for firefighting in light of the disastrous wildfire season in the western United States. The Agriculture Department just informed lawmakers this week that it will have to transfer $250 million to fighting the forest fires now raging, which brings this fiscal year’s...

Learn More

Man sentenced for trashing Uncompahgre National Forest land

A southwest Colorado man was convicted and sentenced to six months in prison for trashing Uncompahgre National Forest land, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Forest Service and the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office announced. Benjamin Yoho, 41 of Telluride and Ouray, was convicted after a one-day bench trial before U.S. Magistrate David West in Durango on charges of...

Learn More

Court clears Duke Energy plan to clean more coal-ash pits

A judge has rejected a bid by North Carolina’s environment agency to block Duke Energy, the country’s largest energy company, from removing toxic coal ash from more plants than required under a new state law. Duke Energy has asked to add three power plants to the list of four plants where they will begin scooping the ash, which is leaking arsenic, lead and other...

Learn More

Use of Electronic Cigarettes to be Subject to Same Rules as Smoking Tobacco in National Parks

National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis issued a policy memorandum prohibiting the use of electronic smoking devices in all places where tobacco smoking is prohibited in national parks. “Protecting the health and safety of our visitors and employees is one of the most critical duties of the National Park Service,” said Director Jarvis. “We are therefore...

Learn More

Week of free access to South African national parks

From Tuesday until Saturday, September 15-19, 2015 South African citizens will have free access to most of the country’s national parks. This is in celebration of the 10th annual South African National Parks week currently running under the theme “Know your national parks”. The week was officially inaugurated by Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa at...

Learn More

Evidence Found of Climate Change Positive Feedback

A new study has confirmed the existence of a positive feedback operating in climate change whereby warming itself may amplify a rise in greenhouse gases resulting in additional warming. The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, shows that in addition to the well understood effect of greenhouse gases on the Earth’s temperature, researchers can now confirm...

Learn More

NC rangers charge four people for poaching plants

State park rangers in western North Carolina apprehended four people recently for plant poaching at the Yellow Mountain State Natural Area in Mitchell County. It was the first such incident in state parks in recent years, though officials say poaching of galax, gensing and other plants is becoming more of an issue. Four people were given citations Aug. 28, 2015 by Ranger...

Learn More

Wild horses out West in conflict with National Forests

Threat to Arizona’s Salt River Horses Spurs New Battle Over Western Lands Soon after federal officials announced the imminent capture of 100 or so horses within the boundaries of a national forest near here — to be sold at auction, “condemned and destroyed, or otherwise disposed of” — a resourceful cadre of self-appointed guardians issued a desperate call for action....

Learn More