News

NASA is defiantly communicating climate change science despite Trump’s doubts

Posted by on Feb 20, 2017 @ 12:53 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

NASA is defiantly communicating climate change science despite Trump’s doubts

If you peruse NASA’s social media feeds dedicated to climate change, you would have no clue a new administration has taken power that has expressed doubts about the reality or seriousness of the issue. Every day, NASA has dutifully posted updates on Twitter (@nasaclimate) pertaining to climate change science, including some that are in direct contradiction to statements made by President Trump and some of his Cabinet picks. Steve Cole, a NASA spokesperson, said the change in the administration has not altered how the agency communicates...

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‘Grounds Keepers’ To Clean Litter From Major Trails Nationwide

Posted by on Feb 20, 2017 @ 9:07 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

‘Grounds Keepers’ To Clean Litter From Major Trails Nationwide

Minnesota-based Granite Gear announced this month it will sponsor a crew of 15 dedicated “Leave No Trace” thru-hikers to clean up America’s hiking trails. The brand selected its Grounds Keepers team to build on the success of the 2015 and 2016 Packing It Out (PIO) initiatives, which removed more than 1,700 pounds of trash from the Appalachian and Pacific Crest trails. The Superior Hiking Trail, Pacific Northwest Trail, and Arizona Trail are among those set for cleanup this year. Grounds Keepers will also pack out trash along the AT and PCT....

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Missing mailbox replaced on Washington’s Mailbox Peak

Posted by on Feb 19, 2017 @ 11:54 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Missing mailbox replaced on Washington’s Mailbox Peak

Eric Piggott of Washington hiked to the top of Mailbox Peak for his birthday this week – to replace a missing, legendary mailbox with a new, donated one. “The last time I saw the previous box was three weeks ago on my last hike there,” Piggott said. “In my talks with various people, I’ve learned that there have been as many as eight other mailboxes over the years.” The box at Mailbox Peak has drawn hikers for years. Hikers inscribed their names on the old mailbox, leaving treats and touching mementos. A 2008 Seattle Times report...

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Friends of South Cumberland State Park kicks off 2017 hiking challenge

Posted by on Feb 19, 2017 @ 8:40 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Friends of South Cumberland State Park kicks off 2017 hiking challenge

For the past several years, Friends of South Cumberland has presented a hiking challenge each year, designed to encourage visitors to explore South Cumberland State Park’s over 25,500 acres scattered across four counties. Last year’s challenge was called Hike Into History and focused on historical aspects of the park. This year’s challenge, Hiking in Mack’s Tracks, is dedicated to Tennessee’s well-known and admired State Naturalist Emeritus Mack Prichard. It recognizes the extensive work he has done across Tennessee, but especially in the...

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Things to consider before hiking in deep snow

Posted by on Feb 18, 2017 @ 1:02 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Things to consider before hiking in deep snow

Hiking through deep snow, especially in remote locations where trails haven’t been packed down, is a great workout, but it can be frustrating. Let’s start with the obvious. You’re going to sink down into the snow. There’s no avoiding that. But if you wear snowshoes, you won’t sink down quite as far as you would if you were just wearing boots. Snowshoes come in all shapes and sizes. There are snowshoes with traction spikes — also known as crampons — which help gain purchase when climbing hills. When selecting snowshoes, keep in mind that...

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Smokies park rangers need citizen science volunteers

Posted by on Feb 18, 2017 @ 9:07 am in Conservation | 1 comment

Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers are recruiting volunteers to adopt and monitor tree plots. The volunteers will collect information at tree plots throughout the park as part of an important research project tracking phenology, or cyclic and seasonal biological changes. For each plot of trees, volunteers will record when trees leaf out and when leaves start to change colors. They may also track the presence of target migratory birds. The phenology data will help scientists to better understand how plants and animals might be...

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Outdoor Retailer convention leaving Utah

Posted by on Feb 17, 2017 @ 3:51 pm in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Outdoor Retailer convention leaving Utah

After an unproductive meeting between Gov. Gary Herbert and outdoor recreation business representatives, industry leaders say they hope to find a new location for the Outdoor Retailer shows “as soon as possible.” “Unfortunately, what we heard from Governor Herbert was more of the same,” according to a written statement by the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), which has close ties to the massive, twice-yearly shows in Salt Lake City. “It is clear that the Governor indeed has a different perspective on the...

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Roan Mountain State Park named Tennessee ‘Park of the Year’

Posted by on Feb 17, 2017 @ 6:55 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Roan Mountain State Park named Tennessee ‘Park of the Year’

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) recognized Roan Mountain State Park, located off TN Hwy. 143, as the 2016 Park of the Year for its demonstrated excellence in innovation, sustainability, interpretation, resource management and fiscal responsibility. “All 56 Tennessee State Parks strive and succeed in achieving our mission to preserve and protect unique examples of natural, cultural and scenic areas,” said TDEC Deputy Commissioner of Parks and Conservation Brock Hill. “But Roan Mountain went above and beyond in...

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Revel in Teddy Roosevelt’s Legacy

Posted by on Feb 16, 2017 @ 12:23 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Revel in Teddy Roosevelt’s Legacy

The next fee-free day of 2017 is just around the corner. In honor of Presidents Day, all national parks will waive their admission fees on February 20. Take advantage of the opportunity at any of the sites that President Theodore Roosevelt helped designate himself or enjoy his lasting legacy which lives on at any of the over 400 parks across the National Park System. The thought of our 26th president calls to mind a few descriptors: rancher, Rough Rider, Bull Moose, and America’s youngest president, to name a few. Perhaps none are as...

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Antarctic sea ice shrinks to smallest ever extent

Posted by on Feb 16, 2017 @ 6:42 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Antarctic sea ice shrinks to smallest ever extent

Sea ice around Antarctica has shrunk to the smallest annual extent on record after years of resisting a trend of manmade global warming, preliminary US satellite data has shown. Ice floating around the frozen continent usually melts to its smallest for the year towards the end of February, the southern hemisphere summer, before expanding again as the autumn chill sets in. This year, sea ice extent contracted to 883,015 sq miles (2.28m sq km) on 13 February, according to daily data from the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). World...

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In this ‘weird, lost corner of America,’ the beach of your dreams awaits in the remotest national park

Posted by on Feb 15, 2017 @ 11:49 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

In this ‘weird, lost corner of America,’ the beach of your dreams awaits in the remotest national park

National Park of American Samoa, 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, is spread over parts of Tutuila, Ta’u and Ofu. It attracted 13,892 visitors last year, about what Yosemite gets in a summer day. Probably fewer than 300 of them found their way to the park’s greatest asset, a beach on Ofu with creamy sands, volcanic boulders, serrated mountain ridges and turquoise shallows. Although the park does have rangers, trails and a few miles of road, there are no campgrounds or lodgings, no snack bar, no shuttle buses, no entrance gate, no admission fee...

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This is what climate change looks like

Posted by on Feb 15, 2017 @ 7:01 am in Conservation | 0 comments

This is what climate change looks like

Two years ago this month, in a well-publicized and much lampooned political stunt, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) brought a snowball to the Senate floor to highlight the “unseasonable” cold and cast doubt on climate change. The Republican lawmaker would have been hard-pressed to find a snowball anywhere in his home state this past weekend. Oklahoma just endured a spell of exceptionally hot weather. Mangum, Oklahoma saw temperatures close to 100º F, setting a state record. The average February high in Mangum is 56º F. It is extremely unusual to see...

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The most scenic stretch of the Oregon coast: Boardman State Park

Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 @ 2:58 pm in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

The most scenic stretch of the Oregon coast: Boardman State Park

It’s hard to pin down a specific stretch of coastline as the most scenic – isn’t the whole thing beautiful? – but then again, it’s hard to argue against Boardman State Park for the honor. Officially the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, the 12-mile stretch of coastline runs along the southernmost part of the Oregon coast, encompassing high cliffs, stunning seastacks, beautiful beaches and secret coves. The area – once slated to become a national park – was established in the 1950s, named in...

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5 possible futures for the EPA under Trump

Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 @ 6:29 am in Conservation | 0 comments

5 possible futures for the EPA under Trump

Donald Trump has long talked about reining in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is in charge of enforcing federal laws on air and water pollution. It’s a top priority for his supporters in the fossil-fuel industry. But there’s still a lot of uncertainty over what, exactly, this will look like. Trump himself has been all over the map on the agency’s future. In Congress, there are bills floating around that would do everything from abolish the EPA to merely curb its powers at the margins. And, while Trump’s pick to lead the EPA,...

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7 Ways To Get Fit For Your Weekend Hike

Posted by on Feb 13, 2017 @ 7:19 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

7 Ways To Get Fit For Your Weekend Hike

Alright, so you’ve decided you want to go hike a mountain. Even the most fit person needs to be sure they’re prepared to start hiking — as climbing that big hill takes a lot more endurance than your average gym session. Your first hike requires you to not only be physically fit, but also mentally fit and prepared. What if one of your friends comes up and says “I did it — I bought myself some hiking gear — let’s go!” Well friend, that really is fantastic, but get prepared because having the right gear is just one of the most important steps to...

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Free Community Seed Swap

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

Free Community Seed Swap

Sponsored by Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy Every year around this time, anticipation of spring begins with the laying out of garden beds, checking the planting calendar, eyeing the Farmer’s Almanac… and the appearance of seed catalogs to browse and daydream of warmer times. With that excitement comes; CMLC’s 2017 SEED SWAP – a free sharing of seeds that staff, members, and volunteers have collected over the season. Yup, free – no cost to you, no dollars, and no cents. CMLC has set up a sharing station in the reception area in...

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From mountains to sea: North Carolina woman relives six months spent hiking the state

Posted by on Feb 12, 2017 @ 7:10 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

From mountains to sea: North Carolina woman relives six months spent hiking the state

  If you’d polled Kimberley Brookshire’s friends a couple years ago, they’d likely have said the chances were slim to none that the Charlotte resident would ever think seriously about leaving it all behind to hike more than 2,000 miles through North Carolina. “I wasn’t much of an outdoors person,” said Brookshire, 32. But she is now. Last fall, Brookshire became the first woman to complete a “yoyo hike” of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. In plain English, she hiked the 1,200-mile route from Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains...

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The Ozark Trail Could Make Missouri a Hiking Destination. Why Isn’t It Finished?

Posted by on Feb 11, 2017 @ 12:39 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Ozark Trail Could Make Missouri a Hiking Destination. Why Isn’t It Finished?

Forty years ago this week, state and federal officials in Missouri issued a dry document to announce a grand ambition. In a 43-page proposal dated February 7, 1977, they stated their aim to blaze a footpath through the Ozarks, the rugged highlands that roll across southern Missouri. It wouldn’t be easy. The native flora, fauna, terrain and certain human occupants made that area, for hiking purposes, hostile territory. The planners envisioned an “Ozark Trail” that could start near St. Louis and snake its way south over the...

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7 of the Grandest Adventures in the Southwest

Posted by on Feb 11, 2017 @ 7:44 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

7 of the Grandest Adventures in the Southwest

Adventures in the American Southwest are trips of a lifetime that will challenge you physically and engross you spiritually, leaving an unforgettable and enduring impression of the richest wild places on the planet. The Southwest contains literally thousands of amazing hikes. Therefore, Southwest Discoveries decided to separate the wheat from the chaff and give you the absolute cream of the crop. They rounded up 7 of the Grandest Adventures in the Southwest, treks they have experienced firsthand. As you immerse yourself in this landscape, you...

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Hiking Patagonia With National Geographic

Posted by on Feb 10, 2017 @ 12:11 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking Patagonia With National Geographic

  It took the world a long time to discover Patagonia, the trendy adventure area shared by both southern Chile and Argentina. While other mountaineers had been hiking and climbing the Alps and Rockies for over a century, Patagonia wasn’t explored much until the 1980s. In fact, the recreational area didn’t become mainstream until the 21st century, when more accessible transportation, lodging and tourist amenities were finally added. What’s all the fuss about? In between knife-like mountains, this is arguably the best place in the...

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Anatomy of a good hike leader

Posted by on Feb 10, 2017 @ 6:51 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Anatomy of a good hike leader

From lowering blood pressure and decreasing anxiety to reducing the risk of a heart disease diagnosis or reversing the course of diabetes, the benefits of hiking are numerous. The American Hiking Society also includes weight loss, stabilizing cholesterol levels and reversing the effects of osteoporosis among the many benefits. Hiking can be more than a good time — it can be good for you. Novice hikers, however, might not want to go it alone on the trails, and that’s where hike leaders come in. One of the most important traits to being a good...

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National Parks Commemorate African American History Month

Posted by on Feb 9, 2017 @ 12:09 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

From the bustling streets of Manhattan to the quiet wilderness of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the National Park Service preserves many pivotal, but lesser known, sites related to the African American experience. These places are among the dozens of national parks that convey stories of soldiers, educators, musicians, entrepreneurs, and freed slaves who blazed trails for all to follow. During African American History Month, the National Park Service will laud their accomplishments at hundreds of special events throughout the country,...

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Revisiting Malheur, one year after the occupation

Posted by on Feb 9, 2017 @ 7:08 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Revisiting Malheur, one year after the occupation

Allice Elshoff first saw Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 1959. The 82-year-old, who lives in nearby Bend, Oregon, still goes there “whenever I can get away,” to bird-watch and volunteer. But this spring, on her first visit after the January 2016 occupation by armed anti-federal militants, everything felt surreal, she says: She had to notify refuge staff in advance and stop at the gate for an identification check by armed U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees. There were no other visitors and few employees, so it was unusually quiet....

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The Trouble With Climate Change and Truths We Don’t Like

Posted by on Feb 8, 2017 @ 6:56 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The Trouble With Climate Change and Truths We Don’t Like

How does one reconcile the overwhelming evidence that the world’s atmosphere is being disrupted with the perception of the 30 percent of Americans who do not believe in climate change? Here’s a thought experiment: If there are 10 M&Ms in a bowl, and then you count the 10 M&Ms, you would have to “believe,” right? Many scientists aim to persuade climate skeptics by counting M&Ms — graphs of CO2 concentration, temperature records, and other scientifically observable measurements. So let’s count: The United States Geological Survey...

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Patagonia to Withdraw from Outdoor Retailer in Response to Utah Gov. Herbert’s Decision to Rescind Bears Ears Protection

Posted by on Feb 8, 2017 @ 12:23 am in Conservation | 1 comment

Patagonia to Withdraw from Outdoor Retailer in Response to Utah Gov. Herbert’s Decision to Rescind Bears Ears Protection

Last month, Patagonia’s founder and CEO, Yvon Chouinard stated, “If [Utah] Gov. Herbert doesn’t need us, we can find a more welcoming home. Gov. Herbert should direct his Attorney General to halt their plans to sue and support the historic Bears Ears National Monument. He should stop his efforts to transfer public lands to the state, which would spell disaster for Utah’s economy. He should show the outdoor industry he wants our business – and that he supports thousands of his constituents of all political persuasions who work in jobs...

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The Real Beauty of Forests

Posted by on Feb 7, 2017 @ 6:20 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The Real Beauty of Forests

It’s easy to forget all the amazing things forests do for us. Take a few minutes to discover why the trees in America’s National Forests play such a vital role in our world. The following infographic was provided by the National Forest Foundation. The NFF works with the U.S. Forest Service to care for 193 million acres of National Forests in 42 states + Puerto Rico. They have planted more than 4 million trees in the past ten years through partnerships with individuals and business.  ...

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The Wagon Wheel Project – Nuclear Fracking

Posted by on Feb 7, 2017 @ 2:33 am in Conservation | 1 comment

The Wagon Wheel Project – Nuclear Fracking

  A late-1960s Atomic Energy Commission plan to extract Wyoming natural gas with five underground nuclear explosions won strong initial support from the oil and gas industry and the federal government. Finally, however, the idea stalled, thanks to the emergence of more information on possible dangers, to Washington politics, and especially to intense local opposition in Sublette County, Wyo., where the devices were slated to be detonated. El Paso’s project became part of a joint effort between private industry and the United States...

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Pacolet Area Conservancy Kicks off its Spring Hiking Series February 17th

Posted by on Feb 6, 2017 @ 12:13 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Pacolet Area Conservancy Kicks off its Spring Hiking Series February 17th

Join the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) for five Friday hikes offered to the public, free of charge, this spring. The community is invited to enjoy the beauty of our Carolinas with PAC. Come see what the work of many conservation organizations have done for the preservation of area natural resources and take in the beauty of the arrival of spring. Starting February 17, 2017 PAC’s first trek will head to DuPont State Forest for an approximately 7-mile, easy, loop hike. The trail will lead hikers along old roadbeds, through a managed pine...

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Unified Warrior Foundation plans Continental Divide Trail hike

Posted by on Feb 6, 2017 @ 8:48 am in Hiking News | 2 comments

Unified Warrior Foundation plans Continental Divide Trail hike

Unified Warrior Foundation is planning a Continental Divide Trail hike, beginning in late March 2017. “Unless the issue of veteran suicide is constantly kept in the minds of Americans, it will silently disappear as many important issues do because of the vast amount of information we all have to compete with,” said Eshleman. “Keeping this issue alive is a fight in itself. Just as we fought for our brothers in combat, we must continue to fight to bring assistance and improvement to the current processes and solutions for them and their...

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Rebuilding our national parks would advance America’s proudest natural legacy

Posted by on Feb 5, 2017 @ 10:59 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Rebuilding our national parks would advance America’s proudest natural legacy

Many of our iconic places are suffering from neglect. From deteriorating roads, bridges and buildings to threatened environmental resources, these natural and historic treasures have fallen into disrepair. Conditions at most of the 412 National Parks, Battlefields, Monuments and Seashores have worsened in recent years because administrations and Congress have continually shortchanged parks’ capital budgets. The impact of so little investment in restoring key infrastructure has left a $12 billion dollar backlog to get parks, cultural sites and...

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2,958 miles of Kansas hiking trails just a click away

Posted by on Feb 5, 2017 @ 9:23 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

2,958 miles of Kansas hiking trails just a click away

Just a few clicks on a website and people can access information on 2,958 miles of trails in Kansas. That’s right, trails that you can hike, run, bike, or horseback ride. With a few more seconds worth of clicks you can find which trails are within an hour of your house, which ones you can complete in a half-day and which ones are graveled or paved. You can also learn what’s happening, that day or in the near future, for more than 30 outdoor activities ranging from archery shoots to wildlife viewing from all corners of Kansas, hosted by some...

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FAQ: The effects of WNC’s 2016 fall fire season

Posted by on Feb 4, 2017 @ 12:20 pm in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

FAQ: The effects of WNC’s 2016 fall fire season

Did the fires hurt wildlife? The impact will unlikely be large enough to affect overall populations, and long-term the fires will result in a flush of green in the understory that will ultimately benefit wildlife. Will the fires increase the chance of flooding and landslides? With more than a month elapsed since the report’s Dec. 12 completion and multiple heavy rains in the rear-view mirror, there haven’t seemed to be any issues. Many areas that the team completing the report initially observed to have water-repellent soil seem to be...

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Congressman who introduced national parks drilling bill got $250K from Big Energy

Posted by on Feb 4, 2017 @ 9:25 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Congressman who introduced national parks drilling bill got $250K from Big Energy

It’s safe to say that Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.) is no friend of environmentalists. He boycotted Pope Francis’s speech to Congress in 2015 because the pontiff addressed climate change. He received a score of 3 percent that year from the League of Conservation Voters, significantly below the House average of 41 percent. But his latest move came as a surprise to many. Gosar submitted a resolution this week that threatens to repeal the National Park Service’s authority to manage private drilling for oil, gas and minerals at 40 national parks,...

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Nantahala’s Panthertown Valley to grow, improve access

Posted by on Feb 3, 2017 @ 1:04 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Nantahala’s Panthertown Valley to grow, improve access

As president of the nonprofit Friends of Panthertown, Margaret Carton has worked for years to protect her beloved Panthertown Valley in Jackson County. As the “feet on the ground,” the group has worked since 2005 to maintain trails, install steps around waterfalls to create safe footing, and give educational programs. With a deal underway with Mainspring Conservation Trust and the U.S. Forest Service, the friends group will get to care for a bigger chunk of Panthertown. If fundraising is successful, the Mainspring land trust is set to...

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How to reset your body clock — and get better sleep — with hiking boots and a tent

Posted by on Feb 3, 2017 @ 8:36 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

How to reset your body clock — and get better sleep — with hiking boots and a tent

Are you sick of going to bed late and waking up tired? Then grab your hiking boots and a tent. A new study suggests that a couple days of camping in the great outdoors can reset your circadian clock and help you get more sleep. The circadian clock is an internal clock that tells your body when it’s time to go to sleep and when it’s time to wake up. Scientists track this clock by measuring the amount of melatonin circulating in a person’s blood at any given time. In a healthy sleeper, melatonin levels rise a few hours before bedtime, stay high...

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I Was a Black, Female Thru-Hiker on the Appalachian Trail

Posted by on Feb 2, 2017 @ 11:42 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The first person to hike the full length of the Appalachian Trail, a white man named Earl V. Shaffer, wanted to “walk the Army out of his system.” That was in 1948. Since the 1970s, when 775 hikers completed the trail, the number of “thru-hikers” has doubled each decade so that in the 2000s, close to 6,000 hikers covered all 2,190 miles. Most of those people still look like Shaffer—they’re white men. Only about a quarter of thru-hikers are women, according to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and though there’s little information about the...

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House Votes to Repeal Stream Protection Rule

Posted by on Feb 2, 2017 @ 6:06 am in Conservation | 2 comments

House Votes to Repeal Stream Protection Rule

  I am disgusted… for dozens of reasons, but let’s talk about the Stream Protection Rule. The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) of the Department of the Interior studied the effects of mountaintop removal coal mining for nearly the entire length of the Obama Administration, fielding more than 100,000 requests for comment. On December 20, 2016 they released the Stream Protection Rule, a regulation of the industry based on the results of their impact studies. OSMRE introduced the Stream...

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