N.C. Governor urges action to protect red wolves\n\n\n\nOn November 22, N.C. Governor Roy Cooper sent a letter to David Bernhardt, Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, urging the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to act immediately to rebuild and sustain a wild wolf population. The letter comes amidst declining rates of wild red wolves in North Carolina, home to the only population of wild red wolves in the world.\n\n\n\n\u201cThe FWS\u2019s Red Wolf Recovery Program has been a global model for successful reintroductions, but changes in management strategies over the last several years have diminished the wild population to a dangerous level,\u201d Cooper said in his letter. \u201cThis population decline has occurred despite the availability of proven conservation strategies, such as coyote sterilization and captive wolf reintroductions.\u201d\n\n\n\nToday, there are only 14 known red wolves in the wild and no known breeding pairs. Wolves were first reintroduced to North Carolina in 1987 and last spring was the first time that there was not a new litter of wild red wolf pups born in North Carolina.\n\n\n\nBlue Ridge Outdoors has been covering the Red Wolf saga for sometime. Learn more here!\n\n\n\nSenate committee votes to advance bills that will create and support hiking trails\n\n\n\nThe Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted in mid-November to advance two bills that would create new trails and ensure existing trails are maintained into the future. In a bi-partisan vote of support, the Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act and the Restore Our Parks Act now head to the Senate floor. \n\n\n\nIf passed, the Restore Our Parks Act would address the nearly $12 billion deferred maintenance backlog at the National Park Service. The Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act would permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which was reauthorized as part of a public lands package back in March. \n\n\n\nRunner and Chemical Engineer from Atlanta is heading to the Olympic Marathon Trials\n\n\n\nMatt McDonald, 26, a chemical engineer and five-year member of the elite Atlanta Track Club, is heading to the Olympic Marathon Trials in February. McDonald graduated from Princeton University where he won the Ivy League Championship 10,000 meters as a senior. He moved to Atlanta to pursue his Ph.D. at Georgia Tech University.\n\n\n\nAt the Chicago Marathon last month, McDonald clocked a personal best, finishing in 14th place with a time of 2:11:10. As of late October, McDonald is the ninth-fastest man heading into the Olympic Trials that will take place in Atlanta in February.