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Outdoors

Bjorn Dihle | For the Juneau Empire
Dennis Hall breaks trail on the upper section of the Hubbard Glacier.

Off the Beaten Path: In the shadow of Vitus Bering, part I

Editor's note: This is the first of a two-part installment on Vitus Bering's last voyage and the author's ski traverse from Kluane Lake to Yakutat. Next week's Off the Beaten Path will conclude the narrative.

by BJORN DIHLE

Becoming outdoorsy

It's your chance to learn to tie flies, pack rafts, and generally get comfortable with all things outdoors.
MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

On the Trails: As winter falls away, bears, hooters, mountain goats appear again

The days grow longer and we all start wishing that spring would be here NOW! Indeed, spring is slowly, slowly springing. Perhaps it got a bit confused by the lack of a real winter? Or perhaps we are just a tad over-eager.
Mary Willson

Exploring the realities of the 'butterfly effect' in Alaska

You might have heard the saying that a flutter of a butterfly's wings can change the course of the future.
MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

What's in Bloom: Ruby giant

One early spring riser is the Ruby Giant, crocus tommasinianus, which often sends its blossoms up through the snow and is commonly referred to as snow crocus.
MERRILL JENSEN

Little oil, no impact: Officials say Auke Bay unfazed by Feb. 22 spill

At this point it looks like there are no lasting negative effects in Auke Bay from the Feb. 22 Statter Harbor oil spill, say National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admistration and Coast Guard officials.
MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

On the Fly: Be prepared to rip some lips this spring

Generally speaking, the pursuit of anadromous fish on a fly during the winter months is wet (subsurface) fly fishing. In Alaska, however, our winter months and angling strum to a different tune.
RICH CULVER

Learn how to black bear hunt

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game will soon begin its spring and summer Alaskans Afield classes, meant to familiarize Alaskans with anything from surviving in the wilderness to harvesting a deer.

Lecture: Why are chinook declining?

The Territorial Sportsmen on April 2 will host a free informational event on the decline and management of chinook salmon. The evening will be focused on increasing public awareness about the status and management of Southeast Alaska king...

Alaska Science Forum: Catching a lake as it became land

If a lake drains on top of the world, will anyone hear it? Ben Jones and Chris Arp did. The Anchorage- and Fairbanks-based scientists placed sensors in a bathtub-shaped lake on Alaska's northern coast a few years ago.
NED ROZELL

Final Fireside chat shows Juneau in a new way

Discovery Southeast naturalist Richard Carstensen this evening, Friday, March 27 will show audiences at this season's final Fireside Lecture a new way to see Juneau.

GCI, Eaglecrest to host 'Day on the Mountain' Saturday

The public is invited to a day on Juneau's local ski hill, complete with entertainment, activities and door prizes, sponsored by GCI. Though the lifts will be closed, the free event will run from 2-5 p.m. on Saturday, March 28.

Wildlife Wednesday: Small mammals

The Southeast Chapter of Alaska Wildlife Alliance on April 1 will offer the last talk in its winter series. Riley Woodford of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game will speak about small mammals in Southeast Alaska, from bats to black...

Registration now open for youth outdoor camp

Registration is now available for the AK Experience: Alaska Skills and Adventure Camp. Youth ages 11-18 from all of Southeast Alaska are invited to attend the five-day outdoor residential camp June 8-12 at Eagle River Scout Camp in Juneau.

XBoundary film presents views from both sides of the border

An upcoming event will allow attendees to hear from a person who is intimately acquainted with a British Columbia transboundary mine disaster, from someone who traveled a transboundary river from one side of the border to the other, and...

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.

Articles from the Outdoors section archive

Friday, March 27, 2015

Little oil, no impact: Officials say Auke Bay unfazed by Feb. 22 spill

At this point it looks like there are no lasting negative effects in Auke Bay from the Feb. 22 Statter Harbor oil spill, say National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admistration and Coast Guard officials.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Off the Beaten Path: In the shadow of Vitus Bering, part I

Editor's note: This is the first of a two-part installment on Vitus Bering's last voyage and the author's ski traverse from Kluane Lake to Yakutat. Next week's Off the Beaten Path will conclude ...
By BJORN DIHLE

Becoming outdoorsy

It's your chance to learn to tie flies, pack rafts, and generally get comfortable with all things outdoors.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

What's in Bloom: Ruby giant

One early spring riser is the Ruby Giant, crocus tommasinianus, which often sends its blossoms up through the snow and is commonly referred to as snow crocus.
By MERRILL JENSEN

On the Trails: As winter falls away, bears, hooters, mountain goats appear again

The days grow longer and we all start wishing that spring would be here NOW! Indeed, spring is slowly, slowly springing. Perhaps it got a bit confused by the lack of a real winter? Or perhaps we ...
By Mary Willson

Learn how to black bear hunt

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game will soon begin its spring and summer Alaskans Afield classes, meant to familiarize Alaskans with anything from surviving in the wilderness to harvesting a deer.

Lecture: Why are chinook declining?

The Territorial Sportsmen on April 2 will host a free informational event on the decline and management of chinook salmon. The evening will be focused on increasing public awareness about the ...

Alaska Science Forum: Catching a lake as it became land

If a lake drains on top of the world, will anyone hear it? Ben Jones and Chris Arp did. The Anchorage- and Fairbanks-based scientists placed sensors in a bathtub-shaped lake on Alaska's northern ...
By NED ROZELL

Final Fireside chat shows Juneau in a new way

Discovery Southeast naturalist Richard Carstensen this evening, Friday, March 27 will show audiences at this season's final Fireside Lecture a new way to see Juneau.

GCI, Eaglecrest to host 'Day on the Mountain' Saturday

The public is invited to a day on Juneau's local ski hill, complete with entertainment, activities and door prizes, sponsored by GCI. Though the lifts will be closed, the free event will run from ...

Wildlife Wednesday: Small mammals

The Southeast Chapter of Alaska Wildlife Alliance on April 1 will offer the last talk in its winter series. Riley Woodford of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game will speak about small mammals ...

Registration now open for youth outdoor camp

Registration is now available for the AK Experience: Alaska Skills and Adventure Camp. Youth ages 11-18 from all of Southeast Alaska are invited to attend the five-day outdoor residential camp ...

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.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

On the Fly: Be prepared to rip some lips this spring

Generally speaking, the pursuit of anadromous fish on a fly during the winter months is wet (subsurface) fly fishing. In Alaska, however, our winter months and angling strum to a different tune.
By RICH CULVER

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Exploring the realities of the 'butterfly effect' in Alaska

You might have heard the saying that a flutter of a butterfly's wings can change the course of the future.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Friday, March 20, 2015

Five questions with Kerry Howard, Wild Shots contributor

We at the Juneau Empire are always impressed with and grateful for the beautiful reader-submitted shots we get to share in Wild shots, a weekly feature in the Outdoors section.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

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.

State seeks applicants for specialty crop grants

PALMER - The Division of Agriculture is now seeking applicants for its annual Specialty Crop Competitive Grant Program. The division intends to administer grants for multiple projects and grant ...

Photographer Bob Armstrong to lead Fireside chat

Well-known Juneau photographer, author and naturalist Bob Armstrong will bring nature's connections to the big screen in the auditorium of Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center for this week's ...

Legislators to compete at annual shoot

Legislators will show off their skill with firearms tomorrow during the Annual Legislative Team Shoot, an event sponsored by the Alaska Correctional Officers Association.

Permits available for Interior Alaska moose hunts

Surplus drawing permits for moose hunting in Interior Alaska are currently available. Interested parties have a chance to acquire a permit by faxing an application to the Fairbanks Fish and Game ...

On the Trails: Fossil hunting in Juneau

My two companions scrambled up the soggy slope with agile ease, and I lumbered along behind. My main job, as usual, was to throw sticks for the four-footed friend, but our real mission was finding ...
By Mary Willson

Off the Beaten Path: Wood bison are back; it's a big deal

When I was 19, I encountered my first wood bison. I was riding a mountain bike across Canada, near Liard Hot Springs in British Columbia, when I saw a hulking animal in the ditch.
By BJORN DIHLE

What's in Bloom: Japanese Butterbur

Japanese butterbur, Petasites japonicus var. giganteus, is one of the first flowers to bloom in spring, often pushing its flower spikes through the surrounding snow.
By MERRILL JENSEN

Local teacher honored with DSE inaugural award

Auke Bay Elementary School second grade teacher Allie Smith's students play games, measure snow and watch for seasonal changes in the outdoors.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Friday, March 13, 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.

Decades old time capsule found inside local totem

When carver Wayne Price began to work on the Yax té, or Big Dipper, totem pole at the U.S. Forest Service woodshed last week, he knew he'd find rot inside. What he didn't know is that he'd find ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Alaska Science Forum: Joke's on Alaskans when it comes to climate change

As he contemplates another long snowmachine journey, Matthew Sturm might consider packing a raincoat. Rain fell in Interior Alaska a few weeks before his trip, glazing supercooled highways and ...
By NED ROZELL

Yax té totem begins life anew

It's suffered from arson, bullet holes, insects and rot, but the Yax té totem pole, removed from Auke Recreation Area in 2010, is being returned to its original condition. In the U.S.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Off the Beaten Path: Going expedition-style on the Mendenhall wetlands

Last weekend, suffering from a desire to feel like I was doing nothing interesting with my life, I clicked on the Expedition News website.
By BJORN DIHLE

Little brown bats headline Fireside Lecture

Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center's Fireside Lecture tonight addresses new research on bats, the state's only flying mammal.

Draft Southeast State Forest Plan available for comment

KETCHIKAN - The Division of Forestry is seeking public comment on the draft Southeast State Forest Management Plan through April 30. The draft plan describes how the Division of Forestry intends ...

Applications sought for Farm to Summer Food Service grants

PALMER - Providers of free or reduced-cost summer meals for children and adults are invited to apply for grants to increase the availability and consumption of Alaska Grown specialty crops within ...

Artists selected for the Chilkoot Trail Artist Residency

The National Park Service, together with the Yukon Arts Centre, Parks Canada, Alaska Geographic and the Skagway Arts Council is pleased to announce the artists chosen for the 2014 Chilkoot Trail ...

Spring Bear Season Opens

The brown bear hunting season opens this Sunday, March 15 across Southeast Alaska. Permits are available online and at Alaska Department of Fish and Game offices, said Regional Supervisor of the ...

Friday, March 6, 2015

On the Trails: Dung fungus, wha?!

Animal dung has many uses, both to its producers and to other organisms.
By Mary Willson

Alaska Science Forum: No smog in Denali, unlike other National Parks

Fairbanks's air turns bitter every winter as residents fill it with woodsmoke and other things, but just down the road Denali National Park has the clearest air measured among America's monitored ...
By NED ROZELL

Off the Beaten Path: Get off that iPhone and eat a worm

The other day I returned from a two and a half week trip through the desert of the Southwest, where I was struck by how few people were taking advantage of the outdoors.
By BJORN DIHLE

Lena Beach improvements could include the return of king salmon to the area

The U.S. Forest Service is at the final stages of planning Lena Beach improvements that will likely begin in the summer of 2016. The proposed changes first went out for public comment a year ago.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

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.

Geologic guidebook commemorates 50th anniversary of '64 earthquake

The Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys has released a new technical guidebook on the geology of coastal Southcentral Alaska that compiles the most recent developments in understanding ...

'Special' whale to be featured at Fireside chat

For this week's Fireside Lecture, the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center will host Michelle Ridgway and Kate Wynne on Friday, March 6 who will discuss their work on a freshly-deceased humpback ...

Board of Forestry to meet March 23-24

The Board of Forestry will meet in Juneau and by teleconference on March 23 and 24 to discuss statewide forestry issues and participate in a forest fisheries forum. The meeting and forum will be ...

Subsistence meeting in Sitka

The Southeast Alaska Subsistence Regional Advisory Council will meet March 17-19 at the Sitka Tribal Community House. The meeting begins at 11 a.m. on March 17 and 9 a.m. on March 18-19.

Tune in for Argentina trout fishing

The public is invited to attend the next meeting of the Raincountry Flyfishers at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11 in the Thunder Mountain High School library.

Free safety workshop for commercial fishermen

The Alaska Marine Safety Education Association will offer a Fishing Vessel Drill Conductor Workshop from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 28 at the University of Alaska Southeast Technical ...

Friday, Feb. 27, 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.

Feds spot third baby orca born recently to imperiled pods

SEATTLE - U.S. scientists following endangered killer whales from a research vessel have spotted a newborn orca off the coast of Washington state.

'Water Is Life' Film Fest kicks off March 4

The Inside Passage Waterkeeper will host a Water is Life film festival on Wednesday, March 4 to celebrate Southeast Alaska's clean water, fish, and fishing communities.

Presentation to highlight bear, human experience at the glacier

The public is invited to attend a free lecture by John Neary, Director of the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center, on "Providing a better experience for bears and people at the Mendenhall." The ...

JMR member receives award

Pat Dryer, a member of Juneau Mountain Rescue, has been presented with the inaugural Mel Nading Award for exemplary search and rescue practice.

Deadline approaches for National Youth Science Camp

Two Alaska high school seniors will receive a full scholarship to the National Youth Science Camp this summer to exchange ideas with scientists and other professionals.

Off the Beaten Path: To extinction and back, the shaggy saga of the muskox

I saw my first muskox at the University of Fairbanks farm a decade ago. A few descendants of Greenland animals, transplanted to Alaska 75 years ago, browsed grass on the other side of a fence.
By BJORN DIHLE

Building a legacy of remembrance

If Dick and Candy Behrends could choose their legacy, they'd want it to be that the world remember their son, McKinnon Behrends. They've established multiple scholarships in his name.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Alaska Science Forum: Life on ice at the top of the world

On a February day long ago, a family living in a sod hut near the Arctic Ocean saw blocks of sea ice bulldozing their way onto shore. Winds shoved more ice until the mass towered above them and ...
By NED ROZELL

On the Trails: Owl encounters

Owls are fascinating creatures and I've long found them a special sort of bird. But not being a nocturnal animal myself (dare I say not a "night owl"?), I've never been involved in research on owls.
By Mary Willson

Friday, Feb. 20, 2015

Fly fishing for giants the topic of next Raincountry meeting

The public is invited to this month's meeting of the Raincountry Flyfishers at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 25 in the Thunder Mountain High School library.
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