DPS Crew Discovers Mysterious Monolith From Air In Remote Utah Wilderness

The Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter was assisting Utah Division of Wildlife Resource officers counting bighorn sheep when the crew spotted something mysterious from above. “One of the biologists is the one who spotted it and we just happened to fly directly over the top of it,” said pilot Bret Hutchings. “He was like, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, turn around, turn...

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Waterfall Keepers of North Carolina

Announcing Waterfall Keepers of North Carolina, the only organization dedicated to the state’s resplendent falling water. Waterfalls are among the few natural wonders that excite all five of our senses at once. We feel the spray against our skin. We hear the calming sound of the falling water. We smell and taste the moisture in the air. And, of course, we see the sublime...

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Microplastics found at the highest point on Earth as the glaciers around Mount Everest’s death zone melt

Microplastics are one of the most harmful side effects of humans using the planet, and they’re increasingly being found in hard to reach planes. After being detected in the deepest point on the Earth, the Marina Tech, microplastics have now been found near the Earth’s highest point — the death zone of Mount Everest. It’s called the ‘death...

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Conserving Carolina reaches deal to buy rail line for Ecusta Trail

Hendersonville, NC-based land conservancy Conserving Carolina has reached an agreement to buy the railroad line from Hendersonville to Brevard, marking a major leap forward in plans for the 19-mile Ecusta Trail. In a move that was crucial, the Henderson County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday authorized a $7 million bridge loan that will make the sale possible....

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What’s That Cloud? Your Guide to Cloudspotting

Clouds are grouped into 10 different genera, organized based on shape and the altitude where they’re found. The genera names are all formed from the same five latin terms — cirro, cumulo, strato, nimbo, alto — which are mixed and matched to create names like cumulonimbus, cirrostratus, cirrocumuus…. you get the idea. Learning what each of these Latin roots means is key...

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Cleanest air on record: Pandemic accelerates long-term move toward cleaner air in N.C.

When President Richard Nixon ‘s signature on the Clean Air Act of 1970 prompted North Carolina to create its Division of Air Quality, air quality was bad in Western North Carolina. “Back in the ‘80s or the ‘90s, once summer hit your mountains would disappear,” recalled Jim Renfro, longtime air quality specialist for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. “You’re...

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1,500 acres of historic land added to the Francis Marion National Forest in SC

Located just north of McClellanville, SC, the 1,450-acre White Oak Atlantic Creosote tract contains an extensive network of dirt roads through some of the most beautiful native longleaf pine woods in the Lowcountry. The property was purchased from White Oak Forestry Corporation — a local corporation that stewards and conserves thousands of acres of significant forest in...

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Tallgrass prairie region provides a Minnesota hiking alternative

While wooded hikes are popular in Minnesota, the woods are not required, as the tallgrass prairie region in the southwestern corner of the state offers unique places to get out and view the diverse landscape. Getting lost in the woods while on a walk is a common problem in fairy tales, and in renowned horror stories. Even if you leave bread crumbs behind, in the style of...

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Alabama’s leading National Forests advocates announce rebirth of Wild Alabama

Some good news for Alabama’s National Forests. Wild South, the North Carolina based regional forest protection group has announced plans to restructure the organization and form a new independent and separate non-profit organization called Wild Alabama. As part of the restructuring, the group will keep the entire staff and maintain its current programs and office in...

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A detailed road map for building a US energy innovation ecosystem

“Innovation” is a fraught concept in climate politics. For years, it was used as a kind of fig leaf to cover for delaying tactics, as though climate progress must wait on some kind of technological breakthrough or miracle. That left climate advocates with an enduring suspicion toward the notion, and hostility toward those championing it. Lately, though, that has changed....

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In a mountain range too steep to cross, DHS is spending millions of dollars on five miles of border wall

Racing to fulfill President Donald Trump’s campaign promises, the Department of Homeland Security is dynamiting cliff sides and carving switchback roads up incredibly steep mountains to build a 30-foot-tall border wall through Guadalupe Canyon. Not only is the construction expensive, it will have little impact on undocumented immigration into the U.S. It will, however,...

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Bridge Repair Work Begins Across Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that the Federal Highway Administration awarded two construction contracts to replace seven bridges and repair seven others across the park. The work will continue through January 19, 2022 and necessitates several single-lane closures and a few full road closures to safely accomplish the repairs. Forge Creek Road in...

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Fees at national parks waived for veterans, Gold Star families starting November 2020

Starting next month, veterans and Gold Star families will be able to visit national parks and other public lands for free, under a new initiative from the Department of the Interior. Active-duty service members and their families are already granted free access to those sites under existing department rules. The new announcement broadens that benefit to more than 20...

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How the US could lead on climate change — in 8 simple steps

Imagine a green future for a hot second. The United States and the rest of the world have taken substantive action to slow (and even reverse) climate change. Crisis averted. You’re probably envisioning a lot of the following: snazzy yet affordable electric cars, smog-free city skylines, and an electrical grid powered by sweet, sweet, renewable energy. Well, you likely...

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Lake Norman nature park to offer miles of hiking, biking

Outdoors enthusiasts from across the Charlotte, NC region are the target market of a 606-acre nature park underway on the northern tip of Lake Norman. Mountain Creek Park in Sherrills Ford will feature 19 miles of hiking and mountain bike trails when it opens next summer or early fall, along with kayaking and paddleboarding, picnic areas and a fishing pier. The $8.5...

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Being a Steward for the Smokies

The Smokies Service Days program will return with a slate of Saturday service opportunities in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, starting with a Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020 session to be held 9:30 a.m. to noon at Oconaluftee Visitor Center near Cherokee. Other scheduled service days are: Oct. 31: “The Deep Creep” Litter Cleanup, 10 a.m. to noon at Deep Creek Picnic...

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All of RMNP closed to visitors due to wildfire activity

A full closure of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado is now in place due to wildfire activity on the west side of the Continental Divide, a spokesperson for the park announced Thursday morning, October 22, 2020. Air quality in the park is hazardous and Trail Ridge Road is impassable on the west side due to downed trees on the road. High fire danger prompted the...

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New hiking trails near Sedona, AZ hint at bigger things to come

Occupying a hilly slice of high desert below the east flanks of Mingus Mountain, the new Blowout Wash trail system is shaping up to become a prime Verde Valley hiking destination. The remediation project is a multi-agency collaboration of local, state and federal land agencies working together to improve recreational opportunities in Prescott National Forest southwest of...

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Teaching Kids to be Great Trail Stewards

Trails help keep us happy and healthy. No one wants to stay inside all the time, so we need places to go outside and explore. On trails you can get all your energy out, see cool plants, trees, and wildlife, and spend time with family and friends. It’s important we keep trails nice so everyone can enjoy them for years to come. Trails are an important resource, but...

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REI and National Forest Foundation Announce New Partnership to Plant 1 Million Trees

  A new partnership between the National Forest Foundation (NFF) and REI Co-op (REI) will plant 1 million trees on National Forests across the U.S. over the next decade. Each project will prioritize immediate reforestation to restore ecosystems adversely impacted by severe wildfire, pests, diseases, blowdown, or other natural disturbances. These efforts will...

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New polling on climate change: Denial is out, alarm is in.

Americans are now nearly four times more likely to say they’re alarmed about the climate crisis than to be dismissive of it. That’s the highest ratio ever since the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (YPCCC) first began gathering data on American attitudes about climate change back in 2008. According to survey data, more than a quarter of the U.S. adult...

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Maine town apologizes after criticizing anonymous hiker who fixed bridge along its trail

There’s a Maine town trying to identify the hiker who built a replacement bridge next to a collapsed one along a hiking trail on a popular 308-acre preserve. “When outside entities create trails and structures without notifying our department, that leads to confusion for hikers and others” using the Lowell Preserve, Windham town manager Barry Tibbetts posted on...

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Forest Service in home stretch on draft Pisgah, Nantahala forests plan

James Melonas, deputy supervisor of the National Forests in North Carolina (NFsNC) office addressed a crowd of Forest Service colleagues at an April national training in Denver to share his thoughts on the ongoing Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests plan revision effort in Western North Carolina. His message: be transparent and build trust. “Really focusing on...

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Nature Conservancy buys 2,110 acres in heart of Superior National Forest

More than 2,000 acres of private land within the Superior National Forest will remain undeveloped under a real estate deal announced by the Nature Conservancy. The 2,110 acres of private land is surrounded by national forest land and includes six wild lakes, 3 miles of trout streams, 972 acres of wetlands and tracts of old-growth white spruce and white cedar. It’s also...

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Section of the Long Trail Permanently Protected

The Trust for Public Land, Green Mountain Club and the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR), announced the protection of Codding Hollow, adding 160.7 acres to Long Trail State Forest in Johnson and Waterville, Vermont. The newly protected property includes one of the last unprotected sections of the Long Trail, the oldest long-distance hiking trail...

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Why Arches National Park has an overcrowding problem, causing 3-hour closures almost daily

Arches National Park has a problem. It’s too popular. While that may seem like good news, for many people who came to visit the park in September, it’s a major disappointment. Because of parking lot size, overcrowding and safety concerns, Arches has been forced to turn people away for hours of the day, mostly during weekends. In September, nearly every...

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The ‘Wetland Wanderer,’ celebrates outdoors career, Hispanic Heritage Month

When Lucia Ibarra was growing up in Las Mochis, Mexico, near the Gulf of California, she felt most at home running barefoot, climbing trees, playing in the ocean, and laughing with the sheep and horses on her mother’s ranch. “Since I was a kid I loved nature. My culture was humans and animals. But I felt like we were all connected and everything had a domino effect,”...

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What Makes an Appalachian Trail View Great?

Picture, in your mind, an Appalachian Trail (A.T.) view that inspires you. Now have a fellow A.T. hiker do the same. Did the view they selected look anything like yours? Most likely not. Since the A.T. traverses so many regions, the views along its 2,193 miles vary significantly, sometimes even within a few miles. From craggy mountains in North Georgia, to rolling...

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