Hiking the Grafton Loop Trail
Hope you got outdoors over the 4th of July weekend. Back from four days of photography, river-walking, and rock-scrambling in the Northern Sierra, I was pleased to run across Deirdre Fleming’s piece in The Portland Press Herald about her hike on the 38-mile Grafton Loop Trail in the White Mountains of Maine. Much of the piece is about efforts to permanently protect land for the trail, which Fleming calls “a work in progress for at least a decade.” I did my first high-mountain hiking in “The Whites,” and the two photos accompanying the story made me a little homesick. TPL recently helped to protect more than 3,000 acres for the trail on Stowe Mountain, where log ladders and plank walkways are being installed to aid ascent and protect the fragile alpine environment.
Kiket Island, Washington
It has taken several years for the State of Washington and the Swinomish tribe to work out a co-ownership and co-management agreement for this approximately 80-acre island, which lies within the boundaries of the tribe’s reservation but until recently was privately owned. (In the 1970s the island was briefly considered as a site for a nuclear power plant.) The Anacortes Now website has an informative piece on the recent TPL-assisted acquisition of the island as an addition to Deception Pass State Park. And Indian Country Today is carrying a piece that describes why the island is important to the tribe. More description and images of the island can be found in this TPL pdf.
New NOAA Website: State of the Coast
If your area of conservation focus is along the nation’s more than 12,300 miles of tidal coastline, you’ll appreciate this new website’s statistics and maps covering communities, economy, ecosystems, and climate of coastlines. (The site is based on statistics developed before the emergence of the Gulf’s undersea oil gusher, so that catastrophe is not reflected in the numbers.) Research was certainly a lot more work before the web.