Explore! https://explore.globalcreations.com The eMagazine for Adventure and Exploration. Thu, 13 Aug 2020 23:30:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How outdoor recreation could become social distancing-friendly – Business Insider https://explore.globalcreations.com/outdoor-news/how-outdoor-recreation-could-become-social-distancing-friendly-business-insider/ https://explore.globalcreations.com/outdoor-news/how-outdoor-recreation-could-become-social-distancing-friendly-business-insider/#respond Wed, 20 May 2020 20:26:54 +0000 https://explore.globalcreations.com/outdoor-news/how-outdoor-recreation-could-become-social-distancing-friendly-business-insider/ http://www.businessinsider.com/how-outdoor-recreation-could-become-social-distancing-friendly-2020-5

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The park eventually painted “social distancing circles” on its turf in May to keep groups of people away from each other.

Domino Park

People practice social distancing in Domino Park in Williamsburg during the coronavirus pandemic on May 17, 2020, in New York City.

(Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)

Source: Business Insider

The circles act like human parking spots, allowing people to enjoy the sunshine and the park’s view of the Manhattan skyline while remaining in their allotted circle and away from other groups.

Domino Park

A member of the NYPD monitors New Yorkers social distancing in Domino Park.

REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo

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Morel Mushroom Hunting for Everyone https://explore.globalcreations.com/ideas/ways-to-explore/morel-mushroom-hunting/ https://explore.globalcreations.com/ideas/ways-to-explore/morel-mushroom-hunting/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2020 01:00:54 +0000 http://explore.globalcreations.com/?p=1539 Gourmet Morel Mushrooms for Free . . . Our early ancestors survived by foraging for wild foods.  Many of us relive a deeply buried memory of that heritage when we experience the joy in successfully finding, and ultimately consuming, a gourmet wild edible.  Morel mushrooms are a premier delicacy in many parts of the world. The […]

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Two Morels on the Forest Floor

Gourmet Morel Mushrooms for Free . . .

Pathfinder with a tiny morel.

Even a tiny morel helps your Pathfinder relive a joyous primal memory.

Our early ancestors survived by foraging for wild foods.  Many of us relive a deeply buried memory of that heritage when we experience the joy in successfully finding, and ultimately consuming, a gourmet wild edible.  Morel mushrooms are a premier delicacy in many parts of the world.

The abilities to navigate safely in the forest, to see through camouflage and to know morel macro- and micro-habitats are necessary if you want to return safely with your morels.  These are all  traits of good explorers.

The good eating that comes with a successful hunt is the prize that motivates many to explore for mushrooms.  The discovery of new places, terrain, and views comes with the adventure.  Whatever motivates you, mushroom hunting, and morel hunting in particular, is a great excuse to get out and explore.

Morel Habitats and Behavior

In some places morels appear in old apple orchards and a variety of other habitats, but in the Oregon Cascade Mountains and much of the western United States, they appear in coniferous forests.  But not, as you might expect, in pristine forests.   To find  mushrooms you must have a basic understanding of their habitats and behavior.

Basic Morel Biology

First of all,  the mushroom itself is but a fruit of a much larger ‘tree’ made up of thousands of miles of tiny strands of underground mycelia.  In fact,  the largest living organism ever found  was a mushroom.  Not the individual fruit, but the normally unseen mycelia that arose from spores and spread through the soil over thousands of acres.

It is particularly interesting that, unlike plants,  mushrooms are sexual beings.  An individual spore can sprout and grow its mycelium, but it cannot reproduce until it comes into direct contact (unlike plants) and mates with a compatible mycelium.  Once mated, it can produce mushrooms we see and they, in turn, distribute spores to continue the process.  The mycelia typically produces mushrooms when it is stressed.  This is its effort to sustain the race by producing offspring.  The key to finding morels is understanding the stressors that lead to fruiting.

Morel Macro-Habitats



Successful morel hunters in the coniferous forests have long known to look in areas that had burned in the previous year.  Research suggests that morel mushrooms can live for awhile without a connection to a tree, but that they do better when they tap into tree rootlets to obtain nourishment and provide minerals to the tree.  This symbiotic relationship is beneficial to both the mushroom and the tree.  When the tree dies suddenly, like in a forest fire, the mushroom is stressed over the loss of its food supply and produces mushrooms in an effort to put spores in the air that can travel to more hospitable environments.  So,  burned over areas are good places to look for morels.

Morel Habitat

Exploring some less-than-pristine habitat in search of the elusive morel mushroom.

Timber harvest also kills trees and can have the same effect as a forest fire, as far as morel production goes.  In fact,  our adventure took us to an area  where the timber had recently been thinned.  There is a lot of thinning taking place in the forests of the western United States.  Commercial timber harvest has been significantly reduced over the last couple of decades leading to trees becoming crowded and the biomass levels rising to unprecedented levels.  In order to reduce the likelihood of extremely severe wildfires that can lay waste to entire forests, foresters have been removing some of the trees to reduce the level of biomass and increase the health of the trees that remain.  As a result,  morel hunters have a lot of places to look.

Mushroom growers exploit the relationship between morel fruiting and dead trees.  In 2005, Stewart C. Miller even patented a process for growing morels that involves inoculating tree seedlings with morel mycelium, allowing the mycelium to grow, then killing the seedlings to induce the morels to fruit. Read all about it in US Patent 6,907,691B2 (PDF – 186K).



Morels grow in the spring.  The snow must be gone and the soil must be warm enough and damp enough. Researchers developing techniques to farm morels have found that a  flood of water is necessary to induce fruiting.  It’s the melting snow that provides the water the wild mushrooms need.  Soil temperature is also important.  Morel metabolism doesn’t kick into gear until the weather warms a bit.  This is about the same time of the year as lilacs start to bloom.  As a result,  the first morels are typically found in lower, sunnier areas.   As the year progresses,  they can be found farther and farther up the mountains.

Morel Micro-Habitats

Once in an area likely to have morels, you must begin to think about the micro-habitats that produce morels.  First,  morels sprout from the ground.  They do not grow in trees or from logs like many mushrooms.  Second, disturbed ground that provides evidence of damage to the morel mycelia generally produces more morels.  Third, slightly lower areas that held a bit more water from the melting snow seem to produce better.  Look for ruts in the ground caused by logging equipment.

Look in the most disturbed areas you can find – even around slash piles – as long as there are some needles and twigs over bare soil.  Then, look all around.  Sometimes morels pop up where you would not expect to see them.    Note that if you find one mushroom,  there are probably more, so focus more closely on the ground all around your find.

Two morels in their micro habitat.

Two morels in their micro habitat.

What does a morel look like?

Morels are one of the easiest mushrooms to identify because they lack the traditional cap, gills (or pores) and stem of the more common mushrooms.  Review the photos here to get a good idea of their general appearance.

False Morel (Gyromitra esculenta)


Can morels be confused with poisonous mushrooms?

Yes, if you are not careful!  The photo to the right is a false morel, known scientifically as Gyromitra esculenta.  We found it on the same day and in the same habitat where we picked the true morels shown elsewhere on this page.

According to Tom Volk a mycologist at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, this mushroom causes two to four percent of all mushroom poisonings.  Some people eat it after repeatedly boiling it to remove the toxins, but I recommend that you avoid it.  It is clearly not the morel for which we are searching.

Besides the color, note how the texture is formed by wavy, folding ridges rather than by sharper ridges that enclose depressions or pits.  Verpa bohemica, or the early morel, is also a false morel and looks much more like a true morel than the Gyromitra species.

One way to be sure you have a morel is to look at the mushroom after you cut it half lengthwise.  The cap of a true morel is attached to the stem for its entire length.  The false morels have caps that are separate from the stem at the bottom so they look more like an actual cap sitting atop the stem.

Using Your Eyes and Nose to Find Morels

Morels are very good at camouflage.  You will find pine cones on the ground if you are in a coniferous forest.  In an upright position,  these cones can appear nearly identical to a morel, especially in the subdued light of the forest.  Their coloring and texture allow morels to hide well among the dirt and needles of the forest floor.  This is especially true in a burned area.

As you can see in the photos, these morels are quite dark and even have edges that appear burned.  I have had my eyes on a morel only to look up and then back down to be unable to find the mushroom.  Some people say they run and hide.  They certainly can be elusive.  A different perspective often helps.  The photos below show two views of the same mushroom.  From the top it’s a bit hard to discern; from a different angle it becomes more obvious.  Because of the difficulty in seeing morels and changing perspective, a picker following another picker can often find mushrooms the first picker missed.

One morel, two perspectives.

One morel, two perspectives.

Mushrooms have distinctive odors. If your nose is sensitive enough,  you can use it to find morels, or at least get you close enough to find them by sight.

Our Morel Adventure

Our adventure began at the office of the Klamath Ranger District of the Fremont-Winema National Forests.  In the United States, the National Forests are public lands and anyone can forage for wild edibles in them for little to no cost.  As long as the edibles are for personal use.  If you plan to sell your mushrooms, you enter into the arena of commercial use and must purchase a permit.  We were at the Ranger Station to pick up our free-use permit.  Individuals can face a large fine if caught possessing mushrooms without one on the Deschutes, Umpqua, Willamette and Fremont-Winema National Forests of central and southern Oregon.

Other National Forests and other public lands have different rules.  For example,  the Rogue River National Forest allows possession of up to two gallons of mushrooms without a permit.  Our permit allowed each of us to pick up to 2 gallons of mushrooms per day for any ten days of the season.  You are also required to cut your morels lengthwise and separate the halves. The open market wants only whole mushrooms.

Two Morels

Two Morels

With our permits in hand, we set out on the search.  Our party included Pathfinder Jerry,  Chief Scout Trish, Chief Scout’s sis Tamera and her three kids – Nicholas (age 8), Annie (age 7) and Jayden (age 3).  Morels are a spring mushroom that appears as soil temperatures rise.  We had heard, that in early May they were starting to appear in the Rocky Point vicinity west of Klamath Falls, Oregon.

We searched several disturbed areas of the forest in the vicinity of Rocky Point.   Don’t expect a more detailed location – morel hunters rarely reveal such details.  Further,  if you arrive at a given location a week or two late,  you won’t see any mushrooms.  A terrific mushroom patch will be a disappointment if you are there when the mushrooms aren’t.

Mushroom patches also move from year to year.  While a burned area or timber harvest area might produce morels for a year or two, they soon stop producing and mushroom hunters must move on.  This adventure  simply requires some exploration on your own.  We spent the better part of an afternoon, first finding only a couple of morels higher in the mountains before dropping lower to find more.  A hundred feet of elevation can make a big difference.

Tamara used her nose to tell us there were morels around a couple of slash piles.  She was right on.  Although morels are less odiferous than other mushrooms,  Tamara is good at detecting them. We found several morels close to the edge of the slash piles, but we had to move some of the debris to uncover them.  If you have the need to move branches on a slash pile, please toss them higher on the pile rather than scattering them around.  Those piles cost a lot to make and tearing them apart is vandalism.

Upon setting off across the forest we came upon more morels hiding in the detritus on the forest floor in many of the micro-habitats described above.  Although we spent a lot of the afternoon exploring unproductive areas, we collected a couple pounds of morels and enjoyed a great walk in the woods. One last note.  Please cook your morels.  Chitin is the building block of mushroom cells.  It is quite difficult for people to digest.  Cooking allows your body to gain the full benefits of the mushrooms while greatly enhancing their taste.  In addition, some people get very ill eating raw morels.

More Information

The U.S. Forest Service published a book entitled “Ecology and Management of Morels Harvested From the Forests of Western North America.” You can download it in four parts:

Tom Volk offers a lot of information in his article “Fungus of the Month” for April 1997. If you’d like to try growing your own,  be sure to study the links collected by The Mushroom Growers’ Newsletter. For information on cooking morels see the “Mushroom Appreciation” website.


The text, video and all photos, except as noted below, are by Jerry Haugen, Pathfinder, and ©2011 Global Creations LLC.  The photo of the plate of mushrooms below is by Trish Haugen, Chief Scout, and ©2011 Global Creations LLC.  The photos of your Pathfinder and the false morel are ©2011 by Tamara Campbell and used here with permission. The soundtrack of the video uses the song “I Just Enjoy Morels Too Much.” Zoe Wood and Larry Evans wrote the song and Zoe Wood performed it.  Larry gave us permission to use it.  If you like the tune, please buy the Fungal Boogie CD with 13 songs about mushrooms. Morels on a Plate

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Winter Wings 2021 https://explore.globalcreations.com/events/winter-wings-festival/ https://explore.globalcreations.com/events/winter-wings-festival/#respond Wed, 27 Nov 2019 17:40:26 +0000 http://explore.globalcreations.com/?p=1455 Winter Wings Festival has been cancelled for 2021 due to COVID-19 issues.

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9Wintering Bald Eagle - Winter Wings Festival

Canon - sponsor for the Winter Wings Festival

Participants try out new equipment at the Canon booth.

Winter Wings Festival has been cancelled for 2021 due to COVID-19 issues.

Presidents Day is celebrated in the United States on the third Monday of February.  In Klamath Falls, Oregon, that entire weekend is dedicated to the Winter Wings Festival and birds.  Now, the festival has expanded to four days, running from February 13 through 16, 2020 and even includes pre- and post- event tours.

In 2020, the festival is headquartered at Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT).  When we last toured the event in 2011 we found vendors of all things birding – and more, presentations, seminars, art and photo contest entries, and activities for kids.  In 2011, the event also offered a reception and bird quiz with writer, photographer and naturalist, Jeffrey Gordon.

Winter Wings Featured Speakers

In 2020, the Winter Wings Festival will feature three speakers:

Seminars and Workshops

Kestrels at the Winter Wings Festival.

Kestrels at the Winter Wings Festival.

The seminars and workshops at the Winter Wings Festival address topics of interest to birders. With Olympus as a major sponsor, many also focus on photography with improved wildlife photography being the goal.   In order to keep the event fresh,  organizers bring in a different mix of workshops each year. The festival also offers a lot for kids.  Live birds are a highlight.  In 2011, we spotted a couple of young ladies walking around the venue with live kestrels – the smallest North American hawk. Kids were delighted with the opportunity to pet a live turkey and see a wood duck up close.  Local school kids participated in an art contest, so their work was judged and displayed at the festival.

Wild Turkey

A Friendly Turkey for Kids to Pet.

The vendors typically offer photography, binoculars, paintings, birding tours, jewlery, publications, bird feeders, sculptures, fountains, crafts and even peanut brittle. The activities at OIT generate enthusiasm and excitement and the seminars improve enjoyment of the outdoors.  Ultimately, however, it’s the Winter Wings Festival tours that get people outdoors and exploring.


Getting Outdoors at Winter Wings

Birders Studying an Eagle in the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge.

Birders Studying an Eagle in the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge.

In 2011, Winter Wings offered 23 field trips.  For 2020 the list includes 9 photography field trips, 26 birding and cultural field trips, and 8 field trips that are combined with workshops –  most on buses and a few in carpools.  The field trips cover all birding and photography skill levels from beginners, to intermediate to expert .

Eschewing guided tours,  many of the participants will go exploring on their own.  That’s not to say that participants in the Winter Wings Festival will dominate exploration in the Upper Klamath Basin during the weekend.

As we explored the public lands along the Oregon-California border during the 2011 festival,  we ran across

• a large group of families with kids from Redding, California visiting the Lava Beds National Monument,
• a smaller caravan of volunteer hawk watchers and banders from the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory near San Francisco exploring the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, and
• many individuals and families that were not associated with the Festival.

My 2011 Winter Wings Adventure

The Grange Co-op Offered Supplies for Birders.

The Grange Co-op Offered Supplies for Birders.

Indoor Activities

I didn’t register for any of the event’s activities, but there are still plenty of things to see and do – at no cost.  First, I stopped by OIT and chatted with some of the vendors.  Photographer Terry Spivey sold a few of his great wildlife photos, but decided he wasn’t going to quit his day job just yet.  Cindy Deas was promoting regional outdoor recreation and selling the outstanding Klamath Basin Birding Trail booklet.   Steve Spencer of Leo’s Camera Shop was greeting visitors around the Canon display.  Scott and Betty Dickson were handing out samples of their Auntie Flo’s peanut brittle.  The vendor area was bustling even after most of the field trips had already set off and seminars were underway.

I wandered around the kid’s area to see lots of excitement, popped into Doc Wild’s entertaining presentation on wolves, checked out a Canon workshop, took a look at the art and photo contest entries then headed for the field myself.


Getting Outdoors

Bald Eagle - Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge

A Bald Eagle Posing for Photographers

I drove around the Lower Klamath and Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuges and Lava Beds National Monument to see explorers everywhere.  Videographer Larry Arbanas was exploring the Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge.  Later he showed me the fruits of his adventure – some great footage of river otters playing in the water.   I first crossed paths with the Redding kids at Petroglyph Point and again at the visitor center.  A group of Winter Wings participants was leaving the Lava Beds National Monument and setting out to find tundra swans.  Several groups, unrelated to the festival, were venturing through the snow and into Merrill Cave and the lava tube caves near the Monument’s visitor center.

Birds and More Birds

In addition to the eagles, hawks, tundra swans, and people, I saw lots of pheasants, quail, deer, ducks and other waterfowl.  I’m not much of a birder, but those that are, reported seeing many other species.

The late Dave Menke of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service led two tours and noted the following highlights: Eurasian Wigeon, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Western Grebe, Say’s Phoebe, Pied-billed Grebe, Yellow-headed Blackbirds, Golden Eagles, Ferruginous Hawk, Prairie Falcon and a barn owl.  Dick Ashford of the Klamath Bird Observatory led two other tours and saw some additional species including: Red-tailed Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, and American Kestrel.  You can find a list of the 114 bird species spotted in 2017 on the Winter Wings Fest website.

Those watching eagles flying out from the Bear Valley Refuge counted as many as 139 in 2011.  It was great to see this level of exploration going on during a single winter weekend in a place as remote as the Upper Klamath Basin.


From my perspective, everything looked well run and the participants seemed happy.  Obviously the organizers gave a lot of thought to the mix of adult, kid and family activities as well as the mix of workshop topics.  I can’t speak to how well transportation worked as my timing was off and I was  never able to connect with one of the formal tours.  A quality experience is usually a given for this event as the Klamath Basin Audubon Society has been improving it for many years.

The event began in 1980, as the local Audubon Society was forming.  At that time it was the Bald Eagle Conference with a focus on the science of bald eagle management. As more people participated, the offerings gradually expanded until 2005 when the event was renamed the Winter Wings Festival.  It now encompasses all the birds in the area. Winter Wings is the oldest birding festival in the United States. If the Winter Wings Festival sounds like an event for you,  be sure to check out their website and sign up for their e-mail list at: www.WinterWingsFest.org.  You can learn more about  the Klamath Basin Audubon Society and their year-around adventures at www.klamathaudubon.org.


The eagle photo used in the header and as the ‘featured’ photo is ©2011 by Larry Arbanas and used with permission.  All other photos, text and video  ©2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 Global Creations LLC.  All rights reserved.


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Outdoor News Feed https://explore.globalcreations.com/outdoor-news/outdoor-news-feed/ https://explore.globalcreations.com/outdoor-news/outdoor-news-feed/#respond Sat, 02 Nov 2019 06:05:00 +0000 https://explore.globalcreations.com/?p=3843 We are developing an automated news aggregator to bring you up-to-date news on outdoor recreation topics. As we work on this, you may see odd posts. Eventually we will get that cleaned up so appropriate posts show up here.

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We are developing an automated news aggregator to bring you up-to-date news on outdoor recreation topics. As we work on this, you may see odd posts. Eventually we will get that cleaned up so appropriate posts show up here.

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Cairn Subscription Service https://explore.globalcreations.com/reviews/cairn-subscription-service/ https://explore.globalcreations.com/reviews/cairn-subscription-service/#respond Wed, 12 Jun 2019 06:55:10 +0000 https://explore.globalcreations.com/?p=3792 Cairn, a Bend, Oregon, firm, offers a subscription service that provides outdoor products to subscribers on a monthly basis. In this article I’ll explain how this works, describe the kinds of things you might get in your packages and the monetary value of the service. I am addressing the standard monthly subscription box rather then […]

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Cairn, a Bend, Oregon, firm, offers a subscription service that provides outdoor products to subscribers on a monthly basis. In this article I’ll explain how this works, describe the kinds of things you might get in your packages and the monetary value of the service. I am addressing the standard monthly subscription box rather then the more expensive subscription options that deliver more expensive products.

But, Why?

Why might you want to subscribe to Cairn?

I like getting a surprise box in the mail every month. I enjoy both the surprise and the sense of discovery that comes with each box. The boxes contain three or four items each. Most of the items (see header photo and the list below) are things I would not be likely to purchase on my own. Thus, each box teaches me something new about products that can enhance my outdoor experience. The food items give me an opportunity to try new things and perhaps discover something I really like.

Cairn Logo

You will save some money on the products you receive. Of course, if you would never buy a $3 trail bar you might consider receiving one to have zero value. Whether you get enough value over your subscription period depends upon you and what you find useful in each package.

In my case, the prime reason I subscribed, beyond the above, was to see if I would get items that I could review for EXPLORE! While I’m not likely to review a water bottle or a trail bar, I might review a hammock or some other unique and durable product that our readers might find particularly interesting.

Finally, a Cairn subscription is about the greatest gift your hiker, camper or general outdoors person could get


One of the items I received was a package of Picky Oats Performance Oatmeal. It looks like a great product, but it doesn’t work at all for me and thus has no personal value. First, the herbs added to the product give it a caffeine content of 25 mg. That’s not much considering a cup of coffee has around 95 mg, but I have a heart issue that is exacerbated by caffeine, so I will avoid eating this product.

Second, it looks like a backpacking meal, but the bag is not designed to hold the added water. The product requires a bowl or cup for rehydration. When I’m backpacking, I don’t want to wash dishes and I don’t even carry any along. I’ll find someone that will enjoy the oatmeal for breakfast at home or when car camping, so it won’t be wasted.

My preferences are likely different from yours. Picky Oats Performance Oatmeal may be exactly what you want.

Clearly there is more to value than the money spent on your subscription compared to the cost of the individual items you receive. However, monetary value is important too. Let’s take a look.

I bought the six month subscription for $169.50 ($28.25 per month). After seven months, here are the items I received and how much each item would cost at Amazon.com (or elsewhere as noted) if I ordered it today (without shipping). Note that there is a link to each item if you would like to learn more about it. In some cases single items are not available. I performed a little division to get the single item price. Cairn has deals for subscribers, where, for example you can get 15% off the full price Peak Sherpa bars and pay $2.48 each.

Box Item Retail
1 EcoVessel Aspen Insulted Stainless Bottle $26.95
1 Gear Aid 325 Paracord $6.50
1 JonesBar – Mango/Almonds/Dates/Chia Seeds $2.42
1 Picky Oats Performance Oatmeal $2.99
2 Serac Classic Hammock and Strap Bundle $29.95
2 Peak Sherpa Energy Bites Mango/Coconut $2.75
2 Natrapel Insect Repellent Wipes $7.88
3 Kate’s Real Food Stash Bar $2.49
3 Coast HX5R Rechargeable Flashlight (REI) $29.95 (1)
3 GoBites Duo Fork/Spoon $10.12
4 Pocket Disc Sports Edition $12.42
4 Speaqua The Cruiser Bluetooth Speaker $24.88 (2)
4 Bobo’s Stuffed Oat Bites Apple Pie $1.24
4 Bobo’s Toast’r Pastry Strawberry Jam $2.49
5 EcoVessel Stainless Steel Straw Set $11.95
5 All Good Tinted Sunscreen Butter $10.99
5 Nomadix Travel Lite Towel $39.95 (1)
6 Blackstrap Daily Tube $19.99
6 Points6 Ghost Runner Ultra Light Socks $18.95
6 DeFunkify Laundry Detergent 5-Pack $5.00 (2)
6 Honey Stinger Energy Gel Mango Orange $1.99
7 Croakies Custom Belt Bottle Opener Buckle $29.99 (2)
7 UCO Sprout Mini Lantern $14.95 (1)
7 Yumbutter Cashew $6.99

  1. From REI
  2. Direct from Manufacturer

After seven months I’ve received products worth $323.78 at retail. Those seven months of my Cairn subscription cost $197.75 for a 39% discount. Cairn claims “Up to 50% off Retail Value in Each Box.” Key words: “up to.”

On a financial basis, the subscription will save you money, but only if you were to buy these items anyway.

Customer Service

What a minute – seven months what happened to the six month subscription? Well, here’s the story. Cairn has my credit card info and tried to automatically renew my subscription, as they were supposed to do. For some reason my credit card failed. I figured it was just because I had recently updated a credit card and my info was no longer correct. I didn’t do anything about it because I didn’t want to renew anyway. A few days later they tried again, and the credit card worked for them. I had paid for another six months. Ooops.

Cairn has a no refund policy, but I explained in an email what happened anyway. The money was back in my credit card account the same day! , They did subtract a prorated amount for one month, because the box had already been shipped – fair enough. Thus, I got seven months for the price of seven months and Cairn proved they have GREAT customer service!

If I decide to subscribe again in the future, I’ll be sure to cancel before the end of the subscription period should I choose not to continue.


If you’d like to give Cairn a try, here’s the process:

  • Go to getcairn.com
  • Click “Get Started’
  • Choose your subscription option – if you pay for more months at a time, your savings increase. The Obsidian option (higher priced items) is also available.
  • Pay for your order
  • Answer some questions, so that the people at Cairn can tailor your box to your interests.
  • Wait for your first box to arrive

Your Box Arrives

In this video, I open my first two Cairn boxes so you can see exactly how they arrive and what came in them. Your first boxes will likely be different, but that’s part of the Cairn adventure. My third box wasn’t a box at all, but a shipping bag.


All photos, video and text by Jerry Haugen ©2019 Global Creations LLC, All Rights Reserved.  

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Outdoor News August 31, 2018 https://explore.globalcreations.com/outdoor-news/outdoor-news-august-31-2018/ https://explore.globalcreations.com/outdoor-news/outdoor-news-august-31-2018/#respond Fri, 31 Aug 2018 12:12:33 +0000 https://explore.globalcreations.com/?p=3747 • IMBA Trail Grants • Tariffs and the Outdoor Industry • Rocks Close Zion Trail • Enhancing the Antiquities Act • Video of the Week: Rio Grande del Norte National Monument •

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IMBA Trail Grants

On Tuesday, the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) announced awards in its first round of Trail Accelerator grants to three recipients. IMBA’s Trail Accelerator grant fund is a competitive grant offering for communities with visions for model trail systems that need extra support to realize that vision of more trails close to home. Awardees provide matching funds and receive professional trail planning and consultation services from IMBA Trail Solutions to launch trail development efforts, which can often help leverage more interest and investment for community trail projects.

IMBA Logo“Communities all over the country have opportunities for great trails but, often, a trail project needs an initial boost to get started,” said Dave Wiens, IMBA Executive Director. “Catalyzing more trails in more communities is critical to our mission. Together we can accelerate so many trail projects, bringing us closer to our vision of everyone across the country having access to great trails.”

All three projects have the potential to transform nearby communities through trails, leading to increased local access and offering health benefits to residents, while having opportunities to expand into larger, destination-worthy trail systems.

Mountain Creek Park in Hixon, Tennessee — Mountain Creek Park will provide the first downhill trails in the Chattanooga region, offering new opportunities for local and regional riders. It will also become the first local recreation area to offer both mountain biking and climbing. The project is a collaboration among six recreation and conservation groups including SORBA-Chattanooga, the local mountain bike organization, that aims to increase access to the outdoors for the nearby Red Bank school system and surrounding low- and middle-income communities. The North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy has received $12,500 for an initial 10-mile trail plan.

De Queen Lake Trails in De Queen, Arkansas — De Queen Lake has 32 miles of shoreline, more than 100 campsites, 8700 acres of surrounding land and the vision to become a mountain bike destination. The community will soon have its first three-mile trail at the lake, and wants to follow that with a plan for more. The organizations involved, including the Army Corps of Engineers, see the trails as a way to address the region’s obesity challenge, as well as a venue to welcome De Queen’s minority population to mountain biking. Legacy Initiatives has received $18,000 for a community-wide assessment.

Grandma’s Gateway in La Crosse, Wisconsin — This project will turn an iconic regional landscape with no formal trail access into a community trail system, ripe with opportunities to connect to several nearby public lands. Developing Grandad Bluff Park into a multi-use trail system will provide neighborhood access, alleviate pedestrian road traffic and help clear out litter and invasive species. The closest school to new trailheads is a quarter-mile away. Outdoor Recreation Alliance of the 7 Rivers Region has received $15,000 for a trail concept plan.

IMBA thanked the Walton Family Foundation for underwriting the program and REI for its support. Look for dates on the next application period for Trail Accelerator grants later this fall. Learn more about criteria and eligibility for the grants on the grant webpage.

Tariffs and the Outdoor Industry

President Trump has proposed adding an additional 10 to 25 percent tariff on imports from China, including certain outdoor products, in response to China’s intellectual property practices and forced technology transfers. These additional taxes on backpacks, sports bags, kayaks, leather ski gloves, headwear, camp chairs and other products could significantly raise costs for outdoor companies and consumers, impede job growth and innovation and prevent more Americans from enjoying the outdoors. What is the impact on your business and how should your business respond?

TaxA webinar on September 13 will try to answer that question.  Speakers are Rich Harper, Manager of International Trade, for the Outdoor Industry Association and Ron Sorini, Partner, Sorini Samet and Associates.  Expect to learn:

  • Why the administration is proposing additional tariffs on products from China
  • The outdoor products that could be impacted
  • When the tariffs could go into effect
  • How China has responded with its own tariffs on U.S. products
  • Other outdoor products that could be impacted if the trade war escalates further
  • How you can help OIA exempt outdoor products from these tariffs and future tariffs

Register at http://oia.outdoorindustry.org/l/51282/2018-08-22/9zrkg8

Rocks Close Zion Trail

Hidden Canyon TrailA rockfall came down on Hidden Canyon Trail in Zion National Park on Tuesday. Nine visitors were temporarily trapped behind the rockfall. No one was injured. Zion’s Search and Rescue team, along with the help of the Grand Canyon helicopter crew, shorthauled the nine visitors safely out of canyon.

Hidden Canyon Trail will remain closed for at least a week while staff monitor the area for additional slides.  A crew from Utah Geological Survey (see photo) was on site to evaluate the situation.

Due to damage from a July 11th storm, the following trails are closed until further notice: lower West Rim Trail including Angels Landing, Kayenta Trail, and Upper Emerald Pools Trail.

Weeping Rock, East Rim Trail, Observation Point Trail, Cable Mountain Trail and Deer Trap are still open.

Enhancing the Antiquities Act

August 27, 2018. ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico’s U.S. senators, two of its three U.S. representatives, plus tribal, conservation and community leaders have gotten behind a bill that would strengthen the Antiquities Act of 1906.

The enhanced Antiquities Act of 2018 would declare congressional support for monuments established by presidents of both parties since 1996. Specifically, it would prohibit any of the nation’s 51 national monuments from being reduced in size without an act of Congress, and also provide resources for managing newly established monuments.

Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. BLM PhotoSusan Torres with the New Mexico Wildlife Federation said the current administration has demonstrated it is not friendly to public lands, and that’s why the legislation is needed.

“So much of the bill focuses on cultural preservation and working with the inter-tribal coalitions to make sure that the sacred sites are protected,” Torres said.

Pressure on Congress to strengthen the original Antiquities Act began building after President Donald Trump signed executive orders in 2017 that eliminated more than 2 million acres from two national monuments in Utah. The executive orders would open both monuments to extractive industries.  The Trump administration has argued that monument designations currently include more land than is needed.

The 2018 Antiquities Act would require that monuments receive protections to ensure that no new extraction claims and grazing allotments be allowed, while honoring existing claims in those areas. Torres said without improvements to the century-old law, New Mexico’s monuments will remain vulnerable.

“Ever since the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks and Rio Grande del Norte (pictured) were designated as monuments, tourism has gone up in those areas,” she said. “So all of those monument designations have been huge for those local communities.”

Organ Mountains and Rio Grande del Norte have so far escaped any reduction in size since the administration’s review of monuments. Torres said outdoor recreation generates nearly $10 billion a year in the state and is directly responsible for almost 100,000 jobs.

Roz Brown, Public News Service – NM

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Video of the Week

This week’s video features Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in New Mexico.   When the video was created in 2012, Congress was considering designating it a National Conservation Area. Now,  it is a National Monument created under the Antiquities Act of 1906.  Enjoy!


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New Mexico and Park Backlog

August 20, 2018 ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The economic benefit of New Mexico’s national parks to local communities is enormous, but it is threatened due to a lack of maintenance – a problem Congress has an opportunity to fix.

White Sands National MonumentBipartisan legislation now under consideration would provide funding to address the nation’s $12 billion maintenance backlog.

Los Alamos County Councilor Susan O’Leary says New Mexico’s parks provide not only jobs, but economic benefits to gateway communities.  “New Mexico is a state that is very dependent on tourism as an economic driver,” she explains. “But if the Parks Service is not funded to maintain its basic infrastructure, then this is a lost opportunity.”

New Mexico park sites are estimated to have $123 million in deferred repairs. The Restore Our Parks Act would provide up to $6.5 billion nationally over five years to address the backlog.

There are 400 sites managed by the National Park Service across the country. According to Yaron Miller, and officer with The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Restore America’s Parks campaign, all of them need various infrastructure upgrades.

“These repairs include deteriorating historic buildings, unsafe roads, eroding trails, outdated campgrounds and broken bathrooms, crumbling monuments and degraded water, sewer and electrical systems,” he states.

Nearly 2 million people visited national parks in New Mexico in 2016, spending an estimated $108 million in local economies. The park system also supports 1,700 jobs.  O’Leary says all 15 New Mexico sites enhance the quality of life for local residents, but she notes that adequate infrastructure, easy access and clear signage are essential.

“The parks need to be in top shape,” she stresses. “They need to be delivering what the visitors are expecting so supporting funding to do these maintenance projects only makes sense as an economic driver.”

Support for this reporting was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Roz Brown, Public News Service – NM

Newspapers on LWCF

Newspapers across the U.S. are coming out in favor of reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund.  I was unable to finding opposing viewpoints.  Here is a sampling:

LWCFArizona Capitol Times: “We need to keep LWCF alive and well so that it may help to keep not only veterans, but all of us more alive and well.”

The Coloradoan: “We encourage other members of Congress and their constituents to get behind the push to support the LWCF regardless of the Trump administration’s indifference toward conservation.”

Grand Junction Daily Sentinel: “For a state where the great outdoors represents a sizable chunk of the economy, the LWCF is an indispensable tool to protect and grow that resource.”

Houston Chronicle: “Congress should permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Precious natural spaces, waterways and habitats that took millions of years to form should never be left to the mercy of fickle political winds.”

The Denver Post: “This is a critical tool for fulfilling our basic responsibility to give the next generation the same opportunities our parents and grandparents gave to us. It is time for Congress to stop the serial, short-term extensions of this program and make LWCF permanent with the full dedicated funding it deserves.”

The Post Standard (Syracuse): “But without action, the LWCF will expire on Sept. 30. If Congress does not renew this program — or reduces its funding — New Yorkers, and all Americans, will lose out.”

Richmond Times-Dispatch: “We must insist that our members of Congress support the permanent reauthorization and funding of the LWCF by Sept. 30 to protect God’s creation — including Virginia’s precious public lands — for future generations.”

The Times-Tribune (Scranton): “Therefore, it’s urgent to contact our federal representatives and demand they permanently reauthorize the LWCF with full funding so that we can create and protect those special places that are so important to all of us.”

Tri-City Herald (Kennewick): “But a program that does so much good without using any tax money needs a long-term commitment from Congress. Perhaps it could be re-authorized for another 50 years. That worked well enough the first time around.”

Knox News (Knoxville): “We urge Alexander, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker and those who serve Tennessee to vote to reauthorize the LWCF and ensure that our incredible natural assets can be enjoyed today and by generations to come. “

Everett Herald: “You can show your appreciation by urging your members of Congress to support the funds’ permanent reauthorization and by making it clear to congressional candidates that voters support the LWCF.”

How big is outdoor recreation?.

Outdoor Recreation & Tourism Management

The University of Wyoming has its new Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Management degree ready to offer to students this fall.

Wyoming BarnThe degree will train students to connect people to the outdoors in one of the West’s fastest-growing industries. They will gain understanding of business, people and culture, environment and natural resources, recreation, and tourism in the classroom and outside.

A BS in ORTM from the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources emphasizes:

  • Stewardship and conservation of natural resources
  • Tourism and outdoor recreation theories and best practices
  • Entrepreneurial and business management strategies
  • Creating outstanding visitor experiences
  • Broad understanding of cultural and natural resources

Find all the details at www.uwyo.edu/haub/academics/undergraduate-students/bs-in-ortm.html

New Walker River Park in Nevada

Last spring, the Nevada Division of State Parks received a $1,091,451 grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to develop the brand new Walker River State Recreation Area.  The funds were used to develop the Pitchfork Ranch portion of the park.

Walker RiverThe century-old Pitchfork Ranch, located near Yerington, Nevada, is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, with 7 miles of the celebrated East Walker River open for exploration. Visitors are invited to experience camping, hiking, biking, wildlife viewing, kayaking, fishing, or simply relaxing in an idyllic country setting.

Park staff invites you to join them for a special grand opening celebration on Saturday, September 22 at the Pitchfork Ranch for a fun-filled day of activities including: Dutch-oven cooking, archery, fishing clinics, nature walks, hay rides, children’s games and a BBQ.

WHAT: Walker River State Recreation Area Grand Opening
WHEN: Saturday, September 22, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
WHERE: Pitchfork Ranch, 211 East Walker Road, Yerington, Nevada
COST: The park entrance fee is waived for this event.

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Video of the Week

This week’s video features a backpacking trip into the Cloud Peak Wilderness located within the Big Horn National Forest.  Snow, water, rocks,the 13,175 foot high Cloud Peak and lots of outstanding scenery.  Enjoy!



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Montana and the L&WCF

August 13, 2018. HELENA, Mont. – With less than two months before it expires, conservation groups are calling for permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund – a program that has received bipartisan support in the past.

Montana has received nearly $600 million since the fund was created more than 50 years ago.  It’s helped protect a wide range of landscapes, including Glacier National Park and grizzly bear habitat on the Rocky Mountain Front.

MT L&WCFDave Chadwick, executive director of the Montana Wildlife Federation, says the program is crucial for the outdoor recreation economy, which supports more than 70,000 jobs in the state.

“Acquiring crucial parcels that open up access to other areas of public land,” he states. “Of course, 70 percent of the fishing access sites in Montana have been funded in part with LWCF funds, and really these dollars have touched every corner and every community in this state.”

The program receives funding from royalties paid by energy companies drilling for oil and gas offshore.  Funds also are used to build playgrounds, swimming pools, urban bike paths and other facilities.  The LWCF’s Forest Legacy Program has supported timber jobs and sustainable logging in Montana as well. It’s set to expire on Sept. 30.

Chadwick says the program has played an “immeasurable role” in keeping Montana the way it is today.  “The need is only going to grow in the future, and fully funding and authorizing the program is really going to help us keep Montana so that in 20, 30, 50 years, future Montanans are going to be able to enjoy everything we love about the Treasure State today,” he points out.

Montana’s U.S. senators have supported fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund. In most years, Congress raids the fund to spend on other projects.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service – MT

VF Corp. Moving to Denver

Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade announced on Monday that VF Corporation, one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies and owner of outdoor brands including The North Face®, JanSport® and Smartwool®, is moving its global headquarters to Denver.

North Face logo“We are thrilled to welcome a new partner that embodies the values that define Colorado,” said Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. “VF’s move underscores the critical driver that the outdoor recreation industry plays in our economy where business meets lifestyle.”

“Colorado is an area with an unrivalled heritage and culture of outdoor and activity-based lifestyles, as well as a thriving business environment,” said Steve Rendle, VF’s Chairman, President and CEO. “It is a great strategic fit for our business, and we are excited to be relocating our headquarters and several brands to the metro Denver area next year. We believe that the creation of our new headquarters in the area will help us to unlock collaboration across our outdoor brands, attract and retain talent, and accelerate innovation.

Rendle added, “We are grateful to Colorado for the job growth tax credits that represent a long-term commitment to our company and we want to make a long-term commitment to the people of Colorado. For every dollar of job growth tax credit that we receive and use, we will match that dollar in a donation to the VF Foundation and designate those funds to support the charitable interests of the citizens of Colorado. VF’s Purpose Statement declares that we will power movements of sustainable and active lifestyles for the betterment of people and our planet. We will demonstrate that commitment to the Colorado community.”

About 85 VF leaders, including members of the company’s U.S.-based senior leadership team, will move to Colorado beginning in Spring 2019. Over the course of the next two years, several of VF’s Outdoor brands, including The North Face®, JanSport®, Smartwool®, Eagle Creek® and Altra® also will relocate to join VF.

VF Corp TentIn total, approximately 800 employees across VF and its brands are expected to move into the new metro Denver area headquarters beginning in mid-2019, including about 70 from the Smartwool® brand, which already calls Colorado home and is currently headquartered in Steamboat Springs.

“This project is strong validation of the State’s role as a leading attractor of industry and it is especially heartening that it comes with VF – a company whose brands and culture align with Colorado’s core values,” said Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade Executive Director Stephanie Copeland.

VF has nearly 70,000 employees worldwide and operations across more than 170 countries. The company’s portfolio of brands also includes Vans®, Timberland® and a stable of workwear brands, including Dickies®, none of which are involved in the relocation to Denver. The company’s 2017 global revenues were $11.8 billion.

Refuge Outdoor Festival

King County Washington’s Tolt-MacDonald Park is hosting a new event especially for people of color, outdoor recreation, and community conversations – the Refuge Outdoor Festival – September 28-30 in Carnation.

Tolt-MacDonald ParkThis inaugural, three-day camping experience will explore and celebrate diversity in nature – and in life. The festival is a safe space for all participants, with daily outdoor recreation activities, community conversations, nightly concerts, and art exhibits.

All levels of outdoor enthusiasts are welcome. Community partners will lead hikes, facilitate bike workshops, and host panels on topics such as representation and Indigenous rights. Musical acts include Big World Breaks and Sway and Swoon, with more performers to be announced.

“Our goal is to create a space of refuge and rejuvenation for people of color and their allies in the outdoors,” said Refuge Outdoor Festival founder Chevon Powell.

“We are excited to host the inaugural Refuge Outdoor Festival,” said Katy Terry, acting director for King County Parks. “This festival is all about creating a space to explore and celebrate diversity, nature, and life, and we welcome this event to beautiful Tolt-MacDonald Park.”

Ticket information is available now at bit.ly/2ORIYmn. Full-access festival passes are $95, youth passes are $45, and children under 8 are free. Field camping is included in the pass, and a limited amount of premium camping and RV campsites are available from $100 to $450. Detailed festival lodging information is available on the ticket website, refugeoutdoorfestival.com.

Safeguarding Summer

Climate change is altering America’s summers in ways both disastrously large and insidiously small, according to a National Wildlife Federation report released Wednesday. Safeguarding Summer details how rising temperatures are giving a boost to everything from heat waves to ticks to toxic algae outbreaks, and recommends policies for averting the worst effects of climate change.

  • Safeguarding SummerFueling Extreme Weather: Along with monster storms fueled by warmer air and water, heat waves and humidity are on the rise, forcing elderly and low-income Americans to choose between suffering through sweltering heat and higher electric bills.
  • Beaches Degraded: Not only are beaches at risk of erosion from climate-fueled sea level rise and stronger storms, they’re increasingly being closed by toxic algae outbreaks that get a boost from warmer water. In 2017, 169 algae outbreaks were reported in 40 states, according to the Environmental Working Group.
  • Pest Boom: Warmer temperatures and fewer freezes are a boon to disease-carrying pests. Illnesses from mosquitoes, ticks and fleas have tripled in just the last 13 years, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lyme disease is already being called the “first epidemic of climate change,” and the CDC estimates 329,000 Americans get it each year.
  • Hindered Recreation: Not only do worsened summer heat waves and pests make it harder to enjoy the outdoors, but climate impacts are changing Major League Baseball. This year, Major League Baseball broke its April record for weather-related delays and cancellations. Home runs fly out of parks more easily in hotter, more humid air, and the global warming-boosted emerald ash borer is threatening the trees used to make bats.

“From sea to shining sea, Americans are facing natural disasters that are exacerbated by climate change, from raging megafires in California to toxic algal blooms in Florida,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “This new report is a wake-up call for all Americans on the need to act now in order to protect our wildlife, communities, and summer activities by promoting climate-smart conservation strategies and supporting the sensible steps to adopt cleaner energy and vehicles.”

“This spring I encountered numerous black-legged (deer) ticks while outdoors,” said Doug Inkley, former NWF Senior Science Adviser (retired). “The doctor put me on antibiotics when a classic bull’s-eye rash, characteristic of Lyme infection, appeared. This is nothing like when I was a kid running around in the woods of central Vermont. We didn’t even think about ticks because there weren’t any here! Now, they seem to be everywhere and I take appropriate precautions whenever I go outside.”

America’s outdoor recreation economy is an $887 billion business annually, supporting 7.6 million jobs. In 2016, 103 million U.S. residents enjoyed wildlife-related recreation, with 35.8 million fishing, 11.5 million hunting, and 86 million participated in at least one wildlife-watching activity.

To curb the worst harms of climate change, the report calls for actions such as:

  • Reducing carbon emissions from the power sector — the second-largest source of climate pollution in the U.S.
  • Continuing to enforce and enhance rules to limit methane pollution from oil and gas infrastructure
  • Reducing carbon emissions from the transportation sector through policies that curb emissions and incentivize cleaner cars and electric vehicles
  • Encouraging Congress to pass legislation to put a price on carbon pollution
  • Enhancing natural systems and wildlife corridors to provide wildlife with valuable ecosystems that would also reduce risks from flooding and sea-level rise.

The entire report is available for download at the National Wildlife Federation website.

Air Quality at National Parks

On Wednesday, National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), represented by Earthjustice, appealed the Washington State Pollution Control Hearing Board (PCHB) decision to decline to order Washington Department of Ecology to reassess an air permit granted to British Petroleum (BP) for the expansion of the Cherry Point oil refinery in Puget Sound. The permit fails to limit air pollution as necessary to protect Olympic and North Cascades National Parks from increased refinery emissions, according to NPCA.

Olympic National ParkThe National Park Service, relying on its extensive air modeling, determined that the refinery’s expansion to process additional dirty heavy crudes would increase air pollution obscuring visibility and harming natural resources in both National Parks. Experts on behalf of NPCA argued that a revised air permit with stronger air quality controls was required under Clean Air Act directives, and that a stronger permit would substantially decrease the likelihood of degraded air quality and negative effects of climate change in protected national parks and surrounding communities. The State of Washington Department of Ecology chose to disregard the Park Service modeling and agreed with BP and Ecology that the expansion should go ahead without stringent pollutant controls to protect the parks.

Stephanie Kodish, Clean Air Program Director for National Parks Conservation Association, said,“We are appealing the PCHB decision to continue fighting for clean air to protect air quality for Puget Sound, and Olympic and North Cascades national parks. Our parks and local communities deserve nothing less than the safeguards mandated by our nation’s clean air laws. The refinery already harms air quality in Olympic and North Cascades National Parks and surrounding communities while also contributing to climate change, and increased pollution from the refinery expansion will only cause greater damage.”

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If you click on a product link in this email and purchase something from the vendor’s website,  we get a small percentage of the sale price. This costs you nothing and helps us keep EXPLORE! The eMagazine for Adventure and Exploration going.  Don’t want to buy anything? Consider becoming a Patron. Click the button below the video. You make EXPLORE! possible.  Thank you for your support!!

Video of the Week

North Cascades National Park is in Washington State on the Canadian border.  The most unique feature of the park is its 312 glaciers; about 1/3 of all the glaciers in the lower 48 states.  Since beginning to study the glaciers in the 1950’s,  researchers have found that ALL of the glaciers are retreating. You may want to visit them sooner rather than later!  This week’s video features Masyih Ford and his experience in the park’s backcountry.  Enjoy!




This newsletter is compiled by Jerry Haugen and brought to you by
Global Creations EXPLORE!  The eMagazine for Adventure and Exploration

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Outdoor News August 10, 2018 https://explore.globalcreations.com/outdoor-news/outdoor-news-august-10-2018/ https://explore.globalcreations.com/outdoor-news/outdoor-news-august-10-2018/#respond Fri, 10 Aug 2018 11:46:54 +0000 https://explore.globalcreations.com/?p=3734 Copalinga Nature Reserve On Monday, Rainforest Trust announced that it has helped establish an important new reserve at the eastern gateway to Podocarpus National Park, which holds the greatest concentration of biodiversity in Ecuador. Rainforest Trust teamed up with local partner Fundación Jocotoco to purchase the 370-acre private property that houses ecotourism facilities with the objective […]

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Copalinga Nature Reserve

On Monday, Rainforest Trust announced that it has helped establish an important new reserve at the eastern gateway to Podocarpus National Park, which holds the greatest concentration of biodiversity in Ecuador. Rainforest Trust teamed up with local partner Fundación Jocotoco to purchase the 370-acre private property that houses ecotourism facilities with the objective of helping protect the threatened tropical forests beside the national park.

Copalinga RrserveThe Copalinga Nature Reserve is an area half the size of Central Park and is an excellent site for ecotourism with its spectacular biodiversity, landscapes and an established eco-lodge that is already incorporated into the itinerary of tour groups visiting the region.

Rainforest Trust CEO Paul Salaman said. “On a personal note, this reserve is a special one for our Rainforest Trust family, who came together and donated towards this project in memory of Beverly Ridgely, a long-time conservationist and father to Rainforest Trust President Bob Ridgely.”

Podocarpus National Park lies on the eastern flank of the towering Andes mountain chain and is recognized as one of the most biodiverse places in the world, with some 554 bird species having been recorded. While the Napo Giant Glass Frog is incredibly rare, it has been recently recorded near the Copalinga Reserve. The area also has the highest orchid diversity in Ecuador. Located in the pre-montane tropical forest zone, the newly purchased property has approximately 75 species of trees per acre.

In the tropical Andes, only an estimated 25 percent of the region’s habitat remains intact, with threat levels being particularly severe in the northern range from Venezuela to Ecuador. Although there are several large national parks in Ecuador, they lack adequate protection and at risk from logging. For example, the annual deforestation rate within and around Podocarpus National Park in southeastern Ecuador is up to almost 1 percent per year. This alarming figure, along with the small ranges of many threatened species, shows that additional protection in the buffer zone of the park is desperately needed to prevent the loss of rainforests.

REI Invests in Scenic Trails

In celebration of 50 years of National Scenic Trails, REI Co-op is investing a total of $643,000 in 17 nonprofit organizations dedicated to stewarding and maintaining the country’s 11 National Scenic Trails. REI has supported these efforts for nearly two decades and since 2002, has invested nearly $3 million in National Scenic Trails.

REI Logo“Many of these trails offer direct access to outdoor recreation in some of the most scenic parts of the country,” said Taldi Walter, REI community and government affairs manager. “By supporting projects to improve access and invest in their future, we’re working to make sure these trails can be enjoyed by generations to come.”

National Scenic Trails are extended paths of more than 100 miles in length that provide opportunities for outdoor recreation and pass through nationally significant scenic, historic, natural or cultural areas. This year’s investment will support trail maintenance and restoration projects across the country to support 11 National Scenic Trails, including:

  • Appalachian Trail: REI is investing $48,100 in four nonprofits dedicated to stewarding the Appalachian Trail: Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Georgia Appalachian Trail Club, Appalachian Mountain Connecticut Chapter, and Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. Projects include adding signage and information kiosks, and providing vital repairs to high-use sections of the trail. The Appalachian Trail stretches 2,190 miles and touches 14 states. REI has invested over $780,000 in the Appalachian Trail to date.
  • Continental Divide Trail: REI is investing $25,000 in the Continental Divide Trail Coalition to add signage along the trail and support trail maintenance efforts. The Continental Divide Trail runs 3,100 miles from New Mexico to Montana. REI has invested over $340,000 in the Continental Divide Trail to date.
  • Pacific Crest Trail: REI is investing $25,000 in the Pacific Crest Trail Association to repair sections of the trail damaged by wildfires in California. The Pacific Crest Trail extends 2,650 miles through California, Oregon and Washington. REI has invested over $284,000 in the Pacific Crest Trail to date.

REI ProductsBeyond grants, REI’s investment in nonprofits includes the contribution of volunteer hours and hands-on stewardship. At REI stores across the country, the co-op supports and promotes nonprofits’ efforts to engage volunteers in caring for outdoor spaces, and REI employees often join in their causes.

Join the effort
The co-op is inviting members to join in its support of National Scenic Trails and has created a collection of gear and apparel to celebrate 50 years of National Scenic Trails. REI will donate five percent of the purchase price of each item from the collection to provide support for nonprofit organizations working along all 11 National Scenic Trails. To shop the collection, click here.

Stand for Our Land Rally

Stand for Our LandU.S. Dept of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is coming to Steamboat Springs this evening and residents are organizing a Colorado “welcome” for him to show their support of public lands.

Secretary Zinke will be addressing the Steamboat Institute's Freedom Conference.  The conference brings "leading conservative thought and policy leaders" to address the participants.  This year, in addition to Zinke, Shannon Bream of Fox News will be speaking.

Tonight's “Stand for Our Land” rally is independent of the Freedom Conference. It has been organized by a coalition of local Steamboat organizations concerned about the current Administration’s public land priorities, and they invite supporters from across western Colorado to attend.

Speakers representing agriculture, outdoor recreation, environmental awareness and climate change will address the rally, focusing on the role that responsible public lands management plays in their sector. The event will feature live music, community participation and voter registration. Participants are encouraged to bring signs highlighting what public lands mean to them. The first 200 participants will receive free “Stand for Our Land” t-shirts.

Residents, press and media are welcomed to join the “Stand for Our Land” rally, in person or via a live Facebook feed from the event

Pacific Northwest Trail

What is the Pacific Northwest Trail (PNT)? 
PNT Rocky Mountain SectionThe Pacific Northwest Trail is a continuous route from the Continental Divide in Montana to the Pacific Ocean in Washington. First proposed in the 1970s as a long-distance non-motorized route, it provides access through some of the most spectacular and diverse landscapes in the United States. In 2009, Congress designated the PNT as a National Scenic Trail and gave administrative responsibility for the trail to the USDA Forest Service.

So begins eight pages of questions and answers about the Pacific Northwest Trail recently published by the U.S Forest Service. If that piques your interest, check out the Forest Service's website and the Pacific Northwest Trail Association's website.

Outdoor Rec in Northern Ireland

Outdoor Recreation NI has published a new website that highlights all sorts of outdoor recreation opportunities in Northern Ireland.  The effort was supported by the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Northern Ireland Environmental Agency, and SportNI.

Denseverick Northen IrelandThe website features an interactive map that allows users to choose from among any or a combination of walking, cycling, canoeing, mountain biking, parks, forests, beaches, and nature reserves. Once a subject area or location is found,  a click on the map displays more information about the opportunity including the route involved. The pop-up information bubble also includes a link to a page describing the opportunity and offering a road map to help you get there.

In addition,  the map can be refined to highlight, for example, surfing beaches that are free and have restrooms, so you can find exactly what you want.  Check it out at outmoreni.com. Even if you aren't planning to be in Northern Ireland, the system used to display the maps (openlayers.org) might be useful if you think a similar interactive system would help with your marketing efforts.

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Video of the Week

There are a lot of outdoor adventures to be had in Northern Ireland as the OutMoreNI website suggests.  This week's video features aerial views of the Dunseverick Waterfall located on the County Antrim coast.  

This newsletter is compiled by Jerry Haugen and brought to you by
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Outdoor News August 3, 2018 https://explore.globalcreations.com/outdoor-news/outdoor-news-august-3-2018/ https://explore.globalcreations.com/outdoor-news/outdoor-news-august-3-2018/#respond Fri, 03 Aug 2018 13:00:58 +0000 https://explore.globalcreations.com/?p=3728 • Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative • Wilderness Legislation Introduced • Wyoming Offers Recreation Funds • Keep Long Valley Green Campaign • Yosemite Remains Closed • Video of the Week: Bikepacking Might Kill You •

The post Outdoor News August 3, 2018 appeared first on Explore!.

Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative

Yamaha LogoOn Wednesday, Yamaha Motor Corp., USA, announced that Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative (OAI) had awarded more than $120,000 in funds and equipment to eight grant and scholarship recipients from applications submitted in the fourth quarter of 2017 and first quarter of 2018. The combined funding cycle is highlighted by a wide variety of projects supporting access to trails and riding areas for off-highway vehicles (OHV) and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

“We continue to promote and see growth and diversity in the Outdoor Access Initiative, which now has a decade of supporting responsible, sustainable access under its belt,” said Steve Nessl, Yamaha ATV / Side-by-Side (SxS) group marketing manager. “These last two quarters have been a great example, with projects addressing a wide-range of use from single-track trails to sand dunes and back-country areas for the enjoyment of OHVs of all types: motorcycles, ATVs, Side-by-Side vehicles, and snowmobiles.”

Off Road VehicleAs the powersports industry’s leading land access advocate protecting the interests of those who work and play outdoors, OAI supports off-highway vehicle riders, as well as those who rely on land access to camp, hunt, fish, farm, and more.  The latest Yamaha OAI grant recipients are:

  • The Capital Trails Vehicle Association, Helena, MT
  • The Off Road Business Association
  • Twin Cities Trail Riders, Jordan, MN
  • Crested Butte Avalanche Center, Crested Butte, CO
  • Wonders of Wildlife/National Hunting and Fishing Day Live It! Grant Program
  • Range Riders ATV Club, Nashwauk, MN
  • Save the Rider’s Dunes, North Bend, OR
  • Voyageur Country ATV Club, Grand Rapids, MN

This latest funding also featured OAI’s continuing support of National Hunting and Fishing Day, as well as six scholarships to university students as part of the Yamaha Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) program.

“We believe everyone should be able to experience the outdoors and all of the incredible opportunities our public lands have to offer,” Nessl said. “Working through like-minded partners like National Hunting and Fishing Day, as well as seeding appropriate safety and land stewardship messaging with future influencers and professional communicators via the ACT program, helps ensure we’ll all be able to enjoy the outdoors for generations to come.”

Find the details, including how to apply for a grant, at the Outdoor Access Initiative website.

Wilderness Legislation Introduced

Last Friday, Rep. Jared Huffman (California 2nd District) introduced legislation to guard communities against wildfires, provide local jobs, restore lands impaired by illegal marijuana growing operations, and protect many of Northwest California’s spectacular wild places and pristine streams.

Huffman’s Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act would restore national forest land and fish habitat, stimulate local economies through forest stewardship programs, enhance recreational opportunities including through trails and visitor centers, and reduce fire danger. The legislation would not limit hunting or fishing, close any legally open roads or trails to vehicles, or affect access to or the use of private property. 

Redwood“From the majestic Smith River to the ancient redwoods and old-growth forests, and the rugged mountains in between, our public lands are worth protecting and restoring for future generations to enjoy,” said Rep. Huffman. “Today, some of these landscapes are not fully protected, and others are not managed to their full potential: we can do more to ensure fire resilience, support healthy wildlife, and spur outdoor recreation. After hearing from countless constituents and stakeholders on my draft legislation to address these issues, I’m introducing the Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act, a carefully developed bill to protect the communities and lands we value the most. I’m grateful for all the constituents who took the time to share their thoughts and innovative ideas, which ultimately shaped the bill I introduced today.”

During this process, Rep. Huffman consulted with many stakeholders including: dozens of community leaders, tourism organizations, outdoor recreation groups, restoration specialists, tribes, county supervisors, conservation groups, timber industry, forestry experts, fisheries scientists, fire ecologists, and business owners.

Huffman’s office has received over 200 letters of support and heard from constituents at four public meetings in Eureka, Crescent City, Weaverville, and Ukiah.  

Interested individuals can explore a map of these proposals.

Wyoming Offers Recreation Funds

On Wednesday, the Wyoming Division of State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails, through the National Park Service, announced that it is offering recreational funding for projects throughout the State of Wyoming. 

Grand TetonsThe Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) program is a 50% reimbursable grant program. To be eligible, the project site must be maintained for public outdoor recreation for perpetuity, and the applicant must be a municipality, county, school district or recreation district.

Historically, this program has funded various recreational projects throughout the State including playground equipment and upgrades, sports fields, shooting ranges, and associated facilities. Congress has appropriated approximately $836,000.00 for the State of Wyoming this year.

For additional information including applications, Guidelines and deadlines, please visit the website: http://wyoparks.state.wy.us/index.php/learn/recreation-grants or contact Tracy J. Williams at Tracy.Williams@wyo.gov or 307-777-8681.

If you aren't in Wyoming, check with the recreation agency in your state for details, as they vary a bit from state to state.

Keep Long Valley Green Campaign

On Wednesday, Mammoth Lakes Recreation announced that the group is going to battle.  The opponent: the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

This past March, the agency notified leaseholders in Long and Little Round Valleys, that it would be eliminating their irrigation allotments.  Historically leaseholders have been allotted up to 5 acre feet per acre annually for irrigation. The leaseholders, who rely on the water to irrigate pastureland, also play a key role in maintaining wetland habitat, which in turn supports a vibrant ecosystem, including brooding grounds for the bi-state sage grouse – a California species of special concern.

Upper Owens RiverLong Valley also supports a variety of outdoor recreation – most notably, two world-class fisheries: Hot Creek and the Upper Owens River. Local fishing guides and tackle shop owners have expressed concern over how the loss of wetland habitat will affect the fishing resources in the area.

“There simply hasn’t been enough studies conducted as to how dewatering the wetlands will impact the landscape,” says Matt McClain, Executive Director for Mammoth Lakes Recreation. “At the very least, an Environmental Impact Report should be completed before LADWP are allowed to take such a drastic step.”

“In addition to the direct impacts on recreational activities such as fishing, hunting and camping, dewatering the landscape in Long and Little Round Valleys will also impact winter sports as well,” says McClain. “Wetlands are one of the most efficient mechanisms for CO2 exchange. In destroying these wetlands, LADWP is opening the door for invasive plant species like cheatgrass to move in, which changes that landscape, perpetuating climatological changes that already impacting glacial fields in the Sierras.”

Mammoth Lakes Recreation has written letters to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Board Chair Mel Levine, outlining its concerns and asking for the immediate reinstatement of the historical water allotments to lessees until a full environmental study on the land can be completed.

For more information on Mammoth Lakes Recreation’s “Keep Long Valley Green” campaign, go to their website: www.mammothlakesrecreation.org.


Yosemite Remains Closed

On Tuesday, Yosemite National Park announced that Yosemite Valley, Wawona Road, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, the Merced Grove of Giant Sequoias, Hetch Hetchy, and other areas will remain closed to all visitors through Sunday, August 5, 2018 due to continued unhealthy smoke impacts and ongoing firefighting operations. The park will continue to assess conditions and reevaluate all closures on Sunday, August 5.  

Furguso Fire - Yosemite National ParkYosemite Valley has been temporarily closed since July 25 due to smoke impacts and for firefighting operations along El Portal Road and the Wawona Road due to the Ferguson Fire.

The Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120 West) to Crane Flat and Tioga Road (Highway 120 East) from Crane Flat to Tioga Pass remain open to all visitors and vehicles. Visitors are advised to drive with caution, as smoke impacts may vary. All trails and campgrounds along Tioga Road, including the Tuolumne Meadows Campground remain open. All visitor services along Tioga Road, including the High Sierra Camps and visitor services near Tuolumne Meadows remain open.

Since the Ferguson Fire began on Friday, July 13, several other park facilities and roads have been closed due to fire impacts and the need to support firefighting operations. These closures include Glacier Point Road, Bridalveil Creek Campground, Wawona Campground, and the Merced Grove of Giant Sequoias.

Yosemite National Park continues to work closely with the Incident Management Team and continues to assess park conditions daily.

For updated  24-hour road and weather conditions for Yosemite National Park, please call 209-372-0200, press 1 and press 1 again. Updated information is also available on the park’s website at www.nps.gov/yose and on the Yosemite National Park Facebook page. 

As of last evening the fire was over 69.000 acres and 41% contained.

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Video of the Week

Bikepacking is a great way to explore the outdoors.  You can explore on paved roads, gravel roads and even single track trails.  In this week's video 14 friends, including a couple of videographers, take on a four-day adventure in the mountains of central Idaho.  Enjoy!



This newsletter is compiled by Jerry Haugen and brought to you by
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