News

Florida’s national hiking trail is at crossroads

Posted by on Oct 20, 2016 @ 11:53 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Florida’s national hiking trail is at crossroads

Carving out the Florida National Scenic Trail began in 1966, and now the hiking path from the Everglades to the western Panhandle visits springs, manatees, wetlands, alligators, white beach, turquoise ocean and bird life not seen in more famous wilderness walks. But the 1,300-mile adventure also has 300 miles of gaps, where hikers are now routed away from nature to trek along highways. Those gaps are going to be harder to complete than the 1,000 miles blazed so far. Its builders, who fear Florida’s growth, already at 20 million...

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Coming Soon to a Forest Near You

Posted by on Oct 20, 2016 @ 7:02 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

In August, 2016, another 689.67 acres was added to North Carolina’s Headwaters State Forest. Projected to open in 2018, the forest contains the East Fork of the French Broad River Headwaters (for which it is named), making it an important area to protect fresh, clean water. Land acquisition for the forest began in 2009, when landowner and former congressman Charles Taylor approached Carolina Mountain Land Cconservancy. What resulted was a multi-party partnership dedicated to protecting nearly 8,000 acres of land in Transylvania County....

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Another Duke Energy coal ash spill discovered in the Neuse River

Posted by on Oct 19, 2016 @ 4:51 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Waterkeeper Alliance and Sound Rivers have discovered a large coal ash spill into the Neuse River from the Duke Energy H.F. Lee facility, 10 miles upstream of Goldsboro, NC. A substantial but undetermined amount of coal ash was found floating on the surface of the river in a layer over one inch thick. The spill came from at least one of three inactive coal ash ponds containing more than one million tons of exposed coal ash. The ponds had been submerged by Hurricane Matthew flood waters for more than seven days until flood waters receded over...

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The bid for Bears Ears

Posted by on Oct 19, 2016 @ 11:38 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The bid for Bears Ears

One thousand years ago, clusters of pueblos teeming with activity dotted what are now the piñon, juniper and sage forests atop Cedar Mesa. Men tended to hundreds of acres of electric-green fronds of corn, beans and squash. Women ground corn and shelled beans on rooftops, while turkeys gobbled in nearby pens and domesticated dogs roamed village plazas. Groups of runners followed wide, carefully constructed “roads” from here to Chaco, perhaps the political and cultural center of the Pueblo world. Near the solstice, Kachinas emerged from...

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Trekking across Colorado’s fragmented wildernesses

Posted by on Oct 19, 2016 @ 7:17 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Trekking across Colorado’s fragmented wildernesses

The Colorado Trail Foundation boasts that it’s the state’s “premier long-distance trail. Stretching from Denver to Durango … it travels through the spectacular Colorado Rocky Mountains among peaks with lakes, creeks and diverse ecosystems. Trail users experience six wilderness areas and eight mountain ranges topping out at 13,271 feet, just below Coney Summit at 13,334 feet. The average elevation is over 10,000 feet and it rises and falls dramatically. Hikers traveling from Denver to Durango will climb 89,354 feet.” Typical backpacking...

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We are almost assuredly living in the hottest year ever recorded, according to NASA

Posted by on Oct 18, 2016 @ 7:35 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Last month “was the warmest September in 136 years of modern record-keeping,” reports NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). This follows a record-setting July and August, which were so hot, they tied each other for the “warmest month ever recorded.” Indeed, it now appears 2016 will crush the previous record for hottest year, set in 2015, which itself crushed the previous record for hottest year that was set in 2014 — a three-year run never seen before in the 136-year temperature record. And this means the recent bouts of extreme...

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New hiking trails at Buckeye, Arizona’s Skyline Regional Park

Posted by on Oct 17, 2016 @ 11:57 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Attention hikers: Be on the lookout for new trails in the coming weeks. The Phoenix West Valley’s newest hiking destination is rolling out fresh dirt just in time for fall hiking season. As of the end of September, Skyline Regional Park in Buckeye will have added five new trails for a total of 17 miles of non-motorized routes. Since it opened in January, the 8,700-acre mountain preserve just north of Interstate 10 has become a busy hub for hiking, riding, camping and picnics. The park also hosts stargazing events and educational...

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Health Benefits of Walking in the Forest

Posted by on Oct 17, 2016 @ 7:01 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Health Benefits of Walking in the Forest

There’s no better time to go for a hike than during autumn when the weather starts to cool down and the trees start to change color. Aside from being able to appreciate the beauty that nature has to offer, there are many health benefits that one could gain from a simple stroll among the trees. The following infographic outlines four health benefits that have been suggested from past research studies.     Stress & Depression Several studies related to this topic have shown that being around trees may help alleviate stress....

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Nearly 200 Nations Agree To Cut Greenhouse Gases In Landmark Climate Change Deal

Posted by on Oct 16, 2016 @ 11:56 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Nearly 200 nations have agreed a legally binding deal to cut back on greenhouse gases used in refrigerators and air conditioners, a major move against climate change that prompted loud cheers when it was announced on October 15, 2016. The deal, which includes the world’s two biggest economies, the United States and China, divides countries into three groups with different deadlines to reduce the use of factory-made hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) gases, which can be 10,000 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as greenhouse gases. “While diplomacy...

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This little-noticed court settlement will probably save millions of wild animals

Posted by on Oct 16, 2016 @ 7:37 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Somewhere in America, a wild animal is about to die. A leg trap has been set. Bait laced with poison has been laid out. A cage that no one will check for days is open and inviting with food inside. A little-known division of the federal Agriculture Department called Wildlife Services kills about 4,000 animals every day. Many of them are invasive species that don’t belong in the United States, but to the dismay of conservationists, native animals such as beavers, bears, wolves, bobcats, alligators, prairie dogs, otters and owls are also being...

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Foothills Conservancy Protects 208 Acres at Bear Den Overlook on Blue Ridge Parkway

Posted by on Oct 15, 2016 @ 11:28 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Foothills Conservancy Protects 208 Acres at Bear Den Overlook on Blue Ridge Parkway

The scenic view from the popular Bear Den Overlook along the Blue Ridge Parkway is now permanently protected thanks to Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina. Foothills Conservancy moved swiftly to acquire 208 forested acres along 1.6 miles of the parkway between mileposts 323 and 325 in McDowell County. The conservancy purchased the tract on September 20 from the Moody family, who own the popular Bear Den Campground. The land trust’s acquisition was made possible by a generous gift of $898,000 from Fred and Alice Stanback of Salisbury, a...

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The Civilized Black Bears of Asheville, North Carolina

Posted by on Oct 15, 2016 @ 11:10 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Last summer, Colleen Boll was doing some work around the house when she heard her dog barking from a different room. “It was an interesting kind of bark,” she says, “so I looked out.” Right smack in her yard, pacing around inside her chain link fence, was an enormous, glossy black bear. Boll watched the bear puzzle out how to hop the fence. “Eventually, it grabs the trunk of a tree and climbs over,” she remembers. “And I see the pipe at the top of the chain link fence bend way down under the weight of...

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Forest Service Asheville Office Temporarily Closing for Renovations

Posted by on Oct 15, 2016 @ 7:48 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The U.S. Forest Service will temporarily close the visitors lobby in its Asheville office on Zillicoa for renovations during the week of October 24, 2016. The office is expected to re-open October 31. During the closure, visitor services will be available at other U.S. Forest Service offices including: Appalachian Ranger District 632 Manor Road Mars Hill, NC 28754 (828) 689-9694 Grandfather Ranger District 109 Lawing Drive Nebo, NC 28761 (828) 652-2144 Pisgah Ranger District 1600 Pisgah Highway Pisgah Forest, NC 28768 (828) 877-3265 The...

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Nearly 27 miles of new trails coming to Catalina Island

Posted by on Oct 14, 2016 @ 11:16 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Nearly 27 miles of new trails coming to Catalina Island

The latest, and likely last, major expansion of trails on Catalina Island will give visitors plenty of options to cut a path through the island’s oft-neglected backcountry. The expansion began Oct. 14 with the start of Trekking Catalina, a plan to add nearly 27 miles of new trails throughout the island’s backcountry. The new pathways will be scattered along the island’s existing trails, creating smaller loops out of major hiking thoroughfares like the Trans-Catalina Trail. It’s a perk for the visitors looking to take advantage of the 42,000...

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Great Barrier Reef pronounced dead by scientists

Posted by on Oct 14, 2016 @ 7:33 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 after a long illness. It was 25 million years old. For most of its life, the reef was the world’s largest living structure, and the only one visible from space. It was 1,400 miles long, with 2,900 individual reefs and 1,050 islands. In total area, it was larger than the United Kingdom, and it contained more biodiversity than all of Europe combined. It harbored 1,625 species of fish, 3,000 species of mollusk, 450 species of coral, 220 species of birds, and 30 species of whales and...

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Fire Danger Increasing in Western North Carolina

Posted by on Oct 13, 2016 @ 5:04 pm in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Fire Danger Increasing in Western North Carolina

The U.S. Forest Service and the North Carolina Forest Service are warning the public of increasing fire danger in western North Carolina. Last weekend’s rainfall was not widespread and not enough to alleviate the dry conditions and persistent drought that has resulted from low rainfall in the past few months. Fuels in the forest will readily burn if ignited. Fire danger is predicted to remain high for the rest of October and into December. Both agencies would like to remind the public to use caution in any outdoor burning. Even when...

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Climate Change Is Causing Earlier Springs in National Parks

Posted by on Oct 12, 2016 @ 2:33 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

The National Park Service was created to protect and preserve the United States’ natural wonders. But what happens when climate change starts to alter these sites? U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced a new report revealing that three-quarters of 276 national parks are experiencing an earlier onset of spring. Half of the parks studied are experiencing “extreme” early springs. The report authors discovered this by looking at historical data dating back to 1901. For the parks in the “extreme” category, they found that “the onset of...

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The Three Best Exercises to Get in Shape for Hiking

Posted by on Oct 12, 2016 @ 9:04 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking seems easy—after all it’s just walking for a while—but it can be a big challenge. From varying and sometimes difficult terrain to the fact that you use different muscles for longer periods of time than normal, a good hike takes working up to. Here are three exercises you can do to make sure you’re in hiking shape. Besides being able to hike hilly terrain without having to stop every few feet to catch your breath, it’s important to be in shape so that you can get to safety quickly if there’s a weather change or emergency. Add these...

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North Carolina’s record floods could have unexpected environmental consequences

Posted by on Oct 11, 2016 @ 6:54 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Hurricane Matthew swept across the southeastern seaboard of the United States this weekend, bringing intense rainfall to North Carolina and triggering record flooding across much of the state. But as the rains subside and clearer weather rolls in, some environmentalists are raising alarm bells about the potential for yet another environmental disaster. Over the weekend, Hurricane Matthew — which had been downgraded to a tropical cyclone by Sunday — brought as much as 18 inches of rainfall to parts of North Carolina, causing rivers across the...

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80-year-old error in land records wipes out popular Minnesota trail

Posted by on Oct 11, 2016 @ 9:24 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

An 80-year-old clerical error has wiped out minnesota’s ownership of a popular area used for hiking, cross-country skiing and boat access to Rainy Lake near International Falls. When the Polar Polers, a local ski club, recently began planning to enhance the Tilson Bay recreational area by building a boardwalk across a tamarack bog, they found a surprise when they checked the property records: The state had sold the land in 1935. But whoever recorded the sale for Koochiching County back then failed to note the new owner in land records. And...

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Italian Riviera finding new ways to manage tourism impact on historic hiking trails

Posted by on Oct 10, 2016 @ 11:58 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

It’s part of 120 miles of undulating trails that flit through pine-scented forests, flirt with postcard panoramas of the blue Ligurian Sea, and snake alongside terraced vineyards as they crisscross the Cinque Terre National Park. The park, which was established in 1999 and is a UNESCO reserve, encompasses more than 9,500 acres and connects five of the Italian Riviera’s most picturesque coastal villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. While the trails nearest the park’s borders outside the...

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Shelters on the Ouachita National Recreation Trail

Posted by on Oct 10, 2016 @ 7:07 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Shelters on the Ouachita National Recreation Trail

The Ouachita National Recreation Trail (pronounced as wosh-i-taw) is a 223-mile backcountry trail, running east and west the length of the Ouachita Mountains. It lies primarily within the Ouachita National Forest, with 177 miles of the trail in Arkansas and 46 miles extending into Oklahoma. Both ends of the trail are in State parks. The eastern terminus is in Pinnacle Mountain State Park, west of Little Rock; the western terminus is in Talimena State Park, Oklahoma. Originally intended as a foot trail, the entire length is open to both day...

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Mark your Calendars: 2017 is the MST’s 40th Anniversary!

Posted by on Oct 9, 2016 @ 11:25 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Mark your Calendars: 2017 is the MST’s 40th Anniversary!

On September 9, 1977, Howard N. Lee, then Secretary of Natural Resources and Community Development, made an audacious speech to a National Trails Symposium at Lake Junaluska which has fired the imaginations and energy of NC trail enthusiasts ever since. In that speech, Lee recommended that North Carolina build a “trail from the mountains to the coast, a trail leading through communities as well as natural areas.” Almost forty years later, that trail has become a reality. Nearly 700 miles of trail have been built, and people now...

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World moves to offset airplane emissions in landmark deal

Posted by on Oct 9, 2016 @ 7:43 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The aviation industry, long known for eluding emissions standards, will for the first time offset its pollution through carbon credits or funding green projects, the result of a United Nations-sponsored deal approved this week. Delegates at the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal sealed the historic plan that some environmental advocates have deemed weak, but the industry and countries overwhelmingly favor. Under CORSIA — short for Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation — the industry...

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What every hiker should know (by now)

Posted by on Oct 8, 2016 @ 7:56 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

People seem to believe that Nothing Will Go Wrong when they hike in the Grand Canyon. They’re just going to dash in and out for just a few miles. Shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours. Ah, but what if it does? What if someone sprains an ankle? Trips over a waterbar on the trail? In 2015, Grand Canyon answered 318 calls for assistance, involving 271 injured or ill persons. The park boasts the most search-and-rescue incidents of any national park. Cost: over $875,000, for just that year. Grand Canyon sees from 12 to 20 deaths a year....

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Best fall hikes in North Georgia

Posted by on Oct 7, 2016 @ 7:29 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hike to these North Georgia mountain summits and waterfalls to catch the best fall leaf color in Georgia. Top 10 favorite autumn hiking trails from Atlanta Trails. Autumn is the favorite hiking season of many in North Georgia, as days become cooler, nights become crisp, skies become brilliantly blue, and the cool air triggers a spectrum of leaf color in deciduous trees in the mountains. Autumn’s cool air makes for comfortable fall hiking, camping and backpacking, as Georgia sheds its summertime heat. Fall leaf color explodes throughout the...

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Move To Change Access To Fiery Furnace In Arches National Park Draws Ire

Posted by on Oct 6, 2016 @ 7:16 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

A move Superintendent Kate Cannon believes will lead to better management of visitation to the Fiery Furnace in Arches National Park has drawn the ire of guiding businesses and a member of Congress, who see the changes as unnecessary and economically crippling to the guides and damaging to the unique geologic niche of the park. A red rock maze of fins, arches, and canyons in the heart of the park, the Fiery Furnace long has been a highlight for many visitors to Arches in southeastern Utah. Up until 2008 or 2009, according to the...

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A Summer of Meaningful Service

Posted by on Oct 5, 2016 @ 7:46 am in Conservation | 0 comments

A Summer of Meaningful Service

National parks offer a variety of powerful place-based learning experiences including the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps. Through this program, youth and veterans work in parks learning technical and leadership skills while also protecting, restoring, and enhancing our national parks. The unique initiative exposes corps members to training as they contribute to conservation and restoration work on national park lands, waterways, and cultural heritage sites. Participants often reflect on their work as being rewarding and formative; as...

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Managing Forests for Water: Challenges in the Anthropocene

Posted by on Oct 4, 2016 @ 7:31 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Humans are enmeshed in an ancient and intricate relationship between forests and water, and as the impacts of climate change are felt across the globe, the relationship will become increasingly important. A special issue of the journal Forests, titled Forest Management and Water Resources in the Anthropocene, examines the interactions between forests, water, climate change, and humans. The issue was developed and edited by U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) scientists Ge Sun and Jim Vose, and covers topics such as soil...

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Avoid most popular hiking trails in Adirondacks this fall

Posted by on Oct 3, 2016 @ 7:33 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

New York conservation officials are urging Adirondack hikers to stay off the most popular trails in the High Peaks region this fall and range into other parts of the six-million-acre park. Growing numbers of hikers in the Adirondack Eastern High Peaks region are trashing trails, crowding summits and negatively affecting the experience for others. The Department of Environmental Conservation says less populated routes offer equally great fall foliage and a less crowded backcountry experience. Its suggested alternatives include Rocky Peak,...

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Tall Trees Trail added to Kaien Island network

Posted by on Oct 2, 2016 @ 7:29 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The view from the top of the Tall Trees Recreation Trail may arguably offer the best lookout in the Prince Rupert, BC area. The trail itself was built in 1991, but over the years it became overgrown with fallen trees blocking the route at points. In 2005, the trail was decommissioned — although that didn’t stop some Rupertites from exploring it. When Pacific NorthWest LNG applied to build a liquefied natural gas facility on Lelu Island, the proponent also began investing into the community, spending $125,000 to support the project to re-open...

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The best way to fight climate change? Don’t call it climate change.

Posted by on Oct 1, 2016 @ 7:32 am in Conservation | 0 comments

American cities from Boston to Baton Rouge are getting hammered by hurricanes, torrential downpours, and blizzards amped up by climate change. Maybe that’s why Americans are coming around to the idea that the climate is actually changing. But are all the floods, heat waves, and other disasters spurring cities to prepare for our overheated future? Sabrina McCormick, a sociologist at George Washington University who once investigated how cities cope with disasters for the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, set out...

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Safety Reminders That Can Save Your Life Outdoors

Posted by on Sep 30, 2016 @ 7:17 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

There are a lot of things that can happen when hiking. Most of the time, a blister and a scraped knee should be the least of your worries. Despite the fact that people have easier methods of getting help or dealing with dangers on the trail, it seems like every time we read the news, someone has sadly lost their life while backpacking. Here are a few safety precautions we should always take on the trail, regardless of how obvious they may be. Touch Base with Friends and Family Don’t Take Selfies in Questionable Areas Drink Lots of Water Don’t...

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Cradle of Forestry Hosts Forest Festival Day and Woodsmen’s Meet

Posted by on Sep 29, 2016 @ 6:21 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The Cradle of Forestry invites people of all ages to celebrate the heritage of western North Carolina and the Centennial of the Pisgah National Forest during the annual Forest Festival Day on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016 from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. This is the Cradle’s largest event of the year. This activity-filled, family event commemorates the traditions of mountain living and craft in the Cradle’s unique and beautiful setting, while celebrating the creation of the first National Forest in the eastern United States. More than 100...

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Caesars Head Hawk Watch

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 @ 1:50 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Caesars Head Hawk Watch

From early September through late November of each year, members of the Greenville County Bird Club participate in a count of migrating hawks at Caesars Head State Park. The Hawk Watch is normally manned by volunteers who call themselves “Wing Nuts.” More than 10,000 acres of prime, mountain habitat are protected by a complex of state parks and wildlife management areas known as the Mountain Bridge Wilderness in extreme northern Greenville County, South Carolina. One of the state parks is Caesars Head. Rising 3,266 feet above the...

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FWS decision dooms North Carolina’s red wolves

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 @ 7:08 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released its plan for the future of the red wolf recovery program in North Carolina. Rather than confront the real challenges facing the effort to recover the world’s most endangered wolf species, FWS instead presented a roadmap for a disastrous retreat, announcing that it was going to try to save red wolves by pulling them out of the wild and forcing them into captivity. The agency made a vague promise to look for new areas where red wolves could be released and work with stakeholders on future recovery...

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