Wednesday, December 26, 2018

U.S. Forest Service reflects on past year’s progress

In the past fiscal year, the USDA Forest Service responded to natural disasters and battled through one of the most destructive fire seasons on record. Throughout these challenges, the Forest Service also actively treated forests to improve conditions, increase timber production, and enhance rural prosperity—all while putting customer service first.

“With the commitment and strength of our employees and partners the Forest Service continued to improve conditions across the forested landscapes this last year,” said USDA Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen. “This included active management, and increasing services and production to create jobs and support economies for rural America. We also focused on being good neighbors in communities and states, and consistently offering exceptional service and experiences for all uses of public lands. At the same time, we moved forward in in our commitment to transforming the culture to create a workplace that helps all employees do their part to deliver our mission to the American people.”

Improving Forests

In the past year, the Forest Service treated more than 3.5 million acres reducing hazardous fuels and improving forest health through prescribed fire and timber sales; the latter totaling 3.2 billion board feet. The Forest Service treated an additional 2.5 million acres improving watershed conditions, ecosystems, and infrastructure, as well as providing clean water for millions of Americans.

The agency increased use of 2014 Farm Bill authorities, including 166 Good Neighbor agreements and stewardship contracts. Together, these efforts strengthened collaborative work with states and partners, improved forest conditions, protected communities, and supported as many as 370,000 jobs.

Shared Stewardship

The Forest Service prioritized working with customers, partners, and communities to achieve shared goals. In August, Secretary Perdue publicly unveiled the USDA Forest Service report on Shared Stewardship—a new approach to active forest management. This approach will help reshape the agency’s work as good neighbors and will build stronger relationships with states, partners, tribes, and communities to improve forest conditions. The Western Governors Association embraced USDA’s commitment and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Secretary Perdue. The MOU commits the USFS and WGA to a more integrated approach to prioritizing investments where they will have the greatest impact and will work together to set priorities that address risk across broad landscapes.

Another component of shared stewardship is developing the next generation of land stewards to manage and protect national forests. Over the past several years, the Forest Service worked on outreach and education for young people through programs such as Every Kid in a Park. This program leveraged nearly $7 million in private and nonprofit contributions to get fourth-graders into the great outdoors this year.

Fire Funding Fix

Last March, Congress passed historic legislation that significantly reduces the need to transfer funds from much needed management work to pay for firefighting costs, which exceeded $2 billion this year. This new law expanded authorities that the Forest Service can use to improve forest conditions and reduce wildfire risk. When the new funding fix takes effect in Fiscal Year 2020, the Forest Service budget will become more stable, freeing up funds to help accomplish critical on-the-ground work to increase forest health and resilience, as well as protect lives, communities and resources.

Improving Customer Service

The Forest Service took definitive steps to improve customer experience by modernizing our systems and employing new technology. The special use permit process was expedited, reducing the permit backlog by half. The Forest Service removed unnecessary barriers to minerals development and energy production, helping to promote energy independence, create jobs, and support rural economies. Access was also expanded through investments in infrastructure, facilities, and rural broadband.

As well, the agency made improvements to recreation opportunities, including protecting and improving access for hunting, fishing, hiking, motorized recreation, and more. The Forest Service developed fee offset projects to promote campground concessionaire facility improvements and worked with six other agencies to develop a one-stop reservation and trip-planning website to be launched in 2019.

Transforming the Culture

The Forest Service moved to permanently transform its work environment to ensure everyone is respected and included by implementing a new Code of Conduct that includes zero-tolerance for harassment, retaliation, and misconduct. Agency leadership also created a new performance requirement on work environment that has raised accountability for all supervisors, and established a new anti-harassment call center.

“We started by implementing a 30-day “Standing Up for Each Other” action strategy that requires every employee to be held accountable to the new code of conduct,” said Christiansen. “We are changing policies to further prevent harassment and retaliation, and we’re building skills within the workforce so employees prevent, recognize and intervene in inappropriate conduct and retaliation.”

Regulatory Reform

The Forest Service revised policies and streamlined processes to create efficiencies in environmental analysis, forest products delivery, energy development, and wildland fire management. Improvements in environmental analysis and decision making cut costs by $30 million, and reduced analysis time by 10 percent. The Forest Service worked with sister agencies to update policies and processes for more efficient application and implementation of mineral extraction and energy production projects. The agency also reformed wildland fire systems to better allocate resources based on risk and lower costs while continuing to protect lives, property, and resources

For more information about the U.S. Forest Service visit http://www.fs.fed.us/.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Rocky Mountain National Park During the Government Shutdown

Rocky Mountain National Park will be accessible to the public during the lapse in federal appropriations. However, Rocky Mountain National Park staff will be unable to fully staff park properties. Park visitors are advised to use extreme caution if choosing to enter the park, as park personnel will not be available to provide guidance or assistance. Emergency services will be limited. Any entry to the park during this period of federal government shutdown is at the visitor’s sole risk. All rules and regulations still apply.

No visitor services will be provided. Services that require staffing and maintenance, such as entrance stations, the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, the Kawuneeche Visitor Center, Moraine Park Campground, and some restroom facilities will not be operating. Roads that are already open will remain open, weather and road conditions permitting. Park staff will not issue permits, conduct educational programs, collect trash, maintain restrooms, maintain roads or walkways in the event of snow or ice, or provide visitor information.

Roads or areas in Rocky Mountain National Park may be closed during the government shutdown if conditions warrant. If that does occur, we will be unable to update that information on the park's website or through social media.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Thursday, December 20, 2018

15 more Colorado State Parks to Join Reservation-Only Camping in January

Starting in 2019, it will be easier than ever for campers to reserve a campsite at 20 of Colorado’s state parks. Effective Jan. 1, 15 state parks will convert to a "reservation-only" system after it was tested successfully by five parks in 2018. Under the new system, campers can reserve a site, 24/7, anywhere from six months in advance up until the day of their arrival. It will be as easy as logging into cpwshop.com from your computer or smartphone, or by calling 800-244-5613.

Park managers in the pilot program reported success with eliminating the three-day reservation window and switching to a system where campers reserved their own spots via phone or online the day they plan to arrive at the park or up to six months in advance.

The ability to reserve a site on the same day eliminates the need for campers to gamble on a first-come, first-served spot, only to arrive at the park and find that there aren’t any spots available.

What if someone occupies a site they haven't reserved?
Campers who occupy a reservation-only campsite without a reservation will be subject to a citation. All campers must reserve a campsite prior to occupying the site. This can be done 24/7 at cpwshop.com or by calling 1-800-244-5613.

Also beginning Jan. 1, CPW is eliminating its $10 reservation-only camping fee when calling or using the website to reserve a site. It’s never been easier to book a campsite at a Colorado state park!

Please note: Cellular coverage at some state parks (like Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area, State Forest and Highline) can range from spotty to non-existent. CPW is advising those interested in camping at these parks to make their reservations online or by phone before arrival.

State parks currently participating in this program are:
Cheyenne Mountain
Eleven Mile
Staunton
St. Vrain
Trinidad Lake

State parks joining the program on January 1, 2019 are:
Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area
Boyd Lake
Cherry Creek
Golden Gate Canyon
Highline Lake
Jackson Lake
John Martin Reservoir
Lathrop
Mueller
North Sterling
Pearl Lake
Ridgway
State Forest
Steamboat Lake
Yampa River

State parks joining the program on April 1, 2019:
Lake Pueblo
Chatfield



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Backcountry Camping Fees Increase At Rocky Mountain National Park

Effective for the 2019 summer season, the cost of obtaining a permit for backcountry camping in Rocky Mountain National Park will increase from $26 to $30 per trip. This administrative permit fee, established in 1995, was last increased to $26 in 2015.

Permits for backcountry camping are an integral part of a program that rations and distributes use throughout the park’s backcountry. Permits are intended to help provide a quality experience, minimize impacts to resources, and ensure that sites are available for those who plan ahead and reserve a permit in advance. While an overnight permit is required for backcountry camping year-round, the fee for obtaining the permit only applies for camping that occurs during the months of May through October when demand typically exceeds availability in many areas of the park’s backcountry. The four dollar increase for the non-refundable permit becomes effective March 1, 2019.

Different from an entrance fee or fee for camping in a developed campground, the backcountry permit is based on cost recovery and all funds are applied directly to the costs of administering the program.

According to Superintendent Darla Sidles, “Rocky Mountain National Park retains one hundred percent of the administrative fees charged for backcountry camping permits. In addition to providing the opportunity to reserve and secure campsites in advance, funds recovered through the permit fee allow for staff to provide trip planning advice and information for a safe and enjoyable trip into the wilderness. Requirements for food storage necessary to protect bears and other wildlife, mountain weather, hazards, and Leave No Trace ethics are among the information received during the permitting process.“

For further information about Rocky Mountain National Park please visit www.nps.gov/romo or call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Colorado Parks and Wildlife Hikes Fees / Offers new annual pass option for state park visitors

Colorado Parks and Wildlife will modify its state parks entrance fees beginning Jan. 1, 2019 as a result of the passage of Senate Bill 18-143 in May. This is the first increase to park entry fees since 2010. Based on visitor feedback, CPW will also begin offering a hangtag park pass option that will be tied to an individual instead of a vehicle, allowing an individual to use the hangtag when he or she is present in any vehicle of their choice.

The revised fee structure approved by the Parks and Wildlife Commission allows the agency to address increased operating costs, provide adequate staffing, and fulfill property maintenance needs to continue providing quality programs and services while managing an increasing number of park users. Ten key goals have been identified for the agency as a result of this increased funding.

“The additional fees will serve to enhance all aspects of the visitor experience in Colorado’s 41 state parks,” said Margaret Taylor, CPW assistant director for capital, parks and trails. “We are committed to providing a fun, safe and rewarding experience for every visitor. Through funding larger capital projects to smaller on-the-ground programs, these dollars help us better serve both the public and our resources.”

Effective Jan. 1, 2019, the park entrance fee schedule will adjust to the following:

•Daily Vehicle Pass $8 - $9

◦At Cherry Creek, Chatfield, and Boyd Lake State Recreation Areas, and Eldorado Canyon State Parks each daily vehicle pass is $9

•Individual Daily Pass $4

◦Applies for any person entering Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area , Barr Lake, Crawford, Colorado State Forest State Park, Eldorado Canyon, Elkhead Reservoir, Harvey Gap, Highline Lake, James M. Robb - Colorado River, Lory, Pearl Lake, Rifle Gap, Rifle Falls, Stagecoach, Steamboat Lake, Sweitzer Lake, Sylvan Lake, Trinidad Lake, Vega and Yampa River State Parks, except those entering the park in a motor vehicle with a valid annual parks pass or state parks annual hang tag pass.

•Annual Affixed Vehicle Pass $80

•Annual Affixed Multiple Vehicle Pass $40 per vehicle

•Annual Affixed Vehicle Replacement Pass $5

•Aspen Leaf Annual Pass (ages 64+) $70

•Aspen Leaf Annual Multiple Pass (ages 64+) $35 per vehicle

•State Parks Annual Hang Tag Pass $120

         ◦State parks annual hang tag passes are issued to individuals, not vehicles. Only one vehicle at a time can use an annual hang tag pass.

•State Parks Annual Hang Tag Replacement Pass $60

•Dog Off-leash Daily Pass $3

•Dog Off-leash Annual Pass $25

The price of the annual Columbine Annual Pass and Centennial Annual Pass will remain $14 per pass, and commercial daily pass costs also remain unchanged in 2019.

“We’re very happy that in 2019 we can address the request from our visitors for a hangtag pass. This is a great option for multi-car families or those who use different vehicles for different activities,” said Taylor. “We’ve also added 13 parks to our Individual Daily Pass, or ‘walk-in’ pass, program to help us engage more of our visitors into funding and conservation efforts.”

All annual passes, including the hangtag pass, will now include a separate product panel that qualifies as an individual daily pass for parks listed above. Park visitors purchasing the hangtag pass online or with external sales agents will receive their printed pass, and will be able to pick up the hangtag on their first visit to any state park.

"Individual daily passes are a great option for a visitor who may be entering one of our recreation sites without the use of a motorized vehicle," explained Rob White, park manager at Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA). "For half the cost of a daily park pass for vehicles, people that bike, hike, horseback ride or boat into one of our sites can use our facilities, meet friends for a picnic, and enjoy the river and the spectacular scenery found within the AHRA. Annual pass holders will also benefit from the additional product panel now printed as part of their annual pass. This panel will serve as their individual daily pass allowing someone to quickly show proof of a required park pass when needed."

State parks in Colorado have experienced record-breaking visitation, with nearly 15 million visitors last year. Since 2010, state parks have not received funding from state general tax dollars except occasional small amounts (less than one percent of the budget) for special projects, meaning CPW relies on park fees to make needed improvements, hire staff and begin planning for Colorado’s next state park.

For more information on planning your next visit to one of Colorado’s 41 state parks, visit cpw.state.co.us.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Monday, December 17, 2018

Who Conceived The Concept of "National Parks"?

Though it's a well-known fact that Yellowstone was set aside as the world's first national park in 1872, who conceived the idea that tracts of land should be set aside for the general public? Yellowstone's establishment as a national park can be traced back to President Abraham Lincoln when he signed a bill granting the Yosemite Valley and the “Mariposa Big Tree Grove” to the state of California, “upon the express conditions that the premises shall be held for public use, resort, and recreation” in perpetuity. Although this legislation was a precursor to the concept of national parks, the Yosemite Grant Act of 1864 wasn't a new idea. Henry David Thoreau made calls for the preservation of wilderness at least a decade earlier. In his essay, Walking, he made a plea for preserving the West before it would inevitably be exploited and despoiled by human migration, asserting that “The West of which I speak is but another name for the Wild; and what I have been preparing to say is, that in Wildness is the preservation of the world.” In The Maine Woods he called for the establishment of national preserves, asking, “Why should not we…..have our national preserves…..not for idle sport or food, but for inspiration and our own true re-creation?"

However, even Thoreau's call for a national preserve wasn't an original idea. The joint publication of Lyrical Ballads by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1798 is widely recognized as the birth of Romanticism in English literature. In addition to being close friends, both poets held nature in high regard, and both enjoyed exploring the Lake District, a mountainous region in northwestern England. During his early adult years Wordsworth in particular spent many of his holiday vacations on walking tours, several of which included extended tours of the Lake District. In 1810 he published A Guide through the District of the Lakes, which likely contains the world’s first written call for a national park. In the conclusion of the book Wordsworth argued that the Lake District should be considered “a sort of national property, in which every man has a right and interest who has an eye to perceive and a heart to enjoy.”

If you would like to learn more about how preservationists impacted the sport of hiking, my new book explains the crucial roles played by Wordsworth, Thoreau, Muir, Roosevelt and others. Ramble On: A History of Hiking is now available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1725036266/



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Celebrate 2019 with First Day Hikes in Colorado State Parks

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is pleased to welcome a new year by once again participating in First Day Hikes. Over 30 events are scheduled in state parks across Colorado on New Year’s Day as part of America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative. CPW invites you to ring in 2019 by spending your day outside at a Colorado state park.

“Since 2012, state parks across Colorado and the nation have offered hikes on January 1st to encourage individuals and families to begin the New Year with a rejuvenating and healthy hike at their local state park,” says Crystal Dreiling, Trinidad Lake State Park Manager. “Led by park staff or volunteers, First Day Hikes encourage outdoor exploration and enjoyment as a healthy lifestyle choice, while at the same time remind the public that outdoor recreation can be enjoyed year-round!"

Coloradans can find a nearby First Day Hike by visiting the Colorado Parks and Wildlife First Day Hikes web page, or by locating an event on the stateparks.org website. First Day Hikes was created to offer everyone an opportunity to begin the new year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors at a state park close to home.

After joining the national program in 2012, each new year has seen growth in the number of Colorado state parks participating in the program. This year, visitors can look forward to enjoying hikes and walks at more than 25 participating state parks. Visitors participating in First Day Hikes will be able to start the year off on the right foot by spending the day in some of Colorado’s most spectacular nature.

Hikers can expect to enjoy winter landscapes with striking views, and in some parks, benefit from the company of a knowledgeable state park guide. Hikes will range from fun walks to more challenging 6-mile hikes throughout the park, and even an 11-mile hike if you are feeling up to the challenge. Many parks will also be providing light refreshments to warm up after your winter adventure. All hikes are free of charge, but visitors must possess a valid annual or daily parks pass to participate.

In 2018, nearly 55,000 people rang in the New Year with First Day Hikes, collectively hiking over 133,000 miles throughout the country on the guided hikes. Many others hiked state park trails throughout the day, taking advantage of the resources America’s state parks have to offer.

This year, begin your New Year by creating a connection to nature in a Colorado state park. Spending time outdoors is good for the body and mind, and has the ability to lift moods and leave us feeling more creative. With a variety of hikes in ability level and length, First Day Hikes are the perfect activity to begin your year on the right note. Remember to dress for the winter weather with lots of layers, and to bring water and snacks for the journey!

Whether planning to participate in a First Day Hike, reserving a spring campsite or scheduling hunter education courses, you can start your 2019 outdoor adventures by visiting cpw.state.co.us.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Friday, December 14, 2018

Recent Search Activities For Micah Tice

Beginning Friday morning, December 7, through Sunday, December 9 search activities for Micah Tice were focused from the Granite Pass area to the northern lower slopes of Longs Peak, including the Wind River and Boulder Brook drainages. On Monday, December 10, due to conducive weather conditions at high elevations on Longs Peak, teams focused their efforts on the Keyhole Route to the summit of Longs Peak as well as the Chasm Lake area, Clark’s Arrow and the Loft. On Tuesday, December 11, searchers again focused efforts in the Wind River drainage.

Searchers continue to experience chest deep snow, thick snow covered forests, and vast areas of dead and down trees, especially in drainages away from snow packed trails. At higher elevations, winds scour the landscape leaving it bare or depositing deep drifted snow. These conditions have existed since the first day of search operations and can cover or erase clues.

On December 4, search managers announced that overall search operations had been suspended and that search activities may occur during winter months if conditions allow. Friday through Tuesday’s search efforts were part of these search activities.

On Monday afternoon, November 26, park rangers were notified that the Air Force Academy was asking for assistance in locating Cadet Candidate Micah Tice, 20, of Las Vegas, Nevada. His vehicle was subsequently located at the Longs Peak Trailhead at approximately 3:30 p.m. on November 26. At sunrise, Tuesday, November 27, active search efforts began in the Longs Peak area of Rocky Mountain National Park for Tice.

Tice was last seen on Saturday, November 24, by other park visitors between 7:30 and 8 a.m. in the Battle Mountain Area. The visitors indicated the weather was terrible at the Longs Peak Trailhead and that visibility and weather conditions continued to worsen. Tice was reported to be wearing a black sweatshirt, black sweatpants, a black hat, black lightweight gloves, tennis shoes and a light blue backpack. The visitors discouraged Tice to continue to the summit due to his clothing, footwear and weather conditions. Micah had apparently not communicated his plans to anyone.

Over a seven day intensive search period, ground and aerial searchers covered an approximate 10 square mile search area. These efforts were focused on sections of the Longs Peak Trail, the East Longs Peak Trail, the Battle Mountain area, Granite Pass, Jim’s Grove, the Boulder Field, Mount Lady Washington, Chasm Lake, Peacock Pool, the Boulder Brook drainage, the Storm Pass Trail, and the Wind River drainage. On Sunday, December 2, the first day conditions were conducive to flying this area, search managers assigned aerial searchers from the Colorado Air National Guard to perform reconnaissance of the entire Keyhole Route to the summit of Longs Peak. They had tried previously on November 27, but were curtailed due to wind gusts over 90 mph on Longs Peak.

Few clues have been discovered during search efforts. Depending on the search area and day, team members have encountered harsh winter conditions including extreme winds, low visibility, bitter wind chills, below freezing temperatures, deep snow and high avalanche danger.

The park has worked closely with the US Air Force Academy since the beginning of this incident, coordinating investigative and operational assistance, and incorporating a team from the Air Force Academy Mountaineering Club in search efforts. The Air Force Academy Colorado Parents’ Club coordinated efforts from numerous organizations and individuals to donate daily meals for searchers.

Also assisting Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue team members has been Larimer County Search and Rescue, Rocky Mountain Rescue based in Boulder County, Colorado Air National Guard, Alpine Rescue Team, Diamond Peaks Ski Patrol, Colorado Avalanche Information Center, Grand County Search and Rescue, Douglas County Search and Rescue, Colorado Search and Rescue Board, Summit County Rescue Group Dog Team, Front Range Rescue Dogs, and FLIR Systems Inc. who volunteered their services to conduct thermal imaging of the search area.

Micah Tice is still a missing person and our investigation will continue in hopes of gaining further information as to his plans on the day of his disappearance. Park rangers would like to hear from anyone who may have had contact with Micah Tice or have information on his planned route. Please call (970) 586-1204.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Who Established The World's First Hiking Club?

Most writers and historians have credited the Alpine Club of London as being the first mountaineering or “walking club” in the world, and the Alpine Club of Williamstown as being the first hiking club in America. The Alpine Club of London was formed in 1857, during the "Golden Age of Alpinism", for accomplished mountaineers who had successfully climbed a mountain higher than 13,000 feet. Six years later the Alpine Club of Williamstown was founded by Professor Albert Hopkins of Williams College in Massachusetts. Although not widely known, or even properly recognized, the Exploring Circle preceded both of those clubs by several years. The Exploring Circle was founded by Cyrus M. Tracey and three other men from Lynn, Massachusetts in 1850 in order to advance their knowledge of the natural sciences. Although it continued as a very small club, it remained active for more than 30 years. If you would like to learn more about the formation and the significant contributions of these clubs, and many other hiking clubs that formed between the Civil War and World War I, you can read about them in my new book, Ramble On: A History of Hiking, now available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1725036266/



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Appalachian Mountain Club Reviews "Ramble On: A History of Hiking"

Earlier this week the Appalachian Mountain Club published a review of my new book, Ramble On: A History of Hiking. I want to sincerely thank Priscilla Estes for publishing a glowing and gracious review of the book in the latest edition of Appalachian Footnotes, the quarterly magazine of the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club.

Ms. Estes concluded her fairly extensive review by stating: "Doran’s book is a treasure: a well-written, entertaining, knowledgeable, and exactingly researched book on the roots of hiking and hiking clubs, the history of trail-making, the evolution of hiking gear and clothing, and the future of hiking on overcrowded trails. Doran weaves the social, cultural, industrial, and political milieu into this fascinating history. Amusing, astonishing, and sometimes alarming anecdotes, along with photos, footnotes, and an extensive bibliography, make this a fascinating and significant account of the history of hiking."

To read the entire review (on page 6), please click here.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Who Made The First Hike in Recorded History?

Undoubtedly there are scores of unknown people throughout the ages that have walked for pleasure or sport. Although the record is sparse, there are a few examples of individuals who took to the woods and mountains prior to the modern era. In all likelihood, the oldest recorded hike for pleasure was taken during the second century when the Roman Emperor, Hadrian, ascended Mount Etna on the island of Sicily for the simple pleasure of seeing the sunrise from its summit. Hadrian ruled the Roman Empire from 117 to 138 CE, and was considered to be one of the “Five Good Emperors.” During his reign Hadrian travelled to nearly every corner of his sprawling empire. During a return trip from Greece in 125 Hadrian made an apparent impromptu detour to Sicily to make his ascent of the 10,922-foot mountain, which is still among the most active volcanoes in the world.

It would be several centuries before another hike for pleasure was recorded in the annals of history. One reason for this extended gap is that people simply didn't have a need to record their simple acts of walking. More importantly, however, mountains were seen as dangerous and mysterious by most Western cultures prior to the fifteenth-century. People from the Middle Ages widely regarded mountains with fear, awe and disgust. Some men even swore affidavits before magistrates that they saw dragons in the mountains. It wasn't until the Renaissance era that fear of mountains began to slowly subside, and men began venturing into the highlands. If you would like to learn more about the early years of hiking, as well as many other stories associated with the history of hiking as it progressed to become one of the world's most popular activities, you can read them in my new book, Ramble On: A History of Hiking, now available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1725036266/



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Monday, December 10, 2018

Something To Remember: N.E.A.R

You've probably heard dozens of times the old adage that you should remain in place if you were ever to become lost or injured in the wilderness. But does this advice makes sense in every situation? Last week I was watching SOS: How to Survive on the Weather Channel. The host, Creek Stewart, introduced a "test" to determine whether you should remain in place, or take steps to self-evacuate. The "test" asks three simple questions. The answer to these questions could save your life one day:





Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Saturday, December 8, 2018

What Was The Firefall Tradition in Yosemite?

In 1871 James McCauley began construction on the Four Mile Trail, a precipitous footpath that still carries hikers from the Yosemite Valley floor to Glacier Point, while gaining more than 3200 feet along the way. McCauley, who was closely associated with the Mountain House, a hotel built atop Glacier Point in 1873, is most famous for initiating the “firefall” tradition, which lasted almost one hundred years. Although there’s some dispute as to why, when and who originated the firefall, McCauley is generally recognized as being the first person to shove fire over the cliff at Glacier Point, likely in 1871 or 1872. During the first several decades the ritual was conducted on an irregular basis, but by the 1920s it had become a nightly feature during the summer months. According to the June 1934 edition of Yosemite Nature Notes, workers gathered red fir bark from fallen trees during the day, sometimes accumulating as much as a quarter of a cord of wood. Around 7:00 p.m. a bonfire was lit, and then at roughly 9:00 p.m., after the pile had been reduced to a mound of red hot coals, the fire tender would slowly shove the glowing embers over the side of the cliff, thus giving the appearance to everyone in the valley below that a solid stream of fire was falling from the precipice. My new book, Ramble On: A History of Hiking, chronicles some of the other pyro rituals surrounding the "firefall" tradition, as well as the ironic fate of the Mountain House. And yes, the 1970s soft-rock band is named after the ritual. Ramble On is now available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1725036266/



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Mesa Verde National Park 2018 Holiday Open House is December 13

After a summer of dry, hot weather; fires; and smoke-filled skies, we would like to help make new memories at Mesa Verde National Park with our neighbors, our friends, and our local communities. Please join Mesa Verde staff in celebrating our annual Holiday Open House and Luminaria event on Thursday, December 13, 2018 from 5:00 pm until 9:00 pm. Attendance to the Holiday Open House is free.

Due to popularity and large crowds, past events posed many challenges; so this year, we are trying something new, and we ask for your help and understanding to make this a successful and memorable night.

This year’s event will feature refreshments at the Far View Terrace and night sky viewing at the Far View Center balcony, weather depending. After spending time in this area, visitors are encouraged to drive the Mesa Top Loop road to view minimally-lit Mesa Top Loop sites and select visible cliff dwellings. Pathways and parking areas will be illuminated by farolitos, but flashlights and/or headlamps are encouraged. The headquarters area, including the Chapin Mesa Museum and Spruce Tree House, will not be lit this year.

Parking is limited along the Mesa Top Loop road. In order for everyone to enjoy the night’s event, please limit your stay at any one location, so others may enjoy the sights. We also request no tripods, as many of the overlooks are small and cannot safely accommodate large numbers of people or equipment at any one time.

Please dress warmly and bring flashlights and/or headlamps and your good cheer! This will be a night to enjoy with family and an opportunity to make new memories of these ancient Pueblo villages and homes.

No park entrance fee will be charged after 5:00 pm on Thursday, December 13, 2018. The Far View Terrace and Far View Center are located 15 miles into the park and the Mesa Top Loop is located 20 miles into the park. All event activities, including those on the Mesa Top Loop, will conclude at 9:00 pm.

A generous thank you to our park partners, Aramark and the Mesa Verde Museum Association, for providing the night’s treats and helping to make the 2018 Holiday Open House a night to remember!



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
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TetonHikingTrails.com
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Search Efforts For Micah Tice Suspended

On Tuesday, November 27, 2018, active search efforts began in the Longs Peak area of Rocky Mountain National Park for Air Force Academy Cadet Candidate Micah Tice, 20, of Las Vegas, Nevada. On Monday afternoon, November 26, park rangers were notified that the Air Force Academy was asking for assistance in locating Tice. His vehicle was subsequently located at the Longs Peak Trailhead at approximately 3:30 p.m. on November 26.

Tice was last seen on Saturday, November 24, by other park visitors between 7:30 and 8 a.m. in the Battle Mountain Area. The visitors indicated the weather was terrible at the Longs Peak Trailhead and that visibility and weather conditions continued to worsen. Tice was reported to be wearing a black sweatshirt, black sweatpants, a black hat, black lightweight gloves, tennis shoes and a light blue backpack. The visitors discouraged Tice to continue to the summit due to his clothing, footwear and weather conditions.

Over a seven day period, ground and aerial searchers have covered an approximate 10 square mile search area. These efforts have been focused on sections of the Longs Peak Trail, the East Longs Peak Trail, the Battle Mountain area, Granite Pass, Jim’s Grove, the Boulder Field, Mount Lady Washington, Chasm Lake, Peacock Pool, Boulder Brook Drainage, the Storm Pass Trail, and the Wind River drainage. Ground search teams reached The Ledges section of the Keyhole Route on Tuesday, November 27, and did not proceed further due to hazardous icy conditions on the upper mountain. On Sunday, December 2, the first day conditions were conducive to flying this area, search managers assigned aerial searchers to perform reconnaissance of the entire Keyhole Route to the summit of Longs Peak.

Very few clues have been discovered during search efforts. Depending on the search area and day, team members have encountered harsh winter conditions including extreme winds, low visibility, bitter wind chills, below freezing temperatures, deep snow and high avalanche danger.

The park has worked closely with the US Air Force Academy since the beginning of this incident, coordinating investigative and operational assistance, and incorporating a team from the Air Force Academy Mountaineering Club in search efforts. The Air Force Academy Colorado Parents’ Club has coordinated efforts from numerous organizations and individuals to donate daily meals for searchers.

Also assisting Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue team members has been Larimer County Search and Rescue, Rocky Mountain Rescue based in Boulder County, Colorado Air National Guard, Alpine Rescue Team, Diamond Peaks Ski Patrol, Colorado Avalanche Information Center, Grand County Search and Rescue, Douglas County Search and Rescue, Colorado Search and Rescue Board, Summit County Rescue Group Dog Team, Front Range Rescue Dogs, and FLIR Systems Inc. who volunteered their services to conduct thermal imaging of the search area.

Snowfall and high winds in this extreme high mountain terrain make finding clues to Tice’s whereabouts even more difficult. Tice was reportedly wearing black clothing. In the absence of additional clues, active search operations have been suspended. Limited search activities may occur during winter months if conditions allow.

Micah Tice is still a missing person and our investigation will continue in hopes of gaining further information as to his plans on the day of his disappearance. Park rangers would like to hear from anyone who may have had contact with Micah Tice or have information on his planned route. Please call (970) 586-1204.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
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Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Why Were Locomotive Bells Placed Atop Mountain Passes in Glacier National Park?

Did you know that locomotive bells were once placed atop four mountain passes in Glacier National Park? Why were they placed there, who pushed the idea, and what became of them? If you would like to learn more about this fascinating time period during the early years of Glacier National Park, as well as many other stories associated with the history of hiking, you can find them in my new book, Ramble On: A History of Hiking, now available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1725036266/



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Thursday, November 29, 2018

More Information Received On Search For Micah Tice - Last Seen Near Battle Mountain

This morning, Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue Team members received information from park visitors who were in the Longs Peak area on Saturday, November 24. They spoke and hiked with Micah Tice for approximately 20 minutes. They reported that he was wearing a black sweatshirt, black sweatpants, a black hat, black lightweight gloves, tennis shoes and a light blue backpack. Micah indicated he had started from the Longs Peak Trailhead at 6:30 a.m. They last saw Micah in the vicinity of the Battle Mountain area, between 7:30 to 8 a.m. on Saturday, November 24, as visibility and weather conditions continued to deteriorate.

Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue Team members continued today to search the Longs Peak area. They searched areas in and around the Longs Peak Trail, East Longs Peak Trail, Granite Pass, and Jim’s Grove area. Search teams were also in the Boulder Brook Trail area and the Storm Pass area. Due to extremely high winds again today, searchers focused their efforts below 12,000 feet and there were no air operations.

Assisting Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue Team members today include Rocky Mountain Rescue, Air Force Academy Mountaineering Club, Diamond Peaks Ski Patrol, and Larimer County Search and Rescue. Searchers faced chest deep snow, high avalanche danger, strong wind gusts, and bitter wind chill.

On Monday, November 26, Rocky Mountain National Park rangers were notified that the US Air Force Academy was asking for assistance in locating a missing Cadet Candidate, Micah Tice, 20, from Las Vegas, Nevada, who was last heard from late Friday, November 23. Tice’s vehicle was located at the Longs Peak Trailhead late Monday afternoon. It is unknown what Tice’s planned destination or route was. Weather for Longs Peak on Saturday included blizzard conditions, extremely high winds, bitter cold temperatures and snow accumulation.

Park rangers would like to hear from anyone who has been in the Longs Peak area since Saturday morning, November 24, or who may have had contact with Tice regarding his planned route on Longs Peak. Please call Rocky Mountain National Park at (970) 586-1204.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Search Efforts Continue Today For Micah Tice In Longs Peak Area

Today, Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue Team members are continuing to search the Longs Peak area for Micah Tice. They are searching areas in and around the Longs Peak Trail, East Longs Peak Trail, Granite Pass, and Jim’s Grove area. Search teams are also in the Estes Cone area, the Boulder Brook Trail area, the Storm Pass area and the Roaring Fork Drainage. Due to extremely high winds, searchers will focus their efforts below 12,000 feet today.

Assisting Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue Team members today include Larimer County Search and Rescue Dog Team. Due to extreme winds, there will be no air operations today.

On Monday, November 26, Rocky Mountain National Park rangers were notified that the US Air Force Academy was asking for assistance in locating a missing Cadet Candidate, Micah Tice, 20, from Las Vegas, Nevada, who was last heard from late Friday, November 23. Tice’s vehicle was located at the Longs Peak Trailhead late Monday afternoon. It is unknown what Tice’s planned destination or route was. Weather for Longs Peak on Saturday included blizzard conditions, extremely high winds, bitter cold temperatures and snow accumulation.

Park rangers would like to hear from anyone who has been in the Longs Peak area since Saturday morning, November 24, or who may have had contact with Tice regarding his planned route on Longs Peak. Please call Rocky Mountain National Park at (970) 586-1204.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Rocky Mountain Conservancy-Field Institute offerings for 2019 Announced

The Rocky Mountain Conservancy recently posted this message on their Facebook page:
Have you begun your holiday shopping yet? The Rocky Mountain Conservancy has a few ideas for your list! The 2019 menu of field classes and tours is available to browse and register for online at www.rmconservancy.org. By clicking on the "learn with us" tab you can see the list of offerings, including a new wildlife tour, birding by sound class, area history with Curt Buchholtz, and many more! These make perfect gifts for the ones you love, so give us a call at 970-586-3262 to learn more about these fun and educational adventures.




Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Search Efforts Today For Micah Tice In Longs Peak Area

Beginning at sunrise today, Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue Team members searched sections of the Longs Peak Trail, as well as sections of the Boulder Field to the Keyhole area and the trail to Chasm Lake for Micah Tice. Searchers encountered deep snow and high winds.

Assisting Rocky Mountain National Park Search and Rescue Team members today included Summit County Search and Rescue Dog Team, a Colorado National Guard helicopter and crew and Alpine Rescue Team members. The Colorado National Guard helicopter conducted an initial aerial reconnaissance, however the flight was curtailed due to wind gusts over 90 mph on Longs Peak.

Yesterday, Monday, November 26, Rocky Mountain National Park rangers were notified that the US Air Force Academy was asking for assistance in locating a missing Cadet Candidate, Micah Tice, 20, from Las Vegas, Nevada, who was last heard from late Friday, November 23. Tice’s vehicle was located at the Longs Peak Trailhead late Monday afternoon. It is unknown what Tice’s planned destination or route was. The weather on Longs Peak on Saturday was poor with significant snow accumulation, extremely high winds and bitter cold temperatures.

Park rangers would like to hear from anyone who has been in the Longs Peak area since Saturday morning, November 24, or who may have had contact with Tice regarding his planned route on Longs Peak. Please call Rocky Mountain National Park at (970) 586-1204.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Search Efforts For Overdue Man In Longs Peak Area

Yesterday afternoon, Monday, November 26, Rocky Mountain National Park rangers were notified that the US Air Force Academy was asking for assistance in locating a missing Cadet Candidate, Micah Tice, 20, who was last heard from late Friday, November 23. Tice’s vehicle was located at the Longs Peak Trailhead late this afternoon. It is unknown what Tice’s planned destination or route was. The weather on Longs Peak on Saturday was poor with significant snow accumulation, extremely high winds and bitter cold temperatures.

Last night members of Rocky Mountain National Park’s Search and Rescue team began coordinating search efforts that were scheduled to begin early this morning. Teams will focus their efforts today on the lower sections of the Longs Peak Trail to the Keyhole and Chasm Junction.

Park rangers would like to hear from anyone who has been in the Longs Peak area since Saturday morning, November 24 or who may have had contact with Tice regarding his planned route on Longs Peak. Please call Rocky Mountain National Park at (970) 586-1204.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Monday, November 26, 2018

The Profound Impact of the Industrial Revolution on Hiking

Arguably the single most important event to spur the development of hiking and walking for pleasure was the Industrial Revolution. The social changes brought about by industrial development were profound: from the rise of great cities that quickly became islands of filth, dirty air and overcrowding; to the creation of the factory system that resulted in long hours at monotonous jobs in harsh working conditions. From the factory system the labor movement would evolve, which eventually led to higher incomes, shorter work weeks and the introduction of vacation time. Around this same timeframe industrial societies saw significant improvements in transportation, which gave people much greater freedom of movement. The rise of great cities also spurred demand for more wood products, which resulted in large swathes of forests being cut to fulfill those demands. The Industrial Revolution also gave rise to Romanticism and Transcendentalism, as well as club culture. My new book, Ramble On: A History of Hiking, explains how all of these trends helped to shape the sport of hiking from the late 1700s through the World War II era. The book is now available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1725036266/



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Saturday, November 24, 2018

John Muir Wasn't Much of a Camper

John Muir wasn't much of a camper. This may come as a surprise to many outdoor enthusiasts. Muir is obviously well-known as a naturalist, preservationist, and as an activist. He's also widely known for his extended hiking adventures and climbing exploits in the California Sierras, and in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. Despite the countless hours he spent wandering in the backcountry, Muir apparently spent very little time trying to hone his camping skills. After his death in 1914, C. Hart Merriam published a memorial to his longtime friend in the January 1917 edition of the Sierra Club Bulletin. In the article the renowned ornithologist recalled some of the adventures he had shared with Muir over the years. Though fully acknowledging the wealth of information Muir had collected on the natural world, Merriam thought very little of his camping skills, stating that “in spite of having spent a large part of his life in the wilderness, he knew less about camping than almost any man I have ever camped with.” In fact, Muir’s habit of not packing the proper gear almost cost him his life on several occasions. You can read about one such incident on Mount Shasta, as well as Muir's important contributions to hiking in my new book, Ramble On: A History of Hiking, now available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1725036266/



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Friday, November 23, 2018

Who Was The First Leader in Outdoor Gear and Apparel?

Long before they used scantily-clad teen models in controversial advertising campaigns, Abercrombie and Fitch was the preeminent outdoor goods retailer in America. Founded in 1892 in New York City, the merchant retailer began selling high-end outdoor gear and apparel through expansive catalogs in 1903. During the early twentieth century the retailer outfitted several famous explorers and adventurers, including Teddy Roosevelt, Robert Peary, Ernest Shackleton, Roald Amundsen, Richard Byrd, Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart.

By 1917 the growing retailer moved into a 12-story building in Midtown Manhattan. Atop the building was a luxurious log cabin which served as a townhouse for Ezra Fitch. This lofty cabin would play an important role in the history of hiking in the Northeast. If you would like to learn more about the gear and apparel Abercrombie and Fitch sold through their first catalogs, as well as the crucial role the log cabin played in the development of the newly proposed Appalachian Trail, check out my new book, Ramble On: A History of Hiking, now available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1725036266/



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Becoming a Mazama Wasn't Easy

One of the first hiking clubs in the Pacific Northwest held their inaugural meeting in one of the most extreme locations imaginable. On June 12, 1894 organizers for the newly proposed Mazamas club published an advertisement in the classifieds of the Morning Oregonian announcing that a meeting would take place during the following month atop Mt. Hood - the highest peak in Oregon. The ad proclaimed that the meeting would include a “typical mountain banquet.” It was also made clear that any prospective hiker who wished to become a charter member of this new group was required to attend this organizing meeting. On July 17th more than 300 people responded to the advertisement by arriving at one of two designated spots along the flanks of the 11,249-foot mountain. Two days later a total of 193 climbers reached the summit, of which 105 would become charter members. Before descending from the peak the new organization released three homing pigeons that announced to friends in Portland that the club had been successfully established. The Mazamas, like many of the first hiking clubs, had some bizarre and highly stringent criteria for joining. Many of those same clubs also had some very quirky traditions, many of which are detailed in my new book, Ramble On: A History of Hiking, now available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1725036266/



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Join Colorado Parks and Wildlife in celebrating Fresh Air Friday on Nov. 23

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is renewing its tradition of opening its parks to free entry on the day after Thanksgiving. CPW welcomes you to join us in celebrating Fresh Air Friday on Nov. 23, transforming a day traditionally spent more on material goods and leftovers into a day spent appreciating nature and having some fun outdoors.

With support from our partners at Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), CPW invites you to connect with family and friends by getting outside and celebrating Fresh Air Friday with free admission to any of our 41 state parks. If you can’t make it to one of our state parks, CPW still encourages Coloradans to get outside to their favorite local park, open space or trail system to enjoy quality time with loved ones and create outdoor memories that last a lifetime.

“There’s no denying how grateful we as Coloradans are for our outdoor way of life,” said CPW Director Bob Broscheid. “So instead of spending the day after Thanksgiving surrounded by crowds and hunting for deals, we hope people will choose to get their friends and families outside to be surrounded by nature instead.”

Starting a Fresh Air Friday tradition in Colorado is easier than ever. Aspiring adventurers can download the free COTREX trails app to choose where they’d like to hike, bike or ride. If you’d like to avoid leftovers, find a fresh catch with help from the CPW Fishing App. Families with young children can even check off activities from Generation Wild’s 100 Things to Do Before You’re 12 list right in their own backyard. Or if you simply need to move around after a large meal on Thursday, visit a local trail, park or open space near you for a family dog walk or to view some wildlife.

Use our park finder to decide which state park you’ll visit on Fresh Air Friday. No matter where you go, get out and turn Black Friday into a blue skies Friday, a green trees Friday, a white snow Friday… a Fresh Air Friday! For a list of specific park activities, visit cpw.state.co.us.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Monday, November 19, 2018

National Park Service Announces Entrance Fee-Free Days for 2019

The National Park Service will waive all entrance fees on five days in 2019. The five entrance fee-free days for 2019 will be:

• Monday, January 21 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
• Saturday, April 20 – First Day of National Park Week/National Junior Ranger Day
• Sunday, August 25 – National Park Service Anniversary
• Saturday, September 28 – National Public Lands Day
• Monday, November 11 – Veterans Day

“The entrance fee-free days hosted by the National Park Service are special opportunities to invite visitors, volunteers and veterans to celebrate some important moments for our parks and opportunities for service in those parks,” said National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith.

The National Park System includes more than 85 million acres and includes national parks, national historical parks, national monuments, national recreation areas, national battlefields, and national seashores. There is at least one national park site in every U.S. state.

Last year, 331 million people visited national parks spending $18.2 billion, which supported 306,000 jobs across the country and had a $35.8 billion impact on the U.S. economy.

Only 115 of the 418 parks managed by the National Park Service charge entrance fees regularly, with fees ranging from $5 to $35. The other 303 national parks do not have entrance fees. The entrance fee waiver for the fee-free days does not cover amenity or user fees for activities such as camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours.

The annual $80 America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass allows unlimited entrance to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including all national parks. There are also free or discounted passes available for senior citizens, current members of the U.S. military, families of fourth grade students, and disabled citizens.

Other federal land management agencies offering their own fee-free days in 2019 include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Forest Service, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Invention of Carrarmato: Almost All Hikers Still Wear Them

A deadly climbing accident in 1935 led to the invention of one of the most important pieces of hiking gear - one that nearly every hiker benefits from to this day. While descending a mountain in the Italian Alps an experienced climbing team was caught in a severe snowstorm. Unable to descend along the icy rock walls, six of the climbers died from exhaustion, exposure and frostbite. Distraught over the loss of his friends, the guide attempted to solve the problem the climbers encountered during that expedition with the invention of "Carrarmato", an Italian word that means “tank tread". The name of the guide and inventor, Vitale Bramani, offers a clue as to the name of the company and the more common name for the product that most hikers wear today. If you would like to learn more about this story, and many others associated with the history of hiking, you can read them in my new book, Ramble On: A History of Hiking, now available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1725036266/



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Friday, November 16, 2018

CPW warns public to leave baby wildlife alone - after officer removes mountain lion kitten from a home where it was fed bratwurst and became sick

After removing a mountain lion kitten from a private home, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is reminding the public it is illegal to possess wild animals and dangerous to the animals’ health.

Although sick from being fed bratwurst, the kitten appeared to be in good health otherwise, said Travis Sauder, CPW district wildlife manager, after he retrieved the kitten and sent it to the nonprofit Wet Mountain WIldlife Rehabilitation in Wetmore. But the incident could have turned out much differently since the kitten, estimated by wildlife biologists to be under six months of age, was fed human food when it probably was not yet weaned from its mother’s milk and may have only eaten regurgitated solids from its mother.

"If you find wildlife you believe to be orphaned, leave the area immediately and call CPW,” Sauder said. “By leaving the area, mom will feel safe to come back and retrieve her young.

“Many animals intentionally leave their young behind when startled, relying on the built-in camouflage of the youngsters’ spotted fur to keep them safe. The mother will then return to retrieve its young once the area is safe.”

The people in possession of the kitten published photos Monday on social media showing it in a cage. They claimed they found it in a snowbank after a snowplow passed by. They also claimed they released it back to the wild after allowing it to “thaw out.” In fact, Sauder collected the kitten from their home in Walsenburg on Tuesday. He then transported it to the rehab center.

“Wild animals do not need to ‘thaw out’ because they are equipped by nature to survive cold and snow,” Sauder said. “When we do have orphaned wildlife, it's important we get them to licensed rehabilitators who specialize in raising these wild animals, who know what to feed them and how to care for them so we can successfully release them back into the wild once they mature.”

Sauder said this kitten was kept far too long by humans to return to where it was found. “It had been almost 30 hours since it was picked up Monday and its mom would not be in the area any longer,” he said. “This is why it's vital to leave baby wildlife where you find them and call us immediately."



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking

Study: It's not trails that disturb forest birds, but the people on them

A new study has recently been published in Frontiers, an "Open Science platform", that you may also find interesting:

The first study to disentangle the effect of forest trails from the presence of humans shows the number of birds, as well as bird species, is lower when trails are used on a more regular basis. This is also the case when trails have been used for many years, suggesting that forest birds do not get used to this recreational activity. Published in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, the finding suggests the physical presence of trails has less of an impact on forest birds than how frequently these recreational paths are used by people. To minimize the impact on these forest creatures, people should avoid roaming from designated pathways.

"We show that forest birds are quite distinctly affected by people and that this avoidance behavior did not disappear even after years of use by humans. This suggests not all birds habituate to humans and that a long-lasting effect remains," says Dr Yves Bötsch, lead author of this study, based at the Swiss Ornithological Institute, Sempach, Switzerland and affiliated with Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University Zurich, Switzerland. "This is important to show because pressure on natural habitats and nature protection areas is getting stronger and access bans are often ignored."

Many outdoor activities rely on infrastructure, with roads and trails being most common. Previous research has shown that trails cause habitat loss and fragmentation, where larger areas of habitat are dissected into smaller pieces thereby separating wildlife populations. However it has been difficult to say for certain whether it is the presence of trails or humans that have the most impact on forest birds.

Bötsch explains, "Previous studies provide conflicting results about the effects of trails on birds, with some studies showing negative effects while others do not. We thought differences in the intensity of human use may cause this discrepancy, which motivated us to disentangle the effect of trails from the presence of humans."

The researchers visited four forests with a similar habitat, such as the types of trees, but which differed in the levels of recreation. They recorded all birds heard and seen at points near to the trails, as well as within the forest itself, and found that a lower number of birds were recorded in the forests used more frequently by humans. In addition, they noticed certain species were more affected than others.

"Species with a high sensitivity, measured by flight initiation distance (the distance at which a bird exposed to an approaching human flies away), showed stronger trail avoidance, even in rarely frequented forests. These sensitive species were raptors, such as the common buzzard and Eurasian sparrowhawk, as well as pigeons and woodpeckers," says Bötsch.

He continues, "Generally it is assumed that hiking in nature does not harm wildlife. But our study shows even in forests that have been used recreationally for decades, birds have not habituated to people enough to outweigh the negative impact of human disturbance."

Bötsch concludes with some advice, which may help to minimize the adverse effects on forest birds by people who use forests recreationally.

"We believe protected areas with forbidden access are necessary and important, and that new trails into remote forest areas should not be promoted. Visitors to existing forest trails should be encouraged to adhere to a "stay on trail" rule and refrain from roaming from designated pathways."

Te original research article can be found here: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fevo.2018.00175/full

The corresponding author, Dr. Yves Bötsch from the Swiss Ornithological Institute, can be contacted here: yves.boetsch@vogelwarte.ch



Jeff
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com
Ramble On: A History of Hiking