• On Feb. 15 we celebrate the lives of two American Presidents who embody the  American spirit. Surprisingly, a foray into the Great Outdoors on your day off will honor George Washington and Abraham Lincoln’s legacies as much as a trip to a museum.

    Though as surveyors, both presidents focused on exploring and settling wild lands rather than protecting them, Washington and Lincoln demonstrated a similar emotional connection toward wilderness that conservationists feel today.

  • Valentines Day. Roses, chocolates, red frilly doilies, wine and dinner out. Eh hem...Yawn... Booooooring.

    Listen up, lovebirds. As much as everyone appreciates a week’s worth of calories packed in a cardboard box, when it comes to romance there’s nothing in the greeting-card store that beats a quiet outing in nature.

    So ask yourself, are you going to do the same predictable thing that you’ve done year after year, or are you going to be a Valentine’s champ and take your sweetie to some place truly memorable?

  • Gazing across the California desert, one is rewarded by a startling beauty found nowhere else on earth.

    It is a rare landscape, painted in ever-changing hues from soft lilac to fiery crimson, its palette shifting as the sun tracks across the ancient lakebeds, volcanic fields and rugged peaks.

    It’s also a refuge where springs, waterfalls and year-round rivers support oases brimming with life.

  • The Wilderness Society and 33 other conservation and public interest groups across America have joined together to create some guidelines for the federal government in 2011 that would generate jobs and protect natural resources. In a document called the “Green Budget” there are a variety of recommendations to Congress that offer incredible benefits to the American people — from preservation projects in New Hampshire to stimulating the economy in North Carolina.

  • Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the establishment of a new tip line for citizens to report suspicious oil and natural gas drilling activities. Known as “Eyes on Drilling,” the program is designed to make the EPA aware of non-emergency but potentially illegal disposal of wastes or other suspicious activity related to drilling in communities.

  • It’s getting louder every day.

    And Gordon Hempton decided to do something about it. He has spent the past 30 years traveling around to quantify the racket. As Newsweek reported in a story about Hempton last week, the audio ecologist claims that, during daytime, the average noise-free interval in wilderness areas has shrunk to less than five minutes. And according to Newsweek:

  • A tiny Northwestern seabird got some great news on Jan 20. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service declared that the marbled murrelet is still in need of federal protection and declined petitions to remove the bird from the list of threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

    The Fish and Wildlife Service cited declining populations in Oregon, Washington, and California as proof that the marbled murrelet was not ready to be removed from the protective measures that have been in place since the early 1990s.