Conservation

U.S. conservancy plans first cross-country trail

In this image, three bicyclists in brightly colored shirts and black shorts bike down a wooded street.
Cedar Valley Nature Trail in Iowa. Photo: Liz Zabel, courtesy GO Cedar Rapids

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy recently announced plans for a coast-to-coast bike and walking route from Washington, D.C., to Washington state. There's an interactive map for this entirely car-free way to get across the country here.

Why it matters: The Great American Rail-Trail will be the nation's first cross-country trail, linking more than 125 existing trails and 90 trail gaps over more than 3,700 miles.

Earth faces mass extinctions

An inflatable planet Earth bounces around a climate-change rally in Sydney, Australia, in March. (Don Arnold/Getty Images)

Up to a million of Earth's estimated eight million species face extinction, many of them within decades, according to a UN report on biodiversity due out Monday.

The big picture: The 1,800-page report by 400 scientists says the pace of species loss "is already tens to hundreds of times higher than it has been, on average, over the last 10 million years," according to a draft obtained by Agence France-Presse.