Florida governor announces land purchase in Everglades to prevent drilling  Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says that the state will buy 20,000 acres of land and spend as much as $18 million to prevent drilling in the Everglades. The land will be purchased from Kanter Real Estate LLC, which had obtained approval for exploratory oil wells…

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New indoor bike park and climbing gym opens in Mills River, NC A new 40,000-square-foot indoor bike park and rock climbing gym called the Riveter will hold a free grand opening on Saturday, Feb. 8 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Located just down the road from Sierra Nevada in Mills River, the facility is…

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The Alexander Mountain Bike Park in Alexander, NC will permanently close to the public on Friday, Jan. 31 and will be developed as an expansion of dirt borrow space for the Buncombe County Landfill. The park’s multi-user trail system has been around for 20 years and was managed by Recreation Services, but the land has…

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North Carolina Division of Parks & Recreation begin to plan 100-mile Wilderness Gateway State Trail Trail planners at the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation are at work on a 100-mile hiking trail called the Wilderness Gateway State Trail that will connect Chimney Rock State Park with South Mountains State Park. There will also be…

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In FY 2019 National Park Service treated more than 230,000 acres of public land to reduce wildfire risk The National Park Service announced that 230,308 acres of public land were treated in FY 2019 to reduce wildlife risks in the parks. Prescribed fire was used to treat nearly 207,000 acres, and an additional 24,000 acres…

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More than 90 acres of the Knob conserved in the Shenandoah Valley The Conservation Fund has announced that a 91-acre tract of land in the Shenandoah Valley has been permanently protected and preserved. In a press release, the organization announced that the newly protected property is the rock-topped end of Short Mountain, known as the…

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Photo by Ellen Kanzinger Read more about the story of Union Hill, Va HERE On Tuesday, Virginia’s Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the Virginia Air Pollution Control Board and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in a case that called into question the legality of placing a compressor station in the Union Hill neighborhood, home…

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Two land deals near Blue Ridge Parkway will protect areas from future development The Conservation Trust for North Carolina has donated a 53-acre Pinnacle Ridge parcel of land in Haywood County to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The organization also recently purchased Thunder Hill Overlook, a 229-acre piece of land near Blowing Rock, with the intent…

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17-acre bog near Pisgah Loop Scenic Highway preserved by Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina Seventeen acres of bog land in Jonas Ridge, bordering the Pisgah Loop Scenic Highway, has been purchased for permanent protection by the Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina. Foothills Conservancy says that Southern Appalachian mountain bogs are rare and contain vulnerable ecosystems.…

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Mountain lions killed after eating human remains Three mountain lions in Arizona were euthanized after eating human remains close to a popular hiking trail. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department discovered the human remains last Tuesday during an investigation on the Pima Canyon Trail. Though the mountain lions are not suspected of killing the victim, they…

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Half a billion animals have been killed in Australia’s wildfires Fires raging across the continent of Australia have killed an estimated 500 million animals, including 8,000 koalas, ecologists say. The fires, which began in September, have charred birds, mammals and reptiles and threaten to wipe out entire species in a country that already has the…

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Duke Energy and the state of North Carolina have reached a settlement agreement requiring Duke to excavate nearly 80 million tons of coal ash at six facilities around the state. DEQ said in a press release that the excavation is the largest coal ash cleanup in the nation’s history and will result in more excavation…

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Look up! The Quadrantid meteor shower peaks Friday night A major meteor shower will grace the night sky this Friday night. The Quadrantid meteor shower peaks on Friday night and into the early hours of Saturday morning. Under clear skies, viewers can spot over 100 meteors per hour shooting through the sky. The meteors will…

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Oak trees are suddenly dying around Virginia, foresters say Foresters are noticing a sudden dying of trees around the state of Virginia. “This is acute,” Adam Downing, forestry and natural resources agent with the Virginia Cooperative Extension told The Virginia-Pilot. In general, trees die slowly, but these trees are quickly going brown—progressing from healthy to…

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Hiker killed in freak Christmas Eve accident after redwood tree falls on him A hiker enjoying a walk through Muir Woods National Monument on Christmas Eve was killed after a redwood tree toppled, pinning the man beneath it. First responders were called to the scene and found Subhradeep Dutta, 28, “unconscious and lifeless” beneath the…

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