News

USGS releases new maps covering Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Posted by on Sep 27, 2016 @ 11:49 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

USGS releases new maps covering Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Newly released topographical maps of Great Smoky Mountains National Park are now available online from the United States Geological Survey. For the first time, the maps covering the Park display trails, campgrounds, visitor centers, boundaries and other visitor information. The maps can be found here. “The nationwide similarity in the look and feel of the maps, as well as a very widespread understanding of how to use them, make USGS topographic maps the best mapping tool for Park employees, emergency personnel and visitors,” said GSMNP...

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Fall is phenomenal in Fremont-Winema National Forest, thanks to rare Oregon aspen

Posted by on Sep 27, 2016 @ 9:38 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Tamara Schmidt is a Colorado native, and knows a thing or two about aspens in the fall. “It’s just spectacular,” she said. “It adds that bright pop of gold to the forest. They’re special.” Schmidt, now the public affairs officer with Oregon’s Fremont-Winema National Forest, is fortunate enough to work within some of the state’s rare stands of quaking aspen, found scattered throughout the southern Oregon forest. According to a 2013 report, an estimated 24,000 acres of aspen exists in the 2.3...

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The fight over the Arctic’s future is heating up

Posted by on Sep 26, 2016 @ 5:09 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

The White House Arctic Science Ministerial comes at a pivotal time for the region. While glacial ice hits record lows, the Arctic is more exposed than ever to the ravages of climate change. That’s because the receding ice has oil producers pushing harder than ever for permission to drill in the ecologically sensitive area. The Arctic is often seen as ground zero for climate change. Disappearing glaciers, sea-level rise, melting permafrost, rapidly changing habitats: These are all climate change-related impacts being felt right now in the...

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10 great fall foliage hikes in Michigan

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

A myriad of Michigan hiking trails offer at least one of the following — eye-popping Great Lakes beach views, scenic overlooks that stretch for miles, picturesque rumbling creeks, powerfully flowing rivers, a canopy of majestic hardwoods, a peaceful thicket of pines or wide array of wildlife. Come autumn, of course, the state’s pathways add their finest feature, beginning a transformation that leaves them ablaze with color. Typically, fall’s hues reach their peak the first week of October in the Upper Peninsula and later in the month farther...

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Earth Could Reach Critical Climate Threshold in a Decade, Scientists Warn

Posted by on Sep 25, 2016 @ 7:56 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The planet could pass the critical 1.5°C global temperature threshold in a decade—and is already two-thirds of the way to hit that warming limit, climate scientists warned at a conference this week. Scientists said global greenhouse gas emissions are not likely to slow down quickly enough to avoid passing the 1.5°C target. The goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C was agreed to in the landmark Paris agreement negotiated by 195 nations last year. But the planet is continuing to experience unprecedented heat month after month, setting 2016...

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A privy problem: Maine group races to replace outhouses on Appalachian Trail

Posted by on Sep 24, 2016 @ 11:57 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

A privy problem: Maine group races to replace outhouses on Appalachian Trail

Spiders fled from the outhouse as Craig Dickstein of Caratunk, a trail maintainer for the Maine Appalachian Trail Club, sliced through its back wall with a reciprocating saw on a recent Saturday, carving up and around the seat, then over to the side wall, which was covered with graffiti left by Appalachian Trail hikers. “The stuff of nightmares,” said Carrington Rhodes of Washington, another MATC trail maintainer, as he watched a particularly large arachnid scamper out of the old building. “You’re never going to feel safe in a privy again.”...

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Coalition on National Parks’ Future Seeks Native Involvement

Posted by on Sep 24, 2016 @ 6:49 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Coalition on National Parks’ Future Seeks Native Involvement

In this the year of the centennial of the National Park Service, a coalition has emerged with a vision for the future of our national parks and other public lands, a vision of greater diversity and inclusiveness. The “Next 100 Coalition” is comprised of more than 30 civil rights, environmental justice, and conservation organizations. The coalition’s vision statement calls for an approach to our national public lands that reflects the ethnic and demographic diversity of the nation, including greater use of national parks by people of color,...

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Hiking the Smoke Ring Trail Around the GSMNP

Posted by on Sep 23, 2016 @ 11:52 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

“It won’t rain on me,” said Travis “Shepherd” Hall, the long-distance hiker as he descended the Smokies’ Chestnut Top Trail. Hall, who hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2000 (north to south), has made this same claim to fellow hikers who were worried about the weather. When he left a shelter, he says, they would watch in amazement as the rain stopped. The Smoke Ring Trail (SRT) is Hall’s brainchild, an idea he began to develop seven years ago, to map a route that goes around the perimeter of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Hall, a hair...

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‘ERIN BROCKOVICH’ Carcinogen in Tap Water of More Than 200 Million Americans

Posted by on Sep 23, 2016 @ 7:46 am in Conservation | 0 comments

In the film “Erin Brockovich,” the environmental crusader confronts the lawyer of a power company that polluted the tap water of Hinkley, Calif., with a carcinogenic chemical called chromium-6. When the lawyer picks up a glass of water, Brockovich says: “We had that water brought in ‘specially for you folks. Came from a well in Hinkley.” The lawyer sets down the glass and says, “I think this meeting’s over.” But almost 25 years after that real-life confrontation,[1] the conflict over chromium-6 is not over. A new EWG...

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There’s one group of Americans that consistently cares about climate change

Posted by on Sep 22, 2016 @ 11:37 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Poll after poll finds Hispanics and Latinos are more likely to acknowledge the climate is changing, worry about the threat, and support policy to slow the rise in temperature — even though they are less likely to identify as environmentalists. Why? One possibility is that Latinos tend to lean left and vote Democrat. But even among Democrats, people of color are more likely to believe climate change should be a top priority for policymakers. Among Americans of color, Hispanics and Latinos stand out: Several polls find they are more likely to...

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Reach the Peaks Challenge Set for September 24, 2016

Posted by on Sep 22, 2016 @ 7:23 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

If you’re looking for the ultimate recreational challenge, look no further than Hanging Rock State Park and the 4th annual “Reach the Peaks” hiking/trail running challenge scheduled for Saturday, September 24, 2016. Reach the Peaks, offering a strenuous 10+ mile route, will challenge participants to summit the five major peaks of Hanging Rock State Park, including Moore’s Knob, House Rock, Cook’s Wall, Wolf Rock, and Hanging Rock, all in one day. Organized by the Stokes County Arts Council and Friends of the Sauratown Mountains, for the...

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Louisiana hiking club for ladies explodes with popularity

Posted by on Sep 21, 2016 @ 11:01 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The terrain of Southwest Louisiana does not exactly set itself apart as a hiker’s paradise, yet a newly-formed hiking club for women is exploding, just one month into its existence. It is called the “No. 1 Ladies Hiking Society,” and it is free, for any woman with an interest in hiking, and it offers a lot more than a hiking excursion. “A good hike for me is one where I don’t know what’s next,” founder Clare Coleman said. “I like to be surprised when I turn around the corner, because I feel like...

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Local Author of North Carolina Waterfalls to Speak

Posted by on Sep 21, 2016 @ 7:24 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Local Author of North Carolina Waterfalls to Speak

On Tuesday, September 27, 2016, Kevin Adams will hold a presentation about Waterfalls in WNC. The presentation begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Lord Auditorium at Pack Memorial Library, 67 Haywood Street in Asheville. The event is free and open to the public and is part of Buncombe County’s efforts to promote outdoor activities and recreation for citizens of all ages. Mr. Adams has established a well-known reputation as a photographer, naturalist, writer and teacher. The presentation will include highlights of over 250 of the best waterfalls...

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Did An Unknown Hiker Just Break Every A.T. Record?

Posted by on Sep 20, 2016 @ 7:58 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Did An Unknown Hiker Just Break Every A.T. Record?

Her story seems inconceivable. She has no GPS tracking and is an unknown in the world of record-breaking thru-hikes. But this weekend, on the heels of Karl Meltzer, Kaiha Bertollini trekked to the top of Springer Mountain at the southern end of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia and proclaimed a world record time of 45 days, 6 hours, and 28 minutes. If her claims hold up, Kaiha “Wildcard Ninja” Bertollini just broke every record ever set on the Appalachian Trail. Not only would this be the fastest self-supported through-hike of the A.T....

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Canada’s federal government takes a cue from British Columbia’s price on carbon

Posted by on Sep 20, 2016 @ 6:46 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Canadian Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna pledged to enact a nationwide carbon price on provinces that don’t do enough to curb greenhouse gas emissions on their own. McKenna said that each province would be allowed to create their own pricing scheme — whether a tax like British Columbia, or a cap-and-trade system like Quebec — and would only be subject to the national scheme if they are not achieving sufficient reductions. Four provinces in Canada — British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and, Quebec — currently...

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Cradle of Forestry Invites Nature Enthusiasts to Pink Beds Bioblitz

Posted by on Sep 19, 2016 @ 1:38 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

The Cradle of Forestry in America invites nature enthusiasts of all ages and knowledge levels to the first Pink Beds Bioblitz. Join naturalists and scientists Friday, September 23, 2016 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday, September 24 from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. to discover the diversity of life in this special part of Pisgah National Forest. This free fun event in honor of National Public Lands Day meets in the Pink Beds Picnic area. Bring your curiosity and observation skills to the Bioblitz. Binoculars, a magnifying glass, a notepad,...

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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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