News

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

Posted by on Nov 14, 2020 @ 7:00 am in Conservation | 0 comments

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 outside in the valley looking up, and you couldn’t see the mountains through the haze.” In one of the true environmental success stories of the past century, the situation has...

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

Posted by on Nov 13, 2020 @ 6:41 am in Conservation | 0 comments

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 and around the Santee Delta. Bordered on three sides by the quarter-million-acre national forest, the property sits across Highway 17 from the 22,000-acre Santee Coastal...

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Shattered on the Pacific Crest Trail

Posted by on Nov 12, 2020 @ 6:52 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Shattered on the Pacific Crest Trail

When they wake up broke, broken, and far from home, how do thru-hikers find the will to go another mile? We usually focus on the pleasures of a long-distance hike. We tell ourselves the pain will dissolve into a march of panoramas from Mexico to Canada. But the truth of thru-hiking is that it is brutally physical. This excerpt from recently published Journeys North by Triple Crowner and PCT trail angel Barney “Scout” Mann follows his northbound Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike in 2007, tracking his experience and those of fellow thru-hikers...

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Hikers find message dropped by carrier pigeon in 1910

Posted by on Nov 10, 2020 @ 6:33 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hikers find message dropped by carrier pigeon in 1910

  A couple hiking in northeastern France came across an unusual historical artifact – a carrier pigeon message dating from 110 years earlier. Jade Halaoui said he was hiking with his partner in the Ingersheim area when they spotted a tiny aluminum cylinder on the ground. “I dug it up and I cut it to see what was inside,” Halaoui recalled. Inside was a small piece of paper bearing a message the couple could not make out. They took it to the Linge Memorial museum, where curator Dominique Jardy enlisted the help of a...

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Combat holiday stress and weight gain with hiking

Posted by on Nov 9, 2020 @ 6:18 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Combat holiday stress and weight gain with hiking

The holidays are drawing near, and it should be the season to be merry, but let’s face it — sometimes it isn’t. Unfortunately, the demands and heightened emotions this time of year can occasionally cause stress and anxiety. That stress may also lead to weight gain in addition to other factors such as sleep deprivation and parties with excessive food and alcohol. John Muir, the great conservationist and outdoorsman, once said, “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” Mr. Muir was correct. Hiking offers a lot — with far...

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A Parent’s Guide to Hiking with a Chatterbox

Posted by on Nov 8, 2020 @ 6:59 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

A Parent’s Guide to Hiking with a Chatterbox

It’s been a terrible year for all of us, especially kids. The pandemic has eliminated the kind of routine social interaction we’ve all taken for granted. No team sports, no movies, no museums, no sleepovers, no playdates. Parents face the dual tasks of making sure their kids are getting the physical activity they need as well as trying to replace the lost hours of socialization. “The brain, like other body parts, needs exercise to stay healthy,” says Tracy Inman, associate director of the Center for Gifted Studies at Western Kentucky...

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Tallgrass prairie region provides a Minnesota hiking alternative

Posted by on Nov 7, 2020 @ 6:21 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

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 Hansel and Gretel, if you venture off the trail, all of the rocks and trees start to look the same, eventually. Minnesota is renowned for its big woods hiking, even though...

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Italy’s New Coast-to-coast Hiking Trail Is Filled With Mountains and Beaches to Explore

Posted by on Nov 6, 2020 @ 6:32 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Italy’s New Coast-to-coast Hiking Trail Is Filled With Mountains and Beaches to Explore

The Italian region of Calabria is bookmarked by two seas with mountains and beaches in between. And now a new trail has opened that will allow hikers to explore Calabria from coast to coast and experience the stunning nature that it’s known for. The Kalabria Coast to Coast Trail connects the town of Soverato on the Ionian Sea to the town of Pizzo on the Tyrrhenian Sea. The trail is about 34 miles long with a range of landscapes and difficulty levels from medium to medium-high, so people of differing abilities and athleticism can enjoy it. The...

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

Posted by on Nov 5, 2020 @ 6:17 am in Conservation | 0 comments

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 Moulton, Alabama, near the Bankhead National Forest. The new Alabama-based group will continue a close sisterhood relationship with Wild South. Even though it will officially be a...

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A detailed road map for building a US energy innovation ecosystem

Posted by on Nov 4, 2020 @ 6:52 am in Conservation | 0 comments

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. Among people serious about the climate crisis, it is now widely acknowledged that hitting the world’s ambitious emissions targets will require decreasing resource...

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A Nameless Hiker and the Case the Internet Can’t Crack

Posted by on Nov 3, 2020 @ 6:55 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

A Nameless Hiker and the Case the Internet Can’t Crack

Back in April 2017, a man started hiking in a state park just north of New York City. He wanted to get away, maybe from something and maybe from everything. He didn’t bring a phone; he didn’t bring a credit card. He didn’t even really bring a name. Or at least he didn’t tell anyone he met what it was. He did bring a giant backpack, which his fellow hikers considered far too heavy for his journey. And he brought a notebook, in which he would scribble notes about Screeps, an online programming game. The Appalachian Trail runs through the area,...

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The Best Hiking Pants for Women

Posted by on Nov 2, 2020 @ 7:05 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Best Hiking Pants for Women

Hiking pants are an essential piece of any outdoor kit: they defend your legs against weather, UV rays, and many natural hazards. Some can even serve double duty as acceptable business-casual wear. But a good pair can be hard to find. This is especially true for women, since there are so many variables at play: leg length, hip width, thigh-muscle circumference, butt size. Whether you are short or tall, petite or plus-size, you probably have a very specific list of criteria when you look for pants. So Outside Magazine set out to find the best...

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

Posted by on Nov 1, 2020 @ 6:21 am in Conservation | 0 comments

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, destroy an important North American wildlife corridor. Diana Hadley, a retired environmental historian, knows firsthand the remoteness of Guadalupe Canyon, a lush riparian...

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Bridge Repair Work Begins Across Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Posted by on Oct 31, 2020 @ 6:41 am in Conservation | 0 comments

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 the Cades Cove area will be closed to all use beginning November 2, 2020 through May 27, 2021 to replace five bridges. Due to the complete removal of the bridges and the use...

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

Posted by on Oct 30, 2020 @ 6:16 am in Conservation | 0 comments

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 million more individuals in recognition of their service and sacrifice on behalf of the country. The policy includes admittance to well-known sites like Yellowstone National Park...

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4-year-old breaks hiking record with medical missionary family on Appalachian Trail

Posted by on Oct 29, 2020 @ 6:07 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

4-year-old breaks hiking record with medical missionary family on Appalachian Trail

  A volunteer physician family serving in the Northern African country of Chad took a seven-month break to hike the Appalachian Trail with their four children — their 4-year-old girl is believed to be the youngest to complete the iconic 2,193-mile hike from Georgia to Maine. Doctors Olen and Danae Netteburg, Loma Linda University School of Medicine graduates (Olen 2007, Danae 2006), have been working as Deferred Mission Appointees — medical missionaries — in Chad at Bere Adventist Hospital since 2010. The 100-bed facility is an...

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12 Reasons You’ll Love (and Hate) Night Hiking

Posted by on Oct 28, 2020 @ 7:11 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

12 Reasons You’ll Love (and Hate) Night Hiking

The second full moon of October, the Blue Moon, will fall on Halloween night this year. What better way to celebrate the convergence of a rare lunar phenomenon and the spookiest night of the year than with a moonlit night hike this weekend? Night hiking isn’t something to fear or avoid. In fact, it can be pretty darn glorious in its own way (think starry skies, moonlit vistas, and endless cricket serenades). And for backpackers trying to put in big miles, it can become a necessity as the days get shorter heading into winter. Whether you start...

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

Posted by on Oct 27, 2020 @ 6:37 am in Conservation | 0 comments

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 already realize that the nation is nowhere near approaching that eco-friendly dreamscape. In fact, the U.S. is currently on a path away from that green dream. Emissions have...

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How exploring the hikes and waterfalls of Taiwan connected this writer to her family’s immigration story

Posted by on Oct 26, 2020 @ 6:57 am in Book Reviews, Hiking News | 0 comments

How exploring the hikes and waterfalls of Taiwan connected this writer to her family’s immigration story

After a number of attempts trying to fictionalize her family history, nature writer Jessica J. Lee found that her academic work in environmental history actually helped unlock how to tell the story. “I had been trying for many years to write this story of my grandparents,” said Lee, the author of “Two Trees Make a Forest: Travels Among Taiwan’s Mountains and Coasts in Search of My Family’s Past,” which mixes family history, memoir and nature writing. Lee’s maternal grandparents were both born in mainland China, emigrating first to Taiwan...

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Here’s the Ultimate Guide to Vegan Hiking Snacks

Posted by on Oct 25, 2020 @ 6:16 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Here’s the Ultimate Guide to Vegan Hiking Snacks

One important part of planning a day hike is to make sure that you’re fueling yourself properly, especially for tough climbs or long treks. Packing the right food can help make the day that much more enjoyable. These vegan hiking snacks are portable, easy to pack, and satisfying during and after a long day on the trail. They also don’t contain any animal-derived ingredients, so you can enjoy the great outdoors knowing that you aren’t contributing to the suffering of cows, pigs, chickens, or other animals used for food. The best snacks are...

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Lake Norman nature park to offer miles of hiking, biking

Posted by on Oct 24, 2020 @ 7:06 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

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 million Catawba County park, on Little Mountain Road off N.C. 150, also will include dog parks, playgrounds, pickleball courts and a park office-educational center. The park is 40...

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Being a Steward for the Smokies

Posted by on Oct 23, 2020 @ 7:04 am in Conservation | 0 comments

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 Area near Bryson City. All ages. Nov. 7: Historic Landscape Management in Daisy Town, 9 a.m. to noon at Elkmont in Tennessee. Ages 15 and up. Nov. 14: Vegetation Management at...

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All of RMNP closed to visitors due to wildfire activity

Posted by on Oct 22, 2020 @ 11:48 am in Conservation | 0 comments

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 closure of the National Forest Service lands in Clear Creek County earlier and Denver Parks and Recreation closed all Denver Mountain Parks properties located in Clear Creek....

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The Scariest Encounters Women Have on the Appalachian Trail Aren’t with Wildlife. They’re with Men

Posted by on Oct 22, 2020 @ 6:31 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Scariest Encounters Women Have on the Appalachian Trail Aren’t with Wildlife. They’re with Men

Statistically the trail is one of the safest places in the U.S., but when a tent is all that separates you from a potential predator, the danger becomes terrifyingly real. As a 30-year-old nurse who works with terminally ill patients, Julia (who prefers to remain anonymous) asked herself one day what she would be proud of doing if she too were given a diagnosis of only six months to live. Shortly after, she left Pittsburgh to start hiking the 2,190-mile Appalachian Trail—a highly coveted peacock feather in the cap of outdoor adventurers. But...

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More Than 20 Rescued from Colorado Hiking Trail as Wildfires Continue in Western U.S.

Posted by on Oct 21, 2020 @ 7:08 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

More Than 20 Rescued from Colorado Hiking Trail as Wildfires Continue in Western U.S.

Rescue workers with the Juan County Sheriff’s Department and The U.S. Forest Service evacuated 23 people and three dogs from the San Juan National Forest in Colorado as a wildfire tore through the area. The U.S. Forest Service deployed helicopters for the evacuation. According to the Office of Emergency Management in San Juan County, the blaze — dubbed the Ice Fire — started on Monday, October 19, 2020 just after 1 p.m. local time in the South Mineral Creek area above the park’s Ice Lakes trailhead, and burned 320 acres by 5 p.m....

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International Mast Cell Diseases Awareness Day, October 20

Posted by on Oct 20, 2020 @ 5:54 am in News | 0 comments

International Mast Cell Diseases Awareness Day, October 20

Mast cells, a type of blood cell, play an important role in the body’s immune system. They reside in all body tissues and form part of the body’s initial defense system. Mast cells react to foreign bodies and injury by releasing a variety of potent chemical mediators, such as histamine, when activated. In a healthy person these chemicals will act beneficially to protect and heal the body, but in a person with MCAS these same chemicals are inappropriately triggered and released and have a negative effect on the body. Amongst the triggers are a...

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America’s Best and Most Beautiful Winter Hikes

Posted by on Oct 19, 2020 @ 7:03 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

America’s Best and Most Beautiful Winter Hikes

From Colorado to Oregon to Maine, these incredible winter hiking trails offer beautiful views, wildlife-spotting opportunities, and fewer crowds. If you have a habit of stashing your hiking boots the moment cooler temperatures arrive, you’ve been missing out. In the winter, the nation’s best hiking trails clear out and you can walk for miles without seeing another soul. Strap on a pair of snowshoes and stomp across glittering, snow-covered fields, or avoid the snow entirely and head south, where you’ll find plenty of dry terrain that’s too...

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Paths to the past: National Historic Trails lead travelers through time, US history

Posted by on Oct 18, 2020 @ 6:36 am in Book Reviews, Hiking News | 0 comments

Paths to the past: National Historic Trails lead travelers through time, US history

One of the best ways to learn history is to literally follow in the footsteps of those who were there, says Karen Berger, author of the new book, “America’s National Historic Trails.” “These are historic routes – a trail version of the National Park system,” she says. The 19 federally recognized trails range from 54 to 5,000 miles, and pass largely through rural areas, making them perfect for road trips and socially distant traveling. A good example is the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail. Although the shortest trail at...

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

Posted by on Oct 17, 2020 @ 7:09 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

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 Cottonwood, AZ. Trail construction began in 2019. Before that, the wash-riddled foothills surrounded by popular recreation hubs in Sedona, Jerome, Dead Horse Ranch State Park...

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Teaching Kids to be Great Trail Stewards

Posted by on Oct 16, 2020 @ 6:07 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

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 sadly we are increasingly seeing trails abused by littering and vandalism. American Trails has created a packet to teach kids to be great trail stewards so the next generation...

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

Posted by on Oct 15, 2020 @ 6:08 am in Conservation | 0 comments

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 help protect the vital benefits that our National Forests provide, including carbon sequestration, clean air and water, and wildlife habitat. This commitment, part of REI’s...

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