Reservation System Proposed at Arches National Park

More people are visiting Arches National Park every year, and the park superintendent is proposing a reservation system during the busy season to ensure they don’t have to turn people away. But the idea is fiercely opposed by the business community in nearby Moab, Utah, who rely on tourists and fear the system would be confusing and lead to fewer impromptu visits....

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The rewilding plan that would return Britain to nature

The UK has lost almost all its native wildlife, especially its forests and big animals. Rewilding would bring back everything from beavers to bears. Britain once looked very different. In place of sheep-strewn fields and treeless uplands, there were vast natural forests, glades and wild spaces. Within them, wolves, bears and lynx roamed the land. The first Britons lived...

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The Coal Boom Choking China

Chinese miners last year dug up 3.87bn tons of coal, more than enough to keep all four of the next largest users – the United States, India, the European Union and Russia – supplied for a year. The country is grappling with the direct costs of that coal, in miners’ lives, crippling air pollution, expanding deserts and “environmental refugees”. Desire for change...

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The EPA Just Released A Long-Awaited Study On Whether Fracking Causes Water Pollution

The Environmental Protection Agency released a draft assessment of its long-awaited study on the impact of hydraulic fracturing — also known as fracking — on drinking water resources in the United States. The report found that although fracking has, to date, been carried out in a way that has not led to widespread and systematic impacts on the country’s drinking water,...

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Vandalism on national forests all too common; do this if you see it

Vandalism on federal lands isn’t limited to hoodlums and miscreants these days, it’s becoming commonplace, according to information provided by the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest of northeast Oregon. Recently, an outraged visitor on the Deschutes National Forest watched as a family of three etched their names into a railing at Tumalo Falls. A photo of the...

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Peak Sand, Climate Change, And The Coastal Property Bubble

Taxpayers are propping up wildly-inflated coastal property values. At some point, we’ll stop doing that, and coastal property values will crash. Unless they have already crashed because Miami gets hit by its equivalent of Superstorm Sandy. Or because the smart money pulls out of coastal real estate ahead of time after realizing that our climate inaction has made the...

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Citizens Arrested While Defending Denton, Texas Fracking Ban – Even the Cops Thank Them

Three members of the Denton Drilling Awareness Group were arrested when they refused to move away from the entrance to a fracking site where work began June 2, 2015. Before arresting them, however, Sergeant Jenkins, a 30-year veteran of the Denton police department, thanked the three — Adam Briggle, a professor at the University of North Texas, and Denton residents...

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Oil, gas drilling threatens critical cultural heritage

Chaco Canyon and the greater Chaco landscape of northwest New Mexico draw people together in a unique and enduring way. These lands provide an opportunity to experience the Southwest as it once was – a vast open landscape rich in cultural history. Currently, this landscape beyond the national park’s boundaries is threatenedn. To the Pueblo people, Chaco Canyon is the...

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GOP pledges to “rein in” Obama on climate change

The Obama administration says a new federal rule regulating small streams and wetlands will protect the drinking water of more than 117 million people in the country. Not so, insist Republicans. They say the rule is a massive government overreach that could even subject puddles and ditches to regulation. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-West Virginia, is promising to...

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Companies have abandoned 8,000 coal-bed methane wells on public lands in Wyoming – Who pays?

Coal-bed methane was going to be the answer to Wyoming’s slumping oil-based economy. Companies flocked to the Powder River Basin in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when the promise of big money was available to anyone with a dream and ability to work hard. Thousands of wells popped up. The BLM oversees 15,662 coal-bed methane wells in the Powder River Basin alone, said...

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America’s Top Two Oil Companies Reject Climate Change Measures

Shareholders of ExxonMobil and Chevron — the United States’ top two oil companies — voted down proposals aimed at getting the companies to focus a little more on climate change this week. One of the proposals would have added an independent director with experience in climate change to the boards of both companies. That proposal got about 20 percent of the shareholders’...

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The EPA Just Protected Drinking Water For Millions Of Americans

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will have an easier time regulating water pollution under a new rule released May 27, 2015. The Waters of the United States rule, developed by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers, offers protection to two million miles of streams and 20 million acres of wetlands that, until now, were not clearly designated under the Clean...

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On garbage and tolerance in the wilderness

When Rick Bombaci went to work for the U.S. Forest Service in 2010 as a wilderness ranger, his friends were curious. What did he do in the woods all day, besides weave garlands and write poetry? In conversations at potlucks, he learned to skip fancy terms like “assessing resource damage.” He was a glorified garbageman, he said. His pickup route? Fire pits big...

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An experiment in privatizing public land fails after 14 years

It’s no secret that some state legislators in the West want to boot federal land management agencies from their states. They argue that agencies like the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service cost too much and are too detached from local values, and that states could make money by running our vast open spaces like a privately owned business. The Cato...

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State, national park leaders hammer out deal for Arches water

There is not much water in southeastern Utah’s Arches National Park. What water is there is vitally important to the flora and fauna of the popular high-desert preserve. State and federal officials gathered in the park just north of Moab to acknowledge the role water plays with a contract meant to protect the precious resource. The deal signed by Utah Gov. Gary...

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What Humans Are Really Doing to Our Planet, in Jaw-Dropping Imagery

Recently world leaders have encouraged everyone to consume less and think more about our impact on the environment. It’s a timely warning. Ahead of a series of major events later this year, The Foundation for Deep Ecology and the Population Media Center released a collection that illustrates the devastating effects of out-of-control growth and waste, and it’s...

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Camping season at hand: national forest sends out these reminders

Memorial Day weekend is the kickoff for the summer to come and traditionally is a very busy weekend at campgrounds and picnic areas around the Pacific Northwest, weather permitting. The Fremont-Winema National Forest of southern Oregon issued some information about this year’s camping seasons that applies pretty much all around Oregon and Washington, and all across...

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Mulberry Creek land added to Pisgah National Forest

The most beloved — and at times the most crowded — national forest in the country is getting a little more breathing room. Pisgah National Forest, which covers more than a half-million acres of heavily forested mountains, mile-high peaks, waterfalls, streams and rivers along the eastern edge of the mountains of Western North Carolina, just added another 517 acres of...

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Duke plans to retire Asheville coal plant, replace with natural gas

Duke Energy Progress announced plans May 19, 2015 to shutter and eventually demolish its 51-year-old, coal-fired plant at Lake Julian, opting instead to rely on natural gas to meet a growing demand for electricity. If granted state approval, the natural gas facility could be online by 2020 and would be built on Duke property near the existing plant. That facility...

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Divers Remove 90,000 Tires from Ocean Floor in Florida

Divers in helmets have begun walking the ocean floor off Fort Lauderdale to clear an environmental catastrophe that’s rested among the coral reefs for more than 40 years. An estimated 700,000 tires were dropped into the ocean off Hugh Taylor Birch State Park in the early 1970s in a failed attempt to create an artificial reef. At the time, before anyone had figured out...

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Oil CEO Wanted University Quake Scientists Dismissed

Oil tycoon Harold Hamm told a University of Oklahoma dean last year that he wanted certain scientists there dismissed who were studying links between oil and gas activity and the state’s nearly 400-fold increase in earthquakes, according to the dean’s e-mail recounting the conversation. Hamm, the billionaire founder and chief executive officer of Oklahoma...

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Anti-Arctic drilling activists hold #ShellNo protest in Seattle

An estimated 500 climate activists took to kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, and even a solar-powered party barge to tell Shell to get the hell out of Seattle. Rallying cry: #sHellNo! The oil giant brought a huge drilling rig, the Polar Pioneer, to the city’s port over objections from the mayor, city council, and a whole lot of pissed-off Seattleites. Shell plans to use the...

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Another Blue Ridge Parkway Vista Clearing

During the week of April 28, 2015, highly skilled sawyers from across the Blue Ridge Parkway met in Blowing Rock, NC and conducted intensive vista restoration work at Milepost 300 near Grandfather Mountain. With decades of growth in some areas, large trees now obstruct some scenic views and potentially impact the visitor experience. “Research consistently finds...

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Forbidden Data: Wyoming just criminalized citizen science

Imagine visiting Yellowstone this summer. You wake up before dawn to take a picture of the sunrise over the mists emanating from Yellowstone hot springs. A thunderhead towers above the rising sun, and the picture turns out beautifully. You submit the photo to a contest sponsored by the National Weather Service. Under a statute signed into law by the Wyoming governor this...

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Duke Energy fined $102 million for polluting rivers with coal ash

Duke Energy, the nation’s largest electrical utility, pleaded guilty in federal court May 14, 2015 to nine criminal violations of the Clean Water Act for polluting four major rivers for several years with toxic coal ash from five power plants in North Carolina. The $50.5-billion company was fined $102 million and placed on five years of probation for environmental...

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Forest Service Begins to Pave Way for Massive Urban Sprawl Next to Grand Canyon

The U.S. Forest Service began paving the way for a sprawling urban development near the southern edge of the Grand Canyon that would include more than 2,100 housing units and 3 million square feet of retail space along with hotels, a spa and conference center. The superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park has called the project one of the greatest threats to Grand...

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The GOP Senator In Charge of Homeland Security Disagrees With The Pentagon On Climate Change

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, says he disagrees with the Pentagon’s assessment that climate change is a national security concern. The Pentagon released a report in October 2014 that assessed the national security implications of climate change. “Politics or ideology must not get in the...

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Dixie National Forest hosting events for EarthFest

The Dixie National Forest will participate in Kanab’s Amazing EarthFest by hosting geology, history and fire presentations. Events will be held at the Red Canyon Visitor Center on May 15, 2015, beginning at 1 p.m. and continuing throughout the afternoon. Geology and history presentations will focus on the colorful red canyon region of the Dixie National Forest....

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How Garbage Spawned a Grizzly Problem at Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park, which spans more than a million acres of pristine Montana wilderness, is home to a variety of predators, from cougars to wolves to grizzly bears. Most of the time they pose no danger to hikers, for whom the adage, “They’re more afraid of you than you are of them,” holds more or less true. For more than half a century after the park was founded — on...

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National Kids to Parks Day is May 16, 2015

The National Park Trust and Buddy Bison, their lovable woolly mascot, invite you to join the nationwide day of play by discovering and exploring your local, state, and national parks and public lands on Kids to Parks Day. Children, families, teachers, cities, towns, and parks are gearing up for this year’s Kids to Parks Day (KTP), a nation-wide day of outdoor play...

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The coming revolution in energy storage

On April 30, 2015 the glitzy electric car company Tesla Motors, run by billionaire Elon Musk, ceased to be just a car company. As was widely expected, Tesla announced that it is offering a home battery product, which people can use to store energy from their solar panels or to backstop their homes against blackouts, and also larger scale versions that could perform...

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Congress considers treating wildfire like other natural disasters

As the West girds itself for what looks likely to be a fierce wildfire season, a bipartisan group of Western senators is pushing a bill to rethink the way the federal government pays to fight catastrophic fires. The idea is that the largest wildfires would be treated like natural disasters. As with big hurricanes or earthquakes, funding for them wouldn’t have to come...

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