The Outside Blog

Dispatches : Dec 2011

W. Virginia to Get 1st National Park

The National Park Service is planning a survey to examine whether part of West Virginia's Monongahela National Forest will become the state's first-ever National Park. The survey was requested by West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin. Unlike a National Monument, the creation of a National Park requires an act of Congress. The last National Park to be created was Colorado's Great Sand Dunes in 2004.

Read more at The Charleston Gazette

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2010 Record Year for Carbon Emissions

Global carbon dioxide emissions increased more in 2010 than any year on record according to a study released Sunday by the Global Carbon Project. Emissions dropped by 1.9 percent in 2009, a decline widely attributed to the recession, but rebounded in 2010 by 5.9 percent. The project's analysis confirms other estimates of the increase.

Read more at The New York Times

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Wolfe, Frost Beat Big Names at NF 50

Montana's Mike Wolfe held back a deep men's field to win The North Face 50 Mile Endurance Challenge on Saturday in the Marin Healands, near San Francisco, arriving at the finish in 6:19 two minutes up on 22-year-old runner Dakota Jones. Wolfe cut his head on a tree branch mid-race and ran with blood covering his right shoulder. New Zealand's Anna Frost beat a similarly strong field on the women's side, running 6:56, nearly ten minutes ahead of Elle Greenwald in second. Favorite Lizzie Hawker and top racer Kami Semick failed to finish. It is Wolfe's third major ultra victory this year.

Read more at Running Times

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Scientists '5 Years' From Cloned Mammoth

The scientific team behind a project to clone woolly mammoths from frozen remains says it may be less than five years from bringing the animal back to life. Researchers from Japan's Kinki University and a mammoth museum in Russia plan to use marrow from a thigh bone to create a viable mammoth embryo. Scientists recovered the bone in Siberia this August and hope to implant it in a female elephant surrogate. Scientists have pursued cloning mammoths from cells since the 1990s, but have had difficulty finding nuclei with undamaged genes, a requirement for cloning. The team believes that the thigh, which is among the best preserved mammoth bones ever found, has a high chance of containing the necessary DNA. Mammoths have been extinct for approximately 10,000 years.

Read more at the Daily Mail

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Revolt of the Athletes

800_m_2010_USA_Track_&_Field_Championships
Photo of Nick Symmonds courtesy Phil Roeder/Wikimedia

For years, U. S. Track and Field has imposed strict rules on how athletes can represent corporate sponsors on their jerseys. Permitted logo size is small—a maximum total area of 40 square centimeters—and athletes can't have more than one logo.

As the economy has tanked and sponsorships have dried up, athletes have gotten increasingly pissed about the rules. That anger came to a head on Friday at an USATF Athlete Advisory Committee meeting in St. Louis.

Here's the (brief) series of events that lead to Friday's confrontation, and possibly to a sea change in the financing of track and field.

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