Federal court denies Trump’s last-ditch attempt to derail the youth climate lawsuit

A federal court has denied the Trump administration’s last-ditch effort to prevent a landmark climate lawsuit from going to trial. It called the motion “entirely premature” and argued that the administration had failed to reach the “high bar” required for dismissal. “There is enduring value in the orderly administration of litigation by the trial courts, free of needless...

Learn More

Ever Wanted to Thru-Hike the Lake Tahoe Rim Trail? Here’s Your Guide.

The 170-mile-long Tahoe Rim Trail passes through three wilderness areas and two mountain ranges as it takes hikers from 6,200 feet to higher than 10,000 feet in elevation. In the Desolation Wilderness, you find pristine alpine lakes and granite peaks, in Meiss Meadows, you stroll through hip-high fields of wildflowers, and at the base of Tahoe’s highest mountain, Freel...

Learn More

Feral cattle terrorize hikers and devour native plants in a California national monument

Sand to Snow National Monument is a quiet place — its mountainous high desert and cascading streams a draw for those seeking panoramic views, tranquillity and solitude. But on a recent morning, the serenity was ruined by a menacing bellowing, making it clear passing hikers weren’t alone. On a ridgeline near a popular stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail, five feral...

Learn More

8 risks that spring hikers should be aware of before hitting the trail

As the cold winter air turns milder and snow melts from the streets, those sitting inside throughout winter might be itching to get out and go on a hike. “With spring hiking, there’s a handful of additional risks and there’s items that I recommend people take to mitigate those risks,” said Wesley Trimble, program outreach and communications manager for the American...

Learn More

The Cold War’s Toxic Legacy: Costly, Dangerous Cleanups at Atomic Bomb Production Sites

Seventy-five years ago, in March 1943, a mysterious construction project began at a remote location in eastern Washington state. Over the next two years some 50,000 workers built an industrial site occupying half the area of Rhode Island, costing more than $230 million—equivalent to $3.1 billion today. Few of those workers, and virtually no one in the surrounding...

Learn More

Cat Owners: Let’s Go Hiking! Cats: Yawn

Vladimir has seen more of the U.S. than most Americans. For the past two years, he has visited 50-plus national parks, traveling in a renovated 1989 Toyota motor home with Cees and Madison Hofman and their infant son. He goes kayaking, hiking and rappelling. Between adventures, he naps, eats and watches the passing scenery out the RV window. He never has to pitch in for...

Learn More

GSMNP prepares for thru-hiking season after record year

After another record year in 2017, backcountry managers with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are asking visitors to consider ways to enjoy the park while minimizing their impact. With overall park visitation and Appalachian Trail hiking both growing, the number of people entering the park has grown significantly. “2017 in terms of thru-hikers, we saw the...

Learn More

Linking Donors: The Private Funding Behind the Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is an interesting animal in that, not unlike the huge trail itself, it links together a lot of varied parts. The nonprofit is a cooperative of local, state and federal government agencies, and 31 local organizations looking after a footpath that spans 14 states and more than 2,000 miles. As you can imagine, working across that many...

Learn More

Long process of revising plans for NC national forests nears crucial point

In November 2012, the U.S. Forest Service began work on a comprehensive revision of the Land Management Plan for North Carolina’s Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests. It reasonably might have been expected to end in 2016. Instead, the politically complicated process remains underway with some crucial stages just ahead. If the prospect of assisting a large federal...

Learn More

From ghost towns to hiking trails, this is the ultimate guide to Death Valley

  If you have ever driven to Las Vegas on Interstate 15 from Southern California, then no doubt you have stopped in or rolled by the small town of Baker, known as the Gateway to Death Valley. It’s also home to the World’s Tallest Thermometer and the Mad Greek, a great place to get some road food as well as fresh strawberry shakes. There are more and more new...

Learn More

Emails reveal oil and gas drilling was a key incentive to shrink Utah national monuments

From the start of the Trump administration’s review of national monuments, agency officials were directing staff at the U.S. Department of the Interior to figure out how much coal, oil, and natural gas had been placed off limits by the Bears Ears’ National Monument designation. Environmental activists and public lands advocates feared Trump was pushing to reduce the size...

Learn More

Interior Secretary Zinke cancels Chaco Canyon lease sale to frackers

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has canceled an oil and gas lease sale near Chaco Canyon in northern New Mexico until the agency can further review the impact on cultural artifacts in the area. The sale was set for March 8. Zinke said that “there have been some questions raised” so the Bureau of Land Management will hold off on the sale of about 25 parcels on 4,434...

Learn More

Solar and wind power alone could provide four fifths of U.S. power

  A new study finds that wind power and solar photovoltaics could by themselves meet 80 percent of all U.S. electricity demand. It’s especially encouraging for two additional reasons. First, the price of solar and wind have been dropping rapidly. Second, the study only examined how wind and solar could power the grid. In doing so, it found these two sources...

Learn More

The Wyoming Public Lands Initiative risks collapse

Launched in 2015, the Wyoming Public Lands Initiative seeks local consensus on the future of 42 BLM wilderness study areas and three Forest Service study areas located in 13 Wyoming counties. There are eight committees in nine participating counties, a participant said. The initiative sought to address more than 750,000 acres of federal wilderness-study lands in the...

Learn More

A hiking hotel in the Alpine forest of Italy blends seamlessly into the landscape

  A new hotel that’s hoping to attract hikers to the Italian hills in South Tyrol has been built to seamlessly blend into the surrounding countryside. The Hotel Bühelwirt in South Tyrol, Italy has recently been reconstructed with a beautiful dark exterior and large windows offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and forest. Every one of the 20...

Learn More

Hiking the Appalachian Trail through hail and high water

Five miles into his 2,200-mile hike, Tom Abel was welcomed to the Appalachian Trail by pelting quarter-inch pellets of hail. The 15-minute storm of stinging ice missiles would not be all that Mother Nature had in store for the 68-year old during his six-month journey from the summit of Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park, Maine, to the summit of Springer Mountain in...

Learn More

Forest Service turns to volunteers for trail repair

The U.S. Forest Service hopes to double the workload of its volunteer helpers as it attacks a backlog of trail maintenance largely in Montana. The Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex’s 3,200 miles of trail arrived No. 1 on a Forest Service priority list for trail work. So did the Continental Divide Scenic Trail; its largest segment passes through Montana. And the Central...

Learn More

BLM speeds ahead on Grand Staircase-Escalante plans

Federal authorities at Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument are moving forward to create new plans for managing the area, despite several legal challenges to the monument’s boundaries. Conservationists say they are concerned about a rush to create new plans before the courts weigh in on the boundaries. President Donald Trump last year announced he would...

Learn More

Hiking trail serves as lasting legacy for fallen Canadian soldiers

A Port aux Basques, Newfoundland man continues to combine his love of the outdoors with his respect for fallen soldiers. Colin Seymour is ready to place 158 yellow ribbons – one for each Canadian soldier who lost their life in the war in Afghanistan – along the hiking trail leading to Mark Rock Mountain, just outside South Branch, where a monument honors Sgt. Craig...

Learn More

Appomattox Court House seeks public input for plans to expand trails

For more than 40 years, visitors to the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park have walked among the ghosts of history over seven miles of trails through the park’s historic village and interpretive sites. The park now is seeking public input for plans to expand the current trails to create a comprehensive, site-wide trail system. Appomattox Court House National...

Learn More

Why scientsts are calling for rewilding to become part of environmental legislation

Rewilding has the potential to help address the current global biodiversity crisis, but its impact will be limited unless agreed definitions can be reached, backed by further scientific research and helped by a policy backdrop that enables greater integration with current environmental legislation. Rewilding – a philosophy that aims to encourage greater diversity of...

Learn More

Beech booming as climate changes, and that’s bad for forests

Beech trees are dominating the woodlands of the northeastern United States as the climate changes, and that could be bad news for the forests and people who work in them, according to a group of scientists. The scientists say the move toward beech-heavy forests is associated with higher temperatures and precipitation. They say their 30-year study, published in the...

Learn More

‘Friends’ groups provide vital support for public lands

We all need friends, and public lands in Western North Carolina increasingly receive care in the form of “Friends” nonprofit groups. In an era of shrinking federal budgets for parks and forests, these organizations are stepping up to preserve and maintain public spaces. “Friends groups used to be the margin of excellence; now they’re the margin of survival,” Sally...

Learn More

Funding tightens for Vermont’s Long Trail caretakers

Hugh and Jean Joudry have spent the last fifty summers atop Stratton Mountain, and the couple, now in their seventies, aren’t planning to descend any time soon. While their tenure at the mountain’s summit began through the State of Vermont’s Fire Watch program in 1968, the two have watched over the peak as Green Mountain Club caretakers since the 1970s....

Learn More

Earthquake Swarms Are Shaking Yellowstone’s Supervolcano. Here’s What That Means.

Something is rocking the massive supervolcano beneath Yellowstone National Park. Thanks to a recent earthquake swarm, the Yellowstone supervolcano has seen upwards of 200 quakes since February 8, 2018 along with countless smaller tremors. The largest earthquake was an unremarkable magnitude 2.9, and all of them have hit about five miles beneath the surface. Larger...

Learn More

Arizona’s Cave Creek hike is a wonderland of rocks

The site of Cave Creek Regional Park has a storied history. Before there were hiking trails, campgrounds and picnic ramadas, the park, north of Phoenix, and its surroundings were used by the ancient Hohokam people, mine operations, farms and ranches. Yet the park’s relics of human endeavors are transient compared to its geological features. Although the 2,922-acre site...

Learn More

The One Type of Clothing You Should Never Wear Hiking

Instead of Velcro, buttons, and snap fasteners, magnetic closures are now the trendy alternative for fastening phone cases, gloves, jackets, hoods, and other outerwear. But this seemingly innocuous design feature can actually put your life at risk. A recent incident involving a group of lost hikers and an intense mountain rescue mission could have been avoided had it not...

Learn More

Rare Fossils Discovered on Lands Cut From Bears Ears National Monument

Researchers have discovered what may be one of the world’s richest caches of Triassic period fossils at an extensive site within the original boundaries of Bears Ears National Monument. The team’s initial excavation led to the extraordinary discovery of several intact remains of crocodile-like animals called phytosaurs. The findings were publicly announced at...

Learn More