THE DIRT: Weekly Outdoor News From The Blue Ridge And Beyond

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Photo Courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management 

West Virginia Establishing Two Areas for Elk Reinrodutcion

In an effort to reestablish native populations in the state, West Virginia wildlife officials have designated two wildlife management areas as official elk reintroduction areas. According to Division of Natural Resources Director Bob Fala, both the 4,300-acre Tomblin Wildlife Management Area in Logan County and a 4,500-acre tract in McDowell County will soon host the state’s only elk populations. Learn more here.

Duke Energy Extends Review of Controversial Transmission Line Project

In the face mounting opposition from land owners, conservation groups, and local governments in both North and South Carolina, Duke Energy has announced that it will put the brakes on a plan to build a controversial transmission line in the western Carolinas. Read more here.

Suspected Murderer Apprehended on Appalachian Trail

An ex-NYPD transit cop suspected in the slaying of his wife was apprehended on the Appalachian Trail of Upstate New York this week. Police learned of Paul Leitgeb’s whereabouts after other A.T. hikers reported seeing him along the trail. Learn more here.

Beyond the Blue Ridge

House Committee Votes to Open Yellowstone, Grand Teton to Paddling

On Thursday, the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee voted to open hundreds of miles of rivers and streams to “hand-propelled” vessels. The lifting of the paddling ban, imposed in 1950, represents a major shift in the conservation and management of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and has met opposition from conservation and angling groups.

“Many of these rivers and streams are well-known to people in Montana and Wyoming,” said Kristen Brengl, policy director for the parks association. “They are places where cutthroat trout, grizzly bears — you name it — tend to congregate. We’ve spent all this time protecting these species, and this isn’t the best way to manage Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.” Learn more here.

Bear Bull Dog Showdown

A homeowner in Monrovia, California is thankful for his watchdog—a 40-pound French bull dog—after the tenacious pup had two wayward bears fleeing from the property seemingly in fear for their lives. The dog’s owner, David Hernandez, set up the surveillance cameras after previous run-ins with bears on the property. “[It] blew me away,” Hernandez told WSBT-TV of the confrontation. “I couldn’t believe it … she turned into a wolverine.” Check out the two video angles below.

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