Warren Doyle hangs up his boots after 38,000 miles on the A.T. Warren Doyle knows how this story should begin. “A 46-year-old love affair ended last summer,” he says, staring at me across a hardwood table at his folk school in eastern Tennessee, midway between Mountain City and Damascus, Virginia. Doyle is celebrating the completion…

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Let’s stop talking about climate change in the future tense. Climate change is happening here and now, right in our Blue Ridge backyard. The floods caught everyone by surprise, including me. I left Blacksburg early after my wife called to warn about rising waters. The river hadn’t flooded onto the road yet, but it was…

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For decades, uranium mining has been banned by state law in Virginia. Now, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether the state has authority to ban mining, or whether that power resides instead with the federal government. The case centers on the estimated 119 million pounds of uranium ore beneath Coles Hill, a private estate…

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Most people don’t associate the outdoors with politics and government policy. Around Washington, D.C., and state capitals, many take to the woods with the explicit goal of forgetting about politics for a while. Yet the outdoor environment and recreation there is inextricably linked to what happens in the halls of Congress and other political arenas.…

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The sun is shining, the temperature is perfect, and the stars are lining up for an action-packed day of adventure out in the woods. But as you pull into the trailhead parking lot, you see it: The vehicle bearing an assortment of bumper stickers that push your buttons in all the wrong ways. Oh, no.…

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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) and Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) in October. Both are intended to run fracked natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale fields in northern West Virginia to markets in the Southeastern United States. After FERC’s approval, MVP was given a green light by Virginia…

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Wilderness Under Assault

A GOP bid to allow bikes in wilderness threatens to crack a conservation coalition. In mid-November, the House Committee on Natural Resources voted 22-18 to add the following lines to the Wilderness Act: “Nothing in this section shall prohibit the use of motorized wheelchairs, non-motorized wheelchairs, non-motorized bicycles, strollers, wheelbarrows, survey wheels, measuring wheels, or game…

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