Currents

Alex Honnold recites every step like a carefully crafted dance, narrating his routine of small handholds and foot placements with meticulousness and grace. Taking a deep breath, he extends his left leg across a gap and, solidifying his grip, pulls himself through the Boulder Challenge, a particularly difficult pitch on his route up Yosemite’s El…

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What’s better than protecting not one Massachusetts forest, but two? Protecting them and the 20-mile corridor in between. That’s the case in central Massachusetts as of fall 2018, thanks to the Quabbin to Wachusett (Q2W) Forest Legacy Initiative, which conserves the crucial greenway between Quabbin Reservoir and Wachusett Mountain. Situated in close proximity to 7…

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A new state law mandates that New Jersey will get 50 percent of its power from clean energy by 2030. Such an ambitious target surpasses even some current leaders, including Massachusetts (nudge, nudge) and Hawaii. We surveyed how several states stack up against New Jersey clean energy goals. A little competition never hurt anyone, right? …

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With its velvety green mountains and destination ski slopes, Vermont already knows how to attract tourists. Now Green Mountain State officials are taking things one step further, creating a unique program to encourage those visitors to permanently move to Vermont. Through the Remote Worker Grant Program, signed into law by Governor Phil Scott in 2018,…

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  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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