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Yosemite National Park in the western Sierra Nevada of Northern California on April 13, 2017. Jorge Láscar / Flickr

The Senate overwhelmingly approved a major conservation bill worth billions on Wednesday. The Great American Outdoors Act provides a stimulus to nationwide conservation projects, outdoor recreation and maintenance of national parks and other public lands, according to AP News. The bill's supporters say the legislation would be the most significant conservation legislation enacted in nearly half a century.

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National Trails Day 2020 is now titled In Solidarity, AHS Suspends Promotion of National Trails Day 2020. The American Hiking Society is seeking to amplify Black voices in the outdoor community and advocate for equal access to the outdoors. Klaus Vedfelt / DigitalVision / Getty Images

This Saturday, June 6, marks National Trails Day, an annual celebration of the remarkable recreational, scenic and hiking trails that crisscross parks nationwide. The event, which started in 1993, honors the National Trail System and calls for volunteers to help with trail maintenance in parks across the country.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Photo credit: Black Birders Week seeks to highlight the experiences of Black scientists and nature lovers. Chad Springer / Image Source / Getty Images

A video of an incident in Central Park last Monday, in which a white woman named Amy Cooper called the cops on African American birder Christian Cooper after he asked her to put her dog on a leash, went viral last week, raising awareness of the racism Black people face for simply trying to enjoy nature.

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Wolf pups with their mother at their den site. Design Pics / Getty Images

In another reversal of Obama-era regulations, the Trump administration is having the National Park Service rescind a 2015 order that protected bears and wolves within protected lands.

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Nuiqsut resident Martha Itta said that she was "frustrated and saddened" after an April 23 online meeting where she says she was muted. She described technology as a hurdle that excludes many members of the public in rural Alaska. U.S. Department of the Interior

The Trump administration has attempted to plow forward with its plans to open up public lands to drilling for oil and gas exploration. To do so, it has continued to hold public meetings over Zoom. That means that Native American groups who often have spotty internet service or no service at all are not able to participate in the public meetings, according to The Washington Post.

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Visitors to Yellowstone National Park at the view point overlooking Mammoth Hot Springs. hugh rhine / CC BY 2.0

If you're looking to get outside and enjoy the remarkable vistas that the U.S. national parks offer, you may be in luck. Some national parks are planning a phased reopening.

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The entrance for Liberty State Park on April 12, 2020 in Jersey City, NJ, is blocked after New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued an order to close all State Parks. Ira L. Black / Corbis / Getty Images

By Stephen Lezak

Across the United States, local authorities have sealed off public parks and open spaces, blaming visitors who failed to maintain social distance.


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Sunrise over the terrain at North Dakota's Theodore Roosevelt National Park on June 4, 2014. National Park Service

You can be forgiven for not realizing that we're in the midst of National Park Week. After all, spring is in the air but you're probably missing the great outdoors.

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A large fracking operation with Mount Meeker and Longs Peak looming in the background on December 28, 2017 in Loveland, Colorado. Helen H. Richardson / The Denver Post / Getty Images

by Andrea Germanos

The Trump administration on Friday released a new land use plan for southwestern Colorado that community and conservation advocacy groups warn is a "dangerous" pathway towards increased fossil fuel extraction that makes no "climate, ecological, or economic sense."

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The moon sets over the border fence between the U.S. and Mexico on March 14, 2017 in Hidalgo, Texas. John Moore / Getty Images

In the midst of a global pandemic, President Donald Trump found time earlier this week to sign an executive order for U.S. companies to mine the moon's mineral resources, according to Newsweek.

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A grumpy burrowing owl. Andy Morffew / CC BY 2.0

By John R. Platt

What do we lose when natural spaces and species disappear?

Increasingly, research has shown that as species and ecosystems vanish, it also chips away at our ability to preserve what remains — because we no longer understand what we're losing.

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