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Adventure

The Fight Is On to Save Program Giving Millions of Fourth-Graders Free Access to National Parks

The Wilderness Society is rallying to save the "Every Kid in a Park" program, which gives fourth graders and their families a pass that allows them to visit national parks for free, according to a press release dated June 4.

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Energy
Jonathan Bailey

Trump's BLM Ready to Sacrifice Ancient Rock Art for Gas Drilling

By Sam Schipani

While the Ancestral Puebloan people of the Southwest were building citadels like Chaco Canyon, the Fremont people were carving mysterious petroglyphs depicting horned, broad-shouldered triangular men and sweeping carvings of desert snakes. Nowhere is their legacy more apparent than in eastern Utah's Molen Reef. Fremont artifacts dominate this cultural heritage site, but its rock art ranges from 3,000-year-old panels from the Barrier Canyon tradition to etchings by Mormon pioneers crossing the Utah desert.

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Energy
Alaska's Kenai Fjords National Park, which was impacted by the Exxon Valdez oil spill, could be harmed again if expanded offshore drilling plans go through. National Park Service

Trump’s Offshore Drilling Plan Puts 68 National Parks at Risk

Sixty-eight National Parks along the coastal U.S. could be in danger from devastating oil spills if President Donald Trump's plan to open 90 percent of coastal waters to offshore oil drilling goes through, a report released Wednesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the National Parks Conservation Association found.

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Adventure
"These are lands that have been stewarded by indigenous people for thousands of years, and now it's a responsibility of everyone to take that into consideration." @nativesoutdoors / Instagram

Posting Your Hike on Instagram? Now You Can Tag Your Location’s Indigenous Name

By Isabelle Morrison

Public spaces are for everyone, but how we perceive them and interact with them is contextual. Some activists are making their statements on the public canvas all around the world. And it's catching on.

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Climate
Simulated flooding caused by a Category 3 hurricane striking Theodore Roosevelt Island in Washington, DC. NPS

National Park Service Releases Climate Report That Officials Tried to Censor

The National Parks Service (NPS) quietly released a long-delayed report that mentions humanity's role in climate change, which officials had removed in earlier drafts.

The report, published Friday without a press release or any social media activity from the parks department or Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, shows estimates of sea level change for 118 coastal national park sites and estimates of storm surge for 79 of the sites.

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Energy
Petrified Forest National Park. Andrew Kearns / National Park Service

Trump Opens Door to Dangerous Fracking in Northern Arizona

A new Trump administration plan proposes to auction off 4,200 acres of public land for oil and gas development in northern Arizona. The lands straddle the Little Colorado River, are within three miles of Petrified Forest National Park, and are near habitat for a federally threatened fish called the Little Colorado spinedace. Drilling and fracking would threaten to deplete and pollute groundwater in the Little Colorado River Basin.

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Animals
Brown bears in Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska. NPS Photo / B. Plog

Trump Admin. Wants to Reinstate 'Cruel' Hunting Tactics in Alaska, Conservation Groups Say

The Trump administration has proposed new regulations to overturn an Obama-era rule that protects iconic predators in Alaska's national preserves.

Wildlife protection organizations condemned the move, as it would allow hunters to go to den sites to shoot wolf pups and bear cubs, lure and kill bears over bait, hunt bears with dogs and use motor boats to shoot swimming caribou. Such hunting methods were banned on federal lands in 2015 that are otherwise permitted by the state.

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Animals
White-banded swallows in Yasuni National Park, which has largely escaped human pressures. Geoff Gallice from Gainesville / CC BY 2.0

One-Third of Protected Areas 'Highly Degraded' By Humans, Study Finds

A study published in Science Friday presents what authors call a sobering "reality check" on global efforts to protect biodiversity—one third of all conservation areas set aside as wildlife sanctuaries or national parks are "highly degraded" by human activities.

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Politics

Rock Climbers and Supporters 'Climb the Hill' for Public Lands

U.S. rock climbers and their non-profit and corporate allies are setting themselves a difficult challenge this week—persuading Congress to act to protect public lands.

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