News

On the trail of John Muir: Hiking in the naturalist’s footsteps around Northern California

Posted by on Apr 23, 2017 @ 11:45 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

On the trail of John Muir: Hiking in the naturalist’s footsteps around Northern California

John Muir had a passion for the outdoors that’s legendary and his extensive writings include accounts of his California adventures, ascending Mount Shasta in a snowstorm, walking all the way from San Francisco to Yosemite, and simply sauntering around Mount Wanda with his two daughters near his Martinez Ranch. Muir first arrived in San Francisco from New York by Steamer on March 27, 1868, according to newspaper accounts. At the time, he was 30 years old, and the story goes that Muir asked a carpenter on Market Street for the fastest...

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Why Hiking Matters

Posted by on Apr 23, 2017 @ 6:27 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Why Hiking Matters

Nature Deficit Disorder noun 1. The human cost of alienation from nature. Okay, it’s not actually in the dictionary… yet. The term was coined by journalist Richard Louv in his modern classic study Last Child in the Woods to describe the negative effects of a steep, one-generation slide in children’s exposure to the natural world. Louv points to the obvious reasons: safety concerns and the electronic communications that have turned childhood play inside out. What we once introduced to each other, child to child, is now a task for...

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Dog’s Death Spotlights Use of Cyanide ‘Bombs’ to Kill Predators

Posted by on Apr 22, 2017 @ 12:20 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Dog’s Death Spotlights Use of Cyanide ‘Bombs’ to Kill Predators

Sodium cyanide is considered by the Department of Homeland Security to be a potential weapon for terrorists. It’s a key ingredient in the M-44s, or “cyanide bombs,” used by Wildlife Services, an obscure agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to kill wildlife predators on public and private lands in the West. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, an average of 30,000 M-44s, deployed by the federal government in concert with Western states and counties, are triggered each year. Baited to entice animals, they’re...

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The Earth just reached a CO2 level not seen in 3 million years

Posted by on Apr 22, 2017 @ 7:17 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The Earth just reached a CO2 level not seen in 3 million years

Some records aren’t meant to be broken — but when it comes to climate change, humans still haven’t gotten the memo. Last fall, the Earth passed a major climate milestone when measurements taken at Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Observatory showed that atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide had passed — potentially permanently — 400 parts per million. This week, measurements taken from the same observatory show that yet another marker has been passed: Carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere, for the first time in modern record-keeping, has...

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America’s rapidly growing wind industry now employs more than 100,000 people

Posted by on Apr 21, 2017 @ 12:04 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

America’s rapidly growing wind industry now employs more than 100,000 people

More than 100,000 Americans now work in the wind industry, which is adding jobs much more rapidly than the economy as a whole, according to new data released this week. “We are hiring at a nine times faster rate than the average industry in the country,” Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), a trade group, said at a press conference. According to the report, 2016 was the second year in a row that more than 8,000 megawatts (MW) of wind capacity was added to the grid. There is now 82,000 MW of total wind capacity in...

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Tips for Scoring a Hard-to-Get National Park Backcountry Permit

Posted by on Apr 21, 2017 @ 7:36 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Tips for Scoring a Hard-to-Get National Park Backcountry Permit

by Michael Lanza - The Big Outside The first time I backpacked in Yosemite National Park, more than 25 years ago, I applied months in advance for a permit to start at the park’s most popular trailhead, Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley—and I got it. I had no idea at the time how lucky I was. I’ve since been shot down trying to get permits for popular hikes in parks like Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and Glacier. But I’ve also learned a few tricks for landing coveted backcountry permits in those flagship parks—which all receive far more requests for...

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Kentucky coal company announces plans to build the state’s largest solar farm

Posted by on Apr 20, 2017 @ 11:50 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Kentucky coal company announces plans to build the state’s largest solar farm

A Kentucky coal company announced that it is planning to build a solar farm on a reclaimed mountaintop removal coal mine and that the project would bring both jobs and energy to the area. The company says the farm will give jobs to displaced coal miners. Berkeley Energy Group, the coal company behind the project, billed it as the first large-scale solar farm in the Appalachian region, which has been hit hard by the decades-long decline in the U.S. coal industry. The company, in partnership with EDF Renewable Energy, is currently conducting...

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Groundbreaking for final phase of ‘missing link’ of Foothills Parkway

Posted by on Apr 20, 2017 @ 7:03 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Groundbreaking for final phase of ‘missing link’ of Foothills Parkway

It’s the beginning of the end for the “missing link” of the Foothills Parkway. While crews still are completing the bridges along the 1.65-mile “missing link,” the paving of the entire 16-mile stretch of the Foothills Parkway between Walland and Wears Valley is scheduled to get underway this spring, with a groundbreaking ceremony featuring U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., R-Tenn., among other dignitaries. “I grew up hiking, hunting and fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains, a national and Tennessee...

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Announcing a new champion for expanding the protection of precious natural resources and quality of life

Posted by on Apr 19, 2017 @ 12:22 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Announcing a new champion for expanding the protection of precious natural resources and quality of life

After a thoughtful and well considered process, the board of directors and staff of Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) in Henderson, Transylvania and parts of neighboring counties in North Carolina, and the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) in Polk County, North Carolina, and the Landrum area of South Carolina, are excited to announce a consolidation of the two organizations. As sister organizations, each with deep roots and strong histories of conserving and preserving lands in the areas served, they are uniting to create a new...

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How to Prevent Injuries While Hiking

Posted by on Apr 19, 2017 @ 7:16 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

How to Prevent Injuries While Hiking

Hiking is great fun for all ages and sizes. Like any other person who has the zeal and passion for amazing views and high alpine trails, sometimes you forget that the activity is strenuous and has several potential dangers. If you have been hiking for some time, chances are you have had a taste of what it is to get one of more of the following injuries. An injury from hiking can be severe, and you have likely read all sorts of stories about even fatal hiking accidents. The good news is that fatalities are extremely rare, and even injuries...

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A new kind of green: Developers trade golf courses for hiking trails, gardens to draw buyers

Posted by on Apr 18, 2017 @ 11:53 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

A new kind of green: Developers trade golf courses for hiking trails, gardens to draw buyers

A few decades ago, the go-to centerpiece for many master-planned communities was a golf course, with buyers clamoring for homes that backed up to the green whether they were avid players or not. Today, golf courses have faded from favor in new communities, giving way to more inclusive amenities, such as extensive trail networks, education centers and shared gardens that all give residents a connection to the outdoors as well as to their neighbors. Today, built amenities like pools, clubhouses and fitness centers remain popular. However, the...

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Walking the Garden of Ireland: Wicklow Way

Posted by on Apr 18, 2017 @ 6:26 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Walking the Garden of Ireland: Wicklow Way

The Wicklow Way is Ireland’s oldest way-marked long-distance walk. The 128 km long walk takes you through the incredible Wicklow Mountains and through County Wicklow, known as the Garden of Ireland. Wicklow Way passes through Wicklow Mountains National Park and through Glenmalure, the longest glacial valley in Ireland. You’ll also walk past Glendalough, a 6th century monastic city, which is one of the most important in the country. Some of the scenery may be familiar to you if you watch the TV show Vikings – you’ll pass Lough Dan and Lough...

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High Country Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway Chapter – Clean-up of Tanawha Trail, April 23, 2017

Posted by on Apr 17, 2017 @ 8:27 am in Hiking News | 1 comment

High Country Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway Chapter – Clean-up of Tanawha Trail, April 23, 2017

The High Country Chapter of FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian State Chapter, will host a clean up of the Tanawha Trail, Sunday, April 23, 2017 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. The Tanawha Trail, stretching 13.5 miles from Julian Price Park to Beacon Heights, parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway on Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. Tanawha, the Cherokee word for fabulous hawk or eagle, is an appropriate name for this trail that offers hikers spectacular views of distant mountains. Completed in 1993, the Tanawha Trail, like the final...

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What Gear Do I Need For Hiking?

Posted by on Apr 16, 2017 @ 11:55 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

What Gear Do I Need For Hiking?

Hikers in general are an eclectic lot. If you asked 15 different hikers what kind of hiking gear you need for a comfortable day hike, chances are that you will get 15 different answers. Of course, some of these answers will have a few items in common. You know, things like don’t go hiking in your flip flops. So preferably, the first piece of gear you will need will be good old fashioned hiking shoes. Others will tell you that all you need is your mind and natural instinct for survival. These are the kind of hikers who believe the universe...

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9 simple ways to be a better national parks visitor

Posted by on Apr 16, 2017 @ 7:48 am in Conservation | 0 comments

9 simple ways to be a better national parks visitor

America’s best idea, the national parks, continue to rise in popularity each year. 2016 saw the third year in a row where attendance to the national parks broke the previous all-time attendance record. Over 330 million visitors enjoyed the 417 national park sites last year, and that number is almost certainly going to increase yet again this year. With these kinds of attendance numbers, the National Park Service knows now more than ever is time to be a polite, respectful and considerate visitor to national parks. It is our duty to conserve...

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Public Library Card in Colorado Offers Hiking Perks

Posted by on Apr 15, 2017 @ 9:22 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Public Library Card in Colorado Offers Hiking Perks

When it comes to Colorado’s great outdoors, the Mesa County Public Libraries are here to help connect you to local scenic hiking trails at no cost. Bob Kretschman, Public Information Manager of the Mesa County Public Libraries said, “With a library card you can do a lot more than just check out books. This parks pass program lets you actually get out and experience what the state parks have to offer. ” All you need is your library card, and that’s it. Many different hiking passes are available for checkout including...

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National Parks are Fee Free the Next Two Weekends

Posted by on Apr 14, 2017 @ 9:18 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

National Parks are Fee Free the Next Two Weekends

The National Park Service has long encouraged visitors to avoid peak crowds by planning their trips in the spring. And to give you even more impetus, here’s another good reason to visit this month: free admission. For four days in April, 2017 — April 15, 16, 22 and 23 — the National Park Service will waive entrance fees at the 118 national parks that normally charge visitors. The fee-free days are all part of National Park Week, which is celebrated from April 15 to 23. In total, 10 free days are offered in 2017. After April, the other...

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How to Be Mindful on a Hike

Posted by on Apr 14, 2017 @ 9:11 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

How to Be Mindful on a Hike

“Hiking in nature provides an opportunity to tune in — both to our own experience and to the world around us. While it can be easy to get lost in thought or daydreams while hiking, the simple practices of mindfulness can draw us more closely into our experience of the natural world.” — Khalila Archer, program director at Inward Bound Mindfulness Education. Start by paying attention to each step. Simply notice each time your foot makes contact with the ground. Notice your body, moving through space. Feel the contact of air against your skin....

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Trekking the Danakil in Ethiopia

Posted by on Apr 13, 2017 @ 8:37 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Trekking the Danakil in Ethiopia

After a three-hour hike, you crest the ridge. Before you is the glowing caldera, filled with dancing fountains of lava. Ethiopia is increasingly making its mark on global tourism. Once just the province of dedicated Peace Corps workers and intrepid backpackers, newly built roads and new hotels are opening it up to the broader tourist market. But even for the most veteran traveler to Ethiopia — who has already visited the baboon-infested northern highlands, the nearly inaccessible mountain monasteries of the Tigray Region or the rock-cut...

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Artist’s brilliant National Park posters advertise a grim future

Posted by on Apr 12, 2017 @ 12:20 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Artist’s brilliant National Park posters advertise a grim future

Drawing upon the WPA’s classic National Parks posters, Hannah Rothstein’s new series envisions our natural treasures ravaged by climate change. With a wry and poignant twist, artist Hannah Rothstein has reimagined the great WPA posters once used to lure visitors to the splendors of U.S. National Parks. Where the original might have promised Yellowstone’s campfire programs and nature talks, the new version offers dying trout and starving grizzlies. Welcome to the National Parks of the year 2050 if climate change is allowed to stake its claim....

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The ecological disaster that is Trump’s border wall

Posted by on Apr 12, 2017 @ 7:09 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The ecological disaster that is Trump’s border wall

During the campaign, it was easy to scoff at President Donald Trump’s promise to build a “big, beautiful” concrete wall along the US-Mexico border. It sounded, well, preposterous. But now the prospect of a border wall is quite real. Trump intends to request $4.1 billion over the next two years to build it. The Department of Homeland Security is reviewing proposals for designs that are “physically imposing in height” and “aesthetically pleasing in color.” There’s a long debate over whether physical barriers on the border actually curb the...

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Helping You Find Uncrowded National Park Trails

Posted by on Apr 11, 2017 @ 12:49 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Helping You Find Uncrowded National Park Trails

The road less traveled—it’s an old adage, sure, but also advice worth taking when it comes to exploring U.S. national parks. After all, our beloved parks are crowded: Last year, they had a banner year, with 325 million visitors enjoying (sometimes free) time in the great outdoors. Particular park trails, though, are more crowded than others, and in 2016, 24 million people traveled the U.S. National Parks’ “most popular” trails—a more than seven percent increase from 2015. That’s where GPS wearable TomTom comes in. In an effort to...

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What to do if you encounter a mountain lion while hiking

Posted by on Apr 11, 2017 @ 7:37 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

What to do if you encounter a mountain lion while hiking

“You never know what you can encounter [while hiking],” said Mike Keckler with Idaho Department of Fish & Game. “That’s one of the things that makes [wilderness] so special.” While we may want to stop and snap a couple of pictures, Keckler says we should be aware of potential dangers – especially when it comes to mountain lions. “Always be aware of your surroundings, take the time to look around and just be thinking at all times,” Keckler said. “[Wilderness, particularly in the...

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Great Barrier Reef: Two-thirds damaged in ‘unprecedented’ bleaching

Posted by on Apr 10, 2017 @ 12:18 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Great Barrier Reef: Two-thirds damaged in ‘unprecedented’ bleaching

Unprecedented coral bleaching in consecutive years has damaged two-thirds of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, aerial surveys have shown. The bleaching – or loss of algae – affects a 1,500km (900 miles) stretch of the reef, according to scientists. The latest damage is concentrated in the middle section, whereas last year’s bleaching hit mainly the north. Experts fear the proximity of the two events will give damaged coral little chance to recover. James Cook University said governments must urgently address climate...

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Coal Companies Ask Trump to Stick with Paris Climate Deal

Posted by on Apr 10, 2017 @ 7:15 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Coal Companies Ask Trump to Stick with Paris Climate Deal

Some big American coal companies have advised President Donald Trump’s administration to break his promise to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement — arguing that the accord could provide their best forum for protecting their global interests. Remaining in the global deal to combat climate change will give U.S. negotiators a chance to advocate for coal in the future of the global energy mix, coal companies like Cloud Peak Energy Inc. and Peabody Energy Corp. told White House officials over the past few weeks,...

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Pisgah National Forest grows with Mills River purchase

Posted by on Apr 9, 2017 @ 11:50 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Pisgah National Forest grows with Mills River purchase

Just in time for spring trout season, anglers get an extra section of pristine river to savor. And the gift extends to all nature lovers who now get to roam free on a new – and critical – slice of Pisgah National Forest southwest of Asheville, NC. Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, Trout Unlimited, the U.S. Forest Service and South Asheville landowner Tom Oreck recently closed on a decade-long effort to protect the 84-acre Big Creek Lodge Tract in the Mills River Recreation Area of Henderson County. Recreation and conservation groups...

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An Argument for Caution in the Wild

Posted by on Apr 9, 2017 @ 6:42 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

An Argument for Caution in the Wild

BY MARJORIE WOODRUFF HIGH COUNTRY NEWS Taking a hard look at the soft line between acceptable risks and ‘what-were-they-thinking’ risks. Six: That is the number of times I’ve frantically dashed out of a slot canyon because it started to rain. Once that happened when I was leading a well-advertised Sierra Club hike to promote wilderness with a capital W. We had hiked in four miles to the start of the narrows and set up camp when it started to rain. “Change of plans,” I announced, and hiked everyone back out. Did I get a modicum of flak? Just a...

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North Carolina regulators approve solar microgrid in Smokies

Posted by on Apr 8, 2017 @ 11:51 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

North Carolina regulators approve solar microgrid in Smokies

Duke Energy got the official go-ahead for a renewable energy project that’s drawing praise from some of its most frequent critics. The “microgrid” system, atop Mount Sterling in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, represents Duke’s latest, small foray into linking solar energy to battery storage – a combination that experts say is key for the expansion of renewable energy. At Mount Sterling, about 40 solar panels could generate up to 10 kilowatts of power, twice what a typical home would need. Energy produced during the day will be...

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Inside the dangerous and unpredictable behavior of wildfire

Posted by on Apr 8, 2017 @ 7:14 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Inside the dangerous and unpredictable behavior of wildfire

Aircraft N2UW has flown through all kinds of weather. The twin-propeller plane is sleek, petite, and so packed with scientific gear for studying the atmosphere that there’s barely room for two passengers to squeeze into its back seats. Monitors show radar reflections, gas concentrations and the sizes of cloud droplets. The plane has flown through tropical rainstorms in the Caribbean, through the gusting fronts of thunderheads over the Great Plains, and through turbulent down-slope winds that spawn dust storms in the lee of the Sierra Nevadas....

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U.S. land agency website drops hiking photo to give coal top billing

Posted by on Apr 7, 2017 @ 12:16 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

U.S. land agency website drops hiking photo to give coal top billing

The U.S. government’s public lands website has revealed a new face, a wall of coal, as the Trump administration underscores its promotion of an industry that has seen hard times. The Bureau of Land Management, charged with overseeing programs on vast swathes of public lands, including cattle grazing, coal leasing and recreation, changed the banner photo on its home page sometime this week, web archives show. The banner of the agency, an arm of the Interior Department, is now dominated by a photo of a man and his truck dwarfed by a coal...

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Blue Ridge Parkway Announces 2017 Season Opening Schedule

Posted by on Apr 7, 2017 @ 9:12 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Blue Ridge Parkway Announces 2017 Season Opening Schedule

Chances are that you, like many, have already been enjoying the Blue Ridge Parkway during this unseasonably warm winter. The park unit welcomed more than 1.2 million visitors in January and February of this year alone, that’s 400,000 more than the first two months of 2016! But the scenic route truly comes alive starting in spring, and the National Park Service has announced its 2017 official opening dates for campgrounds, visitor centers, historic sites, and more. From back country trails and camping, to favorite picnic areas and full service...

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Camelback drummer creates public show while hiking

Posted by on Apr 6, 2017 @ 4:50 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Camelback drummer creates public show while hiking

While many in the Valley of the Sun have seen the Camelback Mountain Christmas tree, some may not know about the Camelback drummer. A TV helicopter caught the drummer’s performance during sunrise on a recent morning. Ken Koshio takes his music all the way to the top. He is a Taiko performer and an expert in the Japanese style of drumming. Koshio said he hikes to the top of Camelback Mountain in the heart of Phoenix, AZ almost every day, but on this morning he decided to take his drum with him. When the helicopter was overhead, he said he...

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The Risk of Lyme Disease on the Appalachian Trail Is Going to Be High This Year

Posted by on Apr 6, 2017 @ 7:19 am in Hiking News | 2 comments

The Risk of Lyme Disease on the Appalachian Trail Is Going to Be High This Year

Ticks carrying Lyme disease are rampant in the forests of the northeast, and the Appalachian Trail goes straight through the thick of them. This year (2017), a host of variables is coming together that could increase the likelihood of contracting the disease while hiking the trail, says Richard Ostfeld, a disease ecologist and senior scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York. In 2005, Ostfeld and his team compiled 25 years’ worth of data into one of the most comprehensive field studies on the...

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Land, water protection favored by both GOP, Democrats in NC

Posted by on Apr 5, 2017 @ 12:23 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Land, water protection favored by both GOP, Democrats in NC

Apparently protection for forests, parks, family farms land and clean water trumps all when it comes to taking political sides. This is according to a poll released April 4, 2017 that shows residents from all political parties across North Carolina support land and water conservation. Seventy-three percent of the 600 registered voters polled said they would support funding at the $100 million level for the state’s three publicly funded conservation trust funds. The three trust funds are the Clean Water Management, Parks and Recreation, and...

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