News

Cleanup on Columbia River Waterfront Renaissance Trail

Posted by on Sep 19, 2016 @ 10:26 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Cleanup on Columbia River Waterfront Renaissance Trail

Volunteers cleaning up the Columbia River Waterfront Renaissance Trail filled 53 garbage bags in three hours and hauled away a tire, a motorcycle jacket and a Buddha statue. About a dozen volunteers in rain jackets scoured the stretch of trail from Who Song and Larry’s restaurant to the condominium complex to the east, picking up beer cans, soda bottles, fishing line and various other trash littering the waterfront. They also cleaned up tarps and tents in abandoned camps and removed eight hypodermic needles, said Joe Morse, Centennial...

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Karl Meltzer Sets New Appalachian Trail Speed Record

Posted by on Sep 18, 2016 @ 10:36 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Karl Meltzer Sets New Appalachian Trail Speed Record

Ultra runner and Red Bull athlete Karl Meltzer set a new Appalachian Trail thru-hike speed record early this morning, Sept. 18, 2016, when he arrived to Springer Mountain in Georgia at 3:38 a.m. Karl started at 5 a.m. on Aug. 3 at the north end of the trail at Mount Katahdin, Maine. The new record set by Meltzer is 45 days, 22 hours and 38 minutes. The 48-year-old runner began his assault in early August, hoping to best Scott Jurek’s mark of 46 days, 8 hours, 7 minutes set last year for the 2,189-mile trail that stretches from Maine to...

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Magical hiking trail in the Colorado High Country

Posted by on Sep 18, 2016 @ 9:36 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

In the mountains near Breckenridge, CO where the trees grow tall is a village where the houses are very, very small. It’s called the Fairy Forest. It’s on a trail that can be a really good time. There are dozens and dozens of houses, some with a pool. The trail steps lead to a more magical moment that only a fairy village brings full of happy fairy things. There is even a network of small wooden tree house bridges. How this village got here is a mystery for most, but not to Mai Ly Hagan who lives down the trail. She says the Fairy Forest was...

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Climate change is putting us in a very bad mood

Posted by on Sep 17, 2016 @ 11:23 am in Conservation | 0 comments

“The heat made people crazy. They woke from their damp bed sheets and went in search of a glass of water, surprised to find that when their vision cleared, they were holding instead the gun they kept hidden in the bookcase.” This passage, from Summer Island, a romance novel by Kristin Hannah, is how researchers introduce a potentially important new study they believe could alter peoples’ attitudes about the impact of unrelenting heat on violence, and why some parts of the world experience strikingly higher rates of violence than others....

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Free entry to national parks and forests on National Public Lands Day (Sept. 24, 2016)

Posted by on Sep 17, 2016 @ 7:39 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Free entry to national parks and forests on National Public Lands Day (Sept. 24, 2016)

How will you celebrate National Public Lands Day on Sept. 24? You can hug a tree, clean up a trail or share a spectacular moment in nature with family and friends — all without paying to enter national parklands. The idea for the one-day event started 23 years ago when the National Environmental Education Foundation challenged Americans to come out and volunteer on its public lands. Federal parklands will be organizing cleanups, trail repairs and other volunteer activities. Meanwhile visitors can skip the $20 to $30 entrance fee at the fee...

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Annual Mountain Life Festival At Great Smoky Mountains National Park This Weekend

Posted by on Sep 16, 2016 @ 11:33 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The history and culture held in the mountains and hollows is intriguing. You might want to visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park this weekend for the annual Mountain Life Festival. A fixture at the park’s Mountain Farm Museum for more than three decades, the festival brings you face-to-face with the traditional fall activities of those who lived in the Smokies before the park was established. Making apple butter. Blacksmithing. Mountain music. Chair caning. All that and more will be on display on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016 from 10...

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National Forest Trail Bill Approved by House Committee

Posted by on Sep 16, 2016 @ 9:29 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The U.S. House Committee on Agriculture has unanimously approved the National Forest Service Trail Stewardship Act of 2015 (HR 845). The bill, introduced by Congresswomen Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Tim Walz (D-MN), would direct the Forest Service to take several actions to help address the current trail maintenance backlog that is adversely impacting all trail users on many National Forests. A June 2013, study by the Government Accountability Office found that the Forest Service has deferred trail maintenance needs that exceed half-billion...

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Celebrate Michigan Trails Week with a ‘Hike Between Da Falls’

Posted by on Sep 15, 2016 @ 11:35 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Tahquamenon Falls State Park is celebrating Michigan Trails Week with its annual 5-mile hike Sept. 24, 2016 along the Tahquamenon River, between the Upper and Lower Tahquamenon Falls in Luce and Chippewa counties. “This spectacular hike is a very popular event at Tahquamenon Falls State Park,” said Theresa Neal, park interpreter. “It allows us to showcase not only the breathtaking north woods splendor we have here, but also a slice of the tremendous opportunity Michigan has to offer as the Trails State.” The River Trail parallels the mighty...

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Interior Secretary Sally Jewell OK’s Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan

Posted by on Sep 15, 2016 @ 6:44 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell approved the first phase of a sweeping renewable energy and conservation plan for California’s deserts Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016 that’s expected to shape large-scale wind and solar development for decades to come. “Climate change is the pressing issue of the day, and this region is part of the solution,” Jewell said during a signing ceremony for the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan at the Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument visitor center in Palm Desert. The plan covers 10 million...

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Outdoor families are happier families

Posted by on Sep 14, 2016 @ 11:29 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Researchers at the University of Illinois look at how nature restores social cues and makes people less irritable, improving how they relate to each other and establish important rituals. When families spend time together outside, not only do they improve their individual attention and focus, but they also improve family relations, getting along better with each other. This intriguing concept has been investigated by researchers who recently published a study. The researchers’ theory is described by study co-author and doctoral candidate Dina...

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Meet Earl, The Gatekeeper to Paradise

Posted by on Sep 14, 2016 @ 7:26 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Paradise, population one, is halfway along the Magruder Corridor, one of the roughest roads in the US West. This 163km primitive dirt track winds through the largest wilderness area in the continental US, climbing over steep mountains and crossing snow-fed streams along the Montana and Idaho border. Along with his dogs, Harrison and Ozzie, 64 year-old Earl is the only permanent resident of this remote outpost during summer. He is the Bitterroot National Forest’s camp host, welcoming the motley crew of hikers, hunters, fishermen and...

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Introducing the Firebiner, Now Live on Kickstarter

Posted by on Sep 13, 2016 @ 11:25 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Introducing the Firebiner, Now Live on Kickstarter

We all love a good carabiner. We use them to clip our keys, our camera, our water bottle, or a myriad of other products to our backpacks, to shelves, to fences, to belt loops or to whatever we need at the moment. You want your carabiner to be strong, lightweight and maybe have some other functionality like a bottle opener. The Firebiner is all that PLUS it has the ability to make fire easily with EverSpark technology. It has a titanium-coated stainless steel body construction rated for up to 50 pounds of gear (not for climbing or hanging...

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Beginners’ guide to hiking the Appalachian Trail in Georgia

Posted by on Sep 13, 2016 @ 8:30 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Beginners’ guide to hiking the Appalachian Trail in Georgia

When you hear about people who have hiked the Appalachian Trail, it might conjure up the image of worn and weathered thru-hikers retiring after a long, arduous journey. Although it’s always an honor to meet one of these fearless, determined and dedicated long-distance hikers, you don’t necessarily have to take six months off work in order to enjoy hiking the AT. With some portions of the Appalachian Trail stretching only a couple of miles, even beginners could do it in an afternoon. After all, it’s right in your own...

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Canada to complete world’s longest recreational trail

Posted by on Sep 12, 2016 @ 11:45 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Cyclists in Canada will soon be able to pedal from Newfoundland on the Atlantic coast to Vancouver Island in the Pacific Ocean, without having to share a road with a single car. The Great Trail, as it’s known, is set to open in 2017 in time for Canada’s 150th birthday. Once complete, the trail will stretch 15,000 miles (24,000km) through each of the country’s 13 provinces and territories and touch three oceans, becoming the longest recreational trail in the world. Besides biking, hiking and horseback riding, the path will be...

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So. What is Anish up to these days?

Posted by on Sep 12, 2016 @ 8:24 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Meet Heather “Anish” Anderson. It should be said right away that Anderson is not your typical backpacker. On Sept. 24, 2015, she set the self-supported speed record for hiking along the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia: 54 days, 7 hours and 48 minutes. Two years earlier, she set a record on the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2,650-mile path that runs between Mexico and Canada along some of the most unforgiving terrain in the western United States. So what did Anderson do after adding the AT record to her PCT record? Two days after...

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The roads that made Americans fall in love with their national parks

Posted by on Sep 11, 2016 @ 8:27 am in Conservation | 0 comments

More than 5,500 miles of paved roads wind through the national park system. You probably haven’t given much thought to any of them, but Timothy Davis has. A Park Service historian, Davis has written “National Park Roads,” a fascinating and lavishly illustrated book about those paved ways. They may well be the most important development in the history of the National Park Service, which turns 100 this year. Consider that in the early 20th century, the parks were remote and hard to reach. The automobile changed that, so much so that the...

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Ackerson Meadow Gifted to Yosemite National Park

Posted by on Sep 10, 2016 @ 11:38 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Yosemite National Park added Ackerson Meadow, 400 acres of critical wetlands and meadow habitat on the park’s western boundary through a donation. The landmark addition was donated to the park through a cooperative effort between The Trust for Public Land, Yosemite Conservancy, and the National Park Service. The Trust for Public Land purchased Ackerson Meadow from private owners for $2.3 million earlier this year and donated it to the National Park Service to be part of Yosemite National Park. Funds to buy the property came from several...

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Would You Like To Be a Wilderness Ranger?

Posted by on Sep 10, 2016 @ 7:43 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Would You Like To Be a Wilderness Ranger?

Every fall, on the first weekend in October, Wild South hosts training for a new group of volunteers interested in joining the Volunteer Wilderness Ranger team. The USDA Forest Service in Alabama manages three federally designated wilderness areas, Sipsey, Cheaha, and Dugger Mountain, totaling 42,218 acres. For the past several years, Forest Service budgets have afforded very little staff time for agency presence in these areas. Meanwhile, visitor use has skyrocketed, especially in Cheaha and Sipsey, turning these federally designated wild...

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Trail Improvements Continue at Catawba Falls

Posted by on Sep 9, 2016 @ 2:23 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Pisgah National Forest begins the next phase of construction on the Catawba Falls Trail on the Grandfather Ranger District on Monday, September 12, to improve the trail and crossing of Chestnut Branch with a new footbridge. The Catawba Falls Trail is a popular hiking trail near Old Fort, NC. Chestnut Branch is the last creek crossing before visitor reach the lower falls. Weekday visitors can expect delays and short closures for work on the trail and to accommodate construction equipment as well as delivery and placement of the new bridge....

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Oil Pipeline On Native American Reservation In North Dakota Spills 1,000,000 Gallons of Fluid

Posted by on Sep 9, 2016 @ 11:23 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Oil Pipeline On Native American Reservation In North Dakota Spills 1,000,000 Gallons of Fluid

One million gallons of saltwater and an unknown quantity of crude oil have leaked from a North Dakota pipeline into a creek that feeds the Missouri River. The spill was on Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation land approximately 15 miles north of Williston, North Dakota. The leak comes from a saltwater collection line owned by Summit Midstream Partners LP. The saltwater is a byproduct of the hydraulic fracturing process. The Saltwater is usually filtered and re-injected back into the earth after the oil is extracted. Williston is considered a...

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The world has lost a tenth of all its wilderness in the past two decades

Posted by on Sep 9, 2016 @ 6:56 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Wilderness areas on Earth have experienced alarming losses in the past two decades, a new study suggests. By comparing global maps from the present day and the early 1990s, researchers have concluded that a 10th of all the world’s wilderness has been lost in just 20 years. The study, published in the journal Current Biology, finds that just over 30 million square kilometers (or 11.5 million square miles) of wilderness remains on Earth, composing nearly a quarter of the planet’s terrestrial area. On the other hand, 3.3 million square...

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Reseachers start long-term hunt for huckleberry secrets

Posted by on Sep 8, 2016 @ 4:42 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

We know the least about the plant we love the most in the mountains. When Tabitha Graves took up carnivore research for the U.S. Geological Survey base at Glacier National Park, one of the biggest puzzles needing attention was the role huckleberries play in the food chain. Although creatures from grasshoppers to grizzlies like the purple fruit, we know little about what the berries themselves like. “The more I’ve gotten into this, the more I’ve realized how important they are,” Graves said. “All kinds of birds eat them, as do small mammals....

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The dystopian lake filled by the world’s tech lust

Posted by on Sep 8, 2016 @ 7:01 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Hidden in an unknown corner of Inner Mongolia is a toxic, nightmarish lake created by our thirst for smartphones, consumer gadgets and green tech. The city-sized Baogang Steel and Rare Earth complex dominates the horizon, its endless cooling towers and chimneys reaching up into grey, washed-out sky. Stretching into the distance lies an artificial lake filled with a black, barely-liquid, toxic sludge. Dozens of pipes line the shore, churning out a torrent of thick, black, chemical waste from the refineries that surround the lake. The smell of...

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Man traces Lewis and Clark Trail by foot and kayak

Posted by on Sep 7, 2016 @ 6:31 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Bruce “Buck” Nelson appreciates a good adventure. He’s hiked the Continental Divide, Pacific Crest and Appalachian trails. He’s canoed the length of the Mississippi River, hiked and hunted his way across Alaska and spent 70 days living off the land on Admiralty Island, home to 1,600 brown bears. Since late March, the 58-year-old retired smoke jumper of Fairbanks, Alaska, has been retracing the steps and paddle strokes of the Lewis and Clark Expedition the hard way — under only his own power. Here’s a quick recap: Nelson departed St. Louis...

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Decision to stop maintaining fire-damaged BWCA trail worries hikers

Posted by on Sep 6, 2016 @ 4:39 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

A hefty backpack slung from his shoulders, hiker Martin Kubik places a hand on a fallen tree blocking his path and groans. “I hate this,” he mutters as he lowers himself beneath the trunk, one knee scraping the ground, to pass under. It is a labored routine he repeats again a few hundred yards farther down the trail at the next fallen tree, and then again at the next one. And again. Each obstacle on the Powwow Trail in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness brings more protest from Kubik. “This is what they want,” he grunts, as he stands...

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Elk killings lead to NC Wildlife rule changes

Posted by on Sep 6, 2016 @ 12:22 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Elk killings lead to NC Wildlife rule changes

On a February, 2016 morning, biologists with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission visited a Waynesville dairy farm where the landowner said he had shot three elk damaging his property — a bull, a cow and a calf. While walking the farm’s wheat fields and ridge lines, the biologists found even more dead elk, some gruesomely decomposed, some buried, which were not reported. Emails retrieved through an Asheville Citizen-Times public records request reveal that the biologists were furious, saying they believed the deaths were “spite killing” by...

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Aspen a base for changing attitude about altitude

Posted by on Sep 5, 2016 @ 6:09 pm in Hiking News | 1 comment

Just sleeping at altitude will help you acclimate, as more time in the area will leave you better prepared, regardless of your fitness level. But the best way to make the most of your high-altitude adventure vacation is to plan excursions that progressively take you higher over the days of your trip. “Progression makes the altitude less shocking on your body,” says Nate of Aspen Alpine Guides. And when you live near sea level, you need every advantage to get past huffing and puffing with every step – and appreciate the views...

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Watch your step! Tarantula love lures big spiders onto L.A. County hiking paths

Posted by on Sep 5, 2016 @ 8:54 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Watch your step! Tarantula love lures big spiders onto L.A. County hiking paths

Watch where you’re stepping while hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains near Los Angeles this month. There may be an extra pair of legs (or four) on the path. It’s the beginning of tarantula mating season, and the males are on the prowl. According to the National Park Service, those big, furry arachnids that call the American Southwest home will be spending the better part of September and October weaving their webs of love just above ground, outside the female’s burrow. Because females typically stay inside, if a hiker comes across a...

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Report Shows How Many Asthma Attacks Are Caused By The Oil And Gas Industry

Posted by on Sep 4, 2016 @ 4:57 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

New analysis from the Clean Air Task Force shows that by 2025 America’s children will experience 750,000 asthma attacks each summer that will be directly attributable to the oil and gas industry. The report, Gasping for Breath, is the first to quantify the effects of smog caused by oil and gas production and distribution. The authors used industry data submitted to the EPA’s National Emissions Inventory, particularly looking at methane and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can interact to create smog. This chemical reaction is...

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Frackers told to shut wells after quake

Posted by on Sep 4, 2016 @ 1:07 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is telling operators to shut down 35 disposal wells that may have played a role in a 5.6-magnitude earthquake that shook at least six states September 3, 2016, Gov. Mary Fallin said. The disposal wells, which are linked to fracking and other industries that need to dispose of toxic waste water by injecting it deep into the earth, have recently drawn concern that they may actually induce earthquakes. The commission, which regulates fuel, oil, gas, public utilities and transportation industries, is...

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More of the ‘Little Smokies of Ohio’ saved

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

Two hours to the east of Cincinnati lies Ohio’s only state-designated wilderness area, the largest contiguous protected forest in the Buckeye State. Now, it’s getting bigger. A U.S. Forest Service Forest Legacy project has resulted in the addition of 929 acres – known as the “Little Smokies of Ohio” – to the forest’s current 63,747 acres, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The forest surrounds 1,168-acre Shawnee State Park in Portsmouth, which features some of the best backcountry camping in...

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A 14-Mile Hike Through Four Towns With Few Hints Of Civilization

Posted by on Sep 3, 2016 @ 9:33 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

A 14-Mile Hike Through Four Towns With Few Hints Of Civilization

Connecticut’s newly opened Richard H. Goodwin Trail travels 14 miles from an old farm in East Haddam into Salem and Lyme to a lonely lake in East Lyme. During that distance, the path remains in field and forest with only a few hints of civilization. It crosses a road to civilization only four times. Four times. How is that even possible in the 21st century near the heavily developed shoreline? The trail, which was officially opened in June, 2016, was the creation of the Eightmile River Wild & Scenic Watershed Coordinating...

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Sustainability: Giant Salamanders? Hell, Yes!

Posted by on Sep 2, 2016 @ 11:21 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Sustainability: Giant Salamanders? Hell, Yes!

Any creature with a name like “hellbender” is bound to raise some eyebrows. But what if this animal was also one of the oldest, most interesting, and least known creatures to inhabit the creeks and streams of southern Appalachia? The eastern hellbender, Cryptobranchus alleganiensis, is our region’s largest salamander species with adults reaching up to two and a half feet in length and a lifespan that is believed to exceed 60 years. “No one really knows how long they can live,” says Dr. J.J. Apodaca, professor of conservation biology at Warren...

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Forest Service to Hold Open Houses at WNC District Offices

Posted by on Sep 2, 2016 @ 7:11 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The U.S. Forest Service will hold open houses at district offices on the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests in September and October, 2016 to provide the public with opportunities to talk with forest staff about local issues, district projects, and forest plan revision. The open houses will have a flexible format allowing the public to come at any time during the specified hours and talk directly with Forest staff one-on-one. District rangers and members of the forest plan revision team will be present from 3 to 6 pm on each of the...

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