Outdoor news for March 12, 2013
Blue Ridge Parkway Weekly Ride Stymied
One would think that cycling and the Blue Ridge Parkway are like peas in a pod, a perfect fit. Mostly, they are, but in recent years growing tension between cyclists, motorists, and the National Park Service have been prickly to say the least. In this magazine, as have countless others, we have written about the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to cycling the parkway – one of the greatest rides east of the Mississippi, if not North America. Dan Casey of the Roanoke Times is reporting that the Blue Ridge Cycle Club‘s weekly Tuesday Night Ride – in existence since at least 2002 – is in jeopardy due to the park service enforcing rules they had not before, including requiring insurance, a permit, and billing for a police escort. The bills could run into the hundreds of dollars per ride, which the small club is not in the position to handle. The article cites some of the mounting problems of the BRP including budget cuts, maintenance backlogs, and unfilled staff positions. Whether this is an effort to raise revenue or just keep cyclists off the busiest sections of the BRP, it kind of stinks.
Delaware…Hi, I’m in Delaware
Delaware may not get much respect from Wayne Campbell, but it is trying to gain the respect of the National Park Service and the rest of the country in general. Representatives, community leaders, and preservationists from Delaware and Pennsylvania are pushing Congress and/or President Obama to designate 1,100 acres of the Brandywine Valley to become the next national park. The Diamond State (Delaware, if you didn’t know that) is the only state in the nation without a national park, and have been advocating for one for over a decade. The Brandywine Valley straddles Del. and Penn. and is primed for park status, having been bought by the Conservation Fund, and is already a popular spot for hikers and anglers. It also holds much historical significance and would be deemed First State National Historic Park. With all the financial wrangling in Washington, this may seem like a longshot, but if anyone can pull it off, Delaware can.
Double Trouble in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
A couple of incidents left outdoor enthusiasts with serious injuries in Great Smoky Mountains National Park over the weekend. A 65-year-old man from Ontario was very seriously injured when he flipped his canoe above The Sinks and was pinned underwater for 30 minutes. Following resuscitation, he remains in critical condition at Blount Memorial Hospital. In a separate incident, a 55-year-old man had to be rescued from Mount LeConte after slipping off the trail due to ice. The man fell about 70 feet down a slope off the Alum Cave Trail Saturday suffering sever lacerations. He was in stable condition when leaving the scene for Tennessee Medical Center. This is just a reminder that the worst can happen at any time. Be careful out there.
In Other News…
A look at how the Sequester may affect the outdoor industry via Verde PR.
Another look at how the Sequester will affect National Parks in Virginia via the Richmond Times Dispatch.
White-nose syndrome confirmed in South Carolina via Whitenosesyndrome.org
A look at the invasion of non-native trout in the Smoky Mountains via National Geographic