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Parks Not Ready for Early Visitors
The Western U. S. is in the midst of an unprecedented drought. This means scant snow packs on western mountains and early access to many parks throughout the region. This has caught park management flatfooted, with facilities unprepared for an early onslaught of recreationists. While this story from the Oregonian is about parks in Washington, the message is more broadly applicable to the region: http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2015/04/low_washington_snowpack_brings.html#incart_river

Of course, this all has ramifications for we who paddle. Parks often provide access to the waterways we ply, and the campgrounds we use. It should also be obvious that a lack of water will affect the opportunities for paddling, in particular the length of the paddling season. The warm, dry weather is also leading to an early and abundant hatch of insects. Take all this into account when making your recreational plans.

Is Climate Change Fatigue Taking Hold?
The BBC entertains a troubling question: Are people becoming desensitized and disinterested in the news of climate change? One source cites a decline in the number of news stories on climate change since 2009 as an indicator of such a trend. Another points to institutional intransigence as a leading factor in public frustration. Other views are also offered, so see what you think: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-32131142

Forest Effect on Local Climate Gets New Analysis
There is little debate that forests have a major role to play in climate and weather. Here in the Northwest we have seen our streams and fish populations radically affected by deforestation, all to the worse. Nevertheless, good data on how forests, deforestation, and reforestation effect a local area’s climate have not been available. Now scientists are turning to satellite data to fill in the gaps and help build a better understanding of the dynamics, resulting in better accuracy and finer resolution in models. The Oregonian has detailed coverage, along with some other environmental stories: http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2015/04/science_roundup_april_5.html#incart_river

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