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Ultimate guide to hiking Coachella’s hidden canyons

Posted by on Nov 5, 2018 @ 6:15 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Ultimate guide to hiking Coachella’s hidden canyons

With all the chic midcentury galleries and groovy tiki bars populating Palm Springs’ downtown, you could easily spend a weekend hunting for Eames chairs and sipping retro cocktails. Browse and brunch all you want — no one will judge. But sooner or later, you’ll glance up at the furrowed hills that hug the city and feel an urge for something wilder. The desert does that. Tucked into an abutment of the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa Mountain ranges, the Coachella Valley offers a wealth of wildness. Beyond the manicured golf courses south of Palm...

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Come see forests and peaks, but clean up, New Zealand says

Posted by on Nov 3, 2018 @ 8:41 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Come see forests and peaks, but clean up, New Zealand says

New Zealand has a message for the visitors drawn by its deep mossy forests, bubbling mud pools and magnificent peaks: clean up after yourselves. A new campaign called the “Tiaki Promise” is telling everybody traveling to the country to take responsibility for looking after it. The country wants visitors to pick up litter and otherwise take care of their surroundings so that unsightly garbage won’t ruin the experience for others. Tourists flying on national carrier Air New Zealand will see a 2-minute video showcasing some of the country’s...

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Why do otherwise smart people do such dumb things in the great outdoors?

Posted by on Nov 2, 2018 @ 6:46 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Why do otherwise smart people do such dumb things in the great outdoors?

Two hikers died last week after falling from Yosemite’s Taft Point, located high above Yosemite Valley. What exactly happened is still unclear, but they almost certainly stepped off the trail, past the guardrail and passed warning signs before tumbling hundreds of feet over the cliffs. There’s been an exponential increase in the number of lost hikers, injured hikers and, worst of all, hikers who die on the trail. In recent weeks, we’ve learned of a California woman who slipped and fell to her death while taking selfies on a trail high above...

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Yet-to-be-discovered dinosaur fossils may be at risk after Trump slashed the size of Grand Staircase-Escalante

Posted by on Nov 1, 2018 @ 11:00 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Yet-to-be-discovered dinosaur fossils may be at risk after Trump slashed the size of Grand Staircase-Escalante

Southern Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument may have originally safeguarded untapped troves of ancient fossils, but the Trump administration’s unprecedented reduction of the monument has exposed vast deposits of these scientific treasures to potential energy development. Areas removed from the Staircase are nearly as rich in fossils as those that remain, according to an analysis by the Wilderness Society. “The fossil resources are throughout the original monument. The redrawn monument has no correlation with the fossil...

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Startling new research finds large buildup of heat in the oceans, suggesting a faster rate of global warming

Posted by on Nov 1, 2018 @ 6:30 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Startling new research finds large buildup of heat in the oceans, suggesting a faster rate of global warming

The world’s oceans have been soaking up far more excess heat in recent decades than scientists realized, suggesting that Earth could be set to warm even faster than predicted in the years ahead, according to new research published Wednesday. Over the past quarter-century, the Earth’s oceans have retained 60 percent more heat each year than scientists previously had thought, said Laure Resplandy, a geoscientist at Princeton University who led the startling study published in the journal Nature. The difference represents an enormous amount of...

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900 acres of Little White Oak Mountain become public land in Polk County

Posted by on Oct 31, 2018 @ 7:19 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

900 acres of Little White Oak Mountain become public land in Polk County

Conserving Carolina made 900 acres of North Carolina’s Little White Oak Mountain public, donating 600 acres to the state to expand the Green River Game Lands and 300 acres to Polk County for a local park. Conserving Carolina said that together, the 900 acres of conserved land in Mill Spring protect views of a local scenic landmark, approximately 13 miles of streams flowing into White Oak Creek and then to the Green River and rare natural communities such as an endangered wildflower, the white irisette. The land added to the Game Lands,...

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When nature hurls your garbage right back at you

Posted by on Oct 30, 2018 @ 7:05 am in Conservation | 0 comments

When nature hurls your garbage right back at you

As long as geysers are treated like garbage cans there remains the possibility of a trash eruption. Ear Spring geyser, located in Yellowstone National Park, had long been engorged by years of trash left inside of it by ill-mannered tourists. So naturally when the geyser erupted in September, unleashing its usual blast of searing-hot water and air, a nasty wave of dreck followed. The contents of the garbage eruption were displayed by the National Park Service. The agency advises tourists to refrain from treating ecological wonders like...

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Discover heart healthy hiking trails in Oklahoma

Posted by on Oct 29, 2018 @ 9:26 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Discover heart healthy hiking trails in Oklahoma

Fall is arguably the best time to get outdoors and enjoy physical activity. Autumn weather seems to create in us the urge to stir about for various reasons. The air is charged with the odors of the autumn season and one can feel and smell nature in its natural rotation. While squirrels are storing food for the winter, maybe we as humans are seeking a little food for the soul, stocking up for the coming gray winter days that will keep us housebound too long. So what better way to get into step with fall than trying to stay a few steps ahead of...

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Group hopes European style hiking in Cape Breton will draw in tourists

Posted by on Oct 28, 2018 @ 9:03 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Group hopes European style hiking in Cape Breton will draw in tourists

A group hoping to build a wilderness hiking trail in northern Cape Breton, Nova Scotia has now laid out its route. The Seawall Trail Society has just completed a proposed trail development plan, which would see the trail run for about 50 km from Red River, near Pleasant Bay, to Meat Cove, hugging the coastline most of the way. “It’s pretty epic,” said member Dave Williams. “One thing you want to aim for in an amazing hike is a large variance in terrain and scenery. And this trail has it all.” The proposed route...

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WNC Public Asked To Report Hellbender Sightings

Posted by on Oct 27, 2018 @ 8:57 am in Conservation | 0 comments

WNC Public Asked To Report Hellbender Sightings

With fall fishing in full swing, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is asking the public, in particular hikers and anglers, to report any sightings of hellbenders (water dogs) to the agency. Reported sightings are an important part of a long-term inventory and monitoring project for hellbenders that agency staff, along with partners, began in 2007. Agency biologists want to learn more about where hellbenders – gigantic, aquatic salamanders averaging 16 to 17 inches in length-are located and how their populations are faring. In North...

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Great Smoky Mountains Foothills Parkway to Open

Posted by on Oct 25, 2018 @ 9:47 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Great Smoky Mountains Foothills Parkway to Open

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announce the long-awaited section of the Foothills Parkway between Walland and Wears Valley, TN will finally open Saturday, November 10, 2018. The 16-mile roadway will be drivable for the first time since construction began in 1966. The route will include the 1.65-mile section known as the ‘Missing Link’ which is now connected by a series of nine bridges. The completion of the roadway was made possible thanks to a decades-long partnership among the State of Tennessee, Tennessee Department of...

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Mount Umunhum National Recreation Trail, California

Posted by on Oct 24, 2018 @ 10:35 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Mount Umunhum National Recreation Trail, California

The Mount Umunhum Trail passes through chaparral, under pine and oak woodlands, and over the headwaters of Guadalupe Creek. The trail emerges near the rocky summit revealing 360-degree vistas of the valley below, ridgelines, and nearby peaks. The mountain is sacred to local Native American people and is central to their creation story. “Umunhum” is an Ohlone word meaning, “resting place of the hummingbird.” The new 3.7-mile trail opened in September 2017, hosting over 1,00 people with guided tours of the trail and summit during the...

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A 14-year-long oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico verges on becoming one of the worst in U.S. history

Posted by on Oct 22, 2018 @ 2:48 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

A 14-year-long oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico verges on becoming one of the worst in U.S. history

An oil spill that has been quietly leaking millions of barrels into the Gulf of Mexico has gone unplugged for so long that it now verges on becoming one of the worst offshore disasters in U.S. history. Between 300 and 700 barrels of oil per day have been spewing from a site 12 miles off the Louisiana coast since 2004, when an oil-production platform owned by Taylor Energy sank in a mudslide triggered by Hurricane Ivan. Many of the wells have not been capped, and federal officials estimate that the spill could continue through this century....

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The Sailing Stones of Death Valley

Posted by on Oct 22, 2018 @ 11:41 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The Sailing Stones of Death Valley

Death Valley National Park is a strange place by any standard. Famously known for being the hottest place on earth, Death Valley also sits at the driest and lowest elevation in North America. Its strangest feature of all is the mysterious Racetrack Playa. Here, rocks drift across the flat desert landscape, seemingly propelled by no power other than their own. Located on the border of California and Nevada, Death Valley National Park was designated in 1933, and is home to one of the world’s strangest phenomena: rocks that move along the...

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Inside the New Battle for the American West

Posted by on Oct 21, 2018 @ 1:04 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Inside the New Battle for the American West

Deep in a box canyon in Utah, in the heart of the fractured land known as Bears Ears National Monument, there is a cave—a swooping, mineral-streaked alcove in a sandstone cliff. In December 1893 a rancher-explorer named Richard Wetherill pushed his way through dense reeds and discovered inside that alcove a stacked-stone ruin where a prehistoric group of Native Americans once lived. He named the site Cave Seven. Some would later condemn him as a vandal and a looter—but Cave Seven proved to be one of the most important finds in the archaeology...

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The Oregon Desert Trail is just that, complete with canyons and rattlesnakes

Posted by on Oct 20, 2018 @ 12:32 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Oregon Desert Trail is just that, complete with canyons and rattlesnakes

Though Oregon is often depicted in terms of Douglas fir-filled forests, the truth is that half the state is a water-starved desert. It is pierced by the Oregon Desert Trail, a 750-mile, W-shaped path that weaves through the state’s most arid landscape. The trail shows off some of the state’s unsung attractions, including the Oregon Badlands, Lost Forest, Owyhee Canyonlands and picturesque Steens Mountain, a single mountain that stretches more than 9,000 feet high and 50 miles north to south. Created by the Oregon Natural Desert Association...

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Is Resistance Futile? Cigarette Butts Still Dominate Public Lands Litter

Posted by on Oct 19, 2018 @ 7:04 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Is Resistance Futile? Cigarette Butts Still Dominate Public Lands Litter

Smokers burn through 6 trillion cigarettes every year, and most are tossed into the environment. Butts contain microplastics and harmful chemicals, and new research suggests they may be directly toxic to wildlife. Efforts to curb butt litter have been largely futile. For the environmental advocacy group Surfrider, a plan to curb the littering of cigarette butts began with energetic optimism. It was 1992, and at the time, cigarette filters were the single most frequently occurring item found in most beach cleanups – a statistic the...

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Blind Athlete Achieves Dream: Hiking Grand Canyon

Posted by on Oct 18, 2018 @ 1:03 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Blind Paralympic cyclist Shawn Cheshire, 43, recently faced her biggest challenge — a rim-to-rim hike through the Grand Canyon. Cheshire crossed 68 kilometers of steep and uneven terrain, hiking through the night and finishing in 24 hours and 15 minutes — believed to be a record by a blind hiker. “The last couple of years, I’ve been on this desperate purpose of grasping as much independence as possible,” Cheshire said. “And so for me, being able to walk in the Grand Canyon like that, that’s freedom.” Cheshire lost her sight...

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Biodiversity Inventory Reaches 1,000 New Species Mark at GSMNP

Posted by on Oct 17, 2018 @ 7:15 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Biodiversity Inventory Reaches 1,000 New Species Mark at GSMNP

Great Smoky Mountains National Park and its non-profit partner, Discover Life in America (DLIA), recently celebrated the 20th year of the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) with the announcement of a major milestone of the project – 1,000 new species to science! Over the last 20 years, many species have been documented in the park for the first time, but the number of species discovered that are completely new to science – meaning they haven’t been documented anywhere on Earth before – is truly amazing. The most recent...

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The 7 most amazing pilgrimage paths you’ve never heard of

Posted by on Oct 16, 2018 @ 9:17 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The 7 most amazing pilgrimage paths you’ve never heard of

Pilgrims walked the St. Olav Ways in Norway from 1031 until the 1500s, when the Catholic pilgrimage was banned following the Protestant Reformation. In 1997, Norway revived the ancient routes and included signage for them. Today, you have your choice of six pilgrim routes, all of which lead to the impressive Nidarosdomen cathedral in Trondheim. If you’re unsure which route to choose, it’s hard to go wrong since all 1,200 miles of the St. Olav Ways pass through quaint villages and peaceful landscapes. That said, the majority of pilgrims opt...

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’Hyperalarming’ study shows massive insect loss

Posted by on Oct 15, 2018 @ 3:18 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

’Hyperalarming’ study shows massive insect loss

Insects around the world are in a crisis, according to a small but growing number of long-term studies showing dramatic declines in invertebrate populations. A new report suggests that the problem is more widespread than scientists realized. Huge numbers of bugs have been lost in a pristine national forest in Puerto Rico, the study found, and the forest’s insect-eating animals have gone missing, too. In 2014, an international team of biologists estimated that, in the past 35 years, the abundance of invertebrates such as beetles and bees had...

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Huge reduction in meat-eating ‘essential’ to avoid climate breakdown

Posted by on Oct 15, 2018 @ 9:09 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Huge reduction in meat-eating ‘essential’ to avoid climate breakdown

Huge reductions in meat-eating are essential to avoid dangerous climate change, according to the most comprehensive analysis yet of the food system’s impact on the environment. In western countries, beef consumption needs to fall by 90% and be replaced by five times more beans and lentils. The research also finds that enormous changes to farming are needed to avoid destroying the planet’s ability to feed the 10 billion people expected to be on the planet in a few decades. Food production already causes great damage to the environment, via...

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Armenia is emerging as a hiking destination. It’s not quite there, but oh, the views.

Posted by on Oct 14, 2018 @ 11:13 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Armenia is emerging as a hiking destination. It’s not quite there, but oh, the views.

For much of the last century, nobody would have considered the former Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic a hiking destination. But a few decades of independence and a strengthening democratic government have given the little nation a growing reputation as an interesting, safe hiking place. Hikers from France, England, Canada, Belgium and Australia are all coming. Smithsonian magazine earlier this year identified Armenia as one of the next world-class hiking destinations. The country’s beautifully wooded Dilijan National Park resembles Great...

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Hikers In Breckenridge Are Being Greeted By A Giant, Mysterious Troll

Posted by on Oct 13, 2018 @ 9:04 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hikers In Breckenridge Are Being Greeted By A Giant, Mysterious Troll

Generally, encountering a literal troll is a pretty sedentary activity because they don’t exist, so you are only going to roll up on one in a book, movie, tv show, tabletop game, or the comments of an internet article. And this is an overwhelmingly good thing, as trolls tend to be incredibly ugly, aggressive and slow-witted. Now, however, people in Colorado can both go for a hike and meet a troll, and though it might sound scary, it’s actually quite awesome. In August of this year, Danish artist Thomas Dambo finished installing a 15-foot tall...

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Joshua Tree National Park: Into the wild, hours from L.A.

Posted by on Oct 12, 2018 @ 7:17 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Joshua Tree National Park: Into the wild, hours from L.A.

We were surrounded by trees that could have been drawn by Dr. Seuss. A desert hare had just crossed the trail in front of us, its ears translucent in the still-rising sun. But it was something else that caught my 28-year-old son’s attention. “I can’t believe how silent it is out here,” he said. This was an offhand comment. I agreed, but said nothing. We walked on. So I think I know the answer to the questions I brought with me to Joshua Tree National Park that morning. Can a person find isolation, silence and beauty in a visit measured in...

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Has Vandalism in Our National Monuments Gotten Worse?

Posted by on Oct 11, 2018 @ 6:52 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Has Vandalism in Our National Monuments Gotten Worse?

Peter Jensen, an environmental coordinator for Patagonia who’s based in Salt Lake City, embarked with a colleague on a three-day backpacking trip through the Upper Paria River Canyon, a picturesque red rock canyon in southern Utah. “The place is magical,” Jensen said. “It’s a wilderness in the true sense of the word.” Jensen was entranced by the scenery, but dismayed by what he saw at his feet. The Upper Paria is one small piece of the more than 850,000 acres cut from the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by Donald Trump in December...

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These are the companies being blamed for creating the most plastic pollution in the world’s oceans

Posted by on Oct 11, 2018 @ 7:01 am in Conservation | 0 comments

These are the companies being blamed for creating the most plastic pollution in the world’s oceans

The companies which are blamed for producing the highest amounts of plastic found in our oceans have been revealed. Environmental charity Greenpeace has released data following a nine-month study carried out across 42 countries – as it emerges that a truckload of plastic is dumped in the sea every MINUTE. Researchers found that Coca-Cola is the brand with the most items discovered in the oceans, followed by PepsiCo, Nestle, Danone and Mondelez International. The top three, a report named Break Free From Plastic discovered, account for...

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Hiking a new mega-trail in the Balkans

Posted by on Oct 10, 2018 @ 9:50 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking a new mega-trail in the Balkans

Close to the top of Mount Maglić, on the Bosnia-Montenegro border, a deafening clap of thunder rips across rugged Piva national park. The summit of the 2,386-metre limestone peak is not far away, but with a glance at the darkening sky, the guide decides it’s best to turn back. We weave our way down towards perfectly heart-shaped Lake Trnovačko, just reaching a forest as the downpour hits. When the storm passes, the view across the valley is our reward – glittering, luminous and streaked with post-squall mist. The slopes are lined with tufted...

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New Mountains-to-Sea Trail segment completes path from Clingmans Dome to Stone Mountain

Posted by on Oct 9, 2018 @ 6:42 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

New Mountains-to-Sea Trail segment completes path from Clingmans Dome to Stone Mountain

Leadership from state and national parks, volunteers, local officials, and trail enthusiasts gathered at Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Oct. 3, 2018 to celebrate the completion of a 300-mile connection on North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea State Trail (MST). State trails staff, members of the Carolina Mountain Club and other volunteers and supporters recently completed construction on a linchpin 8-mile section near the Blue Ridge Parkway in Swain County. That segment completes a continuous footpath from Clingmans Dome in Great...

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Huge risk if global warming passes 1.5C, warns landmark UN report

Posted by on Oct 8, 2018 @ 12:26 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Huge risk if global warming passes 1.5C, warns landmark UN report

The world’s leading climate scientists have warned there is only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people. The authors of the landmark report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released today say urgent and unprecedented changes are needed to reach the target, which they say is affordable and feasible although it lies at the most ambitious end of...

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The Bay Area Ridge Trail: Bays, Bridges, and Some Really Big Trees

Posted by on Oct 8, 2018 @ 7:00 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Bay Area Ridge Trail: Bays, Bridges, and Some Really Big Trees

Despite the San Francisco Bay Area being highly occupied, a lot of land within it is protected and set aside for recreational use. Like any loop trail, starting and ending points can be wherever a thru-hiker wants. The Bay Area Ridge Trail’s southern tip sits below farmland in Gilroy, known for its pervasive (and delicious) garlic aroma. Going clockwise, it travels north along the Santa Cruz mountains and up the peninsula, cutting next to the coast before taking a sharp right upon reaching San Francisco so you can go over Twin Peaks. It...

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Jenny Lake, the breathtaking centerpiece of Grand Teton National Park, gets a refresh

Posted by on Oct 7, 2018 @ 8:54 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Jenny Lake, the breathtaking centerpiece of Grand Teton National Park, gets a refresh

Named after Jenny Leigh, the Shoshone wife of British fur trapper Richard “Beaver Dick” Leigh, Jenny Lake is a hole formed about 12,000 years ago by glaciers pushing rock and debris out of Cascade Canyon. The many cascades and creeks in this canyon filled the hole, which is about 420 feet deep, with water. When Grand Teton National Park (GTNP) was founded in 1929 it was only about one-third the size it is today, and Jenny Lake was one of only six lakes included in it. For the first time since the Civilian Conservation Corps constructed the...

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Europe’s best wilderness cabins and mountain huts for hikers

Posted by on Oct 6, 2018 @ 8:31 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Europe’s best wilderness cabins and mountain huts for hikers

From designer dens to remote refuges, there are thousands of – often free – walkers’ huts in amazing locations across Europe. Finland has a huge network of open wilderness huts across its 40 national parks, where hikers, skiers and canoers can spend one or two nights for free. Most are log cabins, some dating back to the 1900s; more unusual huts include a former lifeboat rescue station on Koivuluoto Island and an ex-military canteen on Ulko-Tammio Island, both in the Gulf of Finland national park; and a former fire guard’s home in Rokua...

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Meet the ‘Art Rangers’ Trying to Save National Parks

Posted by on Oct 5, 2018 @ 7:28 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Meet the ‘Art Rangers’ Trying to Save National Parks

Oscar Nilsson and Alex Tatem are trying to save America’s national parks—one photo at a time. Nilsson and Tatem run the Art Rangers, a nonprofit online art gallery that sells national park-inspired works of art, with 100 percent of the proceeds going toward the National Park Foundation, the official charity of the National Park Service. “At its core, it’s artists using their art to help protect the parks, whether it’s photography, sculpture, oil painting, music, or whatever it is,” Nilsson says. “Anything really that has some kind of...

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Wasting Away

Posted by on Oct 4, 2018 @ 12:50 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Wasting Away

With the naked eye, it’s impossible to discern early signs of chronic wasting disease in elk. For years after they become infected, these monumental animals go about their lives — ambling into the high country in summer and back down to the valleys in winter, mating in fall and calving in spring. But then a few weeks before they die, they become thin, and their ribs and hipbones protrude. They salivate, droop their ears and don’t run away from humans as healthy elk would. “They get a look on their faces that’s like the lights are on but...

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A New, Majestic High Route Through Yosemite

Posted by on Oct 3, 2018 @ 1:49 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

A New, Majestic High Route Through Yosemite

This loop through Yosemite could just be the finest high-altitude thru-hike in the country. Where the boundary of Yosemite National Park overlaps with the Sierra Crest, from Dorothy Lake Pass in the north to Rodgers Peak in the south, there exists a world-class high route around the upper headwaters of the Tuolumne and Merced rivers that stays entirely within the park. South of Rodgers Peak, the park boundary straddles the divide between the upper Merced and the North Fork of the San Joaquin, two major westbound rivers. This topography...

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