Outdoor Updates: Glen Onoko Falls hiking trail to close + Golden Eagle dies of Lead Poisoning

Pennsylvania to close one of its most scenic and popular hiking trails

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is closing one of the state’s most popular hiking trails due to concerns about the trail’s safety. Beginning May 1, the Glen Onoko Falls Trail in Lehigh Gorge State Park will be closed to the public. Over the years, there have been dozens of serious accidents along the trail and several deaths. Each rescue mission puts a strain on the all-volunteer fire departments that act as first responders when trouble occurs. Many hikers in eastern Pennsylvania are mourning the loss of the trail and an online petition to keep the trail open has gathered thousands of signatures.

WNC to participate in the City Nature Challenge April 26-29

Three regions in North Carolina are competing in the 2019 City Nature Challenge, a global citizen-science competition, taking place April 26-29, 2019. Residents of Western North Carolina, the Charlotte metro area and the Triangle are encouraged to head outside and celebrate their region’s biodiversity by taking photos of plants and animals and uploading them to iNaturalist, a mobile app. Cities or regions who make the most observations will be named the winner of the 2019 City Nature Challenge and support scientific research worldwide. The City Nature Challenge began in 2016 as a regional event between San Francisco and Los Angeles. It has since grown to include more than 170 cities.

The first golden eagle in Yellowstone National Park fitted with a tracker has died of lead poisoning

The first golden eagle in Yellowstone National Park ever fitted with a tracking device has died of lead poisoning, most likely after scavenging the remains of an animal shot with lead bullets and consuming the fragments. The 5-year-old female eagle was found dead in northern Yellowstone in December but the cause of death was just recently revealed.

The research gained from the bird before its death provided valuable information about the range and movements of the eagles and the kinds of threats they face. Golden Eagles are one of the largest birds in North America. Their wingspan can reach up to seven feet. Hunters are encouraged to use copper bullets instead of lead bullets to prevent the poisoning of scavenging animals.