Posted on February 22, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Park visitors spent more than $15 billion last year
Visitors enjoy the scenery at Colorado National Monument. bberwyn photo
Elk along Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park. bberwyn photo
FRISCO — As the National Park Service nears its 100th anniversary, the parks it manages are more popular than ever. Visitation to national parks broke a long-standing record last year, with more than 292 million visits. The previous record was set in 1987.
“As the National Park Service strives to share a more inclusive and well-rounded version of the American story through the places we care for, it is gratifying to see more people than ever coming to their national parks to enjoy nature, learn about history, and spend time with their families,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. Continue reading
Filed under: national parks, public lands, tourism, Travel | Tagged: national parks, public lands, Tourism, Travel | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 28, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Sunset over the Blue Lagoon, near Keflavik, Iceland.
Autumn tundra at Þingvellir.
Glacial melt trickles through lava fields at Hraunfoss to form this mighty river.
Iceland dreamscape …
Harbor at Bildudalur, Iceland.
FRISCO — From the surreal mineral-tinted waters of the Blue Lagoon to glacial runoff in the highlands, Iceland is dominated by water features. As I recently wandered through the Summit Voice photo archives, I noticed how nearly every single image in the set included water in some form, including massive geysers, ubiquitous waterfalls and, of course, the sea!
Filed under: Iceland, Morning photo, photography, Travel | Tagged: Blue Lagoon, Hraunfossar, Iceland, Thingvellir, Travel, travel photography | 2 Comments »
Posted on January 23, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A commercial airliner flies over the Sierra Nevada.
Without regs, emissions could triple by 2050
FRISCO — With the EPA set to decide in May whether aircraft carbon pollution endangers public health or welfare, the battle over airline industry emissions in heating up.
Both the EPA and the airline industry have been dragging their feet for years, refusing to address one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas pollutants. This week, six major green groups called on the EPA and the Federal Aviation Administration to move quickly to set emission standards to curb greenhouse gas pollution from the nation’s aircraft fleet. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: airline greenhouse gas emissions, Environment, global warming, Travel | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 23, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Industry foot-dragging continues,; lawsuits pending
An Iceland Air jet flies over Greenland en route from Reykjavik to Denver. bberwyn photo.
FRISCO — U.S. airlines aren’t making much progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new report from the International Council on Clean Transportation. Despite some improvement by individual airlines, the analysis showed there was no net improvement in the fuel efficiency of U.S. domestic operations from 2012 to 2013.
The nonprofit organization also calculated that two of the most fuel efficient carriers — Alaska and Spirit — had the highest operating profit margins in 2013. Meanwhile less-efficient carriers like Allegiant made profits while using old, polluting and less efficient aircraft. The study findings contradict airline industry arguments that fuel costs automatically push airlines to maximize efficiency. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, climate and weather, Environment, global warming, transportation, Travel | Tagged: airline greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, greenhouse gases, transportation, Travel | 2 Comments »
Posted on August 10, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Kim Fenske tours Colorado’s only world heritage site
Long Dwelling, Mesa Verde National Park.
Story and photos by Kim Fenske
Arriving at the Mesa Verde National Park Visitor and Research Center ten miles east of Cortez in early evening, I worked with a ranger at the tour desk to build an itinerary at Colorado’s only World Heritage site. Despite the ranger’s doubts that I could meet the necessary schedule, I purchased tickets for the three possible tours at a cost less than a camping fee at developed campgrounds. The tours of both Wetherill Mesa in the southwest corner of the park, and Chapin Mesa in the southeast portion of the park, involved driving nearly a hundred miles during the day.
After paying the entry fee, I drove a few miles south to Morefield Campground and registered for two nights of camping at the campground store, open from mid-May through mid-October. The complex offers showers, laundry, internet, fuel, and basic camping supplies, more services than typical of my usual backcountry or primitive camping on national forest lands. After purchasing ice to defend against the ninety-degree heat of the day, I found a tent site conveniently located a short distance from the amenities. My primary criticism of the facilities is that new investment is overdue to update showers and restrooms in the campground. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado | Tagged: Anasazi, Colorado, Mesa Verde, national parks, Travel, world heritage sites Colorado | 1 Comment »
Posted on June 20, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
UK researchers say rerouting flight paths could cut warming effect
Flying over Greenland … bberwyn photo.
FRISCO — Chemtrail conspiracy theorists aside, researchers at the University of Reading (UK) say that airplanes could reduce their climate impact by choosing flight paths in areas where jet exhaust condensation trails are less likely to form and persist.
The study, published June 19 in the journal Environmental Research Letters, shows that aircraft contribute less to global warming by avoiding the places where the thinly shaped clouds, called contrails, are produced – even if that means flying further and emitting more carbon dioxide. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming | Tagged: climate, cloud formation, contrails, global warming, Travel | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 20, 2014 by Bob Berwyn