Earlier Springs Heighten Allergy Misery in East Tennessee

In the heart of South Knoxville sits one of eight Allergy and Asthma Affiliates clinics scattered across Tennessee. Allergist and immunologist Dr. Trent Ellenburg is already being kept busy at his family-owned business, where patients have started coming in suffering from spring allergy symptoms. “As we’re seeing warmer, milder weather, and lots of rain, we do see...

Learn More

N.C. Arboretum receives $1 million grant for statewide outreach

All across Western North Carolina, teachers and students are headed outdoors to find, observe and photograph local wildlife as a part of ecoEXPLORE, a citizen science program developed by The North Carolina Arboretum. Kids in grades K-8 who participate in ecoEXPLORE can earn prizes and help professional researchers by cataloging the plants, animals and insects that they...

Learn More

The disease devastating deer herds may also threaten human health

Scientists have called this neurodegenerative disease, which attacks deer, elk and moose, a “nightmare” and a “state of emergency.” Lately, the media’s been calling it “zombie deer disease.” Lawmakers are calling it a “crisis” and currently considering at least three bills at the national level to combat it. Researchers, resource managers and others worry it could hurt...

Learn More

Poetry graces popular park trails

Nature is pure poetry, judging by the artwork on Olympic National Park trails. The North Olympic Library System (NOLS) has teamed up with Olympic National Park to offer a sixth season of Poetry Walks. This year’s will continue through May 31, 2019. It features inspiring poetry along four park trails. During Poetry Walks, poems are placed on signs on the Hall of Mosses...

Learn More

An Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker On The Need To Protect Our Wild Spaces

This year on her birthday, Carolyn Burman decided to do a solo hike in one of her favorite state parks in Connecticut. She has magical memories of that trek. She grew up hiking it — her mother even went into labor with her while walking the path. She looked forward to a peaceful, reflective experience in nature. Instead, she found something else. “There was so much...

Learn More

Bill to preserve 400,000 acres in Colorado would be biggest deal in 25 years

An ambitious effort to preserve mountain wilderness and historic landscapes in Colorado will launch April 8, 2019 with the introduction of a bill in Congress that aims to protect 400,000 acres of public lands in the state. It would pay special homage to Camp Hale, home to the historic 10th Mountain Division. The bill — dubbed the Colorado Outdoor Recreation &...

Learn More

Smokies Park Hosts Trail Volunteer Opportunities in April

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced several volunteer workdays during the month of April, 2019 on popular trails as the park prepares for the busy summer season. These opportunities are ideal for people interested in learning more about the park and the trails program through hands-on service alongside experienced park staff. Volunteers will help...

Learn More

Here’s a closer look at what Trump cut out of Bears Ears National Monument

When President Trump reduced the size of Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument by more than 1.1 million acres, his administration assured the public “important objects of scientific or historic interest” would still be protected. Many areas the Trump administration removed from Bears Ears are rich in uranium and oil deposits and may eventually become more accessible...

Learn More

North Carolina orders Duke Energy to excavate all coal ash

The country’s largest electric company was ordered to excavate coal ash from all of its North Carolina power plant sites, slashing the risk of toxic chemicals leaking into water supplies but potentially adding billions of dollars to the costs consumers pay. Duke Energy Corp. must remove the residue left after decades of burning coal to produce electricity, North...

Learn More

Springtime in the Great Smokies means synchronous firefly extravaganza is coming soon

Synchronous fireflies – the hottest ticket outside the flashing lights of Broadway – are about to get the party started. The chance to see Photinus carolinus, a firefly species whose males display synchronous flashes to attract mates, is so hotly anticipated and so rare, that the National Park Service had to limit the hordes of humans and now holds a lottery for tickets...

Learn More

‘Doomsday vault’ threatened by climate change

The site of the so-called ‘Doomsday vault’, designed to safeguard millions of the world’s most genetically important seeds from nuclear war, asteroid strikes and other disasters, is at threat from climate change, a new report has warned. Longyearbyen, the Arctic home of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, faces potentially devastating avalanches, rockfalls,...

Learn More

National Park Week 2019: Celebrating America’s National Parks

National Park Week, running from April 20 through 28, 2019, has something for everyone. Join the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation for nine days of fun, including National Junior Ranger Day and National BARK Ranger Day. Visit www.NationalParkWeek.org for more information and a list of special events. “National parks are sources of inspiration,...

Learn More

Smokies Park and Eastern Band Cherokee Indians Finalize Agreement Allowing Sochan Gathering

Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians (EBCI) finalized a gathering agreement that allows the gathering of sochan (Rudbeckia laciniata) for traditional purposes by 36 permitted tribal members. Park Superintendent Cassius Cash and Principal Chief Richard Sneed were joined by tribal council members as they signed the historic...

Learn More

Three decades after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Alaska’s coast faces an even bigger threat

For three days in March 1989, the oil — at least 11 million gallons of it, though some say much more — had lain like a still pool around the ship, virtually untouched by cleanup efforts. Now the storm clawed the oil across the sound’s tracery of rocky islands, into their infinite crevices, and ultimately over more than 1,000 miles of rich coastal wilderness. The story...

Learn More

The Cradle of Forestry in America historic site will begin the 2019 season on April 6

The Cradle of Forestry’s living history demonstrators and crafters will bring the Pink Beds community along the Cradle’s Biltmore Campus Trail to life by re-creating an early 1900’s community busy at work and play. Guests can visit the cozy King House to smell the wonderful aromas of open-hearth cooking, help with laundry without the modern...

Learn More

Your shedding dog can help birds this spring

When birds start constructing their elaborate nests in spring, they look for all sorts of building materials. They search for twigs and leaves, moss and fluff, writes the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and will look for various items wherever they can find them. You can help provide nesting material by either growing them in your yard or by making them easily...

Learn More

The Rapid Decline Of The Natural World Is A Crisis Even Bigger Than Climate Change

Nature is in freefall and the planet’s support systems are so stretched that we face widespread species extinctions and mass human migration unless urgent action is taken. That’s the warning hundreds of scientists are preparing to give, and it’s stark. The last year has seen a slew of brutal and terrifying warnings about the threat climate change poses to life. Far less...

Learn More

President Signs Bill Permanently Reauthorizing Land and Water Conservation Fund

In an historic victory for public lands and close to home recreation, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was permanently reauthorized on March 12, 2019 as part of a sweeping public lands package signed into law by the president. The legislation, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the House (363-62) and the Senate (92-8) last month, was signed...

Learn More

Nearly $675 Million Spent On Deferred Park Maintenance, Yet Backlog Still Nearly $12 Billion

Proof of the challenge the National Park Service faces in trying to catch up with deferred maintenance across the National Park System can be found in the agency’s latest report on the matter: Nearly $700 million was spent during Fiscal 2018 on maintenance projects, yet the backlog still is nearly $12 billion. Congress had a chance last year to give the Park...

Learn More

Most ponds and landfills holding coal waste across the U.S. have leaked toxic chemicals into nearby groundwater, report finds

The vast majority of ponds and landfills holding coal waste at 250 power plants across the country have leaked toxic chemicals into nearby groundwater, according to an analysis of public monitoring data released by environmental groups. The report, published jointly by the Environmental Integrity Project and Earthjustice, found that 91 percent of the nation’s coal-fired...

Learn More

Smokies Park Recruits ‘Adopt-a-Plot’ Volunteers

Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers are recruiting volunteers to adopt a monitoring plot in areas throughout the park. In an effort to track nature’s calendar, or phenology, volunteers will collect information as part of an important research project tracking seasonal biological data such as plant flowering dates and the presence of migratory birds. Previous...

Learn More

Chattanooga native named first female Chief Ranger of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

GSMNP officials say Lisa Hendy will oversee employees in the Resource and Visitor Protection Division who perform law enforcement duties, wildland fire operations, emergency medical services, search and rescue operations, backcountry operations, and staff the emergency communications center. The GSMNP says Hendy brings a wealth of experience to the position after serving...

Learn More

An Appeals Court Has Rejected a Request to Hold a New Hearing for an Appalachian Trail Pipeline

  A federal appeals court denied a request to reconsider a ruling throwing out a permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross two national forests, including parts of the Appalachian Trail. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a request from lead pipeline developer Dominion Energy and the U.S. Forest Service to hold a full-court rehearing. In...

Learn More

Five lessons from the government shutdown about national parks

For now the threat of another government shutdown has ended (even as legal showdown over an emergency wall looms). Hundreds of thousands of federal workers are breathing a sigh of relief — including 16,000 National Park Service employees, most of whom were told to stay home while the parks remained open but understaffed during the longest shutdown in U.S. history. The...

Learn More

Updates Planned for Mountain Bike Trails in North Carolina’s Pisgah Ranger District

In the coming year, three the of the most popular mountain biking trails in the Pisgah Ranger District—Avery Creek, Buckwheat Knob and Black Mountain—will receive some much-needed maintenance. Pisgah Area SORBA (Southern Off Road Biking Association) will devote $190,000 to maintaining and rerouting several of the region’s most beloved trails with funds from the...

Learn More

New North Carolina state natural area achieves milestone

  A recent 1,500 acre land purchase by the Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina and North Carolina State Parks marked acquisition of the first chunk of the new Bobs Creek State Natural Area in southeastern McDowell County, North Carolina. Over the course of several years, a conservation enthusiast purchased 6,000 acres in the area with the intention of...

Learn More

GPS study: nearly all bears leave Smokies for food

Researchers have completed a breakthrough study that used GPS collars to track black bears in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The results are shattering some long-held beliefs about where the animals travel for food. It may also force entire counties to rethink their bear-proofing policies. “We always thought there were two kinds of bears. You had...

Learn More

How a South Pasadena matron used her wits and wealth to create Joshua Tree National Park

Nobody looks at the mural. Tourists keep their heads down as they walk past. They scan maps, reach for keys, tell their children to use the bathroom. Considering possible destinations, they say, “Did you want to do Hidden Valley and Keys Ranch?” Or, “We can start at Skull Rock.” They don’t notice the image of a gray-haired woman in a wide-brimmed hat staring out at them....

Learn More

This map shows you what your city will feel like in 2080

What will your city feel like in the year 2080? If you’re a frequent traveler in these United States, you might already know. A study in the science journal Nature Communications breaks down future warming by drawing parallels for 540 North American urban areas. In 60 years, New York could feel like today’s Arkansas. Chicago is on a crash course for Kansas City. San...

Learn More

Wilderness Skills Institute Seeks Trainees Dedicated to Conservation

Dedicated individuals seeking to further their skills and experience in environmental conservation are invited to apply for the 2019 Wilderness Skills Institute (WSI), a two-week training course that provides a variety of instruction on basic to advanced-level skills necessary for working in wilderness environments. Held on May 20-24, 2019 and May 28-31, 2019 at the...

Learn More

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Announces Paving Project on Little River Road

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that a pavement preservation project will begin Tuesday, February 19, 2019 on Little River Road. A thin pavement overlay will be applied to the entire length of the 16.5-mile roadway between Sugarlands Visitor Center to the Townsend Wye along with associated pull-offs and parking lots and the 1.5-mile Elkmont Road...

Learn More

402 acres added to DuPont State Recreational Forest

DuPont State Recreational Forest continues to grow by leaps and bounds, with Conserving Carolina announcing an additional 402 acres added to the forest. The addition will help conserve key headwater streams along the Eastern Continental Divide and link the forest with more than 100,000 acres of existing conserved lands along the North Carolina-South Carolina border. In a...

Learn More