News

New Mexico has sold 4 million acres of land to oil companies and development

Posted by on Mar 24, 2017 @ 12:08 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

New Mexico has sold 4 million acres of land to oil companies and development

  A Wilderness Society report finds that in a little over a century of statehood, New Mexico has liquidated about 30 percent of the land originally granted to it—nearly 4 million acres—and sold it to cattle ranchers, oil and gas companies, railroads and other development interests. The report underscores again why we should be skeptical of politicians’ guarantees that the land takeover movement won’t ultimately serve to enrich special interests at the expense of ordinary Americans. The findings arrive at a felicitous...

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Cougars confirmed in Tennessee

Posted by on Mar 24, 2017 @ 6:31 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Cougars confirmed in Tennessee

At least nine cougar sightings have been confirmed. Tennesee Wildlife Resources Agency said they will be monitoring the natural expansion of the cougar. All of the confirmed sightings listed are in Middle or West Tennessee. There are several possible reports in East Tennessee, but none confirmed by the TWRA. Zoo Knoxville Director of Animal Care Phil Colclough said it could be several years before more cougars are in the area. “Obviously they are coming this way there’s a few scattered records here and there and I think they will...

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Forest Service seeks input on trail maintenance priorities

Posted by on Mar 23, 2017 @ 11:55 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Forest Service seeks input on trail maintenance priorities

The U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region is inviting the public to help identify trails that will be part of an effort with partners and volunteers to increase the pace of trail maintenance. Nationwide, the Forest Service will select nine to 15 priority areas among its nine regions where a backlog in trail maintenance contributed to reduced access, potential harm to natural resources or trail users and/or has the potential for increased future deferred maintenance costs. The Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region manages more than...

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Guide to Hiking Shoes Infographic

Posted by on Mar 23, 2017 @ 9:15 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Guide to Hiking Shoes Infographic

Here are a few reasons why hiking shoes have more advantages over boots. Shoes are lighter and feel more comfortable than full boots. Because of additional weight, boots can lead to quicker fatigue. Next, shoes are preferred in hot weather. They cover less of your foot area. Moreover, many hiking shoes have mesh uppers thereby letting your feet breathe. There’s a lot of things to consider when buying your hiking shoes. Here are six factors to consider. Thanks to new friend Rein Jo Regaldo for sharing this infographic with us:  ...

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Labor of love in the wilderness

Posted by on Mar 22, 2017 @ 12:32 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Labor of love in the wilderness

Hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians who frequent the forests and mountain trails outside of Albuquerque and Santa Fe perform a vital role as guardians of these recreational areas. Each year, groups from local clubs put in thousands of volunteer hours to keep the trails clear of vegetation, repair weather- and fire-caused damage or create new routes to enhance the trail experience. They partner with agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Continental Divide Trail Alliance (CDTA), Albuquerque Open...

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Trump’s Wall Meets Texas’s Biggest National Park

Posted by on Mar 22, 2017 @ 9:38 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Trump’s Wall Meets Texas’s Biggest National Park

Will political expediency doom one of the Lone Star State’s most beautiful natural wonders? In West Texas, high in the Chinati Mountains — yes, there are mountains in Texas — it is hard to imagine a giant wall smack dab in the middle of this fantastic view. But there it is, in the thick of rugged desert beauty few Americans trek out to see: a gigantic, imaginary line, primed, if our enthusiastic president gets his wish, for a “big, beautiful wall.” It’s one thing to contemplate an all-inclusive border wall in the abstract, as many Americans...

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Driven by heat and high winds, wildfires are 10 times worse so far this year than average

Posted by on Mar 21, 2017 @ 4:00 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Driven by heat and high winds, wildfires are 10 times worse so far this year than average

Wildfire season, or the period between spring and late fall when dry weather, heat, and ignition sources make wildfires more likely, is already off to a devastating start, with fires already burning through a combined 2 million acres across the country — ten times the average for mid-March. Record-high temperatures combined with low humidity and high wind have created the ideal environment for wildfires throughout much of the Great Plains and into the West, destroying homes and property and resulting in several deaths. The influence of...

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International Day of Forests: 21 March

Posted by on Mar 21, 2017 @ 9:51 am in Conservation | 0 comments

International Day of Forests:  21 March

This global celebration of forests provides a platform to raise awareness of the importance of all types of woodlands and trees, and celebrate the ways in which they sustain and protect us. This year we highlight the importance of wood energy in improving people’s lives, powering sustainable development and mitigating climate change. Wood is a major renewable energy source – Wood provides the world with more energy than solar, hydroelectric or wind power, accounting for roughly 45 percent of current global renewable energy supply...

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Free guided hiking program returns across North Carolina

Posted by on Mar 20, 2017 @ 4:18 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Free guided hiking program returns across North Carolina

Blue Cross and North Carolina State Parks have announced the return of Hike NC, a free hiking program that makes it easy to hike and enjoy nature. As part of BCBSNC’s mission to improve the health and well-being of North Carolinians, they have partnered with the North Carolina State Parks system and others to offer Hike NC: dozens of guided hikes ready to be explored and enjoyed. Hikes are free, family-friendly and open to all ages, stages and levels. A trained guide leads each hike, making it easier for participants to enjoy the outdoors and...

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Bison Reintroduced to Banff National Park for First Time in 140 Years

Posted by on Mar 20, 2017 @ 7:01 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Bison Reintroduced to Banff National Park for First Time in 140 Years

Immense herds of up to 30 million bison once thundered across the plains of North America. Like their American brethren, overhunted Canadian plains bison came dangerously close to extinction in the late 1800s. In an effort to reverse the damage, Parks Canada on February 1, 2017 successfully restored 16 healthy bison—transporting them the 280 miles from Elk Island National Park, 30 miles east of Edmonton, Alberta, to their original, rightful home on the eastern slopes of Banff National Park. This is the first step in a five-year pilot project...

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Connecting the 367-mile ‘unfinished gem’ of the Oregon Coast

Posted by on Mar 19, 2017 @ 12:26 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Connecting the 367-mile ‘unfinished gem’ of the Oregon Coast

Few pathways conjure up more conflicting emotions than the Oregon Coast Trail. One moment you’re hiking to the top of a rocky headland and looking upon a vast sweep of ocean. The next you’re risking life and limb on the shoulder of Highway 101 as cars and trucks scream past a few feet away. The 367-mile trail, which stretches from the California state line to Astoria, brings hikers to Oregon’s most beautiful coastal viewpoints and cliff-walled beaches. But it also forces them onto one of the state’s busiest highways, sometimes for miles at a...

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Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club (RATC) seeks volunteer Ridgerunners

Posted by on Mar 19, 2017 @ 9:05 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club (RATC) seeks volunteer Ridgerunners

The Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club (RATC) created a McAfee Knob Task Force in the Spring of 2015 to focus on resource protection and management challenges around the region’s most beloved and iconic A.T. landmark, McAfee Knob. Rapidly increasing visitation, 76,000 people in 2016, has led to an increase in avoidable environmental impacts like litter, graffiti, trail erosion and problematic bear behavior. The McAfee Knob Volunteer Ridgerunners help mitigate these problems with outreach and maintenance. Volunteer Ridgerunners engage hikers...

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Volunteers needed for hiking trails near Fort Leavenworth

Posted by on Mar 18, 2017 @ 11:25 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Volunteers needed for hiking trails near Fort Leavenworth

Partnering with the city of Leavenworth Parks and Recreation Department, a nonprofit organization is helping to provide a new mission for military veterans transitioning back into civilian life. Military veterans are invited to join forces with community members in cleaning and creating trails and camp sites in Leavenworth, Kansas. The trail creation and restoration work also includes construction of picnic and fishing areas. The program also welcomes volunteer service from active duty military personnel. Construction is taking place at VA...

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Grant Will Help Friends of the Desert Mountains Upgrade Hiking Trails

Posted by on Mar 18, 2017 @ 8:21 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Grant Will Help Friends of the Desert Mountains Upgrade Hiking Trails

Blooming desert wildflowers served as the perfect backdrop for Friends of the Desert Mountains to receive the $25,000 Coachella Valley Spotlight grant from the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation. Each year more than 20,000 valley residents and visitors enjoy the Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center, off Highway 74, and hiking trails, which the organization supports. Friends of the Desert Mountains recognizes the ever-increasing popularity of the Coachella Valley hiking trails among residents and...

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Exploring new heights trekking in India

Posted by on Mar 17, 2017 @ 12:14 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Exploring new heights trekking in India

With the mighty Himalayas and several other locations throughout the country offering trekking choices, India makes for an ideal destination for adventure lovers. Starting from short day trips to longer duration intensive routes, people of various fitness levels can find suitable options. Star gazing, pilgrimage and expeditions to see flowers in bloom are among many of the reasons trekkers are undertaking their journeys, besides the immersive experience of being in nature. With the growth in online trekking communities and clubs, Indian as...

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Tompkins Conservation Donates Huge National Parks to Chile

Posted by on Mar 17, 2017 @ 9:56 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Tompkins Conservation Donates Huge National Parks to Chile

Tompkins Conservation signed an agreement with Chile’s government to donate 1 million acres for new national parks in the largest private donation of its kind for the South American nation. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet signed the deal with Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, the widow of American conservationist Doug Tompkins, who built a legacy protecting threatened ecosystems in Argentina and Chile. “This is a key step to treasuring this giant source of biodiversity and safe keep it in the public interest,” Bachelet said at...

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Hiker set to finish all Smokies trails in record time

Posted by on Mar 16, 2017 @ 12:06 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiker set to finish all Smokies trails in record time

Maybe it’s the beard. “I really enjoy having my beard full of ice,” Benny Braden, 44, said on coming out of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park after another long hike. “It was that way today – just getting covered head to toe in ice.” Braden, from Harriman, TN has been in the park a lot since Jan. 1. He’s on his way to setting a record March 18th for hiking all of the park’s trails – more than 770 miles – in the shortest amount of time. If all goes well, he should walk into the Sugarlands Visitor Center grounds having finished in two...

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Reintroduction and recovery of the California condor is a success story that spans many parks

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

Reintroduction and recovery of the California condor is a success story that spans many parks

Today, the California condor is regarded as one of the rarest birds in the world. In Pleistocene times, condors ranged from Canada to Mexico, across the southern United States to Florida, and north on the east coast to New York. During that period, condors were a common resident of the Grand Canyon judging by bones, feathers and eggshells found in caves where they once nested. A dramatic range reduction occurred about 10,000 years ago, coinciding with the late Pleistocene extinction of large mammals such as mastodons, giant ground sloths,...

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Trump’s Defense Secretary Cites Climate Change as National Security Challenge

Posted by on Mar 15, 2017 @ 12:24 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Trump’s Defense Secretary Cites Climate Change as National Security Challenge

Secretary of Defense James Mattis has asserted that climate change is real, and a threat to American interests abroad and the Pentagon’s assets everywhere, a position that appears at odds with the views of the president who appointed him and many in the administration in which he serves. In unpublished written testimony provided to the Senate Armed Services Committee after his confirmation hearing in January, Mattis said it was incumbent on the U.S. military to consider how changes like open-water routes in the thawing Arctic and drought in...

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Tenderfoot Trail offers unbeatable views of Tenmile Range

Posted by on Mar 15, 2017 @ 7:34 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Tenderfoot Trail offers unbeatable views of Tenmile Range

The view atop Tenderfoot Mountain in Summit County, Colorado is so expansive it can barely be captured in a camera lens. On the far left is Keystone Resort and glimpses of 13ers Mount Guyot and Bald Mountain. Also on the left, the Tenmile Range and Breckenridge Ski Resort unfold with unobstructed clarity. All the way down the line, I count the 10 peaks. The town of Frisco rests straight ahead directly underneath Mount Royal. The sleepy town of Dillon rests at the base of the mountain, nestled along the shoreline of Lake Dillon. Wildernest...

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Hiking Through Grief

Posted by on Mar 14, 2017 @ 12:57 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking Through Grief

When people grieve, they often need to do something physical to help them along. Some folks build things. Another option is hiking. Set a goal each day to reach a scenic viewpoint, but also try to find a place along the way where you connect to something solid and real. In the months following a loved one’s death, home is an unending flurry of details, doubts and despair, and you are unable to focus on anything for very long. Buddhism calls this “monkey mind,” when hundreds of thoughts are screeching, chattering, and jumping around,...

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The Trump administration really doesn’t want this climate lawsuit to go to trial

Posted by on Mar 14, 2017 @ 6:38 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The Trump administration really doesn’t want this climate lawsuit to go to trial

The lawsuit, brought by a group of 21 children and young adults against the federal government, alleges that the United States government has violated the plaintiff’s constitutional right to a healthy environment. The lawsuit is based on the old legal doctrine of public trust, which holds that it is the government’s responsibility to preserve certain natural resources for public use. Under the public trust doctrine, the children’s attorneys argue, the government must protect the commonly held atmosphere — and is failing to do so by taking...

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Hiking With Geeks lures nerds into the great outdoors

Posted by on Mar 13, 2017 @ 2:46 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking With Geeks lures nerds into the great outdoors

Geeks love nature, too. Mendel Kurland, a self-professed geek, figured that out in a hurry after hiking with a co-worker last year. The two talked about the fun of spending time outdoors, and on a whim afterward, he snapped up the domain name hikingwithgeeks.com. Then, last October, he started a Hiking With Geeks meetup group, hoping to lure a few nerds from their computers, labs and classrooms into the great outdoors. “Over that weekend I had 200 people sign up. I was just blown away,” says Kurland, who works in community relations for...

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Teenager Is on Track to Plant a Trillion Trees

Posted by on Mar 12, 2017 @ 11:48 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Teenager Is on Track to Plant a Trillion Trees

Children are not often invited to speak to the United Nations General Assembly. But there stood Felix Finkbeiner, German wunderkind in his Harry Potter spectacles, gray hoodie, and mop-top haircut—with a somber question about climate change. “We children know adults know the challenges and they know the solutions,” he said. “We don’t know why there is so little action.” The children came up with three possible reasons to explain the lapse, he said. One is differing perspectives on the meaning of the word future. “For most adults, it’s an...

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The hands behind the Forest Service’s iconic signs

Posted by on Mar 12, 2017 @ 7:08 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The hands behind the Forest Service’s iconic signs

Inside a storage room at the Forest Service’s Flagstaff Ranger District headquarters, shelves, floorspace and tabletops are crammed with wooden signs. Simple and sturdy, the signs are hand carved with messages marking everything from trails and riparian areas to places closed to camping or motorized vehicles. But these signs, rich in historic character, wouldn’t exist across the Coconino’s 850,000-acre Flagstaff Ranger District without the work of volunteers who spend hours creating and maintaining them, said Paul Dawson, volunteer...

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Spectacular bloom expected at Anza Borrego Desert State Park

Posted by on Mar 11, 2017 @ 11:02 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Spectacular bloom expected at Anza Borrego Desert State Park

  A spectacular bloom of wildflowers is underway at Anza Borrego Desert State Park in California, and by the middle of March, it’s expected to just get better and better, according to park officials. The area has been deluged with rain this season and the Borrego Desert is full of green with flowers in stages of both bud and blooms, a press release issued by the park is reporting. “We are on the ‘uphill side’ of the peak bloom and experiencing more open flowers with each passing sunny day,” the release states. According to park...

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National Park Soundscapes

Posted by on Mar 11, 2017 @ 6:35 am in Conservation | 0 comments

National Park Soundscapes

Natural and cultural sounds awaken a sense of awe that connects us to the splendor of national parks, and have a powerful effect on our emotions, attitudes and memories. From the mysterious calls of bugling elk in the Rocky Mountains to the patriotic, bugling trumpets heard across a historic battlefield, these sounds are part of a web of natural and cultural resources that the National Parks protects under the Organic Act. The sounds heard in each national park are uniquely special to that place. NPS invites you to experience our parks...

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Hiking Spain’s Oldest Trail: Camino De Santiago

Posted by on Mar 10, 2017 @ 12:28 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking Spain’s Oldest Trail: Camino De Santiago

One place to start the Camino de Santiage is along “The French Way,” the branch of the Camino that unites various routes through France and across Spain. It is one of the oldest and most-walked trails in the world, dating back by most estimates to the 9th Century. The Camino de Santiago is said to have begun when the bones of the apostle St. James were discovered by a farmer on a starry night in Galicia, Spain. People from all across Europe came to see the remains, dragging their feet through the same dirt that you can today. As you walk, you...

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13 beautiful trails to hike in Alabama this spring

Posted by on Mar 10, 2017 @ 8:59 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

13 beautiful trails to hike in Alabama this spring

Thankfully, spring is almost here. It’s a great time to get outside and enjoy all that nature has to offer. One of the best ways to get your exercise and see wonderful natural surroundings is hiking and riding a bike. Here is a collection of 13 amazing trails in Alabama State Parks. Hiking these trails offers a chance to see waterfalls, expansive vistas and abundant wildlife. The descriptionss offer details about the trail, difficulty, length and what you can expect to see on your hike. Some trails can be shared by hikers and bike...

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Anxious, depressed, distracted — what if the cure is just outside?

Posted by on Mar 9, 2017 @ 12:03 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Anxious, depressed, distracted — what if the cure is just outside?

For two decades, Florence Williams could sit on her porch at night and watch the alpenglow on the Rocky Mountains. Then she moved from remote Colorado to Washington, D.C., and started noticing the changes. “I felt disoriented, overwhelmed, depressed,” she writes in her recent book, The Nature Fix. “My mind had trouble focusing. I couldn’t finish thoughts … and I wasn’t keen to get out of bed.” Williams was suffering, she says, from nature withdrawal. She spent the next three years digging into the science of how nature works on our brains. In...

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Hiking under skyscraper-sized trees in South Carolina

Posted by on Mar 9, 2017 @ 7:17 am in Hiking News | 2 comments

Hiking under skyscraper-sized trees in South Carolina

Congaree National Park visitors not only look out across a flood plain swamp but up as well. Up into the forest canopy that rises to 160 feet high. The Congaree canopy, formed by towering old-growth trees, is taller than that of any forest in the East. The giant trees include a 167-foot-high loblolly pine. It’s the tallest tree in this wet-and-dry park, the biggest tree of its kind anywhere. A sky-seeking cherrybark oak and a swamp tupelo fall short of the pine by just 5 feet. The former is the biggest such oak in South Carolina and the...

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Women who made wilderness history

Posted by on Mar 8, 2017 @ 12:22 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Women who made wilderness history

Women around the world have always played a significant role in environmental conservation. There have been so many throughout time that some of them tend to slip through the cracks of history and mainstream media. On this International Women’s Day, let’s push some of those names into the spotlight. These are just a few of the thousands of women who have and are making big strides in environmental science, indigenous peoples’ rights, conservation of our planet’s natural resources, preservation of biodiversity and so...

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Britain’s 25 best spring walks

Posted by on Mar 8, 2017 @ 6:47 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Britain’s 25 best spring walks

The exuberance of spring is impossible to ignore. And for fair-weather walkers, brushing cobwebs off boots and searching out walking poles, it’s like a love affair renewed. Spring walking is a welcome assault on the senses – warmth, light and colour replacing the damp greys and browns of winter. Everyone has their favourite local walks, but these 25 circular routes have all been chosen for features in the landscape which come alive in spring, whether it be woodlands carpeted with bluebells, wildflowers along river valleys, moorland peaks,...

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Smokies Park Invites Public Comment on Cades Cove Solar Energy Project

Posted by on Mar 7, 2017 @ 2:31 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Smokies Park Invites Public Comment on Cades Cove Solar Energy Project

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials invite the public to comment through March 20, 2017 on a proposed sustainable energy project. The National Park Service is proposing a solar power system to support the electrical power needs of the Cable Mill area in Cades Cove. This project would reduce usage of traditional fossil fuels and provide opportunities for park visitors to learn about solar power and clean energy sources. Cades Cove receives approximately 1.8 million visitors per year. Many of these visitors stop at the Cable Mill area...

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Hikers to hit the trails in Allegheny 100 Hiking Challenge

Posted by on Mar 7, 2017 @ 11:56 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hikers to hit the trails in Allegheny 100 Hiking Challenge

The Allegheny National Forest chapter of the North Country Trail Association will hold its eighth annual Allegheny 100 Hiking Challenge (A-100) on June 9-11, 2017. The hike will take place throughout the Allegheny National Forest, and is billed as an endurance challenge of individual stamina, determination, and resilience. It is not a race. Hikers will traverse 100 miles, 75 miles, 50 miles or 25 miles of trail through rolling hills and stream valleys in a fifty-hour time period. Event organizers remind those who are interested that this...

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Breathe Deep (and then thank the EPA that you can)

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

Breathe Deep (and then thank the EPA that you can)

The postcard is almost 40 years old. Angelenos of a certain age will recognize it-a wide-angled, aerial shot of the downtown core of Los Angeles and its then, much-more modest skyline. Framed by the intersection of the Santa Monica and Harbor freeways, the whole scene is muffled in a brown smear of smog. Barely visible in the deep background, just poking above the thick toxic stew, is a snow-capped Mt. Baldy, the tallest of the San Gabriels. In the fall of 1972 you almost never saw its bold face. Now you can see Mt. Baldy every day, often...

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Tune up your compass in the Smokies

Posted by on Mar 6, 2017 @ 12:01 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Tune up your compass in the Smokies

Do you follow the North Star? For those sunny days when you’re hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park where the night sky is unfortunately unavailable to assist you with navigation, make sure you’re on the right heading with proper adjustment to your compass. Did you know your compass needle doesn’t point directly to the north? The earths geomagnetic field exerts varying degrees of influence on your compass needle as it swings around in search of the elusive North Pole. Magnetic declination, a critical map tool...

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