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Outdoors

Photo by Bob Armstrong
A kind of jelly fungus called witch's butter. Species identity is uncertain without looking at the spores under a microscope.

On the Trails: Finding color in the rain

On a stroll through the forest, occasionally a small, bright orange or yellow spot attracts the eye. Looking more closely, one can see that they are fungi of jelly-like consistency, growing on dead twigs and branches.

by Mary Willson

Dirt Girl: Mapping your garden

Snow might be in the forecast, but lately, winter has felt too close to spring temperatures not to think about gardening.
CORINNE CONLON

Ice worms: Enigmas of the north

Recent research on the ice worm has shone some light on the tiny creature that appears when the sun sets on warmish glaciers. Few people have seen ice worms, but they are not mythical.
NED ROZELL

Traveling Outside: Underwater fly fishing in Maui

Tony: Recently, on a family trip to Maui, my grandson Alain and I decided to try fly-fishing not only for different species, but in a way we'd never even heard of. Instead of fishing from shore, we fished underwater.
TONY SOLTYS and ALAIN THOMAS SOLTYS-GRAY

Today's Fireside Lecture centered on humpback whales

University of Alaska Southeast assistant professor Heidi Pearson will present her research on the behavior of humpback whales and dolphins today during two Fireside Lectures at Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. 

This week's snow report

This week’s snow report: Eaglecrest Ski Area: New snow (24 hours): • Base: 0 inches • Top: 0 inches New Snow (48 hours): • Base: 0 inches • Top: 0 inches Total snow: • Base...

$950,000 for 2016 marine debris cleanup

Despite the tons of marine debris that have been removed from Alaska shorelines in recent years, large quantities are still accumulating.

NOAA releases new action plans for at-risk species

Today, NOAA Fisheries released new five-year action plans for the eight marine species identified as among the most at risk of extinction through NOAA's Species in the Spotlight.

Territorial Sportsmen fundraiser

The sixteenth annual Southeast Fundraiser of the Territorial Sportsmen, Inc./Alaska Outdoor Council will be at Centennial Hall on Friday, Feb. 26. Gov. Bill Walker will be speaking for a short time around 7:15 to 7:30 (the dinner itself...

USFS ammending Tongass land use plan

The U.S. Forest Service is amending the 2008 Tongass Land Use and Resource Management plan.

Articles from the Outdoors section archive

Friday, Feb. 12, 2016

On the Trails: Finding color in the rain

On a stroll through the forest, occasionally a small, bright orange or yellow spot attracts the eye. Looking more closely, one can see that they are fungi of jelly-like consistency, growing on ...
By Mary Willson

Ice worms: Enigmas of the north

Recent research on the ice worm has shone some light on the tiny creature that appears when the sun sets on warmish glaciers. Few people have seen ice worms, but they are not mythical.
By NED ROZELL

Traveling Outside: Underwater fly fishing in Maui

Tony: Recently, on a family trip to Maui, my grandson Alain and I decided to try fly-fishing not only for different species, but in a way we'd never even heard of. Instead of fishing from shore, ...
By TONY SOLTYS and ALAIN THOMAS SOLTYS-GRAY

Dirt Girl: Mapping your garden

Snow might be in the forecast, but lately, winter has felt too close to spring temperatures not to think about gardening.
By CORINNE CONLON

$950,000 for 2016 marine debris cleanup

Despite the tons of marine debris that have been removed from Alaska shorelines in recent years, large quantities are still accumulating.

Today's Fireside Lecture centered on humpback whales

University of Alaska Southeast assistant professor Heidi Pearson will present her research on the behavior of humpback whales and dolphins today during two Fireside Lectures at Mendenhall Glacier ...

NOAA releases new action plans for at-risk species

Today, NOAA Fisheries released new five-year action plans for the eight marine species identified as among the most at risk of extinction through NOAA's Species in the Spotlight.

Territorial Sportsmen fundraiser

The sixteenth annual Southeast Fundraiser of the Territorial Sportsmen, Inc./Alaska Outdoor Council will be at Centennial Hall on Friday, Feb. 26. Gov. Bill Walker will be speaking for a short ...

USFS ammending Tongass land use plan

The U.S. Forest Service is amending the 2008 Tongass Land Use and Resource Management plan.

Friday, Feb. 5, 2016

Casting for fish - the practice rounds

Tony Soltys, president of Raincountry Flyfishers, has been honing Juneau's flyfishing technique since 1993.

Off the Beaten Path: A humble request for Playbird Magazine

Dear Mr. Hugh Hefner: Both you and I know there comes a time when the pleasures of Earth no longer amount to much.
By BJORN DIHLE

Where winter stays

This January may not have had much snowfall, but it's still winter out Montana Creek, where volunteers with the Juneau Nordic Ski Club have been grooming every day since November.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

On the Trails: Song Sparrows

Winter is not the best time for watching land birds. Eagles, crows, and ravens, yes. There are lots of ducks and gulls on the water, and perhaps an occasional flock of shorebirds at the tide line. ...
By Mary Willson

Alaska Science Forum: Polar bears walking a treadmill of ice

Stronger winds and thinner ice are forcing Alaska polar bears to work harder to remain in Alaska, according to scientists who have studied increased movements of both sea ice and bears.
By NED ROZELL

NOAA releases draft climate science action plan for southeastern Bering Sea

As part of its efforts to increase the production, delivery, and use of climate-related information, NOAA Fisheries on Feb. 3 released a draft climate science action plan for the southeastern ...

• Base: .1 • Top: 7 • Base: .7 • Top: 7 • Base: 7 inches • Top: 91 inches • Base: 35 F • Top: 30 F • Base: 5 mph • Top: 27 mph For mountain conditions and grooming reports go online to ...

Master gardener classes

It's not too early to think about this year's garden. The UAF Cooperative Extension Service will offer master gardener training in Juneau, beginning Feb. 9. The course will be offered at the ...

Southeast Alaska deer hunting reports due to ADF&G

The Sitka black-tailed deer hunting season is now closed in Southeast Alaska. All hunters who obtained deer harvest tickets, even those who did not hunt or harvest a deer, must now return ...

Arctic Ocean sea ice lecture

The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center's free Fireside Lecture this evening will be presented by Arctic oceanographer Zach Brown, who recently received his PhD from Stanford University.

Kobuk, Wulik, Situk fly fishing

Juneau's flyfishing club, Raincountry Flyfishers. will meet Wednesday Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Thunder Mountain High School library.

Killer and humpback whales

Juneau resident Doug Jones will next Thursday talk at the Juneau Audubon Society's Feb. 11 program about killer and humpback whales. The talk is called "Killer and Humpback Whales: What We Don't See.

Middle school air rifle season underway

Juneau's middle school shooting sport athletes are halfway through their fifth season. Jan. 28, they competed in the first match of the season at Floyd Dryden Middle School.

Friday, Jan. 29, 2016

IPHC increases halibut quota 2.3 percent

The International Pacific Halibut Commission raised halibut quota for the second time in as many years, adding a glimmer of hope to a fishery troubled by stock declines and political squabbles. In ...
By DJ SUMMERS

Eaglecrest snow report

• Base: 0 • Top: 0 • Base: 0 • Top: 0 • Base: 7 inches • Top: 93 inches • Base: 38 F • Top: 32 F • Base: 10 mph • Top: 27 mph For mountain conditions and grooming reports go online to ...

Forest Service invites guide allocation comments

SITKA-The Tongass National Forest is proposing new outfitter and guide allocations on the Tongass National Forest marine shoreline zone to be consistent with the 2008 Tongass Land and Resource ...

Eaglecrest to reopen Saturday; rollback weekend postponed

Eaglecrest Ski Area, which closed Thursday, will reopen for skiing and snowboarding across the whole mountain on Saturday, Jan. 30. Porcupine, Hooter, and Ptarmigan chairlifts will operate from 9 ...

Ketchikan board wants members

Applications are currently being accepted for three vacancies on the nine-member Ketchikan State Parks Citizen Advisory Board for the term beginning in mid-February.

Fireside chat: polar bears

The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center's free Fireside Lecture on Friday, Jan. 29 will be presented by local photographer and guide Laurent Dick.

Out walkin' after midnight

It's not bedtime quite yet for at least three bears in the Juneau area - one in the Auke Bay ferry terminal area, one downtown and one on Back Loop.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Off the Beaten Path: My first polar bear

On a muddy beach on Barter Island, near the still waters of the Beaufort Sea, small polar bear prints mixed with the track of a dirt bike that had been spinning brodies. It took me a second before ...
By BJORN DIHLE

The (human) future of Alaska's fisheries

Alaska's fishing fleet may be graying, but there isn't much gray at the sixth annual Alaska Young Fishermen's Summit, hosted by the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program and held this week in ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

On the Trails: Big things from small ones

We marvel at the flight of hummingbirds, the songs of humpback whales, or a mountain goat leaping from ledge to ledge. Good! But small things are worth some contemplation too, even extremely small ...
By Mary Willson

Friday, Jan. 22, 2016

Senator moves to halt proposed ban on Alaska predator hunts

FAIRBANKS - U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan is looking to stop a proposed U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ban on some bear, wolf and coyote hunts on federal wildlife refuges in the state.

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.

Off the Beaten Path: The Sinking of the Islander and the Legend of its Lost Gold

In mid August of 1901, the SS Islander, a 240-foot luxury steamer deemed "unsinkable" and designed specifically for the Inside Passage, set sail from Skagway.
By BJORN DIHLE

Report: Some yellow cedars to remain healthy through 2100

It turns out polar bears and yellow cedar trees have something common. So do ice seals and red cedars. That commonality: One is negatively impacted by climate change; the other appears to be a ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

On the Trails: Wrens

The little brown bird that we have long called the winter wren nests in forests across northern North America and Eurasia (plus a bit in North Africa). Because it is the only wren on the other ...
By By MARY WILLSON

The case for rallying around sea ice

The ice floating on top of the world covers pretty much the entire Arctic Ocean in midwinter. By late summer it shrinks to half that much. If trends continue, by mid-century the summer ice may ...
By NED ROZELL

Planetarium: 100 Years of General Relativity

Steve Kocsis, who teaches astronomy at the University of Alaska, Southeast, will present '100 years of Einstein's General Theory' at the Marie Drake Planetarium on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 6:30 p.m.

Fireside lecture: Capitol history

Today's Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center Fireside Lecture, the third of the season, will focus on the history of Alaska's Capitol.

Observatory permits soon

WRANGELL-Permits will soon become available for those wanting an opportunity to view bears at Anan Wildlife Observatory this summer. Starting Feb. 1 at 8 a.m., the public will be able to reserve ...

Treadwell comment period extended

The US Forest Service is providing an additional six-day comment period on the Treadwell Ditch Trail Environmental Assessment by accepting comments from Jan. 20 through midnight Monday, January ...

Girls on Ice accepting applications

Girls on Ice, a free wilderness education program, is accepting applications now through Jan. 29.

New snow (24 hours): • Base: trace • Top: 2 inches New Snow (48 hours): • Base: trace • Top: 3.

Commerce secretary approves halibut bycatch plan

The Secretary of Commerce has approved a fishery management plan amendment to reduce halibut bycatch in four sectors of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands groundfish fisheries.

Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016

Beluga concerns arise for Cook Inlet oil leasing

With the annual lease sale approaching and the Alaska LNG Project proposed to enter Cook Inlet, some groups are asking what oil and gas development may do to beluga whale habitat in the inlet.
By ELIZABETH EARL

Friday, Jan. 15, 2016

Juneau cabins break attendance records

Juneau's U.S. Forest Service roadside cabins set rental records this year. For the fiscal year between Oct. 1, 2014 and Sept. 20, 2015, "we posted the highest use we've seen," said Juneau Ranger ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Murres in Southeast affected by die-off

One of Alaska's most common seabirds is dying off in unusually high numbers, and though the majority of common murres found dead have been in Southcentral Alaska, Southeast Alaska also is affected.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Traveling Outside

We Southeast Alaskans love Southeast Alaska, but we also love traveling to other (usually less rainy) parts of the world and hiking, biking, birding, scuba diving or _____ing in the great outdoors ...

Traveling Outside: A landscape of hidden folk

After my daughter and I returned from a recent trip to Iceland, I began thinking about how Icelandic alpine is different from Juneau's. I knew it was, but when a coworker asked, I couldn't ...
By CORINNE CONLON

On the Trails: January ice and snow

A bright, cold day-just right for a little exploration. A friend and I headed for Hilda meadows: up Trickster (not groomed), onto the groomed upper cross-country ski loop, over the snow bridge on ...
By Mary Willson

New snow (24 hours): • Base: 0 inches • Top: 11.2 inches New Snow (48 hours): • Base: 0 inches • Top: 11.

A day of adaptive skiing

Southeast Alaska Independent Living (SAIL)/Outdoor Recreation and Community Access (ORCA) have teamed up with Eaglecrest Ski Area for their annual "Learn to Adapt" Day (Adaptive Ski and Snowboard ...
By Juneau Empire

New report provides conservation and management strategies for climate-sensitive yellow-cedar in Alaska

The U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station Wednesday released a new report that outlines a climate adaptation strategy for yellow-cedar in Alaska.
By Juneau Empire

Learn to ski and snowboard

January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month, which includes the 34th annual Learn to Ski Weekend on January 16 and 17 at Eaglecrest Ski Area.
By Juneau Empire

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