News

The Republican platform attacks the environment

Posted by on Jul 20, 2016 @ 11:13 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The Republican Party’s 2016 platform was released at its national convention in Cleveland. It contains sections called “A New Era in Energy” and “Environmental Progress.” Ha. If you want a guide to what Republicans would do with full control of the federal government, you couldn’t get a better one than this 2,400-word part of the platform. Cancel the Clean Power Plan Build the Keystone XL pipeline and more like it Kill federal fracking regulations Oppose any carbon tax Expedite export terminals for liquefied natural gas Abolish the EPA as we...

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Hiking on the roof

Posted by on Jul 20, 2016 @ 7:28 am in Hiking News | 1 comment

The Wallowa Mountains get all the attention as Eastern Oregon’s great hiking and backpacking destination, but if you actually go there you’ll drive right by the similarly scenic, much more accessible Elkhorn Range. So skip the crowds at Joseph and Wallowa Lake. Forget the long, dusty trudges hiking up to the high country of the Wallowas. At Anthony Lake in the Elkhorn Range you can drive a paved road to over 7,000 feet of elevation, where you begin your hike in the alpine wildflower meadows and granite lake basins you came to see. An easy...

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Top science groups tell climate change doubters in Congress to knock it off

Posted by on Jul 19, 2016 @ 1:59 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

More than half of the Republicans in Congress question the science of human-caused climate change, according to the Center for American Progress. The presumptive Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump, has also said he is not “a great believer in man-made climate change.” In a letter dated June 28, 2016, 31 leading U.S. scientific organizations sent members of Congress a no-nonsense message that human-caused climate change is real, poses risks to society and is backed by overwhelming evidence. “Observations throughout the world make...

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Inclement Weather Hiking: Ten Tips to Stay Comfortable and Alive

Posted by on Jul 19, 2016 @ 11:38 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Tasmania’s Arthur Range is arguably Australia’s most spectacular mountain chain. Unfortunately for hikers there’s a catch. It’s called the “weather.” Backcountry trips in the Arthurs are a meteorological roll of the dice at any time of year. When it’s fine you’ll be treated to sublime views of jagged quartzite peaks, hanging valleys and glacier carved lakes. If a big storm front rumbles through, all you will likely see is horizontal rain, thick fog and the brim of your baseball cap pulled all the way down over your forehead. When coupled with...

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The world’s clouds are in different places than they were 30 years ago

Posted by on Jul 19, 2016 @ 7:44 am in Conservation | 0 comments

In a new study published in Nature on Monday, July 18, 2016 scientists say they have for the first time thoroughly documented one of the most profound planetary changes yet to be caused by a warming climate: The distribution of clouds all across the Earth has shifted, they say. And moreover, it has shifted in such a way — by expanding subtropical dry zones, located between around 20 and 30 degrees latitude in both hemispheres, and by raising cloud tops — as to make global warming worse. “As global warming occurs, there’s the expectation that...

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Smokies superintendent taking steps to educate latest generation

Posted by on Jul 18, 2016 @ 11:18 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Smokies superintendent taking steps to educate latest generation

On a recent summer morning a group of middle schoolers joined Cassius Cash, superintendent of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, for a short hike along the Porters Creek Trail in the park’s Greenbrier district about six miles east of Gatlinburg. It was a gentle trail — at least by Smoky Mountains standards — that allowed plenty of opportunity to savor the surroundings. The clear, rushing waters of Porter Creek were close by, and beside the trail there was ample evidence of the families who farmed this narrow valley until the...

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Monumental decision: All eyes look to Interior Secretary Jewell on divisive Bears Ears issue

Posted by on Jul 18, 2016 @ 7:25 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Monumental decision: All eyes look to Interior Secretary Jewell on divisive Bears Ears issue

This is big, raw countryside with tumbling landscapes of jutting Navajo sandstone cliffs bleached by grueling heat and sprawling bluffs that rise proud and angry from a sagebrush floor. There is nothing diminutive in this bold and unforgiving land that is so overwhelmingly expansive and complex one can lose a sense of time and being — wrapped in serene beauty that can suddenly turn harsh. It is that way with the emotions wrapped up in the possible designation of a Bears Ears National Monument in San Juan County, Utah — people divided...

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Fire On Grand Canyon National Park’s North Rim Blows Up To More Than 11,000 Acres

Posted by on Jul 17, 2016 @ 6:37 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Firefighters on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park contending with gusting winds on Sunday, July 17, 2016 were hoping “existing roads and natural features” would help them gain control over a lightning-sparked wildfire that made a four-and-a-half-mile run the day before. The winds Saturday pushed the Fuller Fire to the northeast through the Saddle Mountain Wilderness. Additional growth was reported to the south below the rim near Ehrenberg Point, park officials said. Crews conducted a second night of burnout operations...

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Bear-resistant lockers installed along Catawba section of Appalachian Trail

Posted by on Jul 17, 2016 @ 4:26 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Bear-resistant lockers installed along Catawba section of Appalachian Trail

Bears in the Smoky Mountains long ago figured out how to raid food bags hanging from trees. But until this year, the bears in the Blue Ridge didn’t know how. Now, mama bears are teaching the baby bears how to do it. Are the black bears in the areas of McAfee Knob and Tinker Cliffs in Virginia growing smarter? At the least, they seem cagier and more socialized to humans in those Appalachian Trail areas. And that can be dangerous for both man and beast. Signs warning of bear encounters along that trail stretch first went up in the summer...

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Study: How Appalachian Trail Is Affected By Its Own Popularity

Posted by on Jul 16, 2016 @ 10:59 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

A team of scientists is camping on the Appalachian Trail in North Georgia this week, studying how it’s affected by its own popularity. Georgia has one of the busiest stretches of the more than 2,000-mile trail, said Jeff Marion, who studies recreation ecology at the U.S. Geological Survey and Virginia Tech. Since the trail begins in Georgia, there can be a lot of people on it around the same time as they begin the hike to Maine, he said. “If you do have 100 or so people starting every day, then you need a fairly large number of...

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Conservation group pushes real hiking with virtual tracking

Posted by on Jul 16, 2016 @ 9:23 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Conservation group pushes real hiking with virtual tracking

For many, getting outside is a welcome escape from computers, iPads, smartphones, and all the electronic gadgets that make our lives “more convenient.” Others embrace technology, happily combining pedometers and global-positioning systems with their adventures. Today, such personal devices as Fitbit and applications such as MapMyHike give outdoor enthusiasts tools to gauge their effort and record their accomplishments. And goals have long been a part of the Northeast hiking community, as the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Four Thousand Footer...

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Congressman Proposes Massive Giveaway of Taxpayer-Owned Energy Resources to the State of Utah

Posted by on Jul 15, 2016 @ 10:26 am in Conservation | 0 comments

A controversial legislative proposal released July 14, 2016 by Representative Rob Bishop (R-UT) would transfer all federally-owned energy and mineral resources in southern Utah to state control, paving the way for massive new uranium, coal, and oil extraction across the area’s national forests, redrock canyons, and other public lands. The bill, known as the Public Lands Initiative, seeks to achieve this unprecedented transfer of federal energy and minerals by simultaneously designating new wilderness areas in southern Utah, which has been a...

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More Than Just Parks | Grand Teton

Posted by on Jul 15, 2016 @ 6:52 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Jim and Will Pattiz are media professionals who have a passion for our national parks. Their More than Just Parks plan is to create short films for each of the 59 US National Parks to give people a completely unique viewing experience. They hope that this will encourage folks to get out there and have a one-of-a-kind experience of their own in our national parks. It is also their hope that these videos can help build a greater awareness for all of the breathtaking natural wonders protected by our national parks system. MTJP | Grand Teton is...

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This year’s GOP platform pushes federal land transfers

Posted by on Jul 14, 2016 @ 3:39 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

This year’s GOP platform pushes federal land transfers

The Republican Party is drafting its 2016 platform, which represents a hard swerve to the right on social issues. But other parts of its stance have long been consistent – most notably, its push for transferring federal lands to state control. Party platforms are not binding, but they do demonstrate party priorities – what the base thinks are the most important issues and beliefs. And they’re important in steering politicians. Political scientist Gerald Pomper determined decades ago that lawmakers usually do cast votes that accord with...

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Hanging Rock is a must see hiking destination near Winston-Salem, NC

Posted by on Jul 14, 2016 @ 8:36 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Located about 45 minutes from Winston-Salem, this beautiful State Park offers more than 20 miles of hiking trails for all experience levels. The view at the end of the Hanging Rock Trail is a must-see. At 1.3 miles (one-way), this is a fairly easy hike that also offers some waterfalls at the bottom. While the last part of the hike is steep and has several stairs to climb, the hike overall should be doable for the entire family. Slightly more moderate trails include Cook’s Wall Trail (beautiful view) and Lower Cascade Falls Trail (large...

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Shenandoah: The hemlock’s last stand

Posted by on Jul 13, 2016 @ 7:12 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Shenandoah is haunted by ghosts. Just 15 years ago, the eastern hemlock tree, the mighty Redwood of the East, was a scenic highlight of Virginia’s Skyline Drive, creating the shady groves that put Shenandoah National Park on the conservation map. Now 95% of them are dead, rotting on the forest floor or still standing above the canopy as gray ghosts, with a few scattered survivors living on borrowed time as their attackers literally suck the life out of them. Some of these trees were up to 500 years old. When President Herbert Hoover and...

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German village offers hiking trails and great castle ruins

Posted by on Jul 13, 2016 @ 7:40 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

At a glance, Stamsried seems a lot like any other town in Bavaria. It has the same narrow, winding streets and the usual assortment of bakeries, butcher shops and bars. It’s home to no particularly famous individual or great cultural landmark. What it does have is a fantastic set of hiking paths and Burgruine Kurnberg, one of the better set of castle ruins you’ll find in Bavaria. Built in 1354 by Bavarian Duke Dietrich II, this castle is situated atop a hill overlooking the Stamsried village below. Kurnberg swapped hands several times through...

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The Appalachian Ranger District Will Hold a Public Meeting to Discuss The “Twelve Mile” Project

Posted by on Jul 12, 2016 @ 5:52 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

The Appalachian Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest will hold a public meeting on July 14 from 2-5 p.m. at the North Carolina Arboretum to learn the public interests and issues related to a developing proposal for the “Twelve Mile” project. The proposed area for the project is the southwestern most part of the Appalachian Ranger District adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Interstate 40. This is the Long Arm Mountain and Hurricane Mountain area in Haywood County, NC. The purpose of the project is to...

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One Of The Fastest Women To Hike The Appalachian Trail Shares How She Did It and What She Learned

Posted by on Jul 12, 2016 @ 11:19 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

A couple of years back, Liz “Snorkel” Thomas walked from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachian Trail. At the time, she became the fastest woman to do this without a support team—and she did it completely solo. The 2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail cover the highest mountains on the East Coast. She hiked through fields of boulders, forded powerful rivers, and chased away a dozen snakes. She kept walking and walking, even at night in the rain. In total, She climbed almost half a million feet of elevation—equivalent to hiking Mount...

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Google Earth Just Got Even More Powerful. Here’s How It Can Help You Plan Your Next Adventure.

Posted by on Jul 11, 2016 @ 7:11 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Google Earth Just Got Even More Powerful. Here’s How It Can Help You Plan Your Next Adventure.

For the first time since 2013, Google has updated its satellite imagery of planet earth. The new images have more detail and truer colors, giving civilians more data than has ever been available. Google Earth works by analyzing trillions of pixels worth of satellite images, selecting the clearest, cloud-free ones, then stitching them all together into one seamless image of the planet. Pause for a second and consider what a technical achievement that is. Just one generation ago, we didn’t even have complete maps for the earth. Now you can...

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The Otherworldly Beauty of Badlands National Park

Posted by on Jul 10, 2016 @ 3:00 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

The land is big and mostly flat. There are endless fields of corn, wheat and soybeans. Colors of green and gold paint the earth for miles. But as you travel west, the farmland gives way to wild grasses. It grows tall here under a huge blue sky. Farther on, however, the grass becomes much shorter. A strong dry wind blows continuously from the west. Suddenly, the land is torn and rocky, dry and dusty. The green is gone. Now you are surrounded by light reds and browns. Purple and gold hues can be seen as well. All around are broken, disorganized...

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Hiking through a Hawaiian lava tube

Posted by on Jul 10, 2016 @ 7:45 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Picture a volcano spewing a river of molten lava burning so hot that it burrows its way through the Earth, moving so fast that a human couldn’t outrun it. That’s what happened on the Big Island of Hawaii at what is now Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The lava flow from the Kilauea volcano left behind massive lava tubes as evidence of its destructive path, scientists say. While the Hawaiian Islands were created by 70 million years of volcanic activity that continues today, the lava tubes were created only about 500 years ago, they...

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Historic Victory: 4 Teenagers Win in Massachusetts Climate Change Lawsuit

Posted by on Jul 9, 2016 @ 10:43 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court found in favor of four youth plaintiffs in a critical climate change case. In 2012, hundreds of youth petitioned the DEP asking the agency to comply with the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) and adopt rules reducing the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, but that petition was denied. As a result of DEP’s reluctance to comply with the GWSA, youth filed this case arguing that the DEP failed to promulgate the regulations required by Section 3(d) of the GWSA establishing declining annual...

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Survival Tips When Lost in the Wilderness

Posted by on Jul 9, 2016 @ 7:11 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Just the thought of being alone in the wilderness gives most people a panic attack. And while it is good to be aware of all the dangers of the wilderness, it is more crucial to think with a clear head so that you can survive any situation, such as getting lost. Wilderness survival is a lesson that you need to think about and learn before you leave your home. You need to make sure that you think about every scenario that may come up while you are out in the great wide open. You need to learn how to get by with just the supplies you have in...

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Jordan Lake Hike with CTNC and NCYCC

Posted by on Jul 8, 2016 @ 4:10 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Jordan Lake Hike with CTNC and NCYCC

Join Conservation Trust for North Carolina and the Youth Conservation Corps for a hike at Jordan Lake near Apex, NC on Saturday, July 16, 2016 at 10:30 AM. You will meet up with a NC Youth Conservation Corps (NCYCC) crew that has been working around the lake. See the work these amazing young people have done to improve, restore, and preserve trails at Jordan Lake. CTNC staff and NCYCC crew members will lead guests on a guided hike that will provide information about Jordan Lake’s unique natural resources, and what is involved in constructing...

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Amanda Trail is a beautiful hike with a dark history on the Oregon coast

Posted by on Jul 8, 2016 @ 7:48 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

As you leave the city of Yachats behind, cross Highway 101 and climb into the sprawling forest of Sitka spruce alongside the rugged and beautiful Oregon coast, a question lingers at the back of your mind: Who is Amanda? This scenic 3.7-mile stretch of the Oregon Coast Trail, running from Yachats up to the top of Cape Perpetua, is officially known as the Amanda Trail (also known as Amanda’s Trail). The legend of the trail is no secret, but it contains a darkness many Oregonians would rather forget. Local trail managers allow first-timers...

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A Step by Step Guide to Using a Handheld GPS

Posted by on Jul 7, 2016 @ 10:30 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

A Step by Step Guide to Using a Handheld GPS

Are you into hiking technology but you still have no idea how to use a handheld GPS? Then, this is for you. A hiking GPS is not quite the same as Google Maps on your phone or the navigation system you use in your car. It’s a little more complex than that. Most GPSes or hiking watches have many features you can utilize to help you not only pinpoint where you are and where you’re going, but also record your trips. The first thing to know before you use a handheld GPS is that it’s meant to accompany a map, not to be used as a replacement....

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Piles of Dirty Secrets Behind a Model ‘Clean Coal’ Project

Posted by on Jul 7, 2016 @ 6:42 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The fortress of steel and concrete towering above the pine forest here is a first-of-its-kind power plant that was supposed to prove that “clean coal” was not an oxymoron — that it was possible to produce electricity from coal in a way that emits far less pollution, and to turn a profit while doing so. The plant was supposed to be a model for future power plants to help slow the dangerous effects of global warming. The project was hailed as a way to bring thousands of jobs to Mississippi, the nation’s poorest state, and to extend a lifeline...

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Help wanted: Volunteers spend free time fixing the Bob Marshall

Posted by on Jul 6, 2016 @ 7:25 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Help wanted: Volunteers spend free time fixing the Bob Marshall

Just getting to the edge of Rocky Mountain Front guarding the third-largest wilderness area in the continental United States requires miles of driving on rocky roads and through creek beds to find isolated trailheads. Those passing beyond the boundary must leave all motors and wheels behind. And yet, for two decades, thousands of people have hiked into this daunting territory to work – for free. The land complex including the Bob Marshall, Great Bear and Scapegoat wilderness areas includes about 1.5 million acres spread along 200 miles of the...

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Tenacious, mysterious and maybe endangered — a wolverine roams the West

Posted by on Jul 5, 2016 @ 10:21 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Four days before Christmas in 2008, a blur of brown fur scrambled along the snowy Continental Divide in Wyoming. The terrain and the conditions were brutal, food scarce. The bait a biologist placed in a wooden trap proved irresistible. As soon as the creature crawled in, a signal alerted researchers miles away. They rode a snowmobile deep into the mountains, near Togwotee Pass, at an elevation of 9,380 feet. The temperature was 10 degrees. Once there, the researchers confirmed the catch, summoned a veterinarian and sedated the animal with a...

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A Magical Mycology Tapestry

Posted by on Jul 5, 2016 @ 7:45 am in Conservation | 0 comments

A Magical Mycology Tapestry

Mushrooms weave a network of ecology, medicine, food, and farming. Encountering a mushroom in the forest provides a glimpse to a web that is largely unseen, underground. The mushroom is a fruiting body that emerges from a network of branching mycelium, a cellular structure interwoven in soil. This mass thrives by connecting to other organisms, especially the roots of trees and plants. The Appalachian mountains boast a wide diversity of fungi, the collective term for mushroom and mycelium. Fungi reach their highest diversity in the southern...

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The Cactus Smuggler: Are Desert Plants Being Loved to Extinction?

Posted by on Jul 4, 2016 @ 11:42 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The smugglers carried their tiny prizes tucked away in suitcases of jalapenos and dirty laundry. The spicy fruit was supposed to deflect inspections. Perhaps they thought the dirty laundry would do the same. Another rare item sat nestled in a new box of Uncle Ben’s Rice. Russians had a hard time finding Uncle Ben’s Rice back home, says Nicholas Chavez, Special Agent in charge of the Southwest Region for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. From the Los Angeles airport, the six Russian men weren’t carrying precious art or poached ivory. They...

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Overlooked Wildlife Experiences in Our National Parks

Posted by on Jul 4, 2016 @ 7:40 am in Conservation | 1 comment

Think of wildlife in U.S. national parks, and certain images pop to mind: Bears. Bison. Elk. Wolves. All spectacular critters, to be sure. But the National Park Service protects a wide range of wildlife, large and small. Some of these species are cryptic or elusive. But other smaller denizens offer fascinating viewing opportunities. For example, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is known as “The Salamander Capital of the World.” More visitors come to this national park than any other, but most will miss these noted biological treasures:...

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The incredible technology that’s helping this paralyzed woman hike the Appalachian Trail

Posted by on Jul 3, 2016 @ 10:42 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The incredible technology that’s helping this paralyzed woman hike the Appalachian Trail

Most people would have given up years ago. She is not most people. 41-year-old Medina, Ohio, resident Stacey Kozel has undertaken an enormous task: hiking the entire 2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail. For most, that would be a mighty feat unto itself, but Kozel has an additional obstacle, to put it lightly: her legs are paralyzed. Kozel was diagnosed with lupus when she was 19 years old, and it has slowly stolen much of her muscle function during the past 22 years. Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack...

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