Fall 2019

Amid growing recognition that younger Americans will face human-made climate crises not of their creation, a Connecticut lawmaker says all children in her state should learn not only what climate change is but what they can do to address it. Rep. Christine Palm (D–Chester), a former journalist and high school teacher, sponsored a 2019 bill…

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One million animal and plant species are on the verge of extinction, according to a United Nations report released in May, and we humans bear much of the blame. Climate change, overfishing, pollution, and urban expansion are all threatening Earth’s biodiversity, and with it our own food security, health, and quality of life, according to…

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Only one in four hikers who start the Appalachian Trail will finish it, yet more report completing the iconic 2,190-mile trek today than ever. Who are these hardy hikers, and how do they do it? AT hiking completion data from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s 2,000-miler list provide a fascinating snapshot of who’s conquering America’s most…

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The Northeast abounds with ponds, rivers, and streams that beckon both aspiring and veteran fly-fishers alike. To get started, it’s important to know the four core components of a fly-fishing rig—rod, reel, line, and flies—and how they work together to match the conditions, and the fish, you expect to encounter. Rods Fly-fishing poles come in…

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Whether you’re taking a walk in your local park or you’re hiking in the mountains, nature can offer solace when things feel overwhelming. For those on the autism spectrum—almost 2 percent of American children, who struggle to communicate and are extra-sensitive to bright lights, loud noises, and new places and people—a nature path provides especially…

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A man stands at the edge of the campfire, illuminated by the orange glow of an ever-growing flame as it licks the rock ring surrounding it. I’m nervous for his safety. He has been drinking for some time now, and one wrong step could result in injury. But he maintains his balance, cupping his hands…

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I have given the river safety talk hundreds of times: that pre-launch speech a guide delivers to passengers before plunging into the water. There’s a certain tone you take, a combination of stern yet humorous, intended to make sure guests are prepared but not scared to death. Your audience is usually attentive, respectful, even a…

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First, it was #SaveLWCF. Now, it’s #FundLWCF. With the signing of the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Recreation, and Management Act on March 12, the U.S. Congress and President Trump permanently reauthorized the Land and Water Conservation Fund, or LWCF. The March bill did not, however, permanently fund LWCF—a program that is popular across the…

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This story was originally published in the Summer/Fall 2019 issue of Appalachia Journal. The fight broke out on a narrow ridge somewhere high above Davenport Gap, and I’m only slightly embarrassed to admit the first thought in my head was that this was the most beautiful location in which I’d witnessed hand-to-hand combat. Embarrassing, because…

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