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Presidential Playgrounds

first_imgIt’s no surprise that many U.S. presidents have found solace in Southern Appalachia when needing to unwind. Several of our country’s commanders-in-chief established private retreats and protected key public lands right here in our Blue Ridge backyard.Thomas JeffersonMonticello and Black Rock GapWhile most Americans recognize former U.S. president Thomas Jefferson as the crafter of the Declaration of Independence, his most prized work of art may have been his Monticello home and property at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Charlottesville, Va. Jefferson spent decades of his life creating a personal utopia filled with vegetable gardens, wildflowers, fruits, and groves of trees. In writing to his daughter, he once proclaimed, “I never before knew the full value of trees. My house is entirely embosomed in high plane-trees, with good grass below; and under them I breakfast, dine, write, read, and receive my company.” Not only can you still tour the grounds of his beautiful estate, but a short drive to Black Rock Gap along Skyline Drive will deepen your Jeffersonian adventure. It is within a cave, among the rocks at the summit of this easy hike, where legend has it that Jefferson once hid the state seals of Virginia during the Revolutionary war.Herbert + Lou HooverRapidan CampRapidan is located deep within a forested gorge of Shenandoah National Park, at the convergence of two mountain streams. It’s no wonder our 31st president and his wife saw this as the ideal place to escape the stress of Washington D.C. It was Hoover’s predecessor, Calvin Coolidge, who first suggested that the government provide a nearby retreat, which could be used by presidents to unwind on weekends. President Hoover put the idea into practice for the first time on personal land at Rapidan Camp, secluded among the hemlocks and nestled into a natural mountain setting enhanced by rock gardens, waterfalls, and other stone structures. Here, the Hoovers welcomed many distinguished guests, family, cabinet members, and politicians to share the beauty of hiking, horseback riding, and honest conversation. Hoover spent many hours in the creeks directly below the property enjoying one of his favorite activities, trout fishing. The Rapidan River, which cascades about 50 yards from the deck of the main cabin at Camp Hoover, is still regarded as one of the best trout streams in Virginia.Franklin D. RooseveltGreat Smoky Mountains National Park, C.C.C., and the Blue Ridge ParkwayAs our nation’s longest serving president, Franklin D. Roosevelt probably had the most significant impact on the Blue Ridge and beyond. Roosevelt designated Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and he was also responsible for implementing the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway. His Civilian Conservation Corps provided trail maintenance, forest conservation, facility development, and reforestation to Pisgah National Forest, Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah National Parks, and the Blue Ridge Parkway. There’s a good chance you’ve benefited from one of their projects in some way, whether enjoying a scenic drive over a stone bridge, catching fish that they helped stock, or hiking to a view from one of their many fire towers.Lyndon B. JohnsonThe Wilderness Act of 1964Have you ever hiked in Shining Rock Wilderness? Climbed in Linville Gorge? Ever stood atop ‘The Priest’ or swam in the pool beneath St. Mary’s Falls? Fished in the Conasauga or Jacks Rivers? If so, then you can thank L.B.J’s 1964 Wilderness Act, which created the National Wilderness Preservation System. It now includes over 640 wilderness areas. Additionally, Johnson spearheaded the Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act, National Trails System Act, and the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which provided funds to acquire land, specifically for public recreation.Recent Presidential Land Protection HighlightsPresident Obama (2008-2016)• Established more national monuments and protected the most acreage than any president in history• Blocked construction of the Keystone XL oil pipelinePresident Bush (2000-2008)• Created first-ever cabinet committee on ocean policy with 2004 Ocean Action Plan• Provided nation’s highest form of marine protection to over 330,000 square miles of ocean• Created 15 new National Wildlife RefugesPresident Clinton (1992-2000)• Protected over 3 million acres of land from any future development, including Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante, Arizona’s Grand-Canyon-Parashant, and California’s Pinnacles• Launched first federal action for environmental justice• Launched Clean Water Action Initiative to increase wetland protection, and protect water supply quality• Created Roadless Area Rule, protecting millions of acres of national forestlandslast_img read more

New tourism campaign from Montenegro | News

first_img– Advertisement – “The months behind us were a challenge, but also a lesson. “Maybe it’s time to look with fresh eyes at the world around us. “Maybe it’s time to disconnect from some old digital habits and remind ourselves that man and nature are inextricably linked. – Advertisement – NewerFuture of Norwegian uncertain as government denies further aid The National Tourism Organisation of Montenegro has launched a new global campaign to showcase the natural environment of the country.It aims to bringing to life the relationship between nature and people and showcase its importance in a restrictive digital world. – Advertisement – “The freedom provided by the pristine natural beauty of Montenegro is a must for any travellers and we welcome you to be in the company of nature.”Located on the Balkan Peninsula, this is a country that has long been a melting pot of cultures, civilisations and religions. Surrounded by natural beauty, Montenegro offers big experiences in a small and accessible environment. From the Montenegrin hills to the beauty of the Adriatic Coast; nature reserves and national parks; caves and canyons to 117 beaches along a coastline over 180 miles long, all embraced by the caring faces of locals and traditional hospitality. Tourism accounted for 32 per cent of GDP in 2019 when Montenegro welcomed 81,000 UK travellers to the country, an increase of 30 per cent year-on-year. Inspiring travel to Montenegro, when possible, ‘Nature & Me’ focuses on the need for people to embrace nature as a break from the virtual world we have been forced to live in before and during the pandemic. The campaign video, which features travel experiences from across Montenegro, highlights the untouched natural beauty of the country and reminds us that that nature is our friend – encouraging travellers to think of the natural environment of Montenegro as a relative they will one day reunite with. “Whilst the digital world has helped us see people during this pandemic, nothing beats your interaction with nature; your feet meeting the waves and the ability we have to travel and to embrace the natural world,” said Željka Radak Kukavičić, National Tourism Organisation of Montenegro director.- Advertisement – OlderKamark departs as Etihad restructures operationslast_img read more