News

Congress Should Confront the Rise of Violent Extremism on America’s Public Lands

Posted by on Mar 25, 2016 @ 12:22 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Congress has the power and responsibility to investigate the threat of anti-government extremism to America’s public lands, public servants, and nearby communities. Since 2014, when Cliven Bundy led hundreds of anti-government militants in an armed standoff with federal law enforcement officials near Bunkerville, Nevada, anti-government activists have organized and led at least four other armed confrontations on public lands. Congress should begin to fulfill its oversight responsibilities by launching an investigation into the rise of violent...

read more

Free Admission and Festivities for All during National Park Week April 16-24, 2016

Posted by on Mar 25, 2016 @ 6:55 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Free Admission and Festivities for All during National Park Week April 16-24, 2016

As the National Park Service (NPS) celebrates 100 years of protecting and preserving the nation’s parks and monuments, all Americans are encouraged to get out and FindYourPark during National Park Week, April 16 through 24, 2016. All National Park Service entrance fees will be waived for the week so choose a park, near or far, and discover what makes it unique. Each of the 410 national parks is a thread in the tapestry that tells the story of our country – its beautiful landscapes, diverse culture, and rich heritage. Throughout the year, and...

read more

Meanderthals Marks 5 Years Serving Hikers

Posted by on Mar 24, 2016 @ 7:10 am in Hiking News | 7 comments

Meanderthals Marks 5 Years Serving Hikers

Today is the 5 year anniversary of the launch of Meanderthals: A Hiking Blog. Started as an online means of enhancing information available about hiking in the Carolinas, Meanderthals has expanded over the years to include news about hiking, conservation and the environment, as well as reviews of goods and services that are of interest to the outdoors community. There are now more than 200 trail reports from places near and far like Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests, North and South Carolina State Parks and Forests, Great Smoky Mountains...

read more

Featured National Recreation Trail: The Aliso Creek Regional Riding and Hiking Trail, California

Posted by on Mar 23, 2016 @ 10:49 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Aliso Creek Regional Riding and Hiking Trail is a well maintained class-one bikeway and soft recreational trail extending from the foothills of Orange County, California to the boundary of Laguna Beach. The continuous fifteen miles of asphalt bikeway designed for multi-use travels through five south county cities. The soft trail mirrors the asphalt bikeway path on either side of the Aliso Creek traveling from the mountains to the sea. The ten-foot-wide bikeway was originally designed in the 1970s when the old El Toro Road was abandoned...

read more

Celebrate National Trails Day®: June 4, 2016

Posted by on Mar 23, 2016 @ 9:18 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Celebrate National Trails Day®: June 4, 2016

American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day® (NTD) is a celebration of America’s magnificent Trail System, occurring annually on the first Saturday in June. NTD features a series of outdoor activities, designed to promote and celebrate the importance of trails in the United States. Individuals, clubs and organizations from around the country host National Trails Day® events to share their love of trails with friends, family, and their communities. NTD introduces thousands of Americans to a wide array of trail activities: hiking, biking,...

read more

What is Wilderness Worth?

Posted by on Mar 22, 2016 @ 9:15 am in Conservation | 0 comments

In 1964, Congress protected areas where, according to the Wilderness Act, “the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” Wilderness areas now cover approximately 5 percent of the United States – over 100 million acres. While the ecological and aesthetic value of these lands is apparent, their economic value is less intuitive. In a review article published in the Journal of Forestry, U.S. Forest Service scientist Thomas Holmes and his colleagues describe the concepts and tools...

read more

Well owners in disbelief about NC’s decision to lift tainted water warning

Posted by on Mar 22, 2016 @ 2:18 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Hundreds of well owners near Duke Energy coal ash pits received letters last spring from state health officials warning them not to drink their own well water. Last week, a letter signed by Randall Williams, the state health director, and Tom Reeder, the assistant state secretary for the environment, lifted the warning. Now, well owners such as Bonita Queen, Deborah Graham and Gail Johnston, who live near coal ash pits, say they don’t know what to believe. Their wells still contain hexavalent chromium, a man-made carcinogen. “Nothing has...

read more

High Routes: Backpacking’s Exciting Next Level

Posted by on Mar 21, 2016 @ 8:49 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

A high route is designed to be the finest backpacking experience available in a single mountain range, watershed, or canyon system, offering an unrivaled concentration of best-of features. When worthy terrain peters out, a high route terminates; it does not continue on for days or weeks through marginal landscapes before reaching another notable destination. Depending on your prior familiarity with an area, a high route can be a defining capstone course or an ambitious attempt at one-stop shopping. High routes are not recognized by land...

read more

The Yellowstone River starts its great journey

Posted by on Mar 21, 2016 @ 8:39 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Just off the Continental Divide, deep in Wyoming’s Absaroka Range and Teton Wilderness, Younts Peak brushes thin air at 12,156 feet. When the melt season arrives, snowfields in a cirque high up on the massif’s north face and other flanks are adorned with countless rivulets. Trickling off the snow, they weave in the mountain’s tundra, forming into small creeks as they gather in the denser vegetation below and provide the initial waters for the North and South forks of the Yellowstone River. Beneath Younts’ west wall, the two branches...

read more

Hiking Southern Utah: Tuacahn Split

Posted by on Mar 20, 2016 @ 9:09 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Tuacahn Split is a fun but strenuous hike located near Tuacahn Center for the Arts in Ivins, Utah. It takes you through a maze of sandstone that leads up above Snow Canyon State Park. Throughout the hike you will see the breathtaking views of red sandstone and black lava rock that are so familiar to everyone in the St. George surrounding area. The trail is about three miles long with an elevation gain of about 1,200 ft. Most of the trail is unmarked, and many areas will require a bit of scrambling and climbing. Hikers will need to make sure...

read more

Relocated Section of the Appalachian Trail near Pearisburg, VA

Posted by on Mar 19, 2016 @ 5:55 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club (RATC), and the United States Forest Service announced the opening of an approximately 1-mile relocated section of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) near Pearisburg, Virginia. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Friday, March 18, 2016 at the A.T. trailhead near historic Pearis Cemetery along VA Route 100 in Pearisburg. The new route will significantly improve the hiking experience for Trail users. It eliminates two road crossings, is no longer in close proximity to private...

read more

GOP Politicians Planned And Participated In Key Aspects Of Malheur Refuge Occupation

Posted by on Mar 18, 2016 @ 9:55 am in Conservation | 0 comments

GOP Politicians Planned And Participated In Key Aspects Of Malheur Refuge Occupation

On a cold January morning, a posse led by a former Army company commander named Matt Shea rolled into the Harney County Courthouse and wanted to speak to the sheriff. But this wasn’t a group of militants, or outlaws. They were state lawmakers from four western states, including Oregon. Most of them were members of a group called the Coalition of Western States, or COWS. They were hoping to talk directly with Sheriff David Ward and convince him to support the armed militants at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Instead, COWS members would...

read more

Hiking Anza-Borrego is trek into desert paradise

Posted by on Mar 18, 2016 @ 8:52 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Don’t let the name Hellhole Canyon scare you off. In early March the 6-mile hike in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is alive with striking desert blooms, a lush palm oasis and hidden waterfalls. Sure, the start of the route into the sun-beaten canyon is hot. Flowering indigo, beavertail cactus and desert dandelions buzz with insects along the seemingly misnamed trail. Camera-toting hikers, including the California Native Plant Society’s Bay Area members, wander among towering ocotillo, yellow brittlebush and red chuparosa. Some hikers...

read more

Taking Back the Native Land

Posted by on Mar 17, 2016 @ 7:54 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

In the Yukon, Carcross/Tagish First Nation youth are building world class singletrack trails and ski touring, redefining their people’s mountain culture and leading their elders toward a new future. The preamble and aftermath of the Gold Rush, and manic rush of the Alaska Highway some 45 years later, changed all of this. Endless streams of people and riches flowed through these valleys, first in a stampede that posed a brief and annoying interruption to daily life, and then as a lingering houseguest who brought with them a highway, guns...

read more

The wild, complex world of wilderness rangers

Posted by on Mar 17, 2016 @ 6:36 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

The wild, complex world of wilderness rangers

When Drew Peterson tells people he works as a U.S. Forest Service wilderness ranger, they may assume his job is defined by solitude. But that is not always the case: On a busy summer day, a wilderness ranger may stop to talk with as many as 300 people, such as on a recent day patrolling the popular Green Lakes Trail off the Cascade Lakes Highway. “It can take up to six hours to hike up the trail,” Peterson said. The trail runs about 4½ miles from trailhead to Green Lakes. Describing what a wilderness ranger is and what exactly he does quickly...

read more

El Fin del Mundo

Posted by on Mar 16, 2016 @ 9:30 am in Hiking News | 1 comment

Patagonia: land of refugees and romantics, restless souls and wilderness crusaders. What it is about this place that compels people to gamble all that they know for the chance to explore its volatile nature? Rare are the places in the world that are as evocative as Patagonia, where the raw solitude of wilderness mingles with a certain sense of potential, where refugees from oppression, wilderness crusaders and restless souls seem to congregate in a vast cathedral of fjords, glaciers, mountains and grasslands. The scale is such that you could...

read more

Heather Anderson Is the Best, Most Badass Athlete You’ve Likely Never Heard of

Posted by on Mar 16, 2016 @ 1:45 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Deep in the southwestern desert, Heather Anderson’s signal is skittish and broken. She’s been in the backcountry for nearly three weeks, checking off summits on the Sierra Club’s list of premier desert peaks—the final miles of the 4,000 she’s hiked in the past year. By the time her backcountry call made it to the cell in my mother’s kitchen, we’d been forced to break phone dates due to poor reception and unabashed confusion regarding what time zones she was straddling—a mixup that says more about...

read more

NGO to Build Hiking Trails and Eco-camps in Southern Armenia

Posted by on Mar 15, 2016 @ 8:48 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

NGO to Build Hiking Trails and Eco-camps in Southern Armenia

Armen Kazaryan says adamantly, “I don’t need to see the route, I feel it by my feet,” as he swiftly navigates the lush terrain of Southern Armenia for an afternoon hike. Armen is probably the only blind hiking tour guide in the world, or at the very least, the only one in Armenia. It was in Kapan, capital of the Syunik region, surrounded by some of Armenia’s most breathtaking landscapes that made Armen realize perhaps he had gained more than he had lost. His senses rejoiced in the healing powers of nature and he reconnected with the people...

read more

Shell worries about climate change, but decides to continue making it worse

Posted by on Mar 15, 2016 @ 4:40 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Shell worries about climate change, but decides to continue making it worse

Shell Oil released its 2015 annual review last week, and the most surprising thing in it may be how concerned the company is with climate change. It’s hardly what you’d expect from Big Oil, and yet the words “climate change” occur 15 times in the 228 page report. While this may seem minor, it’s a lot more than climate change is discussed by most other oil monsters (Looking at you, Exxon). Shell, unlike many oil giants, actively acknowledges and even embraces climate action — at least, on paper. “It was encouraging to see governments reach a...

read more

February spike in global temperatures stuns scientists

Posted by on Mar 14, 2016 @ 4:56 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Global temperatures leapt in February, lifting warming from pre-industrial levels to beyond 1.5 degrees, and stoking concerns about a “climate emergency”. Unusual warmth in waters off northern Australia also prompted an alert by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Authority about the risk of widespread coral bleaching. According to NASA analysis, average temperatures last month were 1.35 degrees above the norm for the 1951-1980 period. They smashed the previous biggest departure from the average – set only in the previous month...

read more

“Bears Ears” region of Utah needs protection from drilling, mining and vandalism

Posted by on Mar 14, 2016 @ 9:06 am in Conservation | 0 comments

A stretch of starkly beautiful wildlands in Southeast Utah is at risk due to energy development, looting and vandalism, but a movement led by Native American tribes could lead to its permanent protection as a national monument. Nestled immediately to the south and east of Canyonlands National Park, the region known as “Bears Ears”—named for two sandstone-fringed buttes jutting about 2,000 feet up from the mesa—covers nearly 2 million acres of stunning desert dotted with yucca, sagebrush and red-tinged sandstone carved into dramatic mesas,...

read more

Fields Pond preserve among Maine Audubon’s many gems

Posted by on Mar 13, 2016 @ 12:17 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Fields Pond Audubon Center is a 192-acre sanctuary in rural Holden, a short drive southeast of Bangor in Penobscot County. The center is owned by Maine Audubon, one of the eight such properties. The Meadow Path leads to a summer boat launch on Fields Pond, the 85-acre central feature of the preserve. The Marsh Trail investigates the wetlands north of the modern visitor center, which houses a nature store, a reading room, interactive exhibits and a taxidermy collection. The Ravine Trail leads gently uphill into a dark grove of hemlocks, while...

read more

Hiking couple makes pitch to revitalize Idaho Centennial Trail

Posted by on Mar 12, 2016 @ 2:06 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking couple makes pitch to revitalize Idaho Centennial Trail

Clay Jacobson of Boise, Idaho has hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. So he sees no reason that Idaho can’t make its 900-mile trail from the Nevada border to the Canada border into another thru-hiking destination. But he learned firsthand last summer that the remote Idaho Centennial Trail — named the state trail as part of a centennial celebration in 1990 — is far behind its famous counterparts. “It’s more of an idea than a trail,” Jacobson said, “but I came away convinced that it’s very possible. … The missing...

read more

The Arctic Just Got A Huge Boost From Obama And Trudeau

Posted by on Mar 11, 2016 @ 3:36 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Washington, D.C. has been hit with “Justin Fever” as Prime Minister Trudeau is in town to meet with President Obama — and attend the first U.S.-Canadian state dinner in nearly two decades. But the real impact of his visit might be felt less by the capital’s celebrity-starved journalists and more by the polar bears. Under a new plan for the Arctic — the “shared Arctic leadership model” — the United States and Canada have pledged to work with indigenous groups to make science-based decisions. The plan seeks to protect the fragile Arctic...

read more

Settlement Gives Utility The Go-Ahead To Dump Coal Ash Wastewater Into Virginia Rivers

Posted by on Mar 10, 2016 @ 2:04 am in Conservation | 0 comments

A utility company that will legally dispose of coal ash water in two Virginia waterways agreed to treat waste going into the James River to a more stringent standard than the state required, though legal appeals to the controversial plan remain. The settlement agreement between Dominion Virginia Power and the James River Association comes a day after the company reached a similar deal with Prince William County regarding Quantico Creek, a tributary of the Potomac River located within its borders. Quantico Creek and James River will start...

read more

Forest Service rerouting damaged Bogachiel Rain Forest Trail after river shifts

Posted by on Mar 9, 2016 @ 11:02 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Forest Service rerouting damaged Bogachiel Rain Forest Trail after river shifts

Heavy winter rains continue to wreak havoc on trails and roads in the Olympic National Forest and Olympic National Park. The latest victim is the Bogachiel Rain Forest Trail, where 350 feet of trail about one mile from the trailhead has been damaged or destroyed by the shifting Bogachiel River, the U.S. Forest Service said. “With the help of partners, we expect to have the trail rerouted soon. We know it is important access as day-use for hikers and fishermen as well as those journeying into and out of the park,” said District Ranger Dean...

read more

Yosemite’s Half Dome hiking permit lottery open through March 31

Posted by on Mar 9, 2016 @ 8:42 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The pre-season lottery for Yosemite’s Half Dome hiking permits runs through the end of March, 2016. Those who submit applications this month will be in the pool when Yosemite National Park issues 225 day-hike permits for each day of the hiking season. Lottery winners will be notified by email in mid-April. Preseason applicants can request permits for up to six people and up to seven dates, ranked by preference. After the preseason round of permits is assigned, about 50 additional permits per day will be available by lottery. Hikers can...

read more

Students explore beautiful Santa Barbara trails with hiking course

Posted by on Mar 8, 2016 @ 7:39 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Sitting by the edge of a stream in the hills above Montecito, CA, students take a moment to catch their breath and have a drink after a steep hike up to a waterfall. “Should we do our quiet time?” asks instructor Randy Moharram. “I think we should. Everyone get comfortable, we’re going for a minute and a half of silence.” The only sounds remaining while the class goes silent are the gentle babbling of the San Ysidro Creek and a chirpy conversation between two birds. For City College students in search of an adventure, a fun way to exercise or...

read more

Prescribed Burn Planned for Grandfather Ranger District

Posted by on Mar 8, 2016 @ 4:16 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The U.S. Forest Service plans to conduct a 3,100-acre prescribed burn in the Grandfather Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina, starting on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 through Thursday March 10, 2016. The agency will conduct the three-day burn at Roses Mountain, north of Morganton, N.C. and south of Table Rock. The objectives of the burn are fuel reduction and habitat restoration. The Forest Service is conducting the burn as part of the Grandfather Restoration Project, an 8-year project designed to restore 40,000 acres of the...

read more

20 tons of trash cleaned from Apalachicola National Forest in just one weekend

Posted by on Mar 7, 2016 @ 8:14 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Volunteers removed more than 20 tons of garbage from the Apalachicola National Forest recently. But forest officials say the problem of illegal dumping, of sometimes hazardous materials, continues to grow. Along Highway 319 in Leon and Wakulla counties, near Tallahassee, Florida, volunteers, National Forest staff and others fanned out into the sometimes thick underbrush. Instead of pine needles and leaves, they encountered household garbage, refrigerators and other appliances, TVs, building supplies, tires and large chunks of asphalt. “You...

read more

Victor Hiking Trails plans for next steps in NY community

Posted by on Mar 7, 2016 @ 8:06 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

It was nearly 25 years ago that a small group of hiking enthusiasts huddled for the first time. Their passion: enjoying and preserving Victor’s natural beauty. Their goal: to create a system of multi-use trails that would preserve open space and provide an educational and recreational experience for everyone in the town of Victor, New York. Mission accomplished. Although founding members of Victor Hiking Trail Inc. would say it’s a mission begun. In September 1991 there was one town park with a few miles of trails that were maintained by the...

read more

U.S. Dropping Protection for Yellowstone Bears

Posted by on Mar 6, 2016 @ 9:02 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on March 4, 2016 began removing federal Endangered Species Act protections for Yellowstone-area grizzly bears, marking a conservation milestone that’s been four decades in the making. The federal agency listed the Yellowstone grizzly as threatened on July 28, 1975, when there were perhaps as few as 136 grizzlies left in the ecosystem. Removing federal protection and turning management over to the states comes as the population stands at an official estimate of 717. “The recovery of the Yellowstone grizzly...

read more

32 most enjoyable hikes in Switzerland

Posted by on Mar 6, 2016 @ 7:26 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

32 most enjoyable hikes in Switzerland

Switzerland is a mountainous Central European country, home to numerous lakes, villages and the high peaks of the Alps. The country is also a destination for its ski resorts and hiking trails. Self guided walking tours in Switzerland are a wonderful and relaxed way to explore the Swiss alpine countryside. Crisp mountain air, rich colorful meadows and dramatic snow capped peaks prevail as you explore this wonderful country on foot. Switzerland is a walkers paradise with many waymarked paths and great trails to follow. The Swiss Alps, or...

read more

Controlled Burns Planned in Cades Cove

Posted by on Mar 5, 2016 @ 7:50 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Appalachian Piedmont Zone fire staff plan to conduct a series of controlled burns in Cades Cove on Monday, March 7 through Friday, March 11, 2016. Weather depending, these prescribed fire treatments will take place in four field units totaling 502 acres between Sparks Lane and the Cable Mill Visitor Center area. The goal of the controlled burn treatments in Cades Cove is to use fire to maintain open meadows, improve critical habitat for wildlife, reduce shrub and tree intrusion and exotic plant...

read more

Victory for Grand Canyon: Forest Service Rejects Mega-Mall Project That Would Spell Disaster

Posted by on Mar 5, 2016 @ 1:36 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The U.S. Forest Service rejected a proposal to widen roads and build infrastructure through the Kaibab National Forest that would have paved the way for a sprawling urban development near the southern entrance of Grand Canyon National Park. Stilo Development Group, an Italian corporation, sought to construct more than 2,100 housing units and 3 million square feet of commercial space including hotels, a spa and a conference center in the tiny town of Tusayan, a plan that would have threatened water resources and put wildlife in harm’s way....

read more

Scientists gear up to drill into ‘ground zero’ of the impact that killed the dinosaurs

Posted by on Mar 4, 2016 @ 2:52 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

This month, a drilling platform will rise in the Gulf of Mexico, but it won’t be aiming for oil. Scientists will try to sink a diamond-tipped bit into the heart of Chicxulub crater—the buried remnant of the asteroid impact 66 million years ago that killed off the dinosaurs, along with most other life on the planet. They hope that the retrieved rock cores will contain clues to how life came back in the wake of the cataclysm, and whether the crater itself could have been a home for novel microbial life. And by drilling into a circular ridge...

read more

New Zealand’s hiking trails offer one spectacle after another

Posted by on Mar 4, 2016 @ 9:00 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Other than the danger of overextending yourself, hiking New Zealand’s abundance of trails is almost never disappointing. In fact, if you come all this way and don’t take advantage of them, you’ve truly missed out. And the Kiwis work hard to make hiking attractive. The maintenance on the trails is impressive: crushed-rock trail beds; comfortable clearance even in the most dense areas of the beech- and fern-dominated rain forests; boardwalks that meander over wetlands; and well-built, if sometimes unnerving, suspension bridges that span the...

read more