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Outdoors

Mary Catharine Martin | Juneau Empire
Juneau Icefield Research Program students get comfortable on cross country skis. The first students arrived at JIRP Camp 17 - the closest camp to Juneau, near Cairn Peak on Blackerby Ridge - late Monday.

JIRPers start 68th summer on the Juneau Icefield

JUNEAU ICEFIELD, CAMP 17 — At the Juneau Icefield Research Program’s Camp 17 this week, 32 students — and more faculty — got comfortable on skis, started ecological...
by MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Alaska Science Forum: Water fountains on the tundra

While tightroping on tussock heads in a bog off the Chandalar River, two companions and I heard a waterfall. Strange. Looking through binoculars, we saw a knee-high fountain of clear water in the tundra. The flow was as thick as your leg.
NED ROZELL

What's in Bloom: Primula florindae

The one plant that says summer like no other is Primula florindae, the giant or Tibetan cowslip.
MERRILL JENSEN

On the Trails: Out and about in mid-June

A friend and I went into Sheep Creek Valley one morning, to listen to bird songs. I especially wanted to hear Swainson's thrush, whose vigorous, upward-spiraling song is beautiful, and Sheep Creek Valley is usually a good place to do that.
Mary Willson

Wild Shots

The Empire Outdoors page is looking for superb images of Alaska's wildlife, scenery or plant life. Send your photos to outdoors@juneauempire.com.

July 4 Park and Rec hike headed to Ben Stewart

The Juneau Department of Parks and Recreation's July 4 hike will begin at Eaglecrest's parking lot at 9:30 a.m. If the weather is sunny, participants will climb Mount Ben Stewart. The length of the hike will depend on the trail's condition.

Outdoor Recreational Trails Advisory Board recruiting for board position

The Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation is seeking candidates to fill one open board position on the Outdoor Recreational Trails Advisory Board representing people experiencing disabilities.

Change in effect for king salmon regs

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is revising king salmon sport fishing regulations in Southeast Alaska and Yakutat. The changes came into effect July 1 and will be effective through May 2, 2016.

State will discontinue filling grayling in Alaska lakes

FAIRBANKS - Funding cuts have forced Alaska hatcheries to stop raising Arctic grayling.

North Pole man sickened by 'rabbit fever'

FAIRBANKS - Alaska Department of Fish and Game officials suspect that a man who became sick after skinning a hare has been infected with tularemia, a bacterial infection known as rabbit fever. Tulameria is spread by ticks that primarily...

Hydaburg resident, tribal leader wins environmental award

The Alaska chapter of The Nature Conservancy has awarded Hydaburg resident Anthony Christianson the 2015 Susan Ruddy Community-Based Conservation Award for his efforts “to promote conservation in Alaska through forging successful...

Articles from the Outdoors section archive

Friday, July 3, 2015

July 4 Park and Rec hike headed to Ben Stewart

The Juneau Department of Parks and Recreation's July 4 hike will begin at Eaglecrest's parking lot at 9:30 a.m. If the weather is sunny, participants will climb Mount Ben Stewart. The length of ...

Outdoor Recreational Trails Advisory Board recruiting for board position

The Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation is seeking candidates to fill one open board position on the Outdoor Recreational Trails Advisory Board representing people experiencing disabilities.

North Pole man sickened by 'rabbit fever'

FAIRBANKS - Alaska Department of Fish and Game officials suspect that a man who became sick after skinning a hare has been infected with tularemia, a bacterial infection known as rabbit ...

State will discontinue filling grayling in Alaska lakes

FAIRBANKS - Funding cuts have forced Alaska hatcheries to stop raising Arctic grayling.

Change in effect for king salmon regs

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is revising king salmon sport fishing regulations in Southeast Alaska and Yakutat. The changes came into effect July 1 and will be effective through May 2, 2016.

Wild Shots

The Empire Outdoors page is looking for superb images of Alaska's wildlife, scenery or plant life. Send your photos to outdoors@juneauempire.com.

On the Trails: Out and about in mid-June

A friend and I went into Sheep Creek Valley one morning, to listen to bird songs. I especially wanted to hear Swainson's thrush, whose vigorous, upward-spiraling song is beautiful, and Sheep Creek ...
By Mary Willson

Alaska Science Forum: Water fountains on the tundra

While tightroping on tussock heads in a bog off the Chandalar River, two companions and I heard a waterfall. Strange. Looking through binoculars, we saw a knee-high fountain of clear water in the ...
By NED ROZELL

What's in Bloom: Primula florindae

The one plant that says summer like no other is Primula florindae, the giant or Tibetan cowslip.
By MERRILL JENSEN

Sunday, June 28, 2015

NOAA receives $25 million in funding

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced more than $25 million in recommended funding for 88 projects under the 2014-2015 Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant Program.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Wild Shots

The Empire Outdoors page is looking for superb images of Alaska's wildlife, scenery or plant life. Send your photos to outdoors@juneauempire.com.

What's in Bloom: Rogersia

Rodgersia spp. are big, bold perennials that impart a tropical feel in the garden without enduring the associated heat. These dramatic plants are members of the Saxifrage family and all hail from ...
By MERRILL JENSEN

Sport fish report: Kings headed back to Fish Creek, not in the pond yet

King salmon fishing this past week within the terminal harvest area has continued to be good, especially in the Fritz Cove, inner Auke Bay and False Outer Point areas.

Annual Wrangell Bearfest runs July 22-26

WRANGELL - The annual Wrangell Bearfest is July 22 to 26. The festival is a celebration of bears of Alaska and features an annual scientific symposium, family events, photography and music ...

Sitka Farmers Markets kick off July 4

SITKA - In a celebration of independence from store-bought and factory-processed food, the Sitka Local Foods Network is inviting the public to enjoy this year's eighth annual Sitka Farmers Market.

Across state, early salmon catches underweight

"Big run, small fish," is a Cordova fishermen's rule of thumb that seems to be holding true for salmon in 2015, particularly in the areas adjacent to the Gulf of Alaska.
By DJ SUMMERS

Dirt Girl: Killing is gardening

I was recently reminded of something master gardener Ed Buyarski said at a workshop: "If you're not killing things, you're not a gardener.
By CORINNE CONLON

On the Trails: Parasitic flowering plants live off the roots of others

When we think of parasites, we usually think of tapeworms, ticks, fungi and assorted micro-organisms.
By Mary Willson

Off the Beaten Path: A con like Alaska had never seen, reflections on Soapy Smith

In April of 2009, after spending a month and a half wandering the eastern Brooks Range, I was returning home to Juneau. The ferry was full when I showed up to Skagway and the next sailing south ...
By BJORN DIHLE

New 2015 Juneau Icefield map available

The new 2015 Juneau Icefield map is now available, according to a release from the U.S. Forest Service. One side of the map has an oblique panoramic view of the Juneau Icefield - similar to the ...

Concerned Alaska Native, First Nation representatives attend Seabridge Gold annual meeting

Alaska Native and First Nation representatives had some questions for a Canadian mining company at its annual meeting, concerned about a project's potential effects on their ancestral lands.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Friday, June 19, 2015

What's in Bloom: Oriental poppies

Oriental poppies, Papaver orientale, are some of the largest, most flamboyant flowers that one can grow in Southeast Alaska.
By MERRILL JENSEN

Alaska Science Forum: The northern boreal bird nursery

MIDDLE FORK, CHANDALAR RIVER - Two hundred miles straight north of my home in Fairbanks, I'm at the northern edge of a forest that carpets the continent all the way to Labrador.
By NED ROZELL

Trail roundup 2015

This has been a pretty unusual last year in Southeast Alaska - we had record rain last summer and fall, followed by a major lack of snow in the winter, followed by record sun and warmth this ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Sport fish report: King salmon catch still kicking, halibut showing up

As hatchery king salmon become more abundant in the immediate Juneau area, fishing this past week has continued to improve for marine boat anglers, especially in the Fritz Cove and Outer Point areas.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

An Alaskan's Local Food

What is local food to you? Several years ago, when asked this question in a college class, I paused. As we went around the classroom sharing our ideas, my mind went blank.
By Matthew Kern

Race to Alaska names a winner

Team Elsie Piddock sailed into Ketchikan harbor, and small boat history, to win the inaugural Race to Alaska boat race Friday 100 miles ahead of the nearest competitor.
By DICK CALLAHAN

Juneau's Hidden History: East Glacier Trail

The Mendenhall Glacier seems to be retreating at a pretty fast rate. As a child growing up in Juneau in the late 1980-90s, we hiked the East Glacier Trail, and had a magnificent view of the ...
By BRIAN WEED

Friday, June 12, 2015

Death of sea lions found to be caused by humans

ANCHORAGE - Federal officials are saying several of the 15 Stellar sea lions found dead last week near Cordova had wounds indicating they had been "deliberately killed.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Wild Shots

The Empire Outdoors page is looking for superb images of Alaska's wildlife, scenery or plant life. Send your photos to outdoors@juneauempire.com.

Gardens of the Masters up for tour

The Southeast Alaska Master Gardeners Association is giving you a chance to see gardens grown by the masters while raising money for an annual scholarship. Saturday, June 20, the master gardeners' ...

Get to know NOAA: Summertime tours kick off again at TSMRI

Whether you are catching 'em or eating 'em - there's a hidden world of science behind Alaska's sustainable fisheries, which produce more than half of all seafood caught in U.S. waters.

NOAA seeks information on Steller sea lions killed near Cordova - reward offered

On June 1, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries received a report of several dead Steller sea lions on a beach near Cordova, Alaska.

State seeking contractor to operate Sitka area state parks

The State of Alaska, Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation is offering an opportunity for a qualified entity to obtain an exclusive competitive permit for commercial activities to operate park ...

What's in Bloom: Columbine

Columbine (Aquilegia spp.) is one of the easiest perennials to grow in Juneau.
By MERRILL JENSEN

On the Trails: Outdoor therapy

One day recently, I was feeling quite grumpy, disgusted, annoyed, and getting down-hearted, so I decided to cheer myself up by thinking about 'a few of my favorite things' that happened in the ...
By Mary Willson

POW's wolf population plummets

Prince of Wales Island’s population of wolves declined 60 percent in just one year, according to a recent U.S. Forest Service briefing paper, leaving only 60 wolves on the island and 89 in the ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Dirt Girl: To hoop, or not to hoop

Walking around the community garden now or walking around the harbor in the fall sometimes feels like marshmallow land. Everything seems covered in visqueen.
By CORINNE CONLON

New king salmon spot coming to town

Douglas Island Pink and Chum hatchery on Wednesday released the last of its fry into the wild, 180,000 of which were king salmon leaving from a new release site - Lena Cove.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Friday, June 5, 2015

First Nations report highlights transboundary mine concerns

A new report has added to the call for increased mining safety in the watersheds of rivers that flow from Canada into Alaska.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Wild Shots

The Empire Outdoors page is looking for superb images of Alaska's wildlife, scenery or plant life. Send your photos to outdoors@juneauempire.com.

Funding for garden insulation

If you have a large garden and you want to extend its growing season, this information may be for you.

Family Fishing Day happening June 13

The public is invited this year's annual Family Fishing Day at the Lake from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 13 at Twin Lakes. The emphasis for this popular, free community event is family, ...

New members sought for Snowmobile Trails Advisory Council

The Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation is inviting interested individuals to apply to join the Snowmobile Trails Advisory Council.

Give Lemon Creek some love on National Trails Day Saturday

Saturday is National Trails Day, and, with help from the community, Trail Mix Inc. plans on giving Lemon Creek Trail a little love. Volunteers will meet at 9 a.m. at the trailhead, which is past ...

On the Trails: Tricky flowers

Most of our wild flowers are wide-open structures, just letting all the sexual parts hang out.
By Mary Willson

What's in Bloom: Himalayan blue poppy

It's Meconopsis "Lingholm," the Himalayan Blue Poppy, time at the Jensen-Olson Arboretum. Juneau's climate mimics their rain-soaked, native habitat on the sub-alpine slopes and meadows of the ...
By MERRILL JENSEN

Rocks from space in Alaska backcountry

On February 26 at 1:06 p.m., someone in northern Alaska may have seen a torch of light in the cold daytime sky. That afternoon, satellites detected a meteoric fireball headed toward Earth.
By NED ROZELL

Off the Beaten Path: The good, bad and funny when it comes to black bears

The American black bear may lack the charisma of brown/grizzly bears and the romanticism of polar bears. It may be treated like the ugly, quirky stepdaughter of the ursine world.
By BJORN DIHLE

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Glacier visitor center to increase fees in 2016

The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center will increase fees starting May 1, 2016, U.S. Forest Service Ranger Brad Orr announced Wednesday by email.
By JAMES BROOKS

Speed restrictions established to protect Glacier Bay whales

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is implementing a speed restriction for boaters in order to protect humpback whales frequenting the area, acting superintendent Sheri Barry announced Wednesday.
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