"When my editors asked me to report on forest bathing, I packed a swimsuit. I assumed it must involve a dip in the water. It turns out, my interpretation was too literal. ... The aim of forest bathing ... is to slow down and become immersed in the natural environment. She helped us tune in to the smells, textures, tastes and sights of the forest."
"Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Thursday that two national monuments in Washington and Idaho are no longer being considered for removal or reduction by the Trump administration."
The maintenance backlog at the National Park System is nearly $12 billion, and a hot button issue for various constituencies. But don't look for spending to clear it up any time soon, with major budget cuts proposed. This week's TipSheet outlines the issues, and provides resources and perspectives to cover the story.
"Wildfires barreled across the baking landscape of the western U.S. and Canada, destroying homes and forcing thousands of residents to flee."
"In southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina, the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge has been dramatically altered over the past few centuries by human development, creating an environment more vulnerable to both floods and wildfires. Now, a federal project is trying to restore some of the swamp's natural habitat and other characteristics through a $3 million effort that aims to reverse some of that damage."
"With wildfire season raging in western states, Congress is embroiled in a battle over how best to fight the fires. Many Republicans want to help prevent and fight wildfires by giving the agencies that manage the federal forests more money and greater ability to thin out the forests. Most Democrats, as well as environmental groups, say the bill would lead to more logging without first considering potential damage to the forests."
"The nation's largest wildfire has forced more than 1,500 people from their homes and cabins in a southern Utah mountain area home to a ski town and popular fishing lake."
Even though big proposed budget cuts may be DOA for the Interior Department, it doesn't mean there aren't a wide range of land and resource-related stories emerging from the debates. The latest TipSheet sets the scene and offers a half-dozen ways to localize the Interior Department funding story.
The global rise of large-scale, intense and devastating wildfires is the subject of a new book by award-winning photojournalist Michael Kodas, who spoke with SEJournal's book editor about what makes these new fires so different, what role climate change plays and how he joined firefighters amid the flames.
"A raging forest fire enveloped a stretch of road in central Portugal this weekend, killing more than 60 people, including at least 30 motorists who were trapped in their cars."