Currents Archives - Appalachian Mountain Club

Currents

Northeastern Pennsylvania is on its way to officially becoming a fracking-free zone. In November 2017, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) released draft regulations that included a basin-wide ban on the high-pressure injection of water and sediment into the ground to release natural gas for harvesting. A public comment period ended March 30, and DRBC…

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Update: A coalition of environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the Department of the Interior and Fish and Wildlife Service on May 24, 2018, challenging a December 2017 memo that reinterpreted the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This year marks the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). One of the nation’s oldest and most impactful…

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People have climbed 6,288-foot Mount Washington—New England’s highest peak and the centerpiece of the White Mountain National Forest—by foot, ski, bike, wheelchair, unicycle, pogo stick, car, bus, train, and just about every other mode of transport imaginable. Here’s a look at some of the all-time fastest ascents—and how they compare to the estimated hiking time…

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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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Update: In April, after considering 109,000 comments received from the public, the National Park Service announced it was abandoning its proposed fee hikes (highlighted below) and would instead increase fees by $5, effective June 1, 2018. A proposed National Park Service (NPS) hike in entry fees could impact hundreds of thousands of visitors to two…

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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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