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Outdoors

Bjorn Dihle | For the Juneau Empire
Mary Catharine Martin cooks dinner next to a small fire the first night of the trip.

Semi-Southeast Adventure: Paddling the Nisutlin River

It's fast becoming a fall tradition for my boyfriend Bjorn Dihle and me to head north and do a week-long paddle on a Yukon river in September, when the trees are turning, the moose are rutting and blue skies are an especially welcome sight.

by MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Off the Beaten Path: Ghosts of the Northwest Passage

Note to reader: The discovery of one of famed Arctic explorer John Franklin's ships occurred more than a month ago.
BJORN DIHLE

Transboundary mine presentations to be held in Juneau, four other SE communities

In an effort to educate the public about several large-scale mining operations planned or already under construction near the border of Southeast Alaska and Canada, Salmon Beyond Borders and the United Tribal Transboundary Mining...

Black wolf exhibit planned for visitor center

A fundraising effort is underway for a planned exhibit at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center featuring the black wolf known to many in the community as "Romeo.
Amy Fletcher

North Douglas boat launch closed Monday for paving

In a release from the City and Borough of Juneau this week, officials announced the temporary closure of the North Douglas launch ramp and parking area on Monday, Oct. 27.

Alaska Science Forum:

Jim Beget spends much of his time digging for clues from long ago, like when a volcanic island might have collapsed into the sea, sending giant waves to distant shores.
NED ROZELL

Invasive species workshop slated Oct. 28-30 in Anchorage

The Alaska Invasive Species Workshop Oct. 28-30 in Anchorage will highlight invasive species management around the state, with an emphasis on elodea and other aquatic plants.

Get ready to vote in Round 2, of Ski Town Throwdown III

Juneau's hometown ski area has advanced to the second round, advancing to the "Sweet 16," in this year's Powder Magazine Ski Town Throwdown, after defeating Fernie, British Columbia in a faceoff on Oct. 14.

Articles from the Outdoors section archive

Off the Beaten Path: Ghosts of the Northwest Passage

Note to reader: The discovery of one of famed Arctic explorer John Franklin's ships occurred more than a month ago.
By BJORN DIHLE

Semi-Southeast Adventure: Paddling the Nisutlin River

It's fast becoming a fall tradition for my boyfriend Bjorn Dihle and me to head north and do a week-long paddle on a Yukon river in September, when the trees are turning, the moose are rutting and ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Black wolf exhibit planned for visitor center

A fundraising effort is underway for a planned exhibit at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center featuring the black wolf known to many in the community as "Romeo.
By Amy Fletcher

North Douglas boat launch closed Monday for paving

In a release from the City and Borough of Juneau this week, officials announced the temporary closure of the North Douglas launch ramp and parking area on Monday, Oct. 27.

Alaska Science Forum:

Jim Beget spends much of his time digging for clues from long ago, like when a volcanic island might have collapsed into the sea, sending giant waves to distant shores.
By NED ROZELL

Invasive species workshop slated Oct. 28-30 in Anchorage

The Alaska Invasive Species Workshop Oct. 28-30 in Anchorage will highlight invasive species management around the state, with an emphasis on elodea and other aquatic plants.

Get ready to vote in Round 2, of Ski Town Throwdown III

Juneau's hometown ski area has advanced to the second round, advancing to the "Sweet 16," in this year's Powder Magazine Ski Town Throwdown, after defeating Fernie, British Columbia in a faceoff ...

Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014

Controversial KSM mine gets key permits

By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Friday, Oct. 17, 2014

Off the Beaten Path: Wildlife, our heritage

Southeast Alaska is one of the few places on Earth where you can trip on a wild salmon, get charged by a brown bear and be pooped on by a bald eagle, all at the same time.
By BJORN DIHLE

On the Trails: The many uses of urine

Reading about porcupine courtship (see last week's essay) made me think about how other animals use this metabolic waste product.
By Mary Willson

From field to freezer

Some of the 16 students in the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's Field to Freezer meat processing class last Saturday had hunted caribou, moose, antelope, grouse, ptarmigan, or whitetail deer ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Alaska Science Forum: Northern Alaska joins the cryosphere

It's mid-October, 118 miles from the Arctic Circle. Time for a walk to work.
By NED ROZELL

What's in Bloom: Prepping primula

With signs of winter in the high hills and trees dropping their leaves all around town, one would think that plants are done for the year. This photo of Primula concholoba shows that it is already ...
By MERRILL JENSEN

Salmon Creek Trail to close on Oct. 20

Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. officials will close the Salmon Creek Trail beginning Monday, Oct. 20 in order to repair an 80-foot section of road, also used by foot traffic, that washed ...

TU launches essay contest with $1,000 award, spot in Trout Magazine

SEATTLE - Trout Unlimited this week launched an essay contest open to the angling public that will net the winning author $1,000 and a spot in an upcoming edition of TROUT Magazine.

Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center to host 'Creatures of the Night'

The public is invited to "Creatures of the Night," as part of the U.S. Forest Service-hosted Fall Fun Festival, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25 at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center.

Community invited to tour CGC SPAR

The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter SPAR invites the Juneau community to tour the ship during their open house from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 19, at the Coast Guard Pier. The tour is free to ...

Friday, Oct. 10, 2014

Winter hours begin at Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center

The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center is now operating on winter hours, which run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The U.S. Forest Service center is closed on federal ...

Windfall Lake Trail improvements dubbed 'art'

Windfall Lake Trail saw a local kind of upgrade this summer.

Great Alaska ShakeOut scheduled

Don't worry, it's only a drill. At 10:16 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 16, the Great Alaska ShakeOut, an opportunity for all Alaskans to practice what to do in an earthquake, will take place.

Shellfish farming workshop and lectures offered

The Southeast Alaska Shellfish Farming Workshop in Ketchikan and evening lectures in four other Southeast Alaska communities this month will offer a comprehensive look at this growing industry.

BLM announces Fee-Free Days for 2015

The Bureau of Land Management, in conjunction with other agencies within the Department of the Interior, will waive recreation-related fees for visitors to the National System of Public Lands on ...

Eaglecrest picked again for Powder Magazine's Ski Town Throwdown

Eaglecrest Ski Area will be featured as one of 32 ski resorts across North America in this year's Ski Town Throwdown, hosted by Powder Magazine, according to a release from the skil area this ...

Off the Beaten Path: Dogs of our lives

The other day my girlfriend, MC, and I decided to hike the Thunder Mountain traverse to East Glacier. We called up our friends, Jesse and Monika Walker, and asked if we could borrow their golden ...
By BJORN DIHLE

Alaska Science Forum: Fire on the mountain near the Yukon River

A smoking mountain near the Yukon River not far from Eagle is, after further study, still a puzzle. People first noticed acrid smoke in September 2012. The mountain has been steaming ever since, ...
By NED ROZELL

What's in Bloom: Fall!

Autumn brings a different sort of "bloom" to the gardens around Juneau and the Jensen-Olson Arboretum is no exception.
By MERRILL JENSEN

On the Trails: Porcupines: I'm stuck on you

A young porcupine trundled up the trail ahead of us, one day in late September, before seeking cover in the forest nearby. The young ones are about half-grown now and independent of their mothers.
By Mary Willson

Dan Olsen's orca Wildlife Wednesday

The calls of orcas have a lot to teach humans. For one, killer whales have cultural drift. At a recent Southeast Alaska Wildlife Alliance talk, University of Alaska Fairbanks Ph.D candidate Dan ...
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.

Friday, Oct. 3, 2014

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.

4-H Week marked in Alaska

Alaska 4-H will celebrate National 4-H Week Oct. 5-11 with activities that include a national science experiment. Oct. 8 is 4-H National Youth Science Day.

Off the Beaten Path: Political reflections during a hike of the Juneau Ridge

Recently I returned to Southeast after three weeks of wandering in the Interior to find a deluge of Dan Sullivan for Senate ads circulating on the Internet. At first, I thought it was a joke gone ...
By BJORN DIHLE

October is Farm to School month

PALMER - The Division of Agriculture Farm to School program is partnering with child nutrition programs to promote Farm to School activities and Local Lunch Day at schools across the state during ...

50,000 king penguins and more

Come learn about penguins during the Juneau Audubon Society's first free public presentation next Thursday, Oct. 9 at the Thunder Mountain High School library.

What's in Bloom: Bugbane

Actaea simplex (Atropurpurea Group) "Brunette," also known as "bugbane," blooms from late September into October until the flowers and foliage collapse under the autumnal rains.
By MERRILL JENSEN

Alaska Science Forum: The mammoth mystery of St. Paul Island

One foggy day on St. Paul Island, a woolly mammoth stepped onto a trapdoor of greenery. It plunged 30 feet to the floor of a cave. There was no exit.
By NED ROZELL

On the Trails: Muskeg ponds

The little ponds that dot many local muskegs are worlds of their own, with a variety of inhabitants. On a September tour of a dozen or two of these ponds at mid elevation, friends and I found ...
By Mary Willson

'Sopping wet' fall, winter ahead

Unusually warm ocean temperatures in the Gulf of Alaska mean a warm, wet fall and winter for Southeast Alaska, but what they mean for this year's juvenile salmon is yet to be seen.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Friday, Sept. 26, 2014

Wildlife Wednesday lectures kick off with killer whales

Wildlife Wednesday is starting its season of educational events beginning with a speech from Dan Olsen about killer whale culture from 7-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 1 in the Thunder Mountain High ...

From field to plate, get tips on processing, storing game

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is offering fall Alaskans Afield classes centered on hunting, processing and cooking deer and wild game. The classes are intended for new hunters, age 10 and ...

Brooks Camp Visitor Center extends fall hours

The Brooks Camp Visitor Center will be open through Oct. 12 of this year, according to a recent release from the national park. Traditionally, this visitor center is closed for the season ...

JAS posts summer bird report

The Juneau Audubon Society has posted this summer's bird report on their website, http://www.juneau-audubon-society.org.

Alaskans invited to stake land for remote recreational cabin sites

The Department of Natural Resources is inviting Alaskans interested in owning a piece of the Last Frontier to participate in the 2014 Remote Recreational Cabin Sites staking program.

ADF&G now taking photos for 2015 sport fishing regulations cover

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is conducting its annual regulations summary cover photo contest. The winning photo will appear on the cover of the regional 2015 Southeast Alaska sport ...

Juneau Alpine Club to host Stewart to Meek traverse

Members of the Juneau Alpine Club will be setting out to traverse from Mount Ben Stewart to Mount Meek on Douglas Island on Saturday.

A Trip North

A Gustavus-grown scientist recently completed a 2,000 mile journey by foot and kayak from Stanford, California to Southeast Alaska, aiming to raise money for a science institute he plans at the ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Climate change and crabapples

The Pacific Northwest's climate is changing, and those changes are affecting cultures closely aligned with the land.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

On the Trails: The last throes of summer

Early September - and Gold Ridge earned its name in a botanical (rather than a mineral) way; the open slopes were covered with the golden leaves of deer cabbage. Color accents came from the ...
By 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.

Friday, Sept. 19, 2014

Alaska Science Forum: Minto earthquakes then, now and tomorrow

MINTO - Sarah Silas, 89, smiled as she remembered an earthquake that shook her village more than 60 years ago. The floor of her cabin swayed so that her young son staggered away from her.
By NED ROZELL

Trails program to hold teleconference to assist grant applicants

ANCHORAGE - The Alaska State Trails Program will host a public teleconference for potential Recreational Trails Program grant applicants from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 24. New and ...

Alaskan Brewing partners with TGR, Jones Snowboards

At the premiers of Jeremy Jones' new snowboarding film, "Higher," there will be more than just Alaska featured in the film.

Tern colonies failed this year near Mendenhall, South Sawyer glaciers

Arctic terns may fly thousands of miles north to the same Southeast Alaskan nesting area year after year, but their colonies are not always successful.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Discover Eaglecrest Day highlights ski hill history through new auction

At Eaglecrest Ski Area's annual pre-season open house Saturday, the soon-to-be finished Porcupine Lodge will be "front and center," said Eaglecrest general manager Matt Lillard. It's a big topic ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

On the Trails: Bumblebees

In early spring, I look forward to seeing the first bumblebees, visiting willow catkins and early blueberry flowers. These are queens, which mated last fall and then hibernated, each one usually ...
By Mary Willson

What's in Bloom: Sneezeweed

Sneezeweed, Helenium autumnale, as its species name implies, is a fall-blooming perennial native to most of North America. Easy to care for, it grows from 3 to 6 feet tall in sunny locations with ...
By MERRILL JENSEN

Bruce, Josephine and the sea

Bruce Nelson and Josephine Purcell have been waiting their whole fishing lives to catch the 7-foot, 2-inch, 330-pound halibut they landed after an hour-long battle last Monday.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN
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