Outdoor Updates: Climate Change and Poop + Tourists let Baby Dolphin Die

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Thawing on Alaska’s Denali could soon reveal decades of poop

In the decades since people began summiting Denali, climbers have left behind 66 tons of feces on the tallest mountain in North America. Thanks to climate change, that feces is expected to begin melting out of the Kahiltna glacier that contains much of it, possibly as early as this year. It’s long been known that Denali has a poop problem. Last year, the National Park Service instituted a policy that all human waste created below 14,000 feet on Denali must be packed off of the mountain. But five of the six guiding companies that lead climbers to the summit have begun voluntarily carrying all excrement off of the 20,310-foot mountain, regardless of where it was produced. About 1,200 climbers attempt to summit the mountain each year, producing about two metric tons of waste annually.

Tourists pull baby dolphin out of ocean to take photos, and then leave it to die

In February, tourists at a beach resort in Buenos Aires, Argentina pulled a baby Franciscan dolphin from the ocean and began taking selfies with it, says the country’s Wildlife Foundation. The beachgoers were rough with the dolphin and passed it around the group, eventually leaving it to die. The Franciscan dolphin is vulnerable to extinction; there are only 30,000 of its kind left in the world.

Advocates remind the public that humans should never touch dolphins in the wild. Interaction with humans may negatively impact a dolphin’s behavior and reproductive patterns. Dolphins are naturally curious, but their curiosity should not be interpreted as friendly behavior. In the United States, swimming with or touching wild dolphins may be considered harassment under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and is therefore against the law.

Coal companies owned by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice owe 4.3 million for mine safety violations

Companies belonging to the family of West Virginia Governor Jim Justice owe 4.3 million dollars in delinquent debt for mine safety violations, according to an Ohio Valley ReSources analysis of federal mine safety data. The debt owed by the Justice family has grown since 2016, when Justice ran for governor and pledged to pay the then 2.6 million the companies owed in mine safety violation fines. The companies, which are mainly controlled by Governor Justice’s children, have the highest delinquent mine safety debt in the U.S. mining industry. The delinquent penalties occurred between June 2009 and August 2018 at 71 mines in Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia and Virginia.

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