Thursday, September 2, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Many people don't know this majestic mountain range is [just off the US-95 near Riggins], or don't take the trouble to find it because Seven Devils is farther off the beaten path than the Sawtooths.Read the full story: Seven Devils: these rugged mountains area little slice of heaven
But if you love Idaho's scenic backcountry, it's a place you should visit at least once. If you're the adventurous type, it's someplace you can explore for years and still find new surprises.
"This is an absolutely fascinating place," said fire lookout Michael Oliver, whose tower has some of the best views in Idaho.
Oliver gets visits from folks ranging from locals to European tourists, from hardcore hikers and horsepackers who delve deep into the backcountry to families taking a scenic drive.
Photo from Idaho Statesman
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
While the Canoe Journey [this was the 21st annual] initially involved canoe cultures from the Salish Sea, its sphere of influence continues to grow. Joining Northwest Coast canoe families were Ainu from Japan, Inuit from Alaska and Greenland, and Maori from New Zealand.Read the full story: Canoe Journey builds bridges between cultures
The Canoe Journey is also a major tourism draw in the host nations and surrounding communities. Elwha Klallam, the second to last stop on the Peninsula before Makah, served 4,000 people – canoe pullers, families and visitors – at breakfast and dinner for two days. It was quite a feat of coordination.
Photo by Molly Neely-Walker
Monday, August 2, 2010
All home break-ins, tent raids and many other bear incidents are by bears who are suffering from forests damaged by fires, drought or other factors that have reduced their food supply, said Montana bear biologist Lynn Rogers of the Wildlife Research Institute in Minnesota. This intensifies when bears enter their "hyperphagic," heavy eating stage in the fall, before hibernation.Read the full story: Should we feed wild bears?
"It's food that they are after," explains U.S. Geological Survey biologist Chuck Schwartz, who is the leader of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team. He said the same applies to all bears, from grizzlies to black bears.
"These bears are in this state when they need this food to make it through the winter."
So why not scatter leftover orchard fruit in the woods for bears to forage on? Well for one thing, such "diversionary feeding" can be against the law. That was the case at Lake Tahoe, Calif., where the Bear League tried it a few years ago and claim they saw an immediate halt to bear break-ins.
Photo from iStock via Discovery News
Friday, July 30, 2010
Two bear cubs were hit and killed by vehicles and several campers and hikers have encountered bears this year.
One [of the bear cubs] was killed by a driver who immediately reported the incident. The other was found dead and had suffered injuries consist with being hit by a vehicle. Drivers are reminded to obey the park speed limits and drive with due regard for bears and other wildlife that may be on or near the roads.Read the full story: Glacier National Park Officials urge visitors to be "bear aware"
Hikers and backpackers are particularly at risk of encountering bears under potentially dangerous circumstances. To minimize the risk of injury or death (and lethal consequences for the problem bears involved), all trail users are urged to heed the rules and guidelines pertaining to hiking and camping in bear country.
Photo from National Parks Service
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Located in Harads in northern Swedish Lapland, the Treehotel has uniquely designed rooms like a mirror cube (picture) that are placed among treetops in the forested location. The design elements are meant to assimilate with nature as much as possible. According to the architects special features like infrared coating on the cube room's mirror prevent birds from hitting it.
In providing novelty in a natural environment, the Treehotel is a successor to the wildly successful Icehotel, built from snow and ice every winter 160 miles north of [Treehotel's location] near Kiruna. It is also part of the “landscape hotel” trend – stylishly designed luxury hotels placed in the middle of nowhere, not so much for their proximity to hiking or other outdoor activities as for the views from their (usually) floor-to-ceiling windows.Read the full story: A luxury hotel in Sweden's treetops
Photo from Treehotel
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Inspectors from China's Ministry of Environmental Protection tested water samples from the country's major rivers and lakes in the first half of the year and declared just 49.3 percent to be safe for drinking, up from 48 percent last year, the ministry said in a notice posted on its website (www.mep.gov.cn).Read the full story: Pollution makes quarter of China water unusable
Despite tougher regulations over the last decade, the ministry has struggled to rein in the thousands of small paper mills, cement factories and chemical plants discharging industrial waste directly into the country's waterways, and the overuse of fertilizers has also left large sections of China's lakes and rivers choking with algae.
Photo from My Health Beijing
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
The Ministry for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters said 21 fires across 42 acres were burning in the region.Read the full story: Moscow shrouded by smog due to forest fires
As a result, the Russian capital has been shrouded in a fog, causing breathing difficulties for many residents.
In Moscow's outskirts, crops have been destroyed by the fires, causing huge financial losses to farmers. Wildlife has also been affected.
Photo from ITN
Monday, July 26, 2010
This year at Rocky Reach, the numbers of returning adult sockeye have surged past 271,000, said Steve Hemstrom, Chelan County PUD senior fisheries biologist. More than 247,000 of those swam through the dam's viewing windows in the last 22 days. The peak run for one 24-hour period occurred July 5 when 23,705 sockeye were counted. That's an average of about 1,000 per hour.Read the full story: Record number of sockeye salmon on view at Washington dam
Many of the returning sockeye, now fighting their way up the Columbia River, will likely make a left turn at the Okanogan River and swim north to spawn in Lake Osoyoos, Hemstrom said. Curious observers at a high vantage point — say, the Okanogan River bridge in Omak — could likely see hundreds, maybe thousands of these fish making their way to Canadian home waters, he added.
Photo from Don Seabrook / The Wenatchee World / AP
Friday, July 23, 2010
Among the beaches are:
Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays Island, Australia (picture): won the award for "Cleanest beach in Queensland."
Koh Libong, Trang Province, Thailand
Las Islas Cies, Galicia, Spain
See the slide show: 8 of the greatest eco-friendly beaches in the world
Photo from Tourism Whitsundays
Thursday, July 22, 2010
The video also shows someone off camera throwing a stick at the animal which has many speculating that this could have provoked the bison to charge.
Watch the video below:
See the full story: Bison that charged Yellowstone NP visitors was provoked
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
This week, park officials hope to open the lower, mile-long section of the new Glacier Basin trail, improved and rerouted.Read the full story: Popular Mount Rainier National Park trail is restored, rerouted
Much of the original Glacier Basin trail, once a straightforward dirt path, was wiped out by about 18 inches of rain that poured down in 36 hours and raged through the White River Valley in November 2006.
The Inter Fork River overtook the trail, where it still flows. For the past four years, hikers and mountaineers have been forced to the river's side, where they scramble up loose rock fields or precariously hop from stone to log to cross the river.
While the first 5,000 feet of trail was expected to open this week, work has just begun on the next 1,500-foot section — which is slated to be ready for hikers early next spring.
Photo from Greg Gilbert / The Seattle Times
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
For a handful of species, however, the spill may be the final nail in the coffin. The situation is so dire that one major online gambling site has begun allowing bets on which Gulf animals are most likely to be declared extinct first.Among the list are:
- Great Lakes Piping Plover (picture): their foraging areas are coastlines that washed up oil now covers.
- Smalltooth and Largetooth Sawfish: while the largetooth "may already be extinct in the region," the smalltooth nursery areas are in the oil spill's path.
- Manatees: the oil is spilling into these endangered animals' summer habitat off Florida which could prompt a "massive" rescue and removal effort.
Read the full story: 10 animals at risk of extinction from Gulf oil spill
Photo from Steven Senne / AP
Monday, July 19, 2010
The nocturnal loris, a 6 inch primate with small ears and large eyes, was last sighted on the island-nation in 2002 and scientists thought it had since died out. Its interior Sri Lanka jungle habitat is being razed in favor of tea plantations. This has created divisions of the shy mammals territory making it difficult for them to seek out mates and breed.
[Field] researchers, working with the Zoological Society of London, managed to track down the mysterious creature in the forests of central Sri Lanka.Read the full story: Wide-eyed primate caught on camera for first time
In a world first, they were able to take pictures of an adult male slender loris sitting on a tree branch.
The field team was able to capture one of the creatures and give it a physical examination, the first time that has ever been done, before releasing it back into the wild.
Photo from France 24
Friday, July 16, 2010
Whale sharks grow up to 40 feet but have very small teeth and aren't predatory. That means they won't try to eat you. Gentle giants, they gather each fall at Bahia de Los Angeles — almost halfway down the Baja Peninsula on the Sea of Cortez — to filter-feed on microscopic organisms called plankton.Read the full story: Swim with the world's largest fish in Mexico
The Mexican government also seems concerned about whale sharks, marking off with buoys the part of Bahia de los Angeles where whale sharks congregate and enforcing rules for interacting with the animals. Chasing or herding sharks isn't allowed. No more than three people per boat may be in the water at any time. Touching sharks is prohibited.
Photo from Baja Airventures Inc.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Flirting with the fury of a volcano may not sound like the usual tourist fare, but in recent years, these imperious volcanoes have become an increasingly popular draw that is away from the crowded resorts of Bali, which lies just east of Java. Last year, more than 93,000 people visited Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, Indonesia’s most famous volcano preserve, up 78 percent from the previous year, according to the park’s main ranger station.We were also pleased to see Mr. Wong refer to his faithful hiking partner Tini, finally, as his wife, previously she was always just referred to as his "friend."
Read the full story: In Java, risking the wrath of a volcano
Photo by Edward Wong / The New York Times
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
The new conservation space will be almost the size of the country of Switzerland.
The Russian government's decision establishes 9 new nature reserves and 13 national parks covering a total area of over 3.8 million [hectares] by 2020. Russia is also introducing marine buffer zones of over 1 million ha.Read the full story: Russia to create national parks and reserves nearly size of Switzerland
An existing 9 reserves and 1 national park will see their areas increased by 500 thousand ha.
The decision was based on an analysis of WWF in cooperation with The Nature Coservancy and MAVA Foundation, carried out between 2006-2008, and is aimed at fulfilling Russia's commitment under the Convention on Biodiversity to establish effective protected area systems that safeguard biodiversity.
Photo from ENN
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
This is in the wake of the BP oil spill which is still currently spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico and affecting some beaches bordering the area.
Read the full story: Gulf Coast hotels roll out oil-free beach guarantees
"It's frustrating to get the word out that the beaches are fine," says Park Brady, CEO of ResortQuest International, one of the largest operators of vacation rental companies on the coast.
ResortQuest, which typically charges a 15% deposit and full payment shortly before arrival, is issuing full refunds if customers can't use the beach. "It eased a lot of fears," Brady says.
Photo by Michael Spooneybarger / AP
Monday, July 12, 2010
This private island off-grid resort only allows 32 overnight guests.
As one of only two Green Globe 21 Benchmarked properties in the U.S., LSSI’s commitment to low-impact lodging exceeds standard leave-your-bath-towel-on-the-floor-if-you-want-it-laundered practices:Read the full story: Little St. Simmons Island, Georgia
- Three of the guest houses, Tom House, Cedar House and River Lodge, feature geothermal HVAC systems.
- Rain barrels are a common site throughout the island.
- The recycling/composting program is comprehensive.
- You won’t find a single plastic water bottle on the entire island since guests are provided with their own Camelback reusable bottles.
- To keep a somewhat notorious bug population at bay, the island has instituted an eco-friendly, larvicide-based mosquito control program. However, if you’re skittish around bats take heed: There are bat houses in place to help keep the mosquito population in check.
Photo by Matt Hickman
Friday, July 9, 2010
Along with three places in the Caribbean, Alaska and Florida are also mentioned.
Ketchikan, Alaska. Zip on your head-to-toe wet suit and explore the colorful and diverse marine life in the chilly waters of southeastern Alaska. Local water temperatures reach 65 degrees in midsummer. Participants must weigh at least 90 pounds. Waters are calm; some tidal pools are shallow. Later, join a half-day boat tour from Ketchikan Outdoors and cruise to a remote island for a picnic among wildlife.Read the full story: Seaside getaways
Photo from Getty Images / Thinkstock
Thursday, July 8, 2010
The Chengdu Giant Panda Research Base in the southwest of China says it will have a worldwide contest to pick six panda enthusiasts who will then help look after the black and white mammals for a month. The winners will get to blog their experiences and bring awareness to the pandas' plight.
Huang Xiangming, head of the animal management department at the base, says that when it first opened in 1987, the centre only had six pandas, rescued starving from the wild. It now counts 84 permanent residents.Details on the search have not yet been released.
He says panda keepers are especially needed at times of mating in spring and birthing, which starts during the summer. These rituals are vital, as the animals' notoriously low libido has frustrated efforts to boost their numbers.
Read the full story: China launches global search for panda keepers
Photo from France 24
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Star Impulse (picture right) set off to fly on a 25 hour trip from Payerne, Switzerland. The ground crew will see if it can take in enough electrical charge during daylight hours to continue overnight.
The round-the-clock flight by the prototype built last year is the first major hurdle for the project since it started seven years ago, with the aim of flying around the world by 2013 or 2014.The speed is only 22 miles per hour with a single pilot. This is much slower than a small aircraft like a Cessna that reaches over 100 mph.
Read the full story: Solar plane sets out on historic flight
Photo from France 24
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Under the accord reached in talks on Thursday evening and Friday morning, the parties agreed to a plan allowing biologists or other trained wildlife observers to accompany oil-incineration vessels at sea to remove as many turtles as possible from designated areas before burning starts.Read the full story: Deal struck to save turtles from Gulf oil burns
Private boat captains chartered for wildlife rescue missions in the Gulf said in affidavits filed with the lawsuit that young sea turtles tend to congregate among oil blobs floating in the water, apparently unable to distinguish between the oil and mats of seaweed that provide natural shelter on the surface of the Gulf.
The turtles are then presumably swept up and unable to escape when shrimp boats contracted for cleanup operations are used to drag fire-resistant booms to encircle the floating oil before it is set ablaze.
Photo from Tour de Turtles
Friday, July 2, 2010
About 34.9 million will take a trip at least 50 miles from home, up 17.1% from 2009, and 90% of them will travel by car, AAA projects.Read the full story: 'Pent-up demand' for travel erupts over July 4th holiday
"Some Americans are feeling more confident about their personal financial situation compared to a year ago," says Troy Green, AAA's national spokesman. Also, he sees "pent-up demand," because many Americans stayed home last year, which had the least number of Fourth of July travelers this decade.
Photo by Keith Srakocic / AP
Thursday, July 1, 2010
The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are the World Travel & Tourism Council’s highest-profile global accolade, recognizing best practices in sustainable tourism development, conservation and biodiversity protection.Read the full story: Emirates wins big for conservation
Within the Emirates Group, the Emirates Hotels & Resorts (EH&R) portfolio encompasses three major conservation projects spread across three continents: Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa in Dubai; Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa in Australia; and the forthcoming Cap Ternay Resort & Spa in the Seychelles.
Here's a look at the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve at the Al Maha along with other Dubai conservation efforts:
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
In a country home to roughly a third of the world’s 700 remaining mountain gorillas, the annual event, known as Kwita Izina, is a celebrity-laden affair designed to draw attention to global awareness of biodiversity and conservation.
Names for the 14 infant gorillas included "Kinyarwanda-language monikers such as "Igihembo" (Prize), "Ubuhamya" (Testimony) and "Umurage" (Legacy) and "Waka Waka," meaning "Do It" in Cameroon’s Fang language."
Read the full story: Rwanda where there are baby gorillas to name
Photo by Jon Rosen / GlobalPost
Monday, June 28, 2010
The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque, Iowa was set to display Gulf of Mexico highlights, but decided to change the exhibit after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster; which continues to affect the area.
The main tank — the size of a school bus — will contain water and artificial coral, its sides adorned with window stickers that look like oil.Read the full story: Iowa aquarium exhibit highlights oil spill
"It will look like the oil is sinking down and about to cover the coral, which will kill the coral," said Jerry Enzler, the museum's executive director.
Anywhere from 67 million to 127 million gallons of oil have spilled since the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig that killed 11 workers and blew out a well 5,000 feet underwater. BP PLC was leasing the rig from owner Transocean Ltd.
[The exhibit] will be a powerful message, said Steve Feldman, a spokesman for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, a nonprofit accrediting group based in Silver Springs, Md.
"The upclose connection to animals is very powerful. It's part of how we teach our children about nature and in this case, man's impact on nature," Feldman said.
Photo from National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium via AP
Friday, June 25, 2010
Volunteering is a noble way to spend a vacation but during this oil spill disaster make sure you have a solid volunteer offer before going to any of the areas affected.
Each state has its own resource where potential volunteers can register their information. Registration does not mean you’re guaranteed a volunteer position. Participants will be contacted only on an as-needed basis and local candidates will be considered first. If you do reach out to an organization to offer help, please make sure it’s connected with its state service commission.PGW also gives alternative ways to help like: coastline monitoring, adopting a pelican, and helping out the people affected.
Read the full story: BP Oil Spill News: Volunteer Guide - Helping Gulf Oil Clean-Up Efforts
Photo from PeterGreenberg.com
Thursday, June 24, 2010
The famous white sand beaches around Pensacola are now black with oil and the water is unsafe to swim in.
More than two months after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, Pensacola awoke Wednesday to the largest onslaught of black crude on Florida's coast, as more than nine miles of white shoreline and beaches were soaked with syrupy oil.Tourists are canceling their reservations to the normally bustling summer tourist area.
A health advisory has been issued by Escambia County for parts of Pensacola Beach and Fort Pickens.
"It's pretty ugly. There's no question about it," Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said. "It does break your heart."
Read the full story: Oil soaks miles of Pensacola Beach
Photo from James Amerson / CNN iReport