Your daily outdoor news bulletin for September 30th, the day Wyoming became the first state to give women the vote, proving that in the land of no people, the woman is king:
Blue Ridge Parkway to Stay Open
With a U.S. government shutdown looming, and with Congress still not doing anything about it, federal agencies are attempting to go about their business like nothing is wrong while simultaneously going about their business like there is a class 5 hurricane bearing down on them. One such agency is the National Park Service which could affect Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Shenandoah National Park, and the Blue Ridge Parkway – of course there will be other casualties in the park system but those are the big fish so to speak. All inquiries into the matter are being deflected to the Department of the Interior, but a shutdown now could have a huge economic effect on not only the parks in question, but also the surrounding communities given this is the most popular time for all three. It is leaf peeping season after all. Officials with the Blue Ridge Parkway, while considering closing the 400+ mile road earlier in the week, now say the BRP will stay open through a shutdown although all campsites, historical sites, visitors centers, etc. will be closed.
For a full report, and an interesting story on what Arizona tried to do with the Grand Canyon during the 1995 shutdown, see this National Parks Traveler story.
National Registry of Stolen Bikes…Maybe
When you have your bike stolen, there are many emotions that run through you. Maybe you feel betrayal that your privacy was violated, maybe you feel angry someone stole your whip, maybe you feel frustrated the police are not really able to do anything for you. Well, a group in Chicago is working on that last one. Through a site called Bike Index, a group of advocates is hoping to provide riders a more comprehensive way to track down their stolen bike. Many cities and communities already have bike registry services, but they usually involve paperwork and a trip to the police station, and they are kept private. Bike Index wants to streamline the process by allowing users to register their bikes online using the bikes serial number. With more access and public info, and more bikes registered, the operation will not only help people track down their bikes when they get stolen, but discourage future thefts. The service is only available in Chicago at this time, but the founders hope to expand nationwide.
The brackish community of Annapolis, Maryland is the latest community to receive an honor from the National Wildlife Federation. This week, the city was designated a National Wildlife Federation Community Wildlife Habitat, becoming the 71st Community Wildlife Habitat in the nation, and second in Maryland. It seems as though the honor is the cumulative capstone in Annapolis’s efforts to green up their city: “A Community Wildlife Habitat project creates multiple habitat areas in backyards, schoolyards, corporate properties, community gardens, parkland and other spaces.”