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Outdoors

Courtesy of Bob Armstrong
An American Dipper, the only aquatic songbird in North America, dives to look for a buggy meal in a pile of wood debris. These wood piles are important parts of aquatic ecosystems for salmon, dippers and insects, says Juneau naturalist Bob Armstrong.

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

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

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.
MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

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.
BJORN DIHLE

Feds track seabird loss in North Pacific waters

ANCHORAGE — The number of seabirds, including gulls, puffins and auklets, has dropped significantly in the Gulf of Alaska and northeast Bering Sea, a possible consequence of warmer waters, according to a preliminary...
Dan Joling

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 fossils.
Mary Willson

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.
MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

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.
MERRILL JENSEN

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 awards will be divided into two tiers.

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 Fireside Lecture on Friday, March 20.

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 offices between 8 a.m. Alaska time on March...

Articles from the Outdoors section archive

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.

Applications for McNeil River bear viewing permits due March 1

The application deadline for lottery permits to visit Alaska's premier brown bear viewing site at McNeil River State Game Sanctuary is fast approaching, according to a release this week from the ...

Nordic ski trail report

Lower Loop trails at Eaglecrest are currently closed due to poor snow conditions. Mendenhall Campground is not being groomed due to low snow conditions, though it is still skiable. Montana Creek, ...

Eaglecrest season pass holders get discounts

According to a release this week from Eaglecrest Ski Area, season pass holders are eligible for a 50 percent discount off of published rates on designated days and times at the Treadwell Ice ...

Flora of SE Alaska class offered at UAS

A new biology class offered at the University of Alaska Southeast, Sitka Campus by associate professor Kitty LaBounty will itself be a "hybrid," according to a release this week.

Fireside lecture highlights Chilkoot River brown bears

Stories and images of Haines' Chilkoot River brown bears will fill the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center's movie screen on Friday, Feb.

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: Snow at last!

After a very dreary, dismal January, February produced some nice snow. Not enough, of course, and it didn't last. But for a few days, snow made the daylight hours brighter and provided splendid ...
By Mary Willson

ADFG forecasts more kings on the Kenai River

If the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's preseason forecast for the early run of chinook salmon on the Kenai River proves to be accurate, it will be the second lowest run on the river in 30 years.
By RASHAH MCCHESNEY

'The Breach' to show in Juneau

"There's a deep wisdom shared by all salmon," an Irish voice tells viewers of "The Breach," a documentary that will have its Juneau premier this evening. "We know just what to do. We just need the ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Alaska Science Forum: A yearly flood into the Gulf of Alaska

Satellite data has confirmed that the amount of freshwater released into the Gulf of Alaska from streams and rivers in Alaska and northern Canada is about 1.5 times what the Mississippi River ...
By NED ROZELL

Friday, Feb. 13, 2015

Xboundary goes live

Salmon without Borders and the Alaska Program of Trout Unlimited have released a six-minute video, "Xboundary," highlighting Southeast Alaskan worries about Canadian mines in transboundary watersheds.

Climate-change education this weekend at the glacier

Reed College professor of history and environmental studies Joshua Howe will discuss climate change and his book, "Behind the Curve," at this Friday's Mendenhall Visitor Center Fireside Lecture.

'King of Fish' book-dropped around Southeast Alaska

The Salmon Project distributed 100 free copies of David Montgomery's book "King of Fish: The Thousand Year Run of Salmon" on Feb.

Alaska premiere of salmon, Pebble film

Commercial salmon fishermen, tribal representatives, sport anglers and salmon lovers will convene in Anchorage for the Alaska premiere of the award-winning film, "The Breach," at 8 p.m. on ...
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