Outdoor News August 4, 2017 | Explore! Outdoor News August 4, 2017 - Explore!

Outdoor News August 4, 2017

Bucket List Challenge

The Thrive Regional Partnership involves 16 counties at the intersection of Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.  Their mission is “to develop, implement, and sustain a vision for responsible and inspired growth across the tristate, 16-county Chattanooga region for the next four decades. Through communication, collaboration, analytics and innovation, we seek to optimize community development opportunities while protecting the natural treasures and landscapes that define this special place.”  A part of that mission involves growing the outdoor recreation economy.  

Buck Pocket State ParkYesterday the Partnership kicked of its Thrive Bucket List Challenge.  Every week through spring, 2018, they will share one of their 46 must-see natural treasures in the region on their FacebookTwitter and Instagram pages. They want you to visit the featured natural treasure, (or any one you like) then share your photos, videos, and experiences on your social media pages with the hashtag #Thrivebucketlist.  

The 46 bucket list items are the result of three years of public surveys and meetings among the region’s conservation, agricultural, and outdoor recreation professionals during the Thrive 2055 visioning process. The list includes three long-distance hiking trails, historic landmarks, vast national forests, canyons and wildlife areas, and places where people can personally experience the rainbow of life that lives in the region’s abundant streams.

“One of the most beautiful natural treasures in our region is Alabama’s Buck’s Pocket State Park, which is known all over the South for extraordinary wildflower displays in the spring,” says Thrive’s Communications and Outreach Manager Ruthie Thompson. “But I had never visited the park until we began working on the map. A lot of people know about rafting the Hiwassee River, but how many people have gone in the morning at low water to splash around in the shallows on a hot August day?”

Almost all of the Bucket List items are accessible for the general public to experience via a short walk, scenic overlook or family picnic, but there are a small few, like the Walls of Jericho in Alabama, that are only for experienced and fit adventurers.  The Partnership has created an excellent story map called A Watershed Moment showing the location and story associated with each bucket list item.

National Park Fire Situation

As I write this, the western states are very dry, very hot and fire danger is high.  The National Park Service reports the following fire activity:
Yosemite: The thunderstorm activity over Yosemite National Park on Wednesday produced several hundred lightning strikes in the high country, starting numerous fires. Thunderstorms continue to be in the forecast for the remainder of the week which may produce more lightning and subsequently start more fires. At the moment all fires seem to be under control.
Spruce Lake FireCrater Lake: The Spruce Lake Fire (in pink to the right) was discovered on July 29 burning near the western boundary of Crater Lake National Park. Initial attack response included rapellers and additional resources working other fires in the area. Suppression efforts were hampered by persistent high temperatures, unstable atmospheric conditions and poor access. The fire has been displaying extreme behavior and made a significant run to the east, spotting up to a mile ahead of the main fire, deeper into the Park. The fire is now estimated to be 2425 acres with additional growth expected as record setting temperatures, low relative humidity and an unstable atmosphere persist.   The Pacific Crest Trail from the intersection of Lightning Springs Trail north to Red Cone Camp is closed. the Bald Crater Loop Trail, from intersection of Pacific Crest Trail to Bert Creek Trail is closed and Bert Creek Trail itself is closed.  The heavy gray lines on the map are trail closures in and around the fire.
Grand Teton: Teton Interagency fire managers announced that the fire danger rating is high for the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Grand Teton National Park, National Elk Refuge, and Teton Interagency Dispatch Area. The potential for fire activity has increased due to normal summer curing of vegetation combined with hot temperatures, and dry, windy afternoons.
Glacier: Extended hot and dry conditions have put Glacier National Park in Stage II fire restrictions. For campers, this means no campfires in any locations.

 

World’s Best Safari Outfitter

On SafariRothschild Safaris announced that it has received the No. 1 ranking on the Travel + Leisure 2017 World’s Best Awards list of Top Safari Outfitters. Rothschild Safaris has been honored by Travel + Leisure for four years, winning the coveted #1 spot for three of those years.  

“We are honored and humbled to receive the number one ranking among all the safari outfitters on the Travel + Leisure 2017 World’s Best list for a third year. Our team of Travel Designers have all either hailed from or spent extensive time in the regions we send our travelers so people really feel they have an insider’s perspective,” said Leora Rothschild, Founder and Owner of Rothschild Safaris.  “Nothing is more satisfying than knowing we have been instrumental in designing life changing journeys for our clients,” continued Rothschild. “This Travel + Leisure World’s Best Award is a true testament to our passion and absolute love for what we do!”

The results of the Travel + Leisure 2017 World’s Best Awards readers’ survey are featured on travelandleisure.com/worlds-best and in the August issue of the magazine

 

Acadia Trails Now Open

The National Park Service (NPS) reopened Precipice, Valley Cove, and Jordan cliffs and associated trails in Acadia National Park to public entry yesterday. The NPS closed these areas on March 17, 2017, to protect the peregrine falcons from inadvertent disturbance or harassment during the nesting period.

Peregrine FalconThe protection of the peregrine falcon nesting territories resulted in the fledging of five chicks this year – compared to 11 last year. Adult peregrine falcons at Precipice and Valley Cove cliffs successfully raised chicks that fledged about five weeks ago and are now independent of both the cliffs and their parents. Although the adults and juvenile falcons are expected to stay in the vicinity of these cliffs through early fall, they are not expected to be negatively affected by visitors.

Research has shown that nesting falcons are particularly vulnerable to human disturbance originating immediately above the nesting area or directed at the nest site. Continued disturbances can lead to chick mortality or complete nest failure, which slows the recovery of the species in Maine. The closure of cliffs and associated trails during the nesting season has proven to be successful with over 125 chicks fledging from cliffs in Acadia National Park over the last 20 years.

“The temporary closures have contributed to another successful breeding year for peregrine falcons in Acadia National Park, and we appreciate the cooperation of visitors in helping to make this possible,” said Superintendent Kevin Schneider. “We encourage visitors to enjoy the hiking trails that have reopened and be sure to keep safety in mind, especially on the Precipice Trail.”
 
 

Trips for Kids Going National

On Tuesday, Trips for Kids (TFK), a non-profit national organization that provides transformative cycling experiences for kids of all communities, announced the appointment of Robert Alan Ping as its executive director. Ping will be responsible for leading the implementation of the national strategic plan to enhance and expand the Trips for Kids National organization of independent community chapters.

Trips for KidsIn April of this year, the TFK board announced it was separating the founding TFK Marin, California chapter from national efforts with the formation of TFK national and was conducting a search for an executive director. Ping is the result of that search.  “Robert’s proven leadership and depth of experience, enthusiasm and commitment make him ideally suited to launch this next phase of the Trips for Kids National organizational development” said Chuck Lesem, Trips for Kids board president. “We are excited to work with Robert to help us achieve our vision of a world where every kid in every community has the opportunity to know the joy of riding a bike and the freedom to explore the natural world on two wheels.”

“I am thrilled to join the Trips for Kids team,” said Ping. “I remember the natural beauty and the feeling of freedom and accomplishment the first time I rode a mountain bike, and look forward to helping community leaders around the country to bring that life-changing experience to many more of America’s youth.”

Trips for Kids is supported by individual donations and corporate sponsors such as CST Tires, Giant Bicycles, Kali Protectives, Highway2, SRAM, Primal, Raleigh Bikes, ESI Grips, Bike Flights, Adventure Medical Kits and Park Tool. For more information on Trips for Kids’ programs and how to start a chapter go to www.tripsforkids.org.
 

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Video of the Week

This week’s video features The Walls of Jericho, in Alabama.  It’s one of the locations on the Thrive Bucket List discussed above.  Starting and ending at the trailhead in Alabama, the trail is about six miles long, round trip, starting with a steep descent into the canyon. Or, it’s seven miles from the trailhead in Alabama to the trailhead in Tennessee.  The hike is rated ‘strenuous’ for the 1,000 foot climb out of the canyon on the Alabama side.  Enjoy!


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