Trevor Thomas atop Katahdin.
Your outdoor news bulletin for April 25, the day Hubble was launched into orbit…with a cataract…in 1990:
Blind Hikers Dominate Thru-Hiking
A couple of blind hikers are making news in the Blue Ridge. First is the story of Minneapolis attorney Mike Hanson, a blind man who hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2010. Hanson’s story was picked up by Slate.com earlier this year, and popped up again in the ether on fastcoexist.com this week. The focus of these stories is the fact that Hanson used an outdated Nokia phone GPS system as his guide during the hike. In a more recent and decidedly lower-tech case, another blind hiker passed through Mt. Mitchell State Park on the Mountains to Sea Trail. Trevor Thomas and his guide dog Tennille met with park rangers Wednesday before continuing the rest of his 1,000 miles to the coast. Thomas is no slouch, his accomplishments include an A.T. thru-hike in 2008, Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike in 2010, and a summit of Mount Whitney. You can read more about Thomas on his blog.
Minor Leaguers Get Dirty on Arbor Day
America’s pastime just got a little greener. The U.S. Forest Service and the Potomac Nationals are going to plant 187 trees at an urban forest in Fairfax, Va. on April 26, Arbor Day. Through the “Break a Bat, Plant a Tree” program, the minor league baseball team joined with Fairfax ReLeaf and the U.S. Forest Service plants a tree for every broken bat during the season. “The Break a Bat, Plant a Tree program is a great way to raise awareness about forest restoration projects underway in D.C., Maryland and Virginia parks and trails,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. Indeed, Tom.
Courtroom Wins Against Mountaintop Removal
Earth Week must be working. Two significant court rulings went in favor of those against the practice of mountaintop removal mining in the past few days. On Monday, the 6th U.S. Court of Appeals revoked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ use of Nationwide Permit 21, a process they have used to expand mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia, saying they did not assess and document environmental impacts before issuing new mining permits. Then, on Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia essentially gave the EPA back it’s power to veto the Spruce Mine permit, one of the largest mountaintop removal mines in history.