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Monthly Archives: December 2016

29 Dec 2016

Obama Creates Two National Monument in Southwest

Adventure Journal | Steve Casimiro | December 28, 2016

Move was widely expected, but conservationists, environmentalists rejoice nonetheless.

That President Barack Obama has been considering creating a new national monument on Cedar Mesa in southern Utah has been no great secret, but fans of federal public lands were thrilled today when Obama actually went through with it and signed the 1.35-million-acre Bears Ears National Monument in being and also created the 300,000-acre Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada.

“For hundreds of generations,” Obama’s Bears Ears proclamation says, “native peoples lived in the surrounding deep sandstone canyons, desert mesas, and meadow mountaintops, which constitute one of the densest and most significant cultural landscapes in the United States. Abundant rock art, ancient cliff dwellings, ceremonial sites, and countless other artifacts provide an extraordinary archaeological and cultural record that is important to us all, but most notably the land is profoundly sacred to many Native American tribes, including the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Navajo Nation, Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah Ouray, Hopi Nation, and Zuni Tribe.”

13 Dec 2016

Recreation Is Tougher on Critters Than You Might Think

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Adventure Journal | Taylor Grant | December 13, 2016

Non-motorized has more impact than motorized? A new study shows some surprising results.

Most of us human-powered adventurers like to think we move through the wilderness with a minimum of impact. Leave no trace, right? That’s for motorcycles and ATVs and snow machines. Well, not so fast. A new study, or rather, a meta-study of other studies, found that the effect of human recreation on animals is tangible, substantial, widespread, and greater than previously thought.

The study was a joint effort by the Wildlife Conservation Society, Colorado State University, and University of California-Berkeley. It looked at 274 other studies worldwide and found that they documented human impact on animals in 93 percent of the cases, most of it negative. Surprisingly, signs pointed to non-motorized recreation having a greater negative effect that motorized.

06 Dec 2016

How the Parks of Tomorrow Will Be Different

National Geographic | Michelle Nijhuis | November 20, 2016

America’s most special places will always be beautiful, but a warming climate forces us to accept that they can’t be frozen in time.

Assateague Island National Seashore, which sits on a 37-mile-long sliver of land just off the coast of Maryland and Virginia, is gradually shuffling west. Over centuries, as hurricanes and nor’easters drive sand from its Atlantic beaches across the island and into its bayside marshes, the entire island is scooting closer to the coast.

“It’s neat, isn’t it?” says Ishmael Ennis, hunching against a stiff spring wind. “Evolution!” He grins at the beach before him. It’s littered with tree stumps, gnarled branches, and chunks of peat the size of seat cushions—the remains of a marsh that once formed the western shore of the island. Later buried by storm-shifted sand, it’s now resurfacing to the east, as the island shuffles on.