Supreme Court fast-tracks pipeline permitting… but not for Keystone XL

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Supreme Court fast-tracks pipeline permitting… but not for Keystone XL

The Supreme Court on Monday reinstated the use of a permit that fast-tracks pipeline construction but excluded the controversial Keystone XL pipeline from their ruling. The decision is considered a partial win for the Trump administration, though the exclusion of the Keystone XL pipeline is a major setback for the project. 

The Keystone XL pipeline is the fourth phase of the Keystone Pipeline System that moves oil from Western Canada to refineries in the United States. The Keystone XL pipeline has attracted strong opposition from environmental groups and has become a symbol for the flight to stop climate change and end dependency on fossil fuels. 

New survey shows guiding industry faces a tough road

A recent survey from the digital guide booking platform 57hours, which connects outdoor enthusiasts with certified mountain guides, shows that the pandemic has had a devastating effect on the guiding industry. The survey asked more than 100 independent mountain guides worldwide how COVID-19 has impacted their livelihood. Their answers paint a bleak picture.

Over 56% of respondents said guiding is their only source of income and 0% said they were still taking customers out on guided trips. Respondents also reported that 78% of their future trip bookings have been cancelled with no plans to reschedule. Most said they’ve lost 75-100% of their guiding income. 

WNC receives two USDA Forest Service grants

The USDA Forest Service has awarded grants to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina, the agency said in a news release. The grants are a part of the Community Forest Program, which supports working forests that provide benefits like clean water, wildlife habitat, educational opportunities and public access for recreation.

The Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians will use their grant to expand and connect the Hall Mountain Community Forest to the Little Tennessee River. Foothills Conservancy will use their grant to help purchase the remaining 321 acres of Oak Hill Community Park and Forest in Burke County, the news release said. 

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