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Outdoors

Pandemic disrupts Appalachian Trail dreams

COSBY, Tenn. (AP) — When Alexandra Eagle first mentioned plans to hike the entire Appalachian Trail alongside her new husband, her sister told her they’d either be divorced in five months or married forever. Eagle, 33, and Jonathan Hall, 36, had just moved out of their Brooklyn ...

Get out to state parks, but be safe and respectful while there

Wanting to get out of the house and get some fresh air in the lungs is not a bad thing, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. As temperatures are on the rise and spring starts to show up more everyday, many people across Pennsylvania have ventured out to state parks to find a way to be ...

There’s a new push to develop bike and pedestrian network

The Middle Susquehanna Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Plan (Bike+Ped Plan) is an important development for our communities, but most of us are probably thinking: what does that even mean? The long and short of it is that the Bike+Ped Plan seeks to make our communities more bike and ...

Call to the wild: Great outdoors an escape in tough times

Jim Klug’s office phone rings off the hook with anxious anglers inquiring about the status of their upcoming fly-fishing trips. It’s a stressful time for the co-owner of a fishing travel company as he postpones and re-books international and domestic expeditions due the coronavirus ...

Game Commission meeting to go virtual

Due to the continued effects of the global COVID-19 outbreak, the upcoming Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners meeting will be held only online. This decision was made in accordance with strict guidelines enacted across the Commonwealth to protect human health and reduce the spread of ...

Smallmouth levels restored in Susquehanna River

Fish on! For the first time in almost 20 years the state Fish and Boat Commission has found the smallmouth bass population to be doing very well in the Susquehanna River just in time for the fishing season to begin. Commission biologist Geoff Smith presented his research on the causes of ...

Trout season changed announced due to virus outbreak

Amid concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19, the state Fish and Boat Commission announced several changes to the 2020 trout season intended to protect the safety of the public and staff, while preserving the opportunity to enjoy the fun and recreational health benefits of fishing. These ...

Closure of state park and forest facilities extended

The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunnannounced that all facilities at state parks and forests in Pennsylvania will be closed until April 30 to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The public will still be able to access trails, lakes, ...

All game commission shooting ranges closed

The state Game Commission announced it is closing all shooting ranges on state game lands, effective immediately, until further notice. The closure includes rifle, shotgun, pistol, and archery ranges. Given Gov. Tom Wolf’s March 19 updated guidance to help control the spread of COVID-19, ...

Avalanche courses for women seek to bridge the gender gap

KALISPELL, Mont. — As Sarah Schmidt skinned beyond the boundary line of White Pass Ski Area in Washington with her two friends, they stopped at the peak that overlooked Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams and Mount Rainier on an unusually clear January day. There was about 10 inches of fresh ...

Purple paint now officially means no trespassing

HARRISBURG – Landowners who post their properties now have the option of using purple paint rather than signs to alert others that lands are private and trespassing isn’t permitted. House Bill 1772, which was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf in November, and took effect this week. The ...

Common loons are elegant and a birder’s delight

In their breeding plumage, Common Loons are the elegant black and white tuxedo-clad birds of the northern lakes and the oceans. They sport a dagger-like bill and a red eye, white stripes on the neck and spots on the back, making for a handsome sight. Their tremolo calls and yodels have ...

Trees are an inspiration – and a call to action

I've been thinking about trees lately. Big, glorious, canopied, forests of trees. My interest was piqued last year when I read one of my favorite novels, “The Overstory” by Richard Powers The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist fancies that trees have magical mystical qualities that reach ...

Enjoying birdwatching from the comfort of your own backyard

The Susquehanna Greenway is full of opportunities to get outside and view wildlife right in your backyard. From wily squirrels and rabbits to our many feathered friends, there is plenty to see without venturing too far from home, and this February what you see in your backyard could help ...

Resolutions to take to the outdoors for the rest of the year

The dawn of a new year is a time of excitement: an opportunity to put behind the past and to look forward to what the new year will bring. It’s a time of hope and a moment for boldly striding forward with new resolve and inspiration as January arrives each year. Did you make any New Years ...

Lycoming County leads record-setting bear season

HARRISBURG (AP) — Wildlife authorities say Pennsylvania hunters killed 4,653 black bears last year, setting a new record. The Pennsylvania Game Commission said Monday the total is far above last year’s total of 3,153, which was the 11th highest total recorded but was also the lowest in ...

With new rule, anglers won’t show licenses

HARRISBURG (AP) — Outdoorsy Pennsylvanians can soon keep their fishing license in a pocket rather than having to attach it to an outer garment. The regulation amendment approved this week by the board of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission adjusts a long-standing rule on license ...

Pa. has a variety of hawk species gliding the skies

Recently, Vaughn Ulrich, a former state Game Commission Deputy, sent me a picture of a bird to identify. Vaughn thought the bird could be an immature eagle due to its large size; however, at first glance, I knew the bird in the photograph was a rough-legged hawk. A week earlier I noticed a ...

Sprouting success: Aquaponics makes mad science real

DOVER, Del. — It looks like some kind of a crazy laboratory straight out of the future. It turns out that Dover’s Doug Wood is the mad scientist behind all those large blue barrels bubbling with water and fish that are the key ingredients to growing four types of organic ...

The winter lives of the woodland Pennsylvania hibernators

Since this column is being sent in before Groundhog Day, I have no idea whether the groundhog will see his shadow or not. Therefore, I’m going out on a limb to predict that we are going to have either six more weeks of winter or 42 more days of winter. An early verse for February second, ...