Playing Catch-up and trying to win shoes!

This time of year is crazy; work picks up, school is winding down for the winter break and the chaos of the holidays is in full swing.  Unfortunately, that also means that this blog gets neglected. So... in an effort to catch-up I'll give some short blurbs and links to some interesting stories that have caught my attention in the last week.

But first a little personal interjection.  If you have read any of my post on this blog you may have figured out that I am an avid trail runner.  One of my favorite trail running blogs Running & Rambling is run (no pun intended) by a really cool guy named Donald who happens to be a pretty good trail runner also.  If you have time and are interested in trail running, family life, outdoors, product reviews and free give-aways then I highly recommend his blog.  Currently,  Donald is giving-away several pairs of New Balance MT 101's which are a minimal trail shoe that I have been dying to get my hands-on, or feet-in, whatever.  You can enter  the contest yourself here.  Also check out this really cool 2-minute video that’s currently on the New Balance Outdoor Ambassadors page:

“The Trail”, by New Balance (click to play):

Now, on to Local news:

  • Forests of the Southwestern United States face a bleak future in light of climate change, with more severe—and more frequent—forest fires, higher tree death rates, more insect infestation, and weaker trees. “Our study shows that regardless of rainfall going up or down, forests in the Southwest U.S. are very sensitive to temperature—in fact, more sensitive than any forests in the country,” says first author Park Williams, postdoctoral researcher in the department of geography at University of California, Santa Barbara. Read more about this story here and here.
  • Not  the forest we usually talk about on this blog but rather our marine forest has some new protection laws in place.  You can read all about that forest here.
  • California conservationists and federal forest agencies are working together to protect 600,000 acres of the Los Padres National Forest.  “Today’s agreement brings us one step closer toward securing the permanent protection of our region’s wild places,” said Jeff Kuyper, executive director of Los Padres ForestWatch, a nonprofit organization that works to protect the Los Padres National Forest. “It promotes healthy wildlife populations, pristine open spaces, clean water, and outdoor recreation opportunities for our local communities, all of which are facing increasing pressures from urbanization and development.”  Read more about that herehere and here.
  • Researchers at  UC Santa Barbara are helping with a study to determine if there is a link between tree deaths and Lyme disease in the coastal forest of California.  Check out the whole story here.

That's all for today, check back often for more news concerning our local forest and trails.  Check out the new Baron Ranch Trail once it stops raining, and if you see some crazed lunatic running around the trails in a new pair of New Balance MT 101's, you now know where he got those nifty new shoes.

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