News

From heatwaves to hurricanes, floods to famine: seven climate change hotspots

Posted by on Jun 24, 2017 @ 7:20 am in Conservation | 0 comments

From heatwaves to hurricanes, floods to famine: seven climate change hotspots

Seems like it could have been the edge of the Sahara or even Death Valley, but it was the remains of a large orchard in the hills above the city of Murcia in southern Spain last year. The soil had broken down into fine white, lifeless sand, and a landscape of rock and dying orange and lemon trees stretched into the distance. A long drought, the second in a few years, had devastated the harvest after city authorities had restricted water supplies and farmers were protesting in the street. It was a foretaste of what may happen if temperatures...

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Hikes To Explore Colorado’s Western Slope This Summer

Posted by on Jun 23, 2017 @ 11:40 am in Colorado, Hiking News | 0 comments

Hikes To Explore Colorado’s Western Slope This Summer

Colorado’s Western Slope is rich in backcountry hikes. Knowing where to find them — and what to expect on a trail — just got easier with a new guidebook by Grand Junction outdoor writer Bill Haggerty. The Falcon Guides “Hiking Colorado’s Western Slope” has details on more than 45 trails in Western Colorado. It doesn’t have just the standard route descriptions. Haggerty includes historical tidbits, geological information, suitability for canines, and observations gleaned from a lifetime of hiking in...

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Hiking and biking County Mayo, Ireland’s Wild West

Posted by on Jun 23, 2017 @ 7:20 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking and biking County Mayo, Ireland’s Wild West

When the sun breaks out in rural Ireland, you can almost believe in fairies. County Mayo is the kind of place that visitors imagine when they think of rural Ireland: whitewashed stone houses in impossibly green fields dotted with sheep; rolling hills that tumble into the sea or break off in sheer cliffs; narrow winding roads that lead to villages with pubs and fish markets; residents with an admirable patience who are happy to take a moment to chat; small towns with cozy cafes and restaurants serving local fare. Croagh Patrick reposes like a...

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White Settlers Wiped Thousands of Miles of Cherokee Trails Off the Map. This Man is Reclaiming Them.

Posted by on Jun 22, 2017 @ 11:47 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

White Settlers Wiped Thousands of Miles of Cherokee Trails Off the Map. This Man is Reclaiming Them.

These routes once snaked through the towering woods of Appalachia, before they were lost to history. Lamar Marshall has spent a decade painstakingly mapping them, and their rich history. Marshall cannot make it over the log. It lays across a small creek somewhere in the Nantahala National Forest outside Cowee, western North Carolina, as a bridge. His problem is a bruised knee, caused by a bang against his home firewood cord. Standing in front of the thick trunk, seeking another way across, he explains that while this particular log was not...

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What you need to know about wildfire safety

Posted by on Jun 22, 2017 @ 7:22 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

What you need to know about wildfire safety

Wildfire season is approaching fast. Poor air quality that limits athletic activity, the devastation of the places where we play, the release of climate change-causing carbons into our atmosphere, the economic impact on rural communities… these terrifying consequences are just some of the negative effects of forest fires. Unfortunately, wildfires are only just increasing in severity, size and duration. The average wildfire is now five times as severe as it would have been in the 1970s. Just about 20 years ago, the United States Forest...

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Hike in the Footsteps of Teddy Roosevelt

Posted by on Jun 21, 2017 @ 11:30 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hike in the Footsteps of Teddy Roosevelt

When Theodore Roosevelt took office as the United States’ 26th president, he was only 42, the youngest president in the history of the nation. He was also a fanatic for the outdoors, and was actually heading back from a hike when his predecessor, President William McKinley, took a turn for the worst after an assassination attempt and died. The presidency and life at the White House didn’t stop Roosevelt from enjoying a life outdoors, though. He had a tendency to take ambassadors and friends with him on intense hikes around Washington, D.C.,...

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Spiritual Adventures to Challenge the Mind and Body

Posted by on Jun 21, 2017 @ 7:11 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Spiritual Adventures to Challenge the Mind and Body

Any quiet walk in the woods can be a spiritual experience, and countless hikers head to redwood groves and high places to find a sense of awe. But if following a dirt track is a kind of prayer—the hypnotizing rhythm of feet and breath an ancient song—some trails are true religious pilgrimages, routes laid down by the faithful. From the high peaks of South Korea to an Irish landscape of heather and bogs, these hikes draw believers from around the world, following paths trod by Christian pilgrims, Buddhist monks, and Celtic pagans. And whether...

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Stages of heat illness: When you need to go to the E.R.

Posted by on Jun 20, 2017 @ 10:45 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Stages of heat illness: When you need to go to the E.R.

Did you know that 600-700 people die from heat-related illness every year? The elderly are most at risk, but athletic teens are too. And yes, even us hikers. In fact, heat-related illness is the third highest cause for death in young athletes. Specifically, football players in the month of August are at the top of that list. How sick you get from heat depends on how high your body temperature is. At Stage 1, your body temperature is between 98 and 103 degrees. Symptoms include: • Nausea • Increased heart rate • Vomiting • Flushing (skin turns...

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California scores its first big environmental victory of the Trump era

Posted by on Jun 19, 2017 @ 11:52 am in Conservation | 0 comments

California scores its first big environmental victory of the Trump era

There was one revealing bit of testimony on Capitol Hill recently – from Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. Pruitt told a House subcommittee that the EPA is not reviewing California’s lone-in-the-country authority to set air-quality standards tougher than those found elsewhere in the nation. For months, California politicians, led by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown (D), have aggressively positioned the state as a bulwark against the Trump administration’s deregulatory agenda – for example, striking...

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Kanarraville Falls: Best kept secret becomes nightmare

Posted by on Jun 19, 2017 @ 9:20 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Kanarraville Falls: Best kept secret becomes nightmare

For years, Kanarraville Falls was one of Southern Utah’s best-kept secrets. The hidden hike leading to a slot canyon waterfall was seemingly reserved for residents of the small town of Kanarraville. Over the span of a few years, the natural wonder turned into a big problem for the locals. They first noticed the increase during the Fourth of July weekend in 2004. Town council member Tyler Allred remembers being surprised by the 75 cars squeezed into the land between the edge of creek and down the hill leading to the town. “It was a...

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American Chestnuts in the Field

Posted by on Jun 18, 2017 @ 11:35 am in Conservation | 0 comments

American Chestnuts in the Field

By the 1950s, two non-native pathogens had killed almost all American chestnut trees. “There’s a lot of interest in breeding a chestnut that looks like American chestnut with the disease resistance of Chinese chestnut,” says U.S. Forest Service research forester Stacy Clark. “However, there hasn’t been much research on reintroducing disease-resistant trees to the forest.” In cooperation with the University of Tennessee, scientists planted American chestnut, Chinese chestnut, and the hybrid chestnut in the Daniel Boone National Forest,...

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Exploring the Hiking Trails of Olympia’s Priest Point Park

Posted by on Jun 18, 2017 @ 6:53 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Exploring the Hiking Trails of Olympia’s Priest Point Park

Olympia, Washington has a special relationship with nature and its parks. For generations residents have been taking friends and family members out into nature, enjoying picnics, hiking through forests and strolling along the beaches, connecting with the community and lands they call home. Since 1905, when it was first opened to the public, Priest Point Park has been giving families in the Olympia area fantastic access to a beautiful forest, a gorgeous section of beach and magnificent views from the madrona-lined bluffs over Budd Inlet....

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How dangerous are High Sierra conditions right now? Even experienced hikers say ‘stay out’

Posted by on Jun 17, 2017 @ 12:30 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

How dangerous are High Sierra conditions right now? Even experienced hikers say ‘stay out’

High-elevation hiking and backpacking in early summer typically requires a tolerance for snow and swollen creeks. Except conditions this year in the Sierra Nevada, with last winter’s giant snowpack starting to melt, are anything but typical. They’re treacherous and potentially deadly – even for the most experienced and best equipped wilderness travelers. “In a normal year going out in mid-June would still be challenging,” said Jack Haskel, trail information specialist for the Pacific Crest Trail Association. “This has not been a normal year...

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The Dutch Have Solutions to Rising Seas. The World Is Watching.

Posted by on Jun 17, 2017 @ 6:30 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The Dutch Have Solutions to Rising Seas. The World Is Watching.

Like cheese in France or cars in Germany, climate change is a business in the Netherlands. Month in, month out, delegations from as far away as Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, New York and New Orleans make the rounds in the port city of Rotterdam. They often end up hiring Dutch firms, which dominate the global market in high-tech engineering and water management. That’s because from the first moment settlers in this small nation started pumping water to clear land for farms and houses, water has been the central, existential fact of life in the...

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Federal judge rejects Dakota Access Pipeline permits, calls for do-over

Posted by on Jun 16, 2017 @ 6:30 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Federal judge rejects Dakota Access Pipeline permits, calls for do-over

In a dramatic turnaround, a federal judge has ruled that permits to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline must be reconsidered, and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has demanded the flow of oil through the pipeline be stopped. Completion of the controversial pipeline was stopped by the Obama Administration last December, with a call for an environmental-impact statement to assess risks. However, the judge wrote in his ruling, “As we all know, elections have consequences, and the government’s position on the easement shifted significantly once...

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‘I’ve never seen that much garbage’: pair of hikers carry out other people’s trash

Posted by on Jun 15, 2017 @ 12:28 pm in Hiking News | 1 comment

‘I’ve never seen that much garbage’: pair of hikers carry out other people’s trash

Two British Columbia photographers stumbled upon the ugly side of Joffree Lakes Provincial Park. Vince Emond and Devin Francis spotted the equivalent of three large garbage bags full of chopsticks, empty sushi containers and red party cups behind a boulder right next to the trail leading to upper Joffree Lakes. “I’ve never seen that much garbage clearly stashed. Someone was clearly trying to avoid taking that down … it was disgusting,” said Emond. The pair then found a tarp full of beer cans and a tent cover and its...

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Trump tells mayor of island literally sinking into the ocean ‘not to worry about sea level rise’

Posted by on Jun 15, 2017 @ 7:12 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Trump tells mayor of island literally sinking into the ocean ‘not to worry about sea level rise’

President Donald Trump’s supporters have been the subject of countless stories just since election day on the fact that they seemingly “vote against their economic interests.” But few stories note that they voted against their existential interests as well. Trump’s refusal to accept the scientific consensus on the reality and urgency of climate change poses a serious threat to communities across the U.S. currently grappling with its effects. The latest example involves a tiny island, Tangier, that voted overwhelmingly for the president and...

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The Shifting Window of Growing Seasons

Posted by on Jun 14, 2017 @ 1:01 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

The Shifting Window of Growing Seasons

When winter comes to an end, it’s no mystery that warming temperatures and spring rains bring new life. Wildlife emerges, flowers bloom, and brilliant green leaves begin to fill the ground and the forest canopy—all part of their seasonal cycle known as phenology. Observers know those green leaves don’t appear at the same time every spring, nor do they begin to fade away at the same time every fall. U.S. Forest Service and Park Service researchers now have a better understanding of the variation in the timing of spring and autumn across a...

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Despite tribal opposition, Trump’s Interior Secretary wants to shrink Bears Ears National Monument

Posted by on Jun 14, 2017 @ 6:47 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Despite tribal opposition, Trump’s Interior Secretary wants to shrink Bears Ears National Monument

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke recommended that President Donald Trump cut the boundary of the culturally significant Bears Ears National Monument in an interim report he sent to Trump. Tribes and conservation groups argue that this is a potentially illegal act and that Trump does not have the authority to eliminate sections of a national monument. “The review shows that rather than designating an area encompassing almost 1.5 million acres as a national monument, it would have been more appropriate to identify and separate the areas...

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Dust Bowl-ification of U.S. Southwest leads to 8-fold jump in Valley Fever cases

Posted by on Jun 13, 2017 @ 11:31 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Dust Bowl-ification of U.S. Southwest leads to 8-fold jump in Valley Fever cases

The infection rate of Valley Fever in the Southwest United States has gone up a stunning 800 percent from 2000 to 2011, as dust storms have more than doubled. New research directly links the rise in Valley Fever to the rise in dust storms, which in turn is driven by climate change. Valley Fever, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls “a fungal lung infection that can be devastating,” is caused by inhaling soil-dwelling fungus. When the soil dries out and turns to dust, the wind can make the fungus airborne. “Dust storms...

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Volunteers Needed for Rainbow Falls Trail Rehabilitation at Smokies Park

Posted by on Jun 13, 2017 @ 7:14 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Volunteers Needed for Rainbow Falls Trail Rehabilitation at Smokies Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is currently recruiting for volunteers to assist the Trails Forever trail crew for a rehabilitation project on the Rainbow Falls Trail. Volunteers are needed every Wednesday from approximately 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Volunteers must register at least one week in advance by contacting Trails and Facilities Volunteer Coordinator, Adam Monroe, by email or phone. The Trails Forever crew will focus rehabilitation efforts on several targeted locations along the 6-mile trail to improve visitor safety and stabilize...

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Olympic National Park: Mountains, forests and shores

Posted by on Jun 12, 2017 @ 12:25 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Olympic National Park: Mountains, forests and shores

Olympic National Park is located in the same state as Mount Rainier, the Cascade Mountains and volcanic Mount St. Helens, but it still holds its own as a tourist attraction and cultural touchpoint. While Rainier, the Cascades and St. Helens are merely mountains, the 922,651-acre Olympic is “three parks in one,” as the National Park Service puts it. Like them, it has snow-capped peaks, but the park also includes more than 60 miles of wild coastline as well as old-growth forest and temperate rainforest. Participants in the first expeditions to...

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California attorney general to Trump: You can’t touch our national monuments

Posted by on Jun 12, 2017 @ 6:39 am in Conservation | 0 comments

California attorney general to Trump: You can’t touch our national monuments

California’s attorney general argues that President Trump has no legal authority to revoke or modify national monuments created by previous administrations. In an 11-page letter to the Interior Department, state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra vowed “to take any and all legal action necessary” to preserve six California monuments that the Trump Administration may attempt to revoke or shrink. In April 2017, Trump signed an executive order directing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review all national monuments that were created since 1996 and are...

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Why Spending Time Outdoors Will Simplify Your Life

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

Why Spending Time Outdoors Will Simplify Your Life

Think back to the last time you spent some quality time in nature. I mean, really lingered there. Where were you? What did you do? Did you sit among a sea of grasses and listen to the blades softly sway against each other? Did you stand tall on a mountaintop and drink in the solitude? Were you gathered amongst family and friends, simply enjoying each other’s company without commercial and material distractions? Think about it a little more. Was there ever a time when you actually came back more stressed from time spent outside than when you...

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Federal hiring freeze causing headaches at Rocky Mountain National Park

Posted by on Jun 11, 2017 @ 7:37 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Federal hiring freeze causing headaches at Rocky Mountain National Park

Every year for over a century, thousands of visitors have trekked to Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) in search of adventure and beauty, and while 2017 will be no different, many visitors will experience delays and long lines for much of the busy season due to a slow hiring process and budgetary challenges. RMNP has seen record breaking attendance in the last few years, and was the fourth most visited national park with over 4.5 million visitors in 2016. This year seems to be following the same trend, with visits in April reaching almost...

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Oakland’s 510 Hikers Is All About Community

Posted by on Jun 10, 2017 @ 9:16 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Nicholas Collins is founder of 510 Hikers, a community group that gets together weekly at various hiking spots. Collins is an East Oakland, CA native who grew up in the Hillmont area, and Leona Canyon Regional Park was his backyard. Hikers meet with Collins every Saturday morning, from kids with their parents and couples wanting to get fit to friends, co-workers, grandparents — you name it. Collins believes in fostering a close-knit community with a family feel, so novice hikers will feel at ease knowing that they will never be left behind,...

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Towns to Trails: Creating a 200-mile loop trail in the Columbia River Gorge

Posted by on Jun 9, 2017 @ 12:12 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

In the not too distant future, visitors to the Columbia River Gorge will be able to do all or part of a 200-mile loop trail that connects wineries, breweries, lodging and restaurants. It’s called Towns to Trails. One of the gateway communities on the Washington side of the Gorge is Washougal, where a shiny new trail will be a departure point. Day hiking is already a very popular activity in the Gorge, but the nonprofit group Friends of the Gorge decided about 6 years ago to link existing and new trails together. The recently completed...

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Smokies National Park to Host “Women’s Work” Event

Posted by on Jun 9, 2017 @ 7:01 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Smokies National Park to Host “Women’s Work” Event

On Saturday, June 17, 2017, Great Smoky Mountains National Park will host the annual Women’s Work Festival at the Mountain Farm Museum. This event honors the vast contributions made by the women of Southern Appalachia showcasing traditional work led by women on mountain farms in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The event is from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 pm. Demonstrations among the historic buildings will include hearth cooking, soap making, corn shuck crafts, and spinning. Exhibits of artifacts and historic photographs will provide...

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Guide to Peru adventure travel and action sports

Posted by on Jun 8, 2017 @ 12:09 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Guide to Peru adventure travel and action sports

Located in the west of South America, Peru offers adventures as varied as its climate and regions. With arid coastal deserts, cooler Andean highlands and tropical rainforest it plays host to spectacular scenery and exciting activities. The landscape of Peru can be divided into three regions; the coast, the highlands and the rainforest. The coast is a narrow strip of land running from the north to the south on the east side of the country; it is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the east and the Andes mountains on the West. The land here is dry...

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Appalachian pipeline emissions would be equal to 42 coal-fired power plants

Posted by on Jun 8, 2017 @ 6:35 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Appalachian pipeline emissions would be equal to 42 coal-fired power plants

Given the crisis of global climate change, anti-fossil fuel activists have sought to draw attention to the climate impacts of extracting, transporting, and burning natural gas, whose primary component is methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Oil Change International, a nonprofit research group, studied one of the largest proposed natural gas pipelines in the Appalachian region and came away with precise calculations of the pipeline project’s climate impact. The Rover Pipeline, owned by Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) — the same company behind the...

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Through the Devil’s Doorway: Hiking the Bluff Trails of Wisconsin’s Devil’s Lake State Park

Posted by on Jun 7, 2017 @ 1:46 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Through the Devil’s Doorway: Hiking the Bluff Trails of Wisconsin’s Devil’s Lake State Park

Known as one of the Midwest’s premier rock climbing parks, Devil’s Lake State Park is also a hiker’s dream. This 9,000 acre park includes a 360 acre natural lake, banked on two sides with 500 foot tall bluffs, and over 20 miles of hiking trails ranging from easy to difficult. Located just outside of the town of Baraboo, Wisconsin (only about 40 minutes northwest of the Capital city of Madison), the park is within the Baraboo Hills, a national natural landmark. These hills are over 1.6 billion years old, and were once part of the Baraboo...

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U.S. Forest Service to Hold Open Houses on Pisgah & Nantahala Forest Plan Revision

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

U.S. Forest Service to Hold Open Houses on Pisgah & Nantahala Forest Plan Revision

The U.S. Forest Service will hold open houses across the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests from late June to early August, 2017 to provide the public with opportunities to talk with Forest Service staff about local issues, district projects, and the Nantahala and Pisgah Forest Plan revision. “Public attendance at meetings like these helps us to understand your needs, concerns, and values and helps you understand Forest Service programs and activities,” explains Allen Nicholas, Forest Supervisor for National Forests in North...

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Carbon Dioxide Set an All-Time Monthly High

Posted by on Jun 6, 2017 @ 12:09 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Carbon Dioxide Set an All-Time Monthly High

With May in the books, it’s official: carbon dioxide set an all-time monthly record. It’s a sobering annual reminder that humans are pushing the climate into a state unseen in millions of years. Carbon dioxide peaked at 409.65 parts per million for the year, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It’s not a surprise that it happened. Carbon dioxide levels at Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii peak in May every year. The news comes one day after President Trump announced his plan to pull out of the world’s...

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Allemansrätten, the Swedish right to roam the countryside, is guaranteed by the constitution

Posted by on Jun 6, 2017 @ 6:37 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Allemansrätten, the Swedish right to roam the countryside, is guaranteed by the constitution

In Sweden everyone has the legal right to walk, cycle, ride, ski and camp almost anywhere in nature. “This is made possible thanks to a Swedish right guaranteed by the constitution – freedom to roam. This right enables the Swedish people to experience nature and enjoy the beautiful Swedish wildlife,” says the president of Visit Sweden USA. Known as allemansrätten (meaning “everyman’s right”), the right of public access gives people the freedom to roam just about anywhere in the countryside as long as they “Don’t disturb – Don’t destroy.”...

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