Conserving Carolina working to rehab 100-acre wetland

Conserving Carolina is working on an ambitious project to completely rehabilitate the mouth of Mud Creek where it empties into the French Broad River near Fletcher, NC. The goals are to return the area to a pre-development state that provides a safe haven to musky and other fish, curbs the reach of invasive species, reduces pollution and helps provide a place for all...

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20 thousand miles, 15 countries, 1825 days and countless pairs of underpants

Lucy Barnard is on a mission to walk the entire length of the world from Argentina to Alaska with her cattle dog Wombat in tow. Lucy is an Australian adventurer on a mission to walk the entire length of the world. “There is a moment between having an idea and acting on it, where you choose to do something. or you won’t…I decided to become the first woman to walk the...

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Earth Movers Poised To Erect Border Barrier At Texas Butterfly Refuge

Construction equipment has moved into place to erect Trump’s looming border barrier in southern Texas in the middle of a butterfly refuge, whose operators are furious that their land has been seized and environmental regulations ignored. The barrier is being erected along a levee of the Rio Grande in the border town of Mission. The 18 feet of steel bollards on top...

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Don’t mean to alarm you, but there’s a big hole in the world’s most important glacier

Civilization’s most important glacier has revealed another worrying surprise to scientists. The Thwaites Glacier, the largest outflow channel of the vulnerable West Antarctic Ice Sheet, now has a gigantic subterranean hole. The hollowed-out section is two-thirds the size of Manhattan and 1,000 feet tall — big enough to have contained 14 billion tons of ice, according to...

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Invasive Feral Hogs Continue to Threaten Roan Highlands

2019 marks the fifth year of coordinated efforts to manage invasive feral hogs in the Highlands of Roan. These hogs damage the fragile, globally important ecosystems of Roan as they “root,” eating rare species and tearing up the terrain. They also spread multiple diseases and pose a safety threat to outdoor recreation enthusiasts. “Since feral hogs can have devastating...

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Park Staff Ordered to Violate Laws and Stand Aside as People Trashed Parks During Shutdown

Rangers describe the despair of watching national parks sustain preventable long-term damage, as well as the terrible effects the historic standoff has had on morale. The partial government shutdown is over, but some of the damage national parks sustained during the 35-day standoff will last long into the future. During the shutdown, the Trump administration directed...

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Let’s say you wanted to escape climate change. Where should you go?

So you want to escape climate change. That’s a reasonable impulse — climate change rivals nuclear war for the greatest threat to human life in the history of our species’ existence. Every survival instinct we’ve cultivated to date should, understandably, make us want to get away from it. Let’s start by evaluating regions of the U.S. based on the basics of what we expect...

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Shutdown thefts and odd animal crimes in Smokies; Tennessee NPS sites “lucky”

Thefts, break-ins, and odd crimes involving animals have surfaced in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) as rangers take stock of any damages during the government shutdown. GSMNP spokesperson Dana Soehn said rangers discovered the theft of several tools from a facility in Cosby. The rangers had not determined the total value of stolen items. There was also a...

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The continental U.S. has warmed 1.8 degrees in a century. Seas are 9 inches higher. Here is what climate change looks like.

Michael Golden has hunted elk on this mountain in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley his entire life. It’s a tradition he shared with his father. But his son is growing up in a starkly different environment. Montana has warmed 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit since 1950, considerably more than the United States as a whole. That added heat is contributing to raging forest fires and bark...

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Microplastics in Tennessee River raise health, environmental concerns

  A cubic meter of Tennessee River water contains about 17,000 tiny plastic particles, and scientists’ increasing concern about the health effects of those microplastics when ingested by humans has added urgency to recent cleanup efforts. Tennessee Riverkeeper last week organized a cleanup effort at Dry Branch Creek, a heavily littered waterway that connects to...

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Why horses can poop on the trails but your dog can’t

You’ve seen the big piles of horse poop on your favorite trails, often right in the middle of the path. They’re big and ugly and no one wants to step or ride through them — yuck. Meanwhile, you’re packing poop-scoop bags and hauling your dog’s waste along to the nearest trash can. It can get you to wonder, if horses can poop on the trail, I can...

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Climate Change Is Already Driving Mass Human Migration Around the Globe

Given the oversized role that migration plays in our current political discourse, you’d think there would be more emphasis on the one factor military and security experts believe will affect future migration patterns more than any other: climate change. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), a nonpartisan agency that analyzes and audits federal policy to ensure...

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Weary Hikers in Norway Can Take a Break in This Cabin Built Like a 3D Puzzle

Thanks to a true community effort, weary hikers trekking along the arctic terrain of northern Norway will have a new place to rest their feet. A small cabin in Hammerfest—commissioned by the town’s local chapter of the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT)—rises like a tortoise shell along the rough terrain. The quaint space has a wood burning stove, seating, and...

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In Britain, Enraptured by the Wild, Lonely and Remote

The Hutchison Memorial Hut, colloquially called the Hutchie Hut, is one of more than 100 rustic shelters scattered throughout England, Wales and Scotland that are frequented by a motley assortment of outdoor adventurers. Left unlocked, free to use and with most offering little more than a roof, four walls and perhaps a small wood-burning stove, the buildings, called...

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National Park Service Abandons Defense of Latest Pipeline Permit

The National Park Service has voluntarily abandoned its defense of the agency’s latest permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross the Blue Ridge Parkway. NPS issued the revised permit after the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, in August 2018, vacated its original authorization for the pipeline. On January 16, 2019 the Park Service asked the Fourth Circuit to remand...

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The Best Backpacking Loops in Colorado’s Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness

In a state known for mountains, the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness stands out among Colorado’s mountainous locales. The stunning Elk Range towers with dramatic peaks. Located just outside of Aspen, Colorado’s fourth-largest wilderness stretches over 181,000 acres and provides numerous life-list backpacking opportunities on its 100 miles of trails. Six summits rise over...

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Huge conservation project paves way to caving, hiking and more in North Georgia

  A perfect collision of forces — an anonymous donor looking for a tax write-off, a failed subdivision that turned out to be a $40 million mortgage-fraud scheme, and strategic purchases by conservationists to protect area caves — paved the way for one of the biggest nonprofit conservation projects in the region. Nearly 2,400 acres on Lookout Mountain and into...

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12 Cities Around The World That Are Unexpectedly Good For Hiking

When it comes to planning a trip, it might seem like one has to pick between the freedom of the great outdoors and the hustle and bustle of a city. But, that’s not always true — you don’t have to pick. There are cities around the world that are unexpectedly good for hiking, which means you can have your city adventure and your country escape at the same time....

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Arizona hike: The back way to Tonto Creek is rugged, rewarding

Occupying a few dusty acres between nowhere and Roosevelt Lake, the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it community of Jake’s Corner is a popular way station for outdoor enthusiasts. Its ramshackle appearance and come-as-you-are ambiance are big draws for anglers, hunters, boaters, bikers and ATV riders. Sometimes, hikers find the place, too. Located 22 miles north of the lake along...

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National Park Superintendents stay mum during ‘blackout on news’

There’s an easy reason to explain why National Park Service superintendents have suddenly gone mum: They’re scared. That’s according to former National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis. “In my conversations with folks that are in the field, there is an element of fear that has been conveyed down, that you’ll be punished if you speak...

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Some Basic Elements of Winter Hiking

Clear cold days, rime ice, outstanding views, ice crystals hanging from spruce bows, solitude on a snow-covered trail and no bugs — these are some of the many reasons many take to the mountains during the winter season. A winter tramp in the woods and mountains can be an experience that some would say is addicting. Others cannot fathom the idea of trekking up a...

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Picking the Best Hiking Trail for Your Abilities (Easy, Moderate and Strenuous)

People enjoy hiking for a variety of reasons, but many of those who hit their local trails do so for the exercise the activity provides. However, there’s a big difference between breaking a sweat and working out your muscles during a hike and biting off more than you can chew. You don’t want to wear yourself out and require assistance getting back to the trailhead....

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Ice loss from Antarctica has sextupled since the 1970s, new research finds

Antarctic glaciers have been melting at an accelerating pace over the past four decades thanks to an influx of warm ocean water – a startling new finding that researchers say could mean sea levels are poised to rise more quickly than predicted in coming decades. The Antarctic lost 40 billion tons of melting ice to the ocean each year from 1979 to 1989. That figure...

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Some Great Smoky Mountains National Park facilities reopen, but park is not back to normal

Locating an open public restroom in Great Smoky Mountains National Park should be easier starting this week but finding someone to suggest a good spot for a family hike or to replace a washed out trail bridge won’t be. Workers are reopening limited facilities and in a few locations around the park that had been closed during the partial federal government shutdown,...

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The Search for England’s Forgotten Footpaths

Nineteen years ago, the British government passed one of its periodic laws to manage how people move through the countryside. The Countryside and Rights of Way Act created a new “right to roam” on common land, opening up three million acres of mountains and moor, heath and down, to cyclists, climbers, and dog walkers. It also set an ambitious goal: to record every public...

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Age is Just a Number

The saying, “Age is just a number,” is more of a motto for one 75-year-old Canton, GA resident, who proved that adage, completing the 14-state, 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail last month. Richard Smith, known to those on the trail and many in Canton as “Old Scout,” completed the momentous hike in what is known as the “AT Flip-Flop.” Instead of hiking from Georgia’s Springer...

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Fortnite Creator is Buying Thousands of Acres of Forest to Stop It From Being Cut Down

Creator of the online video game Fortnite, Tim Sweeney, has been captivating audiences for decades by developing intricate and interactive digital worlds for players. However, it is his work away from the screen that is currently grabbing attention from gamers and non-gamers alike. Sweeney is best known for founding the video and 3-D software company Epic Games in the...

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Oceans Are Warming Faster Than Predicted

Up to 90 percent of the warming caused by human carbon emissions is absorbed by the world’s oceans, scientists estimate. And researchers increasingly agree that the oceans are warming faster than previously thought. Multiple studies in the past few years have found that previous estimates from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change may be too low. A new review of...

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