Spring is here! Around here, the trees are budding, the weather is alternately windy, stormy, and cold - and the birds are returning. Flocks of robins cover the neighbors' lawns, and the ospreys have returned to claim and improve last year's nesting sites. Bird migrations have long been a mystery to us simple humans. We've…Read more Cryptochromes and Bird Migration
By now, I'm sure most people are aware of the effects the ongoing partial US Govt Shutdown is having on National Park services - the new cycles have been filled with reports of vandalism, illegal camping, destruction of property, overflowing trashcans, filled pit toilets, etc. I'm struggling to understand why, in a way that gives…Read more Why Can’t We Have Nice Things?
Humans love superlatives. The biggest, the oldest, the best, or in some cases, the only. It's not hard to understand why we flock to places that hold superlative treasures, why we protect unique examples of nature's beauty - deepest canyons, tallest trees, best views, most endangered animals. But is that enough? I recently came across…Read more Monuments and Minutia
A few months ago, an article published by Slate started to get a lot of attention, for suggesting that the practice of treating backcountry water sources against possible pathogens was built on myth. No doubt it got the buzz Slate was looking for, but I pretty much ignored it at the time. Recently though, I was pointed…Read more To Clean, or Not To Clean – Water in the Backcountry
A year ago, I stumbled eagerly (and ignorantly) into this whole existence I call "Flying Squirrel Outdoors". My mission had nothing to do with blogging, or a social media presence - it was (and is) really about the observation that we are increasingly turning inwards toward things of our own creation. These things are, themselves,…Read more One Year in the Blogosphere – Lessons, Trials, and Tribulations of a Social Media Noob
UPDATE: The public comment period mentioned below has been extended to Dec 22, 2017. If you thought you missed the opportunity to weigh in, you haven't. Make your voice heard. The United States National Park Service has a cash-flow problem, and there don't seem to be any easy ways to solve it. Let me start…Read more How Should the United States Fund its National Parks?
A quick public service announcement for all you fellow outdoors- or history-minded folks. September 30 (Saturday) is a fee-free day for all US National Parks, in honor of National Public Lands Day. So if you haven't made plans for the weekend, and this is the sort of enticement you need to check out a park…Read more National Parks Fee-Free This Saturday