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Animals

Judge Blocks First Yellowstone-Area Grizzly Hunt in 40 Years

A federal judge on Thursday halted the first Yellowstone-area grizzly bear trophy hunts in four decades.

Wyoming and Idaho's grizzly hunt was set to begin this Saturday, Sept. 1 and would have allowed a potential kill of 23 bears outside of Yellowstone National Park.

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Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. Carol M. Highsmith Archive / Library of Congress

The Hiker’s Guide to Communing With Nature

By Jillian Mackenzie

If you've visited the wilderness recently, you may have noticed something: people. People with walking sticks, people with selfie sticks, people with more people in tow. Surging numbers of visitors are hiking, camping, and all-around loving the outdoors. A whopping 330,882,751 of them spent 1.44 billion hours in our national parks in 2017—up 19 million hours from 2016. Great news, except that all this wilderness enthusiasm does come with a downside. "We're seeing record numbers of people connecting to nature, and that's a good thing," said Dana Watts, executive director of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. "But with that comes an increase in the impact to the land."

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Animals
A grizzly bear at Montana Grizzly Encounter in Bozeman, MT, a rescue and educational sanctuary. jerseygal2009 / CC BY-ND 2.0

Wyoming Votes to Allow First Grizzly Bear Hunt in 40 Years

The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to approve the largest grizzly bear hunt in the lower 48 states, despite opposition from environmental groups, tribal nations and wildlife photographers, The Washington Post reported.

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Animals
Four grizzly bear cubs near Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park. Pat Gaines / Flickr

Yellowstone Grizzly Bears to Lose Endangered Species Protection, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Confirms

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) reaffirmed its June 2017 decision to designate grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) as a separate population and remove that population from protections under the Endangered Species Act, the FWS announced in the Federal Register Friday.

When the FWS announced the June 22 decision, they pointed to the fact that the population of grizzly bears in the area in and around Yellowstone National Park had grown from 136 in 1975, when the species was first listed, to 700 today.

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Medano Creek, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Alamosa, CO. Gail K E / Flickr

Conservation Groups: Fracking, Drilling Would Ruin Public Lands Near Colorado's Great Sand Dunes National Park

Conservation groups are calling on the Trump administration to cancel plans to lease thousands of acres of federal public lands for oil and gas development near western Colorado's Great Sand Dunes National Park and Blanca Peak without fully analyzing environmental or cultural harms.

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Yellowstone National Park. Timothy Woo / Flickr

New Mining Ban Around Yellowstone Moves Forward

By Sam Schipani

The federal government is moving forward with a plan to halt new mining claims in the Absaroka Mountains north of Yellowstone National Park. The plan would withdraw 30,370 acres of public lands in Montana's Paradise Valley from new claims for gold, silver and other mineral extraction for a period of 20 years.

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The main gate was blocked at Saguaro National Park as part of its semi-closed status during the shutdown. NPCA / Flickr

Confusion Reigned at Semi-Shut-Down National Parks

During the government shutdown, visitors to public lands encountered locked doors, deserted parks and ambiguous instructions.

The third weekend in January kicked off with a federal government shutdown. At least some Americans went ahead with their plans to visit national parks and other public lands, perhaps heartened by Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke's imprecise (yet exhaustively publicized) plan to keep them open.

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Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park. Tom Murphy / National Geographic Creative

Supervolcano Beneath Yellowstone Could Erupt, Wiping Out Life on Earth

By Jake Johnson

Yes, Donald Trump is president. And yes, he has access to the nuclear codes—a fact that has become all too vivid in recent weeks. But many allowed themselves to forget, if only for a brief moment, about the man in the White House on Thursday to hone their attention on what is potentially an even more horrifying development.

As USA Today reported, new research indicates that the supervolcano resting beneath Yellowstone National Park "may blow sooner than thought, an eruption that could wipe out life on the planet."

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Robert Vessels

Fly Fishing in Yellowstone: How One Veteran Found a New Life in the Outdoors

By Lindsey Robinson

Evan Bogart never wanted to sleep in a tent again. Between 2004-2011, he'd served in the U.S. Army as an infantryman and spent three long combat deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq. He'd spent a good portion of his years in service living in a tent in hot and hazardous deserts. He'd had enough of the outdoors; he wanted to be in places with air conditioning, electricity and no reminders of the war-torn lands he had experienced.

Evan separated in 2011 as an E6 Squad Leader, with an honorable discharge and two Purple Hearts. But his own heart was heavy and troubled. He'd become disillusioned with the U.S. military and its goals in the Middle East. The violence and destruction he'd witnessed left him feeling both angry and guilty. He distinctly remembers one moment in Iraq: "An old woman told me I was a bad man, and I realized I agreed with her."

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