News

Tenacious, mysterious and maybe endangered — a wolverine roams the West

Posted by on Jul 5, 2016 @ 10:21 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Four days before Christmas in 2008, a blur of brown fur scrambled along the snowy Continental Divide in Wyoming. The terrain and the conditions were brutal, food scarce. The bait a biologist placed in a wooden trap proved irresistible. As soon as the creature crawled in, a signal alerted researchers miles away. They rode a snowmobile deep into the mountains, near Togwotee Pass, at an elevation of 9,380 feet. The temperature was 10 degrees. Once there, the researchers confirmed the catch, summoned a veterinarian and sedated the animal with a...

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A Magical Mycology Tapestry

Posted by on Jul 5, 2016 @ 7:45 am in Conservation | 0 comments

A Magical Mycology Tapestry

Mushrooms weave a network of ecology, medicine, food, and farming. Encountering a mushroom in the forest provides a glimpse to a web that is largely unseen, underground. The mushroom is a fruiting body that emerges from a network of branching mycelium, a cellular structure interwoven in soil. This mass thrives by connecting to other organisms, especially the roots of trees and plants. The Appalachian mountains boast a wide diversity of fungi, the collective term for mushroom and mycelium. Fungi reach their highest diversity in the southern...

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The Cactus Smuggler: Are Desert Plants Being Loved to Extinction?

Posted by on Jul 4, 2016 @ 11:42 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The smugglers carried their tiny prizes tucked away in suitcases of jalapenos and dirty laundry. The spicy fruit was supposed to deflect inspections. Perhaps they thought the dirty laundry would do the same. Another rare item sat nestled in a new box of Uncle Ben’s Rice. Russians had a hard time finding Uncle Ben’s Rice back home, says Nicholas Chavez, Special Agent in charge of the Southwest Region for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. From the Los Angeles airport, the six Russian men weren’t carrying precious art or poached ivory. They...

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Overlooked Wildlife Experiences in Our National Parks

Posted by on Jul 4, 2016 @ 7:40 am in Conservation | 1 comment

Think of wildlife in U.S. national parks, and certain images pop to mind: Bears. Bison. Elk. Wolves. All spectacular critters, to be sure. But the National Park Service protects a wide range of wildlife, large and small. Some of these species are cryptic or elusive. But other smaller denizens offer fascinating viewing opportunities. For example, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is known as “The Salamander Capital of the World.” More visitors come to this national park than any other, but most will miss these noted biological treasures:...

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The incredible technology that’s helping this paralyzed woman hike the Appalachian Trail

Posted by on Jul 3, 2016 @ 10:42 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The incredible technology that’s helping this paralyzed woman hike the Appalachian Trail

Most people would have given up years ago. She is not most people. 41-year-old Medina, Ohio, resident Stacey Kozel has undertaken an enormous task: hiking the entire 2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail. For most, that would be a mighty feat unto itself, but Kozel has an additional obstacle, to put it lightly: her legs are paralyzed. Kozel was diagnosed with lupus when she was 19 years old, and it has slowly stolen much of her muscle function during the past 22 years. Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack...

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Green Mountain Club Trail Angels on the Move

Posted by on Jul 3, 2016 @ 7:49 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Green Mountain Club Trail Angels on the Move

Did you know there is a network of willing volunteers stationed across Vermont, working together to provide hiking knowledge, recommendations for the best places to get water or stay for the night, and transport to and from trailheads? And that they are motivated simply by a shared love of the trail and a desire to see others make that connection? Volunteers like this exist in the Green Mountain Club’s Shuttle Driver network, one arm of the legendary GMC Trail Angel community. GMC Shuttle Drivers enable hikers to traverse the state to start...

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A Proposed Hiking Ban in Phoenix Draws Outrage

Posted by on Jul 2, 2016 @ 10:34 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

When the temperature hits the triple digits in Phoenix, AZ, hikers continue to hike. They snake their way up Camelback Mountain, which has a 2,680-foot summit with spectacular views of the city. They pack the picturesque mile-long trail up Piestewa Peak. They traverse the towering cactus dotting South Mountain Park. And some of them find themselves lost, parched, in distress. Six hikers in Arizona died in a single weekend last month, and Phoenix firefighters have rescued 141 people from the city’s mountains and trails so far this year, many...

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New North Carolina Bill Allows Duke Energy To Dodge Coal Ash Cleanup Again

Posted by on Jul 2, 2016 @ 7:41 am in Conservation | 0 comments

New North Carolina Bill Allows Duke Energy To Dodge Coal Ash Cleanup Again

While residents and environmentalists urge Duke Energy to clean up its coal ash pits, North Carolina’s biggest utility — and the governor’s former workplace — just got another pass from the legislature. Duke will likely not have to clean up seven of its unlined coal ash pits, where the byproduct of coal-fired power plants is stored. Instead, the company can opt to simply fortify its dams and pipe drinking water to nearby residents. The chemicals and heavy metals in coal ash, which include mercury and arsenic, can leach into local water...

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Our Wild

Posted by on Jul 1, 2016 @ 10:41 am in Conservation | 1 comment

Our Wild

The Wilderness Society’s mission is to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. They contribute to better protection, stewardship and restoration of our public lands, preserving our rich natural legacy for current and future generations. They are a leading American conservation organization working to protect our nation’s shared wildlands. From well-known icons to hidden gems, protected wildlands give us: Clean air and water, Abundant wildlife, Havens for recreation, solitude and learning, Important sources...

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National Parks Are Worth $92 Billion to Americans

Posted by on Jul 1, 2016 @ 7:26 am in Conservation | 0 comments

A day at a national park with your family and friends might be priceless to you, but these natural treasures have a quantifiable value to the U.S. government: $92 billion, according to a new report from the National Park Foundation. To put that in perspective, that’s greater than the annual GDP of Ukraine or Sri Lanka, which are $90.52 billion and $82.1 billion, respectively. Of the park’s $92 billion value, $62 billion is the estimated value that Americans place simply on knowing that the protected lands, waters and historic sites exist and...

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10 miles of hiking trails at Bothe-Napa Valley State Park

Posted by on Jun 30, 2016 @ 10:50 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

In 1872, Dr. Charles M. Hitchcock bought a thousand acres of Rancho Carne Humana and built a country home along Ritchey Creek. He called it “Lonely.” Nearly 150 years later the beautiful trails along the creek remain as California’s Bothe-Napa Valley State Park. But you won’t be lonely there anymore. Bothe-Napa Valley State Park is one of the most-frequented hiking areas of the Napa Valley. With nearly 10 miles of hiking trails, segmented into 12 interconnected loops, the park has become beloved by both locals and valley visitors. But...

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Phoenix proposes hiking ban during hot temperatures

Posted by on Jun 30, 2016 @ 7:43 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Phoenix may close hiking trails in its more than 40,000 acres of desert preserves during intense heat that statewide already has claimed several lives this summer. Temperatures reaching 110 degrees would prompt the closure of city trails for people, through a policy under consideration this week. Dogs would be stopped from hiking when the mercury hits 100 degrees. The Phoenix Parks and Recreation Board, which has authority to implement the rules, will consider the change June 30, 2016. The closures seek to ensure hiker safety and limit...

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Join CMLC for a ‘Bearwallow by Moonlight’ Hike – Sunday, July 17, 2016

Posted by on Jun 29, 2016 @ 11:35 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Join CMLC for a ‘Bearwallow by Moonlight’ Hike – Sunday, July 17, 2016

Join Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy for a celestial show atop CMLC-conserved Bearwallow Mountain on Sunday, July 17, 2016. Hike to the summit about 90 minutes before sunset in time to watch the full moon rise, then hike back down the gravel road about 60 minutes after sunset. At 4,232 ft. above sea level, Bearwallow Mountain stands as the highest peak in the widely-visible Bearwallow Highlands range. Straddling the Eastern Continental Divide, it makes up part of the Blue Ridge Escarpment as well as the western rim of the Hickory Nut...

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This 21-Year-Old May Have Found The Way To Clean Up The Plastic In Our Oceans

Posted by on Jun 29, 2016 @ 7:24 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Boyan Slat was just 16 when he realized he wanted to rid the oceans of plastic. It all happened after he dove into the problem in the most literal way while snorkeling in Greece and finding more drifting plastic than fish swimming. “I thought, that’s a real problem. How can we come up with a solution for that?” Slat recalled. Indeed, the problem is real and large. Around eight million metric tons of plastic waste enter the oceans every year, according to a 2015 study. In addition, recent research found so-called garbage patches in every major...

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4 States Struggling to Manage Radioactive Fracking Waste

Posted by on Jun 28, 2016 @ 11:55 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The Marcellus Shale has transformed the Appalachian Basin into an energy juggernaut. Even amid a recent drilling slowdown, regional daily production averages enough natural gas to power more than 200,000 U.S. homes for a year. But the rise of hydraulic fracturing over the past decade has created another boom: tons of radioactive materials experts call an “orphan” waste stream. No federal agency fully regulates oil and gas drilling byproducts—which include brine, sludge, rock and soiled equipment—leaving tracking and handling to states that...

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What Brexit And Trump’s Rise Mean For The Global Community’s Fight Against Climate Change

Posted by on Jun 28, 2016 @ 7:13 am in Conservation | 0 comments

E pluribus unum — out of many, one — has been an official motto of the United States since June 20, 1782. Writ large, it could be the motto for climate action. There have always been two poles representing how the world might respond to the increasingly painful reality of climate change (or indeed any global scale problem). At one pole is unity driven by our moral sensibility — a concerted national and global effort to address the gravest preventable existential threat to Americans and indeed all humanity. It is embodied in the Pope’s...

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More Cold Mountain land conserved

Posted by on Jun 27, 2016 @ 4:32 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

More Cold Mountain land conserved

Cold Mountain is a Western North Carolina peak so beloved and romanticized, there are even a best-selling novel, Hollywood movie and microbrew bearing its name. But even though the 6,030-foot summit is protected as part of the Shining Rock Wilderness of Pisgah National Forest, and the state Cold Mountain Game Lands protect land on the western slopes, large chunks of the iconic mountain remain in private ownership. Aiming to keep as much as possible of Cold Mountain undeveloped, wild and alive not only in legend but in reality, the Southern...

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A week-long, 80-mile walking tour of picturesque Brittany is a step back in time

Posted by on Jun 27, 2016 @ 10:20 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Centuries ago in Brittany, locals had plenty of motivation for canal building. With several wars negatively impacting the coastal waterways, they needed to link Nantes in the east and Brest in the west, both with military arsenals, and, in doing so, to improve the economic development of the rural communities in the interior. This Napoleonic initiative took decades of work, with the construction of more than 200 well-engineered locks before the full canal opened in 1842. But eventually, as rail travel improved, transporting products via the...

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Book takes a fresh look at Kansas hiking

Posted by on Jun 26, 2016 @ 3:09 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

When it’s too hot to play outside, the next best thing is to research where you can go when it cools. Siblings Jonathan and Kristin Conard have made that easier with their “Kansas Trail Guide,” which covers hiking, mountain biking and horseback trails in all corners of Kansas. It doesn’t cover nearly all of the 2,000 or more miles, but the 80 trails selected are certainly some of the best. Jonathan Conard got the idea for the guide when he couldn’t find a book on Kansas trails that included the many improvements made over the past decade....

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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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