Tag Archives: National Parks

Friday Faves: Social Media, Casino Parties and a Taste of Team Ridiculous

It’s Friday! We’re hoping you get to explore someplace amazing this weekend… something along the lines of the photo above.

We’ve seen some big social media initiatives this week, being used to do everything from raising awareness to helping out a friend. Pepsi went all out and launched the Refresh Project, the National Park Conservation Association turned to its social networks to talk about the latest budget shortfall and eco bloggers and green-minded folk across the internet reached out to help pay writer Derek Markham’s hospital bills.

Meanwhile, our friends over at The Kamchatka Project are planning a one-of-a-kind event to raise money for their conservation awareness trip to the Kamchatka Peninsula. If you live in the Portland area, put March 13, 2010 on your calendar. It’s going to be a night of gambling, salmon and espionage… that’s right, it’s the To Russia With Love Casino Night. Door prizes, raffle items, drinks and more! More info and tickets can be found here. Speaking of salmon, read this article and five easy tips on how to take action to save them!

We’ve also been filling our week with amazing photo essays. Thanks to Matador Network for always finding up and coming travel photographer that take amazing photos like these.

And how could we forget? The Joy Trip Project published a wrap-up piece about social media use at the recent Outdoor Retailer and our very own Emily Nuchols was quoted.

Emily adding her photo to the Keen wall at Outdoor Retailer to raise money for Haiti relief efforts

Two of the most talked about exhibitors weren’t brands but non-profit organizations, 1% For The Planet and The Conservation Alliance. With the help of key influencers who support these groups the issues of wildlife conservation and environmental conservation became top-of-mind.
“Social media makes the connection between brands, causes and adventurers clearer than ever before,” said Emily Nuchols, an industry influencer and a principle at Under Solen Media. “It’s not about who gets the most action on Twitter, it’s about who uses their social media to take action on things that matter. We believe in the power of social media to make positive change, and we believe in people who are passionate about their causes — be they businesses, advocates or adventurers.”

And what’s the best part about this Friday? We’re looking forward to some exciting things that are going to happen next week. We can’t tell you just yet, but stay tuned! In the meantime though, be sure to check out the slightly absurd site started by our good friend Dave. Team Ridiculous: We are going to awesome your socks off.

Now we’re off to do a snow dance in the hopes of inviting better skiing weather!


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US National Parks Affected by Obama Administration’s Budget Cuts; Social Media Supporting Cause

According to the National Parks Conservation Association, every $1 invested in National Parks means $4 for the US economy. But the nonpartisan group said that the Obama Administration’s 2011 budget request for national parks will “barely cover costs to pay the bills, let alone restore the operational needs to serve park visitors and protect America’s wildlife and heritage for their second century.” That means not only are parks at risk, but economies that depend on them as well.

Here at Under Solen, we’re avid media consumers, and that includes newspapers, but often, some of news topics we find most interesting come to us via social networks, which is exactly how we were alerted to this budget shortfall.

Here were some of NPCA’s top retweeted posts.

Americans are visiting #nationalparks at rate not seen in years, stimulating local economies http://bit.ly/dzoXF1

Every $1 invested in #nationalparks means $4 for the US economy. Ask Congress to fund them http://bit.ly/dzoXF1

current budget reduces or eliminates nearly $100 million in #nationalparks programs http://bit.ly/am1T0C

The NPCA is calling on President Obama to to keep his campaign commitment to restoring national parks, and to raise awareness about the budget shortfall, capitalizing on its social networks and spreading the word via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and beyond.

“We’re using social media to spread the word as quickly as possible with our community that the President’s budget request does not reflect his campaign promise to address the national parks’ funding shortfall. National parks mean green jobs and bring real revenue to local economies. We believe there has never been a better opportunity for Congress to invest in our parks and our people than now. Our goal is to create a groundswell of support to convince our leaders to invest in the national parks. Using the internet as part of a comprehensive strategy, we can reach more people faster than ever before,” said NPCA Media Relations Manager Lindsay Bartsh.

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Tents Are Up! 3.14 Million Camping Trips in National Parks in 2009

It’s always encouraging to hear that more people are getting outdoors. The Outdoor Industry Association reports that there were 3.14 million visits to tent camping sites operated by the National Park Service in 2009, the highest number of visits since 2003. The record however stands at 4.4 million back in 1992; apparently we had a better appreciation for the outdoors in the early 90s… maybe on account of the fact that this was before the internet and iPhones?

These numbers are encouraging, but may be indicative of the fact that in this economy people are taking vacations closer to home. Whatever the case, more people outdoors means more protection for some of our favorite natural spaces. So get outside!

[Photo: Nick Chill]

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Scientists Studying Climate Change in Yellowstone

Today marks the first day of the Copenhagen Climate Conference. Here at Under Solen we’re hoping for a strong plan of action, so for the length of the conference, we’ll be posting a story each day about how climate change is affecting us and how people in the U.S. are taking action.

Some folks like Bill McKibben are thinking big, others are looking for local solutions, but we hope to do our part to put climate change action at center stage — where it belongs.

Our first story comes from one of our country’s most iconic national parks…

Spasm Geyser is one of hundreds at Yellowstone — including Old Faithful — that may be affected by global warming. Park officials worry that receding groundwater levels could diminish the geysers' dramatic displays. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

Yellowstone National Park’s virtually intact ecosystem is a perfect place for scientists to study the biological effects of climate change. Yellowstone is one of 20 U.S. sites selected to be part of the National Ecological Observatory Network. The observatory will gather ecological and climate data, which will be collated with information from sites around North America and used to detail and forecast wide-scale ecological and climate shifts.

From the LA Times:

Reporting from Yellowstone National Park — Roy Renkin is a biologist by training but a detective by inclination, and something about the willows was nagging him.

The shrubs flanking a creek in Yellowstone’s Blacktail drainage had never grown so tall and lush. But why?

Many of the park’s scientists theorized it was related to the successful reintroduction of wolves, which might have pushed elk out of the area, putting an end to the constant nibbling that stunted willows’ growth.

But this summer, Renkin and a colleague arrived at their own theory: climate change.

Warmer temperatures have extended the park’s growing season for plants by up to 30%. Renkin found that given the additional growing time, willows produced powerful defensive compounds that made them unpalatable to wildlife, enabling some to grow more than twice as high.

The tentative findings are a small piece of a much larger climate puzzle whose effects are making themselves known at national parks across the country. In some cases, the changes are imperiling the very features that define some of the nation’s most-beloved parks.

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National Parks Are Free Today!


It’s Veterans Day today, and in honor of the holiday the Department of the Interior is offering free access to lands managed by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation.

That means that you have a whole day to go explore, free of charge! Go get outside!

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