Quick newsworthy stories and links from the great outdoors over the past week.
This Wednesday marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Wilderness Act. In this short article, National Geographic Magazine makes a compelling case why the Wilderness Act is as important today as it was 50 years ago.
Lawmakers in Washington State are seeking to designate 126,000 acres of wilderness to the Olympic National Forest. The land under consideration surrounds Olympic National Park. There is strong bipartisan support for the proposal in Washington since the wilderness designation will provide economic benefit; however, the proposal needs to be approved by Congress.
Tribal fishing treaties have become the newest barrier to building coal shipment facilities along the West Coast of the U.S. and Canada. Many tribal treaties were written to protect access to ancestral fishing sites in perpetuity. Tribes are demonstrating that coal shipment facilities could pose an environmental risk to these areas.
Stones leaving long tracks across the flat Racetrack Playa in Death Valley has posed a mystery to scientists to explain how it happens. Some popular theories were that high winds and rain were the cause. The Slithering Stones Research Initiative took up the challenge and devised an interesting method to figure it out. Mystery solved.
Irrigation suppliers in California's Central Valley sought a federal injunction to stop the water release to save salmon in the Klamath Basin, but their request was denied by a U.S. District Judge in Fresno. The water release means less water for irrigation needs in California, pitting farmers who depend on the irrigation for their crops against environmentalists seeking to maintain salmon habitat.
In late 2015, Oregon will open a new State Park on what was once 357 acres of private land on the Oregon Coast. For years there were efforts to turn the property into a golf resort, but the initiative was blocked by residents. The area, just outside of Pacific City, will include a mile of beachfront and hiking trails through sitka spruce forest. It is one of the largest intact estuaries on the Oregon Coast.