Bison shot in Theodore Roosevelt National Park after attacking hiker

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Bison shot in Theodore Roosevelt National Park after attacking hiker

The National Park Service says they shot and killed a bison in the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park after it struck and knocked down a hiker on Monday. Officials say a 55-year-old woman was hiking around a bend on the Buckhorn Trail when she encountered a bull bison. The bull charged, striking the woman in the face.

While still on the ground, the woman called 911 and a park ranger responded to the scene. The bison was still near the woman and did not respond to the ranger’s attempts to scare it away, so the ranger shot the animal. The hiker was flown to the hospital and treated for fractures in her face and broken vertebrae. 

Shenandoah National Park begins its phased reopening this Saturday

At 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 23, Shenandoah National park will begin a phased reopening. The park will be open for day use only (5:00 a.m.- 10:00 p.m.), including Skyline drive and most trails. Some bathrooms will open as well. Old Rag, Whiteoak and their associated trails, as well as all boundary trailheads and picnic areas will remained closed.

All other facilities, including visitor centers, picnic areas, campgrounds, lodges, gift shops and restaurants are closed. Park officials ask that visitors pay the entrance fee with a debit or credit card to minimize use of cash and remind everyone to bring what they need into the park, including water, snacks, hand sanitizer and a face mask. 

Appalachian Trail Conservancy releases updated guidelines for A.T. hikers

As states begin to lift their stay-at-home orders, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy is releasing new guidelines for A.T. hikers. While the organization still encourages hikers to stay away from the Appalachian Trail, they recognize that many are considering hikes on the famed footpath.

Before heading out, the conservancy asks that you consider whether you, or anyone in you group, has COVID-19 symptoms or has been exposed to someone with COVID-19; whether there is an official closure of the section of the A.T. you plan to hike; and if you or anyone in your group is missing any essential gear. If the answer to any of those questions is yes, the conservancy asks that you stay home.

If your answer to those questions is no, the conservancy requests the following:

  • Stay local: Hike close to home. Check the Trail Closures page before you head out on your hike.
  • Stay small: Hike only with members of your household or in groups smaller than six people. Avoid well-known locations and busy trailheads. Do not access the trail during high traffic periods, like weekends and holidays. Do not park in undesignated areas or block roads or gates.
  • Be prepared: Carry a map, share your route with others and practice Leave No Trace principles. 
  • Be respectful: If you head into a trail town while hiking, wear PPE and use hand sanitizer or wash your hands frequently. Minimize the time you spend in town.
  • Be patient: Over 100 shelters on the trail are still closed and at least three states along the A.T. require or recommend 14-day quarantines upon entering. 

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