U.S. Utility Execs Concede Need for More Innovation (or Better Messaging)

first_imgU.S. Utility Execs Concede Need for More Innovation (or Better Messaging) FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Glen Boshart for SNL:Top officials with the Edison Electric Institute wrapped up the group’s annual convention June 15 in Chicago by discussing what they must do to prosper in a rapidly changing industry environment.Tom Fanning, EEI’s newly elected chairman who also serves as chairman, president & CEO of Southern Co.: “We are innovative, we are in the customer interest, we are constantly looking for ways to create the future,” Fanning maintained, suggesting that the problem has been more one of messaging.Christopher Crane, president and CEO of Exelon Corp. and EEI vice chairman sees storage as something utilities need to embrace by working with the labs and universities “to help advance that along.”But the officials acknowledged that the traditional utility culture may be holding them back. Patricia Vincent-Collawn, chairman, president & CEO of PNM Resources Inc. and EEI vice chairman, stressed the need for utilities to hire people from the younger generation who are more adept at using new technologies in innovative ways.“You have to walk the talk, you have to bring in people from the outside, you have to protect them from the internal immune system of the utility” that wants to quickly “kill off anything that’s different,” Vincent-Collawn said.Picking up on that theme, Fanning noted that the culture and employees at his company can be represented by a pie chart, only a tiny slice of which is composed of “the revolutionaries, the creative disruptors.”“The people in the big pie slice want to murder the people in the little pie slice,” Fanning acknowledged. Thus, he said companies need to keep from living on their past successes and instead embrace innovation and new technology.Full article ($): EI officials debate how to keep up with rapidly changing timeslast_img read more

South Korea to build 4GW of solar and offshore wind

first_imgSouth Korea to build 4GW of solar and offshore wind FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Clean Technica:South Korea is planning to develop 4 gigawatts (GW) worth of solar and offshore wind on reclaimed land in Saemangeum, an estuarine tidal flat on the country’s southwest coast that was damned by the country’s government amidst significant controversy over 30 years ago.Asia’s fourth-largest economy, South Korea finished 2017 with 11.3 GW worth of renewable energy capacity, including at least 5 GW worth of solar. However, the country’s government is hoping to become a regional renewable energy powerhouse, and at the end of October, President Moon Jae-in announced plans to build 4 GW worth of solar and offshore wind — including 3 GW worth of solar and 1 GW of offshore wind.Specifically, South Korea intends to build a 3 GW power generation complex, to be completed by 2022, at which point it would be the world’s largest of its kind, as well as another 1 GW worth of offshore wind to be developed off the coast of Gunsan, in the North Jeolla Province, by 2026.[T]he Korean Government will seek to funnel KRW 10 trillion ($8.8 billion) in private investments to the project, with the Saemangeum Development and Investment Agency (SDIA), an agency run under the Ministry of Land, set to oversee the development of 2.6 GW worth of the projects — including 2.4 GW worth of solar, 100 MW worth of wind, and 100 MW worth of battery storage power. The country’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) will oversee the development of 400 MW of solar PV. The 1 GW worth of offshore wind will be built separately.“This announcement is a follow-up of President Moon’s pledge to increase the share of renewables in Korea’s generation mix to 20% by 2030,” explained David Kang, an analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance, who spoke to me via email. “The government has implemented a series of supporting policies (e.g. increased REC multiplier for wind and storage, temporary feed-in-tariff for small-scale PV, etc.) to boost the deployment of solar and wind in Korea, but the biggest obstacle has been the country’s chronic land availability issue. Much of the land suitable for solar and wind projects in Korea are either protected under the agricultural and environmental protection law or face severe opposition from local communities including farmers and fisheries. By utilizing the idle reclaimed land in Saemangeum region, the government aims to resolve the land availability issue and kick-start the deployment of utility-scale projects.”More: South Korea plans 4 gigawatts of solar + offshore windlast_img read more

Oil exploration company Pilot Energy proposes 1,100MW offshore wind farm in Western Australia

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:Oil and gas explorer Pilot Energy is to commence a feasibility study into a massive 1,100MW offshore wind project, to be located on the Western Australian coast, and form part of a major wind and solar energy hub as the company looks to diversify its business outside of the fossil fuel sector.The ASX-listed company announced on Friday that it would commence an early assessment of the proposed Mid West Wind and Solar Project, which could see some of the world’s largest offshore wind turbines deployed in waters previously earmarked for oil and gas exploration. The company has a majority stake in an oil and gas exploration permit that covers an area of more than 8,600 square kilometres of Western Australian coastal waters, and the company believes the region could also serve as an ideal site for an offshore wind farm.The project could also draw upon a 160-hectare onshore site, as part of Pilot Energy’s existing operations at the site for the installation of a solar farm. Only one other large offshore wind project has been proposed for Australia, the 2,000MW Star of the South proposal in Victoria’s Gippsland, although it is still waiting for federal environmental approvals.Pilot Energy chairman Brad Lingo told Renew Economy that the Mid West project would be able to take advantage of high quality wind and solar resources, as well as drawing upon the work the company had previously undertaken to gain rights to oil and gas exploration at the site.Lingo added that the proposed project would be located close to the existing Three Springs substation, and would face no limitations on generation or network capacity, although Renew Economy suspect that some upgrades might be needed for a project of that size.Pilot Energy’s feasibility study will consider the deployment of up to 78 offshore wind turbines and could utilise some of the world’s largest wind turbines currently available, with a generation capacity of 14MW.[Michael Mazengarb]More: Huge 1,100MW offshore wind farm proposed in W.A. by oil explorer Oil exploration company Pilot Energy proposes 1,100MW offshore wind farm in Western Australialast_img read more

India’s Andhra Pradesh state government readies 10GW tender for new solar capacity

first_imgIndia’s Andhra Pradesh state government readies 10GW tender for new solar capacity FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Mint:In a surprise move, the Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy-led Andhra Pradesh government is expediting efforts to float India’s largest solar tender for setting up 10 gigawatt (GW) capacity, said three people aware of the development.Interestingly, the mega tender accounting for 14% of India’s green energy capacity to supply electricity to the farmers is in the works, even as 5.2 GW of solar and wind energy projects are hanging fire, due to the state government’s decision to reopen renewable energy contracts inked under the previous N Chandrababu Naidu government.State energy secretary N. Srikanth confirmed the mega solar tender development and said that Andhra Pradesh Green Energy Corporation Ltd (APGECL) is the nodal agency for the same.This proposed mega contract also comes at a time, when India’ solar power tariffs have touched a record low of ₹2.36 per unit at an auction conducted by state-run Solar Energy Corporation of India Ltd. Falling clean power tariffs putting an already awarded 16.8 GW solar and wind energy capacity in limbo, as fund starved state electricity distribution companies (discoms) are unwilling to sign contracts for these previously awarded projects at a comparatively higher tariff, Mint reported earlier. Also, the Punjab government is seeking to renegotiate clean energy contracts for operational projects.Andhra Pradesh has around 7.7 GW of solar and wind projects and is home to India’s second-largest installed capacity of clean energy, accounting for around 10% of the country’s green energy capacity, with investments of ₹60,000 crore. The state has 4,092 MW of installed wind power projects awarded through feed-in tariffs. Also, the resource-rich state has 3,230 MW of solar power projects awarded through competitive bidding.Clean energy projects comprise more than a fifth of India’s installed power generation capacity. India has 34.6 GW of solar power and seeks to produce 100 GW from solar projects by March 2022.[Utpal Bhaskar]More: Andhra Pradesh to float India’ largest solar tender for 10 GW capacitylast_img read more

Renewable energy supplied 43% of Spain’s electricity demand through first nine months of 2020

first_imgRenewable energy supplied 43% of Spain’s electricity demand through first nine months of 2020 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Tech:Solar PV has been the driving factor behind the growth of Spain’s green energy sector so far this year, with renewables generation between January and September up 16.3% on the same period of 2019. New figures from grid operator Red Eléctrica de España (REE) reveal that PV’s generation was 67.5% higher year-on-year, followed by hydropower, which was up 41.6%.Thanks to good weather conditions and the deployment of additional capacity, renewables made up 43.1% of total national production as of September, 7.5 percentage points more than in 2019. However, despite more than 650MW of new generation installed so far this year, wind power posted a slight decrease in generation.The figures show solar in Spain has maintained its growth from last year, when the sector posted a record amount of installed capacity – consisting of 4,201MW of ground-mounted arrays and 459MW of distributed projects – meaning for the first time since 2008, the country was the leading PV market in Europe. The Spanish Photovoltaic Union said the build-out positions the PV sector as an engine for economic growth and job creation.According to REE, the increase in renewables generation meant Spain’s energy system was able to reduce its amount of CO2 equivalent emissions by 28.7% in the first nine months of 2020.The scale-up of green energy projects in Spain can be expected to grow after the country’s government earlier this year signed into law a raft of measures designed to remove barriers to the large-scale deployment of renewables.[Jules Scully]More: New heights for renewable energy generation in Spain as solar leads growthlast_img read more

Rock Glossary

first_imgLearn these common climbing terms and you just might avoid an embarrassing situation if you’re asked to “flash.”AreteAn outside corner on a rock face, like corners of a pyramid.ButtressA rock formation that projects out from the main face or cliff.ChimneyA wide crack usually big enough to fit the climber’s entire body inside.CruxThe most difficult portion of a climb. Usually, the crux is a single move or a short sequence of moves.DihedralWhere two walls meet to form an inside corner.FlashTo successfully send a route the first time without practicing itLeadingSending a sport or trad route first, either placing protection as you go or clipping in to existing bolts. The level of risk is higher when leading, as you’re not automatically anchored to the rock.PitchThe distance climbed with one length of rope. Climbs can be single-pitch or multi-pitch. Table Rock, N.C. is famous for its multi-pitch routes (600 feet long), whereas Sunset Rock, Tenn., is known for its single-pitch routes (less than 80 feet).ProblemA bouldering term, meaning the path the climber takes to complete the climb. A bouldering problem is the equivalent of a climbing route.SendTo successfully complete, or “ascend,” a route.last_img read more

Blue Ridge Outdoors Top Towns Nominee: Asheville, N.C.

first_imgAnother of Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine’s home bases, Asheville, N.C., has long been celebrated as a top outdoor hub. It was named Beer City, U.S.A., and is considered one of the best craft beer destinations in the country. It also has an impressive music scene, a burgeoning local food movement, and is home to Biltmore Estate—whose surrounding grounds are home to miles of intown singletrack.The French Broad River flows right through town, and breweries line its banks in the River Arts District, making it possible to float downriver and climb ashore at a pub for a perfect summer afternoon.A growing number of trails and greenways are being built in town, including extensions to the Reed Creek Greenway and the UNC-Asheville Trail system. The Mountains to Sea Trail and the Blue Ridge Parkway also run right through town.But the best adventures are found just outside city limits; Bent Creek and surrounding Pisgah National Forest are home to some of the best singletrack in Southern Appalachia. Trail runners flock to the area for epic races like Shut-In and the Mount Mitchell Challenge. Road cyclists love to train and race the steep, winding mountain roads surrounding Asheville. Asheville is especially known for its world-class paddling community; the French Broad, Pigeon, Nolichucky, and Nantahala Rivers are all nearby, and so is the Green River, which hosts one of the biggest downriver races in the country.Cudas_IB_0814_2DID YOU KNOW? The Mountains to Sea Trail—which passes through Asheville—stretches more than 900 miles from Great Smoky Mountains National Park all the way to North Carolina’s Outer Banks. And the newly constructed French Broad River Paddle Trail stretches 140 miles from the headwaters of the French Broad all the way to Douglas Lake in Tennessee. enables paddlers and canoeists toVote now at blueridgeoutdoors.com!last_img read more

Mountain Mama: Frustrated by the Scale

first_imgDear Mountain Mama,I’m training for a marathon and I thought I’d lose weight. But the scales refuses to budge, and I’m weighing in pound for pound my pre-training weight. What gives?Yours, Frustrated by the ScaleDear Frustrated on the Scale,My own hopes for shedding pounds as I upped my mileage were dashed the last time I stepped on the scale. I weighed one hundred forty pounds before I started my first training run. And over three months into training for a marathon, I weigh exactly the same.Bummed that I hadn’t lost a pound, I sent a text to my best friend. She wrote back, “But do your pants fit better?”79073931 (1)I smiled, realizing my jeans were loser and I could wear suits I hadn’t worn in years. After doing some research, I realized that the scale isn’t the best measurement of our fitness gains. Muscle weighs more than fat so as we crank up the miles we build muscle and burn fat, which might actually result in gaining weight. The silver lining is that when we replace fat with muscle, we are substituting low density fat tissue for high density muscle tissue, hence our clothes fitting better.Another reason that the scale is a terrible measure of the gains we’ve made by running is that our bodies store more water as we train more. Our bodies store more water to repair damage to muscle fibers and to break down and store glycogen. Considering that drinking a gallon of water would result in a 8.3 pound weight gain, water can really add extra weight. Instead of hopping on the scale, measure progress by body tone, body fat percentage, and energy level.And while my pants were a little less snug and my body seemed more toned, I also knew that I’d been stopping by the Krispy Kreme drive-thru for raspberry filled donuts more often than I did pre-marathon training. After reading up on weight loss, I was stunned to find out that a 3600 calorie deficit was required to lose one pound. On average, a runner expands 100 calories per mile. That meant I would have to run 36 miles, maintaining my pre-running diet, in order to lose even one pound. I realized that I was telling myself “hey I ran five miles today, I deserve a splurge.”Even worse, on my double-digit runs I drink sports drinks and energy gels, which are high in calories. Refueling in runs is an essential ingredient in going the distance, however, those drinks and gels mean that I’m burning even fewer calories than I thought. When you think about your post-run refueling needs, remember to factor in whatever you consumed during the run.Not only was I eating too much to compensate for my runs, I was eating the wrong types of food. Fatty, overly processed foods like donuts can set off chemical reactions including cravings, sleepiness, and never feeling full. In order to stabilize blood sugar levels, we should aim to eat real foods, ones that are grown or packaged food with recognizable ingredients on the label. Our meals should include fats, proteins, and carbohydrates in order to keep us feeling full for longer. These days my shopping list includes oatmeal, kale, bananas, salmon, and sweet potatoes.Frustrated by the scale, don’t let numbers demoralize you. Don’t get discouraged if the needle on the scale hovers over your pre-training weight. Running won’t automatically result in weight loss, but as long as you aren’t eating too much to compensate for your calorie output, your clothes will fit better, you’ll feel stronger, and you’ll have more energy.Happy Trails!Mountain Mamalast_img read more

Biking in Frederick County, MD

first_imgFrederick County is home to some seriously gnarly mountain biking. The Frederick Watershed will challenge and delight even the most confident mountain bikers. Considered by many to be the best riding in all of Maryland, the Frederick Watershed is ideal for those who like it techy and airborne. Tough off-camber moves, big drops, and lots of booters make the watershed a destination for truly skilled riders. The Catoctin Blue Trail begins in Gambrill State Park before entering into the watershed. You can ride the length of two trail systems on the Catoctin, but you’ll find the gnarly stuff on its numerous offshoots. Explore the 20 miles of trail within the watershed and discover countless opportunities to test your skill and mettle.Nearby Gambrill State Park also serves up a challenging trail experience. Built with cross-country riding in mind, Gambrill serves up 16 miles of tough, technical riding. Red Maple and Green Ash Trail are intermediate-friendly, but Black Locust and Yellow Poplar quickly become steep, rocky, and technical.Big drops and chunky rocks take a toll on your bike, so visit The Bicycle Escape in Downtown Frederick when you need repairs. It is also a great place to go for gear, rentals, and resources for biking in the area.New to biking? Not to worry because Frederick also abounds in novice trails and towpaths.The Frederick History Bicycle Loop, with stops at the Francis Scott Key Monument and several local Civil War sites, is an ideal ride around town for families. Voted the best bike ride in Maryland by Bicycling.com, the picturesque 50-mile Covered Bridge Route is great for touring and road cyclists, taking you to all three of Frederick’s historic covered bridges.Grab a brochure to pick the right tour with Frederick County Heritage Bicycle Tours, who will help you pick the right route and show you living history, mountain views, and the “Spirits of Burkittsville, ”the town made famous by the movie “The Blair Witch Project.”Frederick’s cultural richness is equally enjoyed on foot. Located less than one hour from Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Gettysburg, Downtown Frederick is surrounded by mountains, wineries, breweries, and vibrant Main Street communities.Catoctin Breeze Vineyards offers views of Catoctin Mountain, award-winning wines, live music, and food trucks every weekend. Black Ankle Vineyards has an indoor tasting room with a huge outdoor patio, and live music every Friday. This winery is focused on sustainability and built their tasting room entirely out of materials found on the property.For a frothy brew, try Flying Dog, Maryland’s largest craft brewery. They’ve got 20 beers on tap, some of which are only available in the tasting room.Attaboy Brewery is a popular spot for locals. Located downtown along Carroll Creek Park, you can order food from downtown restaurants and then share a beer with the natives.Frederick Brew Bus is a great way to sample all the local suds. This flat-rate hop-on, hop-off bus, travels between Frederick’s breweries. It’s a great option for groups who don’t want to drive.If you have a penchant for craft spirits, seek out Frederick’s unique distilleries. McClintock occupies a renovated historic building along Carroll Creek Park serving certified organic gin, whiskey, and vodka. Springfield Manor, known for their lavender gin from lavender grown on the property, also makes wine and beer. They host trivia every Friday night, as well as live music and food trucks on weekends.Once you’ve recovered from hours of biking and sampling libations, you can hike the Appalachian Trail, tour a civil war battlefield, or submerge yourself in the beautiful Shenandoah and Potomac rivers near Harpers Ferry and Antietam Creek. The folks at River and Trail Outfitters will set you up on a raft, tube, or kayak.Whether you prefer a walkable downtown with plenty of nightlife, a scenic countryside, or a mix of both, Frederick has a lot to offer.In Frederick, museums meet martini bars, scenic landscapes provide thrill seekers with adventure, and cutting-edge cuisine is served up in Civil War-era buildings alongside unique specialty, galleries, museums, and theaters. visitfrederick.orglast_img read more

30 Under 30

first_imgBlue Ridge Outdoors spoke with 30 people from across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, 30 years and younger, who are driving the next generation of outdoor leaders. They are athletes, entrepreneurs, activists, and weekend warriors.Alleigh Raymond / Photo by Connor Parton PhotographyAlleigh Raymond, 15Fly fisher, N.C.In the five years since a family friend took her fly fishing for the first time, Alleigh Raymond has been working to increase young women’s participation in the sport through her work on the Trout Unlimited’s Youth Leadership Council and volunteering in the community.“Since I’ve been fly fishing, I have encountered a lot of negativity from the younger demographic of teenage boys and even grown men,” she said. “I really just want the upcoming generation of women in fly fishing to not have to have to experience that.”Raymond is partnering with the Asheville Orvis store on their 50/50 On the Water Campaign to get more girls and women fishing. She plans to host a day on the water for young girls and teens in November.Ashley Manning / Photo By Lindsey BrownAshley Manning, 26Raft guide, S.C.In the growing community of people working to increase diversity in the outdoors, Ashley Manning is adding her name to the list. She started working as a whitewater raft guide in college after falling in love with paddling and kept returning each summer.Inspired by Jenny Bruso’s Unlikely Hiker online community, Manning created Unlikely Paddlers as a way to highlight diversity on the water.“I am trying to create a safer space for people who might not be as likely to paddle,” she said. “I’ve been a plus-sized woman all my life… so definitely showing people what I’m made of.”Although Manning’s campaign is just getting off the ground, she hopes it will inspire other people to get on the water. She also writes about her experiences for The Trek.Favorite whitewater spot: “Colorado River, but the Chattooga has my heart.”Ben King / Photo by Stiehl PhotographyBen King, 29Cyclist, Va.Cycling started out as a family thing for Ben King; his dad, uncle, and brother all raced. Now, the five-time national champion splits his time between Virginia and Italy as he competes internationally as a member of the South African team, Dimension Data.“I still do the bulk of my training in Virginia,” King said. “In my opinion, it’s the best place in the world to train around the Blue Ridge.”At the end of August, King added his first Grand Tour win to his resume when he won stage 4 of the Vuelta a España. He followed that up with a win in stage 9 a few days later, placing 35th overall. Favorite race: Tour of California.Ben SmithBen Smith, 29Founder of GooseFeet, Ga.When Ben Smith was a junior in college, he and a few friends decided to take a backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail in the middle of January. They were greeted with temperatures of five degrees.After that miserable trip, Smith started looking around for ultra light insulation gear so he wouldn’t be in the same situation again. Unable to find anything in his price range, he decided to make his own. Eventually, Smith had enough requests from other people to set up a website and GooseFeet was born.Smith has carved out a niche market with his customizable jackets, working with each customer on their measurements and specifications. All GooseFeet products, including socks, pants, and pillows, are made in the United States.Brittany LeavittBrittany Leavitt, 29Outdoor instructor, Md.Whether she’s teaching preschoolers at the Smithsonian Museum or instructing rock climbers on proper technique, Brittany Leavitt is a mentor and advocate for the next generation of outdoor trailblazers.She leads climbing, backpacking, and hiking classes around the Mid-Atlantic as an REI instructor. Leavitt works with Brown Girls Climb to increase representation in the climbing community. In October, the organization partnered with Brothers of Climbing to put on the second annual Color the Crag Climbing Festival in Steele, Ala.As the West Coast regional leader for Outdoor Afro, she coordinates events to reconnect the black community to the outdoors. In June, Leavitt and ten other Outdoor Afro leaders, ages 25 to 60, became the first all black American group to summit Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.Damon Hill, 25 (featured)Slackliner, S.C.As slacklining grew in popularity, Damon Hill established himself as a master of balance and an advocate for the sport. Hill spent two and a half years traveling the country as a professional slackliner before transitioning into more of a mentor and teacher role.“I slowly learned how to rig highlines, how to be a facilitator of the sport rather than just a participator,” Hill said. “The immediate response from most people is they think it’s so dangerous. Truth be told, it’s much safer than most extreme sports.”In 2017, he co-founded the Southeast Slackline Coalition with a friend to increase access for riggings on public lands and to educate the public on the safety of the sport. When he’s not balancing on a line two inches wide, Hill is also an amateur filmmaker and co-founder of Kayeke, an outdoor apparel company.Damon YehDamon Yeh, 30Climber, Md.Damon Yeh lives out his interest in conservation through his job and his hobbies. During the day, Yeh works as a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in their international division, coordinating exchanges of ideas and delegations with partnering countries in the Asia program.But in his free time, you can find him outdoors climbing and backpacking around the country. His background in natural land management helps in his role on the board for Mid Atlantic Climbers, managing their stewardship program.Yeh coordinates volunteers for trail cleanups and works with other agencies to open up public lands for climbers. In 2016, Mid Atlantic Climbers worked with Access Fund and the National Park Service to increase access to Catoctin Mountain.Emma WrightEmma Wright, 23Founder of Alta Trails, N.C.Emma Wright says she was acutely aware of her gender during the four and a half months she took off from college to thru hike the Appalachian Trail.“Overall, about a quarter of the thru hikers on the Appalachian Trail are women,” she said. “But the number of solo women is a fraction of that.”Wright, a cultural anthropology major at Duke, wrote her senior thesis about how hikers form bonds and form boundaries on the trail. She interviewed thru-hikers while on the trail and conducted follow up interviews about the reentry process.In conducting this research, Wright was bothered by the lack of racial and gender diversity on the trail.With her own experience in mind, Wright started Alta Trails to offer affordable backpacking trips in North Carolina and Virginia for anyone who identifies as a woman. Through donations, she provides all of the gear and supplies needed for the weekend trips as she works to break down some of the barriers for those who have never been backpacking. As the program grows, Wright hopes to offer trips for a variety of age groups and skill levels.Trail name: WonkaGerry JamesGerry James, 28Founder of The Explore Kentucky Initiative, Ky.The Explore Kentucky Initiative in 2013 started as an Instagram account to promote outdoor recreation and conservation in Kentucky. Gerry James, a senior in college at the time, was one of the only people in the state using social media to promote Kentucky beyond bourbon, bluegrass, and basketball.In 2016, the initiative evolved from a social media campaign to an organization as James began taking on projects, such as helping counties brand their resources. James started the Kentucky Waterman Series in 2017, a collection of paddle races across Kentucky that allow competitors to earn points the more events they compete in.The mayor of Glasgow approached James in February for help developing the Beaver Creek Blueway Trail, Explore Kentucky’s first outdoor infrastructure project. James took the lead on mapping and branding the trail, designing access points, and organizing river clean ups.He received the American Canoe Association’s 2018 Volunteer of the Year Award for his leadership and dedication to paddlesports.Ian NiblockIan Niblock, 27Head cider maker at Bold Rock (Nellysford), Va.Bold Rock Hard Cider had only been around for a year when Ian Niblock started out as an assistant cider maker right out of college.Fast-forward five years, Niblock is now the Head Cider Maker in Nellysford, Va. and Bold Rock is the number two best-selling cider in the United States. Niblock said they bottle around 15,000 liters of cider a day, six days a week.“One of the first times it really hit home for me was when I saw an empty bottle of Bold Rock, like litter, on the side of the road,” Niblock said. “Obviously I cleaned it up, but it stuck to me as, oh, people actually like this.”Most underrated cider: pear ciderJoshua JulianJoshua Julian, 29Founder of Mammoth Clothing Co., Ala.Mammoth Clothing Company is a physical manifestation of Joshua Julian’s motto: get outside and do good.For the first part of the mission, Julian wanted a way to brand the outdoors in the Southeast beyond the “status quo.”“It’s very heavily saturated with hunting, fishing, stuff like that,” he said. “But there’s some amazing things in the Southeast that are out there as far as hiking, kayaking, some amazing waterfalls. You don’t have to go to Colorado, you don’t have to go to California.”Proceeds from the sale of t-shirts and hats go towards the second mission, doing good in the community. Julian and Mammoth Clothing partner with organizations like Tuscaloosa’s One Place to help adults and juveniles who have recently gotten out of prison, teaching life skills and offering emotional support.Juzl Garcia / Photo By Matthew BurkeJuzl Garcia, 26Hiker, N.C.Juzl Garcia is the epitome of the weekend warrior. It has only been within the last year that she started to explore all that the mountains of Western North Carolina have to offer. Now Garcia spends virtually every weekend hiking a new trail, documenting her experiences with photographs. Through her Instagram, she started meeting other people in the area who were doing similar things on the weekends and going on hikes with them.As Garcia found internal peace on the mountains, she started looking for jobs that would allow her to be closer to those opportunities. As fate would have it, she just landed a job in Asheville.“If I could do what I’m passionate about doing in terms of a career and also be at the same place where I feel extremely alive, then why can’t I have both?” she said.Favorite hike: Hawksbill MountainKai Lightner / Photo By The Circuit Climbing MediaKai Lightner, 18Climber, N.C.Rock climbing is heading to the 2020 Olympics for the first time and Kai Lightner is hoping to be among the first competitors to represent the United States. There will be three rock climbing events: bouldering, sport, and speed, to test the athlete’s agility, power, and endurance.As the story goes, Lightner’s journey to one of the top climbers in the United States started at age six when his mother found him climbing up a flagpole. The next day, she dropped him off at a local gym after school and he was hooked.In the twelve years he has been climbing, Lightner has earned 12 National Championship titles, ten in youth categories and 2 in the adult circuit, and is a 5-time youth world championship medalist, including one gold.In August, he started at Babson College in Boston to be closer to his coach as he trains for the Olympic qualifiers.“When I first began this sport, the Olympics were not an option,” Lightner said. “I joined this sport because I loved the movement and the Olympics kind of hopped up on my lap.”Favorite place to climb: Red River GorgeKayla Carter / Photo By Robert KingKayla Carter, 29Outdoor Development Manager, Tenn.Kayla Carter gets things done, especially when they involve working outdoors. She grew up in East Tennessee, went to college in the area, and now works to bring more people to the place she loves.In her role as Outdoor Development Manager for the Northeast Tennessee Regional Economic Partnership, Carter helps promote outdoor recreation opportunities in the region. She was instrumental in organizing the first Meet the Mountains Festival in Johnson City and launching the Appalachian Trail Tennessee Podcast.The Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals and the National Trail Systems recognized Carter for her work with scholarships to attend conferences.Carter successfully completed the Appalachian Trail in 2014 and still maintains a three-mile section of the trail near the state border with the Tennessee Eastman Hiking Club in her spare time.Kyle (left) and Trevor (right) RitlandKyle and Trevor Ritland, 25Founders of Adventure Term, S.C.Twin brothers Kyle and Trevor Ritland were always outside growing up, chasing snakes and butterflies with their biologist parents. Now, the brothers are taking their passion for the environment and storytelling to create Adventure Term.This experience-based educational organization offers students and young professionals the opportunity to explore unique environmental issues while learning the communication skills needed to talk about them to a larger audience.“Our students are the ones writing these articles, they’re holding the camera making a documentary,” Kyle Ritland said. “So the goal is not only to produce a documentary, telling this story, but sharing the knowledge that we’ve learned on the trip with other people.”In the summer of 2019, the Ritlands will run their first student program as a non-profit, “On the Border.” Participants will examine the ecological consequences of the proposed southwestern border wall on the species that make their homes in those ecosystems.Liz CantyLiz Canty, 27Ultramarathoner, Ala.Liz Canty has only been running ultramarathons for two years, but she has already positioned herself as one of the top trail runners in the country.In March, Canty became one of the youngest women to complete a loop at Barkley Marathons. The race is limited to forty runners every year and only fifteen people have completed all five loops since the race was first run in 1986.When Liz Canty isn’t running ultra marathons, she’s volunteering for any runner who needs assistance at local races, playing doctor, babysitter, chef, and running coach. Most recognize her on the trail, and Instagram, by her awesome leg tattoos.Favorite race: Canty took first place in the 2017 Pinhoti 100, her first 100-mile race.Luz LitumaLuz Lituma, 29Co-founder of LatinXhikers, Ga.LatinXhikers started out as two friends getting outside together, going on hikes and sharing their adventures online. Luz Lituma and Adriana Garcia wanted to highlight diversity and inspire more people of color to get outdoors.As the popularity of the account grew, LatinXhikers evolved from a social media account to a larger movement to make the outdoors more accessible.“We thought it would be a community of close friends and stuff,” Lituma said. “Never in our heads did we think that we’d gain so many followers and have REI reach out to us.”Lituma and Garcia received sponsorship from REI to host hikes that are free and easy to reach from whatever city they are in as they encourage more active participation outside.Marcus FittsMarcus Fitts, 29Founder of District Triathlon, Md.When Marcus Fitts was trying to get back in shape after knee surgery, he looked to his friends for support. Within six months, three friends turned into District Triathlon, a triathlon team of 113 athletes.“The goal of the organization is to introduce people of color to multi sports,” Fitts said. “We really thought there needed to be a better balance between mental and physical health in the community.”In addition to providing training and coaches, District Triathlon asks members to complete at least ten hours of community service. As Fitts is transitioning out of his full-time job into full-time coaching, he is looking to secure a title sponsor for the organization and is training for his first Ironman.Palmer (left) and Mason (right) KasprowiczMason, 16, and Palmer, 15, KasprowiczFounders of Flies by Two Brothers, Va.Flies equal money for college times two (F = MC*2). That’s the equation Mason and Palmer Kasprowicz came up with to explain their business, Flies by Two Brothers. They started tying fishing flies and selling them in 2014, saving their profits for college tuition.In the last four years, the brothers have sold almost 4,000 of their homemade flies through trade shows and their online store.Mason Kasprowicz said the business is about more than the money. The boys also learned “How to write good emails, how to talk to people, make eye contact, website building, knowing how to make taxes, all important life skills that come with operating a business.”In their spare time, the brothers are president and vice president of their high school’s fishing club and are youth representatives for the Northern Virginia Chapter of Trout Unlimited.Nadia MercadoNadia Mercado, 26Hiker and skydiver, N.C.Nadia Mercado wanted to try skydiving at a young age.“I saw the Power Rangers do it when I was five years old and I was like, “oh my god, I need to do that some day,” she said.Mercado jumped out of a plane for her 23rd birthday and has completed 157 jumps since then. When she’s not working as a cardiac nurse, she coordinates community service events for Team Blackstar Skydivers and writes about racial justice and gender equality in the outdoors for Melanin Base Camp.Mercado was accepted into the 2018 Emerging Leaders program for the SHIFT (Shaping How we Invest For Tomorrow) Festival in Jackson, Wyoming. This year’s festival will cover the healthcare benefits of spending time outside.Natalie DeRattNatalie DeRatt, 30Outdoor media, Ky.Like many bobsledders, Natalie DeRatt started as a runner. She moved from England to the United States on a track scholarship from UNC Asheville before making the transition to a new sport. She represented Team USA and then Great Britain in several international competitions, working 40 hours a week for Eagles Nest Outfitters and training another 40 hours on top of that.When a leg injury cut her competitive career short, DeRatt took her love for the outdoors with her as she started her own marketing and communications firm, Carmen and Grace. She specializes in helping smaller brands in the outdoor industry, like Crazy Creek, Bellyak, and Recover.Nick GilsonNick Gilson, 29Founder of Gilson Snow, Pa.Nick Gilson was teaching middle school science in Tennessee when he launched Gilson Snow from his classroom. Two years later, he moved to Pennsylvania to build snowboards and skis full time. In the beginning, Gilson assembled every board himself from locally grown trees.But since 2013, the company has doubled in size every year, expanding into markets across the United States, Europe, Australia, and Northeast Asia. The snowboards and skis are still made locally from local lumber, but there is no way for Gilson to touch every board that the company sells.Gilson has received numerous awards in innovative product development and holds several snowboard and ski patents for his designs.“We’ve really focused in on building boards that are simply more fun to ride,” Gilson said. “So they have more play, but then they have the ability to be incredible aggressive carvers.”Nick Massey / Photo By Cathy AndersonNick Massey, 18Trail maintenance, N.C.Since 2016, Nick Massey has logged over 3,000 volunteer hours in the National Forest, repairing trails, cleaning up trash, removing non-native invasive plants, and whatever else is needed. He works with Wild South to coordinate community volunteers, leading trail maintenance crews in Linville Gorge, Lost Cove, and Harper Creek.“I think that if you love a place, you need to get out there and help take care of it,” he said.Because he spends so much time out on the trails, Massey also started volunteering with the Linville Wilderness Rescue Squad to assist in wilderness rescue operations. He just enrolled in a basic EMT course and likes to take photographs of wildlife in his spare time.Paris BrownParis Brown, 28Climber, D.C.Paris Brown was always active growing up, mostly playing traditional sports like basketball and football. She took a parkour class at a local gym in college and from there, her friends introduced her to climbing. She started competing in Spartan races and mini bouldering competitions around the D.C. area.On a whim, she decided to apply for a spot on season 9 of American Ninja Warrior and had a chance to compete on the show last year. Although she didn’t do as well as she thought she could, Brown plans to apply for a second chance.“It’s kind of just putting myself out there a little bit, trying to show that there are other people who climb and they’re not necessarily what you always see,” Brown said.Follow her on Instagram @paris_mvmt.Randi GoodmanRandi Goodman, 26Mountain biker, Va.For Randi Goodman, the outside is the place to be and she wants to get more people involved. While at King University, she helped her team win two National Championships, one in mountain biking and the other in cyclocross. Around the same time, Goodman started working at Mountain Sports Ltd, an outdoor store specializing in equipment and information.Now a full-time employee, Goodman wants to start beginner-friendly rides for people who might not have as much experience on bikes but want to get outdoors. She’s also helping write grants to fund the Mendota Trail, a rails to trail under construction in Washington County, Va.“I just want to encourage more women to get out there and get muddy and sweaty and dirty. I mean, I’ll still paint my nails and grab on to my handlebars,” Goodman said.Rashid Clifton / Photo By Justin KestlerRashid Clifton, 24Whitewater kayaker, N.C.As a teenager, Rashid Clifton would spend hours driving from Charlotte, N.C. to the coast in order to spend whatever time he could surfing. Then a teacher told him about the U.S. National Whitewater Center, right in his backyard.Clifton started working as a raft guide at the center when he turned 18. One day after work, a friend invited him to try out a kayak.“She tried to teach me how to roll and it didn’t go great,” Clifton said. “But after that, I was pretty determined to get it. Once I got it down, you just couldn’t stop me from kayaking.”Most weekends you can catch Clifton at the center or kayaking around the Southeast. He has completed the notorious Green River Race and plans to tackle the Lord of the Fork Race and the Ocoee River Race.Rowan Stuart / Photo By Chad BlotnerRowan Stuart, 22Freestyle kayaker, N.C.Rowan Stuart has been a player on the freestyle kayaking scene since she was fifteen. Whitewater freestyle involves throwing as many tricks as possible in a specific amount of time.Since 2012, she has made Team USA every year. In that time, Stuart has been to three world championships and two world cups, winning the Junior Women’s Freestyle World Championship in 2013. She also took second at the Green River Race in 2016.Now, Stuart is taking a step back from competing to work as an instructor at H2O Dreams Paddling School in Saluda, N.C. She wants to get certified to judge freestyle competitions and is learning how to mountain bike.Favorite trick: the McNastySarah BrownSarah Brown, 26Resort management, Pa.Sarah Brown likes to start each morning outside, usually as first one on the ropes course or the ski lift depending on what season it is. During the summer months, Brown oversees the zipline course and mountain bike program as assistant manager of adventures at Seven Springs Mountain Resort, the same place she learned to snowboard at eight years old. In the winter, she runs the show down the road at Laurel Mountain as operations manager, handling anything that may come up over the course of the season.“I knew I wanted to be outdoors somehow in my life,” Brown said. “And then once I fell into this role, I want to be in it for the rest of my life.”last_img read more