News

Antarctica’s Totten Glacier has become ‘dangerously unstable’

Posted by on May 23, 2016 @ 6:28 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Scientists ringing alarm bells about the melting of Antarctica have focused most of their attention, so far, on the smaller West Antarctic ice sheet, which is grounded deep below sea level and highly exposed to the influence of warming seas. But new research published in the journal Nature reaffirms that there’s a possibly even bigger — if slower moving — threat in the much larger ice mass of East Antarctica. The Totten Glacier holds back more ice than any other in East Antarctica, which is itself the biggest ice mass in the world by far....

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These Are the Representatives Who Want to Sell Your Public Lands

Posted by on May 22, 2016 @ 11:03 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Large parts of the country, primarily in the West, have long harbored anti-federalist attitudes and called for the sale or transfer of U.S. lands to states or private hands. But the antagonism toward collective American ownership has flared dramatically in the last five years, and a new report from the Center for American Progress points to 20 members of Congress as leading the efforts to dump federal lands. The movement is counter to public opinion. Americans overwhelmingly support federal ownership of public lands and hold the National Park...

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16 ways to take on Idaho’s Sawtooths and surrounding mountains

Posted by on May 22, 2016 @ 7:15 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Sawtooth National Forest in Idaho envelopes the Sawtooth Mountains, for which it was named, as well as other nearby mountain ranges. The Pioneer, White Cloud, Boulder and Smoky mountains are all nearby and can be easily accessed from Stanley or Ketchum, the town that hosts Sun Valley Lodge. The area of the Sawtooths is an outdoor destination that attracts outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes; people come to camp along the lower elevation lakes to explore the canyons and valleys or to scale the summits of the more than 50 peaks over 10,000...

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Zion National Park to hold public meetings on crowding

Posted by on May 21, 2016 @ 9:37 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Officials at Zion National Park have scheduled a series of public meetings to discuss challenges facing the park as it continues to draw record numbers of visitors. National Park Service figures show that nearly 1 million people had visited the park in southern Utah through the end of April. That’s about an 8 percent increase over the same time period last year and puts the park on track to set an attendance record for the third year in a row. The increased traffic, combined with a stagnant budget, has taken a toll on Zion’s...

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The Arctic Circle Just Had Its Earliest Snowmelt Ever

Posted by on May 21, 2016 @ 7:16 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Three hundred miles above the Arctic Circle is America’s northern most snow observatory, typically the last place in the nation to see its snow melt. As of today, its snow has melted, setting a new (and terrible) record. NOAA’s Barrow Observatory just confirmed that they’d recorded a snowmelt date of May 13, 2016. It’s the earliest recorded snowmelt ever seen in the Arctic Circle observatory—and researchers stationed there are, unsurprisingly, pretty spooked. “It’s like a train wreck you can’t look away from,” biologist George Divoky said in...

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New Sections of California Coastal Trail

Posted by on May 20, 2016 @ 3:34 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

New Sections of California Coastal Trail

Just in time for the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day, June 4, 2016, Mendocino County in Northern California will open two new hiking trails. The 2.3-mile Peter Douglas Coastal Trail routes hikers through redwood groves known as Shady Dell featuring trees with branches that have split off into candelabra shapes. The land, just south of Sinkyone Wilderness State Park, is owned by the nonprofit Save the Redwoods League. Farther south in Fort Bragg, a new one-mile link will connect north and south portions of the coastal trail at...

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North Country Trail changes in Ohio

Posted by on May 20, 2016 @ 8:47 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

North Country Trail changes in Ohio

Hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians and the U.S. Forest Service are working together to make the North Country Trail in Wayne National Forest a bit safer this year as a proposed reroute project will help avoid public roads and skirt areas of erosion. In a proposal released earlier this month, the U.S. Forest Service outlines three sections of the North Country Trail in Ohio that will be rerouted to avoid public roads and more effectively provide drainage and maintenance capabilities. Two sections of trail in the Marietta Wayne National...

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Executives Running Collapsing Coal Companies Award Themselves Millions While Laying Off Workers

Posted by on May 19, 2016 @ 10:30 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Executives of the top coal-producing companies in the country got compensation increases while their companies spiraled into bankruptcy, laid off workers, or tried to slash employee benefits, a new report finds. Most top executives for Peabody Energy, Arch Coal, and Alpha Natural Resources got compensation increases worth in total millions of dollars as the companies went into massive debt often due to fruitless expansions. As profits shrank, executives paid themselves more, laid off staff, and cut worker benefits. Public outcry over...

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Cradle of Forestry Offers Walks to Beaver Wetland

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

Cradle of Forestry Offers Walks to Beaver Wetland

The Cradle of Forestry invites the public to a program, “Bogs, Bugs and Beavers,” on Saturday, May 28, 2016. The program begins inside the Cradle’s interpretive center at 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. with an introduction about beavers’ adaptations to living in a watery world. Then naturalists will lead walks to boardwalks along the Pink Beds Trail, interpreting the beavers’ wetland creating activities, the changing habitats they create, and the woods and water along the way. Each program lasts about 1.5 hours with a...

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Selling a Birthright: What would the West be like without its federal lands?

Posted by on May 18, 2016 @ 11:22 am in Conservation | 0 comments

For 30 years, a handful of special interests has been trying to steal the public’s forests and rangelands. The faces of the Sagebrush Rebellion are shirttail bandits like Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who has spent a lifetime raping public rangeland in southern Nevada and has flouted federal law and court orders for the better part of 20 years, but Bundy and his confederates couldn’t get news coverage next to the comic strips in the Pahrump, Nevada, Valley Times if it weren’t for the potent financial, political, and legal backing they get...

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The American West Is Rapidly Disappearing

Posted by on May 18, 2016 @ 7:03 am in Conservation | 0 comments

A new study by the Center for American Progress (CAP) and Conservation Science Partners (CSP) found that every 2.5 minutes, the American West loses a football field worth of natural area to human development. This project, called the Disappearing West, is the first comprehensive analysis of how much land in the West is disappearing to development, how quickly this transformation is taking place, and the driving factors behind this loss. Many people’s view of the American West is of large, untouched landscapes and protected areas set aside by...

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West Coast cities sue Monsanto to pay for chemical cleanup

Posted by on May 17, 2016 @ 2:21 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

West Coast cities sue Monsanto to pay for chemical cleanup

Portland, Oregon’s Willamette is no wilderness river. But on a spring day, downstream of downtown, wildness peeks through. Thick forest rises beyond a tank farm on the west bank. A sea lion thrashes to the surface, wrestling a salmon. The 10-mile reach, known as Portland Harbor, became a Superfund Site in 2000. Over the last century, ships were built and decommissioned here, chemicals and pesticides manufactured, petroleum spilled, and sewage and slaughterhouse waste allowed to flow. Pollution has decreased, but toxic chemicals linger in...

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Point Lookout Trail Closing for Repairs

Posted by on May 17, 2016 @ 7:08 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest will temporarily close the Point Lookout Trail on the Grandfather Ranger District for repairs starting May 31, 2016. Repairs to the paved walking and biking trail are expected to take 90 days, and the trail is anticipated to reopen by September 1. The Point Lookout Trail connects Mill Creek Road in Ridgecrest to Old U.S. 70 in Old Fort along the historic motor route into the mountains. The trail was briefly closed last fall after heavy rains caused a landslide that damaged the trail and covered it...

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International Appalachian Trail seeks to reroute 52 miles of path in Maine

Posted by on May 16, 2016 @ 11:13 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The International Appalachian Trail continues to draw hikers to northern Maine, offering a tour through varied landscapes and a connection to Canada and beyond. Trail enthusiasts celebrated some of the best of Aroostook County’s outdoors the weekend of May 7-8, 2016 at the International Appalachian Trail Maine Chapter’s annual conference in Presque Isle, sharing stories about local history and geology, visiting Mars Hill and Haystack mountains, and looking forward to the hiking season ahead. Created by volunteers in Maine, New Brunswick, and...

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New Sonoma County hiking trail opens up along San Pablo Bay

Posted by on May 16, 2016 @ 9:05 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Sonoma County, California’s newest hiking trail officially opened May 15, 2016 just a few hundred yards from the often backed up and typically frustrating Highway 37. The Eliot Trail, located at the edge of tidal wetlands near where Lakeville Highway meets Highway 37, gives travelers an experience opposite to the nearby roadway. The two-and-a-half mile trail offers walkers, joggers and cyclists a tranquil view of Mount Tamalpais and the skyscrapers of San Francisco as they traverse the flank of the new northern border of San Pablo Bay. The...

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Over 250 BioBlitzes are taking place around the country in 2016

Posted by on May 15, 2016 @ 1:40 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Over 250 BioBlitzes are taking place around the country in 2016

BioBlitz is an event that focuses on finding and identifying as many species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time. At a BioBlitz, scientists, families, students, teachers, and other community members work together to get an overall count of the plants, animals, fungi, and other organisms that live in a place. In the decade leading up to the National Park Service centennial, National Geographic, The Audobon Society and the National Park Service have collaborated on a BioBlitz in a different national park each year. In...

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Kids in Parks launches Citizen Science TRACK Trail

Posted by on May 15, 2016 @ 9:05 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Kids in Parks launches Citizen Science TRACK Trail

They aren’t wearing white lab coats, but there are already young scientists collecting data at Front Lake at Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site in Flat Rock, North Carolina. The Kids in Parks program recently opened its first Citizen Science TRACK Trail designed to engage kids in learning and caring for the park’s ecosystem while helping staff researchers and natural resource managers. Citizen Science is a new approach to data collection that enlists the public’s help in making observations and taking readings for studies and research....

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64-year-old Hiker Found Alive And Tied To A Tree

Posted by on May 14, 2016 @ 8:47 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

National Park Service Rangers are asking for any information about a possible assault after firefighters discovered a woman tied to a tree near Craggy Gardens along the Blue Ridge Parkway Thursday, May 12, 2016. In the early afternoon, the Reems Creek Fire Department had responded to a call for a lost person who was possibly having a medical issue, according to a captain with that Weaverville-based agency. A woman called dispatchers at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, saying she was getting texts from a friend in the area of Snowball Trail at Craggy...

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The outdoors gender gap needs to be closed

Posted by on May 13, 2016 @ 11:14 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The outdoors gender gap needs to be closed

Women often wonder whether it is safe for them to hike solo. For long distance athlete Liz Thomas, the answer clearly is yes: She has hiked 8,000 miles by herself, pioneered routes in Utah and the Columbia River Gorge, and set an Appalachian Trail speed record. But others argue that in the eyes of a good chunk of women – heck, in the eyes of many people in this country – what she does is an exception. Which makes her wonder: Since no one questions female pilots, police officers or professional athletes these days, why should hikers be any...

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The Valley of Flowers, The Gateway to Extraordinary Hiking

Posted by on May 13, 2016 @ 8:08 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Bozeman, Montana is a great place to relocate if you enjoy fly fishing, hiking and being centered among some of the most spectacular scenery and national parks in the country? Some of the most enjoyable hiking is to to the peaks surrounding the Gallatin Valley, also known as the Valley of Flowers. Bozeman is named for the early pioneer and trail builder, John Bozeman, who in 1863 blazed the first trail through the Gallatin Valley en route to the gold fields in western Montana and Virginia City. Bozeman, at 4,820 feet, sits among several...

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Scientists Just Pinpointed Another Example Of Fracking’s Environmental Impact

Posted by on May 12, 2016 @ 10:52 am in Conservation | 0 comments

A dumping site for fracking fluids long suspected to be leaching into Wolf Creek, a West Virginia waterway with ties to a county’s water supply, has indeed contaminated the creek with multiple chemicals, a new U.S. Geological Survey study has found. The “study demonstrates definitively that the stream is being impacted by [unconventional oil and gas extraction] wastewaters,” Denise Akob, USGS scientist and lead author of the study said. Unconventional oil and gas extraction refers to the many processes that involve hydraulic fracturing, also...

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How Crowded is the Appalachian Trail Really?

Posted by on May 12, 2016 @ 8:01 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

How Crowded is the Appalachian Trail Really?

The predictable pattern of a 25% increase each year has remained steady despite Hollywood’s recent attempts to bring more people out into the wild. Only about half of these hopeful thru-hikers will make it to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and one quarter will make it to Katahdin. The impact of the crowds decreases as the masses thin, but the southern 500 miles of the Appalachian Trail suffer widely from its popularity. From erosion and severe land compaction, to overflowing privies and bear cables that break under the weight of so many food...

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New section Mountains to Sea Trail opens along the Haw River

Posted by on May 11, 2016 @ 6:35 am in Hiking News | 1 comment

Thanks and congratulations to Alamance County and Mountains to Sea Trail Friends volunteers for completing another four miles of trail, known as the Sellers Falls Section, along the Haw River near Burlington, NC. This new stretch of trail brings the total continuous miles of MST in this area to eight, and this is in addition to several shorter sections of trail along the Haw that they hope to incorporate soon into the route that hikers use to complete the trek across the state. Alamance County and the towns along the Haw have been...

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The 4th Largest Economy In The World Just Generated 90 Percent Of The Power It Needs From Renewables

Posted by on May 10, 2016 @ 9:17 am in Conservation | 0 comments

For a brief, shining moment, renewable power output in Germany reached 90 percent of the country’s total electricity demand. That’s a big deal. On May 8th, 2016 at 11 a.m. local time, the total output of German solar, wind, hydropower, and biomass reached 55 gigawatts (GW), just short of the 58 GW consumed by every light bulb, washing machine, water heater and personal computer humming away on Sunday morning. Germany’s $3.7 trillion GDP beats the economic output of any other country in Europe or, for that matter, any U.S. state. Sunday’s...

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Sea Level Rise Is Here, And Is Gobbling Up Islands

Posted by on May 10, 2016 @ 6:52 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Sea level rise isn’t a distant threat: It’s already swallowing islands, according to a recent study. The study found that sea level rise and coastal erosion has caused five low-lying coral atolls in the Solomon Islands to disappear into the ocean. These islands were vegetated — once densely-so with palms, oaks, mangroves, and other trees — but weren’t populated. The researchers looked at 33 islands along the barrier reefs in the Solomon Islands, which comprises more than 900 islands northeast of Australia. They gathered historic photos of the...

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National Trails Day is Saturday, June 4th, 2016

Posted by on May 9, 2016 @ 10:15 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Come celebrate the 23rd anniversary of National Trails Day in the Smokies on the Appalachian Trail. This fun workday only comes around once a year, and you don’t want to miss it. Please get your registration in as soon as possible. Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Southern Regional Office of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Smoky Mountains Hiking Club, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park are pleased to coordinate another Annual Appalachian Trail Work Day in Great Smoky Mountains National Park on National Trails Day....

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US Forest Service Officer of the Year: Dedicated officer covers 192,000 acres by himself

Posted by on May 9, 2016 @ 9:02 am in Conservation | 0 comments

As the sole law enforcement officer for 192,000 acres of the Grandfather Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest, U.S. Forest Service Officer Wade Keener of McDowell County, NC covers a lot of territory. Now he’s doing it carrying the title U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for the entire nation. “I never thought I would win,” Keener told The McDowell News. “I thought someone in this agency of around 550 officers nationwide would have done something more deserving.” Keener has been in law enforcement for 28 years,...

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Ranch buy adds to huge Montana wildlife reserve

Posted by on May 8, 2016 @ 7:10 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Ranch buy adds to huge Montana wildlife reserve

A huge Montana nature reserve added a 47,000-acre historic ranch to its patchwork of lands along the Missouri River on Friday, a significant step in a privately funded effort to stitch together a Connecticut-sized park where bison would replace livestock and cattle fences give way to open range. The PN Ranch north of Winifred sprawls across rugged badlands, tall grass prairie and cottonwood-filled valleys. It’s almost wholly within the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument. It includes the remnants of the Montana Territory’s first...

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This Is Our Country. Let’s Walk It.

Posted by on May 8, 2016 @ 9:23 am in Hiking News | 2 comments

In much of Europe, walking wherever you want is perfectly legal. Not in America. A couple of years ago, Ken Ilgunas trespassed across America. He’d set out to hike the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline, which had been planned to stretch over a thousand miles over the Great Plains, from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf Coast. To walk the pipe’s route, roads wouldn’t do. He’d have to cross fields, hop barbed-wire fences and camp in cow pastures — much of it on private property. He’d figured that walking across the heartland would probably...

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National Park Service archive opens in Townsend, TN

Posted by on May 7, 2016 @ 12:09 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Officials unveiled the new National Park Service Collections Preservation Center in Townsend, Tennessee during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, May 6, 2016. “We’re all excited to announce the completion of this new facility that will enable us to better protect and preserve the cultural treasures in our care,” Great Smoky Mountains National Park Superintendent Cassius Cash said. The new 14,000-square-foot facility will house more than 418,000 artifacts and 1.3 million archival records from the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site, Big South...

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Polluters In South Carolina Are About To Get A Huge Boost From The State House

Posted by on May 7, 2016 @ 8:04 am in Conservation | 0 comments

For the past 65 years, if someone — or some company — was illegally polluting in South Carolina, you could sue. The law was put on the books so that if South Carolina’s enforcement agencies didn’t have the time, money, or political backing to go after a polluter, the average citizen could step in. Now, with only a month left in its 2015-2016 session, the South Carolina legislature has picked up a bill that would do away with this ability. “No one in the public of South Carolina is calling for the repeal of their rights to protect their...

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Wild mustangs on the job in Wallowa-Whitman National Forest

Posted by on May 6, 2016 @ 8:26 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Eleven wild mustangs have arrived in northeast Oregon from Nevada to assist summer trails crews working in Hells Canyon and the Eagle Cap Wilderness on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. The horses came from Carson City, Nevada, as part of the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro Program. Both the BLM and Forest Service are required to follow the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, which provides for the management of unbranded and unclaimed horses on public lands. That partnership allowed the mustangs to transfer from...

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Interactive, on-trail exhibit opens at Bear Mountain park

Posted by on May 5, 2016 @ 12:59 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Interactive, on-trail exhibit opens at Bear Mountain park

Ever wonder how trails are built? Yes, built. Don’t feel bad if you’ve never stopped to consider that most trails aren’t simply created by people and animals walking across the same paths over and over. Modern recreational trails are actually designed, built and maintained as joint projects between park managers, trail professionals, and trail volunteers. Adding to their inconspicuousness, trail builders design many trails to blend into the landscape, creating the feeling that the paths have always been there. The “hidden” craft of trail...

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Hiking Mount St. Helens Hummocks’ chaotic landscape

Posted by on May 5, 2016 @ 10:56 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

It will never qualify as one of the classic trails of Mount St. Helens, at least not visually. Yet Hummocks No. 229 — with its chaotic landscape of dirt mounds and ponds — should be on local hikers’ bucket list. Hummocks is not a river trail, not a meadow trail and not a deep forest trail. But the terrain it passes through in its 2.55 miles definitely is worth a look. “It’s among the most diverse and interesting landscapes at Mount St. Helens,’’ said Peter Frenzen, monument scientist at the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. “That...

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