|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Public comment period opens for BLM proposals to allow mining near the Grand CanyonWell, this seems like a no-brainer: The Bureau of Land Management just opened up a public comment period to weigh the positives and negatives of uranium mining near the Grand Canyon in Arizona. They'll host several meetings throughout Arizona to share data and see what the public thinks.
The President talks about preserving wild lands, getting kids outside, and Teddy RooseveltWhile Obama's track record on wilderness is mixed (let's face it—he's had a pretty full plate), he's regularly expressed his intentions to keep it top-of-mind in his administration. To wit: He gave a press conference on Wednesday covering nature preservation, getting kids outside, and the legacy of Teddy Roosevelt. Watch:
Vice TV releases a free documentary on environmentally devastating mountaintop removal practices in West Virginia's coal industryIn BACKPACKER's March Issue, contributing editor Tracy Ross followed the evangelical environmental movement as they fought against mountaintop removal coal mining in West Virginia ("Hike. Pray. Protest." p. 80).
National Forest Service and the U.N. join forces to celebrate worldwide forestsExactly how does one celebrate International Year of Forests? Do you hug a tree? (Too obvious.) Plant a tree? (Earth day's got that one.) Build trails in a forest? (A year's a long time to lug a pulaski.)
Florida national park joins Glacier and Madagascar's rain forests on list of threatened UNESCO World Heritage sitesFirst Glacier, now Everglades: the UNESCO World Heritage Committee has decreed that the nation's largest subtropical wilderness is officially endangered. Threats to the .5 million acres of estuaries, prairies, and forests include high pollution levels killing marine life and water inflows that have been reduced by 60 percent.
California's mining legacy leaves arsenic, lead, and asbestos in thousands of trailsState parks in California have been threatening to close for lack of funds for years now, which is a huge bummer for your future weekends—but maybe it's not so bad for your health. Recent soil tests on trails near mine shafts in the Sierra foothills reveal dangerously high levels of arsenic, asbestos, and lead left over from the Gold Rush; when kicked up as dust particles, it's possible for hikers, bikers, and other trail users to absorb these nasty carcinogens.
See it on Google EarthIt's been more than a month since BP's offshore well failed and oil slick started pouring into the Gulf of Mexico. The largest oil spill in US history started with a catastrophic explosion on BP's Deepwater Horizon offshore oil drilling platform on April 20, 2010, about 40 miles off the Louisiana coast.
Yvon Chouinard helps the retail behemoth reinvent itself as a green brand--for freeI guess this is sort of like Yoda deciding to rehabilitate the Empire instead of teaching Luke to blow it up: A story in the May issue of Forbes magazine details how Yvon Chouinard and Patagonia are helping Wal-Mart reinvent itself as a green business. Wal-Mart is of course better known for low, low prices and corner-cutting, while Chouinard and Patagonia basically invented the idea of the eco-conscious clothing company.
get it on your cell phone and help protect wildlifeThe Center for Biological Diversity just released a new, free iPhone app, Wild Calls, to boost awareness of endangered species and to encourageyou to take action to protect wildlife. Download the app from the Center or from the iTunes Store, and each week (or more frequently if you choose) one of 30 endangered species sounds recorded in each species' natural habitat will be selected from the Center’s library and “pushed” to you. Want to howl with the Mexican Wolf every time your phone rings?
new directions route you out of traffic, away from big hills