Responsible Outdoor Recreation: Leave No Trace

By Stella J. Raasch What comes to mind when you think of the great outdoors? Initially, you may think of the classic John Candy movie, "The Great Outdoors." Next, your thoughts will likely gravitate toward notions of open space, fresh air, beautiful surroundings…and trash! Since the advent of COVID, flocks of people have migrated to … Continue reading Responsible Outdoor Recreation: Leave No Trace

The Incredible Shrinking Colorado River

Climate change and rising demand are sucking the life out of the Southwest’s water supply. Jonathon Thompson/High Country News One of the most visible signs of the state of the West’s water supply is the big bathtub ring around the sandstone rim of Lake Powell, the nation’s second-largest reservoir. Whenever the massive hydrological system that delivers … Continue reading The Incredible Shrinking Colorado River

A Century after the Appalachian Trail was proposed…

A century after the Appalachian Trail was proposed, millions hike it every year seeking ‘the breath of a real life’ McAfee Knob in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, one of the Appalachian Trail’s most scenic vistas. Ben Townsend/Flickr, CC BY Charles C. Chester, Brandeis University The Appalachian Trail, North America’s most famous hiking route, stretches over 2,189 … Continue reading A Century after the Appalachian Trail was proposed…

Facing Future Wildfires, a Community Fights for its Forest

Conflicting visions in central Idaho force tough decisions over logging and prescribed burning. Carl Segerstrom/High Country News Smoke blotted out the midday sun as firefighters rappelled from helicopters into the remote backcountry of the Salmon River Breaks in central Idaho. A small but swiftly growing string of blazes roared across the granitic walls of the river … Continue reading Facing Future Wildfires, a Community Fights for its Forest

How to Live with Fire

Wildfire needs new narratives. The podcast ‘Fireline’ is a start. Surya Milner/High Country News Flames cascaded down hills, engulfing old oak trees as firefighter Lily Jane Clarke watched, transfixed. She was standing in the thick of the August Complex, a giant 2020 wildfire that burned over a million acres of Northern California forestland. “It’s beautiful,” … Continue reading How to Live with Fire

Yellowstone is Losing its Snow

Yellowstone is losing its snow as the climate warms, and that means widespread problems for water and wildlife Snow melts near the Continental Divide in the Bridger Wilderness Area in Wyoming, part of the Greater Yellowstone Area. Bryan Shuman/University of Wyoming, CC BY-ND Bryan Shuman, University of Wyoming When you picture Yellowstone National Park and its … Continue reading Yellowstone is Losing its Snow

Trees are Dying of Thirst in the Western Drought

Trees are dying of thirst in the Western drought – here’s what’s going on inside their veins Juniper trees, common in Arizona’s Prescott National Forest, have been dying with the drought. Benjamin Roe/USDA Forest Service via AP Daniel Johnson, University of Georgia and Raquel Partelli Feltrin, University of British Columbia Like humans, trees need water to … Continue reading Trees are Dying of Thirst in the Western Drought