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News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

“We all need an escape now and then ... to get in touch with our more natural side and let the cares of the world drift away," wrote Money Inc., in its recent list of top luxury wildlife resorts in the United States. "The perfect way to do this is to find one of the elusive wildlife lodges that still remain in the United States.”. One of the featured 10 lodges where visitors can find peace of mind in luxurious natural surroundings is the exclusive, all-inclusive Brooks Lake Lodge & Spa, located in scenic Wyoming backcountry near Jackson Hole and Yellowstone National Park. Money Inc.’s list of Top 10 Luxury Wildlife Lodges in the United States provides travelers with its top picks for best places to escape and enjoy wildlife, with Brooks Lake Lodge, situated at 9,200 ft. above sea level among rugged Rocky Mountain peaks, perfectly fitting the bill. With its full array of outdoor activities – hiking, horseback riding, fishing, archery and canoeing in summer and fall, and snowshoeing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling and ice fishing in winter – coupled with gourmet meals, plush accommodations and a full-service spa, the lodge has luxury in the wilderness covered. This month, popular travel magazine “Vacation Idea” shared its 23 Stunning Inns & Lodges in the U.S. Rocky Mountains, emphasizing destinations near national parks, and again Brooks Lake Lodge – located near Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks – made the list. Highlighting the resort as a “lovely Rocky Mountain getaway with rustic cabins surrounded by unforgettable scenery,” the travel website went on to list the historic guest ranch’s selection of outdoor lovers’ activities that take full advantage of the lodge’s remarkable wild setting, deep in Shoshone National Forest near Dubois, Wyoming. Also this month, historic Brooks Lake Lodge, built nearly 100 years ago in Western Craftsman style, made Only in Your State’s list of The 20 Places You Should Go in Wyoming in 2017. The popular website named Brooks Lake Lodge Wyoming’s “Most Hidden Resort,” including the secluded guest ranch on its impressive list of the state’s top destinations. “It’s hidden away in the Rocky Mountains, making it a peaceful vacation resort with luxurious rustic accommodations surrounded by gorgeous natural scenery,” writes the website. “It’s so nice to see Brooks Lake Lodge recognized among so many places to visit both nationally and within our state,” says General Manager Adam Long. “Every year we strive to create that perfect balance of nature, luxury and fun for our guests, who often return to us after enjoying memorable and meaningful vacations in our unique, remote setting. We are honored to be included in these recent ‘best’ lists that highlight many of the special things about Brooks Lake Lodge.” Brooks Lake Lodge & Spa, known for its remarkable backcountry location and excellent customer service with a nearly 1:1 guest-to-staff ratio, is currently enjoying its winter season with lots of new snow for the many winter enthusiasts who roam the nearly two million acres of snowy terrain for outdoor play before returning to the crackling fireplaces and delicious meals inside the lodge’s historic walls. All meals are included in overnight stays and served by the lodge’s master chef in the striking stone-and-timber dining hall. Guests of the lodge can also relax with a soak in the 11-by-17 ft. hot tub while taking in spectacular views of the Pinnacle Buttes and alpine Brooks Lake as well as choosing among a variety of massages and facials offered in the on-site Rocky Mountain Spa. Brooks Lake Lodge & Spa, a 100-year-old historic guest ranch near Jackson Hole, Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park, is located one mile from the North American Continental Divide, with views of the Pinnacle Buttes, Austin's Peak and Brooks Mountain. Surrounded by evergreen forests, wildlife and Brooks Lake, the exclusive, all-inclusive Wyoming Rocky Mountain resort offers five-star service, luxury accommodations and gourmet dining. The new separate spa facility was built with Western Craftsman-style detailing to complement the historic lodge. A dude ranch by summer and ski and snowmobile haven in the winter, the lodge provides year-round activities for outdoor enthusiasts. All-inclusive rates include lodging, meals, activities and spa access. For additional information and reservations visit http://www.brookslake.com or call 866.213.4022.


News Article | November 4, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

With its final 5-mile approach accessible only by dog sled, snowmobile or track vehicle in winter, Brooks Lake Lodge & Spa, a secluded guest ranch hidden within the Shoshone National Forest near Yellowstone and Jackson Hole, offers an ultimate – intimate – snowy resort experience. Situated at an elevation of 9,200 feet and surrounded by stunning mountain scenery, the exclusive, all-inclusive resort will open for its 2016-2017 winter season on Dec. 23, 2016. A true haven for snow enthusiasts, the historic lodge is set on a 300-acre alpine lake and offers a variety of lodge rooms and luxurious private cabins with dramatic views. Brooks Lake Lodge guests choose from numerous guided or unguided winter activities included with overnight stays. Snowmobilers can explore roughly two million acres of snowy terrain, cruising on mild backcountry trails or testing the limits on uphill climbs and carving through deep snow on new high-performance machines. Cross-country skiers can glide over miles of groomed trails (cross country skis, step-in bindings and premium boots included). Or strap on snowshoes (snowshoes, adjustable bindings and aluminum crampons included) for a wintery nature walk through the Shoshone National Forest packed with natural landmarks. Winter guests can also try their hand at ice fishing on Brooks Lake, alive with trout swimming two feet beneath the ice for catch-and-release excitement – or bring the catch back to the lodge for the master chef to prepare for the evening meal (fishing rods, lures, bait, ice huts and refreshments all included). Guests can also enjoy a Rocky Mountain safari through the surrounding countryside with an expert guide pointing out the local wildlife. And everyone can appreciate sliding down the snow hill at Brooks Lake Lodge in snow tubes. After a day out on the snow, return to the lodge for Governor’s Tea time, a 4:30 p.m. tradition that offers a variety of fruits, cheeses, cookies and crumpets served with hot drinks around a fire crackling in one of the resort’s four giant stone fireplaces. Later, settle in for a hearty dinner with a gourmet selection of premium seafood, beef, game and poultry entrees. For cozy indoor relaxation while the snow flies, the 3,000-square-foot on-site Rocky Mountain Spa offers a menu of treatments including sports massage to soothe tired muscles. And guests can stop by anytime for a soak in the 11-by-17-foot hot tub overlooking Brooks Lake and the Rocky Mountains. In the evening, belly up to the Cowboy Bar to sip from a wide selection of spirits while recounting the day’s snowy adventures. About Brooks Lake Lodge & Spa: Brooks Lake Lodge & Spa, a 100-year-old historic guest ranch near Jackson Hole, Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park, is located one mile from the North American Continental Divide, with views of the Pinnacle Buttes, Austin's Peak and Brooks Mountain. Surrounded by evergreen forests, wildlife and Brooks Lake, the exclusive, all-inclusive Wyoming Rocky Mountain resort offers five-star service, luxury accommodations and gourmet dining. The new separate spa facility was built with Western Craftsman-style detailing to complement the historic lodge. A dude ranch by summer and ski and snowmobile haven in the winter, the lodge provides year-round activities for outdoor enthusiasts. All-inclusive rates include lodging, meals, activities and spa access. For additional information and reservations visit http://www.brookslake.com or call 866.213.4022.


News Article | August 26, 2016
Site: phys.org

The range for the mountain-dwelling herbivore is decreasing in southern Utah, northeastern California and in the Great Basin that covers most of Nevada and parts of Utah, Oregon, Idaho and California, the federal agency concluded after studying the cuddly looking critter from 2012-2015. This study's conclusion marks a more authoritative statement about the role of global warming on the animal compared to research released in 2003 that found climate change was at least partly contributing to the animal's decline. "The longer we go along, the evidence continues to suggest that climate is the single strongest factor," said Erik Beever, a research ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey and lead author. The pika's habitat on mountain slopes, known as talus, are hotter and drier in the summer and more harsh in the winter with less snowpack to serve as an insulator, Beever said. The study bolsters the case for wildlife advocacy groups pushing for years to have the animal added to the endangered species list amid concerns about global warming. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rejected a request in 2010, saying not all populations were declining. A new request was made this April by a high school student in New York state. A preliminary decision on that request is due out in early September, but the agency's staff won't take into account the new study because they are bound to only take into account information submitted with the petition, said Fish and Wildlife Service spokeswoman Serena Baker. Noah Greenwald, the Center for Biological Diversity's endangered species director, said the new research confirms that climate change is putting the animal at real risk. He said it should help with future petitions to have the animal declared endangered—something he says is necessary to ensure future generations are treated to seeing the critters during mountain hikes. "It's gotta be one of the cutest animals in North America. It's like a cross between a bunny rabbit and prairie dog," Greenwald said. "Part of what makes our world interesting is the diversity of animals and plants that you can see when you go to different species." President Barack Obama mentioned the plight of the pika this summer when he spoke at Yosemite National Park about the damage climate change is inflicting on the nation's national parks. He said the pika was being forced further upslope at Yosemite to escape the heat. The study didn't quantify how many total American pika still exist, but honed in on several areas where the small animal has historically roamed eating grass, weeds and wildflowers. The animal is thriving in a few places, such as the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon and Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, but overall is suffering, Beever said. At Utah's Zion National Park, they're gone all together despite being seen as recently as 2011. In nearby Cedar Breaks National Monument, they're no longer in three-fourths of their historical habitat, Beever said. Pikas were only found in 11 of 29 sites where they once lived in northeastern California. In the Great Basin, which stretches from Utah's Wasatch Mountains in the east to the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains in the west, the population is down about 44 percent compared to historical records. "It's not that they've just moved, they are gone all together," Beever said. Explore further: Pikas in peril in the Rockies


The shrub willow plantation is part of a broader five-year program called NEWBio, which is aimed at investigating and promoting sustainable production of woody biomass and warmseason grasses for energy in the Northeast. Planted in 2012 on land formerly owned by the State Correctional Institution at Rockview, the biomass crop will regrow and will be harvested every three years from now on. NEWBio, a regional consortium of institutions lead by Penn State and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, is one of seven regional projects across the United States. Other consortium partners are Cornell University, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, West Virginia University, Delaware State University, Ohio State University, Rutgers University, USDA's Eastern Regional Research Center, and the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Idaho National Laboratory. Researchers involved in the project include plant scientists, agricultural and biological engineers, agricultural safety and health specialists, agronomists, agricultural and forest economists, rural sociologists, supply-chain and business-development experts, and extension educators. "The shrub willow stand at Rockview can continue producing biomass for more than 20 years, and we hope to use it both as a source of renewable energy and as a platform for sustainability research," said Armen Kemanian, associate professor of production systems and modeling in the Department of Plant Science, one of the lead researchers in the project. "This is an excellent site to investigate impacts on soil and water quality, biodiversity, avoided carbon dioxide emissions, and the potential for growing a regional bio-based economy," he said. "Students from our college visit the site and have a firsthand and close-up view of this new crop for the region." Why shrub willow? Because the woody perennial likes to be cut, explained Kemanian. He noted that visitors to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming may remember the "willow flats," grazed to a uniform height by moose and elk. "At the Rockview site we don't have moose, but we do take advantage of shrub willow's vigorous regrowth to harvest for multiple cycles," he said. "As perennial plants, they establish a root system that stabilizes the soil and stores substantial amounts of carbon that otherwise would be lost to the atmosphere." Perennial biomass crops shrub willow, switchgrass and miscanthus—all of which are being investigated at other experimental sites around the Northeast—also store and recycle nutrients, so they do not require much fertilizer and can improve water quality in streams, rivers and estuaries, such as the Chesapeake Bay. Increasing perennial vegetation is a critical component of Pennsylvania's water quality strategy, and these biomass crops allow vulnerable parts of the landscape to remain economically productive while protecting water quality. Shrub willow can produce the same amount of biomass as a corn crop with only a third of the nitrogen fertilizer, Kemanian pointed out. When the plants grow, they take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. After harvest, when the biomass is combusted either as wood chips or as a liquid biofuel, the carbon dioxide returns to the atmosphere to complete the cycle. Felipe Montes, a research associate in the Department of Plant Science, established an array of sensors to measure carbon dioxide and water vapor fluxes, which are giving a vivid picture of the growth potential in the region. Shrub willow is one the first plants to leaf out in early spring and dies back late in the fall, and this long growing season makes it extremely efficient in converting sunlight and nutrients to a bioenergy feedstock. "We estimate that we can harvest 20 to 30 units of energy per unit of fossil energy invested in producing the crop, leading to fuel with a very low carbon footprint," Montes said. "The fact that this biomass can be converted to liquid fuel is one of the main advantages of shrub willow and other biomass crops. Low carbon liquid fuels are especially important for long distance transportation, shipping and aviation, where electric vehicles are not practical." Biomass energy could provide the social, economic and ecological drivers for a sustainable rural renaissance in the Northeast, according to NEWBio project leader Tom Richard, professor of agricultural and biological engineering and director of the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment. He believes perennial energy crops are particularly well suited for the region, where forests and pasture long have dominated the landscape. Rocky and sloped soils are more compatible with perennial crops, while perennial root systems better tolerate wet springs and occasional summer drought, Richard said. Northeast biomass production has high water-use efficiency (biomass produced per unit of water transpired by plants) owing to the region's moderate temperatures and relatively high humidity. These perennial crops also increase organic matter in the soil, and coupled with efficient refining and manufacturing processes can produce carbon-negative energy and materials. "Concerns about energy, environmental and human health, rural economic development, and the need to diversify agricultural products and markets have made the development of sustainably produced biomass feedstocks for biofuels, bioproducts and bioenergy a critical national priority," said Richard. "Perennial bioenergy systems, such as the shrub willow demonstrated at Penn State, appear to hold an important key to future economic development for our region. But to unlock that future, we need to learn how to economically handle the harvesting, transportation and storage of massive volumes, which constitutes 40 to 60 percent of the cost of biomass. This project is providing the knowledge and experience needed for a regional bioeconomy to achieve commercial success." Explore further: Bioenergy crops could store more carbon in soil


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Cities across the nation are vying to attract millennials. Surprisingly, one rural community in Eastern Idaho is home to one of the country’s largest groups of young talent – branding itself “Millennial City USA.” Over 81% of the 26,000 people living in Rexburg are under 30, and the median age is 22 – 15 years younger than the national average. The growth of 18 to 35-year-olds is projected to continue: the Idaho Department of Labor estimates the millennial population in Eastern Idaho will expand 26% by 2025, compared to less than 3% nationally. What draws young people to this rural region? Many graduate from Brigham Young University Idaho (BYUI) and Idaho State University (ISU) to reside in the Eastern Idaho Innovation Corridor, home to the Idaho National Laboratory and companies including Melaleuca and Progrexion. Millennials also enjoy year-round outdoor recreational opportunities at nearby Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. To retain and grow this coveted population, economic development leaders have launched a multi-phase research effort: “So much has been written about what urban millennials want, but this is the first time anyone has formally studied rural millennials to learn what drives them,” says Jan Rogers, president of the Regional Economic Development for Eastern Idaho (REDI), which just completed a survey and focus group series with its millennial population. Here are some initial findings: According to Hope Morrow, regional economist for the Idaho Department of Labor, the region’s three fastest growing industries are in the areas of finance, science/technology and healthcare. The Idaho National Laboratory – the top nuclear national lab in the nation – is a major employer. “With an abundance of outdoor recreation activities, education and career opportunities as well as a safe, family-friendly environment, Rexburg’s millennial population is flourishing -- creating a unique opportunity for businesses and another incredible asset for the state of Idaho,” said Megan Ronk, director of the Idaho Department of Commerce. The region’s low cost of living is also an incentive for millennials to raise families in Eastern Idaho. “Eastern Idaho has not only offered the professional opportunities that my wife and I need to make a good living, but it also offers the work-life balance that is important to us,” says millennial Mark Baker, who works as director of marketing for the Bingham Memorial Hospital in Blackfoot. “It’s not uncommon for us to wake up on a Saturday morning and say, ‘Let’s go explore Yellowstone today!’” The opportunities for career growth and skyrocketing BYUI enrollment numbers point to a further rise in Eastern Idaho’s millennial population, and the region is changing to adapt to the influx. There are plans for investments in new retail shopping, restaurant space and condo living, along with new sports fields and venues to host shows and concerts. The Snake River Landing Convention Center is projected to begin construction this year. “Rexburg is home to many young scholars who are passionate about living and working in this unique region,” says Jerry Merrill, Mayor of Rexburg, Idaho. “Our small town community appeals to a massive group of millennials because of their access to higher education, career opportunities, affordability and endless opportunities for outdoor recreation. They feel welcome and excited to interact here,” he said. In tandem with the “Millennial City USA” theme, REDI has launched a social media campaign to tell the story of Eastern Idaho’s attractions and lifestyle assets through the eyes of rural millennials. It can be found on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. About Regional Economic Development for Eastern Idaho The Regional Economic Development for Eastern Idaho (REDI) represents the economic interests of the 14-county Eastern Idaho area. The region is nestled between one of the largest wilderness areas in the lower 48 and two national parks – Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. The cities of Idaho Falls and Pocatello are ranked as the 4th and 5th largest cities in Idaho and are approximately 45 miles apart. With a combined population of 366,611, the region has the second largest workforce in Idaho with approximately 183,381 employees. http://www.EasternIdaho.org   ###


News Article | December 12, 2016
Site: www.prnewswire.com

JACKSON, Wyo., Dec. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today the National Park Service purchased a 640-acre tract of land within Grand Teton National Park from the State of Wyoming. The purchase was made possible by the successful completion of an eight-month fundraising campaign by...


News Article | December 13, 2016
Site: www.marketwired.com

National Parks in Wyoming and Louisiana Benefit as National Park Service Celebrates 100 Years WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - December 13, 2016) - Acres for America, one of the most effective public-private partnerships in the history of U.S. conservation efforts, today announced the award of $2.6 million in grants to conserve, improve or connect wildlife habitat across more than 82,000 acres in Arizona, California, Louisiana, Tennessee and Wyoming. The Acres for America program was established by Walmart and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to conserve lands of national significance, protect critical fish and wildlife habitat and benefit people and local economies. "The Acres for America grants announced today represent the best of conservation in the United States," said John Clarke, vice president of Walmart store planning. "Walmart is pleased to support the protection of these natural habitats, in particular, the two projects that add to our unparalleled National Park system as it celebrates its Centennial year." The National Park Service turned 100 on August 25, 2016, and is kicking off a second century of stewardship of America's national parks and engaging communities through recreation, conservation, and historic preservation programs. Two of this year's grants -- including its largest -- dovetail with the National Park Service celebrations: Protecting Antelope Flats, Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming): Identified as the highest national priority acquisition for the U.S. National Park Service, this land serves as a critical migration route for elk, pronghorn, moose, bison and wolves. The Foundation's $1 million grant to the Grand Teton National Park Foundation will support an effort to purchase and protect a 640-acre parcel that is surrounded by national park land. The purchase, which closed December 12, 2016, will be immediately added to the Grand Teton National Park as part of this year's centennial celebration. The acquisition will ensure that the natural and scenic resource value of Grand Teton National Park remains protected in perpetuity. The grant leverages an additional $45.2 million in matching contributions for the protection of the property. Conserving Fleming Plantation (Louisiana): The Foundation's $380,000 grant to The Trust for Public Land will conserve the 3,476-acre Fleming Plantation as an addition to Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. Located in the biological hotspot of the Barataria Basin, the site provides forest, marsh and aquatic habitat for migratory birds, fish and other wetland-dependent wildlife. The conservation of this property, located just 15 miles from New Orleans, will improve the ecological integrity of the Louisiana Gulf Coast while expanding opportunities for public recreation. The grant leverages an additional $2 million in matching contributions from the North American Wetland Conservation Act grant program for the protection of the property. The remaining 2016 Acres for America grant awards are: Conservation of Cienega Grassland Ranch (Arizona): The Foundation's $225,000 grant to The Trust for Public Land will permanently protect 16,500 acres of high-quality native grasslands and wildlife habitat at the base of the Chiricahua Mountains in the Sky Island Region of southeastern Arizona. Conservation easements on these acres will allow working cattle operations to be maintained in the face of increasing pressure for residential development, fragmentation, and conversion to intensive agriculture. The easements will also preserve an important conservation corridor for desert and grassland bird species. The grant leverages an additional $3.1 million in matching contributions for the protection of the property, and has spurred significant additional investments from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service. Protecting Working Hardwood Forestland and Bat Habitat in Skinner Mountain Forest (Tennessee): The Foundation's $500,000 grant to The Conservation Fund, in partnership with the State of Tennessee, will acquire 14,600 acres of working hardwood forestland in Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau to protect critical karst habitat for seven bat species of Greatest Conservation Need, most notably three bat species listed under the Endangered Species Act: Indiana bat, gray bat, and northern long-eared bat. The protection of this area will preserve important ecological sites, increase land connectivity, sustain forestry jobs, create new public recreation opportunities, and preserve water quality and forest health. The grant leverages an additional $6.5 million in matching contributions for the protection of the property. Creating a Cold-Water Refuge for Klamath River Salmon at Blue Creek (California): The Foundation's $500,000 grant to Western Rivers Conservancy (WRC) will help complete the acquisition of 47,097 acres of land along the lower Klamath River and its most important cold-water tributary, Blue Creek. The lands lie within the globally important Klamath-Siskiyou ecoregion of California. In partnership with California's largest Native American tribe, agencies and corporations, WRC is creating a cold-water sanctuary essential for the survival of coho and Chinook salmon, as well as a sustainable community forest to help revitalize the economy of the Yurok people. The grant leverages an additional $14.7 million in matching contributions for the protection of the property. The program's 2016 grants will draw an additional $71.5 million in matching contributions, pushing the total conservation investment to more than $74.1 million. "The projects supported by these grants will protect some of our country's most valuable and productive wildlife habitats," said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. "The protection of Antelope Flats property, in particular, represents an incredible conservation success for our nation, and one of the most important accomplishments of the Acres for America program." Acres for America began in 2005, when Walmart made its first commitment of $35 million to purchase and preserve one acre of wildlife habitat in the United States for every acre of land developed by the company. The program has far surpassed that 10-year goal, with more than 1 million acres protected -- an area comparable in size to Grand Canyon National Park. Through its first 10 years, the competitive grant program leveraged Walmart's initial $35 million investment to generate more than $352 million in matching contributions, for a total conservation impact of approximately $387 million. In 2015, NFWF and Walmart announced a 10-year, $35 million program renewal of the program that is expected to double the total acreage protected. For additional information about the Acres for America Program, please click here. For a short video about the Acres for American Program, please click here. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. ( : WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better -- anytime and anywhere -- in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, nearly 260 million customers and members visit our 11,593 stores under 63 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2016 revenue of $482.1 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.4 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart. About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores our nation's wildlife and habitats. Chartered by Congress in 1984, NFWF directs public conservation dollars to the most pressing environmental needs and matches those investments with private contributions. NFWF works with government, nonprofit and corporate partners to find solutions for the most intractable conservation challenges. Over the last three decades, NFWF has funded more than 4,500 organizations and committed more than $3.5 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.


News Article | September 20, 2016
Site: www.washingtonpost.com

President Obama designated a large swath of Maine’s North Woods as a new national monument Wednesday, creating what is likely to be the last large new national park ever established on the East Coast. In a statement, the White House said the move aimed to honor the National Park Service’s centennial, which will take place Thursday. The move occurred almost exactly 100 years after President Woodrow Wilson established Sieur de Monts National Monument, which eventually became Maine’s sole existing national park, Acadia. “Following years of support from many local and state elected officials, tribal leaders, businesses and members of the public across the state, this designation will build on the robust tradition of growing the park system through private philanthropy, and will reinforce the need to continue protecting our great outdoors as we enter the second century of the National Park Service,” the statement said. The designation of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument marks the culmination of a long, bitter struggle over the land’s fate. For more than a decade, Roxanne Quimby — the wealthy, polarizing co-founder of Burt’s Bees — tried to give away the area to the government to create a new national park. “It may be one of the last, large national parks that we see in our lifetime,” said Theresa Pierno, president and chief executive of the National Parks Conservation Association in an interview Wednesday, adding that in a few years, “We’ll look back and say, ‘We can’t ever imagine why this was a controversy.’” Still, some Republicans criticized Obama’s decision to protect the area without waiting for congressional approval, which is required to designate a national park. Maine Gov. Paul R. LePage (R) said it  “demonstrates that rich, out-of-state liberals can force their unpopular agenda on the Maine people against their will.” Quimby’s son, Lucas St. Clair, who took over the public campaign for protection in late 2011, said he was  “thrilled beyond words” when he was officially notified Wednesday the president had signed the monument declaration. The designation “started with my mom’s vision back in the 1990s, when she was thinking how she could give back to the state of Maine” for being the birthplace of Burt’s Bees. “It means there’s a slice of the northern forest that could remain intact for perpetuity,” he added. By donating land worth $60 million, along with the facilities her family foundation has already built, an endowment of $20 million for operations and maintenance and a pledge to raise another $20 million, Quimby is effectively providing the government with a $100 million gift. But residents in towns near the proposed parkland voted against its creation. The governor and legislature opposed it, and Maine’s congressional delegation refused to introduce the measure necessary to create a national park, which requires an act of Congress. [New Maine park is a multi-million dollar gift wrapped up in distrust] That left only the prospect of the president using his authority under the Antiquities Act of 1906 to declare the land a national monument — something he has done nearly two dozen times while in office. He added to that list on Wednesday, in a move that creates the nation’s 413th national park site. One of the last sprawling wild areas in the East, the 87,500 acre area along the east branch of the Penobscot River is home to lynx, bears, brook trout and moose, and it is one of the only places on the East Coast where rare bird species like gray jays, boreal chickadees and the American three-toed woodpecker can be spotted. However, Quimby’s personality and relentless push for a national park divided this battered corner of New England, where shuttered paper mills have led to crippling unemployment and a shrinking population, and where distrust of the federal government runs deep. St. Clair returned to his native Maine and took a more conciliatory approach, determined to win over locals. He restored public access to tens of thousands of acres east of the Penobscot River and vowed to keep them as a recreation area for hunting, snowmobiling and fishing, even if a national park or monument were next door. He built an 18-mile loop road around the proposed park, along with camping areas and hiking trails, and invited the public to come see it for themselves. It will be the only National Park Service national monument that allows hunting, though not of bears, because Quimby’s family foundation put a specific provision for that activity in the deed it transferred to the federal government on Tuesday. It will also allow snowmobiling on all its existing trails, which means more than half the site will be open to the winter sport. However no logging, except for tree removal the Park Service conducts for conservation or safety purposes, will be permitted. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), who is on a fact-finding mission in Greenland, issued a statement saying some of the concessions the Quimby family made to preserve traditional recreation activities means “the benefits of the designation will far outweigh any detriment and – on balance – will be a significant benefit to Maine and the region.” And Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine), who represents the area, said in a statement that while “opposed to a unilateral decision, ignoring the votes in the local towns, the Maine Legislature, and Congress, I will continue to work with everyone to move this project forward in the right way in order to build a stronger economy that creates more and better paying jobs in the Katahdin Region and in Maine.” Some local residents said they still see commercial logging as the best way to revive the region’s sagging economy, but proponents of the monument said the boost in tourism would ultimately yield greater economic benefits. At this point only a few thousand people visit the site, but that number is likely to increase now that it’s received presidential recognition. [What does that National Park Service consider a national park?] The move by Quimby’s nonprofit, Elliotsville Plantation, comes at a time when the National Park Service faces an operations and maintenance backlog of $12 billion. The National Park Foundation has pledged to raise $350 million as part it its Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks, and with this latest gift it has gotten more than $300 million toward reaching its goal. As part of his effort to “reset” the conversation with residents, Maine’s congressional delegation and the White House, St. Clair also spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a public relations agency and a Washington lobbying firm. He commissioned economic studies detailing how other communities had benefited from proximity to national parks and cited poll findings that two-thirds of residents in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, which covers much of the state, would support a North Woods park. But unable to persuade members of Maine’s congressional delegation to introduce park legislation, St. Clair altered the family’s strategy and began trying to convince the Obama administration to designate the land a national monument. He repeatedly noted that other national parks had similar beginnings. Acadia began as Sieur de Monts National Monument. Grand Canyon National Park began as a monument designated by President Theodore Roosevelt. The creation of the modern Grand Teton National Park involved decades of bitter controversy over John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s efforts to donate thousands of acres to the project, with President Franklin D. Roosevelt first designating that land a national monument. St. Clair also met anyone who would listen, assuring them that the government had no plans to use eminent domain or impose air quality standards or buffer zones that would hurt the forestry industry. He noted that when he started his outreach campaign, “No one really wanted to speak publicly about it.” He made headway. The Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce endorsed the proposal. The Bangor Daily News backed it, saying the “region needs new life.” Polls showed broad support in much of Maine for a national monument in the North Woods, despite the outspoken local opposition. “I was meeting with people behind the grocery store and behind the gas station, having hushed conversations,” St. Clair said, noting that after a recent town hall federal officials received 400 positive comments and 12 negative ones. “Today we have people who are extremely excited.” In May, National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis came to the area for a series of hearings about the proposed monument. He got an earful during a day that included an angry crowd in East Millinocket and a more supportive crowd at a university auditorium in Orono. What he heard ran the gamut from what a great idea the proposed national monument would be to what a detriment it would be to local residents. He heard the government praised as a savior for the local economy and criticized as a land-hungry force that could harm the timber industry and alter the Maine way of life, while providing only a paltry number of seasonal jobs. During his visit, Jarvis told people that while he hadn’t yet decided on his recommendation to higher ups in Washington, the Quimby land “is absolutely worthy,” and the $40 million endowment promised by the family would be invaluable for getting it ready for the public. “We have no representation anywhere in the national park system like the forests and lakes of northern Maine,” Jarvis said during one of the public hearings. “What in blazes are they trying to monumentalize?” Anne Mitchell of the Maine Woods Coalition told The Post this spring. “There’s nothing extraordinary about it, except for a lot of black flies.” Human-caused climate change has been happening for a lot longer than we thought, scientists say As sea levels rise, nearly 1.9 million U.S. homes could be underwater by 2100 How air pollution is causing the world’s ‘Third Pole’ to melt A luxury cruise ship sets sail for the Arctic, thanks to climate change For more, you can sign up for our weekly newsletter here, and follow us on Twitter here.


News Article | August 24, 2016
Site: www.washingtonpost.com

President Obama designated a large swath of Maine’s North Woods as a new national monument Wednesday, creating what is likely to be the last large new national park ever established on the East Coast. In a statement, the White House said the move aimed to honor the National Park Service’s centennial, which will take place Thursday. The move occurred almost exactly 100 years after President Woodrow Wilson established Sieur de Monts National Monument, which eventually became Maine’s sole existing national park, Acadia. “Following years of support from many local and state elected officials, tribal leaders, businesses and members of the public across the state, this designation will build on the robust tradition of growing the park system through private philanthropy, and will reinforce the need to continue protecting our great outdoors as we enter the second century of the National Park Service,” the statement said. The designation of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument marks the culmination of a long, bitter struggle over the land’s fate. For more than a decade, Roxanne Quimby — the wealthy, polarizing co-founder of Burt’s Bees — tried to give away the area to the government to create a new national park. “It may be one of the last, large national parks that we see in our lifetime,” said Theresa Pierno, president and chief executive of the National Parks Conservation Association in an interview Wednesday, adding that in a few years, “We’ll look back and say, ‘We can’t ever imagine why this was a controversy.’” Still, some Republicans criticized Obama’s decision to protect the area without waiting for congressional approval, which is required to designate a national park. Maine Gov. Paul R. LePage (R) said it  “demonstrates that rich, out-of-state liberals can force their unpopular agenda on the Maine people against their will.” Quimby’s son, Lucas St. Clair, who took over the public campaign for protection in late 2011, said he was  “thrilled beyond words” when he was officially notified Wednesday the president had signed the monument declaration. The designation “started with my mom’s vision back in the 1990s, when she was thinking how she could give back to the state of Maine” for being the birthplace of Burt’s Bees. “It means there’s a slice of the northern forest that could remain intact for perpetuity,” he added. By donating land worth $60 million, along with the facilities her family foundation has already built, an endowment of $20 million for operations and maintenance and a pledge to raise another $20 million, Quimby is effectively providing the government with a $100 million gift. But residents in towns near the proposed parkland voted against its creation. The governor and legislature opposed it, and Maine’s congressional delegation refused to introduce the measure necessary to create a national park, which requires an act of Congress. [New Maine park is a multi-million dollar gift wrapped up in distrust] That left only the prospect of the president using his authority under the Antiquities Act of 1906 to declare the land a national monument — something he has done nearly two dozen times while in office. He added to that list on Wednesday, in a move that creates the nation’s 413th national park site. One of the last sprawling wild areas in the East, the 87,500 acre area along the east branch of the Penobscot River is home to lynx, bears, brook trout and moose, and it is one of the only places on the East Coast where rare bird species like gray jays, boreal chickadees and the American three-toed woodpecker can be spotted. However, Quimby’s personality and relentless push for a national park divided this battered corner of New England, where shuttered paper mills have led to crippling unemployment and a shrinking population, and where distrust of the federal government runs deep. St. Clair returned to his native Maine and took a more conciliatory approach, determined to win over locals. He restored public access to tens of thousands of acres east of the Penobscot River and vowed to keep them as a recreation area for hunting, snowmobiling and fishing, even if a national park or monument were next door. He built an 18-mile loop road around the proposed park, along with camping areas and hiking trails, and invited the public to come see it for themselves. It will be the only National Park Service national monument that allows hunting, though not of bears, because Quimby’s family foundation put a specific provision for that activity in the deed it transferred to the federal government on Tuesday. It will also allow snowmobiling on all its existing trails, which means more than half the site will be open to the winter sport. However no logging, except for tree removal the Park Service conducts for conservation or safety purposes, will be permitted. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), who is on a fact-finding mission in Greenland, issued a statement saying some of the concessions the Quimby family made to preserve traditional recreation activities means “the benefits of the designation will far outweigh any detriment and – on balance – will be a significant benefit to Maine and the region.” And Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine), who represents the area, said in a statement that while “opposed to a unilateral decision, ignoring the votes in the local towns, the Maine Legislature, and Congress, I will continue to work with everyone to move this project forward in the right way in order to build a stronger economy that creates more and better paying jobs in the Katahdin Region and in Maine.” Some local residents said they still see commercial logging as the best way to revive the region’s sagging economy, but proponents of the monument said the boost in tourism would ultimately yield greater economic benefits. At this point only a few thousand people visit the site, but that number is likely to increase now that it’s received presidential recognition. [What does that National Park Service consider a national park?] The move by Quimby’s nonprofit, Elliotsville Plantation, comes at a time when the National Park Service faces an operations and maintenance backlog of $12 billion. The National Park Foundation has pledged to raise $350 million as part it its Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks, and with this latest gift it has gotten more than $300 million toward reaching its goal. As part of his effort to “reset” the conversation with residents, Maine’s congressional delegation and the White House, St. Clair also spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a public relations agency and a Washington lobbying firm. He commissioned economic studies detailing how other communities had benefited from proximity to national parks and cited poll findings that two-thirds of residents in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, which covers much of the state, would support a North Woods park. But unable to persuade members of Maine’s congressional delegation to introduce park legislation, St. Clair altered the family’s strategy and began trying to convince the Obama administration to designate the land a national monument. He repeatedly noted that other national parks had similar beginnings. Acadia began as Sieur de Monts National Monument. Grand Canyon National Park began as a monument designated by President Theodore Roosevelt. The creation of the modern Grand Teton National Park involved decades of bitter controversy over John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s efforts to donate thousands of acres to the project, with President Franklin D. Roosevelt first designating that land a national monument. St. Clair also met anyone who would listen, assuring them that the government had no plans to use eminent domain or impose air quality standards or buffer zones that would hurt the forestry industry. He noted that when he started his outreach campaign, “No one really wanted to speak publicly about it.” He made headway. The Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce endorsed the proposal. The Bangor Daily News backed it, saying the “region needs new life.” Polls showed broad support in much of Maine for a national monument in the North Woods, despite the outspoken local opposition. “I was meeting with people behind the grocery store and behind the gas station, having hushed conversations,” St. Clair said, noting that after a recent town hall federal officials received 400 positive comments and 12 negative ones. “Today we have people who are extremely excited.” In May, National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis came to the area for a series of hearings about the proposed monument. He got an earful during a day that included an angry crowd in East Millinocket and a more supportive crowd at a university auditorium in Orono. What he heard ran the gamut from what a great idea the proposed national monument would be to what a detriment it would be to local residents. He heard the government praised as a savior for the local economy and criticized as a land-hungry force that could harm the timber industry and alter the Maine way of life, while providing only a paltry number of seasonal jobs. During his visit, Jarvis told people that while he hadn’t yet decided on his recommendation to higher ups in Washington, the Quimby land “is absolutely worthy,” and the $40 million endowment promised by the family would be invaluable for getting it ready for the public. “We have no representation anywhere in the national park system like the forests and lakes of northern Maine,” Jarvis said during one of the public hearings. “What in blazes are they trying to monumentalize?” Anne Mitchell of the Maine Woods Coalition told The Post this spring. “There’s nothing extraordinary about it, except for a lot of black flies.” Human-caused climate change has been happening for a lot longer than we thought, scientists say As sea levels rise, nearly 1.9 million U.S. homes could be underwater by 2100 How air pollution is causing the world’s ‘Third Pole’ to melt A luxury cruise ship sets sail for the Arctic, thanks to climate change For more, you can sign up for our weekly newsletter here, and follow us on Twitter here.


News Article | June 22, 2016
Site: www.techtimes.com

Ticked Off! Here's What You Need To Know About Lyme Disease The cub of one of the most popular grizzly bears in the United States was killed in a hit-and-run incident on Sunday evening at Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park. Andrew White, a spokesman for the park, said a young bear was struck and killed by a car near Pilgrim Creek Road at about 10 p.m. Park officials have yet to confirm the identity of the cub through DNA testing, but White said they are confident that the animal was Snowy, the blond-faced cub of the famous female bear known as Grizzly 399. According to witnesses, Grizzly 399 even tried to save her injured cub but he eventually died. She later removed Snowy's body from the road. Park officials said they are still working to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident, as well as the identity of the driver that hit the bear cub. "[Grizzly] 399's cub, known as Snowy or Spirit by the bear watchers of Grand Teton, was adored for its antics and notably white face and will be sorely missed," the conservation group Wyoming Wildlife Advocates wrote on its Facebook page. Snowy's death could not have come at a worse time for grizzly bears and their advocates in the western United States. Animal rights activists have been trying to block plans by the federal government to remove grizzly bears from the list of animals protected under the Endangered Species Act. While the issue is still being debated on, wildlife officials in Montana and Wyoming have already begun preparing for the possibility of allowing bears to be hunted again. Wyoming Wildlife Advocates managing director Roger Hayden pointed out that Snowy's death shows just how vulnerable the bears in Greater Yellowstone parks are. Last week, the group submitted a proposal to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and state wildlife managers in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming to establish a no-hunting zone for grizzlies outside the Grand Teton and Yellowstone national park boundaries. Hayden said bears just like Grizzly 399 tend to stay near roads in order to be safe, but sometimes this habit is what leads to their deaths. "They are tolerant of people, yet people can cause their deaths — especially if the federal government allows states to hunt them," he said. Hayden added that bears living in Grand Teton and Yellowstone that manage to wander beyond the boundaries of the parks will be the ones most likely targeted by hunters. This could lead to even more tragedies involving park bears unless the animals are protected. © 2016 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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