News

What is proper trail etiquette? An expert lays out the do’s and don’ts of hiking

Posted by on Aug 18, 2019 @ 7:13 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

What is proper trail etiquette? An expert lays out the do’s and don’ts of hiking

Every trail has rules, and often there are signs not just at the trailhead but also along the trail to remind hikers of what to do and what not to do to respect the environment. However, some of the guidelines for hiking seem to get overlooked time and time again, either out of lack of knowledge or intentionally. The State Trail Programs Manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, answered a few questions about trail etiquette based on the most commonly violated rules. Why is it important to stay on the trail? What’s the big deal if someone...

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Tips for Hiking With Young Kids

Posted by on Aug 17, 2019 @ 7:34 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Tips for Hiking With Young Kids

Going to the grocery store with small children can seem like a monumental task, never mind taking your brood on a wilderness journey. But with a little patience, some practice, and a healthy dose of expectation management, you can make hiking a family affair. Keep in mind, there will be good hikes, bad hikes, and “Why are you rolling in poison ivy?!” hikes. Treks with tykes are worth it, because you want them to value nature and, eventually, to defend it. Your primary goal is to get your child out there and having fun, so prepare to start...

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Possibly the strangest hike you’ll ever take

Posted by on Aug 16, 2019 @ 7:26 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Possibly the strangest hike you’ll ever take

You’re off for a ramble in the woods. The trail is narrow, the brush is thick. Everywhere you look – trees, bushes, greenery. Then you spot it, half-hidden, nestled against a fallen, rotting log. You go up for a closer look to be sure that what you think you’re seeing is what you’re really seeing. But there it is – a disembodied baby doll’s head! Set up as a little art display no less. And then you see another, and another, along with other discarded, weather-worn objects that are a veritable parade from...

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It’s raining plastic: microscopic fibers are falling from the sky

Posted by on Aug 15, 2019 @ 7:14 am in Conservation | 0 comments

It’s raining plastic: microscopic fibers are falling from the sky

Plastic was the furthest thing from Gregory Weatherbee’s mind when he began analyzing rainwater samples collected from the Rocky Mountains.“I guess I expected to see mostly soil and mineral particles,” said the US Geological Survey researcher. Instead, he found multicolored microscopic plastic fibers. The discovery, published in a recent study titled “It is raining plastic”, raises new questions about the amount of plastic waste permeating the air, water, and soil virtually everywhere on Earth. “I think the most important result that we can...

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Hiking 101: The Complete Guide to Hiking for Beginners

Posted by on Aug 14, 2019 @ 6:42 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking 101: The Complete Guide to Hiking for Beginners

You’ve got your hiking boots on, your worries left at home and a trail in front of you. You’re surrounded by dense nature, no sounds of buses or chatter, just the calming sounds of birds singing and a breeze whistling through the trees. You can feel the sun on your skin, you fill your lungs with perfectly fresh air and can smell the environment around you. All the while you feel warm and alive from this therapeutic, whole-body workout whilst you move through the natural world. Welcome to the world of hiking. Hiking really is an incredible...

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How Jocassee Gorges Was Saved

Posted by on Aug 13, 2019 @ 6:54 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

How Jocassee Gorges Was Saved

To appreciate what Bill Thomas did for Gorges State Park, think of it not as a stand-alone property but as part of the larger Lake Jocassee watershed. Also known as Jocassee Gorges, it is a freak of climatological and geologic nature that extends across the North Carolina-South Carolina line southwest of Asheville and has been named by National Geographic as one of fifty “World’s Last Great Places.” The ancient crash of tectonic plates that created the Appalachian Mountains pushed up the Blue Wall on the southeast edge of the mountains and...

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Indians Plant 220 Million Trees In A Single Day

Posted by on Aug 12, 2019 @ 7:21 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Indians Plant 220 Million Trees In A Single Day

More than a million Indians planted 220 million trees on August 9, 2019 in a government campaign to tackle climate change and improve the environment in the country’s most populous state. Forest official Bivhas Ranjan said students, lawmakers, officials and others planted dozens of species of saplings along roads, rail tracks and in forest lands in northern Uttar Pradesh state. The target of 220 million saplings was achieved. Ranjan said the trees, including 16 fruit species, will increase forest cover in the state. India has pledged to keep...

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The Controversial Plan to Protect America’s Trails

Posted by on Aug 11, 2019 @ 6:49 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

The Controversial Plan to Protect America’s Trails

There are 11 designated national scenic trails stretching across nearly 18,000 miles in the U.S. But there are more than 4,000 miles of privately owned “gaps” in the system that leave routes vulnerable to a change in ownership or a landowner’s whims. Typically, the government or nonprofit trail associations work to fill such gaps by purchasing land from willing sellers. But Jim Kern, founder of a new advocacy group called Hiking Trails for America, says the only way to protect every mile of those trails forever is through the use of eminent...

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‘Honeymoon Hikers’ complete fourth hike of Appalachian Trail

Posted by on Aug 10, 2019 @ 6:48 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

‘Honeymoon Hikers’ complete fourth hike of Appalachian Trail

They call themselves the “Honeymoon Hikers” and they just completed their fourth hike of the Appalachian Trail. Winston and Marcia Terry have done a lot of hiking since they got married in 2010. The couple has hiked 14,000 miles together. While there are no official records, Marcia is believed to be the only woman who has made four complete trips on the AT. But how did they get their trail name, the “Honeymoon Hikers?” “We got married on the trail after we thru-hiked in 2010, we went back to Springer and had a hiker wedding,” Winston said....

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Great views, smooth ride on new cycling, hiking trail in Columbia Gorge

Posted by on Aug 9, 2019 @ 7:45 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Great views, smooth ride on new cycling, hiking trail in Columbia Gorge

The long-awaited Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail is still at least a couple years from completion, but the latest trail segment to open to the public proves that patience can pay off. A new three-mile section of the trail opened to the public, connecting Wyeth State Park to Lindsey Creek where it meets up with another trail segment that opened in 2016. That means cyclists and hikers now have a designated, protected pathway that runs nearly six miles along the Columbia River Gorge, from Wyeth State Park to Viento State Park. That...

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Southern Appalachians Highlands Conservancy Protects 187 Acres at Wilkins Creek

Posted by on Aug 8, 2019 @ 7:25 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Southern Appalachians Highlands Conservancy Protects 187 Acres at Wilkins Creek

Just beyond the rush of traffic on Interstate 40 near the Tennessee-North Carolina line, steep hillsides and forested knolls shelter a vibrant community of wildlife. Southern Appalachians Highlands Conservancy recently purchased 187 acres in this part of Haywood County near the Pigeon River to protect a corridor for wildlife grazing and movement. Encircled by the Pisgah National Forest and adjoining the NC Welcome Center on I-40, the Wilkins Creek property is very near a large box culvert under the Interstate, which provides a way for...

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Be Vigilant Of Heat-Related Illnesses When Hiking

Posted by on Aug 7, 2019 @ 7:17 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

As the dog days of summer continue, temperatures continually reach or surpass the 90° degree mark. These temperatures bring about dangerous conditions if you don’t pay attention to heat-related illness signs. Heat-related illnesses include heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, sunburn and heat rash. Symptoms of these illnesses can cause nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps, dizziness, confusion, headaches and fainting. If any of these symptoms are observed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends moving to a cooler...

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Lost on the hiking trail? 6 ways to improve your chances of getting found

Posted by on Aug 6, 2019 @ 6:57 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Lost on the hiking trail? 6 ways to improve your chances of getting found

It’s the time of year when summer hiking is at its peak — and so are streams of headlines about missing hikers. Wandering off the trail is the most common reason people get lost. You never want to be that person. And if you do get lost, you want to stay safe and get found. Quickly. The best advice, of course, is not to go missing in the first place. “We teach ‘stay found,’” says Jane Simpson, chairwoman of the Sierra Club Angeles Chapter’s Wilderness Travel Course, a popular outdoor skills course with a strong emphasis on navigation. “I can’t...

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Hiking: Making new connections

Posted by on Aug 5, 2019 @ 6:38 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking: Making new connections

The world is very connected now because of phones, tablets and computers. This allows people to be almost constantly connected to their families, coworkers and even strangers. While modern technology can help to improve efficiency, broaden knowledge, and widen social networks, it also has increased screen dependence, particularly on mobile phones. Hiking gives everyone an opportunity to disconnect from the screens and all of their related issues and make different connections instead. Getting outside to one of our many trails allows people to...

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Mountain goat relocation is a high-flying balancing act in Olympic National Park

Posted by on Aug 4, 2019 @ 6:55 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Mountain goat relocation is a high-flying balancing act in Olympic National Park

In early July, the loud whirring of a helicopter punctured the quiet of Washington’s Olympic National Park as wildlife specialists scoured meadows, forests, ridgelines and mountaintops for flashes of white fuzz: mountain goats. The cherry-red aircraft kicked up dirt and debris as it lowered two goats, dangling in slings, toward a waiting truck, their feet bound and their vision obscured by blue blindfolds. During a brief landing, one of the specialists — commonly known as “muggers” — stepped out, with a kid no more than 6 weeks old calmly...

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The Greenland ice sheet is in the throes of one of its greatest melting events ever recorded

Posted by on Aug 3, 2019 @ 6:54 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The Greenland ice sheet is in the throes of one of its greatest melting events ever recorded

The same heat dome that roasted Europe and broke national temperature records in five countries last week has shifted to Greenland, where it is causing one of the biggest melt events ever observed on the fragile ice sheet. By some measures, the ice melt is more extreme than during a benchmark record event in July 2012, according to scientists analyzing the latest data. During that event, about 98 percent of the ice sheet experienced some surface melting, speeding up the process of shedding ice into the ocean. The fate of Greenland’s ice sheet...

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Science at Sugarlands: Mysterious grassy balds

Posted by on Aug 2, 2019 @ 6:59 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Science at Sugarlands: Mysterious grassy balds

Mysterious and haunting, Southern Appalachian grassy balds have long fascinated scientists and hikers alike. How many balds are there in the Smokies? How did they evolve? How do they support rare plants? Can balds be found in other parts of the world? These and many other questions will be answered—or at least discussed—on Friday, August 16, 2019 when NPS forester Jesse Webster presents a Science at Sugarlands program on the grassy balds of the Great Smoky Mountains entitled “Balds: Ecological Enigma and Conservation Dilemma.” The event...

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The Nature Conservancy Preserves Nearly 400 Square Miles of Appalachian Forest

Posted by on Aug 1, 2019 @ 6:36 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The Nature Conservancy Preserves Nearly 400 Square Miles of Appalachian Forest

  A 253,000-acre swath in the Central Appalachian Mountains will be protected, thanks to a land acquisition by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) announced earlier this month. Two parcels, one along the Kentucky-Tennessee state line, and the other in Southwest Virginia, will fill in large gaps between existing public lands and provide a wilderness corridor for animals seeking refuge from climate change, experts say. The acquisition, known as the Cumberland Forest Project and announced July 22, 2019, is among the largest land purchases TNC...

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Hiking Boots Vs. Trail Runners: Two Loyalists Compare and Contrast

Posted by on Jul 31, 2019 @ 8:47 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking Boots Vs. Trail Runners: Two Loyalists Compare and Contrast

Hiking boots or trail runners? Years ago there wasn’t a choice. Leather hiking boots ruled the trail. But trail runners are now king of the mountains, and they far outnumber boots in outfitters’ displays. Still, footwear is a highly personal choice, and what works for one hiker may not work for another. The outsoles of boots give the bottoms of your feet a solid layer of protection from the pounding you’ll get from rocky trails. Boots give you stability on trail, and the more stable your foot the smaller chance of rolling an ankle. Boots...

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How to Hike the CDT: Big Agnes Launches Experiential Trail Guide

Posted by on Jul 30, 2019 @ 3:34 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

How to Hike the CDT: Big Agnes Launches Experiential Trail Guide

2018 marked the 40th anniversary of the Continental Divide Trail (CDT), the 50th anniversary of the National Scenic Trails Act, and the year Big Agnes became a steward over 75 miles of trail. To celebrate, all 70 employees hiked and biked the 740-mile length of the CDT’s Colorado section. Now a year removed from that epic adventure, Big Agnes launched its own CDT trail guide to aid would-be thru-hikers. It contains technical information, like section distances, elevation change, high points, water sources, and more. But it also has photos,...

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Hiking the Longs Pass Trail offers remarkable views of the Cascades

Posted by on Jul 29, 2019 @ 8:41 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking the Longs Pass Trail offers remarkable views of the Cascades

The Longs Pass Trail, on the east side of the Cascades Mountains Range, is seven miles round trip, with a net gain/loss of 2,100 feet. The pass itself is at an elevation of 6,250 feet. The well-marked and well-maintained trailhead is due east from the parking lot. It is a steady climb from its start in the cool forest of the valley. It slowly transitions to exposed rocky slopes filled with summer wildflowers. As you gain elevation, the views to the north open up and reveal colorful rocks, avalanche paths carved into steep slopes, and some...

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How a Thru-Hiking Legend Is Getting City Kids Outside

Posted by on Jul 28, 2019 @ 6:55 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

How a Thru-Hiking Legend Is Getting City Kids Outside

Liz “Snorkel” Thomas set the women’s fastest known time for a self-supported hike on the Appalachian Trail in 2011 and has since become an urban-hiking advocate. She recently completed a nine-day, 225-mile thru-hike across New York’s five boroughs. Her goal was to visit 100 playgrounds to highlight the Trust for Public Lands’ (TPL) project to build such facilities throughout the city. Having grown up in the suburbs of Sacramento, California, Thomas says, “I took trees and grass for granted in my schoolyards. The green space was...

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How Science Got Trampled in the Rush to Drill in the Arctic

Posted by on Jul 27, 2019 @ 7:03 am in Conservation | 0 comments

How Science Got Trampled in the Rush to Drill in the Arctic

Tucked into the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a bill signed by President Donald Trump, was a brief two-page section that had little to do with tax reform. Drafted by Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, the provision opened up approximately 1.6 million acres of the vast Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas leasing, a reversal of the federal policy that has long protected one of the most ecologically important landscapes in the Arctic. The only thing standing in the way of establishing an oil and gas leasing program for ANWR is the environmental...

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Prescott National Forest Has It All for Recreationists

Posted by on Jul 26, 2019 @ 7:35 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Prescott National Forest Has It All for Recreationists

In the American Southwest, only 120 miles from one of the largest cities in the country, lies an outdoor and recreational wonderland of lakes, mountains, and desert just waiting for those who seek adventure and the chance to bring home a story. This astonishing place where “the desert meets the pines” is Prescott National Forest in Central Arizona, a year-round destination for camping, fishing, horseback riding, off-highway vehicle touring, and other exciting outdoor activities. Prescott National Forest is guardian of more than...

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Smokey Bear’s 75th Birthday Party at Cradle of Forestry

Posted by on Jul 25, 2019 @ 7:33 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Smokey Bear’s 75th Birthday Party at Cradle of Forestry

Come and join Smokey and all his friends at The Cradle of Forestry for his 75th birthday. This year’s red carpet event is the hottest ticket in Pisgah National Forest, with all new games and events, it’s fun for the whole family. Party Schedule: 11:00 am to 1:00 pm: Smokey’s Birthday Party. Enjoy games, prizes, live children’s music, and birthday cake. 11:30 am: Smokey Arrives! Meet Smokey bear. Make him a birthday card and take a photo together. 12:00 pm: Story Time. Hear the true story of Smokey Bear & Sing the Smokey Bear song. 12:30...

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Help with packing the perfect hiking bag for every adventure

Posted by on Jul 24, 2019 @ 6:35 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Help with packing the perfect hiking bag for every adventure

Knowing what to bring with you on a hiking adventure can be daunting, because there are so many factors that might influence what you should pack and such a variety of products to choose from. Beginners may find the process of matching a walk in the woods with the right gear overwhelming at first, but even an expert might be daunted when preparing for a hike that is longer, colder, dryer, wetter, higher or faster than they’ve experienced before. US website Bugaboo is trying to make the process of selecting backpacking gear easier by enabling...

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7 Ways Hemp Plastic Could Change the World

Posted by on Jul 23, 2019 @ 6:48 am in Conservation | 0 comments

7 Ways Hemp Plastic Could Change the World

Did you know that it takes between 500-1,000 years for plastic to degrade? Plastic pollution is destroying our planet by the minute. In fact, so much plastic is thrown away each year it could circle the earth four times. And these numbers are on the rise. In the United States alone, Americans throw away 35 billion plastic water bottles every year. This plastic ends up in the land and the sea, devastating natural ecosystems. Worse yet, this same plastic pollution ends up in our bodies. It’s estimated that 93 percent of Americans over the age...

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Best Sections of the Appalachian Trail to Hike in the Summer

Posted by on Jul 22, 2019 @ 6:33 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Best Sections of the Appalachian Trail to Hike in the Summer

Say hello to 15+ hours of daylight, refreshing mountain streams, and endless miles of green tunnel. That’s right. It’s summer in the Appalachians which means hiking season is in full swing. While summer on the AT can be one of the best times of year, certain parts of the trail are better than others to hike during the warmer months. With 2,200 miles of trail, it can be hard to sort through each state’s weather patterns and find the perfect conditions for your summer backpacking trip. To help, we’ve pinpointed the sections of the AT with the...

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Want to go hiking with small kids? Here’s where to take them.

Posted by on Jul 21, 2019 @ 9:12 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Want to go hiking with small kids? Here’s where to take them.

Hiking with a child won’t be the same as hiking with adults. The goal with kids is much more about the journey than the destination. Here are four basic ideas to keep in mind: Modify your goals. You may not reach the end of the trail. You may not even hike a mile. Adjust your hike to the enjoyment and comfort level of children. Pack patience and flexibility. If you see a frog dart across the trail, be prepared to stop and wait to watch for that frog to dart across the trail again. Use teachable moments to explore the natural world. Know what...

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For 35 years, a team of scientists have studied the decline of glaciers. What does their loss mean?

Posted by on Jul 20, 2019 @ 7:27 am in Conservation | 0 comments

For 35 years, a team of scientists have studied the decline of glaciers. What does their loss mean?

Walking the icy flanks of Mount Baker—an active volcano in Washington State and one of the highest peaks in the Cascade Range—is probably one of the most untainted wilderness experiences. A high mountain glacier, in its frigid, deadly enormity, doesn’t feel much like a landscape meant for humans. In the European Alps, medieval myths held that glaciers carried curses and incarcerated the frozen souls of the damned. And yet, on a grand scale, where glaciers and humans coexist, our lives are entwined in ways we rarely realize. During the last...

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Hawaii Struggles To Maintain Its Worn-Out Hiking Trails

Posted by on Jul 19, 2019 @ 6:53 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hawaii Struggles To Maintain Its Worn-Out Hiking Trails

By almost any standard, Hawaii’s hiking trails are a world-class recreational resource. The state’s trail system alone encompasses 855 miles of trails and access roads, from epic, remote routes like the Kalalau trail on Kauai’s Napali coast to easily accessible day hikes like the 2.5- mile Makiki loop trail. And that doesn’t count trails run by the counties or the National Park Service. But hordes of tourists have made the system increasingly difficult to manage. The number of visitors to Hawaii is expected to top 10 million this year. Those...

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Here’s how hot your hometown will feel by mid-century

Posted by on Jul 18, 2019 @ 7:28 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Here’s how hot your hometown will feel by mid-century

Residents of Harris County, Texas are no stranger to heat. The swampy Houston metro area averages nearly 40 days per year with temperatures in the 100 degrees F or higher range. But, according to a pair of papers published this week, if nothing is done about climate change, many more U.S. cities could be feeling a similar kind of heat. A new report released by the Union of Concerned Scientists and a study published by the same authors in the journal Environmental Research Communications found that the annual number of days with heat indices...

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He took down dams, freed wolves and preserved wildlands. Bruce Babbitt is still at work.

Posted by on Jul 17, 2019 @ 6:51 am in Conservation | 0 comments

He took down dams, freed wolves and preserved wildlands. Bruce Babbitt is still at work.

The rising sun was just starting to light up the tops of the sandstone cliffs when Bruce Babbitt arrived at an empty parking lot, ready to set out on a hike. He chose a trail he knows and loves, a canyon filled with childhood memories and one of his favorite wilderness areas — a fitting place to meet someone who has been immersed in decisions about preserving wilderness for much of his life. During eight years as secretary of the Interior under President Bill Clinton, and previously as Arizona’s governor, Babbitt distinguished himself as a...

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Is a Green Future Worth Spoiling the Appalachian Trail?

Posted by on Jul 16, 2019 @ 8:14 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Is a Green Future Worth Spoiling the Appalachian Trail?

  A proposed hydropower transmission line in Maine would impact the AT, wildlife, recreation, and tourism. Is it worth it? The proposed project, known as New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC), is a 145-mile transmission line winding down from the Canadian border through Maine’s forests, and would ferry hydroelectric energy from Canadian dams to the New England grid. It would cross the AT three times within a mile, south of Moxie Pond and about 130 miles from the trail’s momentous conclusion at Mount Katadhin, impacting views from...

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Walking the Walk

Posted by on Jul 14, 2019 @ 6:03 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Walking the Walk

William O. Douglas was the longest-serving justice on the US Supreme Court. He’s also the only Supreme Court justice to lead a 185-mile hike through a national park. Whenever he needed to think deeply about a case before the Supreme Court, Associate Justice Douglas would take a long walk on the towpath of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. For Douglas, the C&O was a haven from the trappings of life in Washington, D.C., and a place to uplift his spirit amid the forests and falls of the Potomac River. To maintain his health, which had...

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EPA restores broad use of pesticide opposed by beekeepers

Posted by on Jul 13, 2019 @ 8:40 am in Conservation | 0 comments

EPA restores broad use of pesticide opposed by beekeepers

The Environmental Protection Agency will allow farmers to resume broad use of a pesticide over objections from beekeepers, citing private chemical industry studies that the agency says show the product does only lower-level harm to bees and wildlife. The EPA announcement makes sulfoxaflor the latest bug and weed-killer allowed by the Trump administration despite lawsuits alleging environmental or human harm. The pesticide is made by Corteva Agriscience, a spinoff created last month out of the DowDuPont merger and restructuring. Honeybees...

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