How did we get to this point, where our politics determines whether we trust scientists or not?

By Katharine Hayhoe New to Texas Tech, it was my first year as an atmospheric science professor. We’d just moved to Lubbock, the second most conservative town in the United States. A colleague asked me to guest teach his undergraduate geology course while he was out of town. The packed lecture hall was cavernous and dark. Many of the students were glued to their phones;...

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Phoenix mountain rescues increase

It’s a sound Camelback Mountain regulars have come to expect. Amid the Spotify, busy chatter of teenagers and welcome breezes, the chop of rescue helicopters cuts through the air, its occupants combing the terrain for the latest broken ankle or victim of Valley heat. Phoenix, Arizona mountain rescues spiked by more than 30 percent in 2014 over the previous year,...

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Trekking Through History: The Second European Peace Walk

Many travelers are familiar with the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage walk, but there is a new journey that seems to be gaining traction with everyone from history buffs and outdoorsy types to those looking for a creative way to disconnect from email and cell phones for several weeks in the European countryside. The inaugural European Peace Walk (EPW) took place last...

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With U.S. as a Model, China Envisions Network of National Parks

More than 140 years ago, the United States government designated Yellowstone as the nation’s first national park — an untouched Western landscape of geysers, grizzly bears and soaring peaks. The national parks program eventually expanded to include more than 450 sites and has become one of the country’s greatest tourist draws. Now China is trying to do with some of its...

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The UN surprises everyone with a breakthrough deal to slow deforestation

A surprise deal emerged from United Nations climate negotiations in Bonn, Germany, this week: diplomats managed to reach a key agreement to compensate developing nations that agree to preserve their forests. And environmental and civil society groups had generally nice things to say about the deal. Deforestation has a huge effect on climate change. Activities like...

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National Forest fields 200,000 comments on Grand Canyon project

The Kaibab National Forest is sifting through more than 200,000 public comments that are mostly against an easement through the town of Tusayan that would help make a development near the Grand Canyon possible. Stilo Development Group USA wants to build homes, retail shops, hotels, and cultural centers in the area. The easement would allow utilities to be installed and...

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Hiking, rafting and relaxing in Greece’s Zagori wilderness

The Zagori region in north west Greece is little known among visitors heading to Athens and the islands. But amid its mountains, canyons and ancient villages are superb hiking trails, delicious local fare and top places to stay. Forested mountains stretch into the distance – the craggy peaks still topped with snow – and the clear waters of the Voidomatis River whoosh by...

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Where The Wild Things Reign – Hiking The Cohos Trail

With more than 4,000 miles of hiking trails, it’s not too hard to get away from it all in New Hampshire. But if you want to get even further away, you could head out on the Cohos Trail, one of the wildest, most remote trails in New England. The Cohos Trail is a 165 miles long approximately. It utilizes new trail, moose paths, existing trails, old ways, old rail...

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Heading to the Grand Canyon? Read these hiking tips first

Nearly 5 million people visit Grand Canyon National Park each year, but many do not get far below its limestone rim. Even fewer head to the bottom. Why? The simple answer is: It’s hard. The hike down to the banks of the chalky green Colorado River, and especially back up, is challenging, even grueling. Even if you’ve trained on stair climbers and hills with a 30-pound...

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A.T. In A Day

Backpacker Magazine is throwing a 2,180-mile party from Georgia to Maine! Join in on June 20, 2015 for a record-setting attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail in 24 hours. Bring on the thru-hikers, the section hikers, the weekend warriors. Bring on the dayhikers with sneakers on their feet and baby carriers on their backs. Bring on the AT lifers and those who have never...

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Cradle of Forestry to Host Free Outdoor Activities on National Get Outdoors Day

The Cradle of Forestry in America will celebrate National Get Outdoors Day, June 13, 2015, with outdoor skills demonstrations, activities and crafts. Admission to the site and all activities are free. The USDA Forest Service is a National Get Outdoors Day partner. The campaign encourages Americans, especially youth, to seek out healthy, active outdoor lifestyles, connect...

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National Park Service kicks off zero-landfill pilot

Three of America’s most iconic National Parks are getting a helping hand on their waste management practices from Subaru’s zero-landfill experts. It’s unfortunate that some of our most beautiful places, our public lands, are also a place for one of our ugliest habits, wastefulness, to rear its head, but that may be changing, thanks to a partnership...

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Nearly 3 in 10 Hikers Carry a Gun

If you’ve been coming to this site for awhile and paying attention to the sidebar, I’ve been running a poll for the past several months. The poll had to do with carrying a gun when you hike. The specific question was: I was surprised to learn how many people apparently carry a gun when they hike. How about you? Do you carry when hiking? Well, the poll reached...

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Here’s what it would take for the US to run on 100% renewable energy

It is technically and economically feasible to run the US economy entirely on renewable energy, and to do so by 2050. That is the conclusion of a new study in the journal Energy & Environmental Science, authored by Stanford scholar Mark Z. Jacobson and nine colleagues. Jacobson is well-known for his ambitious and controversial work on renewable energy. In 2001 he...

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8 great Georgia hikes to incredible places

Haven’t explored Georgia outside of the metro Atlanta area? There’s a whole lot more to Georgia than you’d think. Georgia’s landscapes are beautiful and staggering in variety, from southern sandy Atlantic coast to lush, green, rolling Appalachian Mountains in the north. Moss and fern-filled forests, breezy mountaintops with stunning views, barrier islands where wild...

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This is crazy, but there is actually good news about climate change

Here’s something rare in climate reporting: a bit of good news. Or, more accurately, not disastrous news. China has long exerted an outsize role in global climate change, not simply because it’s by far the world’s leading emitter of greenhouse gas, due largely to its enormous population, its rapid growth, and its reliance on dirty coal — but also because of China’s...

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Appalachian Trail to Lover’s Leap, Pisgah National Forest

Hot Springs, NC is an Appalachian Trail Community that sits along the French Broad River in the Appalachian Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest. The Appalachian Trail was built through Hot Springs more than seven decades ago, and today white blazes still mark the path through town and over the bridge across the river, before heading north up to the vista, Lover’s...

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Jenny Bennett Is Missing

Well known Smoky Mountains author and off-trail hiker Jenny Bennett is missing. She was scheduled to move to Vermont on June 1, 2015, but has not been seen. She evidently went for one last hike in the Smokies on Saturday, May 30 or Sunday, May 31 and did not return. The movers arrived at her house on Monday, June 1 and she was not there. She has not been seen or heard...

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GSMNP Trails Closed After Bear Attack

Several trails have been closed today, June 7, 2015, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park after a bear attack. The trails are closed in the Hazel Creek section of the park. Park officials say last night at about 10:30 p.m. a 16-year-old male from Ohio was pulled from his hammock by a bear. The incident happened at campsite 84 approximately four and a half miles...

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Hiking the Appalachian Trail: Wonderful sights in the Land of the Noonday Sun

A gnarled old oak tree sits atop Bly Gap at 3,800 feet on the Appalachian Trail, famously marking the boundary between Georgia and North Carolina. The Tar Heel State, the second on the northbound thru-hiker’s agenda, wastes no time with fancy introductions, putting a couple of brutally steep 4,000-footers directly ahead: Courthouse Bald and the aptly named Sharp Top....

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Reservation System Proposed at Arches National Park

More people are visiting Arches National Park every year, and the park superintendent is proposing a reservation system during the busy season to ensure they don’t have to turn people away. But the idea is fiercely opposed by the business community in nearby Moab, Utah, who rely on tourists and fear the system would be confusing and lead to fewer impromptu visits....

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The rewilding plan that would return Britain to nature

The UK has lost almost all its native wildlife, especially its forests and big animals. Rewilding would bring back everything from beavers to bears. Britain once looked very different. In place of sheep-strewn fields and treeless uplands, there were vast natural forests, glades and wild spaces. Within them, wolves, bears and lynx roamed the land. The first Britons lived...

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The Coal Boom Choking China

Chinese miners last year dug up 3.87bn tons of coal, more than enough to keep all four of the next largest users – the United States, India, the European Union and Russia – supplied for a year. The country is grappling with the direct costs of that coal, in miners’ lives, crippling air pollution, expanding deserts and “environmental refugees”. Desire for change...

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The EPA Just Released A Long-Awaited Study On Whether Fracking Causes Water Pollution

The Environmental Protection Agency released a draft assessment of its long-awaited study on the impact of hydraulic fracturing — also known as fracking — on drinking water resources in the United States. The report found that although fracking has, to date, been carried out in a way that has not led to widespread and systematic impacts on the country’s drinking water,...

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Hemmed-in Hollow, Ponca Wilderness, Buffalo National River

Established in 1972, Buffalo National River flows freely for 135 miles in Arkansas and is one of the few remaining undammed rivers in the lower 48 states. Once you arrive, prepare to journey from running rapids to quiet pools while surrounded by massive bluffs as you cruise through the Ozark Mountains. At a large curve in the river known as Horseshoe Bend, you can access...

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Going It Alone, and Female, in the Woods

Jocelyn Hebert needs no encouragement from Hollywood to hit the hiking trail all by herself. For years, she’s ventured deep into the woods with only her backpack for company. Animals, accidents and creepy strangers aren’t worries for her, although occasionally the whisper of the wind gives her the shivers. “Seriously, the wind can be eerie,”...

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Vandalism on national forests all too common; do this if you see it

Vandalism on federal lands isn’t limited to hoodlums and miscreants these days, it’s becoming commonplace, according to information provided by the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest of northeast Oregon. Recently, an outraged visitor on the Deschutes National Forest watched as a family of three etched their names into a railing at Tumalo Falls. A photo of the...

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Happy trails mix: Woman’s skills as chef lend well to hiking passion

Katherine Gividen greets most people wearing hiking clothes and a big smile. Her passion is hiking, which she promotes as an instructor of the LSU leisure backpacking class, president of the Louisiana Hiking Club and through her job as an outdoor specialist at a local retail store. But it wasn’t hiking trails that brought her to Louisiana. It was food. Following her...

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