Currents Archives - Appalachian Mountain Club

Currents

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative—widely considered one of the most powerful domestic tools against climate change in the absence of federal action—is poised to extend its geographical reach along the East Coast this year. RGGI (pronounced “Reggie”) is a regional cap-and-trade program aimed at cutting airborne pollution from power plants by setting a limit on…

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Studying the movement of birds is challenging work. They’re fast, small, and can travel thousands of miles per year. Tracking devices are too large for many migratory species to carry, and that technology is also limited by cost, battery life, and antenna range. But movement biologists say their field is about to be revolutionized, thanks…

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A proposed National Park Service (NPS) hike in entry fees could impact hundreds of thousands of visitors to two parks in AMC’s region: Acadia in Maine and Shenandoah in Virginia. The plan, aimed to reduce an $11 billion infrastructure backlog, would increase revenues by $70 million per year, according to NPS. But the sharp uptick…

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A major contradiction underlies New England’s recent conservation history. For the past quarter-century, the region, at once heavily forested and densely populated, has conserved land at a record pace. At the same time, the rate of residential and commercial development also has picked up. According to “Wildlands and Woodlands: Farmlands and Communities—Broadening the Vision for New England,” a report released by Harvard Forest in September 2017,…

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For millennia, birds have migrated lengthy distances, guided by the moon and stars. But as dark skies dwindle around the globe, scientists wonder how light pollution affects this natural phenomenon. One unlikely light source provided a unique research opportunity. For one night a year—September 11, in the midst of warblers’ and small passerines’ migration—two beams…

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Could a trail system be the key to aiding a region’s long-term economy while immediately benefiting its people by bringing them outdoors? It’s an idea that struck Benton MacKaye, the Appalachian Trail cofounder who envisioned a corridor of locally owned businesses dotting that path. More than 100 years later, it’s still an idea with legs—or…

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When Killington’s starting gate burst open for the 2016 Audi FIS Ski World Cup in November of last year, it marked New England’s first world-class ski race in a quarter-century. An estimated 30,000 spectators cheered on women in the slalom and giant slalom. The event was such a success that the Vermont ski resort, the…

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President Trump’s vow in June to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement triggered a slew of new CO2-fighting initiatives by states, cities, academic institutions, and corporations and also re-energized existing efforts. While climatologists welcome these localized actions in one of the world’s top two carbon-polluting nations, most say it will take…

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The fourth edition of the United States’ National Climate Assessment (NCA), a periodic report on the latest in climate science, currently awaits approval from the White House. In the meantime, the collaborative report between leading scientists and 13 federal agencies, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to the Department of Defense, was released for…

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In the near future, hikers working their way up the western side of Mount Washington could encounter a startling sight: a hotel straddling the Cog Railway tracks. The railway unveiled a preliminary plan in December to build a two-story, 25,000-square foot hotel on its 99-foot-wide strip of land above 5,000 feet and is currently working on a formal proposal to bring before New Hampshire’s Coos County planning board….

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