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Outdoors

Photo by Mark Kelley
Juneau photographer Mark Kelley won the Adventure Category of the 2013 Windland Smith Rice International Awards with this image, "Vernal Falls Rainbow," from Yosemite National Park.

Mark Kelley gets photo in Smithsonian exhibit

Local photographer Mark Kelley has received the biggest award of his career, landing a photograph in an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

by MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

On the Trails: Frosty paradise

The trail through Cowee Meadows to the cabin and the beach has seen significant improvement (thank you, State Parks!), with more to come. In mid-November, red squirrels were belatedly and busily carrying nest material for a winter snuggery.
Mary Willson

Off the Beaten Path: Quest for snow

Lately I've noticed many folks, skis strapped to their backpacks, wandering the streets and trails with looks of desperation tinged with excitement. Teachers, doctors, lawyers, construction workers and others stare at the mountains,...
BJORN DIHLE

Alaska Science Forum: Villager's remains led to 1918 flu breakthrough

The revival of the virus responsible for the 1918 Spanish flu, the killer of millions of people, was the end of a long journey for Johan Hultin.
NED ROZELL

USFS reminds citizens of winter ice, cave safety

As winter approaches and temperatures continue to drop, the Forest Service is reminding people to keep safety in mind when visiting the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area, according to a release from the agency.

Montana Creek Road sees seasonal closure, parking expanded

The City and Borough of Juneau has closed Montana Creek Road for the winter season for the portion beyond the gate at the Hank Harmon Rifle Range.

Grants available honoring 150th anniversary of Alaska Purchase

The Alaska Historical Commission has $125,000 available for matching grants to plan and prepare for the 150th anniversary of the Alaska Purchase in 2017, according to a release from the state this week.

Duck stamp legislation passes with exemption

Legislation to address the price of federal duck stamps, a permit required to hunt migratory waterfowl, passed the House of Representatives today with an amendment included by Alaskan Congressman Don Young to exempt Alaskan subsistence...

Thanksgiving turkey shoot event Saturday

Don't worry, folks. No live turkeys will not be shot at this annual event, happening from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21, but participants will have a chance to try their hand at shooting events that involve a bit of both luck and...

Articles from the Outdoors section archive

Friday, Nov. 21, 2014

Alaska Science Forum: Villager's remains led to 1918 flu breakthrough

The revival of the virus responsible for the 1918 Spanish flu, the killer of millions of people, was the end of a long journey for Johan Hultin.
By NED ROZELL

Thanksgiving turkey shoot event Saturday

Don't worry, folks. No live turkeys will not be shot at this annual event, happening from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21, but participants will have a chance to try their hand at shooting ...

Grants available honoring 150th anniversary of Alaska Purchase

The Alaska Historical Commission has $125,000 available for matching grants to plan and prepare for the 150th anniversary of the Alaska Purchase in 2017, according to a release from the state this ...

Montana Creek Road sees seasonal closure, parking expanded

The City and Borough of Juneau has closed Montana Creek Road for the winter season for the portion beyond the gate at the Hank Harmon Rifle Range.

On the Trails: Frosty paradise

The trail through Cowee Meadows to the cabin and the beach has seen significant improvement (thank you, State Parks!), with more to come. In mid-November, red squirrels were belatedly and busily ...
By Mary Willson

Off the Beaten Path: Quest for snow

Lately I've noticed many folks, skis strapped to their backpacks, wandering the streets and trails with looks of desperation tinged with excitement. Teachers, doctors, lawyers, construction ...
By BJORN DIHLE

USFS reminds citizens of winter ice, cave safety

As winter approaches and temperatures continue to drop, the Forest Service is reminding people to keep safety in mind when visiting the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area, according to a release ...

Mark Kelley gets photo in Smithsonian exhibit

Local photographer Mark Kelley has received the biggest award of his career, landing a photograph in an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Monday, Nov. 17, 2014

Study finds virus likely cause of sea star wasting

Scientists have isolated a virus they are pretty sure is causing the mysterious disease that has killed millions of sea stars on the Pacific Coast from Southern California to Alaska by ...
By JEFF BARNARD

Friday, Nov. 14, 2014

Alaska Science Forum: Northern lab cranked out the quirky and creative

"Rectal Temperature of the Working Sled Dog." "Cleaning and Sterilization of Bunny Boots." "Comparative Sweat Rates of Eskimos and Caucasians Under Controlled Conditions.
By NED ROZELL

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: Hunting success

One day this fall, I watched a juvenile great blue heron fishing in Steep Creek. In typical heron fashion, it stood motionless for long minutes, then quickly jabbed its long bill down into the ...
By Mary Willson

Off the Beaten Path: Stories told in tracks

On Sunday afternoon I wandered up Mount Jumbo accompanied by my good pal, Pancho, a golden retriever. Through breaks in the fog, downtown Juneau glowed in the late autumn light.
By BJORN DIHLE

Meet the 'Goat Lady of Douglas'

Ava and Liam Morgan go on regular walks, on leashes, around their South Douglas home. They stop by Louie's Douglas Inn, one of the neighborhood pubs. They visit kids at the Montessori School. They ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Chieftain plans Taku River barge

Chieftain Metals, owner of the Tulsequah Chief mine, has returned to plans to use barges on the Taku River, spurring concern from some in Juneau.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Ski Sale kicks off snow sports season tomorrow

Juneau's annual Ski and Sporting Equipment Sale begins promptly at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 15, at Centennial Hall.
By Abby Lowell

Friday, Nov. 7, 2014

Alaska Science Forum: Twenty weeks through the heart of Alaska

"It is a very remarkable fact that a region under a civilized government for more than a century should remain so completely unknown as the vast territory drained by the Copper, Tanana and Koyukuk ...
By NED ROZELL

Ketchikan State Parks Advisory Board recruiting new members

KETCHIKAN - Applications are currently being accepted for two vacancies on the nine-member Ketchikan State Parks Citizen Advisory Board for the term beginning Jan. 1, according to a release last ...

170,000 fish in hand

As you read this sentence, a Douglas Island Pink and Chum hatchery worker likely has one of one million young Chinook salmon in hand.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Bigger fish

If you fish from the dock in front of the Juneau Empire building, you may have noticed the coho are getting bigger. For more than 20 years, Douglas Island Pink and Chum used the same coho stock, ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Off the Beaten Path: Close encounters of the wild kind

A few weeks ago, I set out to hike an alpine ridge near Juneau. I didn't have much time, so I was a hyperventilating, sweaty mess when I reached snow line. A brisk wind, carrying waves of ice ...
By BJORN DIHLE

On the Trails: How to be an herbivore

Herbivores are vegetarians, although some snack on meat upon occasion (beavers eat some salmon, deer sometimes eat birds!) Herbivory typically refers to the eating of living plants: leaves, ...
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.

SAGA's finances 'troubled'

Southeast Alaska Guidance Association has closed its offices and laid off employees due to what board chairman Matt Smith calls "troubled" financial circumstances. "Cost savings have inspired that.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014

Will climate change move Alaska, South Pacific residents?

The Juneau World Affairs Council is hosting a talk on climate change with Robin Bronen, Senior Research Scientist at the Institute of Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Comment on changes to 2016 migratory bird subsistence harvest

The Alaska Migratory Bird Co-management Council will be accepting proposals from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15 to change migratory bird subsistence harvest regulations for the 2016 April through August ...

UAF researcher receives $4.2M to research Arctic change

University of Alaska Fairbanks researcher Hajo Eicken has received a $4.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to support environmental Arctic change research, according to a release.

Yukon River Quest registration opens tomorrow

Registration for the 17th annual "Race to the Midnight Sun," the world's longest annual canoe and kayak marathon, opens tomorrow.

NOAA report: 2013 U.S. seafood landings, value increased from 2012

In release this week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries announced U.S. fishermen landed 9.9 billion pounds of fish and shellfish in 2013, an increase of 245 million ...

ASCAB now accepting applications for Alaska community grant program

SEATTLE - The Community Advisory Board of American Seafoods Company, one of the nation's largest seafood harvesters and processors, today announced it is now accepting applications for its Alaska ...

Friends of City Museum meeting to feature fish trap history

The Friends of the Juneau-Douglas City Museum will host their annual public meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 6 at the Hangar on the Wharf Ballroom.

Southeast receives more than $150,000 in recreational trails funding

The Department of Natural Resources' Division of Parks and Recreation's Recreational Trails Program awarded more than $150,000 to trails in Southeast Alaska in 2014.

Eaglecrest falls in round two of Ski Town Throwdown

Eaglecrest Ski Area on Monday was beat out by Red Mountain, British Columbia in the second round of Powder Magazine's Ski Town Throwdown III, and will not advance to the next round.

SAIL annual dinner and auction

Southeast Alaska Independent Living will celebrate more than three decades of adaptive ski and snowboarding at Eaglecrest Ski Area at its annual dinner and auction beginning at 6 p.m. on Saturday, ...

On the Trails: Little stories on the trail

Out on the wetlands in late September, I spotted a raven carrying a fish up into the conifers at the edge of the meadows.
By Mary Willson

Southeast Alaskans reach 'Higher'

Several Southeast Alaskans helped snowboarder Jeremy Jones' most recent film, "Higher," reach new heights in the Alaska Range. Ed Shanley, Lucas Merli and Ryland Bell participated in the film both ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Wildlife Spy: The scream you can't hear

The air is full of screams ... you just can't hear them. From spring through early fall, bats fly over Southeast Alaska, using high-pitched sounds to track down their insect prey.
By Beth Peluso

Snow films to raise money for trail, cabin

It's the end of October, and snow is creeping down the mountains: must be time for SNOvember. For the second year, the Gold Town Nickelodeon in downtown Juneau will host "SNOvember," a celebration ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Off the Beaten Path: Notes from the transboundary

Writing this column isn't fun - it kind of feels like being slapped around with spawned-out chum salmon. This analogy might sound strange to some, but many of us growing up in Southeast Alaska ...
By BJORN DIHLE

Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014

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

Thursday, Oct. 16, 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 ...

Thursday, Oct. 9, 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 ...
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