Outdoor News February 23, 2018 - Explore! Outdoor News February 23, 2018 - Explore!

Outdoor News February 23, 2018

No News Last Week?

NewspaperIt's not that there was no news last week, it's just that I was attending to a critical family matter and was unable to compile this newsletter. I apologize.

Drone Control

Drones are prohibited in National Parks in the U.S. as well as in South Africa.  A recent visitor to Kruger National Park in South Africa discovered a penalty – he was banned for life from the park. 

DroneSouth African National Parks (SANParks) warned individuals against flying of unmanned aerial vehicles (such as drones) either for game viewing, filming, photography or any other purposes during their visit to any of the National Parks, particularly the Kruger National Park (KNP). This practice is illegal as National Parks are legislated protected areas with restricted airspace, therefore a no-fly zone for all unauthorized aircraft systems.

“We have had two incidents reported by tourists in the KNP recently of people flying such aircraft illegally, getting out of vehicles on undesignated areas, interfering in sightings; disturbing and stalking animals; only to feign innocence upon questioning. We would like to inform such people and other drone users that, should they be found flying them in the Park at any time, they will be arrested on the spot and their equipment will be seized”, said KNP’s General Manager, Communications & Marketing, William Mabasa.

There are also restrictions in terms of the aerial filming rights and therefore an infringement of SANParks’ filming/photography policy. The NEMA Protected Areas Act states that “it is illegal to fly below 2,500 feet above the highest point of any national park, including the KNP, with any aircraft/drone without the express permission of the Management Authority of the particular National Park i.e. SANParks.

“These kinds of incidents can negatively impact on the wellbeing of animals as well as the experience of other visitors. We would like to specifically thank the guests, who reported one of the incidents to the nearest camp. We would also like to encourage all law abiding citizens to report such incidents ”, concluded Mabasa.

Confluence Summit

On Tuesday, Secretary of the N.C. Department of Commerce Anthony M. Copeland announced that the State of North Carolina will host the second-ever "Confluence Summit" for state-level outdoor recreation leaders in Asheville this July.  The Asheville Confluence Summit builds on a meeting in Denver this past January, where outdoor industry leaders from eight states gathered for the first time before the annual Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show to discuss shared public policy principles and identify ways their states could work together. 

North Carolina“North Carolina’s outdoor recreation industry supports 260,000 jobs and continues to grow,” said Secretary Copeland. “Hosting the Confluence Summit will give our state an opportunity to share ideas and learn from other states to help grow this industry and recruit more outdoor recreation businesses to the state.”

David Knight was appointed Director of the N.C. Outdoor Recreation Industry Office in January as North Carolina joined seven other states whose governors and legislatures have prioritized investment in outdoor recreation. 

“This is a watershed moment for the State of North Carolina,” said Knight. “It opens up new possibilities for collaboration with other states that, like North Carolina, believe the outdoors is a fundamental part of healthy, happy, economically vibrant communities.” 

North Carolina is the first state on the eastern seaboard to create an outdoor recreation sector lead, following the model states like Colorado have used to grow their own outdoor recreation based economies. There are currently eight states – Colorado, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming – with an office, director or task force dedicated to the well-being of the outdoor recreation industry and to greater public access to outdoor experiences.

REI Co-op, which works with state governments to advance policies that support the outdoors, is supporting the Asheville meeting with a travel grant to ensure delegations from each state are represented in person. 

During remarks at the Colorado Confluence, which REI supported, REI President and CEO Jerry Stritzke said, “These gatherings can be a model for the future. They look to bridge across local, state and federal government agencies, to create a sense of shared mission and responsibility. This work can be foundational for creating a next generation that loves and cares for the outdoors. It can be vital in shaping the future of your states and our country.” 

Meet the Mountains Festival

Johnson City, Tennessee, wants to enrich the region’s quality of life, health, and well-being by increasing awareness and use of the area's outdoor recreation resources.  Toward that end,  the community has created the Meet the Mountains Festival, scheduled for August 24-25, 2018.

Meet the Mountains FestivalThis free festival will serve as an annual coming together of Northeast Tennessee's outdoor recreation community. It serves as a one-stop shop to experience all of Northeast Tennessee's outdoor recreation opportunities. By increasing awareness of nearby natural assets and encouraging residents to live healthy lifestyles, the Meet the Mountains Committee hopes this festival increases opportunities for growth of the community's outdoor recreation economy. The Meet the Mountains Committee invites you to come be a part of making a positive impact in the region by participating in some or all of the activities bundled together for this event.

Events and demonstrations will include a competitive triathlon, discounted rafting trips, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, fishing, slack lining, disc golf, zip lining, bicycling, hiking, off road vehicles, equestrian activities, and much more.  The idea is to get attendees to try new outdoor activities.

You can find all the details at www.mtmfest.com/ and keep up to date at www.facebook.com/MeetTheMountainsFest/.

Recreation Northwest Expo

Recreation Northwest Expo

Kelty Built for Play

On Tuesday, Kelty, a provider of adventure gear and everyday outdoor products, launched its elevated brand strategy with Built for Play via a multi-platform digital and social campaign to encourage spontaneous outdoor adventure and increase direct fan engagement. Using playful humor, Built for Play encourages consumers to take a break from their daily routines and engage in everyday outdoor activities with a fun twist or epic adventures. Starting this month on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, the campaign features winter Built for Play outdoor activity themes and introduces a revamped modern logo design inspired by Kelty’s founder Dick Kelty and his spirit of fun and adventure.

Kelty Logo“Kelty has always been an ‘instigator’ to get people outdoors,” commented Eric Greene, senior vice president and general manager of Kelty. “Now, we are going to take instigating to the next level, incorporate humor and be bolder in our interaction with today’s consumer. We want to be thought of as the magnet that attracts the brash, the outspoken and the spirit of play. Built for Play will prod those we care about with ‘playful’ nudges to shake up their everyday routines to get outdoors.”

Fans can follow on Instagram and Facebook, as Kelty plays with caption contests, “What happens next” videos, gear giveaways and more. Summer-long “Outdoor Outtakes” photo contests will show the lighter side of life’s spontaneous events.

On April 27, 2018, Kelty invites followers to ditch work or school and go outside and play for Kelty Ditch Day, a nationwide initiative encouraging consumers to take life a little less seriously. Kelty will provide suggested itineraries and a list of creative excuses to help call out of work or school.

Zion Closes Cliffs

On Wednesday, Zion National Park announced that rock climbing routes on cliffs used by nesting Peregrine Falcons in the Park will be temporarily closed, beginning March 1, 2018. Closures are implemented due to the falcon’s sensitivity to disturbance during the nesting season. If disturbed, the nesting pair may abandon their nest site and not nest again until the following year. The closure date is based on analysis of data collected from 2001-2017 regarding the peregrines arrival time to their nesting cliffs in the park.

Angels Landing, Zion National ParkThe following cliffs will be closed to rock climbing beginning March 1, 2018: Angels Landing, Cable Mountain, The Great White Throne (beyond single and double-pitched climbs), Isaac (in Court of the Patriarchs), The Sentinel, Mountain of the Sun, North Twin Brother, Tunnel Wall, The East Temple, Mount Spry, The Streaked Wall, Mount Kinesava, and the Middle Fork of Taylor Creek. All other cliffs will remain open to climbing.

Park wildlife biologists will monitor the nesting activity of Peregrine Falcons throughout the 2018 breeding season. Cliffs that have been closed, but are not being used for nest sites this year, will be reopened when nest locations have been determined, typically by late April or early May. Those cliffs being used for nest sites this year will be monitored until the chicks fledge, usually in late July, and then will be reopened to climbing.

Zion National Park is home to a high concentration of breeding Peregrine Falcons each spring and summer. These birds of prey were listed as an “endangered species” in 1970 under the Endangered Species Act. Their decline was primarily due to the effects of DDT, an insecticide which caused the birds to produce thin-shelled eggs that were easily broken, killing the developing embryo inside. Thanks to the U.S. ban on DDT in 1972, as well as the success of captive breeding programs, peregrine populations have recovered across North America and the species was delisted in 1999. Zion National Park has been and continues to be an important sanctuary for peregrines and many other wildlife species.

For up-to-date information on the status and maps of the closed climbing cliffs, please check the Zion National Park website at www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/climbing.htm.
Climbers are responsible for checking the specific maps of the closed areas. The website will be continuously updated as cliffs are reopened.

Vandalism at Yellowstone

Sometime between 9 p.m. February 21 and 6 a.m. February 22, unknown individuals intentionally compromised the fences at Stephens Creek in Yellowstone National Park releasing approximately 73 of the 96 bison that were inside the pen.

Many, if not all, of the bison, remained in the immediate area. Most returned to the pen via the same illegal fence openings over the course of the morning. Park staff repaired the fence to re-secure the facility by mid-day.

BisonThe 96 bison captured this past week had not yet been processed or tested for brucellosis. Some would have been held for possible quarantine, while others would have been transferred to Native American tribes and shipped to slaughter.

The National Park Service has initiated a new criminal investigation into this incident.  The park is reviewing security measures at the facility and will make improvements immediately.

“This act of sabotage, along with the incident that occurred on January 16, is a setback for bison conservation,” said Superintendent Dan Wenk. “Creating a successful quarantine program will allow the transfer of live animals to tribes to develop conservation herds on tribal lands. The saboteurs are only ensuring more bison will be shipped to slaughter.”

Operations at the Stephens Creek facility are taken in support of the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP) goal to reduce the population this winter. Partners are aiming to cull 600-900 animals through a combination of shipping and the public and tribal hunt.

On January 4, 2018, the IBMP partners agreed to a 2018 winter operations plan that calls for a reduction of Yellowstone’s current population of 4,800 bison because the state of Montana has limited tolerance for natural bison migrations from the park onto state lands.

Bison capture and shipping operations may continue through March.

Information about the number of animals that are captured, processed, shipped, and hunted will be provided every other week in the Bison Operations Updates of the IBMP website.

Learn about the annual bison migration from senior bison biologist Rick Wallen in a Facebook Live interview.

Special Savings for Our Readers

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Video of the Week

If you don't mind the cold and can fit in a winter vacation, Yellowstone National Park is a unique place to visit.  This week's video provides a lot of information about the wildlife in the park along with some great views.

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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