Oakland terminates lease at planned coal export facility

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Mercury News:In a major setback to a years-long effort to reinvent the former Oakland Army Base, the city has terminated its lease with developer Phil Tagami, effectively putting an end to his controversial plan to build a marine terminal and export coal, according to letters sent last month by city attorneys.City officials in those letters said Tagami has failed to meet construction milestones agreed upon in the lease, and sent him a notice of default on October 23. The default notice said Tagami must pay the city $1.6 million in project liquidated damages as specified in the 66-year lease.“This isn’t about coal. This is about the developer’s failure to meet its obligations and perform the work it agreed to do. (The developer) had years to move this project forward, and has used every excuse in the book to justify its failure to perform,” City Attorney Barbara Parker said in a statement.After years of planning, the military turned over the shuttered base to the city and Port of Oakland in 2006. The city had flirted with several different visions for its half of the property before giving Tagami the green light for a $1 billion state-of-the-art logistics center and marine terminal in 2012. Among them were an Indian casino, hotel, convention center, and, if a failed plan by Keenen Ivory Wayans had come to pass, a movie studio and entertainment village.The once-touted terminal project had already run afoul of Oakland city leaders, who belatedly voted to ban coal after learning of Tagami’s surreptitious deal with Utah coal companies to ship their product overseas. Tagami sued and the battle landed in federal court. In May, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria struck down the city’s coal ban, a decision the city is appealing.Now it appears there will be a new court fight over the terminated lease. Last month, Tagami and his business partner, Mark McClure, filed a 51-page claim against the city, a precursor to a lawsuit.More: Oakland tells Phil Tagami coal project is over, terminates Army base lease Oakland terminates lease at planned coal export facilitylast_img read more

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Spain’s Iberdrola moves forward with 500MW solar farm, plans for much more

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Iberdrola SA signed a financing agreement with a pair of lenders for a 500-MW Spanish solar photovoltaic plant that is part of a growing fleet of subsidy-free renewables projects being lined up to sell their power to corporate buyers.The European Investment Bank will provide €145 million to fund the facility being built in Spain’s Extremadura region, while Instituto de Crédito Oficial, the Spanish state-owned bank, is pitching in with €140 million, according to a July 16 statement.The project, known as Núñez de Balboa, is expected to be commissioned in 2020 and carries a total investment of more than €290 million, the parties said. Once online, the project will boast a total installed capacity of 500 MW and a maximum grid connection capacity of 391 MW, according to Iberdrola’s website, making it one of the largest solar parks under development in Europe.It is one of a growing number of large-scale solar facilities in development across Iberia, many of which are now being realized without government subsidies and are instead lining up large energy users as power off-takers.Iberdrola had said it signed long-term power purchase agreements to sell part of Núñez de Balboa’s electricity output to three Spanish corporates: telecommunications operator Euskaltel SA, distribution company Uvesco SA and banking group Kutxabank SA. A spokesperson said the company is “open to other [off-take] agreements” for the project.In Extremadura alone, Iberdrola is aiming to install 2 GW of new solar and wind capacity in Spain by 2022. As it stands, the company has 1,268 MW of solar in various stages of development, including the €300 million Francisco Pizarro project, which will stand at 590 MW.More ($): Iberdrola raises finance for giant corporate-backed Spanish solar park Spain’s Iberdrola moves forward with 500MW solar farm, plans for much morelast_img read more

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Wood Mackenzie: Renewables, green hydrogen to limit growth of global LNG market

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Natural Gas Intelligence:More than 75% of new liquefied natural gas (LNG) global supply could be at risk because of quickly expanding renewable energy resources, according to an analysis by Wood Mackenzie.In a forecast issued [last] Wednesday, the consultancy said its scenario for worldwide gas demand is going to come under pressure as power sector investments increase in renewables and energy storage. More gas consumption also would be sapped by efficiency improvements and as new technologies are adopted beyond the power sector. The scenario laid out by the Wood Mackenzie team is tied to greenhouse gas reduction goals set by the United Nations, which have been adopted by most developed nations. The basic goal is to keep global temperatures from rising above 2 degrees C to reduce the impacts from climate change.Among the alternative options, look for hydrogen to play a bigger role in the world’s energy mix, which also would pressure gas demand. Green hydrogen could become a “gamechanger in the long term, emerging as a key competitor to gas consumption toward the end of 2040 and achieving a 10% share in the total primary energy demand by 2050,” researchers said.“With weaker global gas demand, the space for new developments will be limited,” said Wood Mackenzie principal analyst Kateryna Filippenko. “This is a significant challenge” as companies consider final investment decisions (FID) for potential projects.Using the 2 degree scenario, “only about 145 billion cubic meters/annum (bcma) of additional LNG supply is needed in 2040 compared to 450 bcma in our base-case outlook,” Filippenko said. “And if we consider imminent FID for Qatar North Field East expansion, the space for new projects shrinks to 104 bcma, down 77% from our base case.” [Carolyn Davis]More: Global LNG prospects seen dwindling as renewables, efficiencies expand Wood Mackenzie: Renewables, green hydrogen to limit growth of global LNG marketlast_img read more

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Clips of the Week: Ski the Rainforest, Emus Attack, Winter SUP, Explore Park, Freebord

first_imgOur favorite outdoor videos from around the web for the week that was:1. Ski the RainforestValhalla, the latest ski flick from the brilliant minds at Sweetgrass Productions, features some weird/awesome cinematography, but none more so than this clip of some bros who ski the rainforest, during the summer. SPOILER: To read about how the pulled it off, click here.Forest Ski Segment From Valhalla from Sweetgrass Productions on Vimeo.2. Emu vs. Weasel BallThese emus, and one ostrich, absolutely bug out when they come in contact with a weasel ball. What does this have to do with the outdoors? Nothing.3. PocoshockWinter whitewater stand up paddleboarding in Virginia? Sure, why not.Pocoshock from Hunter on Vimeo.4. Explore ParkSome winter riding at Explore Park outside Roanoke, Va. Explore Park has some awesome trails, and these guys do a nice job mixing up the POV camera angles. Good wreck at 1:14.5. Shredding ConcreteThis is a video featuring Freebord, which is essentially a snowboard for the streets. These guys are really good. We have one in the office so look for a review soon.Go Freebord! from Freebord Mfg. on Vimeo.last_img read more

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5 Fall Hikes in the Blue Ridge

first_imgThe Blue Ridge region is nationally renowned for its leaf peeping potential, but picking the right trail for viewing fall colors can be a daunting task. Use this guide to find five of the best leaf viewing locations in the southern Appalachians before you hit the trails this fall.Looking Glass Rock, Pisgah National ForestNorth CarolinaThis is an iconic hike in Pisgah National Forest. From a  distance, Looking Glass is one of the most impressive mountains in the Southeast, but even more stunning is the view from its summit. The strenuous 6.4-mile out-and-back that guides forest visitors to the top of of the mountain, where the they find a sprawling view of the Western North Carolina mountains. 2016 is projected to be a banner year for leaf viewing in Western North Carolina, so plan to hit the trail soon.Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 12.03.21 PMAuxier Ridge Loop, Red River Gorge Kentucky Some of the best vistas in the Red River Gorge await on the Auxier Ridge Loop trail. This moderate day hike requires about five miles of foot travel and anywhere from three to six hours depending on your skill level. At the top you’ll find a stellar view of  Courthouse Rock and sprawling vistas of Kentucky’s Red River Gorge. Learn more here.Old Rag, Shenandoah National Park Virginia One of the most popular hikes in the Mid-Atlantic region, Old Rag offers fall visitors a prime vantage point from which to witness the changing of the seasons. In fact, it’s widely regarded as one of the best summits views in Virginia, particularly in autumn. The hike itself is strenuous, requiring a rock scramble and approximately 3.5 miles of trekking with many viewpoints along the way. But the real pay off is at the top! Learn more here.screen-shot-2015-10-28-at-2-17-23-pmBlackwater CanyonWest VirginiaSituated in the Monongahela National Forest in the north central West Virginia Highlands, Blackwater Canyon stands apart as one of the Mountain State’s best fall view points. Once used to haul lumber and coal through this sunning natural landscape, the Blackwater Canyon Trail is tailor-made for those seeking a sense if mountain solitude. In addition to transitioning leaves, be on the lookout for the endangered West Virginia flying squirrel, the Indiana bat, and the Cheat Mountain salamander. More on Blackwater Canyon here.Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 12.15.20 PMTable Rock Mountain, Linville Gorge North CarolinaThe Linville Gorge is arguably one of the most stunning landscapes in all of Western North Carolina, and it’s chock full of top-notch leaf peeping destinations. If you’ve never been, use the summit of Table Rock Mountain as an intro to all the gorge has to offer. The unique summit can be seen throughout much of the North Carolina High Country, and the route to the top is a breeze compared to some of the other summits on this list. Learn more here.Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 1.50.29 PMlast_img read more

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Cumberland in Crisis

first_img“When you step off the ferry at Sea Camp, the first thing that strikes you is the silence,” says Alex Kearns, a frequent visitor to Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia’ largest and southernmost barrier island. “Then you hear the wind, and the distant thrum of the ocean, and you hear your breath for the first time.”Less than a mile from the dock, you climb towering dunes and spill out onto a wide, windswept beach, where gulls and terns dance with the tides. Cumberland Island has no beachfront houses or developments, so you often have the entire seashore to yourself.A few property owners are jockeying for permission to build on about 1,000 acres of private land still remaining on Cumberland Island National Seashore, including an 88-acre parcel right next to Sea Camp.However, the island’s scenery and silence may soon change dramatically. A handful of wealthy island families are planning a beachfront development next to Sea Camp that could forever mar the wild, pristine seashore.A few property owners are jockeying for permission to build on about 1,000 acres of private land still remaining on Cumberland Island National Seashore, including an 88-acre parcel right next to Sea Camp.Those property owners are in the midst of negotiations with conservationists, the local county zoning board, and the National Park Service, which owns a vast majority of the island and oversees management and visitation of the park.“To rezone those 1,000 acres for development is to create a blueprint for destruction of the island,” says Kearns.PARADISE LOST?The 88-acre property planned for development stretches across the width of the island just north of Sea Camp Campground, from the ferry dock to the beach. It is adjacent to the island’s most accessible and most visited campground.Lumar Limited Liability Corporation, a company formed in 1997 to buy and hold property and conceal the identity of its owners, purchased the tract in 1998 for $3.5 million from Georgia Rose Rockefeller, a descendent of the Carnegie family, which collectively owned 90 percent of the island at one time. Lumar, LLC, includes members of the Candler family, descendents of Coca-Cola founder Asa Candler, which have also owned land on the island for several generations. The Candler family currently live in several houses on nearly 1,000 acres on the north end of Cumberland Island.Reverend Sam Candler of St. Philip’s Cathedral in Atlanta has spoken publicly about his family’s intentions with the Lumar property, which according to him are only around ten homes for his current and future family. He says his family wants to build “unobtrusive” homes invisible to the eye of any hikers and campers recreating nearby.But most hikers and outdoor organizations worry that any new second-home developments in a national park would be bad for the island.“Development will lead to more people and vehicle traffic on the beach,” says Carol Ruckdeschel, an island naturalist. “The development will require roads, septic systems, well drilling, and infrastructure for garbage. Taken in total, the impact is going to be a lot larger than a few houses, and they will permanently change the character of Cumberland.”[nextpage title=”Read on!”]THE EVOLUTION OF A PARKCongress established Cumberland Island National Seashore in 1972 in order to “maintain the primitive, undeveloped character of one of the largest and most ecologically diverse barrier islands on the Atlantic Coast,” according to its founding legislation.The National Park Service purchased most of the parcels on the island from private landowners, offering many of them a sweetheart deal: the Park Service would buy the land (in many cases, for millions of dollars), maintain roads, build docks and haul trash, and the families would be allowed to live on the island for the rest of their lives, or a set number of years, depending on the agreement.That founding legislation also gave the National Park Service the power of eminent domain over the island, meaning they could legally condemn properties to better conserve and manage the national seashore. It’s a tool that the Park Service used to acquire several tracts on Cumberland Island from non-Carnegie landowners.But two wealthy Carnegie families were allowed to keep their private land within the national park: the family who operates the only commercial entity on the island, Greyfield Inn, and another Carnegie heir who sold 88 acres to Lumar, LLC for development next to Sea Camp.“The intention of the island’s founding legislation was that the Park Service would eventually own all the land on Cumberland Island,” says Cumberland Island National Seashore Superintendent Gary Ingram. “And that’s a good goal to have, especially when you’re trying to manage a wild place like Cumberland Island,” he said.So far, the Park Service has been reluctant to use eminent domain to acquire the remaining 1,000 acres of Carnegie inholdings, but it’s a tool that the Park Service used to create the national seashore—and a tool they could use again to save it from development.“I sold under threat of condemnation,” explains Ruckdeschel, who sold her parcel to the National Park Service in the 1970s and has rights to live on the island until she dies. “How equitable is it to now allow the wealthiest landowners to keep their property and actually develop the island while many others were condemned?”BUY IT BACK?Superintendent Ingram said if property owners were willing to sell the remaining private land, including the 88 acres next to Sea Camp owned by Lumar, LLC, he’s certain the National Park Service could find money from partner conservation entities to purchase it.It would be a win-win: Lumar would be recognized and compensated for providing a critically important tract of land next to Sea Camp, and the park and the general public would have ensured the long-term protection of the seashore.But Sam Candler says he is not interested in selling. “That property…remains in the hands of families who have had a long-standing and sensitive history of caring for the island; I believe that is fortunate for the island,” Candler wrote in an email to Blue Ridge Outdoors.Instead, Candler and Lumar LLC have been pressing the local Camden County zoning board to grant them a variance that will allow them to subdivide the property. Camden County approved the request, much to the dismay of conservation groups and island observers, including Southern Environmental Law Center Lead Attorney Bill Sapp. Sapp has led a multi-organization appeal of the granted variance, claiming that none of the standards required for approval were met.The appeal hearing was delayed several times until April, when Sapp, representatives of Lumar, LLC, Camden County officials, and the National Park Service began negotiations to consider a new zoning designation for the private properties on Cumberland Island.PUBLIC LANDS, PRIVATE PLAYGROUNDSo far, most of the negotiations are not aimed at stopping any current or future development but limiting the number of houses built per acre. Lumar, LLC wants a zoning rule of one house per two acres, which would allow for over 400 additional houses on Cumberland Island.Superintendent Ingram hopes the negotiations can achieve a compromise that has the least amount of island impact.“When the development footprint grows, there will be consequences. What the level of impact will be, I don’t know. If they’re building one structure out there, like a cabin, it’s far less than if they were building multiple 4,000-square-foot structures,” he said.Kearns believes the negotiations are failing the taxpaying American public, who have already spent millions to purchase Cumberland Island.She says that even the strictest limit currently on the table—one house per 25 acres—would still permit 40 additional developments within Cumberland Island National Seashore—more than twice the number of current residences on the island.Kearns believes the negotiations are failing the taxpaying American public, who have already spent millions to purchase Cumberland Island.“No matter what density the county chooses, the island will be permanently scarred and degraded long-term if development is allowed to proceed.”Candler said the private landowners on the island, including his family, have been instrumental in preserving the island’s natural majesty, and for that reason, people should trust that relationship will continue. He said the island is big enough to accommodate additional development, with the less developed wilderness section on the north end of the island providing ecological benefits that allow for more homes on the south end without disturbing a visitor’s island experience substantially.“I want to appeal to those elements of the public who have been on the island and who understand the historic and sensitive way that Cumberland has been sustained by a respectful partnership between the public and private sectors,” wrote Candler. “Most people who have been on Cumberland realize how large the island is. There are certainly areas which have houses on them, but the tremendous majority of the island will always remain without houses,” he said.Superintendent Ingram has a different perspective.“It’s a relatively small island. Any development has impacts. What level those impacts will have we don’t know right now. But it’s not just the human impacts of the development. There is also an environmental one too,” he said.[nextpage title=”Read on!”]RIPPLE EFFECTMany businesses in St. Mary’s rely directly on Cumberland Island visitors to support their businesses. Former Mayor and longtime co-owner of the Riverview Hotel, which sits directly across the street from the island ferry dock, Jerry Brandon, said 90 percent of his business is Cumberland related.“If they start building houses on the middle of the island, that’s going to have a detrimental effect on tourism, and certainly to the purpose of the park, which means we’ll probably lose business,” he said.Brandon was especially concerned that once rules were changed regarding potential development on the island, future generations of Candlers could push for even more and larger-scale developments. That could spell trouble for the island, he said.The same wealthy families who have been claiming that they ‘saved’ Cumberland are now saying they want to rape it some more.—Carol RuckdeschelNegotiations between developers, conservation groups, and the Park Service are ongoing, and no official deadline has been set. With the power of eminent domain, the National Park Service could act on behalf of the public, the original Congressional intent for Cumberland, and the long-term future of the island.“Acquiring the remaining private land on Cumberland Island is probably the most important step that the Park Service can take to protect the future of the national seashore,” says Kearns.However, Candler believes that private property rights should trump the concerns of the general public.“On Cumberland, I observe that some elements of the public want to let all the present houses on the island fall into ruin. Other elements of the public want to respect the rights of private property owners, wherever that property is,” he wrote. “Cumberland Island is…both public and private. Some of us have no history at all there, and some of us have a long history there. None of us should be embarrassed about being there.”Another resident and former property owner, Ruckdeschel, acknowledges that Candler’s desire to build more houses on Cumberland is understandable, but protection of one the country’s last wild islands should take priority over private vacation homes.Says Ruckdeschel, “The same wealthy families who have been claiming that they ‘saved’ Cumberland are now saying they want to rape it some more.”last_img read more

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This Tour is Carbon Offset: Live Outside and Play 2019

first_img We’re doing out best to live gently on the land. We would love to hear your suggestions, tips, and tricks as we continue on our adventure! What is Carbon Offsetting? This year, we’ve decided to Carbon Offset our tour. We include a lot of sustainable practices in our daily lives, but gasoline consumption is something we can’t change due to the nature of our job and living condition. When it is great for us to fly less and ‘travel slow,’ we are still using non-renewable resources. There is a lot of controversy surrounding carbon offsetting. Does the money actually get used for what it’s intended for? Can you really pay a few dollars and offset a flight across the ocean? Is this a band-aid for a larger problem? If you find the right program to support, the answer will be yes for all these questions. Yes, the money is used responsibly and goes toward any number of projects attempting to keep that amount of carbon out of the atmosphere from somewhere else (distributing efficient cooking stoves, renewable energy production, forest protection). Yes, you can buy carbon credits for a flight across the ocean (around $25) and keep that amount of carbon from entering the atmosphere somewhere else. Is this a band-aid for a larger problem? Absolutely, but it is one piece in the climate change puzzle that we can influence directly right now. We are trying to do as much as we can as two humans traveling in a van throughout the country, and this is a part of that. This is important because each of us is responsible for doing as much as we can to halt climate change and leave a healthy and happy Earth for generations to come. We have been at odds for the past two years during this tour. On one hand, we feel closer to nature living from a van. We wake up with the sun, fall asleep with the crickets, and base our days around weather patterns. On the other hand, we use fossil fuels to get around, a resource that is finite, harmful to extract from the earth, and continues to cause serious economic and political strife. We researched a lot of companies to find what programs we identified with the most. We landed on Stand for Trees and Cool Effect. It is important to put in research time before choosing a program to support. There are many that might not be as transparent. Both sites we chose have calculators so you can estimate your carbon output. You can offset a single road trip, the carbon output of living in a house, and single or multiple flights. We are personally donating $50 total each month we are on tour (we plan on continuing to donate personally when the tour is over). Blue Ridge Outdoors and Elevation Outdoors Magazine are donating $25, and we are matching their donation with our personal funds. Fifty dollars is far more than needed to cover the cost of our travels according to the calculator, but hopefully the extra will cover other trips and ways that we release carbon into the atmosphere. Who are we Purchasing Credits From? There is one way for this tour to be a reality– our sponsors! Sending a thank you shout out to all of our awesome sponsors that make this tour happen: Sea to Summit, Mountain House, Lowe Alpine, Leki, Big Agnes, Stio, Roofnest, and Franklin County, VA. Is this Controversial? Carbon offsetting is reducing carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases made to compensate for carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases created elsewhere (by you). Carbon offsetting is measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2e). For every tonne of carbon you produce, you can offset a tonne of carbon by a different means. Usually, payment to a program that is working to offset carbon production. last_img read more

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Outdoor Updates: Mysterious seeds are arriving in mailboxes across the southeast. Do not plant them

first_imgMysterious packets of seeds are arriving in mailboxes across the southeast. Do not plant them Construction begins on new visitor center at Tennessee’s Henry Horton State Park According to a news release from the N.C. Department of Agriculture, the seeds are likely a product of an international internet scam known as “brushing,” in which foreign, third-party sellers use your address and Amazon information to generate a fake sale and positive review to boost their product ratings.  New report shows some NC beaches tested positive for fecal matter in 2019 Appalachian Ranger District appoints new District Ranger Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism has announced it will issue trekking and climbing permits for autumn, 2020, Alan Arnette, who runs a mountaineering blog, shared on his website. Nepali press are reporting that climbing permits will be issued for some of the highest peaks in the world, including Ama Dablam and Manaslu.  A woman swimming off the coast of Maine has been killed in a shark attack, the Maine Marine Patrol announced on their Facebook page. The woman was swimming near Bailey Island and White Sails Lane when onlookers say she was attacked by “what appeared to be a shark.” Kayakers brought the woman to shore where she was declared dead at the scene. There has been only one other unprovoked shark attack in Maine. Experts say that the shark likely mistook the woman for a food source.  Nepal announces they will re-open to trekking and climbing in the fall Woman killed in rare shark attack off the coast of Maine The videos-for-newbies will be released once a week. The first video, which explains how to properly pack and fit your pack, is up on their website now.  The beaches in North Carolina with the highest number of potentially unsafe days were Colington Harbour Beach in Dare County (6 unsafe days out of 33 days tested), Pamlico River- City Park in Washington in Beaufort County (5 unsafe days out of 19 days tested), Public Beach Southside of Dawson Creek Bridge in Pamlico County (5 unsafe days out of 20 days tested), and Ragged Point in Beaufort (5 unsafe days out of 34 days tested.) Authorities seek information on Tygart River hit-and-run boater Viral video shows black bear sniffing hiker’s hair The hiker was praised for remaining calm during the incident, though experts point out that if a black bear approaches you should make as much noise as possible to scare the animal away. A Public Information Officer for N.C. State Parks said it wasn’t known how or why the boy fell, but that he was fortunate he didn’t fall further and was lucky to be alive.  Visitors to Tennessee’s Henry Horton State Park will soon have brand-new facilities to enjoy. On July 15, construction began on a new two-story visitor center and a new 6,381-square-foot restaurant. The visitor center will feature a 2,154-square-foot exhibit and interpretive area, as well as a conference room, office space, a gift shop and an information desk. The restaurant will seat 120 people indoors and 52 people outdoors. 717 acres added to North Carolina’s DuPont State Recreational Forest Sierra Club to remove John Muir monuments over ties to white supremacy “It is a privilege to be selected to serve on the prestigious National Forests in North Carolina,” Barnhart said. “I’m looking forward to serving a district of employees who are hardworking, knowledgeable and passionate about public land management.”  The country also announced that Kathmandu’s airport will open for “selected” international flights beginning mid-August. The verdict is still out on whether climbing during COVID is wise or safe, as climbers share close quarters while at base camp.  Kelty launches video series to help beginning backpackers hit the trail Recently, however, the lake has begun to fill up again. Its natural process of filling and draining makes the lake basin unique. “It’s about a third full right now and it seems to be holding,” Mountain Lake Lodge’s General Manager Heidi Stone told CNN. “The guests get very excited because for so many years it’s been dry and looked more like a meadow. It’s the prettiest when it’s filled with water.”  A heart-pounding video showing a black bear walking directly up to a hiker and sniffing her hair has taken the Internet by storm. The hiker and her friends were hiking in an ecological park in San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico, when a bear approached, stood on its hind legs, and began sniffing the woman’s hair. The hiker appears calm and stands motionless as the bear smells her head, takes a few light swats at her leg, and moves on.  Photo: Scenic view of Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina by Vixterd courtesy of Getty Images Wednesday, July 22 Feel the urge to escape into the backcountry but aren’t sure you have the skills to pull off a backpacking trip? Backpack brand Kelty has released a series of videos aimed at introducing novices to the joys of backpacking. The 8-part video series explores backpacking for beginners.  Fun events planned at Sugar Mountain Resort this summer Fans of the famous movie Dirty Dancing travel to Virginia’s Mountain Lake Lodge to see landmarks made famous by the film. But one thing hasn’t remained the same—the lake where actors Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey practiced their signature move—the lift—dried up in 2008. Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains Association are hosting a series of hikes called ‘Smokies Hikes for Healing,’ which use the backdrop of the park to provoke conversations about race and racial bias. Eight hikes will be held August through December. During the hikes, a facilitator will lead discussion around race and help participants learn to identify biases through a deeper level of self-awareness and reflection, WKRN reports. Space is limited to 10 participants per hike. To learn more or to apply to participate visit smokieshikesforhealing.org.  The National Forests in North Carolina announced that Jen Barnhart will oversee management and operations as the new District Ranger on the Appalachian Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest, the agency said in a news release. Barnhart has most recently served as District Ranger on the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire and Maine. Last year, during the first phase of the project, the organization added 402 acres to the forest. Now complete, the tract includes 717 acres of new public land. “The incorporation of the Continental Divide tract will enhance [DSRF] further by protecting water quality, preserving an important wildlife corridor and creating future opportunities for public recreation,” said Conserving Carolina’s executive director Kieran Roe.  People around the country, including in the southeast and mid-Atlantic, are receiving packets of seeds from China that they did not order. Experts are warning the public not to plant the seeds because they could be a pathway for introducing invasive species, insects, and plant diseases. Great Smoky Mountains National Park hosting hiking series focused on diversity and equality Sugar Mountain Resort in Sugar Mountain, NC has a fun-filled calendar this summer. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the bike park is open. On August 8 & 9, the Downhill Southeast and NC Downhill Mountain Bike State Championships will take on the resort’s downhill tracks.  Teen falls 30 feet while hiking at Hanging Rock Virginia’s famous Dirty Dancing lake is filling up after going dry 12 years ago “Our state parks are a great source of pride for Tennessee, and this project underscores our commitment to providing Tennesseans with modern facilities to accompany the natural beauty at Henry Horton State Park,” Gov. Bill Lee said.  A 17-year-old male is in critical but stable condition after falling 30 feet while hiking at Hanging Rock State Park in Danbury, N.C last Saturday. Rescue crews were dispatched to Hanging Rock Trail where the teenager had fallen. He was airlifted to the hospital. An analysis of North Carolina beaches showed that 93 of 209 beaches tested were deemed potentially unsafe for at least one day in 2019. Beaches were considered potentially unsafe if fecal indicator bacteria levels exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “Beach Action Value” associated with an estimated illness rate of 32 out of every 1,000 swimmers, the report says. Muir, who played a crucial role in preserving the Yosemite Valley and Sequoia National Forest, made derogatory statements about Black and indigenous people, The Hill reports. The organization said Muir’s words “continue to hurt and alienate Indigenous people and people of color who come into contact with the Sierra Club.” On August 14-16, the three-day juried Avery County Fine Art & Master Crafts Festival will be held at the resort and is free of charge. All summer long, clay tennis courts and an 18-hole golf course are open to the public. Check out their website for more details.  The Sierra Club has announced they will remove monuments to its founder, John Muir, over his racist history. Muir, a renowned conservationist, founded the club in 1892. On their website, the Sierra Club said that as the country confronts the troubling history of Confederate statues, “it’s time to take down some of our own monuments, starting with some truth-telling about the Sierra Club’s early history.” Conserving Carolina added 315 acres to the N.C. Forest Service, south of the main body of DuPont State Recreation Forest (DSRF), the organization said on their website. It is the second phase of the Continental Divide Tract- a long-sought conservation priority that provides the “missing link” between DSRF and a vast conservation corridor spanning over 100,000 acres. Witnesses describe the boat that hit the swimmer as a white runabout speed boat that may have yellow zig-zag patterns on its sides. The boat was occupied by approximately five white, middle-aged individuals and was driven by a white male. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Marion County 911 Center at 304-367-5300 or the DNR District 1 Headquarters at 304-825-6787. A man swimming in West Virginia’s Tygart River on Saturday, July 18 was struck and injured by a boat that then fled the scene, authorities said in a news release. The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Section is seeking the public’s help to identify the boater. The 22-year-old victim was struck around 4:35 p.m. near the east side bank of the river and sustained serious injuries.last_img read more

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Perú to add prosecutors to fight human trafficking

first_imgFrom 2007 to 2013, prosecutors filed more than 1,500 human trafficking cases. Teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 were the most vulnerable population, accounting for 55 percent of all reported cases. And 85 percent of the victims were females. Of that number, slightly more than half were lured into into involuntary servitude by false offers of legitimate jobs. In addition to sex trafficking, organized crime groups exploit some Peruvian men, women, and children by forcing them to work in gold mining operations, logging, domestic service and other industries. In most cases the victims were lured by promises of good-paying jobs and then forced into labor for little or no pay to work off alleged debts or through fear of physical violence. Forced child labor includes begging, street vending, and cocaine production and transportation. The problem is particularly prevalent in mining and tourism areas, according to a U.S. government report issued in 2014. For example, in La Riconada — a mining town in the Andes Mountains near the Bolivian border — more than 4,500 Peruvian and Bolivian girls were entrapped or forced into prostitution, according to Peruvian police estimates. By Dialogo November 07, 2014 The Peruvian government also announced that it is joining the United Nations’ Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking, an international effort to support anti-trafficking programs. Brazil, Colombia and Mexico are also participants in the UN’s international campaign. The government of Perú plans to hire four special prosecutors to investigate human trafficking in regions with high levels of gold mining and tourism – two areas where the crime is most prevalent. From 2007 to 2013, prosecutors filed more than 1,500 human trafficking cases. Teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 were the most vulnerable population, accounting for 55 percent of all reported cases. And 85 percent of the victims were females. Of that number, slightly more than half were lured into into involuntary servitude by false offers of legitimate jobs. Attorney General Carlos Ramos Heredia’s department included funding for the prosecutors in its 2015 budget request. They will be based in the regions most affected by trafficking: Lima, the city of Iquitos, the city of Piura, and the city of Tacna, and those offices will function as hubs for the detection and monitoring of human trafficking crimes in their respective areas. They’ll also coordinate their efforts with other regional governments. Hiring additional prosecutors will help Peruvian law enforcement authorities bring even more perpetrators of this crime to justice. Hiring additional prosecutors will help Peruvian law enforcement authorities bring even more perpetrators of this crime to justice. Such exploitation forms the basis for an extraordinarily profitable criminal business. Human trafficking ranks only behind drug sales and drug trafficking as the most profitable criminal enterprise in Perú. Additional prosecutors an ‘important measure’: Peruvian Bar Association The Peruvian government also announced that it is joining the United Nations’ Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking, an international effort to support anti-trafficking programs. Brazil, Colombia and Mexico are also participants in the UN’s international campaign. The government of Perú plans to hire four special prosecutors to investigate human trafficking in regions with high levels of gold mining and tourism – two areas where the crime is most prevalent. Additional prosecutors an ‘important measure’: Peruvian Bar Association In 2013, prosecutors in Perú obtained 41 convictions for human trafficking. Under Peruvian law, such convictions can result in a prison sentence of eight to 25 years. Such exploitation forms the basis for an extraordinarily profitable criminal business. Human trafficking ranks only behind drug sales and drug trafficking as the most profitable criminal enterprise in Perú. In 2013, prosecutors in Perú obtained 41 convictions for human trafficking. Under Peruvian law, such convictions can result in a prison sentence of eight to 25 years. Peru prosecutes hundreds of human trafficking cases “We have already had the first meeting with the representatives of Chile and Ecuador, and we are in the fight to make the necessary arrangements with their attorneys general,” he said. Attorney General Carlos Ramos Heredia’s department included funding for the prosecutors in its 2015 budget request. They will be based in the regions most affected by trafficking: Lima, the city of Iquitos, the city of Piura, and the city of Tacna, and those offices will function as hubs for the detection and monitoring of human trafficking crimes in their respective areas. They’ll also coordinate their efforts with other regional governments. “We have already had the first meeting with the representatives of Chile and Ecuador, and we are in the fight to make the necessary arrangements with their attorneys general,” he said. The new prosecutors haven’t been hired yet, but Peruvian law enforcement officials have already brought hundreds of human traffickers to justice. Peru prosecutes hundreds of human trafficking cases In addition to sex trafficking, organized crime groups exploit some Peruvian men, women, and children by forcing them to work in gold mining operations, logging, domestic service and other industries. In most cases the victims were lured by promises of good-paying jobs and then forced into labor for little or no pay to work off alleged debts or through fear of physical violence. Forced child labor includes begging, street vending, and cocaine production and transportation. The new prosecutors haven’t been hired yet, but Peruvian law enforcement officials have already brought hundreds of human traffickers to justice. “The appointment of (additional) prosecutors to investigate human trafficking is one of the most important measures to investigate this crime,” said José Luis García, a spokesman for the Bar Association of Lima. “These prosecutors will be able to dedicate themselves exclusively to investigating and preventing human trafficking. It is an important step in Perú’s judicial system to the benefit of its citizens.” Julieta Pelcastre contributed to this article. “The appointment of (additional) prosecutors to investigate human trafficking is one of the most important measures to investigate this crime,” said José Luis García, a spokesman for the Bar Association of Lima. “These prosecutors will be able to dedicate themselves exclusively to investigating and preventing human trafficking. It is an important step in Perú’s judicial system to the benefit of its citizens.” The problem is particularly prevalent in mining and tourism areas, according to a U.S. government report issued in 2014. For example, in La Riconada — a mining town in the Andes Mountains near the Bolivian border — more than 4,500 Peruvian and Bolivian girls were entrapped or forced into prostitution, according to Peruvian police estimates. Julieta Pelcastre contributed to this article.last_img read more

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