Despite challenges posed by the pandemic, the USDA Forest Service today announced it surpassed goals and set records in 2020.
“2020 was a challenging year, with record wildland fire activity and the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the Forest Service, we have risen above these challenges and set our minds, hands and hearts to carrying out our mission to meet the needs of the communities we serve,” said Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen.
The Forest Service relied on its strong science, innovation and partnerships to overcome this year’s challenges as the agency found new solutions to serve the public during a time of unprecedented need.
Creating healthy, productive forests and supporting rural economies
In 2020, the Forest Service provided jobs and stability for local economies through a year of historic timber production, selling more than 3.2 billion board feet of timber, the second-highest level in 20 years. The agency also improved forest conditions and reduced wildfire risk on over 2.65 million acres, removing hazardous fuels like dead and downed trees, and combating disease, insect and invasive species infestations.
The Forest Service undertook a suite of regulatory reforms to meet the goals of the Secretarial Memorandum to the Chief of the Forest Service modernize and align agency directives with new legislative authorities and reduce regulatory burdens. By the end of December 2020, the Forest Service will have nearly completed all guidance to implement new legislative authorities in the 2018 Farm Bill. In addition, Forest officials quickly began implementing President Trump’s Great American Outdoors Act to increase access to national forests and grasslands and make progress towards reducing the agency’s $5 billion infrastructure backlog.
Managing wildfire, and providing for health and safety
The Forest Service was successful in prioritizing early suppression of wildfire ignitions while facing a record-breaking fire year, with the most acres burned on national forests since 1910. The agency’s modeling research on how COVID-19 may spread between firefighters or in communities during response efforts led to new interagency safety protocols to better support fire camp management. The protocols not only successfully minimized the spread of COVID-19 among the agency’s 10,000 firefighters, but early learning suggests the safety measures resulted in additional health benefits to fire crews, reducing ailments common in fire camps, which translated to a healthier and more resilient firefighting workforce available to protect lives, homes, and communities threatened by wildfire.
Sharing stewardship responsibilities and being better neighbors
The Forest Service made significant strides toward Shared Stewardship this year, working more closely than ever with Tribes, States, and local partners to make sure the right work happens in the right place at the right time. So far, 44 states and territories are now involved in a Stewardship Agreement. The agreements allow the Forest Service to employ the latest tools and share decision making on the highest priorities to improve forest conditions across broad landscapes. These new agreements have resulted in increasing resiliency of forests, protection of communities and reduction of wildfire risks. They have also produced jobs and stabilize economies.
Increasing access and improving recreation experiences
This year, Americans sought out their public lands in tremendous numbers, finding relief in the Great Outdoors, showing us once again how public lands unite our nation. In response, the Forest Service generated solutions to ensure visitors had every opportunity to safely use and enjoy their national forests and grasslands during the pandemic. The Forest Service welcomed record-breaking numbers of visitors, many of whom were first time users, with 95% expressing satisfaction with their experiences.
“Next year, we will continue to build on these successes to improve conditions on America’s national forests and grasslands to ensure they are healthier, more resilient and more productive,” added Chief Christiansen. We will keep building on the partnerships that make these successes possible and commit to increasing access to better connect people to their natural resources, so these national treasures endure for generations to come.”
Historically a forest country, Lithuania has much to offer travellers looking for sustainable outdoor adventure. Under-the-radar wonders of nature draw into new experiences perfect for adventure-seekers looking for ways to safely travel.
“We are a forest country,” explained Indrė Trakimaitė-Šeškuvienė, Head of Marketing at Lithuania Travel. “Forest is an important symbol of Lithuanian history and culture. Despite industrial development of the 19-20th centuries, we have preserved large spaces of natural forest. With the rise of eco-tourism these locations are turning into sites of meditation, natural health practice and other ways to achieve the deeper sense of unity with nature.”
Eco-tourism is on the rise and people who decide to travel in post-quarantine world are looking for nature experiences rather than big cities. Here are seven amazing outdoor attractions in the lush forests of Lithuania, according to Lithuania Travel.
Herb picking: In North-Eastern Lithuania, in the forest-surrounded town of Anykščiai, professional herbalist Ramūnas Daugelavičius combines traditional Lithuanian experience with knowledge of other cultures and scientific methods to provide unique experience of herbs. From herb picking for spices to special tea ceremonies, fire rituals and seed root coffee, travelers can follow the Lithuanian tradition.
Butterfly and dragonfly watching: Lithuania is the only place in the world where dragonflies are professionally monitored and marked.At Ventė ornithology station, the secrets of dragonfly migration are only now being uncovered. Not far from the station, in the Western part of Lithuania, ecotourism enthusiast Daiva Stanislovaitienė offers butterfly, dragonfly and bird watching trips combined with cozy stay in a comfortable villa.
Forest bathing: The Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku or forest bathing is a way to heal and restore the human spirit, which tires of work and rush of the technology-dominated world. For example, a certified guide of shinrin-yoku Mila Monk gives both private and group tours in different Lithuanian forests which visitors can join in on.
The largest dreamcatcher in the world: Those with serious nightmares should visit the pine forest in Asveja regional park in Eastern Lithuania. The dreamcatcher is located in the territory of the eco-resort Golden Forest. The resort also houses a forest labyrinth of four elements which can be passed only using the intuition, and holds the annual Masters of Calm festival for active and conscious community.
The forest gramophone: The forest sound catcher may be found in the Curonian Spit – the natural seaside reservation in the Western Lithuania. Here, a 3 meters high gramophone-like construction enhances the natural sounds of forest which visitors can spend about half an hour inside.
The forest dunes: Sand dunes are the usual sight of the Baltic seaside, but, some of them are located far from the sea and deep in the forests. In the pine forests of South-Eastern Lithuania, the dunes totally transform the landscape and provide unique experience of the raw nature.
Meteorite crater: 165 million years ago a huge meteorite landed near Vepriai in Central Lithuania. Now, visitors can explore the site by biking along one of the many routes across the crater.
The deep, green and magic Lithuanian forest is the place to enjoy peace and solitude traveling on foot, by bike or by camper. Now, with the necessary cautions for traveling during the coronavirus pandemic, a forest-filled oasis like Lithuania is a perfect spot for globetrotters.
THE NIGHT LEAGUE, USHUAÏA AND HÏ IBIZA PARTNER WITH DANCE FOR 1 METER FOR RAINFOREST CONSERVATION
Leading Ibiza clubs Hï Ibiza and Ushuaïa partner with Dance For 1 Meter, the largest conservation initiative in electronic music history, to help combat rainforest deforestation
Today, Ibiza events giants The Night League announce their 2018 partnership with conservation initiative Dance For One Meter (D41M) which will unite the creative spirit of Ibiza with the latest blockchain technology to tackle the global issue of deforestation and proof of conservation. The partnership will allow clubbers attending both Hï Ibiza and Ushuaïa to help the cause by simply joining the party and dancing at either club.
When guests attend events at Hï Ibiza and Ushuaïa, they will have the opportunity to pay an optional 1€ to reserve and save 1sqm of Rainforest when purchasing tickets online at hiibiza.com. By using Satellite and Google Earth technology, each guest can redeem and zoom into their coordinates on the Cuipo Foundations Rainforest Preserve in Brazil.
The Night League CEO & artistic director Yann Pissenem said: “We’re so proud to be a part of such an important initiative. We launched the partnership last year with Hï Ibiza and we are really excited to be able to expand it to Ushuaïa this year so that more people can get involved. Deforestation is one of the biggest environmental issues affecting the planet and we hope everyone continues the good work this year and donates to this really worthwhile cause.”
Ricardo Porteus from D41M said: “Have fun, save rainforest is the message! By uniting and dancing together we will save and protect an area of rainforest the same size as Ibiza!”
Every second of every minute of every day one football field of Rainforest is lost due to deforestation. 70% of all cancer eliminating medicine properties originate in the Rainforest. Deforestation creates more carbon emissions than any other industry on the planet. The impact on our lives at a global level is serious if action isn’t taken right now. No more talking, it’s time to Dance For One meter and help make a difference.
The Dance For One Meter (D41M) project is founded by Ricardo Porteus and Tom Murray, who had a chance meeting at the Burning Man festival in Nevada where they conceived the potential of how uniting every person attending global festivals and events could make a positive impact on Rainforest protection. By simply having fun whilst saving the Rainforest, one person, one ticket, one meter on mass will generate the biggest environmental initiative in dance music history.
#d41m #cuipo #saverainforest #blockchainforimpact
About The Night League
Founded in 2001 by events entrepreneur Yann Pissenem, The Night League is 360 music and entertainment company dedicated to every facet of event and venue management and responsible for hugely successful brands including Ushuaïa Ibiza, Hï Ibiza, ANTS, BIG, Children of the 80´s, GangStar and DYSTOPIA.
About Hï Ibiza
Since opening its doors in 2017, Hï Ibiza has played host to many of the biggest names on the electronic music scene, including world-class residents Black Coffee, Cream Ibiza, Cathy Guetta presents GangStar, Eric Prydz, Armin van Buuren and Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, Afterlife and Glitterbox. With state-of-the-art design and sound and a commitment to putting the clubber at the centre of the experience, Hï Ibiza has proved itself a force to be reckoned with.
Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel is the ideal choice for the tasteful traveller who comes to the island for the trendiest pool parties, most extravagant evening productions and a truly luxurious hotel stay. With live performances every night from the world’s best DJs and phenomenal pool parties by day, Ushuaïa Ibiza made a name for itself by providing state-of-the-art productions.
The trail blazer of women-only travel has created two itineraries where few travel. On five departures in 2018, Wild Women Expeditions immerses women in the physically challenging, poignantly stunning landscape of Newfoundland in the remote northeastern corner of Canada.
Two distinct, week-long adventures engage guests on Newfoundland’s western shore, separated from Quebec by the Gulf of St. Lawrence that eventually pours into the North Atlantic.
This is home turf for Wild Women Expeditions that offers more active travel departures for women only than any other tour operator in the world. The company was founded in Newfoundland and maintains its headquarters here. Owner Jennifer Haddow grew up near Gros Morne National Park where many of the itineraries’ activities take place.
“This is a place of stark ancient beauty, where the ground beneath your feet tells the story of Earth’s geological history. It’s also a place where icebergs stroll up and down coastal waters and where fjords claw their way into the interior,” explained Haddow, noting that few other adventure travel companies offer tours here.
Indigenous peoples predated the Vikings who arrived some 1000 years ago. England first raised a flag on the North American continent in the late 16th century in what came to be called Newfoundland. Fishermen soon discovered some of the Atlantic’s most productive waters here. The park’s Long Range Mountains testify to this once geologically charged world rife with volcanos and glaciers. These mountains are part of the Appalachian chain rising from Georgia through Maine.
“Gros Morne National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is as important to Plate Tectonics Theory as Ecuador’s Galapagos Archipelago is to the Theory of Evolution,” Haddow added. “The challenges of this environment become metaphors for the challenges faced by the women who choose to travel with us.”
Hiking first through a barren landscape, women discover where the peridotite ends and ancient oceanic crust begins. They hike through a boreal forest to the rugged coastline where pillow lava and sea stacks dominate the shore. They move to the rich marine wonderland of Bonne Bay and a landlocked lake before summiting Gros Morne Mountain in a hike of up to 10 hours.
Following are two 2018 Wild Women Expeditions’ itineraries in Newfoundland. Daily challenges reflect the company’s philosophy that women can discover and build on their own inner strengths by mastering hurdles in the safe company of other women.
Newfoundland Gros Morne Multi-Sport Adventure is a seven-day hiking and kayaking expedition in one of the wildest places in Canada. In 2018 there are three departures: July 21-27, Aug. 11-17 and Sept. 8-14. The $2,695 CAD per person rate includes professional local female guides, all meals, six nights shared accommodation in oceanside cabins, fully outfitted sea kayak day trip on Bonne Bay, guided hikes, ground transportation, park pass and Western Brook Pond Fjord boat tour.
Guests walk on rugged trails over the Earth’s mantle that supports little to no vegetation, explore fossil remains, visit an artsy village, kayak in a sheltered fjord, witness Minke whales, eagles, terns, and kingfishers in the bay and on land; caribou, Rock ptarmigan and Arctic hare. There’s also time to relax on a boat tour of a land-locked fjord accessed through bogs and limestone ridges. For trip details see http://wildwomenexpeditions.com/trips/newfoundland-multisport/.
Icebergs and Arts Adventure is an eight-day wilderness immersion with a hefty dollop of culture on two departures in 2018: June 3-10 and July 6-13. The per person rate of $2,695 CAD includes professional female guides; all meals; seven nights shared accommodation in an authentic house and suites, a wilderness lodge and seaside cabins; guided and fully outfitted sea kayak day; guided hikes and interpretive walks in Gros Morne National Park and along the Great Northern Peninsula; Western Brook Pond Fjord boat tour and iceberg and whale watching boat tour; interpretive tour and lunch at the French Shore Museum in Conche; and a visit to L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where Viking history comes alive.
At Port aux Choix National Historic Site guests hike to Philips Garden to explore the ancient remains of one of the largest Dorset Paleoeskimo settlements in the Eastern Canadian Arctic. They also visit the Myra Bennett Heritage House, the home of a nurse known along the 200 miles of coast simply as “the nurse.” This remarkable woman brought her life-saving skills to what was then an isolated, rugged Great Northern Peninsula. See: http://wildwomenexpeditions.com/trips/newfoundland/
“Canada is a country designed for adventurers. For women who want it all, Canada delivers the goods,” said Haddow. “We’ve been trailblazing outdoor adventures in Canada for over a quarter of a century. Increasingly women want to feel the freedom of connecting with wild space in its finest form. In Canada are some of the wildest and grandest natural treasures on the planet.”
Wild Women Expeditions’ Canadian programs are prototypes for the baptism-by-wilderness experiences that Haddow’s team arranges in 26 countries this year. These journeys reflect that…
Women need opportunities to just be themselves, together;
The wilderness helps women connect with elements of their psyche that may be lost in the daily hustle and bustle;
Pairing women and wilderness often encourages women beyond their comfort zones, leading to increased confidence;
These ingredients can be transformational, perhaps leading to answers to the question that Poet Mary Oliver poses: What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
Founded in 1991, Wild Women Expeditions is the world’s largest women-only travel company. Its initial focus was on canoeing on remote Ontario waters. Through an unwavering focus on Canada, one of the wildest, most pristine countries in the world, Wild Women Expeditions became Canadian experts in a pioneering niche that introduced small groups of women into wilderness settings. Even though the company now hosts guests all over the world, it retains a national focus with more trips and more women-only, backcountry camping adventures in Canada than any other women’s travel company in the world.
FROM ROTHSCHILD GIRAFFES TO PYGMY FORESTS, BOWLING BALL BEACH & 10,000 BUDDHAS, MENDOCINO COUNTY UPS THE TRAVEL EXPERIENCE WITH AN INSPIRING LINEUP OF ADVENTURES
Diving deep into Northern California’s crown jewel delivers an experience that’s both easy on the wallet and hard to replicate. This is the land of ancient redwood groves, natural oddities and awe-inspiring attractions; an earthy blend of maverick farmers, cutting-edge brew masters and personalities with a passion for the offbeat.
Just two hours north of San Francisco, Mendocino County is the true call of the wild, effortlessly mixing wine, waves and wilderness. Linger on the Lost Coast, break a sweat at Bowling Ball Beach or dive deep into flights of award-winning Alsatian wines. Boasting 90 miles of prime Pacific coastline, 90+ wineries and 24 state/national parklands, the options for adventure are endless. www.VisitMendocino.com.
TOP TREKS FOR THE EXPERIENTIAL TRAVELER
• Lost Coast Adventure/Candelabra Tree Forest – North of Fort Bragg lies California’s famed Lost Coast, Mendocino’s most wild and remote coastal wilderness with plenty of bragging rights. The Shady Dell Trail – a three-mile excursion – invites visitors to discover the rugged region including the mysterious candelabra tree forest. Free; www.mendocinolandtrust.org.
• B. Bryan Preserve – Experience the African veldt on Mendocino County’s south coast. Join the twice-daily tours to feed the rare African hoofstock- Rothschild Giraffe, Zebra, and Antelope-at B. Bryan Preserve. This remote outpost tucked into Point Arena along scenic Highway 1 also offers an eye-popping giraffe barn for offbeat events. $35 per adult/$20 per child for 1.5 hour Land Rover tour; www.bbryanpreserve.com.
• Pygmy Forest – From Jug Handle State Beach, step back through time as you hike the 2.5-mile self-guided nature trail called The Ecological Staircase, which explores five ocean terraces (each representing 100,000 years) that have been uplifted over time and have created this unique coastal range. Visitors can take a walkabout in the local gardens or bed down for a deal at Jug Handle Creek Farm, a European-style hostel for just $45/night; http://www.jughandlecreekfarm.org/nature-education/ecological-staircase/.
• Bowling Ball Beach – Rows of boulders carved by time and tide await at Bowling Ball Beach. Hidden, like the Terracotta Army, at low tide these concretions reveal themselves once the sea has retreated. The beach is part of Schooner Gulch State Beach, free; www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=446.
• City of 10,000 Buddhas – Peacocks, pagodas and “Vigor” and “Virtue” signposts — backed with the resonance of chanting monks – this is the stop for a peaceful walkabout at one of the nation’s largest Buddhist monasteries. Open to the public, this stunning City of 10,000 Buddhas offers daily prayer (12:30 p.m.) in the eye-popping Jeweled Hall, complete with 10,000 golden Buddhas lining the facility from floor to ceiling; free. Stay for a tasty lunch at Jyuan Kang Vegetarian Restaurant on-site. www.cttbusa.org.
• Solar Living Institute/Memorial Car Grove – A scout about the Memorial Car Grove at the Solar Living Institute in Hopland is certain to spur a selfie. Tucked along the Inspiration Highway (101) at the gateway of Mendocino County, this oddity takes shape in the form of hulking gas guzzlers, including classic Edsels repurposed as art. These rusting relics from the 1950s and ’60s with grown trees sprouting from the interiors are a statement to our times. Get up close and personal with a grinning grille or hug that tree. Free; www.solarlivinginstitute.org.
• DIY Point Arena-Stornetta Lands Hike – Relish the wild outdoors at the only land-based portion of the 1,100-mile California Coastal National Monument: Point Arena-Stornetta Lands. The newly acquired lands and moody bluffs of Mendocino’s coast — incorporating more than 1,600 acres — give hikers new access to a 12-mile stretch of coastline laced with cypress forests, scenic cliffs and wildflower fields. Free; http://www.visitmendocino.com/point-arena-stornetta-public-lands/.
• Point Arena Lighthouse – Make a day of scouting the coast with a pit stop at Point Arena Lighthouse. The tower is the only West Coast lighthouse of significant height (115 feet) that visitors can access all the way to the top. Breathtaking 360-degree views and a museum and shop await. Six lodgings dot the 23-acre property including the romantic Lighthouse Keeper’s Apartment ($200/dbl.). General admission $7/children 11 and under $1; www.pointarenalighthouse.com.
• Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens — Work up a thirst while touring one of the few botanical gardens located directly on prime Pacific Ocean frontage. Known for its spectacular displays of rhododendrons and dahlias, the garden delights in all four seasons. Bee Friendly Gardens and Sustainable Vegetable Gardening are a snapshot of the annual seminars held. Pet- and kid-friendly. $14 adult/$5 children (5-17); www.gardenbythesea.org.
• Beer Flight at North Coast Brewing Company – Tame your thirst with a flight of brews at the north coast’s best brewpub. Slither into a tasting flight of four beers ($6) or splurge with the 14-beer sampler with a friend; $21. The Tap Room is the stop for wood-fired pizza and weekends deliver live jazz; www.northcoastbrewing.com.
• Glass Beach – An anomaly that is eye-popping, visitors can seek out sea glass on Fort Bragg’s unique trash-to-treasure state beach. Formerly the city dump, Glass Beach has evolved over tide and time polishing the glass from head- and tail-lights, jars, bottles, and more into tiny, colorful glass pebbles. Red and blue are the rarest! Free; www.visitmendocino.com/does-glass-beach-really-have-glass.
• Roots of Motive Power – The age of steam is alive and on show in Willits, California. Just east of town off the Inspiration Highway (101), Roots of Motive Power shows off its cache of classic steam engines, donkeys and railroad track to visitors on their work days each month, free; www.rootsofmotivepower.com/work-days.
• Orr Hot Springs – Soak up some relaxation at this clothing-optional outpost nestled in the rolling hills near the town of Ukiah. The mineral waters flow through communal tubs, a cold pool, rooftop and private tubs. Simple lodgings are also offered as well as camping on site. Day use is $30 for adults/$25 children. Reservations required; www.orrhotsprings.org.
• Montgomery Wo0dsState Reserve – Near Orr Hot Springs lies one of the state’s most magnificent groves of virgin redwoods. To stand among the redwood spires deep in the forest is to stand in the nave of one of nature’s cathedrals. High up in the canopy, past flying buttresses of enormous branches, the green treetops soar 300 or more feet above. A network of easy trails links the Reserve and adjoining fern groves. Free; www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=434.
• Disc Golf at Anderson Valley Brewing Company – Pick up a six-pack at the Tap Room and head outside to play a round of disc golf on the brewery’s 18-hole course. Or, take a tour of the brewery offered daily at 1:30 p.m., (and 3:30 p.m./summer); free; www.avbc.com.
• Pennyroyal Farm – Get your goat on at this new, polished venue marking the entrance to Anderson Valley. A daily tour at this award-winning farmstead dairy includes a visit to the barn to meet 143+ dairy goat companions and 30 dairy sheep, view of the creamery and finale cheese tasting; $15 for adults/$10 for children/under 5 free. New Pennyroyal Farms wines are also on tap; (Daily tours $15/adults; $10/children.) www.pennyroyalfarm.com.
• Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree – Size matters. Soaring at 315 feet high with a girth of 21 feet, this 2,000-year-old towering tree is a definite show stopper. Cut in the late 1930s as a tourist attraction, the Chandelier Tree seems to defy nature, allowing autos a smooth passage through its center, albeit tight at times. Ideal for Instagram Live, a $5.00 fee gains entry through this gentle giant; there are also wonderful hiking trails in nearby Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area. www.drivethrutree.com.
• Skunk Train – It’s a train thing and it doesn’t get any better than tucking deep into mystical redwoods aboard the legendary Skunk Train. Depart from Fort Bragg or Willits, which offers an adventure on the Northspur Flyer, for a four-hour trek ascending the 1,740 ft. summit then pushing through to the lush Noyo River Canyon aboard a vintage railcruiser (one of the original 132-year old Skunks) with an open-air coach. Prices vary. www.skunktrain.com.
Mendocino County welcomes nearly 1.8 million visitors annually who explore its 90 miles of prime Pacific coastline, 90+ wineries and 10 diverse AVAs (earning the highest percentage of organic and biodynamic vineyards in the United States), 24 state/national parklands and 450+ unique accommodations. Straddling scenic Highways 1 and 101, “The Redwood Corridor,” the County delivers an ideal vortex of waves, wines and redwoods laced with historic villages and outback adventures. Located 114 mi./184 km. north of San Francisco, the region’s gateway airports are San Francisco International (SFO), Oakland International (OAK), Sacramento International Airport (SMF), and Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport (STS). Visit Mendocino County is a non-profit destination marketing organization designed to enhance the economic vitality of the community by increasing tourism revenue. For more information, go to www.visitmendocino.com.