First large-scale Wyoming solar project clears approval hurdle

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Associated Press:The first major solar energy plant in the nation’s top coal-mining state cleared a significant regulatory hurdle Tuesday when the U.S. Bureau of Land Management determined it will cause no environmental harm. As a result, the Sweetwater Solar LLC plant could begin producing electricity by the end of the year on BLM land outside Green River in western Wyoming.BLM officials made the determination after completing a study required by federal law. The BLM did not return a call seeking information on when construction might begin on the plant expected to generate 80 megawatts of electricity, enough for about 17,000 homes.Wyoming gets plenty of sunshine but has no large commercial solar facilities.Around 40 percent of coal mined in the U.S. comes from Wyoming and 85 percent of all electricity generated in Wyoming comes from coal-fired power plants.Rocky Mountain Power, a subsidiary of Portland, Oregon-based PacifiCorp, has agreed to buy the new solar plant’s electricity. The utility chooses its power sources based on affordability for customers, said Rocky Mountain Power spokesman Dave Eskelsen.Sweetwater Solar is a subsidiary of Irvine, California-based 174 Power Global. The company has told Rocky Mountain Power the plant will be online by the end of 2018, Eskelsen said.More: Solar plant proposed for Wyoming clears major hurdle First large-scale Wyoming solar project clears approval hurdlelast_img read more


Leading Swedish pension fund to stop investing in fossil fuels

first_imgLeading Swedish pension fund to stop investing in fossil fuels FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享CNBC:A major Swedish pension fund announced that it will “no longer invest in fossil fuels.” Första AP-fonden (AP1), which is one of five pension funds in the country’s national income pension system, outlined the reasons for its decision in a statement issued Monday. The Stockholm-based fund explained that the move toward a low-carbon economy less reliant on fossil fuels represented “a substantial uncertainty for companies involved in coal, oil and natural gas activities.”It added that “continued investments related to these activities can increase the financial risk exposure of the fund” and said its decision was one measure being taken to manage the fund’s “climate risk exposure.”As of December 31, 2019, AP1 had 366 billion Swedish krona (around $36.82 billion) of assets under management.On Monday, the fund’s chairman, Urban Hansson Brusewitz, described divesting from fossil fuels as “an efficient way for the fund to manage the financial risk associated with a transition in line with the Paris agreement.”He went on to state that AP1 had “decided to develop a roadmap and measurable targets towards reaching a carbon neutral portfolio by 2050.” This week’s announcement comes after AP1 decided to stop investing in firms involved with oil sands and thermal coal in late 2018. The newly announced decision to divest from all fossil fuels was taken by the fund’s board of directors in December 2019.[Anmar Frangoul]More: Swedish pension fund with billions of assets under management to stop fossil fuel investmentslast_img read more


Dry as Dirt

first_imgThe woods have been so dry that crashing from the mountain bike has become much more of a deterrent than usual.It really hurts to land a hip or shoulder onto dirt so dry and hard that it’s crackled into a large puzzle. The moss is shriveled and brown, and there aren’t any mushrooms. The raspberries, which should be popping out all fat, red, and juicy are tiny morsels of hardening sourness, covered in little green hairs. Ew.Hitting the ground now causes seismic movement, which on these __-year-old bones causes tiny fractures. Then again, maybe the high-impact will also create better bone-density?But then it rained…it was a beautiful, slow, soaking rain that sprinkled on and off. It soaked gently into the ground, moistening the deep crevices and quenching the wilting rhododendrons. Then it would stop, with grey clouds hovering over the tree canopy to hold the wet inside.It was Elijah’s first ride in the rain, and it was a long one. I schooled him on the treacherousness of the angled wet roots and how to keep the front wheel light. Few people, who aren’t from Oregon or England, can ride in these conditions. These mountains are known for staying slick. It doesn’t have to be raining for a front wheel to slide out, or for there to be a rocky creek to navigate.It had been so dry that even after a few rain showers the bike was barely laying tracks. But it was enough to frustrate an 8-year-old who doesn’t yet know to distribute weight back and forth between the front and rear tires while climbing across a thin layer of snot and picking through wet rocks. He was smart to take the downhill conservatively slow and never once tested the ground for density.We got back to the car soaked, with a thin layer of grit and shiny micah – far better than eye shadow. Now that we’d stopped, we were finally cold, grateful for the dry clothes and oatmeal cookies, but sorry to change while sitting in the front seat of a pickup truck. Maybe we should’ve rode naked.last_img read more


Carolina Youth Mountain Bike League Season Wrap-up

first_imgThe Carolina Youth Mountain Bike League season has come to a close, causing everyone involved to say, “Awwwwww!”It was a very fun season for the kids as well as the parents who watched their budding bikers take their riding to another level. The parents, who in the beginning made fun of soccer parents, acted just like soccer parents by the end. We told our kids just to have fun, and then followed them through the woods donning our bikes and running shoes, shouting at them to pedal harder as they crossed the finish line. The 6 and under category seemed to be the most popular bracket, with the most rabid of parents, myself included. I’m pretty certain that I heard someone shouting from the sidelines, “Go Bettina!” as I was pushing my 3-year-old as fast as possible, despite poor little Poppy being driven into the ditch. I started with him, thinking I wanted to keep him safe from the 19 other riders, ranging from 2-6 years old. He may be able to ride without training wheels, but he’s not all that steady. Despite being passed by most of the crowd he was certain that he’d won when he was presented with a certificate. I did not tell him any differently.The kids, who thought they were tagging along onto their parents’ passions, ingrained their own love of bikes and have started to learn about riding with buddies. After the race, Elijah, Ian, and Jubal decided to do the loop again. It was a well-marked trail, with adults at various intersections, so I encouraged them to go. I was so excited for them to go on a buddy ride. We parents advised them to stay together no matter what, stay on the trail and come directly back. What we hadn’t realized was that the short loop had been changed to a bigger loop, of three miles, for the bigger kids. After 40 minutes we began panicking and headed out onto the trails in search. They all came in together with stories of hard climbs and mechanicals, which left us parents relieved and beaming.The most popular category was for 7/8 year-old boys, which means the league will only get more competitive each year from here out. More girls are needed – especially in the 13-16 year-old categories. All of the people I’ve known and ridden with for the last ten years seem to have 8-year-old boys, so we need to recruit more girls.Race Coordinator Todd Branham did a remarkable job and made it fun for everyone. He was patient while surrounded by chaos, and put on a stress-free event that will only keep our sport alive for years to come. For the 7/8 year-old girls, Skylar Bovine of Whitsett, took first place in the series. Maggie Sanders of Asheville took second and Greta Kjellquist of Asheville took third.For the 7/8 year-old boys, Quinn McMullan of Asheville took first, Elijah Freese of Asheville took second (YES!) and Rowan McMullan took third.For the 9/10 year-old girls, Emily Trusler of Brevard took first, Megan Smailes of Black Mountain took second, and Sunshine Pugh of Asheville took third.For the 9/10 year-old boys, Jacob Martin of Columbia, SC took first, Nicholas Leiter of Asheville took second, and Logan Pelton of Columbia, SC took third.For the 11/12 year-old girls, Hannah Dickson of Brevard took first, Hannah Feinsilber of Black Mountain took second, and Mary Pharr of Tuxedo took third.For the 9/10 year-old boys, Bergen Khare of Brevard took first, Bryce Spradlin of Brevard took second and Aidan Spradlin of Brevard took third.For the 13/14 year-old girls, Anna Freeman of Arden took first, Margot Clyburn of Taylorsville took second and Lucy Pharr of Tuxedo took third.For the 13/14 year-old boys, Caleb Spradlin of Brevard took first, Henry Khare of Brevard took second, and Taylor Crabtree of Fletcher took third.For the 15/16 year-old girls, Annie Pharr of Tuxedo took first and Hannah McLeod of Waynesville took second.For the 15/16 year-old boys, Nicholas Brown of Greenville, SC took first, William Solesbee of Asheville took second, and Alex Biggs of Arden took third.For the 17/18 year-old boys, Derek Hurst of White, TN took first, Christian Strangefel of Arden took second, and Adam Steurer of Mills River took third.last_img read more


Mountain Mama: Are We Obligated to Help Beginners?

first_imgDear Mountain Mama,Some of my friends and work colleagues have asked me to take them kayaking. While I want to encourage them to learn, my river time is sacred. Do we have an obligation to help beginners in the sport? Or should I just tell them to take a lesson?Yours,Don’t Want to Bother——————————————————————Dear Don’t Want To Bother,Of course you want to paddle rivers that challenge you. Your time on the water is limited and if you aren’t a professional kayak instructor, you’re out there to have fun. But unless your friends have really deep pockets, they probably rely on other recreational boaters like yourself to help them progress as a boater. Suggest they pay for the first few beginner lessons, and then offer to safety boat and provide pointers a few times.After my first summer paddling, I signed up for a trip to Panama. We were on a continuous Class III stretch that was the hardest water I had paddled at the time. The river gorge was bordered by steep cliffs. The skies opened up and an onslaught of rain poured just after we put-on the river. The river rose fast. The water was muddy brown and full of debris. Rocks fell from the unstable banks. The trip leaders gathered us in an eddy and gave us a pep talk. They urged us to paddle as fast as we could so that we could get off the river before the flooding became too intense. I was scared and started to feel wobbly, even there in the eddy. I grabbed the closest person around and hugged him. He was a safety boater who had tagged along from the States, a big burly former professional rugby player and motorcycle racer. He wasn’t exactly the teddy bear type, and seemed a bit put off by my sudden hug.But then a funny thing happened, he took me under his wing the rest of the trip. When we learned that we lived less than a half hour away back in the U.S., he offered to paddle with me regularly. About three years later we were eating burgers after paddling and I asked him why he had been so kind to me and had helped me to progress as a kayaker all those years. He replied that the surest way to becoming immortal is by teaching others. In turn, his students would help newbie paddlers, passing his spirit and love for the sport to future generations.Don’t Want to Bother, we should always spend time to help our friends and colleagues. Even if you don’t buy the fountain of youth theory, you’re own skills will get better from modeling strokes and explaining moving water. Besides, you’ll come out of the season with another paddling partner or two.Best,Mountain MamaGOT A QUESTION FOR MOUNTAIN MAMA? SEND IT HERElast_img read more


Weekend Pick: Lakeside Trail Race in Greensboro, North Carolina, Jan. 10

first_imgNew year, new races! Make it a 2015 resolution to take a break from pavement and give some trails a try, starting this Saturday with the Lakeside Trail Race in Greensboro. Lakeside Trail RaceThe race offers both 8- and 15-mile options, each beginning at North Carolina’s Bryan Park Soccer Complex and winding through the Greensboro Trails. 8-mile runners will move out and back on the Townsend Trail, while their 15-mile counterparts will start on the Townsend Trail and detour along the Blue Heron, Peninsula, and Osprey Trails. All of these trails are included in the greater 40-mile Greensboro Watershed Trail System.For its fifth year running, the Lakeside Trail Race expects at least 200 runners to tackle these trails. It’ll certainly be a popular event, but there’s still time to join! The race will offer registration on Friday evening, January 9, as well as race morning. The race will begin at 10 AM, with registration and packet pick-up on Friday from 4 to 7 PM and Saturday from 8 to 9:30 AM. $55 will take you through the 15-miler, and only $45 for the 8-mile race.Proceeds from the Lakeside Trail Race will benefit the Greensboro Fat Tire Society, the local mountain biking community, and will also contribute to the upkeep of the Greensboro Trails.Don’t miss this chance to start off the year in the best way – on your feet in the great outdoors at the Lakeside Trail Race!last_img read more


4 Mountain Biking Routes that End in Great Swimming Holes

first_imgThe mountains of the Blue Ridge region are chock-full with a wide variety of mountain bike trails. From moderate rides along old roads to rugged ridge climbing single-track trails; the options accommodate every skill level. Yet, the summer sun has a way of leaving all riders in pursuit of one common goal: a little relief from the scorching heat.  For those in search of mountain bike routes that are manageable on even the hottest of days, we have compiled four rides that will land you in some cold, refreshing mountain water. These four routes, a mixture of moderate grade and swimming holes will keep you riding through the dog days of summer.Seneca Creek Trail | West VirginiaThe Monongahela National Forest of West Virginia is your ticket to great trails and swimming holes. Seneca Creek Trail, specifically, will land you at an incredible spot under the thirty-foot Seneca Falls. The route is a relatively easy ride along an old forest road that crosses several streams and swings you past additional choices of swimming holes.7010449_large_2f672d1465064023Seneca FallsGreentown Trail in Wilson Creek | North Carolina  The Wilson Creek Wild and Scenic River Area offers not only beautiful views and well-kept trails, but also includes several swimming holes. Located in Pisgah National Forest, Wilson Creek is a portion of the Grandfather District. Make sure to choose your route wisely as only some trails allow for mountain bikes. Biking is permitted on Greentown Trail and will be your best bet for cooling off in the river along the way. Starting off Highway 181, the blue blazed Greentown trail crisscrosses and winds along the river. After your ride, wade in and cool off from the river’s bank.Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 10.41.15 AMSouthside Junction Trail | New River Gorge, West VirginiaThe New River Gorge is an East Coast goldmine for mountain biking. A large network of trails provides several options for grade variety.  However, the beautiful winding waters of the New River are what truly make this area a summer destination. As you ride along the river’s edge, it will be hard to resist a refreshing dip into the chilly mountain water. For those scorching hot summer days, consider the Southside Junction Trail as your route of choice. This scenic, seven-mile path along an old railroad track moseys past several ideal spots to stop and wander down to the river for a swim.new_river_gorge_bridge-e1463580312881The New River Gorge is an East Coast goldmine for mountain biking.Panthertown Valley loop with Schoolhouse Falls | North CarolinaNot far from the popping city of Asheville, North Carolina, the enchanting Nantahala National Forest is home to Panthertown Valley. Here, miles of biking trails offer a variety of rides, loops and terrain. One of the best features in the striking wilderness of Panthertown Valley is Schoolhouse Falls. This is a swimming hole you will not want to pass by. Cool off under the waterfall as it empties into the deep swimming hole below. Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 10.41.26 AMSchoolhouse Falls in Western North Carolina’s Panthertown Valley.From Salt Rock parking area, bikers can pick up Blackrock trail. Which leads into Power Line Road. You can then choose to create a loop using North Road. Come prepared for a short hike as access to Schoolhouse Falls is only by a footpath trail.Related Content:last_img read more


Trail Mix: New Solo Record for My Morning Jacket’s Jim James

first_imgIt’s been a relatively light touring year for My Morning Jacket. But one of the popular Southern-flavored alt-rock outfit’s sporadic gigs included an appearance in the Blue Ridge back in August—a headlining slot at the annual Lockn’ Festival in bucolic Nelson County, Va. During the set the band ripped through some of the biggest tunes from its near-two-decade career, which started back in Louisville, Ky., in the late 90s. From the space-jazz jam in an extended “Steam Engine” to the twangy, full-throttle garage rock of old-school favorite “Mahgeetah,” the group delivered a commanding performance that lasted for more than two hours.A surprising moment in the extended festival set came when Jacket frontman Jim James started crooning a version of Hal David and Burt Bacharach’s 1965 ballad “What the World Needs Now is Love.” Midway through the song James addressed the crowd, saying “The world is a crazy place right now. We need to let each other know how much we love each other, regardless of race, regardless of creed, regardless of sexual orientation.”Dropping such a saccharine song into a show filled atmospheric, edgy sounds could’ve come across as cheesy or ironic, but after a long summer of headlines dominated by social and political unrest, it managed to bring an exhausted, sweaty crowd into a unified sing-along. James, to his credit, has long been full of surprises that seem to work. As the shaggy, somewhat iconic leader of a band that lives just below the mainstream but possesses a fervent fan base and teeters between the worlds of indie and jam rock, he’s often been willing to experiment.Beyond My Morning Jacket’s seven studio albums, James has released two solo efforts. The first, the 2009 EP Tribute To (released under the name Yim Yames), is full of quiet George Harrison covers that sound like they were recorded in an attic, and the follow up, 2013’s full-length Regions of Light and Sound of God, was an ambitious piece of DIY electro-rock, influenced by Lynd Ward’s wordless novel, God’s Man. This month James is releasing another full album, Eternally Even, out November 4.Like the message he shared during the Lockn’ set, James is using the album as a call for humanity during indisputably troubled times. In a statement released on his latest effort, which will be released intentionally just ahead of the U.S. presidential election, James said: “I wanted to make an album that hopefully speaks to the issues of the day, many of which, sadly, are issues we have been dealing with since the beginning of time. Most of what I think about right now is how so many things in the world are SO f#@ked up—our political system is broken and corrupt … our Earth is being destroyed by climate change … people are not treating each other with equality and respect … and I think, ‘Are we going to make it? Are we going to figure it out and fix it before it’s too late? Can we ever truly open our hearts and embrace love in all its beautiful forms?’ I think it’s still possible.”That optimism doesn’t immediately shine through in the lyrics of protest song “Same Old Lie,” which on paper look like they should be coming from Woody Guthrie strumming an acoustic guitar: “Hate crimes/Shelter lines/They try to take what’s yours and mine.” But James delivers them in a way that doesn’t wallow in darkness. The song cruises with a soulful pop groove that belongs in a dance club, and as the album progresses any hints of anger evolve into pleas for peaceful unity. The two-part “We Aren’t Getting Any Younger” starts with a mood-shifting, down-tempo electronic instrumental before segueing into a seize-the-day acid jazz poem. Similarly, “In the Moment” rebukes apathy through a hazy retro funk jam.Slightly reminiscent of Sam Cooke’s Civil Rights anthem “A Change is Gonna Come,” James ultimately sees good things on the horizon in the R&B-fueled “The World’s Smiling Now,” a melodic meditation on finding comfort through chaos in the held hand of another. Inspiring music is just a part of what the world needs, and fortunately James has that covered.Keller Williams’ Bluegrass ThanksgivingKeller Williams nimbly jumps between genres. He’s best known for performing as a one-man band, an acoustic troubadour with a loop rig that allows him to incorporate a wide range of additional sounds beyond his guitar. But in recent years Williams has been collaborating with other musicians on a more regular basis. He often tours with his hard-hitting funk band, More Than a Little, or in projects with bluegrass greats Larry Keel and the Travelin’ McCourys. He’ll lean on the latter style later this month during two shows Williams is calling “Thanksforgrassgiving.”For the pair of gigs, taking place at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., on November 25, and at the National in Richmond, Va., on November 26, Williams is assembling a roster of string band all-stars, including Jeff Austin on mandolin, Jay Starling on dobro, and Nicky Sanders of the Steep Canyon Rangers on fiddle. Starling’s band, Love Canon, which plays bluegrass versions of 80s hits, will open both shows. Williams also announced he will play a New Year’s Eve show at Rams Head Live in Baltimore, Md., that will include a set of Grateful Dead tunes from his Grateful Gospel project, which features guitarist John Kadlecik, formerly of the Dead side project Furthur.Jim James will support his new solo record with a limited run of tour dates, including a handful in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast: November 19 at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C., November 22 at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, Ga., November 23 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn., and November 25 at the Palace Theatre in Louisville, Ky.last_img read more


Road Trip & Gear Giveaway

first_imgHALF DAY PADDLE TRIP WITH TWIN RIVER OUTFITTERS.BEER TASTING AT OUR NEWEST LOCAL BREWERY— GREAT VALLEY FARM BREWERY. PLUS RECEIVE TWO COMMEMORATIVE GLASSES.2 TICKETS TO GLEN MAURY PARK OUTDOOR MUSIC EVENT BOXED TRAIL LUNCH FROM THE SOUTHERN INN AND IN ROOM SNACKS. OVERNIGHT ACCOMMODATIONS FOR TWO AT THE HAMPTON INN LEXINGTON—RIGHT IN THE HEART OF THE HISTORIC DISTRICT. GREGORY DAYPACK VELATA 28 (MSR $109.95)BRIDGEDALE COOL FUSION MULTISPORT SOCK (MSR $17.95)MERRELL ALL OUT BLAZE 2 MID WATERPROOF (MSR $150.00)center_img A ROAD TRIP TO LEXINGTON, VIRGINIA 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 August 15, 2017 – date subject to change. 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, mis-transcribed, 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 August 15, 2017 – date and time subject to change. 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. One entry per person or two entries per person if partnership opt-in box above is checked.last_img read more


Chilean and Colombian Armies Agree to Collaborate on Personnel Training

first_imgBy Dialogo May 23, 2012 In Bogotá on an official visit to Colombia, the commander-in-chief of the Chilean Army, General Juan Miguel Fuente-Alba, discussed with his counterpart Sergio Mantilla the advantages of intensifying the exchange of existing experiences in areas of mutual interest, such as the professional development of their personnel in the areas of education, instruction and training, comparing planning procedures, and unit utilization in the event of emergencies and natural disasters. On this occasion, Fuente-Alba requested cooperation from General Sergio Mantilla for the training of helicopter pilots, while offering the South American country slots for training Colombian personnel at the Chilean Army’s High Mountain School. During his six-day visit from May 14 to 19, General Fuente-Alba visited Larandia Military Fort, the 25th Aviation Brigade, and the National Training Center, a unit located at Tolemaida Military Fort and responsible for training career soldiers and members of Special Forces, paratroopers, and mountain units. In recognition of his contribution to rapprochement and collaboration with the Colombian Military, the Chilean commander received the José María Córdoba Order of Military Merit in the grade of Grand Cross.last_img read more