News

Genetics Prove Greater Yellowstone Grizzly Population Is Growing

Posted by on Nov 3, 2015 @ 8:36 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The grizzly bear population in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, which includes Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, is growing and not suffering from a loss of genetic diversity, according to a report from the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team. The analysis shows that the bear population in the ecosystem has continued to grow since the 1980s, as well. Results indicate that the effective population size of Yellowstone grizzly bears, or the number of individuals that contribute offspring to the next generation, has increased 4-fold...

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Patagonia’s controversial new national park

Posted by on Nov 2, 2015 @ 6:48 pm in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

The creation of the Parque Patagonia conservation area – the brainchild of a billionaire US couple – is a step to creating one of the world’s largest national parks. But what’s the hiking like? “Pain?” asks Jorge Molina, my hiking guide. Yes, there is a little pain, but it’s too late for cold feet. Or, more accurately, it’s too late not to get cold feet, because we’re already shin-deep in a swift icy river. “We’ll cross 20 of these rivers today,” Jorge warns. I won’t complain. These cold rivers, flowing down from the glaciers and mountains of...

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New Species Evolves Right Before Our Eyes: Successful Mix of Wolves, Coyotes and Dogs

Posted by on Nov 2, 2015 @ 2:01 am in Conservation | 0 comments

New Species Evolves Right Before Our Eyes: Successful Mix of Wolves, Coyotes and Dogs

Wolves faced with a scarcity of potential sexual partners are not beneath lowering their standards. It was desperation of this sort, biologists reckon, that led dwindling wolf populations in southern Ontario to begin, a century or two ago, breeding widely with dogs and coyotes. The clearance of forests for farming, together with the deliberate persecution which wolves often suffer at the hand of man, had made life tough for the species. That same forest clearance, though, both permitted coyotes to spread from their prairie homeland into areas...

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Park Asks Visitors to View Bears Responsibly

Posted by on Nov 1, 2015 @ 9:19 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Great Smoky Mountains National Park wildlife biologists remind the public to allow bears to forage undisturbed on natural foods during this critical feeding period before winter hibernation. Bears depend on Fall foods such as acorns and grapes to store fat reserves that enable them to survive winter. This year, these foods in the park are extremely rare leading bears to move long distances in search of food. Many bears have been reported well outside the park boundary including several sightings in busy, downtown communities and...

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Trees cut in national forest to make illegal ski trails

Posted by on Nov 1, 2015 @ 9:07 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Numerous primitive runs for skiing or snowboarding have been illegally cut in a national forest in northern New Mexico, including part of a wilderness area, with a federal investigator estimating that those responsible cut down approximately 1,000 trees. The Forest Service is trying to find those responsible for the cutting spotted this fall by hikers in a high-altitude area of the Santa Fe National Forest. The cutting of the dozen or so runs hundreds of yards long may have been going on for several years, said Mike Gardiner Jr., assistant...

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Man In Norway Finds 1,265-Year-Old Viking Sword While Hiking

Posted by on Oct 31, 2015 @ 8:53 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Man In Norway Finds 1,265-Year-Old Viking Sword While Hiking

Here’s a good reason to go outdoors this weekend. Earlier this month, Goran Olsen was on a hike in the Norwegian village of Haukeli when he caught sight of a 30-inch object under some rocks. It turned out to be a 1,265-year-old, wrought iron Viking sword. The artifact is believed to be from A.D. 750, Norway’s Hordaland County Office said. It’s in unusually good condition, with a bit of rust on the surface that accumulated after being buried under frost and snow for centuries. The sword is now safe with the University Museum...

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How Indonesia’s fires became one of the world’s biggest climate disasters

Posted by on Oct 31, 2015 @ 4:31 am in Conservation | 0 comments

One of the worst eco-disasters on the planet is currently unfolding in Indonesia. Over the past two months, thousands of forest and peatland fires have been raging out of control, covering the entire region in thick, toxic haze and smoke. The fires have been a public health nightmare, forcing widespread evacuations, killing at least 19, and triggering respiratory illnesses in more than half a million people. The crisis has also been terrible for climate change. So far this year, Indonesia’s fires have released more carbon dioxide into...

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A walk on the wild side: Bob Marshall’s trek retraced

Posted by on Oct 30, 2015 @ 10:54 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Bob Marshall hiked 288 miles over eight days through the northwestern Montana wilderness in 1928. Marshall would average 36 miles a day during the epic hike, and The Bob Marshall Wilderness would officially be created 36 years later, after Marshall. “Averaged,” says Chris Peterson of Marshall’s daily walks. “I averaged 10, and I didn’t bag the peaks he did.” In 2014, 86 years after Marshall’s journey, Peterson retraced Marshall’s large footsteps, with a few modifications, through the Swan Range,...

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West Virginia Power Company Admits Coal Is Doomed

Posted by on Oct 30, 2015 @ 10:39 am in Conservation | 0 comments

In front of a roomful of energy executives, the president of Appalachian Power declared that the war on coal was over, and coal had not emerged victorious. This is in West Virginia, a state where coal mining is the largest industry and employer. Charles Patton, president of Appalachian Power, told energy executives that coal consumption is likely to remain stagnant whether or not federal regulations like the Clean Power Plan are allowed to go forward. He also said that in the national debate about coal and climate change, the public has...

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Mapping Greece’s trails with Google technology

Posted by on Oct 29, 2015 @ 7:50 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

An interactive, innovative documentary where Greece’s countryside, hiking trails and culture meet Google technology is on the way, according to Stelios Mavrodontis, production manager and head of the four-member team E4. Two years ago, Google launched its Trekker loan program, which enables explorers to borrow a special backpack mounted kit which includes the same camera device found on Google Street View vehicles. This offers tourism boards, nonprofit organizations, research organizations, universities and others the opportunity to collect...

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Featured Recreational Trails Program: The Rivanna Trail – Charlottesville, Virginia

Posted by on Oct 29, 2015 @ 3:44 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Rivanna Trail is bounded by the Rivanna River, two of its tributaries (Meadow and Moore’s Creeks), and a small undeveloped mountain called Observatory Hill. The twenty-mile rustic footpath meanders through the natural greenbelt that surrounds the City of Charlottesville. The area provides a scenic opportunity for hiking, and residents and visitors alike can quickly and easily leave behind the stresses of modern city life. The trail is unique in that it is truly an urban wilderness trail. The Rivanna Trail is a well-used well-loved...

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House Committee Poised To Rewrite National Park Fee Authority

Posted by on Oct 28, 2015 @ 8:31 am in Conservation | 0 comments

A much anticipated hearing before the House Natural Resource Committee arrives October 28, 2015, and the outcome could be higher fees for national park visitors. Among the potential outcomes outlined in the draft legislation written by U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, (R-UT): motorcyclists and snowmobilers in national parks would face the same entrance fees charged motorists; shuttle buses such as those in Zion and Acadia national parks that now are free to ride might require a paid ticket, and; “destination” visitor centers or interpretive...

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British Government Extends Boundaries Of Lake District And Yorkshire Dales National Parks

Posted by on Oct 27, 2015 @ 8:11 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Two of the most popular national parks in England, the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District, are set to expand their territory to create the largest area of protected and continuous land for a national park in the country. In 2012, Natural England, the government’s legal adviser on the protection of England’s nature, released variation orders to extend the land coverage of these two parks. After thorough analysis and public inquiry, the expansion is scheduled to start in August 2016. The Yorkshire Dales, an upland area of the...

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REI closing on Black Friday for 1st time in push to #OptOutside

Posted by on Oct 27, 2015 @ 1:07 am in Hiking News | 1 comment

REI closing on Black Friday for 1st time in push to #OptOutside

Outdoor gear and sporting goods retailer REI is canceling Black Friday this year. No promotions, no hourly sales, no doorbusters, no waiting in line. In an unprecedented move for the modern-day holiday shopping season, REI’s 143 stores will be closed the day after Thanksgiving. The co-op business plans to launch a campaign Tuesday encouraging people to forgo shopping to spend time outside instead. With the hashtag #OptOutside, REI will ask people to share what they’re doing on Black Friday on social media. REI is taking direct aim...

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Trekking With the Gorillas of Rwanda

Posted by on Oct 26, 2015 @ 9:17 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

One second you are bushwhacking through thickets of bamboo in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, pulling yourself up a steep lava slope, toehold to toehold. The next, you turn a corner and sunlight streams through the canopy to illuminate a matted clump of black against a curtain of rain forest green. You’ve known this was coming and still you gasp. Seated perhaps 30 feet away is one of the roughly 900 mountain gorillas remaining on earth, a saggy-breasted female, and soon you see that she is cradling an infant in her lap. She wraps one arm...

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Antarctic sea ice maximum at ‘normal’ level for first time in three years

Posted by on Oct 26, 2015 @ 9:05 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Despite climbing global temperatures, sea ice coverage around the Antarctic has been increasing in direct contrast to the Arctic ice sheet, which gets smaller each year. Scientists say this is due to a vortex of winds around the South Pole that have gradually strengthened and converged since the 1970s. These winds are pushing and compressing ice into thick ridges that are slower to melt, even in the face of rising global temperatures. But in 2015 the maximum extent of ice decreased for the first time in three years. “After three...

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National Park Service: Worst rockfalls, landslides in Zion National Park

Posted by on Oct 25, 2015 @ 9:14 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

A large rockfall recently closed state Route 9 in Zion National Park, prompting a look back at the worst rockfalls and landslides in the park’s history. The most recent rockfall occurred Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015 and closed state Route 9 near the Pine Creek Bridge on a switchback near the Mount Carmel Tunnel, according to Zion National Park officials. The largest boulder in the fall measured around 19 feet high, 20 feet long and 15 feet wide and weighed 200 tons. While September’s rockfall didn’t cause any fatalities or...

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ExxonMobil Targets Journalists and Activists After Climate Change Investigation

Posted by on Oct 25, 2015 @ 8:59 am in Conservation | 0 comments

After an investigation found that ExxonMobil has been funding climate-denying organizations—despite the findings of its own scientists on climate change—the world’s fourth-largest oil company is now going after the journalists who revealed it. Evidence that ExxonMobil has been deliberately leading a campaign of misinformation about climate change for decades began cropping up after InsideClimate News, a Pulitzer Prize-winning publication, led an investigation into the company. Shortly after the investigation was released, Exxon released a...

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Wolves release cleared despite objection

Posted by on Oct 24, 2015 @ 12:12 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

The U.S. Department of the Interior has granted permission for the release of Mexican wolves into the state despite objections by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and the Socorro County Board of Commissioners. Last week the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service notified the director of New Mexico Department of Game and Fish that the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program is being exempted from the DOI Fish and Wildlife policy to comply with New Mexico’s permitting requirements. “The Mexican wolf is still at risk of extinction,” said...

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High times trekking in steps of Incas

Posted by on Oct 24, 2015 @ 8:18 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Urubamba River rattles and hums like the sound of its own name as we begin the four-day hike. With porters to carry the heavier gear on the mountainous 43km track, our group spreads out along the trail, ducking through forests and crossing alpine pastures. Above us, the 5860m peak of La Veronica keeps watch like a silent, snow-veiled nun. Quechua Indians skim past, seemingly unburdened by the huge bundles they carry. We reach our first set of ruins, Patallacta, with its unmistakable pillow masonry, then keep climbing until our first...

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How to never get invited hiking again

Posted by on Oct 24, 2015 @ 5:45 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Have you been invited on yet another hike to an incredible peak? Make this the last time that ever happens by following this handy guide. Your hiking party doesn’t know how lucky they are that they invited you along, so be sure to remind them whenever there’s a lull in the conversation. You spent an entire weekend on the Pacific Crest Trail back in 2002, and have since skimmed through three guidebooks on native plants. Make sure you tell everyone the proper way to adjust his or her hiking poles. Oh, and don’t forget to remind them of that...

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Alaska man searching for long-lost national park art

Posted by on Oct 23, 2015 @ 10:14 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Alaska man searching for long-lost national park art

He calls himself the “Ranger of the Lost Art.” Like Indiana Jones, the adventurous archaeologist who partially inspired the moniker, 69-year-old Doug Leen, of Kupreanof, Alaska, has an all-consuming passion for recovering lost history for the public. For the next 14 months the veteran national park ranger and amateur historian will travel the country on a mission to stir up interest in an 80-year-old public art project designed to promote America’s National Parks as part of the park system’s 2016 centennial celebration. The story starts in...

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Hiking the mountains in the “shoulder season”

Posted by on Oct 23, 2015 @ 9:55 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

As October shoulders its way into November, the cool sunny days can easily lull us into a sense of comfortable complacency. Hikers call this time of year the “shoulder season,” when the golden days of fall are gone, but full-blown winter isn’t quite here. Most people try to forget about the coming cold, snow, and wind, but the advance of seasons has already begun in the mountains. Everyone enjoys the gift of a mild October or early November day, but rest assured, winter has already begun to lay its icy foundation. When...

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5 Hiking Etiquette Tips That Help You Fit In

Posted by on Oct 22, 2015 @ 7:19 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Society is full of rules. As grownups, we all know not to talk with our mouths full and to always face forward in a crowded elevator. But there was a time when we were young and inexperienced and maybe a little unsure of how to behave. Let’s face it, we’ve all either been that kid (or shared space with that kid) who sneezed without covering his mouth or stared at someone for way too long. Somewhere along the way, someone shed some light on our less than welcome behavior — and we are all the better for it. If the thought of hiking etiquette...

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Almost Every Chemical-Based Sunscreen In The U.S. Linked To Coral Destruction

Posted by on Oct 22, 2015 @ 6:07 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Coral reefs cannot seem to catch a break this year. Between a particularly strong El Niño, ocean acidification and increasing ocean temperatures, links between overfishing and reef collapses, and the declaration of a massive coral bleaching event expected to affect 95 percent of U.S. coral reefs by the end of the year, the current state of the global environment has been particularly detrimental to coral reefs. And now, research has shown that a chemical found in almost every chemical-based sunscreen used in the United States is linked to...

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AussieHikingTours.com: New online booking portal

Posted by on Oct 21, 2015 @ 10:14 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

AussieHikingTours.com: New online booking portal

AussieHikingTours.com is an online booking site for nature-based walking tours. Not just full pack-carry multi-day treks, but also more luxurious accommodated holidays with day-hikes most days, single day hikes, half-day hikes, vehicle tours with a significant nature walking element, and everything in between. There are even day tours where you’ll have the opportunity to hike as well as kayak or bike ride. There are currently 51 tours, but new ones will be added every week and the current selection is well representative of what Australia has...

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It’s easy to love llama trekking in Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains

Posted by on Oct 21, 2015 @ 8:58 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Since 1985 Wallowa LLamas has led hikers into the rugged Wallowa Mountains, nicknamed the Oregon Alps, where one of the highest peaks (9,826 feet) is, in fact, called Matterhorn. A llama trek isn’t like a pack trip with horses, where some horses carry riders while others carry tents and stoves. You don’t ride llamas, you hike along with them. The advantage to a llama trek is that these tough, intelligent, good-natured (for the most part) and sure-footed beasts carry the gear and food. They can navigate steep and narrow trails high into the...

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Fall guide: Top 5 hiking trails in NYC

Posted by on Oct 21, 2015 @ 8:45 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Nearly one-third of the New York City’s land is carved out for parks, playgrounds and recreation facilities — so there’s plenty of room to find fresh air. And for those who love the outdoors, there are plenty of trails to hike for peak fall foliage season, which spans a couple of weeks starting around mid-October. “Mark your calendars to hit the trails, burn off your Halloween candy and Thanksgiving turkeys,” Sarah Aucoin, NYC Parks’ Director of Urban Park Rangers said in a statement. “Stay active and healthy while catching...

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Legal challenges over Exxon Valdez sputter to an end

Posted by on Oct 20, 2015 @ 2:31 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

When the sun set just after 8 pm on March 23, 1989, nothing was amiss in Alaska’s Prince William Sound. The ocean lapped at rocky, seaweed-strewn beaches, boats dotted the horizon, and thousands of sea otters floated serenely on their backs. But all that changed the following morning, when the Exxon Valdez tanker ran aground and hemorrhaged 11 million gallons of crude oil into the sound. The spill not only transformed human and ecologic communities for decades to come, it also upended the world’s understanding of the long-term effects of a...

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Tribes outline proposal for national monument in Utah

Posted by on Oct 20, 2015 @ 3:27 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Tribes outline proposal for national monument in Utah

Tribal leaders in the Southwest have outlined a proposal to designate a section of southeastern Utah as a national monument, seeking to become partners with the federal government in managing their ancestral homeland. The proposed Bears Ears National Monument is named for twin buttes that overlook Cedar Mesa. The 1.9 million-acre area would be bordered to the south by the Navajo Nation and to the west by Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Canyonlands National Park. The Manti-La Sal National Forest would make up part of the eastern...

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Wanted: Volunteers to adopt sections of Maine Appalachian Trail

Posted by on Oct 19, 2015 @ 9:21 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

With a hiking pole in one hand and pruning shears in the other, Ron Dobra picked his way along the Appalachian Trail, snipping overhanging branches and making note of eroding soil. For the past 20 some odd years, he has helped maintain the popular hiking trail, which spans from Georgia to Maine and is seeing more foot traffic each year. “The entire length of the AT — 2,200 miles — even though it’s a national park, is maintained and kept open entirely by volunteers,” Dobra, 68, of Greenville, said. “So without volunteers there’d be no...

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Discover Oklahoma: State’s trails are a hiker’s paradise

Posted by on Oct 18, 2015 @ 9:04 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

What is it about autumn weather that makes us stir about? Could it be something within all creatures that causes us to begin getting ready for the change of seasons? Squirrels store supplies for the winter, but we as humans desire possibly a little food for the soul, stocking up for the coming gray winter days that will keep us housebound too long. This seasonal burst of energy works quite well in our favor, because fall is perhaps the best season for outdoor activity. The heat of the summer is a thing of the past, and now the sun-lit days...

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It’s Worth the Trip: Land trusts provide great hiking sites

Posted by on Oct 18, 2015 @ 8:55 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

It’s Worth the Trip: Land trusts provide great hiking sites

Land trusts are the underrated stars of Maine’s outdoor landscape. Nearly 90 nonprofit land trust organizations dot the state, from Kittery to Aroostook County. While state and national parks are much more visible and widely promoted, the network of land trusts holds some of Maine’s best hiking. This panoply of land trusts is aided greatly by the Maine Land Trust Network, a program of the Maine Coast Heritage Trust that was founded in 1995. The organization brings together members of the dozens of Maine land trusts to share information,...

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Groups unite to improve Pisgah National Forest trail

Posted by on Oct 17, 2015 @ 8:03 am in Hiking News | 2 comments

An unusual collaboration between two trail user groups has resulted in an improved trail in Pisgah National Forest. Mountain bikers and members of Back Country Horsemen volunteered their time recently to complete work on a reroute of a section of the Lower Trace Ridge Trail near North Mills River campground. “It is no secret that trail user groups around the nation have been at odds about access, trail impact and user conflicts,” said Greg Leister, president of Pisgah Area Southern Off-Road Bicycling Association. “The significance of us...

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