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Outdoors

Abby Lowell | Juneau Empire
Peterson Lake Cabin is pictured in December. The winter of 2014-15 is not one that has yet brought large amounts of snowfall to Southeast Alaska, but even so, winter outings require attention in areas summer outings do not.

Finding winter at Peterson Lake Cabin

There was a collective sigh of relief as our group reached the Peterson Lake Trail parking lot. A few inches of crusty snow blanketed the area.

by Abby Lowell

What the rains have wrought

The heavy rains of the last week have moved the woods' trees and boulders, most noticeably on and around Juneau's trails. The most problematic change for the U.S.
MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Things to know about winter cabin camping

Ed Grossman, the U.S. Forest Service recreation program manager on the Tongass National Forest, has been "blizzarded in" not once, but twice while staying at the Peterson Lake Cabin. "It went from nothing, to a weekend dump," he said.

Off the Beaten Path: The Tongass Zone

It’s been a hybrid-beast of a winter, the sort in which the Eeyore bray (Southeast’s soggy equivalent of a siren song) makes you want to retreat to a cave and lose yourself in a vicious cycle of Netflix, frozen coffee creamer and self-...
BJORN DIHLE

On the Trails: Eating lichens

Walking along the East Glacier trail one day, I noticed a scattering of gray lichen scraps on the snow next to a small tree trunk whose lichens were the source of the scraps.
Mary Willson

Alaska Science Forum: Digging up Augustine's top-heavy legacy

Augustine Volcano sits alone, a 4,000-foot pyramid on its own island in Cook Inlet. Like many volcanoes, it has a tendency to become top heavy. When gravity acts on Augustine's oversteepened dome, rockslides spill into the ocean.
NED ROZELL

Wildlife Wednesday: Southeast's moose

Learn about the moose of Southeast Alaska at the Alaska Wildlife Alliance Southeast Chapter's upcoming Wildlife Wednesday, a monthly series of lectures.

Fireside talk: Alexander Archipelago Wolves

U.S. Forest Service biologist Brian Logan will speak about Alexander Archipelago wolves this evening at Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center's weekly Fireside Lecture.

USFS updates reservation, payment process for Auk Village, Mendenhall Lake Campgrounds

JUNEAU - The U.S. Forest Service has revised the reservation and payment process for Auk Village and Mendenhall Lake Campgrounds, according to a release this week. In 2015, all campsites need to be reserved and paid for through the...

Articles from the Outdoors section archive

USFS updates reservation, payment process for Auk Village, Mendenhall Lake Campgrounds

JUNEAU - The U.S. Forest Service has revised the reservation and payment process for Auk Village and Mendenhall Lake Campgrounds, according to a release this week. In 2015, all campsites need to ...

Fireside talk: Alexander Archipelago Wolves

U.S. Forest Service biologist Brian Logan will speak about Alexander Archipelago wolves this evening at Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center's weekly Fireside Lecture.

Wildlife Wednesday: Southeast's moose

Learn about the moose of Southeast Alaska at the Alaska Wildlife Alliance Southeast Chapter's upcoming Wildlife Wednesday, a monthly series of lectures.

Things to know about winter cabin camping

Ed Grossman, the U.S. Forest Service recreation program manager on the Tongass National Forest, has been "blizzarded in" not once, but twice while staying at the Peterson Lake Cabin. "It went from ...

Alaska Science Forum: Digging up Augustine's top-heavy legacy

Augustine Volcano sits alone, a 4,000-foot pyramid on its own island in Cook Inlet. Like many volcanoes, it has a tendency to become top heavy. When gravity acts on Augustine's oversteepened dome, ...
By NED ROZELL

Finding winter at Peterson Lake Cabin

There was a collective sigh of relief as our group reached the Peterson Lake Trail parking lot. A few inches of crusty snow blanketed the area.
By Abby Lowell

On the Trails: Eating lichens

Walking along the East Glacier trail one day, I noticed a scattering of gray lichen scraps on the snow next to a small tree trunk whose lichens were the source of the scraps.
By Mary Willson

What the rains have wrought

The heavy rains of the last week have moved the woods' trees and boulders, most noticeably on and around Juneau's trails. The most problematic change for the U.S.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Friday, Jan. 23, 2015

Wolverine: the Mad Max of the wilderness

Wolverines have been mythologized and misportrayed so much so that when most people think of the species they envision actor Hugh Jackman's chiseled abs, pulsating pecks and ridiculously tight ...
By BJORN DIHLE

On the Trails: Findings on the North Douglas rainforest trail

I have walked Rainforest Trail on North Douglas I-don't-know-how-many times, but every time, there is something worth noticing - including things that I've missed or just didn't think about on ...
By Mary Willson

Forecasters: 'Winter is over'

It has been raining, it is raining, and it doesn't look likely to stop raining anytime soon. In other words, say National Weather Service forecasters, "winter is over.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Eaglecrest remains optimistic

Eaglecrest Ski Area has closed until it gets enough snow to open at least part of the upper mountain, and the forecast is calling mostly for rain. But Eaglecrest managers prefer to look on the ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Alaska Science Forum: Tidal stresses and giant earthquakes

A scientist once noticed a connection between the stress that tides inflict on the planet and the number of small earthquakes that happen in some areas when that pressure is greatest. She saw a ...
By NED ROZELL

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.

UAF project documents Native hunting knowledge

Alaska Native people have been living with and harvesting marine mammals for millennia.

Learn about SE birds through Community Schools course

Want to learn about birds, and how to identify Southeast Alaska's residents and migrants? The opportunity is ahead.

Cooperative Extension's Juneau open house scheduled

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service in Juneau will host an open house from noon to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 29 at its downtown district office in the Public Safety ...

Fireside Chat to feature the ocean's trash

Peter Murphy, Alaska Coordinator for NOAA's Marine Debris Program, will talk about finding and cleaning up trash in the ocean at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center's Fireside Lectures today.

Friday, Jan. 16, 2015

EPA offers three Northwest grants of up to $91,000 for environmental awareness, stewardship

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is accepting grant applications for its Environmental Education Grants Program. The grants seek to support locally-focused environmental education projects ...

New animated movie on bowhead whales

A new animated film produced by the University of Alaska Museum of the North explores the annual migration of bowhead whales across the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort seas.

Girls on Ice accepting applications

Girls on Ice, a free wilderness education program, is accepting applications now through Jan. 31.

Federal Subsistence Hunting and Trapping Regulations to change

The Federal Subsistence Board is accepting proposals through March 25 to change federal regulations for the subsistence harvest of wildlife on federal public lands for July 1, 2016 through June ...

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.

Boaters' deaths 18 percent of 1998 rate

Recreational boating fatalities in Alaska have dropped 82 percent since 1998, when HB108, Use, Regulation and Operation of Boats, was introduced, according to a Coast Guard press release.

Alaska Science Forum: The demise of Scotch Cap lighthouse

In the spring of 1946, five men stationed at the Scotch Cap lighthouse had reason to be happy. World War II was over. They had survived. Their lonely Coast Guard assignment on Unimak Island would ...
By NED ROZELL

Roadside geology: Connor's book time travels into the newly known

Earth time is slower than human time, but either Earth time is speeding up or the tools that measure geological activity have so improved that geologists are now able to see much more clearly into ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Off the Beaten Path: The metaphysics of mountain madness

Many of you probably heard that a crazy yeti of a man just summited Denali solo.
By BJORN DIHLE

Mastodons more ancient than previously thought

Revised age estimates of American mastodon fossils in Alaska and Yukon have resolved a quandary about when these extinct relatives of elephants lived.

Eaglecrest closed today due to weather

Eaglecrest Ski Area closed yesterday and will be closed today due to warm weather and rain, according to a release. The Home School lessons scheduled for Thursday and Friday afternoons have been ...

New guide to Alaska herbs published

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service has published a comprehensive Alaska guide for herb enthusiasts. "An Alaska Herb Garden" features information about cultivating, ...

Fireside chat: Mendenhall River Bridges

Local historian Jim Geraghty will speak on the Bridges of Mendenhall River for this evening's Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center's Fireside Lecture. Mendenhall River bisects the valley.

Friday, Jan. 9, 2015

Off the Beaten Path: Not just a pretty pelt: marten in Southeast Alaska

Trapping season is underway, and across the state, marten, a boreal member of the weasel family (Mustelidae) with a pelt too luxurious for its own good, is Alaska's most sought furbearer.
By BJORN DIHLE

2015 Fireside lectures begin today

Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center Director John Neary kicks off the 2015 Fireside Lecture season today with a talk on the cross-Admiralty Island canoe route.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Where there's ice, there's (not so much) snow

Ah, Twin Lakes. People come to ice skate. To play hockey. To push small children across a slippery surface on folding metal chairs. To make the best of Juneau's unusual lack of snow.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

More terrain opens at Eaglecrest - with limits

Eaglecrest Ski Area on Thursday began operating the Black Bear and Ptarmigan chairlifts, opening up the east side of the mountain for advanced and expert skiers and riders. They also opened the ...

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.

Statewide pesticide trainings offered

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service is offering three-day training sessions for pesticide applicators in January and April. The first will be a videoconference session ...

Alaska Science Forum: Two tales of dynamic Alaska tundra

As pungent eucalyptus trees soaked up inches of California rain, a few researchers inside San Francisco's Moscone Center spoke of the treeless third of Alaska at the 2014 fall meeting of the ...
By NED ROZELL

Apply now for a Eaglecrest's 34th Annual Learn to Ski Weekend

Eaglecrest Ski Area will soon be hosting its 34th annual Learn to Ski Weekend. On Jan. 24-25, 40 third and fourth graders will participate in the free weekend, complete with lessons, rentals, lift ...

Friday, Jan. 2, 2015

Become a plant whisperer

Wondering how to grow things in Juneau? The Juneau District Office of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service is offering a "Gardening in Southeast Alaska 101 Class" ...

Fireside Lectures return

The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center's popular Fireside Lectures are back for another season. Kayaker and visitor center director John Neary will kick of this year's series with a talk on Friday, ...

Birds that can see Russia

Birds in Gambell (Sivuqaq) Alaska are prolific, unusual and fascinating. You'll get a chance to find out more about birds in a place from which you really can see Russia at the Juneau Audubon ...

Explore with Willson, Hocker

Naturalist and artist Kathy Hocker and retired professor of ecology Mary Willson, who also writes a weekly column for the Juneau Empire, will give a talk called "Our Little Explorations - Seeing ...

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.

Some birds home for the holidays; others far from it

Some birds are home for the holidays and some seem to be making Southeast Alaska their temporary residence during these cold winter months.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

On the Trails: Herbivores and their plants

When herbivores eat, sometimes they just nibble and there is little impact on the plant or on the consumer. There are two other possibilities.
By Mary Willson

Off the Beaten Path: Gifts of deer

Well, it's that time of the year again. Time to put away the camouflage fashions and take the bi-annual shower - every hunter knows it's bad luck to bathe during open season. Hot water, bleach and ...
By BJORN DIHLE

Alaska Science Forum: 1946 tsunami survivor shares her story

On April 1, 1946, the sea floor ruptured just south of Unimak Island in the Aleutian Islands.
By NED ROZELL

Friday, Dec. 26, 2014

Off the Beaten Path: The Bigfoot blues

The other day I discovered a number of articles speculating that the Yeti, the elusive hominid cryptid of the Himalayas, is actually the Tibetan brown bear. This theory isn’t new — but a recent ...
By BJORN DIHLE

Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014

Hunters find giant spruce burl; burls' cause a mystery

While hunting in Douglas woods last week, Bryce Iverson and Matt Kern found a spruce tree growing the largest tree burl they - or anyone they talked to - had ever seen.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

On the Trails: Chickadees of the north

A friend and I stood in a small muskeg on Douglas Island, checking out some deer tracks, when little twitterings announced the arrival of chickadees.

Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014

SEARHC announces Outpatient Clinic holiday schedule

SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium announced this week their outpatient clinics will be closed on Christmas Day, Thursday, Dec. 25, and New Year's Day, Thursday, Jan. 1.

Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

The long road south

Not many people cycle across continents, but Seth McBride and Kelly Schwan are unique even in that small group.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Off the Beaten Path: 'Kayak Horizon'

In late November, with the marine forecast looking decent, I loaded a kayak on the car and coaxed my girlfriend Mary Catharine into giving me a ride to False Outer Point before dawn.
By BJORN DIHLE

On the Trails: Trailside scrapbook

Here are some assorted observations from several winter walks, small things that stirred friends and my interest. A common sight in our forests is a "nurse log" that supports a row of small ...
By Mary Willson

Hilary Lindh Scholarship winners announced

Eaglecrest Ski Area recently announced the recipients of this year's Hilary Lindh Scholarships. Winners were chosen based on "scholastic achievement, competitive spirit and financial need," ...

Subsistence Student Art Contest accepting entries

The Federal Subsistence Management Program is sponsoring its annual art contest for Alaska students from kindergarten through high school. The theme for this year's contest - the submission ...
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