Nebraska wind farm growth demonstrates non-partisan embrace of renewables

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Clean Technica:Lincoln Clean Energy is the developer behind the newly approved Plum Creek wind farm, located in Wayne County, Nebraska.If Lincoln doesn’t ring a bell, it will soon. The company has a footprint in the leading wind state of Texas and it is also represented in South Dakota, another state poised to dominate the renewable energy scene in both wind and solar.Also, Lincoln is a subsidiary of the global wind leader Ørsted. All in all, that’s a good indication that Nebraska really is poised to vault into the top wind-producing US states.Ørsted made headlines earlier this year when it nailed down the right to build 1,100 megawatts worth of offshore wind for New York State. Plum Creek is small in comparison at 230 megawatts, but it could have a huge impact on future wind development in Nebraska.According to Ørsted, the new wind farm will pump $3 million per year into the property tax profile of Wayne County, much of which will go to school districts.The new wind farm will also help make the state more attractive to big corporations, which are hungry to rack up sustainable business points with renewable energy. They’ll have to get in line. J.M. Smucker Company, Vail Resorts, and Avery Dennison (the packaging people) have already staked their claim to output from Plum Creek through long term power purchase agreements.More: “Red” Nebraska Is Ready For Its Wind Power Closeup Nebraska wind farm growth demonstrates non-partisan embrace of renewableslast_img read more

Man v. Mountain

first_imgA mountain runner navigates a flooded trail of slippery rocks. Photo: Chris Brown.“I was just a few feet from a bear,” recalls mountain runner Malcolm Campbell. “I was running up Cold Mountain in North Carolina, and all of a sudden, there it was. That’s what I like best about mountain running. It’s a completely different world up there.”Campbell has been an elite road runner for two decades, but during 2010, he decided to focus primarily on mountain running events. Mountain running courses ascend a single mountain, with lengths ranging from 5K to marathon. Distances are typically short, and the climbs brutal. Some mountain runs are on burly singletrack trails; others are on roads. The only determining factor is elevation gain, which is often significant.Mountain running is popular in Europe, but remains on the fringes in the U.S., even by trail running standards. There are only a dozen established races that could be considered true mountain runs in this country. The quintessential mountain run in the U.S. is the Mount Washington Road Race (N.H.), a 7.6-mile race that celebrated its 50th year in 2010. The race, which features 18 percent grades for much of the climb, served as the sole qualifying run for the U.S. Mountain Running Team in 2010.While the mountain running discipline is still growing, last year was a banner year for U.S. mountain runners. The men’s national team earned a silver medal at the World Mountain Running Championships in Slovakia, and the women’s team placed fourth, led by Raleigh, N.C. runner Kristen Price. Meanwhile, the Mount Washington Road Race doubled its prize purse and attracted one of its strongest fields. And La Sportiva sponsors a nationwide mountain running race series that pits the best pro trail runners in the country against each other on some of the most technical courses available.“It’s definitely getting more popular,” says Shiloh Mielke, a North Carolina native and one of the top mountain runners in the country, who has earned a spot on the U.S. Mountain Running Team twice. “It’s one of those disciplines that most runners will try at least once. For professional runners, it’s an extremely competitive sport. A lot of runners try it, but only 10 percent will be really good at it.”What makes a good mountain runner? A combination of athleticism and willpower, says mountain runner Andrew Benford, a senior at the University of Richmond. 1 2 3 4 5last_img read more

Ellijay Weekend Getaway Giveaway

first_imgSign up to win an Ellijay weekend getaway in North Georgia’s Outdoor Playground!Enter our Ellijay Weekend Getaway Giveaway to win an amazing prize package to Ellijay, Georgia.Grand PrizeFree two-night stay with Blue Sky Cabin Rentals in one of our select one or two bedroom cabins.$200 gift card and gift basket from Gilmer County Chamber of CommerceDinner for two at Charlie’s Italian RestaurantPlus “You Pick” Your PrizeIn addition to the above grand prizes, you will also receive one of the following of your choice:Half-Day Guided fishing with Reel’em In Guide ServiceGuided hike with trail expert Travis Couch, owner of North Georgia Mountain OutfittersTube the Coosawattee River with Coosawattee River Tubing Co. – Tubing or tracker trip for two including shuttle service and lunch for two at The General Store at Eagle MountainVisit Cartecay Vineyards – Receive four complimentary tastings, which include five samples of wine and a Cartecay Vineyards’ wine glass.This contest is now closed. Thanks to all who entered and good luck!DON’T FORGET TO ENTER ALL OUR OTHER GREAT GIVEAWAYS!Rules and Regulations: Package must be redeemed within 1 year of winning date. Entries must be received by mail or through the contest sign-up page by 12:00 noon EST on November 15th, 2013. One entry per person. One winner per household.  Sweepstakes open only to legal residents of the 48 contiguous United  States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 years of age or older.  Void wherever prohibited by law. Families and employees of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors are not eligible. No liability is assumed for lost, late, incomplete, inaccurate, non-delivered or misdirected mail, or misdirected e-mail, garbled,  mis-transcribed, faulty or incomplete telephone transmissions, for technical hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable  network connection, or failed, incomplete or delayed computer  transmission or any human error which may occur in the receipt of  processing of the entries in this Sweepstakes. By entering the  sweepstakes, entrants agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, Kentucky Tourism, Jim Beam American Stillhouse, and Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest reserve the right to contact entrants multiple times with special information  and offers. Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine reserves the right, at their  sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry  process and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes.  Winners agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating  sponsors, their subsidiaries, affiliates, agents and promotion agencies  shall not be liable for injuries or losses of any kind resulting from  acceptance of or use of prizes. No substitutions or redemption of cash,  or transfer of prize permitted. Any taxes associated with winning any of  the prizes detailed below will be paid by the winner. Winners agree to  allow sponsors to use their name and pictures for purposes of promotion. Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater  value. All Federal, State and local laws and regulations apply.  Selection of winner will be chosen at random at the Blue Ridge Outdoors  office on or before November 30th, 6:00 PM EST 2013. Winners will be contacted by  the information they provided in the contest sign-up field and have 7  days to claim their prize before another winner will be picked. Odds of  winning will be determined by the total number of eligible entries received.last_img read more

Daily Dirt Outdoor News: Bellyak’s New Boat Program, Paddle Nation Grants, and More!

first_imgBringing you the most up-to-date Blue Ridge outdoor news from around the region and beyond each week…Outdoor Nation, Paddlesports Industry, Outdoor Retailer and NPS Rally to Support Paddle Nation Grant ProgramThis summer for the first time, people across the country will have the opportunity to get outside and explore America’s waterways, thanks to the Paddle Nation Grant Program, an initiative connecting young people to rivers, streams, lakes and oceans. The Outdoor Foundation’s signature program, Outdoor Nation, joins with top paddlesport manufacturers, retailers and stakeholders, Outdoor Retailer and the National Park Service to award $40,000 to the best, most effective, projects that introduce paddling to a new generation.Unique in the outdoor industry, the Paddle Nation Grant Program was launched in 2012 with financial support and leadership from Outdoor Retailer and companies in the paddlesport industry including Confluence Outdoor, Johnson Outdoors, Rutabaga Paddlesports, OARS, BIC Sports, Glenbrook, Advanced Elements, River Sport Outfitters and ACK. Leveraging this industry support, the National Park Service joined as a major funder in 2013, significantly expanding the grant program. Since its inception, the partners have awarded more than $125,000 in support of 55 innovative projects. The results speak for themselves. By year’s end, the program will engage more than 8,000 people in paddlesport activities — resulting in more than 25,000 hours spent on the water.“This program is a testament to the leadership and support of the paddle-sport industry,” said Chris Fanning, executive director of the Outdoor Foundation, the organization that started Outdoor Nation. “Thanks to the generosity of Outdoor Retailer and the National Park Service, thousands of young people across the country will explore rivers, lakes and streams through a variety of activities – resulting in a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts and environmental stewards.” The latest round of grants were awarded to 17 projects from a pool of 159 applications. The charitable arm of Outdoor Industry Association, The Outdoor Foundation is taking the lead nationally to inspire and empower a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts through its signature program Outdoor Nation. Launched in 2010, Outdoor Nation is the only national initiative that is engaging, empowering and investing in next-gen outdoor champions and outdoor projects – ensuring the future of outdoor participation. For more information visit Announces “Buy a Boat, Give a Boat” ProgramFrom May 15-June 15, for every boat purchased through a retailer or, a portion of the proceeds will be used to provide Bellyaks for Team River Runner, a volunteer non-profit organization serving veterans through adaptive sports.“Seeing the positive changes the Bellyak has provided people with disabilities has been a highlight of  our business. Due to the lay-on-top, intuitive design of the Bellyak, people with disabilities have been able to enjoy watersports with minimal adaptation required, giving them mobility and exercise in an easy to use format,” said Adam Masters of Bellyak. “With our customers and retailers support, we will supply 14 chapters with two bellyaks each over the next month.”Longer than a riverboard, more stout than a surfboard and shapelier than a standard SUP, a Bellyak is a boat designed to be ridden lying down, without straps or a spray skirt. Bellyak’s innovative design lets people of many different skill levels and physical abilities enjoy the water.In addition to providing a therapy outlet for recovering amputees, Team River Runner facilitates paddling therapy sessions for active-duty and veteran service members who are coping with Traumatic Brain Injury, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Spinal Cord Injury, or Emotional Impairment. Team River Runner’s motto is “Health and Healing Through Paddlesports.”Bellyaks are designed to be used on any type of water. This is especially great for programs like Team River Runner because their paddling sessions always begin in a swimming pool and later progress to outdoor venues such as a lake, coastal inlet or river.Team River Runner was founded in 2004 at Walter Reed Medical Center. They now offer weekly paddling sessions in 45 locations nationally and locally. Programs include biathlons in Washington, D.C. and Colorado, a Kayak Football Tournament at Walter Reed, and many other activities and events. They’ve placed an increasing emphasis on the development of leadership skills for our participants and host leadership clinics around the nation. Veterans learn the skills to become leaders of their TRR chapter. It’s an opportunity to enjoy nature and realize its social, physical, and emotional benefits, whether it’s tackling whitewater rapids or paddling on peaceful flat-water. It’s an environment that facilitates connection, allowing veterans to reunite with their families and forge relationships with those who have endured similar pain. More than anything, Team River Runner is a program that provides purpose for those who need it most – the wounded and disabled war veterans of the United States of America. Our veterans are on the river to recovery.Bellyak was founded in 2011 by Adam and Anna Masters. Adam, a lifelong kayaker from a kayak manufacturing family invented and patented the Bellyak concept. From his experience he knew that being trapped in a kayak was the biggest deterrent to paddlesports, and wanted to create a watercraft that was intuitive and accessible for all types of waterlovers. With a size to fit everyone, Bellyak offers maximum fun with a minimum learning curve, 100-percent designed and made in the USA.Interbike to Open Doors to ConsumersFollowing the model from Eurobike, the annual Interbike bicycle industry tradeshow in Las Vegas announced it will open its doors to consumers on the final day of the show this year. So if you’ve ever dreamed of attending Interbike as an industry insider and getting the scoop on all the products and innovations a year ahead of your buddies, now is your chance. For just $20 (not including travel and party money of course), consumers can show up at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center at 9 a.m. on Friday, September 12, 2014, and experience the largest bike show in the country. Purchase tickets online here.-Submit your Daily Dirt to [email protected]last_img read more

Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine Talks Paddling on the Local Newsplex with Michelle Rupp

first_imgBlue Ridge Outdoors’ Ross Ruffing made a live appearance on the local news this week and chatted paddling gear and watersports opportunities here in Charlottesville with Michelle Rupp.last_img

BRO Athletes: Eli Woodward Rides Mount Rogers

first_imgIt was a hot afternoon in Apex, North Carolina when I went upstairs to check my email. I saw that I had received an email from my brother who lives in Marion, Virginia.It read:You are being black mailed. I have awesome trails, sick views, and wild ponies that I will withhold from you unless you come to experience it yourself…To satisfy this blackmail, meet in Marion, VA Friday at 4:30ish. Bring your well rested self, mountain bike, hiking, and camping gear.  Don’t stress too much on packing, I’ve got plenty of camping stuff and food.You’ll be free on Sunday afternoon…If this was from anyone other than my brother, I might have freaked out. But because it was from my brother, I knew it was a joke, and all he wanted was to go riding this weekend.Within a few short days, I was on top of a mountain with my brother, Luke and his friend, Gavin. I was absolutely gassed. The view was incredible, but the climbing was a lot less than incredible. I remember thinking, “That Five Guys burger did not do me any good.”After taking in such a great view, we got to ride all the way down the mountain. My brother slid out and crashed hard on a slick corner. I told him all was good because I got it on GoPro. Soon after, he got a flat, so I followed the Local Pro Gavin down the rest of the way.Saturday morning, we set out on our 6 hour ride at Mount Rogers. We climbed up a nice, gradual fire road for about three miles. After that, the trails turned into rocky, technical single track. With loose rocks everywhere, it was quite a challenge to go fast. Being from the heartland of North Carolina, I never see rocks or steep hills, so it took a lot of getting used to. Along the way, we met some “wild” ponies.They came right up to us and wanted some food. It was more like a petting zoo than anything. Climbing to the top was a whole new challenge. It was a lot of hike-the-bike, which made sense because we were on a hiking trail. The view on the highest point of Virginia was insane. The ride down was fast and loose. It’s kind of funny how you can spend all day going up, and it’s a matter of 20 minutes going down.On Sunday, we went to Damascus. The ride up was not fun at all. But the ride down made it all worth it. With many choices for lines and loose rocks, it was one of the sketchiest trails I’ve ever been on.last_img read more

Trail Mix | Al Scorch

first_imgAll too often, the banjo catches a bad rap, dismissed as the instrument of hillbillies, confined to only the ramblings of mountain music.The reality is that the banjo is an instrument most dexterous. Long a staple in the African and American folk music worlds, the banjo exploded into the popular musical consciousness with the advent of Earl Scruggs’ three finger roll, and adventurous players like Bela Fleck and Danny Barnes have expanded even farther the instrument’s reach, taking on genres as far flung as jazz, punk rock, and classical.It’s now well accepted that the banjo’s potential knows no bounds.Enter into this conversation Al Scorch, a Chicago-born musician whose music, like the town of his of birth, is a melting pot of influence. Listen closely enough to the tracks on Scorch’s new record, Circle Round The Signs, which releases on May 13th, and you will hear the folk balladry of Woody Guthrie crash against the piss and vinegar bravado of The Minutemen.Like Barnes and Fleck before him, Scorch is boldly elaborating upon the traditions of the banjo. By drawing from such a wide variety of inspiration – vestiges of old time, punk rock, and European folk all can be heard on the new record – Scorch has tapped into the mettle and temper of an Americana sound that has pushed bands like The Bad Livers, Split Lip Rayfield, and The Avett Brothers into the spotlight.I recently caught up with Al Scorch to chat about his hometown, the link between punk and old time, and the new record.BRO – From old time to punk rock. Giant leap or easy jump?AS – Easy! People playing tunes for their immediate community is the heart of all meaningful musical movements!BRO – How does your hometown of Chicago show up in your music?AS – All the little stories stacked on top of one another make a massive and beautiful picture.BRO – Your own favorite banjo player?AS – The realest, Roscoe Holcomb.BRO – We are featuring “Everybody Out” on this month’s Trail Mix. What’s the story behind the song?AS – BRO – You chat with Henry Rollins and open with, “Good afternoon. I’d love to bring my banjo and jam with you.” How does he respond?AS – I hope I never have to speak to Henry Rollins.Al Scorch has shows lined up this weekend in Missouri and Iowa. For more information on Al Scorch, his band, and the  new record, be sure to check out his website.  To order a copy of Circle Round The Signs, surf over to the fine folks at Bloodshot Records.And be sure to check out “Everybody Out” on this month’s edition of Trail Mix.[divider]more from the trail mix blog[/divider]last_img read more

Hillbilly Environmentalist: Good News and Encouraging Trends

first_imgI realize that I could be susceptible to derision for the title of this piece, especially in these times, when there is almost daily bombardment from the White House and Congress to the contrary. In this very blog, I have written over the past few weeks about potentially catastrophic executive orders to destroy positive actions towards climate change, efforts—and successes—to undo stream protections, and shrinking biodiversity world-wide. These deleterious effects can be felt right here in the Southern Appalachians and Piedmont.However, there certainly are some positive signs, trends, and actions taking place all around us that can give those concerned about environmental health and stewardship reasons to be optimistic, despite the efforts in the opposite direction by some of our government officials. Here are a few:Over the past three years (2014-2016), global CO2 emissions have leveled off, mostly due to decreasing levels of coal burning for electricity generation, according to the Global Carbon Budget annual report of November 2016. Leveling off is not good enough, as we must significantly decrease global emissions to keep global temperatures from increasing more than 1.5-2.0 °C (2.7-3.6 °F). However, as a U.K. professor of carbon management puts it, “This may be the turning point we have hoped for.”Electric car maker Tesla is now the most valuable U.S. car manufacturer, overtaking Ford and GM over the past few weeks. Tesla produced only 76,000 cars in 2016, as compared to GM’s 10 million and Ford’s 6.7 million, but the valuation shows the optimism of investors for Tesla’s potentially-revolutionary advances in electric car technology. Tesla plans to roll out its widely-anticipated Model 3 sedan later this year.Zunum Aero announced last week that it plans to fly electric planes, powered by batteries manufactured for electric cars, for shorter, regional flights by the early 2020s (which, admittedly, some analysts think is an overly-optimistic target).Almost daily one can read of an inspiring story of individuals and conservation groups making great strides to preserve more land, and to piece together corridors to connect tracts of preserved land. Just last week in the Asheville, NC area, we saw headlines celebrating the preservation of a tract of land on the edge of North Mills River, a pristine delayed-harvest trout stream between Brevard and Asheville. One of the groups was the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, partnering with Trout Unlimited, Pisgah National Forest, and conservationist Tom Oreck of Asheville.The bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives is now up to 36 members—18 Republicans and 18 Democrats. For a Democrat to join the Caucus, he/she must have a corresponding Republican to join. The Climate Solutions Caucus explores “policy options that address the impacts, causes, and challenges of our changing climate.”Renewable energy—hydro-electric, wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal—accounted for 15% of U.S. electricity generation in 2016, up from about 10% in 2010.Speaking of renewable energy, wind power capacity is accelerating in the U.S. and abroad. In 2015, wind accounted for 41% of U.S. power capacity additions. A majority of U.S. states have utility-scale wind turbines, led by Texas, Iowa, Illinois, and California, and the S. Department of Energy projects that 48 states will have utility-scale wind by 2050. See the promising trend and projections in wind capacity in the graph below.The positive signs and trends are out there—you just have to look for them, and not become numb because of the ubiquitous anti-environmental messages coming from the White House and Scott Pruitt. Next week I will write about what we as individuals can do in some of these areas to help continue the positive trends.last_img read more

Porter Pity Party

first_imgPardon me while I have a bit of a pity party. If you can’t stomach watching a grown man cry, I suggest moving on. Go read something else. I’m sure there’s a story out there about a kitten who gave her owner CPR. Just follow the clickbait title, “Amazing Kitten Performs Heimlich After Snack Goes Terribly Wrong.” This isn’t going to be a feel-good story like that, because we’re approaching prime mountain bike season, when the air is crisp and the leaves are crisper and the trails are ripe for shredding. But you see, dear reader, I can’t shred the trails because I have a broken elbow and my doctor thinks mountain biking in my condition would be—how did she put it—“stupid.” So, while new records are being broken on Strava, and Instagram is flooded with sick mountain bike footage, I’m stuck in my house with the world’s worst case of FOMO. All I can do during prime mountain bike season is play ping pong and drink beer. Thank God I love playing ping pong and drinking beer, otherwise I’d be in the midst of a full blown depression right now. And while fall is definitely prime mountain bike season, it’s also prime beer drinking season. (Yes, winter, spring and summer are also prime beer drinking seasons, but work with me here.) With all this extra time on my hands from all the of the biking that I’m not doing, I’ve had the chance to rediscover a couple of my old school favorite fall beers—Green Man Porter and Highland Brewing Oatmeal Porter. While I rarely wake up in the morning craving a porter, I make the exception during fall. There’s something Pavlovian that happens when I see people wearing flannel shirts and puffy vests; I instantly crave a dark, roasty beer, and both of these options fit the bill. Green Man doesn’t get the hype that some of the other Asheville breweries enjoy, but the brewery knows how to execute a porter. This beer is rich and roasted with notes of coffee and chocolate. It has some hard edges and lands on the bitter side of things thanks to the coffee and chocolate character. Highland’s take on the porter is a bit creamier, because of the use of flaked oats, with a silky but thin mouthfeel. It’s malt forward but doesn’t have the roasted coffee notes you find in Green Man’s version. Instead, there’s a bit of citrus hoppiness lingering on the back end of the sip. After hours of extensive research and testing, I can state with confidence that both of these porters are excellent beers for fall. They pair well with flannel shirts and raking leaves. Also with chocolate chip cookies and despair.last_img read more

Fish in Summersville and Richwood, WV

first_imgAs a gateway to the Monongahela National Forest, Richwood offers easy access to 150 miles of rivers and streams within a 25-mile radius, including the North and South Fork Cherry River, Big Laurel Creek, Williams River, and Cranberry River. These waters are stocked with golden, brook, brown, and rainbow trout. If you are looking for a multi-day adventure, there are several primitive camping locations along the Cranberry River. Summit Lake has an accessible fishing pier and boat launch. In town, Four Seasons Outfitters & Adventure Sports has all of the supplies and insider knowledge to make your trip a success. Cranberry Adventures offers mule and wagon transportation for fishing and camping excursions.  Discover all that Summersville and Richwood have to offer when you get away to these waterways of West Virginia.  Photo by Annie Johnson  water is low. Locations around the lake offer boat rentals, tours, and bait. When you are done with your rod and reel, try out the scuba diving, rock climbing, and hiking trails available around the lake. At 390 feet high and 2,280 feet long, the Summersville Dam is the second largest rock-fill earthen dam in the Eastern United States.  Fish all day in the mountains of West Virginia when you visit the towns of Summersville and Richwood.  Schedule your trip around an event. The West Virginia Bass Federation hosts fishing tournaments on Summersville Lake in the spring, summer, and fall. Toast the arrival of spring at the 82nd Richwood Ramp Festival or celebrate all things whitewater at Gauley Fest. The Richwood and Summersville airports are close by and provide convenient access for small engine fly ins. center_img Hop on Summersville Lake, known for its excellent water visibility and relatively warm water temperature. With more than 60 miles of shoreline and 2,800 acres of water, spend all day fishing for bass, walleye, panfish, catfish, and trout. Check out the secluded coves when the Photo by the US Army Corps of Engineers Summersville. Both Summersville and Richwood have a variety of recreation, dining, and lodging options for when the day winds down. Whitewater raft the New and Gauley rivers, learn the history of the area at Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park, orvisit one of the antique shops in the area. Visit the Kirkwood Winery and taste some of their 30 varieties of wine. Take in views from the Summersville Lake Retreat Lighthouse before bunking in one of their cabins or campsites for the night. last_img read more