Currents Archives - Appalachian Mountain Club

Currents

  Picture your most beloved piece of gear, the loyal companion that has accompanied you on your greatest adventures. Now imagine that, no matter the wear and tear, your pack or bivy doesn’t have to end up in a landfill. Instead, it could be stitched up and repaired, accompanying you or someone else on future exploits. …

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As electric bicycles, or e-bikes, have grown in popularity, they’ve encountered pushback from a group that might surprise some: mountain biking enthusiasts. The potential for conflict arises, in part, from e-bikes’ impact on trails but also from mountain bikers’ concerns that their own diligence as good backcountry citizens could be undone by association.  E-bike advocates,…

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Poor Mount Monroe. Despite its stature as the fifth-highest mountain in New Hampshire, it doesn’t crack Instagram’s top 10 of the most-hashtagged 4,000-footers in the state. To conduct our pseudo-scientific popularity poll, we used the same convention for all 48 peaks: “mt” or “mtn” before or after the name, as listed in AMC’s White Mountain…

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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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