News

4 worst ways climate change is harming wildlands

Posted by on Jun 26, 2016 @ 7:42 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Climate change is devastating wild lands and the wildlife that thrives inside them, according to findings of a government study. The National Climate Assessment had some alarming findings that have direct impact on our wild lands. Climate change is already affecting some of our most prized natural resources and it’s only getting worse. The report was written by over 300 scientists, academics and government officials, and is one of the most detailed studies on the current and future impacts of climate change, a global trend supported by...

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18 beautiful hiking trails in Massachusetts

Posted by on Jun 25, 2016 @ 9:16 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

From Great Barrington cave—where Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville used to hang out—to the state’s highest peak in Lanesborough, the Bay State offers an abundance of beautiful and historic hiking trails. Whether you want to peep the Boston skyline from Dover, or soak in gorgeous beach views along the Cape Cod National Seashore, these 18 hiking trails in Massachusetts will make you want to lace up this summer. For example, the Parker River Wildlife Refuge in Newburyport is made up of more than 4,700 acres of beach, dunes, cranberry bogs,...

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Smokies’ Balsam Mountain Road closes temporarily

Posted by on Jun 24, 2016 @ 10:29 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Great Smoky Mountains National Park maintenance crews will perform road maintenance along the gravel Balsam Mountain Road on Monday, June 27, 2016, Wednesday, June 29 and Wednesday, July 6, from 6-11 a.m. each morning. The work will require a full road closure during these time periods to allow crews to place new gravel on the roadway. The one-way, 15-mile Balsam Mountain Road is in the southeast area of the park accessed from the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. The road runs between the Balsam Mountain Campground/Picnic Area and...

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How Photography Shaped America’s National Parks

Posted by on Jun 24, 2016 @ 7:19 am in Conservation | 1 comment

How Photography Shaped America’s National Parks

Have you ever gotten a postcard from a national park? Chances are the picture that comes to mind—maybe the powerful eruption of Old Faithful spouting up in Yellowstone or the rocky depths of the Grand Canyon—is the same shot that people across the world have seen. There’s a reason for that. The idea of America’s national parks that’s ingrained in the collective consciousness has been shaped through more than 150 years of photographing them. You might be surprised by just how important a role photography played in constructing what...

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Defending Mongolia’s Growing National Park System

Posted by on Jun 23, 2016 @ 11:14 am in Conservation | 0 comments

A few months ago, when Mongolian national park director Tumursukh Jal was on an official visit to the Grand Canyon, one of his hosts asked a simple question: “How many national parks do you guys have there in your home country?” When Tumursukh mentioned there were 99 of them, his US colleagues seemed a bit nonplussed. “That many, really?” The issue that worries Tumursukh is not that Mongolia lacks enough national parks. Instead, there is almost too much territory to protect – and certainly not enough park rangers and other resources to do the...

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Hiking 4,600 miles across the country

Posted by on Jun 22, 2016 @ 11:50 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking 4,600 miles across the country

Dan and Ruth Durrough have nearly finished hiking the entire 4,600 miles of the North Country National Scenic Trail that expands across seven states. The couple started their journey in New York and will finish their lifelong hike in North Dakota by September. At 69 and 72 years old, they claim, “We represent the ‘if they can do it anybody can do it’ group.” The Dorroughs have been hiking the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCNST) for 17 years and by the end of this summer they will have finished the entire 4,600 miles. Their journey...

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You Will Recognize The Names Of The Companies That Emit The Most Methane

Posted by on Jun 22, 2016 @ 6:47 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Frackers across the country — in places like Texas, Colorado, North Dakota, and Oklahoma — are spewing millions of tons of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere, nullifying any climate impacts of cleaner-burning natural gas. The biggest names in natural gas, including ConocoPhillips, BP America, and Exxon, are responsible for more than half the methane released during onshore natural gas production in the United States. Natural gas is 80 percent methane, which traps heat 86 times more effectively than CO2 over a 20-year...

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After 30 years of work, Superior Hiking Trail nearly complete

Posted by on Jun 21, 2016 @ 10:53 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

After 30 years of work, Superior Hiking Trail nearly complete

Thirty years after work began on the Superior Hiking Trail, the 302-mile path is nearly complete. This summer, volunteers are constructing the last two-mile portion of the trail southwest of Duluth. Winding atop the steep ridgeline along Lake Superior’s North Shore, the trail will connect the Canadian border to the Wisconsin border. The trail’s completion comes at an ideal time for the Superior Hiking Trail Association, the Two Harbors-based nonprofit that built and maintains the trail with a team of over 300 volunteers. “It...

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Cradle of Forestry Announces Junior Forester Program

Posted by on Jun 21, 2016 @ 6:42 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Cradle of Forestry Announces Junior Forester Program

The Cradle of Forestry in America will offer a Junior Forester program for boys and girls ages 8-12 years old. This outdoor-oriented experience will be held every Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. from June 22, 2016 to August 11. The Cradle of Forestry Junior Forester program combines learning new skills with discovery and reflection. Each youth receives a Junior Forester badge and patch. Participants can register for one or more programs. This summer’s topics are: June 22: Orienteering 1.0 June 29: Orienteering 2.0 July 6:...

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U.K. Government Plans to Create New National Forest

Posted by on Jun 20, 2016 @ 11:06 am in Conservation | 0 comments

U.K. Government Plans to Create New National Forest

The U.K. government has backed plans to create a new national forest in England in an effort to improve the natural environment over a 25-year period. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will publish the details of the plan by the end of 2016 or by early 2017 at the latest. Millions of trees—including oak, beech, ash, birch and lime—will be planted in a large area of forest in England. Ministers hope that the project will see a significant increase in the number of trees planted throughout the country. In 2015, Prime...

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Three Ideal Hiking Spots near Croatia’s Capital

Posted by on Jun 20, 2016 @ 8:02 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The hilly areas around Zagreb are perfect for hiking for beginners and more experiences hikers alike. The first and very obvious choice is Medvednica. Zagreb “lives actively” with Medvednica every day of every season. This protected oasis has numerous picnic areas and offers a variety of recreational opportunities, including active holidays, outings, and pretty much everything a modern person needs for a healthier life and stress relief. The highest peak is situated at an altitude of 1,033 metres above sea level. Twenty kilometres west of...

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Trail to the past: Recreating a 1968 hike

Posted by on Jun 19, 2016 @ 9:28 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Last year, a former Eielson airman asked for help identifying the location of an Interior hill he climbed in 1968. Fairbanks history buffs and hiking enthusiasts rushed to help him. First, they identified the location of his hike from his old photographs.Then, last month, they took him hiking there when he flew in from Kentucky to re-create the hike. Bob Pettit’s main photograph from the 1968 hike is of fellow airman Werner “Bruce” Jasinski. Pettit has lost touch with Jasinski and doesn’t remember exactly how he spelled his name. In the...

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After Republicans Refuse, Democrats Hold Their Own Hearing On The Malheur Wildlife Refuge Takeover

Posted by on Jun 19, 2016 @ 7:21 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Democrats from the House committees on Natural Resources and Homeland Security this week held a joint forum that focused on the steps that need to be taken to confront violent extremism on America’s public lands. The forum comes five months after Ammon Bundy and a group of anti-government extremists took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon and held it for 41 days. The forum addressed the recent threats to federal lands and land management officials, as well as domestic terrorism more broadly. This forum was the...

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Thirty Years of Hiking Beautiful Southampton Trails

Posted by on Jun 18, 2016 @ 9:40 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Southampton Trails Preservation Society (STPS) has been protecting 300 miles of trails for 30 years. The group offers dozens of guided hikes year-round that showcase the beauty and uniqueness of the local landscape. Keeping the trails available to hikers is the primary mission of STPS, whose tireless volunteers perform constant maintenance. “Trimming, weeding and mowing. We do a lot of everything,” says Susan Colledge, Co-Chair of Trail Maintenance at STPS. “We also do blazing, which is nailing the trail name signs to the trees. We make...

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Every observatory in the world now reports carbon dioxide is at highest level in 4 million years

Posted by on Jun 18, 2016 @ 7:11 am in Conservation | 0 comments

One by one, the observatories sounded the alarm in the past few years—from the peak of Mauna Loa in Hawaii, and the top of the Greenland ice sheet—as the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere crept above 400 parts per million (ppm). The last alarm bells went off this week, when scientists announced that the Halley Research Station in Antarctica, as well as a monitoring post at the geographic South Pole, both located amid the most pristine air on the planet, have now passed the 400 ppm mark. In other words, at every location...

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Hikers take to the trails during Allegheny 100 Hiking Challenge

Posted by on Jun 17, 2016 @ 8:27 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hikers take to the trails during Allegheny 100 Hiking Challenge

This year’s version of the Allegheny 100 Hiking Challenge stepped-off June 10, 2016 and continued until June 12 on the Allegheny National Forest. The event is an endurance challenge met through unsupported hiking. It is not a race, but an individual challenge of stamina, determination and resilience. Organizers said the adventure covered a 100-mile stretch of the North Country National Scenic Trail on the Allegheny National Forest from Willow Bay in the north to Route 66 south of Marienville, PA. Hikers climbed over rolling hills, crossed...

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Stories of the Land: Flowing into the future

Posted by on Jun 16, 2016 @ 12:00 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

“I’ve always been fascinated by waterfalls. There’s something about them that excites our senses far beyond most other natural subjects,” said Kevin Adams, acclaimed Western North Carolina outdoor photographer and author. “Some say it’s the sight of moving water, some the sound.” Adams also suggested that many enthusiasts — known as “waterfallers” — cite a theory that negative ions created by falling water provide special emotional stimulus and feelings of tranquility. “You won’t find many mainstream scientists supporting such notion,”...

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Cherokee National Forest Celebrates TRACK Trail Opening on National Get Outdoors Day

Posted by on Jun 16, 2016 @ 11:10 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Cherokee National Forest Celebrates TRACK Trail Opening on National Get Outdoors Day

At the Chilhowee Recreation Area in Cherokee National Forest, kids and families celebrated the grand opening of the Kids in Parks program’s 140th TRACK Trail, and the first TRACK Trail in Tennessee! The trail was installed thanks to a partnership between Cherokee National Forest and the Partners of Cherokee National Forest. The TRACK Trail at Chilhowee is a combination of the Recreation Area’s McKamy Lake Trail (0.6 miles) and the Forest Walk (0.4 miles), making a one-mile figure-eight trail that leads visitors around the site’s scenic lake...

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A Simple Idea Could Help Wildlife Survive Climate Change

Posted by on Jun 15, 2016 @ 11:35 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Global warming is chasing plants and animals, forcing them to head uphill or north to find suitable habitat. Scientists have considered migration corridors — restored, healthy natural areas that connect current habitats with likely landing spots — as a way to help plants and animals stay a step ahead of climate change. New findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science quantify just how much of a benefit they would provide. The report shows that corridors up to 62 miles long would link up to 25 percent more habitat...

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How to Avoid the Crowds in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Posted by on Jun 15, 2016 @ 7:11 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

How to Avoid the Crowds in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a place of absolute wonder, featuring forests filled with vibrant wildflowers, old-growth forests, cascading waterfalls, winding trails, and vast 360 degree views of the misty mountains. Because of the area’s immense beauty and easy access to outdoor adventure, it’s unsurprisingly a pretty popular place. In fact, the Smokies bring an estimated 10 million visitors each year—the most of any national park. While such heavy interest in our natural world is remarkable, seemingly inescapable mass crowds can be...

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Woman sentenced for vandalism in several National Park Service sites

Posted by on Jun 14, 2016 @ 9:31 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The woman who defaced sites within several national parks in 2014 pleaded guilty June 13, 2016 to seven misdemeanor counts of damaging government property. Casey Nocket, age 23, was ordered by a federal judge to serve two years of probation and 200 hours of community service. She is also banned from all lands administered by the National Park Service (NPS), US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Army Corps of Engineers during her probation period. A Special Agent, aided by an Intelligence Analyst, conducted the lengthy...

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Greenland witnessed its highest June temperature ever recorded

Posted by on Jun 14, 2016 @ 7:47 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Nuuk, Greenland’s capital, soared to 75 degrees (24 Celsius) Thursday, June 9, 2016, marking the warmest temperature ever recorded in the Arctic country during June. Nuuk sits on Greenland’s southwest coast, where the country’s warmest weather typically occurs. It was warmer in Nuuk than it was in New York City, where the high was only 71 degrees. The Danish Meteorological Institute has confirmed on a preliminary basis that the Nuuk measurement would replace the previous record of 73.8 degrees (23.2 Celsius), which was set in Kangerlussuaq on...

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NFF Celebrates Completion of Work on Oregon’s Deschutes National Forest

Posted by on Jun 13, 2016 @ 10:14 am in Conservation | 0 comments

NFF Celebrates Completion of Work on Oregon’s Deschutes National Forest

Last month the National Forest Foundation gathered with partners, friends and collaborators to celebrate the culmination of years of effort on the Deschutes National Forest. Part of their Treasured Landscapes, Unforgettable Experiences campaign, “The Tale of Two Rivers” site leveraged more than $4 million to restore Whychus Creek and Metolius River. The event took place at the new Whychus Overlook, the final piece of the site work, which provides stunning views of the Three Sisters Wilderness. These rivers are truly treasured landscapes...

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Air pollution named as leading cause in strokes

Posted by on Jun 12, 2016 @ 8:14 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Each year, around 15 million people globally suffer from strokes and it is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. Scientists have long known that behavioral factors like diet, smoking, and exercise all contribute to those statistics, but now, a new study names another leading contributor: air pollution. The study, funded by public health groups in the U.S. and New Zealand, found that environmental and household air pollution was associated with a third of global strokes in 2013. The number was significantly higher in developing...

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Our Dry, Warm Future may Favor Oaks

Posted by on Jun 11, 2016 @ 12:48 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Historically, many oak forests across the eastern U.S. experienced frequent low-intensity fires that promoted the establishment and growth of oaks. “However, fire and other disturbances have become less common,” says U.S. Forest Service scientist James Vose. “Red maple, tulip poplar, and other mesophytic, fire-sensitive, and shade-tolerant trees are increasing in many areas of the eastern U.S.” But what does the future hold? Over the coming decades, changes in fire regimes, climate, and land use will continue to affect forests. However, new...

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Raising money with safe hiking cards

Posted by on Jun 11, 2016 @ 8:35 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Raising money with safe hiking cards

Purchasing a Colorado outdoor recreation search and rescue card could help anyone in need get rescued as quickly as possible. A CORSAR card helps fund search and rescue teams for costs they spend during a mission. Search and rescue teams are made up of volunteers and the funds from a CORSAR card helps pay for their training and equipment. Colorado residents and visitors are well served by dedicated volunteer search and rescue teams, but mission costs are often in the thousands of dollars. By purchasing a CORSAR card you are contributing to...

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New bridges open access to Washington’s 23-mile-long Willapa Hills Trail

Posted by on Jun 10, 2016 @ 8:32 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Willapa Hills Trail keeps getting better — and longer. It’s now possible to walk or even ride a bicycle for 23 miles from Chehalis in Southwestern Washington to Pe Ell without getting stopped by a washed-out bridge. The State Parks Commission will hold a public dedication to several new bridges on the trail at 10 a.m. June 18, 2016 in Adna. On June 25, the Willapa Hills Festival will celebrate the recent trail work. But any day with decent weather is a good time to explore the trail, which is about an hour’s drive from Kelso. Walkers and...

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Google to map Vancouver Island hiking trails using street view technology

Posted by on Jun 9, 2016 @ 10:31 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Google has mapped out British Columbia’s roads using its 360-degree street view technology – so why not turn an eye to the province’s many hiking trails? For the next 100 days, the tech giant is sending volunteers wearing state-of-the-art backpack cameras to explore 1,500 kilometres of West Coast forests and mountains. Some of the locations going digital on Vancouver Island potentially include the West Coast Trail and hiking trails on the North Coast. They’ll also trek around rugged and remote landscapes like Haida Gwaii, Mount Edziza and the...

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Arctic Sea Ice Plummets To Staggering Low In May, While CO2 Levels Hit Record High

Posted by on Jun 9, 2016 @ 7:10 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Last month saw the biggest year-over-year jump in atmospheric levels of heat-trapping carbon dioxide on record — 3.76 parts per million. And that, reports NOAA, took May 2016 to the highest monthly levels of CO2 in the air ever measured — 407.7 ppm. At the same time, the National Snow and Ice Data Center reports the warming-driven death spiral of Arctic sea ice hit a staggering new May low. May 2016 saw Arctic sea ice extent drop “about 600,000 square kilometers (232,000 square miles) below any previous year in the 38-year satellite record.”...

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Reopening of Courthouse Creek Road

Posted by on Jun 8, 2016 @ 7:04 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Courthouse Creek Road (Forest Service Road 140), located in the Pisgah Ranger District off Highway 215 just north of Balsam Grove in Transylvania County, NC will reopen Friday, June 10, 2016 at 10 am. Other work in the area is ongoing so visitors should be aware of the potential for construction traffic. The road had been closed while the U.S. Forest Service replaced a bridge. Severe storms this past winter damaged other sections of the road and delayed completion of the bridge. The construction of the new bridge was designed to have minimal...

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Fireworks are Prohibited on all National Forest Land

Posted by on Jun 8, 2016 @ 7:39 am in Conservation | 0 comments

As the summer season begins, the National Forest Service reminds visitors that all fireworks, exploding targets and other pyrotechnic devices are prohibited on all National Forest land, year-round, regardless of weather conditions or holidays. Forest Fire Management Officer Riva Duncan emphasizes that, “Fireworks can and will cause wildfires because they burn very hot. Even fireworks that seem innocent, like sparklers, can cause wildfires.” Regulations are strictly enforced to protect the public and natural resources....

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Be a Citizen Scientist

Posted by on Jun 7, 2016 @ 11:32 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Even if being a scientist isn’t your day job, there are lots of ways to contribute to scientific research about the natural world. From counting monarch butterflies to studying plant growth and tweeting earthquake locations, citizen science empowers the public to help scientists conduct and inform research. And it’s making a huge difference. Monarchs are an iconic backyard species, and they need our help. Populations of these gorgeous orange and black butterflies have been declining for several reasons like climate change, pesticides and...

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Land trust hosts June Jamboree on Roan Mountain

Posted by on Jun 7, 2016 @ 8:02 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Land trust hosts June Jamboree on Roan Mountain

“It’s inspiring to me to look out over these lands we protected,” Marquette Crockett said. “There’s a lot of love poured in here.” Crockett, the Roan Mountain Stewardship director for the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, works for that reaction – to protect the thousands of acres of land in the viewshed of Highlands of Roan and the Appalachian Trail, which slips over its ridge tops. The nonprofit land trust based in Asheville was launched in 1974 to conserve the Highlands of Roan, a 24,000-acre swath of globally rare mountaintop...

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Trekking in Peru: far from the crowds assailing Machu Picchu

Posted by on Jun 6, 2016 @ 11:54 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

We are two days into our high-altitude trek through the Peruvian Andes before our little band of travelers sees any other sign of human life. Until then, a herd of llamas, two donkeys, our slightly eccentric guide, a chirpy band of porters, a mule driver and a chef have been our only company on a trek through splendid, snow-capped isolation. The absence of tourists is a relief, given we are in Inca territory, just days’ walk from the popular tourist site of Machu Picchu. There is not a lot of life in the moonscape of rugged mountain...

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