U.S. solar industry ups 2019 installation forecast to 13.3GW FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:The U.S. solar energy industry lifted its installation outlook for this year and beyond thanks to robust demand for large-scale projects by utilities buying the clean energy source for its low cost, according to a report published on Tuesday.In 2019, installations are expected to be up 25 percent from 2018 to 13.3 gigawatts, the report from the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie said. The groups’ previous forecast called for 14 percent growth this year.The rosy outlook marks an about-face from 2018, when installations fell 2 percent after U.S. President Donald Trump slapped 30 percent tariffs on overseas-made solar panels.Since then, global panel prices have fallen dramatically due to an oversupply of panels in top producer China, which cut incentives for installations there. Between the first quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019, monocrystalline module prices fell 30 percent, according to the report, effectively canceling out the U.S. tariffs.Looking ahead, the industry lifted its five-year outlook by 5.1 GW, or about 9 percent, mostly due to new procurement by utilities in Florida including NextEra Energy Inc’s FPL and Duke Energy Corp.Florida is expected to be the top state for utility-scale solar over the next six years, the report said, marking a major shift away from the industry’s historical center of power, California.Wood Mackenzie senior analyst Austin Perea said the shift was notable because Florida lacks the strong policy support for renewable energy that exists in California. Utilities in Florida, therefore, are buying solar because it is cheap compared with fossil fuel alternatives like natural gas and coal.More: U.S. solar installation outlook brightens on falling costs: report
African Development Bank launches $500 million fund for small-scale renewables FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:The African Development Bank launched a financing facility for small scale renewables in sub-Saharan Africa at the Africa Energy Forum held in Lisbon this month.The lender said the Facility for Energy Inclusion (FEI) is its “first blended finance facility in the energy sector dedicated to increasing access to energy through renewable energy technologies.”The facility will provide debt financing through two funds, added the bank in a press release. The off-grid facility is a “$100 million debt fund supporting the short-term growth of off-grid energy access companies and catalyzing their long-term capacity to access capital markets at scale.”The on-grid credit line is a “$400 million debt fund supporting improved energy access through the development of small-scale renewable energy generation projects – of less than 25 MW [generation capacity] and $30 million funding – including independent power producers, mini-grids and captive power projects across Africa.”The lender yesterday announced the European Commission is offering the new facility a €40 million investment approved by the bloc’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development in December. The African Development Bank said the cash will enable the new lending facility to raise funds “from a range of commercial and private investors”.More: African Development Bank sets up $500m facility for sub-Saharan small scale renewables
I’ve been very fortunate over the years to work with a number of incredible athletic thought leaders in the Asheville community. I always try to absorb as much knowledge as I can whenever I’m around them, and I’ve picked up a number of useful tips that I thought I would pay forward. Here are a few of the most useful that can apply to any sport:-It’s important to consume 12+ grams of protein within 30 minutes of a strenuous workout, so that the broken down muscle fibers begin rebuilding immediately.*Yoohoo is actually an excellent post-workout drink. My personal choice is Myoplex, which is apparently the most high-powered stuff that is still NCAA approved*-Apple-Think of your body as a holistic machine. It’s usually best to train the whole body rather than focus on sport-specific muscles only. Only strengthening certain parts of the body can lead to unbalance and make us injury-prone.-Work out with a training partner. It’s always good to be accountable to someone, and to have friendly competition to push yourself to the next level.-Always keep a training log. You want to have baselines upon which to gauge your progression as an athlete, and it’s rewarding to look back and see the hard work that went into your performance at a given event.-Plan out your workouts for the week, and put them in your calendar. The fast-paced nature of life these days often means that we are more forgetful about our athletic goals.-Aerobic capacity is the most difficult to attain, and the easiest to lose. This is the base of your pyramid, and should be the first thing that you focus on when gearing up for a big event.-Focus on the tapering process! A lot of athletes do not allow themselves to properly rest before a big event in fear of losing the capacity that they have gained through their training.-Check out the PALEO diet. Although I have never fully committed to this diet, I have seen incredible athletic results from other people who have done it. It is still one of my goals to transition to this diet for a couple of months out of every year.-Work out in the morning on weekdays. This boosts your metabolism throughout the day, and the endorphin flood will put some extra energy into the rest of the day. It also frees up the evening for family/social time.Well, I hope that provides some good food for thought as you achieve your athletic goals in 2012! Putting this down on paper reminds me that I need to realign my lifestyle in certain ways to continue reaching for my own athletic potential.Work hard and I hope to see you on the river, trail, or slopes!
Folly Beach roots rockers return with a set of tunes inspired by two years on the road.In recent years, Charleston, South Carolina, has developed into one of the Southeast’s music havens. At the forefront of this Palmetto State music scene is Dangermuffin, a trio of folk rockers known for groovy, grassy, spacey jams. Dangermuffin – drummer Steven Sandifer and guitarists Dan Lotti and Mike Sivilli – recently released their latest record, Olly Oxen Free. We caught up with Dan Lotti after a recent round of disc golf to chat about the new tunes.BRO – How important is proximity to the beach to your music?DL – It’s important, but I think it’s important in a sense similar to our proximity with everything in nature. As we have traveled, a lot of the places that we have seen, like the mountains and the things that were very natural, gave us a strong energy. That energy is very to us as artists – it resonates with us.BRO – When you guys are on the road, are you able to get outside and play?DL – Absolutely. The number one thing we look forward to doing after sitting in the van for ten hours straight is grabbing a round a disc golf or something like that. We appreciate the wonderful venues and bars that we get to play, but if we can play festival and get outside, it’s just a totally different vibe. It’s very collective. Anything we can do to get outside, we’re there.BRO – You guys play with a somewhat unconventional line up – two guitars and drums. With no bass, who holds down the low end?DL – I’m holding it down. Or I’m trying to! I play a thin line acoustic guitar called a Godin that gets a pretty solid signal. I play using a palming technique and a bass rig for one of my signals, and that’s the way we have been doing it. Certain rooms are better for it than others, and it always plays really well outside. It’s something I have always done and it really helps us keep things simple. Just the three of us. We can all fit in the van, keep the overhead low, and that really helps an independent band like us. We also feel like it gives us our own fingerprint. With any band, there is only a finite amount of sonic space. You can split that six ways, with horns or back up singers or however you want to do it, or you can split it three ways. That’s what we do. With fewer people, we all have room to do what we want to do within that fixed space.BRO – What can you tell me about the new record?DL – We’re really happy to have it out there. It’s an all-local project – we’re very proud of all that our Charleston music scene has to offer, with world class local studios to record in. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have done this at home. These songs come from the last two years of touring. Getting out there has really changed my perspective about the country and people – there was a lot of inspiration gathered from that. A lot of these songs are based on those travels. With the touring and the title – Olly Oxen Free – it really had to do with liberation. I think that being able to travel and do what we do as musicians, we really try to focus on staying grateful for that. It’s really an awesome thing to go around and meet so many folks. It’s really freeing, and the title plays into that. On the deeper end, there are some truths – some vibrations – in some of the stuff, especially lyrically, that I like to write about. I think that the truths will mean different things to different people, and that’s really liberating.BRO – We’re featuring “Rattle That Cage” on this month’s Trail Mix. Can you give me the story behind that tune?DL – I think it is consistent with the idea of liberation. The chorus says, “Rattle that cage, can you even see it.” I think that we can all easily put ourselves in our own personal cages, and sometimes it is really hard to recognize that they are even there. The idea is to look back, recognize our current situation, and shake it up. Once we realize what it is that is holding us back, when we can point at it and see that it is inhibiting us, it’s a lot easier to unlock the door ourselves and walk on out.You can catch Dangermuffin playing tunes from their new record on June 28th at The Grey Eagle in Asheville and in Greensboro on July 4th – FOR FREE – at the Fun Fourth Festival.
With Thanksgiving come and gone, the holiday season has officially arrived in the Blue Ridge. For some, this means a shopping bonanza beginning on Black Friday and ending only when the post-Christmas sales do. For others, however, the holiday season is synonymous with only one thing: skiing. Luckily, this year, Mother Nature has been kinder to the Mid-Atlantic than in 2011, when early season snow was as sparse as sleep on Christmas Eve. We have Sandy to thank for that, but also colder temperatures in the high country in general have allowed for more robust snowmaking at area resorts. The first weekend in December is usually hit or miss for quality snow and good coverage, and in 2012, it’s a hit. Time to unpack the ski clothes from the garage and hit the slopes.Snowshoe Opening Day 2012-2013 from Summit Publishing on Vimeo.West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain Resort has received nearly 30 inches of snow this season and have been blowing snow whenever possible. Early season skiing means not that many slopes or lifts are open – Snowshoe has eight slopes and four lifts running right now – but that just saves you from overdoing it on the first day back on snow. The most important thing is that, yes, they are open and, yes, you can go skiing. Use this weekend to breakout last year’s gear to see what held up over the summer, what falls apart as soon as it’s put to use, and what needs to be upgraded and added to Santa’s list. It will also be a great opportunity to get your ski legs warmed up so you’ll be ready to shred with confidence once the Western Territories open.View Larger Map
Ricky Handshoe just wanted his own little slice of paradise.At first, he thought he had found it—76 acres at the head of a picturesque valley in Northeastern Kentucky that seemed to have everything: verdant woodlands, rolling hills, abundant wildlife, and Raccoon Creek, which burbles from a hillside on the property and eventually flows into the 29-mile-long Big Sandy River, a tributary of the Ohio River. For years, the 56-year-old retired radio technician for the Kentucky State Police and his daughter basked in the singular beauty and tranquility of the Appalachian countryside.Today, Handshoe is homeless.The trouble started when a coal company carved a strip mine into the earth a few miles from his property. Shortly thereafter, in 2012, he and his daughter noticed soccer ball-sized piles of foam drifting in formerly pristine Raccoon Creek and another nameless Ohio River tributary that also coursed through the property. Then the neighbor’s chickens got sick, and wildlife—fish, frogs, deer—began to perish.Handshoe and his daughter were concerned but didn’t stop drinking their tap water—that is, until their bodies began to deteriorate. First came the rash on Handshoe’s legs and arms, followed by deformed fingernails that twisted his digits into knots. His daughter, who was 21 at the time, started losing her hair, and Handshoe was beset by multiple kidney infections and constant fatigue.The doctors initially didn’t have a clue. “No one knew how sick we were,” he says. “Then we started realizing what was in the water. It was the shiniest water I’d ever seen in my life. When the sun beat down, it was like a mirror.” Subsequent tests revealed that the streams on his property that used to provide clean drinking water and hours of carefree recreation were now loaded with arsenic, beryllium, aluminum, manganese, and other toxins from the mine. “Growing up there, you could actually drink from Raccoon Creek right out of the mountain,” he says. “Now you can’t. We saw that creek completely destroyed.” Worse, the pollution’s effects cascaded down the valley. Much of the deer and other wildlife fled, the birds fell silent, and an eerie stillness descended. The plants and animals that remained became inedible. Most important, Handshoe’s tap water was no longer potable because the water in Raccoon Creek, which periodically ran an iridescent orange, indirectly fed the intake for a municipal water system that serves him and more than 6,000 others in two counties. In short, the mine had contaminated the landscape to such an extent that Handshoe’s doctor told him to leave immediately, forever. So he and his daughter packed up their belongings and abandoned the family homestead they loved.It’s been about a year now, and in some ways, things are looking up; Handshoe is mostly off his meds, and his daughter’s hair has grown back. But the emotional scars, the sense of powerlessness in the face of a deep-pocketed coal company and seemingly apathetic government authorities, remain. According to Handshoe, both the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection and the federal Environmental Protection Agency have tested the water and know exactly what happened, but did nothing.“The state ought to be ashamed of themselves because they let our health go downhill, and they knew it,” he says. “I tried everything I could to save that place. I challenged permits, I protested. But they still let them mine.”And then there’s the small problem of where to live. Handshoe still owns the uninhabitable property, which is now worth approximately nothing. “Who’s going to buy it?” he asks. “I’ve got to tell them about the pollution because if I don’t, it’s like putting a gun to their head. I’m not going to do that.” But without proceeds from a sale, buying a new home will be difficult at best.Handshoe and his daughter weren’t the only ones affected. Three of his former neighbors also suffered kidney infections and other maladies at roughly the same time. “People living in that valley downstream are getting scared,” he says. “They’re drinking this stuff, and the state knows about it and won’t stop it. What a commercial for Kentucky: ‘Come and hunt the biggest elk east of the Mississippi, but sure as hell don’t eat them.’”Handshoe’s experience is not an isolated one. All over Appalachia, people by the tens of thousands have essentially developing-nation-level access to clean drinking water, and pollutants leaching from coal mines are a major (although not the only) culprit. Eric Chance, water quality specialist for Appalachian Voices, says underground mines are often located directly in the water table. Arguably even worse are surface mines, which require blowing up mountains to expose coal, along with rocks that contain toxic heavy metals and salts. These unavoidably end up in rivers and other sources of drinking water. Once consumed, they can wreak havoc on the body, causing cancer, central and peripheral nervous system defects, circulatory problems, and kidney disease, among other ailments.Then there’s coal slurry, a waste product from cleaning coal, which Chance points out is loaded with “all sorts of nasty chemicals” and is often stored in large surface ponds where it can seep into groundwater. Likewise coal ash, a byproduct of burning coal, can escape from containment areas and befoul wells and streams.Although virtually everyone agrees that contaminants from coal mines are bad for human health, rigorously proving cause and effect is problematic. Perhaps that’s why the Environmental Protection Agency and its state equivalents have yet to regulate a variety of chemicals that no sensible person would consume in any quantity. “The EPA sets standards for drinking water, but they’re pretty behind the times because they have to do a bunch of studies to determine safe levels for every chemical,” Chance says, “People are inventing new chemicals much too fast for the EPA to keep up.”So what can be done about a problem this seemingly intractable? Appalachian Voices, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, and other groups have sued to enforce existing laws like the federal Clean Water Act, which they say coal companies routinely flout. And Chance says everyone can make a difference by getting involved. Support environmental groups that are fighting the good fight. Challenge mining permits on environmental grounds, procedural grounds, whatever works. Lean on regulators to enforce water pollution laws and develop stricter limits on pollutants. Tell members of Congress to support the Clean Water Protection Act, which would substantially curtail mountaintop removal mining. In other words, stop complaining and do something positive.Roy Silver, a professor of sociology at Southeastern Kentucky Community and Technical College, is leading by example. He’s trying to protect the water in his hometown of Benham and nearby Lynch, where he works. In both of these locales, six mines—two on the surface and four underground—threaten drinking water supplies. Silver and others aren’t taking this prospect lightly and have filed protests against the surface mine permit applications, the cause of which was not helped when, tragically, a giant boulder hurdled down from one of the surface mines and slammed into a house, crushing a three-year-old boy in his sleep.These events, combined with a tanking coal market that currently makes some of the stuff economically unrecoverable, have so far kept the dogs at bay; one application has been withdrawn, and the rest are currently on hold or otherwise not being pursued. Of course, that could change if and when the coal market recovers. “The water is our most valuable resource,” says Silver. “We should do everything we can to protect it.”Attorney Tim Belcher of Elkhorn City, Ky., agrees. He’s been working with a local nonprofit to promote tourism on the Russell Fork of the Big Sandy River, where the city sits. A whitewater park is in the works, a recent paddling clinic drew about 150 boaters, and there’s been a push to promote trail running races. “We’ve been trying to establish an economy ‘beyond coal’ for our community,” he says. “The more people we get in here to spend their money, the better. The locals understand that we can have a tourism-based economy that’s not based on coal, but we have to have good-quality water to keep that going.”Belcher realizes that not every Appalachian town is blessed with Elkhorn City’s natural advantages, especially its location on a popular river. But he says even if other towns can’t base their entire economies on tourism, they can take steps in that direction.“A lot of people will wait around for the federal government to come in with the big bucks, but they shouldn’t,” he says. “Just start with something. Every little thing you can do to make your community a better place to live and unique for visitors, that’s what you’ve got to do. It might require ten small projects before you can do something big.”Belcher thinks taking local economies “beyond coal” is plausible in the long run, but it will require a paradigm shift. “Part of the issue is educating people and politicians, who all have been relying on coal severance tax funds,” he says. “That money’s going to dwindle. It didn’t redevelop our economy the way it’s supposed to. It’s a process of educating the leaders and citizens to see that certain things can be done.”As for Handshoe, he’s been waging an all-out blitzkrieg to get someone in authority to care about the pollution in Raccoon Creek that’s mucking up everyone’s drinking water. In addition to inviting Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear to visit his property (which Beshear did in 2011), he sued the coal company responsible and hosted hundreds of tours of his property for journalists, state and federal officials, and others. He also tirelessly samples the water himself with the same type of equipment that state inspectors use, and reports what he finds—complete with photos of vile-looking liquid and copious notes.Those reports appear to be falling on mostly deaf ears. When asked for comment, Dick Brown, a spokeman for the Kentucky Department for Natural Resources, would only say that after “investigating” the 59 complaints Handshoe has filed thus far, the department issued six notices of non-compliance to various coal companies. No mention of whether they’ve actually been fined or otherwise held to account besides having pieces of paper thrown at them, or even whether officials believe Handshoe’s story at all. Maybe someone keeps spilling orange Gatorade into the creek.Handshoe is not willing to quit. In a lengthy case study he prepared for regulators and anyone else who would listen, he eloquently articulated a battle cry for a healthy community:“I am often asked by public officials, ‘What is it that you people want?’ It’s not really that big a mystery. I want our water quality and mining laws to be enforced. I want public agencies and elected leaders to hold coal companies accountable and make them do everything possible to fix the problems they have caused. I want the health of my family and neighbors to be valued more than coal company profits. I want state and federal agencies to stop giving new mining permits in our mountains if they can’t prevent problems like what’s happened to my community. And I want elected officials to get serious about helping create a different economy in this region, one that doesn’t depend on destroying our land and water.”
On his latest release, Jon Stickley hopscotches across musical genres.Just this weekend, I was sitting at a local festival and chatting with a good friend about how really traditional bluegrass just isn’t my thing. I meant no disrespect towards the collection of top notch local pickers who were performing at the time, but I like my string music beyond the pale. While I appreciate the history of the genre, my ear is drawn more to those artists that expand the music’s scope and infuse it with sounds and influences not necessarily native to the bluegrass tradition.This explains why I am such a big fan of Jon Stickley.Stickley, along with the trio that bears his name, works to erase musical boundaries. The notion that any given genre – jazz, hip hop, or even heavy metal – cannot be entertained by a string band is a notion that Stickley and bandmates Lyndsey Pruett and Patrick Armitage will not heed.Lost At Last, the trio’s newest record that released last week, is a collection of eleven genre hopping instrumental tracks that includes six originals and some tasty covers from songwriters like Bela Fleck, Tim O’Brien, and Andy Thorn. Stickley, Pruett, and Armitage move effortlessly throughout, shifting gears easily between somber laments like “Rice’s Dream” and the more aggressive themes in “Darth Radar.”This trio is truly gifted at collecting and reforging disparate sounds.I recently caught up with Jon Stickley to chat about the new record, old guitars, and even a bit of Star Wars.BRO – You guys picked up a mention in the New York Times. Welcome to the big time!JS – Thanks! It’s pretty hard to believe, and we are thrilled, to say the least.BRO – I have long envied your Martin guitar. How much of its history do you know?JS – It’s a 1956 Martin D-18. I bought it in 2001. The seller told me it had belonged to a well known banjo player in Charlotte, but that’s all I know. At some point, someone added diamond inlays to the fretboard.BRO – We are featuring “Point To Point” on this month’s Trail Mix. Can you discuss how you developed the riff to describe how you develop songs?JS – I wanted to write a song in more of a traditional flatpicking style, so that was what inspired the main theme. Of course, after presenting it to the trio and putting it through their lens, it became something else entirely. “Point To Point” has become a musical metaphor for our band: traditional roots with a fresh perspective.BRO – So many songwriters tell stories with their words. As an instrumental ensemble, how do you convey stories without them?JS – We use our instruments as outlets for our feelings. I like songs with voices and words, but more often than not, instrumental music is what moves me. There’s a lot of room for interpretation and personalization.BRO – How loudly would Darth Vader jam “Darth Radar”?JS – I think ol’ Darth would probably pop “Darth Radar” into the stereo of his TIE fighter just after takeoff to get pumped for battle against the Rebels. If fact, if he had had this song to inspire him, he would definitely have never been defeated in the first place.The Jon Stickley Trio celebrated the release of Lost At Last in Asheville last week. You can catch them in Raleigh, North Carolina, tomorrow (Oct. 15) and in South Carolina and Florida later this month.For more details on the band, tour dates, and how you can grab a copy of the new record, surf over to www.jonstickley.com. Also, be sure to take a listen to “Point To Point,” which is featured on this month’s Trail Mix.Photo by Heather Hambor.
TRAILSIDE GAMES BACKCOUNTRY BOARD GAMEBOTTLE PRO CUP HOLDER ADAPTER￼￼GREATLAND RESCUE LASER LIGHT￼￼￼ICE MULE PRO XL (30L)ENO SPARK TOP QUILT￼OSPREY VOLT OR VIVA PACKBRIDGEDALE WOOLFUSION TREKKER SOCKSRUFFWEAR FRONT RANGE HARNESS￼￼GREEN GURU HAULER BAGGRAMICCI ORIGINAL G PANTDEUTER SPEED LITE 10[contact-form-7 404 “Not Found”]Rules and Regulations: Package must be redeemed within 1 year of winning date. Entries must be received by mail or through the www.blueridgeoutdoors.com contest sign-up page by 12:00 Midnight EST on December 1, 2015. One entry per person. One winner per household. Sweepstakes open only to legal residents of the 48 contiguous United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 years of age or older. Void wherever prohibited by law. Families and employees of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors are not eligible. No liability is assumed for lost, late, incomplete, inaccurate, non-delivered or misdirected mail, or misdirected e-mail, garbled, mistranscribed, faulty or incomplete telephone transmissions, for technical hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connection, or failed, incomplete or delayed computer transmission or any human error which may occur in the receipt of processing of the entries in this Sweepstakes. By entering the sweepstakes, entrants agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and their promotional partners reserve the right to contact entrants multiple times with special information and offers. Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine reserves the right, at their sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes. Winners agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors, their subsidiaries, affiliates, agents and promotion agencies shall not be liable for injuries or losses of any kind resulting from acceptance of or use of prizes. No substitutions or redemption of cash, or transfer of prize permitted. Any taxes associated with winning any of the prizes detailed below will be paid by the winner. Winners agree to allow sponsors to use their name and pictures for purposes of promotion. Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value. All Federal, State and local laws and regulations apply. Selection of winner will be chosen at random at the Blue Ridge Outdoors office on or before December 1, 6:00 PM EST 2015. Winners will be contacted by the information they provided in the contest sign-up field and have 7 days to claim their prize before another winner will be picked. Odds of winning will be determined by the total number of eligible entries received.
Hello past Live Outside and Play readers, new LOAP fans, and friends of Blue Ridge Outdoors and Elevation Outdoors! We are your new road team for the 2017 season, and we couldn’t be more ready to get rubber to pavement and start the adventure.Excited isn’t even close to how we feel about starting this journey. Ecstatic, euphoric? Fired up! We can’t wait to sleep with the doors open, see every sunrise, meet a thousand new people, and share their (and our) stories. Roxy loves surfing snow, cast iron campfire dinners, and making Ben dance in various outdoor locations. In her non-adventure time, Roxy plays didgeridoo, mixes mean margaritas, and creates a lot of lists. She hails from Northern Va., where she learned how to cast her friends in homemade movies every summer. She refined her skills in New York City, and when the mountains spoke to her more loudly than the skyscrapers, she moved to Denver, Colo. From there it was a quick hop, skip, and jump to every outdoor activity imaginable — summer camp for adults.Ben loves arduous hikes, jetboil coffee (i.e. needs), and scrambling class 4 skree fields without an end in sight (Roxy’s nightmare). In his non-adventure time, Ben tells dad jokes, unpretentiously sips craft beer, and re-organizes his adventure gear. He grew up in Ohio where some of his earliest memories were camping with his grandparents, enjoying the outdoors, and building really sketchy bike ramps in the woods. Like Roxy, Ben moved to Denver in search of adventure and found an outdoor playground. He’s worked in digital media and outdoor television since 2009 and is ready to ditch the desk for something a little more scenic.We will be van’ing all over the East Coast from the southern charm of Georgia up to the grassy knolls of Pennsylvania. If you live ANYWHERE near ANY of those states, we want to meet you! Here are some places where we can cross paths:April 1st: Tallulah Festival, Lakemont, GeorgiaApril 2nd: Meet Up #1: River cleanup on the Chattooga RiverApril 14th—16th: Tom Tom Founders Festival, Charlottesville, VirginiaApril 15th: Meet Up #2: Group ride at Tom Tom FestApril 21st—23rd: Tuck Fest, Charlotte, North CarolinaMay 5th—6th: Cheat River Fest, Albright, West VirginiaMay 7th: Meet Up #3: River cleanup on the Cheat RiverNot only do you get to hang out with us, you also get to familiarize yourself with some incredible outdoor companies: La Sportiva, Crazy Creek, National Geographic, RovR Products, Sea to Summit, Mountain House, LifeStraw, and Lowe Alpine. We will have giveaways, snacks, and high fives. Come hang out. If you can’t make it, you should contact us via social media.—Instagram: LiveOutsideandPlayFacebook: LiveOutsideandPlaySee you out there!
This year, the US Forest Service is releasing its updated draft on the next 15+ year management plan that defines the rules for all activities in Nantahala and Pisgah Forest.Over the next couple weeks, MountainTrue is hosting a series of events across Western North Carolina titled: The Future of the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests: An Expert Panel on the Forest Management Plan.Organized by Susan Bean, the Community Engagement Manager of MountainTrue, these events consist of a panel of representatives from various interest groups. They will take part in a constructive dialogue to determine the future of these forests.Planning For The FutureThe goal is simple: Create a win-win plan for everyone who relies on the forests, whether for recreation or business. You can view the latest draft of the Nantahala and Pisgah Forest Plan here. Keep in mind, this is the “big picture plan.” There are amendments added as time goes on and interests change.Both forests play host to millions of visitors every year. From outdoor recreation and conservation to timber companies and other interests, everyone is affected.Combined, the forests consist of twelve geographic areas across more than a million acres. Home to thousands of unique species of plants and animals, they are two of the most biodiverse temperate forests on the planet.The parties involved in the planning are as diverse as the forests themselves.So who is responsible for their future?The Nantahala Pisgah Forest PartnershipThe Nantahala Pisgah Forest Partnership is a collaborative group of representatives from cultural, timber, water, wildlife, recreation, wilderness and more. Members range from organizations and networks to individuals and of course, The US Forest Service. Together, they have an all encompassing vision for the future of the forests.We envision a thriving, resilient forest within its natural range of variation, able to support healthy ecosystems, wildlife populations, local economies, and traditional uses. We envision a forest with the connectivity and integrity to remain resilient in the face of the changes and challenges of the future.How You Can Get InvolvedThere will be four events held this month in where you can learn more about the proposed solutions for a multi-use, win-win forest plan. These are the combined efforts of MountainTrue, the Nantahala Pisgah Partnership, forest experts, and other participating groups. Each event will feature a constructive dialogue with the panelists and will be followed by a Q&A with the audience.Everyone who shares and loves these forests will be impacted by this plan. This will be an opportunity for the public to learn more about the plan and have their voice heard.For more information on each event, click on the links below:March 15 in Sylva at the Jackson County Public LibraryMarch 22 in Boone at the Watauga Public LibraryMarch 27 in Brevard at the Transylvania County Public LibraryMarch 29 in Andrews at the Andrews Community CenterJustin Forrest is an outdoor writer, fly fishing addict, and co-founder of Narrative North—based in Asheville, N.C. He posts pictures of cats and fishing on Instagram sometimes.