News

More National Parks and Monuments Pushing Fee Increases At Direction Of Interior Secretary

Posted by on Jul 6, 2017 @ 11:44 am in Conservation | 0 comments

More National Parks and Monuments Pushing Fee Increases At Direction Of Interior Secretary

Every week, it seems like another park is asking the public for input on increasing its entrance fees. Turns out, there’s a simple explanation: The Interior Department is telling them to. And at one park, Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming, that means implementing two rate increases, ultimately doubling the cost of a seven-day vehicle pass, in just 12 months. The National Park Service received direction in May that all parks not aligned with their designated fee group, based on park type, must begin civic engagement to raise fees to...

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A modern journey on the Oregon Trail tells a story of risk and reward

Posted by on Jul 6, 2017 @ 7:19 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

A modern journey on the Oregon Trail tells a story of risk and reward

The sun is low over Wyoming’s South Pass, pinkening the western sky that called thousands of pioneers over this 20-mile basin between high, grassy slopes. It’s beautiful and historic, and the aroma of sage pings feelings of adventure. Most of you know it as the Mormon Pioneer Trail. But the images and place names — Chimney Rock, Fort Laramie, Soda Springs. Those in the so-called Oregon Trail Generation (born late 1970s to early 1980s) may remember well from elementary-school computers the educational game that simulated a...

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Interior Secretary Zinke’s latest gift to the oil and gas industry might be illegal

Posted by on Jul 5, 2017 @ 8:29 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Attorneys general from California and New Mexico filed a lawsuit July 5, 2017 over Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s postponement of the Bureau of Land Management’s methane waste prevention rule. The suit holds that the Interior Department’s failure to implement the rule will cost California taxpayers substantial royalty payments and furthers the Trump administration’s attack on public health. BLM’s methane rule seeks to reduce the wasteful release into the atmosphere of methane — the primary component of natural gas — from oil and gas...

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Forest Service plan could fundamentally change hiking in Oregon’s wilderness

Posted by on Jul 5, 2017 @ 6:33 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Forest Service plan could fundamentally change hiking in Oregon’s wilderness

News that the U.S. Forest Service is proposing a way to limit the number of people entering Oregon’s wilderness areas didn’t come as a major surprise. As the number of people hiking and camping in Oregon’s outdoors has skyrocketed, wilderness areas, often in fragile alpine environments, have been particularly hard-hit. What did surprise many was the scope of a plan announced this month by Willamette and Deschutes national forests. They propose a system that would require a permit to hike or backpack in the Mount Jefferson, Mount Washington,...

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Women of the White Blaze

Posted by on Jul 4, 2017 @ 11:26 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Women of the White Blaze

The Women of the White Blaze are yawning as dusk falls around them, their tired bodies begging them to lie down for the night. But something more important than sleep beckons on this night. Their shuttle bus driver mentioned that they might get to see the lightning bugs known as “Blue Ghosts” that tend to move down the mountains like fairies carrying lights down the hillside. As the time drew near, Butterfly headed down the trail to the water source. She wasn’t gone long when she quickly reappeared, saying there was something in the bushes....

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Court Blocks E.P.A. Effort to Suspend Obama-Era Methane Rule

Posted by on Jul 4, 2017 @ 6:52 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Court Blocks E.P.A. Effort to Suspend Obama-Era Methane Rule

Dealing another legal blow to the Trump administration, a federal appeals court ruled on July 3, 2017 that the Environmental Protection Agency cannot suspend an Obama-era rule to restrict methane emissions from new oil and gas wells. The 2-to-1 decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is the first major legal setback for Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. administrator, who is trying to roll back dozens of Obama-era environmental regulations. The ruling signals that President Trump’s plans to erase his...

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Introducing Femelschlag

Posted by on Jul 3, 2017 @ 11:58 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Introducing Femelschlag

Visitors to the Cradle of Forestry (located near Brevard, NC in Pisgah National Forest) learn about the Biltmore Forest School – the first school of forestry in North America. It was started in 1898 by Carl Schenck. A native of Germany, Schenck brought German forestry concepts to the United States. It is fitting that today in Pisgah National Forest, researchers are looking to bring a German forestry practice to Pisgah National Forest in an effort to restore oaks. In 2017 researchers are cutting quarter-acre and one-acre gaps in a 150-acre...

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The man who went on a hike – and never stopped walking

Posted by on Jul 3, 2017 @ 9:17 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The man who went on a hike – and never stopped walking

In his 61st year on this earth, the man who calls himself Nimblewill Nomad left home and walked a very long way through the mountains – about 10 million steps, he estimates, or 4,400 miles. Then, he took another, even longer walk. And then another one. And then another. Soon, he had given away almost all of his money and taken to walking almost year-round, roaming the post-industrial wilderness of North America in what he called “a desperate search for peace”. His fellow long-distance hikers speak of him in mythical terms. They told me that,...

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The thru-hike you’ve never heard of: Oregon Desert Trail

Posted by on Jul 2, 2017 @ 12:38 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

The thru-hike you’ve never heard of: Oregon Desert Trail

Photographer Meg Roussos is one of just 290 hikers who have completed all three long-distance hikes in the U.S.: the Appalachian, Pacific Crest and Continental Divide trails. But this spring she decided to hike a lesser-known path, the Oregon Desert Trail, and rather than hiking with friends, she walked alone. She set out from her hometown in Bend, Oregon, in April to reach the trail’s endpoint near the Idaho border in Lake Owyhee State Park, 750 miles away. Along the trek, Ruossos took pictures of the quiet moments and desert landscapes. She...

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Changes coming to Superior Hiking Trail

Posted by on Jul 2, 2017 @ 8:00 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Changes coming to Superior Hiking Trail

Several changes are in the works for the 310-mile Superior Hiking Trail this summer. They include rerouting a portion of the trail in one place and installing a bridge in another location. In addition, the Superior Hiking Trail Association recently purchased land near the Encampment River to ensure the continued path of the trail through that property. On July 21 and 22, a fiberglass bridge will be installed over the Red River near the Minnesota-Wisconsin boundary, completing the final segment of the Superior Hiking Trail in Minnesota. The...

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10 backpack essentials for summer hiking adventures in Colorado

Posted by on Jul 1, 2017 @ 10:02 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

10 backpack essentials for summer hiking adventures in Colorado

Colorado summers are as beautiful as they are volatile. Before you head into the high country for a hike this season, check your backpack. A well-packed bag can be the difference between a great day in the mountains and altitude sickness or — worst-case scenario — a rescue. According to a report based on National Park Service data, the most common contributing factors to search-and-rescue incidents are making an error in judgement; fatigue and physical conditions; and insufficient equipment, clothing and experience. Many of these factors can...

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Retiring Blue Ridge Parkway superintendent reflects on 37 years with the National Park Service

Posted by on Jun 30, 2017 @ 11:44 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Retiring Blue Ridge Parkway superintendent reflects on 37 years with the National Park Service

Mark Woods will retire as superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway on July 3, 2017, but on July 4 he’ll don the flathat one last time as grand marshal of the Lake Junaluska Fourth of July Parade. Woods was still in college when he started working for the Park Service, knowing he wanted to do some type of conservation work but not exactly sure what form that would take. He started out as a summer seasonal, doing resource management work at ninety six National Historic sites, and it didn’t take long for him to see a future with the national...

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Empowering women in the outdoors: Why the white-hot interest?

Posted by on Jun 30, 2017 @ 7:02 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Empowering women in the outdoors: Why the white-hot interest?

Call it a new wave of feminism, call it a reaction to the current political climate, but there is a concerted push to get women outdoors — women’s-only trips, women’s classes, images and stories of women adventurers. One example: REI’s Force of Nature campaign, launched in April 2017 to “level the playing field,” has crossed from marketing to activism by earmarking $1 million for nonprofits that help girls and women get out. Wait a minute. Haven’t we already done that? Casual observation yields lots of women out hiking, biking, camping and...

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Elevated arsenic readings close popular San Diego hiking trails

Posted by on Jun 29, 2017 @ 12:12 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Elevated arsenic readings close popular San Diego hiking trails

On the northwest side of the one of the City of San Diego’s more popular open space parks is a trail called Miners Ridge Loop. It’s appropriately named because the city says the abandoned Black Mountain Arsenic Mine is located on the north slope of Black Mountain. But, if you had any thoughts of escaping the city life for a hike on a portion of that specific trail you’d be turned away. A sign that blocks the entrance says the trail is closed temporarily. If you take a closer look at the note fastened to the sign it reveals “The City of San...

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Global sea level rise accelerates since 1990, study shows

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

Global sea level rise accelerates since 1990, study shows

The rise in global sea levels has accelerated since the 1990s amid rising temperatures, with a thaw of Greenland’s ice sheet pouring ever more water into the oceans, scientists said in a new report. The annual rate of sea level rise increased to 3.3 millimetres (0.13 inch) in 2014 – a rate of 33 centimetres (13 inches) if kept unchanged for a century – from 2.2 mm in 1993, according to a team of scientists in China, Australia and the United States. Sea levels have risen by about 20 cms in the past century and many scientific...

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Smokies Park Recruits for July 6th Litter Pick-Up at Deep Creek and Smokemont

Posted by on Jun 28, 2017 @ 12:34 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Smokies Park Recruits for July 6th Litter Pick-Up at Deep Creek and Smokemont

Great Smoky Mountains National Park seeks volunteers to help care for campgrounds and picnic areas after the July 4th, 2017 Holiday. The maintenance staff does a fantastic job providing clean and safe spaces for visitors to enjoy our amazing National Park; but increased visitation on holiday weekends can be overwhelming. As the Trails and Facilities Volunteer Coordinator, Adam Monroe would like to lead a crew of 10 people to lend a hand with litter pick up in the Deep Creek and Smokemont areas of the Park. This is a great opportunity to make...

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Llama trekking guide works to defend the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument he campaigned to create

Posted by on Jun 28, 2017 @ 7:21 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Llama trekking guide works to defend the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument he campaigned to create

Stuart Wilde has spent a couple hundred days each year of the last 25 trekking into the canyons along the Rio Grande, where burnt-black volcanic rock soars for hundreds of feet overhead. Often, pack teams of rescued llamas trail him, and he’s pointing out petroglyphs for tourists hiking along. These desert canyons descend from the gnarled piñon and prickly pear at the rim, into an increasingly verdant landscape laced with ponderosa pines and frequented by great blue herons and bighorn sheep. The natural landscape is riddled with Native...

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Hiking back in time to celebrate 100 years of the Long Trail

Posted by on Jun 27, 2017 @ 12:51 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking back in time to celebrate 100 years of the Long Trail

Dew shines in the early morning summer sun along the network of trails near the Winooski River. It’s where Mike Debonis continues his journey back in time on Vermont’s Long Trail. This year, the trail is celebrating 100 years. Debonis is honoring the anniversary by dressing in traditional 1917 attire – all wool – and spending his vacation on the spine of the Green Mountains. “I grew up in Vermont,” Debonis said. “Some of my first memories of the outdoors are getting out on the trail.” His trek,...

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Forests and oceans seem to be absorbing a lot less CO2

Posted by on Jun 27, 2017 @ 7:06 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Forests and oceans seem to be absorbing a lot less CO2

On the best days, the wind howling across the rugged promontory at Cape Grim, Tasmania has not touched land for thousands of miles, and the arriving air seems as if it should be the cleanest in the world. But on a cliff above the sea, inside a low-slung government building, a bank of sophisticated machines sniffs that air day and night, revealing telltale indicators of the way human activity is altering the planet on a major scale. For more than two years, the monitoring station here, along with its counterparts across the world, has been...

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Volunteers Remove Nearly 150 Tires From Linville Gorge Wilderness

Posted by on Jun 26, 2017 @ 11:30 am in Hiking News | 1 comment

Volunteers Remove Nearly 150 Tires From Linville Gorge Wilderness

Linville Gorge Wilderness is now a more beautiful place thanks to the efforts of 85 volunteers who worked over 1,800 hours under the lead of Wild South to remove nearly 150 tires from the deep gorge. In the 1970s a large flood washed the tires down into the Linville Gorge Wilderness from a business north of the area. Since that time, tires have been a common site along the Linville River. With only the traditional tools available to them in the Wilderness, a huge volunteer effort has been quietly underway over the past year. Volunteers...

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What To Do If You Sprain Your Ankle While Hiking

Posted by on Jun 26, 2017 @ 8:47 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

What To Do If You Sprain Your Ankle While Hiking

Contrary to what most people believe, sprained ankles aren’t one of those things that just happen. Not only can they be effectively treated when they happen, but with a little forethought, and some preparation, they can be prevented. Sprained ankles and other foot injuries are common in hiking. But you can dramatically decrease your chances of a sprain by taking some precautions. Strengthen your muscles between hikes. Wear protective shoes, particularly with ankle support. Replace worn shoes that no longer provide that support. Be careful...

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Trail clearing on North Shore another example that public are future to public lands

Posted by on Jun 25, 2017 @ 12:03 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Trail clearing on North Shore another example that public are future to public lands

Another spring work weekend on the Superior Hiking Trail reinforces a wider story: Some of Minnesota’s favorite footpaths are nothing without the sweat and commitment of volunteers. The morning woke up dry and with promise. It was warming fast in the early sun, which set the North Shore’s boreal tree line in sharp relief against an almost bluebird sky. It was outdoors weather, and good thing. In the early light and quiet of May 13, a few dozen or more people huddled up in the parking lot of the Clair Nelson community center off Hwy. 7...

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Here’s the company that makes those National Park and Smokey Bear signs

Posted by on Jun 25, 2017 @ 7:59 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Here’s the company that makes those National Park and Smokey Bear signs

Everyone recognizes Smokey Bear, the lovable National Parks mascot who warns visitors about the dangers of forest fires. But where do those friendly anthropomorphic bear cutouts come from? Today, we talk to the company that makes a lot of the signs that show up at the entrances to National Parks and Forests. About 25-thousand signs and markers last year, actually, all from their Parlin, Colorado-based workshop, including of course those iconic Smokey Bear cutouts. Taylor Hefftner of Wood Product Signs and Rocky Mountain Aluminum told the...

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The Crew Building the Next Great American Thru-Hike

Posted by on Jun 24, 2017 @ 11:56 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Crew Building the Next Great American Thru-Hike

In eastern Tennessee, 70-year-old trail builder Peter Berntsen is laying segments of the Cumberland Trail. The path will wend more than 300 miles through deep hollows, spiraling waterfalls, and diverse flora in the heart of Appalachia, at the mountainous edge of the Cumberland Plateau. He lugs an axe and mattock up a rocky and root-riddled stretch meandering through untouched forest. He and his two-man crew are slowly chipping away at the final 100 miles. The Cumberland is on track to be all but complete in 2019 and will function as a leg of...

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From heatwaves to hurricanes, floods to famine: seven climate change hotspots

Posted by on Jun 24, 2017 @ 7:20 am in Conservation | 0 comments

From heatwaves to hurricanes, floods to famine: seven climate change hotspots

Seems like it could have been the edge of the Sahara or even Death Valley, but it was the remains of a large orchard in the hills above the city of Murcia in southern Spain last year. The soil had broken down into fine white, lifeless sand, and a landscape of rock and dying orange and lemon trees stretched into the distance. A long drought, the second in a few years, had devastated the harvest after city authorities had restricted water supplies and farmers were protesting in the street. It was a foretaste of what may happen if temperatures...

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Hikes To Explore Colorado’s Western Slope This Summer

Posted by on Jun 23, 2017 @ 11:40 am in Colorado, Hiking News | 0 comments

Hikes To Explore Colorado’s Western Slope This Summer

Colorado’s Western Slope is rich in backcountry hikes. Knowing where to find them — and what to expect on a trail — just got easier with a new guidebook by Grand Junction outdoor writer Bill Haggerty. The Falcon Guides “Hiking Colorado’s Western Slope” has details on more than 45 trails in Western Colorado. It doesn’t have just the standard route descriptions. Haggerty includes historical tidbits, geological information, suitability for canines, and observations gleaned from a lifetime of hiking in...

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Hiking and biking County Mayo, Ireland’s Wild West

Posted by on Jun 23, 2017 @ 7:20 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking and biking County Mayo, Ireland’s Wild West

When the sun breaks out in rural Ireland, you can almost believe in fairies. County Mayo is the kind of place that visitors imagine when they think of rural Ireland: whitewashed stone houses in impossibly green fields dotted with sheep; rolling hills that tumble into the sea or break off in sheer cliffs; narrow winding roads that lead to villages with pubs and fish markets; residents with an admirable patience who are happy to take a moment to chat; small towns with cozy cafes and restaurants serving local fare. Croagh Patrick reposes like a...

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White Settlers Wiped Thousands of Miles of Cherokee Trails Off the Map. This Man is Reclaiming Them.

Posted by on Jun 22, 2017 @ 11:47 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

White Settlers Wiped Thousands of Miles of Cherokee Trails Off the Map. This Man is Reclaiming Them.

These routes once snaked through the towering woods of Appalachia, before they were lost to history. Lamar Marshall has spent a decade painstakingly mapping them, and their rich history. Marshall cannot make it over the log. It lays across a small creek somewhere in the Nantahala National Forest outside Cowee, western North Carolina, as a bridge. His problem is a bruised knee, caused by a bang against his home firewood cord. Standing in front of the thick trunk, seeking another way across, he explains that while this particular log was not...

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What you need to know about wildfire safety

Posted by on Jun 22, 2017 @ 7:22 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

What you need to know about wildfire safety

Wildfire season is approaching fast. Poor air quality that limits athletic activity, the devastation of the places where we play, the release of climate change-causing carbons into our atmosphere, the economic impact on rural communities… these terrifying consequences are just some of the negative effects of forest fires. Unfortunately, wildfires are only just increasing in severity, size and duration. The average wildfire is now five times as severe as it would have been in the 1970s. Just about 20 years ago, the United States Forest...

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Hike in the Footsteps of Teddy Roosevelt

Posted by on Jun 21, 2017 @ 11:30 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hike in the Footsteps of Teddy Roosevelt

When Theodore Roosevelt took office as the United States’ 26th president, he was only 42, the youngest president in the history of the nation. He was also a fanatic for the outdoors, and was actually heading back from a hike when his predecessor, President William McKinley, took a turn for the worst after an assassination attempt and died. The presidency and life at the White House didn’t stop Roosevelt from enjoying a life outdoors, though. He had a tendency to take ambassadors and friends with him on intense hikes around Washington, D.C.,...

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Spiritual Adventures to Challenge the Mind and Body

Posted by on Jun 21, 2017 @ 7:11 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Spiritual Adventures to Challenge the Mind and Body

Any quiet walk in the woods can be a spiritual experience, and countless hikers head to redwood groves and high places to find a sense of awe. But if following a dirt track is a kind of prayer—the hypnotizing rhythm of feet and breath an ancient song—some trails are true religious pilgrimages, routes laid down by the faithful. From the high peaks of South Korea to an Irish landscape of heather and bogs, these hikes draw believers from around the world, following paths trod by Christian pilgrims, Buddhist monks, and Celtic pagans. And whether...

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Stages of heat illness: When you need to go to the E.R.

Posted by on Jun 20, 2017 @ 10:45 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Stages of heat illness: When you need to go to the E.R.

Did you know that 600-700 people die from heat-related illness every year? The elderly are most at risk, but athletic teens are too. And yes, even us hikers. In fact, heat-related illness is the third highest cause for death in young athletes. Specifically, football players in the month of August are at the top of that list. How sick you get from heat depends on how high your body temperature is. At Stage 1, your body temperature is between 98 and 103 degrees. Symptoms include: • Nausea • Increased heart rate • Vomiting • Flushing (skin turns...

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California scores its first big environmental victory of the Trump era

Posted by on Jun 19, 2017 @ 11:52 am in Conservation | 0 comments

California scores its first big environmental victory of the Trump era

There was one revealing bit of testimony on Capitol Hill recently – from Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. Pruitt told a House subcommittee that the EPA is not reviewing California’s lone-in-the-country authority to set air-quality standards tougher than those found elsewhere in the nation. For months, California politicians, led by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown (D), have aggressively positioned the state as a bulwark against the Trump administration’s deregulatory agenda – for example, striking...

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Kanarraville Falls: Best kept secret becomes nightmare

Posted by on Jun 19, 2017 @ 9:20 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Kanarraville Falls: Best kept secret becomes nightmare

For years, Kanarraville Falls was one of Southern Utah’s best-kept secrets. The hidden hike leading to a slot canyon waterfall was seemingly reserved for residents of the small town of Kanarraville. Over the span of a few years, the natural wonder turned into a big problem for the locals. They first noticed the increase during the Fourth of July weekend in 2004. Town council member Tyler Allred remembers being surprised by the 75 cars squeezed into the land between the edge of creek and down the hill leading to the town. “It was a...

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