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Like rock and sunlight and wind and wilderness — out there is a different world, older and greater and deeper by far than ours, a world which surrounds and sustains the little world of men. - Edward Abbey

Drilling in Pennsylvania has damaged the water supply 209 times in last seven years

Whether or not you think that’s alright depends on your perspective. According to Patrick Creighton, those numbers are pretty good – so many oil and natural gas wells have been drilled in Pennsylvania in the past seven years that 209 problem wells is a mere 1 percent of the total. But Creighton happens to be the spokesperson for the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a trade group composed of natural gas…

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Hiking With Purpose: The Colorado 54

Hiking a fourteener isn’t easy. But if you tackle the Colorado bucket-list item on Saturday, August 2, 2014 you and your buddies may be inspired enough to make it to the final steps of the summit. Why? Because hundreds of fellow thrill-seekers will be taking part in The Colorado 54, a fund-raising endeavor in which participants will collectively attempt to summit all 54 of the Centennial State’s…

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17 and solo, she set out to hike the 2,650 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail

Laina Rose climbs a steep, shale-strewn trail just outside Sierra City. It’s before noon on a mid-June day and warm enough for her to remove her light jacket.

Fellow hikers in town warned her that this stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail was a tough uphill, but to Rose, it’s just another stroll on a months-long journey.

Her light brown braided pigtails have been bleached by high-altitude sun, and…

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When Does Biodiversity Make a Difference?

Biodiversity can be like a forest’s insurance policy. The more and varied the tree species that live there, the better the chance that the forest can remain healthy, stable, and resilient through times of disturbance. But as climate change prompts new forest management approaches intended to maximize growth and productivity for carbon storage, bioenergy, and other benefits, U.S. Forest Service…

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Everything You Wanted to Know About Trail Building (And Other Interesting Facts)

There is an endless tug of war game being played between trail workers and hikers (the two groups often wear each other’s labels). Hikers erode the trail as they hike, causing it to literally move downhill. This is known as ‘tread creep’ in the business. The trail sinks and the slight leaning angle of it (which is actually an intentional design to keep water off of the trail) sinks down so that…

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Arizona Man Busted For Organizing 300-Hiker Rim-to-Rim Crossing Of Grand Canyon National Park

Three-hundred hikers. Well, not quite 300, but almost, according to Grand Canyon National Park rangers. And they all descended on the park last October 19 in a bid to hike from the North Rim to the South Rim. In one day.

Behind the hike-in was Scott Beck, a Phoenix man who tried to convince rangers that even though he chartered five buses, and even though he told the participants to tell rangers,…

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Wilson’s Creek trails tell story of Civil War battle

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, just a mile or so south of Republic High School, Missouri, where a network of walking trails takes you more than 150 years into the past. It’s here that 537 Union and Confederate soldiers killed each other and thousands were wounded over the course of two hot days in August 1861. Both sides hoped the fight would determine Missouri’s course — slave state or…

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Offshore wind farms: A buffet for seals?

Ocean wind turbines generate more than just electricity. They also appear to be creating a buffet for seals, say scientists.

When rooted in the ocean floor, a wind farm can become a sort of artificial reef, a home for invertebrate animals. These animals attract predators, which in turn attract species higher up the food chain, eventually leading to the fish that seals eat.

Researchers found this…

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Hanging Lake | Glenwood Canyon | Colorado
Photo:netbros

Hanging Lake | Glenwood Canyon | Colorado

Photo:netbros

The death of backpacking?

Is the art of backpacking dying? Usually the messenger is an older person with the tone of the gentle curmudgeon who can’t understand why the damn kids aren’t interested in hauling 40 pounds into wilderness on a forced march day after day over rough earth, under rain and sun, in order to drink unbottled water of unknown provenance, with a slimy helping of beaver piss and dirt, eat gruel at dusk,…

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