News

Exploring Lake Clark National Park in Alaska

Posted by on Dec 26, 2016 @ 12:18 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Exploring Lake Clark National Park in Alaska

Lake Clark is one of the National Park System’s true gems—a large sliver of all of the best parts of Alaska rolled into one easy-to-get-to place. It is almost as if Mother Nature created it with explorers in mind, offering diverse environments for mountaineers, backpackers, paddlers, big-game fisherman, hikers, and photographers to play in. The lake that bares the park’s namesake is Lake Clark—a 40-mile, vividly turquoise-colored body of water that is fed by glaciers, waterfalls, rivers, and streams; and that is surrounded by volcanoes,...

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North Carolina State Parks to Host First Day Hikes

Posted by on Dec 26, 2016 @ 7:03 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

North Carolina State Parks to Host First Day Hikes

For those looking to release pent-up energy from the holiday season, Pilot Mountain State Park officials have a suggestion: take a hike. A First Day Hike at the park that is, which will be helping to perpetuate a statewide New Year’s Day tradition. Every year on January 1 since 2011, parks across North Carolina have hosted First Day Hikes and encouraged the public to participate as a wholesome way to begin the new year while enjoying the Great Outdoors — free of charge. “It’s starting the year off on the right foot, so to speak,” said Pilot...

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The Arctic is showing stunning winter warmth, and these scientists think they know why

Posted by on Dec 25, 2016 @ 1:18 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Last month, temperatures in the high Arctic spiked dramatically, some 36 degrees Fahrenheit above normal — a move that corresponded with record low levels of Arctic sea ice during a time of year when this ice is supposed to be expanding during the freezing polar night. And now this week we’re seeing another huge burst of Arctic warmth. A buoy close to the North Pole just reported temperatures close to the freezing point of 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 Celsius), which is 10s of degrees warmer than normal for this time of year. Although it isn’t...

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Huts with History: 10 Australian Alpine Huts You Should Visit

Posted by on Dec 25, 2016 @ 6:35 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

There are around 200 huts scattered throughout Australia’s alpine regions. Though some of them are much newer, others date back as far as the 1860’s. For over 150 years, they’ve given shelter to cattlemen and women, gold miners, foresters, hydro-workers, fishermen, miners, skiers, and bushwalkers. Unquestionably, they’re an icon of European Australia. Unlike in other countries where huts are setup for people to sleep in, most of Australia’s huts are provided for emergency shelter only, but they are traditionally left socked with matches and a...

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Adventure Arkansas: Devil’s Den Hiking

Posted by on Dec 24, 2016 @ 12:06 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

There’s a place in Arkansas that runs the whole gambit of geologic features. From waterfalls, to sand stone structures to caves, there’s so much to explore, for free, at Devil’s Den State Park. Connecting with the earth and disconnecting from electronics is a positive trend that a park guide, Terry Elder, said she has been noticing among hikers. “They actually enjoy it,” Elder said. “It makes them sit back and put their phones away for a while and just absorb what’s around them.” Along the trails there’s the...

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Pacific Crest Trail hikers should know about Valley Fever

Posted by on Dec 24, 2016 @ 9:42 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Pacific Crest Trail hikers should know about Valley Fever

When it comes to Valley fever, awareness is key. Unfortunately, too few people know much of anything about it. A fungus that lives in the soil throughout the Southwest causes this terrible lung infection. The Pacific Crest Trail likely passes through areas where this fungus exists. According to doctors at U.C. Davis, Valley fever is on the rise in California. While the infection is an annoyance for most, it can be more serious or even life threatening. More than 150,000 cases occur each year. Valley fever, or Coccidioides, is often...

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The Park Service’s centennial took a toll

Posted by on Dec 24, 2016 @ 6:43 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The Park Service’s centennial took a toll

While flashing back to an impossibly busy summer, Kathleen Gonder describes Bryce Canyon National Park as if it had been under siege: “We’re scrambling just to be able to provide infrastructure — and that means the basics, like clean restrooms and parking,” said Gonder, who is chief of interpretation at the Utah park famous for its colorful, spike-like geological formations called hoodoos. At 56 square miles, Bryce Canyon is among the smallest of the national parks, but it currently ranks 11th in visitation. More than 2.3 million people, and...

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Stay Safe in the Woods this Winter

Posted by on Dec 23, 2016 @ 12:27 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

The U.S. Forest Service encourages visitors to the National Forests of North Carolina to use caution when recreating this winter because of additional hazards in the woods. Natural settings have inherent risks and winter weather can increase the danger. Falling trees and branches are an ever-present hazard; the addition of snow and ice makes tree failure more likely. Visitors should be especially cautious when entering areas burned by recent wildfires because fires may have killed or weakened trees. Fire and the freeze-thaw cycle can loosen...

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The Retirement Cure

Posted by on Dec 23, 2016 @ 8:42 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Retirement Cure

Making the most of retirement with a 40-foot RV, a patch of dirt and full-time seasonal volunteer work in the national parks. A pop of static. Reg Wofford instinctively reaches down and adjusts the volume of his radio. Beside him his wife of 54 years, Laurie, speaks smoothly into hers: “We’re first on a jam at Willow Flats. There’s a griz on a carcass with her cubs.” As Laurie signs off and reclips her radio, the Woffords return their focus to the dynamic scene playing out before them under the unflinching blue of a Western sky. Willows,...

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144-mile hiking and biking trail in Missouri’s near future

Posted by on Dec 22, 2016 @ 2:08 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

A 144-mile stretch of a former railroad line is expected to be transferred to the state by the end of next year for use as a hiking and biking trail, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said December 20, 2016. Nixon was at Ameren headquarters in St. Louis to announce details of plans to develop the former Rock Island rail line from Windsor, in western Missouri, to Beaufort, about 60 miles southwest of St. Louis. Ameren purchased the rail line in 1999. It has not been used for railroad purposes for more than two decades. “This new trail will bolster...

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Obama’s Mad Dash to Protect the Environment

Posted by on Dec 22, 2016 @ 6:43 am in Conservation | 0 comments

President Obama and his top aides, who have ushered through an increasingly ambitious set of energy and environmental policies during his second term, have decided to flood the zone during his remaining month in office. For months, they had envisioned finalizing a set of regulations and other executive actions that would set the stage for Hillary Clinton’s presidency; now they face the prospect of a Republican successor who has vowed to revive the U.S. fossil fuel industry and eliminate two regulations for every one he adopts. In many cases,...

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As Trump Signals Climate Action Pullback, Local Leaders Push Forward

Posted by on Dec 21, 2016 @ 12:19 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

The incoming Trump administration appears determined to reverse much of what President Obama has tried to achieve on climate and environment policy. In position papers, agency questionnaires and the résumés of incoming senior officials, the direction is clear — an about-face from eight years of policies designed to reduce climate-altering emissions and address the effects of a warming planet. The Republican-led Congress appears to welcome many of these changes. But mayors and governors — many of them in states that supported President-elect...

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Obama invokes 1953 law to indefinitely block drilling in Arctic and Atlantic oceans

Posted by on Dec 21, 2016 @ 7:17 am in Conservation | 0 comments

President Barack Obama on Dec. 20, 2016 moved to indefinitely block drilling in vast swaths of U.S. waters. The president had been expected to take the action by invoking a provision in a 1953 law that governs offshore leases. The law allows a president to withdraw any currently unleased lands in the Outer Continental Shelf from future lease sales. There is no provision in the law that allows the executive’s successor to repeal the decision, so President-elect Donald Trump would not be able to easily brush aside the action. The lands...

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U.S. Interior Dept finalizes rule to protect waterways from coal mining

Posted by on Dec 20, 2016 @ 12:21 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

The U.S. Interior Department on Dec. 19, 2016 finalized a contentious rule to protect streams and forests from the impact of coal mining, one of the Obama administration’s last major environmental regulations that the incoming Trump administration is likely to target. The Stream Protection Rule, which the coal industry strongly opposes, updates 33-year-old regulations with stronger requirements for responsible surface coal mining. The Interior Department says the rule will protect 6,000 miles of streams and 52,000 acres of forests over...

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Canada’s 150th birthday gift to you: Free pass to national parks all year long

Posted by on Dec 20, 2016 @ 11:41 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Canada’s 150th birthday gift to you: Free pass to national parks all year long

On July 1, 2017, Canada turns 150 years old. Kicking off the festivities on New Year’s Day, the stewards of the country’s protected natural treasures, Parks Canada, has a gift for all: a free, multiuse pass to the country’s 47 national parks and national park reserves. Parks and reserves, which indicate areas earmarked as national parks pending native land claim settlements, are located in every one of the country’s 13 provinces and territories from coast to coast to coast (Pacific to Atlantic to Arctic). The Discovery Pass also offers free...

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This New Mega-Trail Could Open a Mysterious Region to Trekkers

Posted by on Dec 19, 2016 @ 6:42 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

This New Mega-Trail Could Open a Mysterious Region to Trekkers

The Transcaucasian Trail (TCT) is a 932-mile long-distance trekking route stretching from the Black Sea in the west to the Caspian Sea in the east. The trail is planned to pass under gorgeous 16,400-foot peaks capped with snow and through a stunning high-altitude UNESCO World Heritage site. The path will traverse ancient villages where hospitality and wine are the currency, and cross crystal blue mountain streams on handmade bridges and ancient Byzantine trading trails worn deep into the fern-covered floors of old-growth forests. “You have...

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How to Thru-Hike the 133-Mile Northville-Placid Trail

Posted by on Dec 18, 2016 @ 12:47 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

How to Thru-Hike the 133-Mile Northville-Placid Trail

The Adirondacks are a wilderness area as bottomless as any other on the East Coast, filled with untainted pockets of forest located miles away from any sense of civilization. Here, trails twist like tunnels through old growth and virgin forests alike, packed dense enough that it’s generally only bears and moose who tend to navigate them. Among the most revered of these trails that tunnel their way through northern New York’s wild expanses of undulating terrain and rocky alpine tundra is the Northville-Placid Trail, a long-distance...

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Scientists confirm that warm ocean water is melting the biggest glacier in East Antarctica

Posted by on Dec 18, 2016 @ 7:19 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Scientists at institutions in the United States and Australia published a set of unprecedented ocean observations near the largest glacier of the largest ice sheet in the world: Totten glacier, East Antarctica. And the result was a troubling confirmation of what scientists already feared — Totten is melting from below. The measurements, sampling ocean temperatures in seas over a kilometer (0.62 miles) deep in some places right at the edge of Totten glacier’s floating ice shelf, affirmed that warm ocean water is flowing in towards the glacier...

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Great Smoky Mountains Natioanl Park Reopens Several Trails

Posted by on Dec 17, 2016 @ 8:41 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Several trails that were closee in Great Smoky Mountains National Park due to the Chimney Tops 2 fire have been reopened effective December 17, 2016. Hikers are reminded to stay on established trails and to be cautious of overhead limbs and trail hazards throughout the area. The following areas are now open: Gatlinburg Trail, Sugarland Valley Nature Trail, Huskey Gap Trail, Backcountry Campsite 21, and quiet walkways along Newfound Gap Road between Sugarlands Visitor Center and Newfound Gap. Park trail crews continue to clear and assess...

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Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

Posted by on Dec 17, 2016 @ 6:51 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

On Kangaroo Island, a 20-minute flight from Adelaide, Flinders Chase National Park is a 32,000-hectare spread with free-roaming koalas and kangaroos. It’s long been a favorite weekend escape for nature-loving Australians, but it’s lacked decent long-distance hiking options. The September opening of the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail—an unguided 66-kilometer path along the island’s southwestern coast that takes five days to hike—has changed that. Kangaroo Island holds many secrets waiting to be discovered. None is more rewarding than the...

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Solar capacity has increased 99% since last quarter

Posted by on Dec 16, 2016 @ 6:36 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The U.S. solar industry just experienced a quarter of record-breaking growth, with 4,143 megawatts of solar capacity added between July and September. That’s a 99 percent increase over the previous quarter, and a 191 percent increase over the same time period last year. Those numbers come from a quarterly report issued by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and market analysis firm GTM Research. According to the report, an average of one new megawatt of solar generating capacity came online every 32 minutes between July and...

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Proposed National Park System Addition in South Carolina

Posted by on Dec 15, 2016 @ 7:35 am in Conservation | 0 comments

National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis will be in South Carolina Thursday, December 15, 2016 at the invitation of U.S. Representative James E. Clyburn (D-SC) to hear comments on proposals to add Reconstruction Era sites in Beaufort County to the National Park System. The Reconstruction Era began during the Civil War and lasted until the dawn of Jim Crow racial segregation in the 1890s and remains one of the most complicated and poorly understood periods in American History. During this period in the Beaufort area, some of the first...

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Changes in the works for congested Pisgah Forest entrance

Posted by on Dec 15, 2016 @ 6:46 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Several modifications could be on the way to help alleviate traffic congestion at the entrance to Pisgah National Forest, improve the intersection of Highways 276 and 64, and bring more pedestrian access to the area. The N.C. Department of Transportation has submitted several projects for funding, one that would widen Highway 276 at the entrance to the forest, one to improve the intersection and another to add a pedestrian bridge. The proposal to improve the intersection has two alternatives: an update of the signalized intersection like the...

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The Arctic just received its annual report card, and it’s not good

Posted by on Dec 14, 2016 @ 12:34 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

The world’s air conditioner is on the fritz. Unprecedented, record-breaking warmth in the Arctic this year triggered declines in sea ice, snow, the Greenland ice sheet and a remarkable delay in the annual freeze of sea ice in the fall. Overall, the Arctic experienced its warmest year ever recorded. “Rarely have we seen the Arctic show a clearer, stronger or more pronounced signal of persistent warming and its cascading effects on the environment than this year,” said Jeremy Mathis, director of NOAA’s Arctic research program, which released...

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Unable To Hike, Woman Carried 79 Miles On Appalachian Trail

Posted by on Dec 14, 2016 @ 6:59 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Unable To Hike, Woman Carried 79 Miles On Appalachian Trail

Carden Wyckoff is unable to hike. But thanks to her brother and friends, she completed a 79-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail this fall. When Carden was nine-years-old, she learned she had a form of muscular dystrophy known as FSH (facioscapulohumeral). The disease causes weakening of the skeletal muscles. By 14, Carden was no longer able to run. Now 23, she has grudgingly accepted the aid of a scooter in her daily mobility. Wyckoff’s brother Spencer and volunteers carried her 79 miles from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Bly Gap along...

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Time’s Running Out to Get Limited-Edition Collectibles for NPS Centennial

Posted by on Dec 13, 2016 @ 1:14 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Time’s Running Out to Get Limited-Edition Collectibles for NPS Centennial

Every day, we all use and enjoy our national parks, creating fond memories of hiking, swimming, camping, and exploring with family and friends. In fact, nothing is more American than our national parks. For a limited time only, the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service (NPS) Commemorative Coin Program honors the NPS and its first century of protecting, preserving, and sharing some of our nation’s greatest natural, historical, and cultural resources. The NPS commemorative coins provide all Americans with a way to preserve and collect...

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Meet the 23-Year-Old Who’s Halfway Through a 9,500-Mile Coastal Walk For a Great Cause

Posted by on Dec 13, 2016 @ 6:49 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

23-year-old Alex Ellis Roswell from Kent, England has been walking the coastline of the United Kingdom and Ireland for the past two years and is still only halfway through his journey. He started the 9,500-mile-walk back on August 3, 2014 and has already raised £30,000 (almost $38K USD) for RNLI Lifeboats, a charity that’s dedicated to saving lives at sea. As he approaches his third winter, he says he has no plans to stop anytime soon. Ellis says that he started the walk as a “way to clear his head after the death of a close...

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Pick of Exxon CEO for Secretary of State clarifies why Putin wanted Trump elected

Posted by on Dec 12, 2016 @ 11:24 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Pick of Exxon CEO for Secretary of State clarifies why Putin wanted Trump elected

While Donald Trump may not be able to destroy global climate action and the landmark 2105 Paris climate deal all by himself — as he pledged to do during the campaign — he probably could do that with help from Russia and the trillion-dollar oil industry. So much is explained by Trump’s Secretary of State choice. Media reports now say it will be Rex Tillerson, CEO of oil giant ExxonMobil, which had made a $500 billion oil deal with Putin that got blocked by sanctions after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region. Stalling the biggest oil...

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Wicked Wild Waterfall Photography Weekend

Posted by on Dec 12, 2016 @ 6:57 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Wicked Wild Waterfall Photography Weekend

Like waterfalls? Like photographing waterfalls? Kevin Adams photographed his first waterfall in the mid-1980s and has been leading waterfall photo tours since the early 1990s. If he has learned anything along the way, it’s that waterfalls are among the most popular photo subjects in the world. And the wild and wonderful waterfalls of western North Carolina attract more waterfall photographers than perhaps any area of similar size in the country. Kevin has always enjoyed leading photo tours and giving programs on waterfall photography. But...

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New Study Details Recreationists’ Harmful Effects On Wildlife

Posted by on Dec 11, 2016 @ 12:16 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Newly published research by scientists at Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Colorado State University (CSU), and University of California-Berkeley finds that human recreation activities in protected areas are impacting wildlife, and more often than not, in negative ways. Nature-based, outdoor recreation is the most widespread human land use in protected areas and is permitted in more than 94 percent of parks and reserves globally. Inspiring an estimated eight billion visits per year to these areas, outdoor recreation is typically assumed...

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Petrified Forest National Park: Ancient and Spectacular

Posted by on Dec 11, 2016 @ 9:48 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The area is the only national park that includes a part of the historic U.S. Route 66. Welcome to the Petrified Forest National Park. The word “forest” may mislead visitors. The park is in a desert. And the word “petrified” — which can mean “afraid” — may scare visitors away. But fear not. “Petrified Forest” gets its name from the trees that have, over millions of years, turned to stone. That natural process is called fossilization. Much of the Petrified Forest formed from tall trees called conifers. They grew over 200 million...

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New hiking route connects Los Angeles to 67 miles of backcountry bliss

Posted by on Dec 10, 2016 @ 12:49 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

New hiking route connects Los Angeles to 67 miles of backcountry bliss

One of the newest backcountry trails in the West skirts the busiest city in the country. The thoroughfare, dubbed the Backbone Trail, stretches about 67 miles through the Santa Monica Mountains that ring Los Angeles, and opened in June after more than 50 years in the making. The trail, which connects Point Mugu State Park in Malibu to Will Rogers State Historic Park in Pacific Palisades, has evolved slowly over the years. Non-government volunteers worked with state and federal park employees to fund and build the path, and to acquire the land...

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Thousands of Invisible Oil Spills Are Destroying The Gulf

Posted by on Dec 10, 2016 @ 8:25 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Hurricane Ivan would not die. After traveling across the Atlantic Ocean, it stewed for more than a week in the Caribbean, fluctuating between a Category 3 and 5 storm while battering Jamaica, Cuba, and other vulnerable islands. And as it approached the US Gulf Coast, it stirred up a massive mud slide on the sea floor. The mudslide created leaks in 25 undersea oil wells, snarled the pipelines leading from the wells to a nearby oil platform, and brought the platform down on top of all of it. And a bunch of the mess—owned by Taylor Energy—is...

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Your National Park Guide to Hiking in the Winter

Posted by on Dec 9, 2016 @ 12:29 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Your National Park Guide to Hiking in the Winter

National parks in some parts of the country are already locked under snow and ice, and many more soon will be. Your chance to enjoy the outdoors doesn’t end with the arrival of cold weather, though. Winter offers a unique opportunity to experience your national parks, so consider this your national park guide to winter hiking. The landscapes of many national parks are simply stunning in winter, offering spectacular views and an unmatched sense of solitude. That being said, there are also risks. In winter, all the perils that come with...

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Fire restrictions on Appalachian Trail lifted; ban remains in Smokies

Posted by on Dec 8, 2016 @ 12:00 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Fire restrictions on Appalachian Trail lifted; ban remains in Smokies

The National Park Service and Appalachian Trail Conservancy on December 7, 2016 lifted fire restrictions on 27.7 miles of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in Virginia, from Newport Road (Va. 624) north to Mountain Pass Road (Va. 652). This section of the AT includes the popular viewpoints of McAfee Knob and Tinker Cliffs. Although fire hazard conditions have become less severe because of recent rainfall, campers should only have fires in established fire rings at designated campsites. This announcement follows the lifting of the fire ban...

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The next Standing Rock: Fossil fuel battles loom across North America

Posted by on Dec 8, 2016 @ 7:20 am in Conservation | 0 comments

When news broke that the Army Corps of Engineers would not grant a permit necessary for the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline to cross the Missouri River, the thousands of water protectors, environmental activists, and concerned citizens who spent months protesting the pipeline’s construction erupted in celebration. However, the Dakota Access pipeline, which would carry up to 570,000 barrels of oil from the Bakken oilfields of North Dakota nearly 1,200 miles to a hub in Illinois, is far from the only pipeline under construction in North...

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