Recent news stories and headlines to catch from the great outdoors.
In 2014 there were 292.8 million visits to national parks. This broke the previous record, set in 1987, when parks saw just over 287 million visits. It also represented a seven percent increase over 2013.
The Oregon Chub, a small minnow that lives exclusively in Oregon's Willamette Valley, is the first fish species to ever recover and be delisted from the Endangered Species list. It represents a huge success story. The fish received its protected status in 1993 with less than 1,000 individuals remaining. To be delisted, the species needed and achieved 20 growing and stable populations of at least 500 individuals.
Xero Gravity Action Sports announced plans to build a large extreme sports park in Central Florida. The complex would include a 14-story ski slope, along with a BMX park, skate park, and climbing wall. The plan is still pending approval by Osceola County.
Oklahoma used to have only one or two earthquakes per year that registered magnitude 3 or higher. Today the state averages two to three a day. There were more tremors in Oklahoma than any other place in the U.S. last year. Fracking and horizontal drilling for oil seem to be the cause for the spike in quake activity, and it's beginning to cause concern for Oklahoma residents.
According to researchers, hiking can have as profound an impact on wildlife as other forms of outdoor recreation considered to be more disruptive. The research is showing that keeping certain areas off limits to all recreation may be a better option to protect critical habitat and at-risk species.