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Outdoors

Mary Catharine Martin | Juneau Empire
Rick Hoffman and Kevin Fraley pose with a large buck steelhead caught by Hoffman. Hoffman has discovered several of his own secret fishing spots in the month he's been in Yakutat, working for the U.S. Forest Service.

Catching 'chromers' in Yakutat

To fly to Yakutat in April or early May is to become acquainted with a certain fishy sense of anticipation.

by MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

On the Trails: Findings on dredge islands include a stranded octopus

On a fine low tide in late April, I headed out to some of the dredge islands in Gastineau Channel, along with two friends. Before we even got to the islands, we found several interesting things.
Mary Willson

Off the Beaten Path: The mysteries of Yakobi Island, part II

The bear fell to all fours; the hair on her hump stood up as she cautiously nibbled greens. The two tiny cubs didn’t share their mother’s agitation. One picked up a shell, sat and rolled over on its back as its sibling pounced, perhaps at...
BJORN DIHLE

What's in Bloom: 'Tweety Bird'

Over the years, I've grown many Narcissus, more commonly known as daffodils. One that has recently captured my attention is N. "Tweety Bird." Their bright, pure yellow color simply glows on Juneau's overcast spring days.
MERRILL JENSEN

Say hello to spring kings

The Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska's 19th annual Spring King Salmon Derby kicked off this morning at 12:01 a.m.
MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Alaska Science Forum: An oasis on the Seward Peninsula

On a recent ski trip across the Seward Peninsula, I followed a trail along the Pilgrim River broken by five friends. Their path led to a subarctic oasis.
NED ROZELL

Auke Lake to be closed Friday for maintenance

Auke Lake Trail, starting at the Auke Lake access, will be closed during the day Friday for trail and tree maintenance. Maintenance is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. and will be complete by 4 p.m.

National Bike to School Day kicks off May 6

JUNEAU - The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities Safe Routes to School program invites schools statewide to participate in this year's National Bike to School Day, according to a release this week.

Celebrate AK Agriculture Day on May 5

PALMER - Alaskans will celebrate Alaska Agriculture Day on Tuesday, May 5.

Canadians, Americans, call for safer tailings storage in BC

A large group of Canadians and Americans on Wednesday sent a letter to the British Columbia government, calling for a stop to the permitting of wet tailings facilities for new and proposed mines in B.C.

Board extends deadline, expands topics for next year's meeting

JUNEAU - The Alaska Board of Game has extended the deadline for proposed changes to statewide regulations pertaining to hunting, trapping and the use of game to 5 p.m., June 23.

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.

Orphaned polar bear to move from New York to St. Louis Zoo

ST. LOUIS - A polar bear who gained international fame when orphaned two years ago is headed to the St. Louis Zoo. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the U.S.

Denali National Park wolf count drops below 50

Denali National Park and Preserve's wolf numbers have reached a new low this spring with an estimated population of just 48, according to a National Park Service study.

Articles from the Outdoors section archive

Friday, May 1, 2015

Alaska Science Forum: An oasis on the Seward Peninsula

On a recent ski trip across the Seward Peninsula, I followed a trail along the Pilgrim River broken by five friends. Their path led to a subarctic oasis.
By NED ROZELL

Celebrate AK Agriculture Day on May 5

PALMER - Alaskans will celebrate Alaska Agriculture Day on Tuesday, May 5.

Say hello to spring kings

The Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska's 19th annual Spring King Salmon Derby kicked off this morning at 12:01 a.m.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

National Bike to School Day kicks off May 6

JUNEAU - The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities Safe Routes to School program invites schools statewide to participate in this year's National Bike to School Day, ...

Canadians, Americans, call for safer tailings storage in BC

A large group of Canadians and Americans on Wednesday sent a letter to the British Columbia government, calling for a stop to the permitting of wet tailings facilities for new and proposed mines ...

Board extends deadline, expands topics for next year's meeting

JUNEAU - The Alaska Board of Game has extended the deadline for proposed changes to statewide regulations pertaining to hunting, trapping and the use of game to 5 p.m., June 23.

Off the Beaten Path: The mysteries of Yakobi Island, part II

The bear fell to all fours; the hair on her hump stood up as she cautiously nibbled greens. The two tiny cubs didn’t share their mother’s agitation. One picked up a shell, sat and rolled over on ...
By BJORN DIHLE

On the Trails: Findings on dredge islands include a stranded octopus

On a fine low tide in late April, I headed out to some of the dredge islands in Gastineau Channel, along with two friends. Before we even got to the islands, we found several interesting things.
By Mary Willson

Catching 'chromers' in Yakutat

To fly to Yakutat in April or early May is to become acquainted with a certain fishy sense of anticipation.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

What's in Bloom: 'Tweety Bird'

Over the years, I've grown many Narcissus, more commonly known as daffodils. One that has recently captured my attention is N. "Tweety Bird." Their bright, pure yellow color simply glows on ...
By MERRILL JENSEN

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Auke Lake to be closed Friday for maintenance

Auke Lake Trail, starting at the Auke Lake access, will be closed during the day Friday for trail and tree maintenance. Maintenance is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. and will be complete by 4 p.m.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Orphaned polar bear to move from New York to St. Louis Zoo

ST. LOUIS - A polar bear who gained international fame when orphaned two years ago is headed to the St. Louis Zoo. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the U.S.

Denali National Park wolf count drops below 50

Denali National Park and Preserve's wolf numbers have reached a new low this spring with an estimated population of just 48, according to a National Park Service study.

Monday, April 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.

Friday, April 24, 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.

JGC to host Creative Garden Design Workshop

The Juneau Garden Club will sponsor a Creative Garden Design Workshop from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 25 at the Baranof Hotel. Featured speaker, Sue Goetz, from Tacoma, Wash.

Lecture: Solving mysteries from SE to the Arctic

The public is invited to join science communication students from the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences from 4-6 p.m.

JAS' annual Berners Bay cruises begin

The annual cruises to Berners Bay, organized by the Juneau Audubon Society, are happening again this year beginning Saturday, April 25, and continuing on Saturday, May 2. The cruise Saturday ...

Local organizations invite public to wetlands clean-up event

The public is invited to the Juneau Wetlands Community Clean-up from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 25 on the Mendenhall Wetlands State Game Refuge, at Auk Nu Cove and at Montana Creek.

Summer science camp open for Southeast educators

A summer educator camp for Southeast K-8 math and science teachers is open for registration, according to a notice in a newsletter distributed by the Alaska Department of Education and Early ...

Local USFS camp sites no longer accepting cash, check

Local USFS camp sites no longer accepting cash, check JUNEAU - The U.S.

'Singer in the stream' offers glimpse into the life of dippers

A few years ago, local writer and retired ecologist Mary Willson was watching American Dippers sing and flit in and out of a stream when she thought of a few rhyming lines.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Remembering the Vikings - 'iron slicks' of the muskegs

Have you ever seen oil patches in the muskegs around Juneau? In Iceland, these patches are called "járnbrák" ("iron slick"). This common sight in this region is a sure sign of anaerobic bacteria ...
By John Wade

Off the Beaten Path: The mysteries of Yakobi Island, part I

• Editor's note: This is part one of a two-part series on Yakobi Island and its history. Next week's Off the Beaten Path will conclude the series.
By BJORN DIHLE

Alaska Science Forum: Discoveries at Serpentine Hot Springs

Skiing across the raw, open landscape of the Seward Peninsula a few weeks ago, my friends and I dreamed of getting out of a big wind and into the tub at Serpentine Hot Springs.
By NED ROZELL

On the Trails: April - the cruelest month

The poet had it right! Although April has often been a benign month here, with lots of sun and rapid warming, this year's April has (so far) offered us lots of rain and temperatures parked around ...
By Mary Willson

Friday, April 17, 2015

Wild Shot

The Empire Outdoors page is looking for superb images of Alaska's wildlife, scenery or plant life. Send your photos to outdoors@juneauempire.com.

My enemy: the buzz of the bird

The yellow house. It was beautiful. Way out Rink Creek in Gustavus. As if Gustavus isn't small enough as is, I lived seven miles outside the center of town. In the winters we were isolated down ...
By STEPHANIE SHOR

Pinks predicted to carry season, again

In 2013, pink salmon returns in Southeast Alaska broke records, leading commercial fishermen to catch more than 100 million salmon from all five species for the first time ever in the region.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

On the Trails: Skunk cabbage and its sex change abilities

Decent weather in early April encouraged several low-elevation jaunts. The Parks and Recreation hikers went to the rock peninsula on the west side of Mendenhall Lake, stopping for lunch amid a ...
By Mary Willson

Celebrate Earth Day at the glacier

The U.S. Forest Service is hosting a community Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center.

Summer internships available with Alaska USFS

JUNEAU - The USDA Forest Service has announced in a press release this week two internship opportunities in natural resource management.

Youth corps, USFS to offer paid summer positions

JUNEAU - Youth between 15-18 are encouraged to take advantage of a four-week opportunity this summer in Angoon or Ketchikan. The Youth Conservation Corps, in partnership with the U.S.

Thane Road Campground opens for the season

JUNEAU - Thane Road Campground opened this week, according to a release from the City and Borough of Juneau Parks and Recreation Department. The campground is located 1.5 miles south of downtown ...

Alaskans can help answer 'Where have all the rusty blackbirds gone?'

From April 11 through May 31, Alaskans can use their binoculars to help birds - by reporting sightings of rusty blackbirds for the Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz. This is the second year ...

Friday, April 10, 2015

Wild and weird: Small mammals in Southeast

Black bears in Interior Alaska are more closely related to their counterparts in the Lower 48 than in Southeast Alaska. A certain mouse that lives near Yakutat, Haines and Ketchikan - but not ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Alaska Science Forum: Creepy crawlies of the north aren't from around here

Under its own power, an earthworm gains about 30 feet of new territory each year. But that does not help explain how worms got to Alaska. "It's almost geologically slow," Matt Bowser, said of the ...
By NED ROZELL

Off the Beaten Path: Transboundary mining efforts are just another gold rush scam

The history of gold rushes has no shortage of scams.
By BJORN DIHLE

Yellow cedar under consideration for endangered species protection

ANCHORAGE - An iconic Alaska tree may warrant protection as a threatened or endangered species due to climate warming, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Thursday.
By Dan Joling

What's in Bloom: Pink fawn lily

Sometimes it isn't the flower that catches one's attention. In the case of the pink fawn lily, Erythronium revolutum, it is the mottled leaves that cause one to pause.
By MERRILL JENSEN

Gov. declares April 11-17 as 'Wildland Fire Prevention and Preparedness Week'

In a press release this week from the Department of Natural Resources, Gov. Bill Walker has proclaimed April 11-17 "Wildland Fire Prevention and Preparedness Week," as part of a multi-agency ...

Auke Lake boat launch opens for the season

JUNEAU - Staff from the City and Borough of Juneau Parks & Recreation Department have installed seasonal regulatory buoys in Auke Lake, and the Auke Lake Boat Launch is now open to the public, ...

Tlaxsatanjín now official name of peak on Heintzelman

JUNEAU - The U.S. Board of Geographic Names has approved the official naming of a peak on Heintzelman Ridge to be called by its historical Tlingit name Tlaxsatanjín, meaning "Idle Hands" or "Hands ...

Wildlife Society to honor Flynn, Larsen with lifetime achievement awards

The Alaska Chapter of Wildlife Society will meet from April 13-17 in Juneau at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center, according to a press release this week from the society. A wide variety of ...

Subsistent hunters exempt from Federal duck stamp requirements, for now

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week announced an interim policy that implements a new law exempting qualified Alaska subsistence hunters from the requirement to possess a Federal Duck ...

Chef at the Market now accepting applications from Alaska chefs

PALMER - The Chef at the Market program is currently accepting applications from Alaska chefs interested in providing cooking demonstrations during the 2015 farmers market season.

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, April 3, 2015

Fishing Gastineau Channel the topic for fly fishing meeting

The public is invited to the Wednesday, April 8 meeting of the Raincountry Flyfishers beginning at 7 p.m. in the Thunder Mountain High School library. Kayla Roys, of Alaska Flyfishing Goods, will ...

Gov reminds Alaskans to be 'Bear Aware'

Gov. Bill Walker has proclaimed April "Bear Awareness Month" and with many parts of Alaska experiencing unseasonably warm temperatures, bears will be emerging from their dens at any time.

Marine mammal guide aims to make identification easy

Off the Hawaiian coast, a spray of water might catch an onlooker's eye. It might be a Fraser's dolphin, or is it a short-beaked common dolphin? The answer can be found in the latest field guide ...

Purchase hunting, fishing tags online

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has launched a new online store, according to a press release, on which the public can purchase sport fishing and hunting licenses, commercial crewmember ...

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: In the shadow of Vitus Bering, part II

Editor's note: This is the second installment of a two-part series about Vitus Bering's last voyage and the author's ski traverse from Kluane Lake to Yakutat. Vitus Bering and the men of the ...
By BJORN DIHLE

What's in Bloom: Purple Bird

Corydalis solida, also known as "Purple Bird," has the unusual common name of fumewort that comes from Middle English meaning "vapor plant".
By MERRILL JENSEN

Mack: Safety before profits, when it comes to transboundary mines

Eight months ago, Jacinda Mack watched as the Mount Polley dam failure released a flood of toxic water and tailings into the Quesnel Lake watershed.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

On the Trails: Strolling in the March sunshine

After a deluge in late March, the sun showed itself, prompting residents to enjoy some serious basking. Some baskers took the lizard approach: finding a spot out of the wind and relaxing.
By Mary Willson

Alaska Science Forum: Citizen science, social media meets the aurora

A scientist named Victor Hessler once made an aurora detector by driving two metal rods in the ground a few hundred feet apart and stringing a wire between them. When voltage changed along the ...
By NED ROZELL

Friday, March 27, 2015

Little oil, no impact: Officials say Auke Bay unfazed by Feb. 22 spill

At this point it looks like there are no lasting negative effects in Auke Bay from the Feb. 22 Statter Harbor oil spill, say National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admistration and Coast Guard officials.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN
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