Issues

Climate Change: Present Tense

By Mason Adams | 27 Mar 19
Posted in , ,

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…

Read More >

Can We Join the Party?

By Mandela Echefu | 14 Mar 19
Posted in , ,

The climate and demographics of snowsports are changing. Today’s world is changing, both in a literal and philosophical sense. Winter sports are a sector, grappling with the direct effects of that change. Here, leaders and participants have had to evaluate and adjust their expectations of the utility gained from playing in the mountains when the…

Read More >

Southerners Love Wilderness

By Jedd Ferris | 11 Mar 19
Posted in , , ,

UGA study reveals that 89 percent of visitors to public land support Wilderness Wilderness designation is a tool for permanent protection of the South’s wildest places, but how do Southerners feel about wilderness areas? With population swelling in the South, should wilderness areas be opened to resource extraction, or are wilderness areas more vital than…

Read More >

Overexposed: Social Media and the Outdoors

By Ellen Kanzinger | 19 Feb 19
Posted in , , ,

Is Social Media Spoiling the Best Outdoor Secrets? Scrolling through my Instagram feed, it seems as though every other photo is taken at the top of a mountain or at a scenic overlook. I won’t deny it: a hiker myself, I have posted mountaintop photos on more than one occasion. One of the most photographed…

Read More >

Virginia moves ahead with coal ash cleanups + Endangered woodpecker receives emergency help in Georgia

By Kim Dinan | 25 Jan 19
Posted in , ,

Endangered woodpecker receives emergency help in Georgia The endangered red-cockaded woodpecker has long taken refuge at Silver Lake Wildlife Management Area in Decatur County, GA. But when Hurricane Michael hit last October, the 116 mph winds took out almost half of Silver Lake’s 272 trees that housed red-cockaded woodpecker nests. The storm also left behind…

Read More >

Quick Hits: Atlantic seismic oil permit blocked during shutdown

By Kim Dinan | 23 Jan 19
Posted in , , , , ,

Virginia governor announces Environmental Justice Council Virginia governor Ralph Northam has issued Executive Order 29, which reestablishes the Virginia Council on Environmental Justice. The council will be responsible for issuing recommendations focused on engaging minority, low-income, and underserved communities; public health; best practices for local governments; climate change and resilience; transportation systems; clean energy transition;…

Read More >

Friends of the Smokies: Great Smoky Mountains Association to Reopen Park Visitor Centers for MLK Jr. Weekend

By BRO Admin | 18 Jan 19
Posted in , , , , ,

KODAK, Tenn. – Friends of the Smokies announced Thursday that it will temporarily fund the reopening of Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg, Tenn., and Oconaluftee Visitor Center near Cherokee, N.C., from Friday through Monday, Jan. 18-21. Visitation to the park is expected to increase during these dates due to the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal…

Read More >

House Republican files bill to ban fracking in Florida + Families in WV burdened with nearby drilling

By Kim Dinan | 18 Jan 19
Posted in , , , , ,

WV Supreme Court hears argument that families living near gas drilling operations are disproportionately burdened In one of a number of disputes between landowners and energy companies in West Virginia, a nuisance lawsuit by four Harrison County families claiming that they are disproportionatelyburdened by Antero Resource Corp.’s Marcellus Shale drilling is being heardby the state’s…

Read More >

Quick Hits | Outdoor News January 2019

By BRO Admin | 17 Jan 19
Posted in , , , , , , , ,

Woman completes Triple Crown of hiking in a single year When Heather “Anish” Anderson’s boots touched the ground in Grants, New Mexico this November, it marked the first time a woman had completed the triple crown of hiking in a year. In just over 8 months and nearly 8,000 miles, Anderson walked the Appalachian Trail,…

Read More >

Inside the Shutdown: What’s Happening in Shenandoah and the Smokies?

By Sarah Vogel | 16 Jan 19
Posted in , , , ,

Since the partial government shutdown began three weeks ago, visitors to the national parks have been greeted by empty fee stations and red-lettered notices posted to entrance gates. The notice advises visitors to “use extreme caution” and that “any entry… is at the visitor’s sole risk.” While many national parks, including Shenandoah and the Great…

Read More >

Antarctic ice is melting six times faster + Volkswagen invests in electric vehicle plant

By Kim Dinan | 16 Jan 19
Posted in , , ,

Volkswagen to invest $800 million in new Chattanooga electric vehicle plant Chattanooga, Tennessee will be home to a Volkswagen electric vehicle manufacturing plant. It will be the first manufacturing facility in North America to make vehicles using Volkswagen’s modular electric toolkit chassis. The $800 million investment will add 1,000 new jobs. Volkswagen says that it…

Read More >

Monarchs in California decrease by 86% + Trump allows increase in logging on federal land

By Kim Dinan | 15 Jan 19
Posted in , , ,

Animals may perceive as much beauty as we do What explains the iridescent and long feathers of birds-of-paradise or the extravagant mating ritual of the male flame bowerbird? 150 years ago, Charles Darwin proposed that the opalescent beauty of some animals had nothing to do with natural selection. Darwin believed that animals could appreciate beauty…

Read More >

Joshua Tree Cut Down during shutdown + 75 Year Old Completes AT + endangered whale Euthanized

By Kim Dinan | 14 Jan 19
Posted in , , ,

Protected Joshua Tree cut down in park during government shutdown Joshua Tree National Park has not had it easy during the partial government shutdown. Reports of off-roading, graffiti, overflowing toilets and illegal camping have all come from the park. Now, officials are reporting the most disturbing news of all. Vandals have cut down a protected…

Read More >

Pickup trucks block Tesla charging station in strange aggression called ICE-ing + 2018 warmest year on record

By Kim Dinan | 11 Jan 19
Posted in , ,

Pickup trucks block Tesla charging station in strange aggression called ICE-ing A trend has begun to appear across the US in which pickup truck drivers are blocking access to Tesla Superchargers. The act is called ICE-ing, which stands for “internal combustion engine.” The first incident took place in Hickory, North Carolina when 3 pickup truck…

Read More >

Growing Pains: Are Outdoor Enthusiasts Losing Their Conservation Ethic?

By Wally Smith | 09 Jan 19
Posted in , ,

User conflicts are a growing problem in the Blue Ridge, ranging from vandalism and trash-laden trails to the closure of trail systems due to overuse. We often borrow the euphemism “loved to death” to describe these problems, but are we really loving a place if our activities are causing so much harm? Maybe we should…

Read More >