Currents

Fat-tire bikes (or fat bikes, for short) really catch the eye. Their bulbous tires, upwards of 4 inches wide, seem to belong on a very different vehicle—a moon rover, perhaps, but definitely not an otherwise normal-looking mountain bike frame. Yet these bikes have exploded in popularity over the past few years, creating year-round, all-terrain riding…

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According to the New England Wild Flower Society (NEWFS), native plant species are disappearing at an alarming rate. In a report released this spring, researchers detail the trend—and what can be done to halt it. One easy measure is to make space for native plants in your own yard. Daniel Jaffe of NEWFS recommends starting…

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After 100 years, the National Park Service is taking stock. In preparation for its centennial, in 2016, the agency is preparing foundation documents for more than 400 properties. Each report serves as a mission statement for a given park—and a roadmap for its future management. The Delaware Water Gap, a 67,210-acre National Recreation Area spanning…

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AMC staff monitors energy development proposals throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic to assess impacts on conservation lands and other ecologically significant areas. Among the many projects currently under consideration are industrial-scale wind farms, power lines, and pipelines that would cut across the Appalachian Trail, fragment National Forests, and further develop critical areas like the Mid-Atlantic…

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In the two years following the 1998 publication of Bill Bryson’s best-selling book A Walk in the Woods, in which he recounted his comical, mostly ill-fated attempt to walk the Appalachian Trail (AT), the number of thru-hikers who embarked on the northbound route from Georgia to Maine spiked by 60 percent. Fifteen years later, effects…

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Walking has long been recognized as an inexpensive and accessible form of physical activity. A new study finds that walking can also improve mental health—and that walking with a group can enhance this impact. Study co-authors Katherine Irvine, Melissa Marselle, and Sara Warber wanted to quantify the effect of nature on health and mental well-being…

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