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Outdoors

Mary Catharine Martin | Juneau Empire
From left to right, Kristy Tibbles, Michael Orsborn and Olivia Orsborn were some of the most successful fire-builders in the Outdoor Survival class hosted by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. They leaned the fire up against a rock both to reflect heat and provide a resting place for the fire starter. This class was one in a series of courses being hosted this summer titled "Alaskans Afield."

How to survive in the (Southeast Alaska) wilderness

You're returning from a walk in the woods, but you're running behind schedule.
It's getting dark.
The temperature is dropping.
One member of your group is not used to hiking and is extremely tired.

by MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Gustavus meadows

I recently visited Gustavus for a few days, so I had a chance to do a little exploring on a landscape very different from that of Juneau.

What's in Bloom: Bighead Knapweed

Bighead Knapweed, centaurea macrocephala, is one of the most asked-about plants at the Jensen-Olson Arboretum when it's in bloom. While many knapweeds are listed as highly invasive, C. macrocephala is well-mannered in gardens here in...
MERRILL JENSEN

Public comment period opens for KSM mine

Canadian officials this week announced the start of a new 30-day public comment period on the Canadian federal government's environmental assessment of the controversial Kerr Sulphurets Mitchell mine proposal.

Bird Bits: Who is that masked bird?

The bandit-marked male common yellowthroat, along with family members feathered with pale yellow bellies and olive-colored backs, skulk low in dense tangles of wet vegetation and underbrush. These are warblers.
PATRICIA WHERRY

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, July 25, 2014

Bird Bits: Who is that masked bird?

The bandit-marked male common yellowthroat, along with family members feathered with pale yellow bellies and olive-colored backs, skulk low in dense tangles of wet vegetation and underbrush. These ...
By PATRICIA WHERRY

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.

How to survive in the (Southeast Alaska) wilderness

You're returning from a walk in the woods, but you're running behind schedule. It's getting dark. The temperature is dropping. One member of your group is not used to hiking and is extremely tired.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Gustavus meadows

I recently visited Gustavus for a few days, so I had a chance to do a little exploring on a landscape very different from that of Juneau.

What's in Bloom: Bighead Knapweed

Bighead Knapweed, centaurea macrocephala, is one of the most asked-about plants at the Jensen-Olson Arboretum when it's in bloom. While many knapweeds are listed as highly invasive, C. ...
By MERRILL JENSEN

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Public comment period opens for KSM mine

Canadian officials this week announced the start of a new 30-day public comment period on the Canadian federal government's environmental assessment of the controversial Kerr Sulphurets Mitchell ...

Friday, July 18, 2014

Forest Service reopens Nugget Falls trail

The Nugget Falls trail at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center has reopened for hikers.

Wrangell Bearfest opens next week

The fifth annual Wrangell Bearfest will take place July 23-27. The festival is a five-day celebration of the natural and cultural resources around Wrangell, with an emphasis on bears.

This week's Southeast sportfish report

Marine boat anglers and shore-based anglers continue to catch hatchery king salmon in Auke Bay, North Douglas, DIPAC, and Fish Creek pond.

Albino robin shows up at raptor center

On May 28, an all-white bird with pink eyes was delivered to a Juneau Raptor Center volunteer's home. The person that delivered the bird said there were adult robins close to where this bird was ...

Exploring the shores of Lincoln Island

After arriving on Lincoln Island, friends and I tucked our tents into the forest above a broad beach, stretched a kitchen rainfly in a sheltered spot in case of storm, and were free to start ...

Whales may impact herring stocks' recovery

While whales are not to blame for the decline of herring in places like Lynn Canal and Prince William Sound, they may be keeping depleted stocks down.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

SHI aims to rebuild stocks to culturally, archaeologically indicated levels at historical locations

Archaeological records and cultural memory indicate that in addition to being more abundant in Southeast Alaska, herring spawning locations were once more consistent.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Underwater salmon cam operating again

A famed underwater camera is again providing the perspective of salmon and other fish in Steep Creek, near the Mendenhall Glacier. Sockeye, in their full spawning colors, arrived a few days ago.

As rain soaks Alaska, state's wildland firefighters head south

State fire officials say Alaska firefighting crews and personnel are headed Outside as wildland fire potential decreases in much of the state. The Gannett Glacier and White Mountain crews are on ...

Time to start picking

The blueberries are here early, and they're here in big, juicy spades. To blueberry aficionados, they seem more abundant this year than the previous five.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Friday, July 11, 2014

On the Trails: Ralston Island

On a recent morning, friends and I arrived at the wide beach on Ralston Island with a following breeze and set out to explore. The trail marked on old topographic maps proved hard to find, but a ...
By Mary Willson

482-pound halibut caught near Glacier Bay

GUSTAVUS - A Southern California man caught a giant Pacific halibut near Gustavus last week that rivals the sportfishing world record.
By ANDY MARTIN

Herring search spans millennia

Southeast Alaska's Pacific herring populations seem to be on the rebound, but even in fisheries regarded as healthy, some contend herring are significantly depleted from historical levels ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

What's in Bloom: Masterwort

Masterwort, Astrantia major, is one of the workhorses of Juneau's summer gardens. This carefree, low maintenance member of the carrot family blooms continuously from high summer into fall with ...
By 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.

Sport fish report for the week of July 7

King salmon Hatchery king salmon fishing continued to be good for both marine boat anglers and shore based anglers in the immediate Juneau area. The local areas where anglers are having luck are: ...

An Alaskan Light

"The land was ours before we were the land's." -Robert Frost, "The Gift Outright" A Northeasterner born and bred, I moved west in 1990, to a small college town in the Columbia Basin, and I was not ...

Mt. Roberts Saturday Wild Walk

The next Audubon Society Saturday Wild Walk will be held from 8:15 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday. Participants are to meet at the Mount Roberts Tram. Tram tickets can be purchased from JAS for a ...

Friday, July 4, 2014

Sitka and Angoon Shoreline II public meetings

SITKA - Officials with the Tongass National Forest are inviting the public to attend meetings and submit comments on managing outfitters and guides on the Admiralty National Monument, Hoonah, ...

Alaska Geospatial Council to begin coordinating state geospatial efforts

ANCHORAGE - Governor Sean Parnell has signed a Memorandum of Agreement establishing the Alaska Geospatial Council (AGC) and charging it with coordinating efforts involving geospatial data ...

NPS announced temporary closure due to nesting birds

The superintendent of Glacier Bay, Philip Hooge, announced the closure of a small island south of Leland Island to protect a high concentration of nesting seabirds. The closure is in effect from ...

Mendenhall Lake campers warned to properly secure food from foraging bears

JUNEAU - Several campers at the Mendenhall Lake Campground have recently learned that illegally storing food in their tents is an irresistible attraction for bears - and have the shredded tents to ...

Outdoor Recreational Trails Advisory Board recruiting for board opening

ANCHORAGE - The Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation is seeking candidates to fill an open board position representing northwestern Alaska on the Outdoor Recreational Trails Advisory Board.

Coast Guard encourages safety for Alaska boaters during Independence Day celebration

As Independence Day weekend begins, the Coast Guard 17th District urges Alaskan boaters to keep safe.

State reminds residents of Fourth of July Fire prevention

Recreational activities during the Fourth of July weekend frequently ignite wildfires, according to a release from the State of Alaska this week.

Native Plant Conservation MOU Renewed in Coordination with Western Governors' Association

The Bureau of Land Management hosted the 2014 Seed Conference this week, to celebrate 20 years of public-private partnerships for native plant conservation.

Bird Bits: Tidbits about the great blue heron

Come spring, being a great blue heron parent means that both the male and female are into child rearing for the long haul. The male builds or refurbishes an existing flat nest of sticks.
By PATRICIA WHERRY

What's in Bloom: Primula vialii

One of our summer blooming primroses, Primula vialii, is also one of the most captivating ones grown at the Jensen-Olson Arboretum in the national Primula collection, recognized by the North ...
By MERRILL JENSEN

Sport fish report for the week of June 30

King salmon Hatchery king salmon fishing continued to be good for both marine boat anglers and shore based anglers in the immediate Juneau area, and strong numbers of king salmon supported high ...

Herring return to Auke Bay

By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Live cam shows Arctic snowy owl, chicks

ANCHORAGE - A high-definition camera trained on a burrow near the nation's northernmost city is allowing researchers and any bird viewer with an Internet connection an unfettered view into the ...
By MARK THIESSEN

Friday, June 27, 2014

Unmanned aircraft prohibited in America's National Parks

National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis signed a policy memorandum this week that directs superintendents nationwide to prohibit launching, landing or operating unmanned aircraft on ...

Federal Subsistence Harvest of Wildlife Regulations Book Now Available

Printed copies of the July 1,2014 to June 30, 2016 Federal Subsistence Management Regulations for the Harvest of Wildlife on Federal Public Lands in Alaska book are now available.

Running around Douglas Island

Around the beginning of June, Bryce Iverson and Tristan Knutson-Lombardo ran around Douglas Island. "We did the entire island," Iverson wrote in an email. "(We) started with a 14-mile road run and ...

Chinook News provides statewide perspective on major issues surrounding Chinook salmon in Alaska

"Chinook salmon are iconic to Alaska and its people and have been one of our most valuable resources for thousands of years," said Cora Campbell, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and ...

Sport fish report for the week of June 23

King salmon Hatchery king salmon fishing continues to produce fish for both marine boat anglers and shore based anglers. The local areas where anglers are having luck are: Auke Bay, Fritz Cove, ...

Bird Bits: The demanding fledgling

Fledgling common ravens are everywhere! "Caw, caw, caw, caw … feed me, feed me, feed me," they seem to say. The hefty teenagers are out of the nest, but they are still pressing demands on their ...
By PATRICIA WHERRY

Off the Beaten Path: The bears, wolves of Kupreanof Island

The morning dawned clear on the Horn Cliffs that led toward Thomas Bay, the setting for Harry D. Colp's iconic narrative "The Strangest Story Ever Told.
By BJORN DIHLE

From a glacial river to a salmon stream?

Southeast Alaska's watersheds are changing quickly, and researchers are working to figure out how, why, and what those changes mean.
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.

What's in Bloom: Herbaceous peonies

Herbaceous peonies, scientifically known as Paeonia sp., are the aristocrats of the gardening world. These large-flowered, long-lived plants (often easily outliving their original planters) should ...
By MERRILL JENSEN

Friday, June 20, 2014

Bird Bits: The invisible bird

In the top of a cottonwood, a slender bird stretched a silhouetted wing and leg. That's it. That's all I saw. The gray bird, a variation of the "little brown job," was identified for me by Mary ...
By PATRICIA WHERRY

Fish success

Most people know False Outer Point is a good place to fish for king salmon in late April and May. What they don't know is why. Bill Heard, a retired scientist with NOAA, has a theory that answers ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

What's in Bloom: Iris 'Gracchus'

Iris "Gracchus" - this is a very old cultivar of iris that was first introduced to cultivation in Europe in 1884.
By MERRILL JENSEN

On the Trails: Happy endings

I hang out near the Mendenhall glacier quite often and, as the season progresses, I get to see many interesting things. Sometimes the observations make a nice story. Here are two little stories ...
By Mary Willson

MOTHER DUCK

Mother duck and her ducklings, three Needed to cross the road, you see To reach the pond with the bright clear water And the tasty weeds, and the silly otter.
By LINDA SHAW

Off the Beaten Path: Exploring the Stikine Delta by kayak, foot

This spring I attended the Little Norway Festival in Petersburg. It seemed remarkably tame in comparison to the shenanigans I'd experienced there two years prior. Maybe it was me - perhaps I've ...
By BJORN DIHLE

Alaska Science Forum: Number of Alaska glaciers is everchanging

A glaciologist once wrote that the number of glaciers in Alaska estimated at (greater than) 100,000. That fuzzy number, perhaps written in passive voice for a reason, might be correct. But it ...
By NED ROZELL

Crystal, Glacier and Moraine lakes open to king salmon fishing

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced that Glacier, Moraine and Crystal lakes will open to king salmon fishing from June 18, 2014 through Dec. 31, 2014. The bag and possession limit ...

Sport fish report for the week of June 16

King salmon Hatchery king salmon fishing has improved for shoreline and marine boat anglers as increasing numbers of fish return to the Terminal Harvest Area around Juneau.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Comments period extended for Heintlzman Ridge peak name proposal

The U.S. Board of Geographic Names, which has authority to name geographic features for federal use, has received two proposals to name the same peak on Heintlzman Ridge. The area to be named is a ...

Friday, June 13, 2014

Sport fish report for the week of June 9

King salmon Although fewer king salmon were harvested in the Juneau area this week compared to last, anglers continued to bring king salmon back to Juneau area docks.

ADF&G kicks off Alaskans Afield, an outdoor class series

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has a new series of courses aimed at getting families outside. Dubbed Alaskans Afield, these summer classes are a way to provide fun, safe, hands-on learning ...

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