State, national park leaders hammer out deal for Arches water

There is not much water in southeastern Utah’s Arches National Park. What water is there is vitally important to the flora and fauna of the popular high-desert preserve. State and federal officials gathered in the park just north of Moab to acknowledge the role water plays with a contract meant to protect the precious resource. The deal signed by Utah Gov. Gary...

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Popular Yellowstone and Grand Teton trails closed for now

Two of the most heavily used day-hiking routes in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks in northwest Wyoming are closed for the time being because of weather damage and maintenance. In Yellowstone, the iconic Brink of the Lower Falls trail is closed in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone because of a mud and rock slide that deposited a 7-by-8-foot boulder on the...

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Hiking the Path of Abraham Through Unseen Corners of West Bank

The West Bank is much more than the Israeli military occupation that has come to define it for the outside world. From the Byzantine ruins of Sebastia to the lush flora of Wadi Qelt to the vast Jericho desert, the West Bank is a varied and dazzling landscape. You might break bread with Palestinian families in Jericho’s Aqbat Jabar refugee camp, at a women’s cooperative...

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Connecting You and Your Family to the Natural World

Join the Conservation Trust for North Carolina for kid-friendly hikes this 2015 summer that will connect you and your family to the natural world.   Brumley Forest Nature Preserve — Saturday, June 13th, 9:00 AM Join CTNC and Triangle Land Conservancy for an exclusive hike on TLC’s 613-acre nature preserve in Orange County. Enjoy a preview of the vision...

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What Humans Are Really Doing to Our Planet, in Jaw-Dropping Imagery

Recently world leaders have encouraged everyone to consume less and think more about our impact on the environment. It’s a timely warning. Ahead of a series of major events later this year, The Foundation for Deep Ecology and the Population Media Center released a collection that illustrates the devastating effects of out-of-control growth and waste, and it’s...

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Canyon de Chelly National Monument

The labyrinth called Canyon de Chelly (pronounced d’SHAY) comprises several canyons that include Canyon de Chelly, Monument Canyon and Canyon del Muerto. At the mouth of the canyons near the tribal town of Chinle, in northeastern Arizona, the rock walls are only 30 feet high. Deeper in, the bright red sandstone bluffs rise dramatically to stand more than a thousand...

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Camping season at hand: national forest sends out these reminders

Memorial Day weekend is the kickoff for the summer to come and traditionally is a very busy weekend at campgrounds and picnic areas around the Pacific Northwest, weather permitting. The Fremont-Winema National Forest of southern Oregon issued some information about this year’s camping seasons that applies pretty much all around Oregon and Washington, and all across...

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New website for Teton hikers offers forecasts, trail info

The time for lacing up your hiking boots is here. And just in time for the summer season — when hundreds of hikers will descend upon the area — TetonHikingTrails.com has launched. The user-friendly website offers hikers interested in Grand Teton National Park a “source of trail information at their fingertips,” Jeff Doran, the site’s founder, said. TetonHikingTrails...

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Observation Deck Open at Toms Creek Falls in McDowell County, NC

Toms Creek Falls, a breathtaking 80-foot cascade waterfall near Marion, NC, is now accessible to visitors of all ages and abilities. The Grandfather Ranger District has completed work on the Falls Branch Trail (#214) and trail head parking area. Trail work included installation of an accessible observation deck below the falls and resurfacing of the ½ mile trail and...

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Mulberry Creek land added to Pisgah National Forest

The most beloved — and at times the most crowded — national forest in the country is getting a little more breathing room. Pisgah National Forest, which covers more than a half-million acres of heavily forested mountains, mile-high peaks, waterfalls, streams and rivers along the eastern edge of the mountains of Western North Carolina, just added another 517 acres of...

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No shoes? That’s not a problem for this CT hiking group

It’s the sun peeking through the trees, the slight breeze on a cool day and the crackling of the leaves beneath your feet that bring people closer to the world around them. “You feel surfaces people have never experienced,” said Kevin McDermott who’s been barefoot hiking for seven years. “It’s like living in a different world.” The bareness of barefoot hiking brought...

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Duke plans to retire Asheville coal plant, replace with natural gas

Duke Energy Progress announced plans May 19, 2015 to shutter and eventually demolish its 51-year-old, coal-fired plant at Lake Julian, opting instead to rely on natural gas to meet a growing demand for electricity. If granted state approval, the natural gas facility could be online by 2020 and would be built on Duke property near the existing plant. That facility...

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Popular GSMNP trail and shelter closed for bear activity

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park closed the Mt. LeConte backcountry shelter and the popular Cliff Tops area due to aggressive bear activity in the area. Trails leading to the summit of Mt. LeConte are still open, but the park is encouraging hikers to walk in tight groups of three or more and carry bear spray. The park has extra staff stationed to monitor the...

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Flora and Fauna Hiking Guide

There are few more spectacular and humbling experiences than being at one with nature, miles from civilization, with nothing but the flora and fauna that surrounds you as company. It’s this oneness with nature that draws hikers onto trails for remote, days-long hikes. Nature lovers will challenge themselves against the elements; surviving on the bounties of Mother Nature...

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Work to Start On Hiking Path Near Fort Meade, FL

Later this month, crews will begin carving a 2.6-mile tree-shaded hiking path out of the wilderness along the Peace River near Fort Meade. And when the Peace River Trail is finished about four months from now, city leaders in Fort Meade are hoping it will become a magnet for visitors to their community. “I think people are going to come here and walk the trail, and...

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Divers Remove 90,000 Tires from Ocean Floor in Florida

Divers in helmets have begun walking the ocean floor off Fort Lauderdale to clear an environmental catastrophe that’s rested among the coral reefs for more than 40 years. An estimated 700,000 tires were dropped into the ocean off Hugh Taylor Birch State Park in the early 1970s in a failed attempt to create an artificial reef. At the time, before anyone had figured out...

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Oil CEO Wanted University Quake Scientists Dismissed

Oil tycoon Harold Hamm told a University of Oklahoma dean last year that he wanted certain scientists there dismissed who were studying links between oil and gas activity and the state’s nearly 400-fold increase in earthquakes, according to the dean’s e-mail recounting the conversation. Hamm, the billionaire founder and chief executive officer of Oklahoma...

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Anti-Arctic drilling activists hold #ShellNo protest in Seattle

An estimated 500 climate activists took to kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, and even a solar-powered party barge to tell Shell to get the hell out of Seattle. Rallying cry: #sHellNo! The oil giant brought a huge drilling rig, the Polar Pioneer, to the city’s port over objections from the mayor, city council, and a whole lot of pissed-off Seattleites. Shell plans to use the...

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Syncline Loop Trail Around Upheaval Dome, Canyonlands National Park

Island in the Sky is a thousand foot high mesa in the isthmus between the Green and Colorado Rivers that forms one of Canyonlands National Park’s four distinct districts. There is excellent hiking on each side of the mesa, including this trail on the west side that circumnavigates Upheaval Dome. Once thought to be a collapsed salt dome, new geologic evidence...

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Hiking in the Swiss Alps, near Lucerne, in the footsteps of Mark Twain

Hiking is an especially beloved pastime in Switzerland, a nation veined with wanderwegen or footpaths that wind through the surreal landscapes. No matter where you travel in Switzerland, you’re sure to find a pleasant wanderweg marked every few meters by triangular yellow signs — they’re affixed to tree trunks, signposts, even privately owned barns. After we had followed...

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Raleigh man puts heart and soul into NC hiking trail

Jeff Brewer, of Raleigh, is a hiker’s hero and a driving force behind North Carolina’s flagship trail. Brewer fell in love with hiking in 1996 when he took a hiking class with author Allen DeHart at Louisburg College. “Well, it’s good to get away from the hustle and bustle of traffic and take the cell phones and put them away,” Brewer said....

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Another Blue Ridge Parkway Vista Clearing

During the week of April 28, 2015, highly skilled sawyers from across the Blue Ridge Parkway met in Blowing Rock, NC and conducted intensive vista restoration work at Milepost 300 near Grandfather Mountain. With decades of growth in some areas, large trees now obstruct some scenic views and potentially impact the visitor experience. “Research consistently finds...

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Forbidden Data: Wyoming just criminalized citizen science

Imagine visiting Yellowstone this summer. You wake up before dawn to take a picture of the sunrise over the mists emanating from Yellowstone hot springs. A thunderhead towers above the rising sun, and the picture turns out beautifully. You submit the photo to a contest sponsored by the National Weather Service. Under a statute signed into law by the Wyoming governor this...

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BCH of Washington Aids in Pacific Crest Trail Reconstruction

Back Country Horsemen (BCH) of America says it values wild lands and the right to enjoy them by horseback. Protecting the wilderness from unnecessary damage is imperative to keeping it pristine. But that creates unique challenges that can prevent proper maintenance of trails, bridges, shelters, and other amenities that allow us to recreate there. The U.S. Forest...

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Duke Energy fined $102 million for polluting rivers with coal ash

Duke Energy, the nation’s largest electrical utility, pleaded guilty in federal court May 14, 2015 to nine criminal violations of the Clean Water Act for polluting four major rivers for several years with toxic coal ash from five power plants in North Carolina. The $50.5-billion company was fined $102 million and placed on five years of probation for environmental...

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Forest Service Begins to Pave Way for Massive Urban Sprawl Next to Grand Canyon

The U.S. Forest Service began paving the way for a sprawling urban development near the southern edge of the Grand Canyon that would include more than 2,100 housing units and 3 million square feet of retail space along with hotels, a spa and conference center. The superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park has called the project one of the greatest threats to Grand...

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The GOP Senator In Charge of Homeland Security Disagrees With The Pentagon On Climate Change

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, says he disagrees with the Pentagon’s assessment that climate change is a national security concern. The Pentagon released a report in October 2014 that assessed the national security implications of climate change. “Politics or ideology must not get in the...

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Tips for Healthy and Sustainable Hiking

To many outdoor enthusiasts the mountains and forests are waking with life again and trails beckon. With the days of summer in plain sight, recalling the cold and snow of winter would be a cruel exercise. But hitting the trail often means entering a place where the effects of winter can be seen well into spring. Alex DeLucia manages the Trails Volunteer and Leave No...

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