Daily Dirt: Outdoor News for June 19, 2013
Your daily dose of outdoor news for June 19, the day Curt Flood was denied free agency by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1972. Although he lost the case and never played baseball again, Flood paved the way for professional athletes to have control over their careers and propelled professional sports into the upper echelon of the United States’ and world economies.
Fracking in George Washington National Forest
The Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) has launched a new website aimed at preventing fracking in Virginia’s George Washington National Forest (GWNF). At 1.1 million acres, GWNF is the largest national forest in the East and is a very popular spot for hiking, camping, mountain biking, and fishing, attracting over one million visitors a year to the Appalachian Trail, Crabtree Falls, Sherando Lake, etc. The U.S. Forest Service, which manages the forest, is revising its long-term management plan – mapping out forest activity for the next 10-15 years – which is due out in July. Originally, the draft plan called for the prohibition of horizontal drilling – the riskiest and most destructive form of fracking – but, according to the SELC, they changed their mind due to pressure from the gas industry, and are considering allowing horizontal drilling. The GWNF has never been had a large scale natural gas drilling operation on its lands. The main issues cited by the SELC involve the supply of drinking water for the Shenandoah Valley that comes out of the GSNF and the watersheds of the James and Potomac rivers.
A Fishy Date Night
The bar scene? Overrated. Online dating? Over it. Blind dates? Puh-leeze. Despite the amount of social networks we have at our disposal, we seem to be more disconnected from our fellow humans than ever. Meeting people and getting a date are nearly impossible…until now. Fly fishing is the newest dating trend in western Pennsylvania, where the first Trout Trail Date Night was a smashing success last week. Sponsored by the Forbes Trail Trout Unlimited, the date night consisted of fly fishing instruction, casting for trout in the stocked pond, and dinner at the Foggy Mountain Lodge. No word on if any of the couples in attendance, ahem, cough, hooked up.
James River Makes List, But Not the Good Kind
The James River landed on the the list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places for 2013. While this may seem odd considering the James is neither a place really or historic in the traditional sense of a building, battlefield, etc., the river has its place among historically significant events, the biggest of which is the role it played in the founding of Virginia through the colonies at Jamestown and Williamsburg. The portion of the James river cited as endangered in the report is the Lower James as it runs into the Chesapeake Bay, which is one of the most historic places in both Virginia and the U.S. The report cites the proposed construction of a series of power lines and accompanying towers that would be strung across the river, impeding the sight lines, and putting a blot on the scenic natural beauty of the river. The power lines would also make it hard to immerse oneself in the living history museum of the Jamestown colony. The annual list is put together by the National Trust for historic Preservation.
Speaking of rivers, here is a cool river project from a former Google employee, and yes, it involves maps.