Thursday, December 21, 2017

Climbing and Outdoor News from Here and Abroad - 12/21/17


--It should be news to exactly no one who reads this blog, but being outside is good for you. Check out this segment from NBC News that was shot near our headquarters in Bellingham, Washington:

Desert Southwest:

--So this is absolutely nuts...! As you all know, Patagonia, the Access Fund and others are suing the federal government over Bears Ears. This action by the retailer did not go over well and the federal government responded, by putting up a banner on their official government feeds that said, "Patagonia is Lying to You." This is going to get ugly. To read more, click here.

--The Las Vegas Review Journal is reporting that, "A lawsuit seeking to block development on Blue Diamond Hill is scheduled to go to trial. Environmental nonprofit Save Red Rock is scheduled to make its case before a Clark County District Court jury starting Sept. 4, 2018. Save Red Rock is suing the county and Gypsum Resources, the company seeking to build as many as 5,025 homes atop a hill bordering the Red Rock National Conservation Area." To read more, click here.

--Utah Republican Representative Bob Bishop has invited the founder of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard, to testify before Congress about Bears Ears. To read more, click here.

--Red Rock Rendezvous will take place between March 16 and 19, 2018. This is a great chance to rub elbows with guides and athletes and to learn all kinds of new skills. For more information, click here.  Please also consider climbing with an AAI guide before or after the event!


--A climber was killed after suffering a 60-foot fall in CaƱon City. There is limited information on this incident. To read more, click here.

--The Denver Post is reporting that, "A snowboarder died three days after losing control and hitting a tree at Keystone Ski Resort on Saturday, December 2, the first death at a Summit County ski area so far this season." To read more, click here.

Notes from All Over:

--The Know Outdoors is reporting that, "The National Park Service on Tuesday said it will trim the number of free-access days to four in 2018 from 10 this year and 16 last year. 'We hope that these fee-free days offer visitors an extra incentive to enjoy their national parks in 2018,' National Park Service Deputy Director Michael T. Reynolds said in a news release. But the move comes as the park service weighs public input on a plan to more than double gate-fees at its most popular parks. To read more, click here.

--The Denver Post is reporting that, "President Donald Trump’s downsizing of two massive national monuments in Utah sparked a furious backlash from American Indians, conservation groups and the outdoor industry, which moors its future in public lands. But over the past year, as Trump weighed the reduction of Utah’s 1.4 million-acre Bears Ears and 1.9 million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, the outdoor recreation industry has galvanized, using its growing clout to try to shift the president and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke away from what it called an attack on public lands." To read more, click here.

--Here's a happy report from the Access Fund: "Access Fund and Friends of the Ledges are pleased to announce that Band M Ledge in Madison, New Hampshire has been reopened to recreational climbing. Band M Ledge is a granite cliff offering 50 routes ranging from 5.5 to 5.13, with most routes falling on the upper end of the grade range. Due to its southerly aspect, the cliff offers climbers in the Mount Washington Valley with an option for late and early season climbing in a beautiful and quiet setting."

--Outside magazine is reporting that, survey released Thursday by the Department of Interior shows that more than a third of employees have been harassed or discriminated against in the past year. The news affirms what has, at this point, become painfully clear: the department has a culture of bad behavior that has gone unchecked for years. The survey was initiated after reports emerged from the Grand Canyon in 2016 that women working for the National Park Service had routinely been harassed and, in some cases, assaulted while working on the river. Those complaints quickly spread throughout the NPS, prompting resignations and calls for further investigation. In October, the DOI released a survey of full-time NPS employees that found that 40 percent had experienced some form of harassment or discrimination. Thursday’s survey included other departments—from the Bureau of Indian Affairs to the U.S. Geological Survey—and included 28,203 respondents, representing 44 percent of all Interior employees. To read more, click here.

--Powder is reporting that, "About half of all Americans don’t believe global warming is caused by human activities, despite the overwhelming consensus by climate scientists who say this is true. Salt Lake City-based pro skier Julian Carr is taking action to change this by attempting to raise $5.5 million by December 22 to fund what will be the first ever Kickstarter-supported Super Bowl ad. An ambassador of Protect Our Winters, Carr hopes to bring important climate change data to the largest audience in the United States." To read more, click here. To see a promotion for the ad, click below:

--Five people were injured and dozens were left stranded when a Pennsylvania ski lift malfunctioned on Saturday. To read more, click here.

--Here's a piece on high altitude psychosis...

--Outside has an interesting piece this week on women climbers. 2017 was a banner year for them, but every accomplishment was accompanied by controversy. Is this sexism...? Or just the caustic nature of new climbing accomplishments...? You decide. Check out the article, here.

--And finally, speaking of Outside. It's possible, that an Outside reporter was banned from a press briefing because he wrote something negative about Ryan Zinke's fly fishing skill. To read more, click here.

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