NASA Aerial Survey a Boon to Backcountry Users

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airborne snow observatoryPasadena, Calif. – A new NASA airborne mission has taken off to survey the snowpack of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to help estimate how much water will issue from snowmelt in the region. The surveys were conducted by a Twin Otter aircraft carrying sensing equipment that two months ago began weekly flights over the Tuolumne River Basin. Information collected by NASA’s “Airborne Snow Observatory” in conjunction with on-the-ground surveys and remote sensors will provide highly detailed near real-time maps that even show snow depth.

2013 USA Freestyle Kayak Team to Get Gear From Kokatat

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KokatatArcata, CA – At the Nantahala Outdoor Center’s (NOC) Freestyle Shootout and 2013 USA Canoe/Kayak Freestyle Team Trials, the 2013 USA Freestyle Kayak Team was named this April in Bryson City, North Carolina. Kokatat will be outfitting members of the team with its Gore-Tex Full Zip Jacket and Paddling Trunks as part of the team’s official uniform.

Among the paddlers named to the team were Kokatat athletes Dane Jackson, Eric “EJ” Jackson, Clay Wright, Jason Craig, Adriene Levknecht, Hunter Katich, and Bennett Smith. 

Embrace-a-Stream Grants Awarded

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Embrace-a-StreamArlington, VA – Trout Unlimited’s (TU) 2013 Embrace-a-Stream grants have totaled $115,000 to 20 TU chapters in 16 states. The grant program has helped fund grassroots conservation efforts since 1975 and has contributed to over 1,000 projects and more than $4 million in that time. On top of the grant funds, local TU chapters and state councils have also contributed $13 million in cash and in-kind service to Embrace-a-Stream-funded projects.

Half of US Rivers No Good for Aquatic Life Says EPA

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Washington, DC – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has found that 55 percent of the stream and river miles in the U.S. are in poor condition for aquatic life, according to the most recent data available from the 2008-2009 National Rivers and Stream Assessment.

States, tribes and other EPA partners collected data from approximately 2,000 sites, which were then analyzed by EPA, state and university scientists. Factors analyzed include the extent to which rivers and streams support aquatic life, how major stressors may affect them and how conditions are changing over time.

US Freestyle Kayak Team Suits Up With Astral

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Astral USA Freestyle KayakAsheville, NC – Personal flotation device (PFD) and water footwear brand Astral is now the exclusive PFD provider of the USA Freestyle Kayak Team as it enters the ICF Canoe Freestyle World Championships taking place this September. Astral will be providing its new freestyle-inspired vest, the YTV.

Along with its PFD sponsorship, Astral is also contributing to the USA Freestyle Kayaking (USAFK) organization by sponsoring judges-in-training for the fast-growing sport. It will also auction or raffle off a number of custom-designed YTV vests at events benefiting both USAFK and non-profit organization River Runner, which helps active duty service members and veterans stay healthy and heal through kayaking.

Utah Gets an Outdoor Recreation Office

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Gary HerbertSalt Lake City, UT – Utah governor Gary Herbert’s vision to institute a state office of outdoor recreation, announced in January, has been given the go-ahead by the Utah House. The office will take charge of setting outdoor policy, improving recreation activities and promoting the outdoor opportunities to recreationists and industry alike.

Metolius Helps Set the Course for Northern California’s Youth Climbing League

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Metolius ClimbingBend, OR – Rock climbing gear producer Metolius has committed its sponsorship to the Northern California Youth Climbing League (YCL), to help get youth out and climbing. YCL’s sponsorship will provide support and equipment to the organization.

Metolius and Evolv present the league, which is also supported by sponsors including Clif Bar, Sanuk, Climbing Magazine and Yo! Basecamp Rock Climbing Camp. YCL participants are able to take part in the climbing season and competitions thanks to the support of these sponsors.

IFSC Showcases Sport Climbing on New Website

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The International Federation of Sport Climbing has revamped their website, The site is designed to give climbing enthusiasts a more intuitive interface to access of the IFSC’s online content. Features include the latest climbing news, competition rules and updates, rankings, photo galleries, and live webcasts of events during the 2013 climbing season including IFSC World Competitions.

The site is intended to serve as an attractive, dynamic, and reliable showcase for sport climbing. With sport climbing on the shortlist for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games, the IFSC hopes the site will present the climbing as the vibrant international sport the International Olympic Committee is looking for.

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