January 2, 2012
Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier     Photo: mikekehen/Flickr

Ranger Killed at Rainier National Park

Park closes as armed suspect escapes

Law enforcement officials in Washington State are searching for a man who shot and killed National Park Service Ranger Margaret Anderson Sunday morning, then fled into the forest in Mount Rainier National Park. Anderson, 34, a mother of two, was shot while attempting to stop a speeding car believed to be driven by Benjamin Colton Barnes. Rangers began pursuing Barnes, 24, an Iraq war veteran who police say was involved in a four-person shooting in Seattle early on New Year's day, when he failed to stop at a park checkpoint for snow chains. Officials found weapons and body armor in Barnes's car. More than 100 visitors already inside the park spent Sunday night at a ranger station. Law enforcement officials from the FBI, U.S. Forest Service, and Washington State Police are searching for the shooter.

Read more at The Seattle Times


Coal plant

Coal plant     Photo: Rennett Stowe/Flickr

Court Delays Rules on Coal Emissions

EPA regulations for 2012 put on hold

A U.S. federal appeals court in Washington D.C. on Friday delayed regulations that would have limited emissions from coal plants. The court ruled that a January 1 implementation date for did not allow enough time for legal challenges to the regulations, which the Environmental Protection Agency handed down in July and place strict limits on sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from coal plants. The agency estimates that the rules would save between $120 and $280 billion in health care costs per year. The agency announced new limits to mercury emissions on December 21.

Read more at Reuters


Saddle Rock in Joshua Tree National Park

Saddle Rock in Joshua Tree National Park     Photo: Jarek Tuszynski/Wikimedia Commons

Writer Paralyzed After Climbing Fall

Bill Becher fell 30 feet in Joshua Tree

A California outdoors writer is reportedly paralyzed after a climbing accident in Joshua Tree National Park in December. Bill Becher was climbing Saddle Rock, a 600-foot formation in the park, when he fell 30 feet and  landed on his lower back. Rescue workers transported Becher to the park's Oyster Bar Parking Area, where he was picked up by helicopter and transferred to the Desert Regional Hospital in Palm Springs. Becher was named California Outdoors Writer of the Year in 2004, and has contributed to Outside.

Read more at The San Francisco Chronicle


Mt. Elbrus of the Seven Summits

Mt. Elbrus of the Seven Summits     Photo: Jason Blue-Smith/flickr

Romero Completes Seven Summits

15-year-old summits Vinson Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve, December 24, 15-year-old climber Jordan Romero became the youngest person ever to summit the highest mountain on each of the world's seven continents when he successfully climbed Antarctica's 16,050-foot Mt. Vinson. Romero became the youngest person ever to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2005 at age 10 and is also the youngest person to summit Mt. Everest, which he climbed in May of 2010 when he was 13. Jordan's Seven Summits record may remain unchallenged, as China and Nepal have since passed laws banning climbers under the ages of 18 and 16, respectively, from attempting Mount Everest.

Read more at Discovery News