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Outdoors

Courtesy of Alaska State Archives Library and Museum,ASL-Smith-Jefferson-Soapy-2
Jefferson "Soapy" Smith, in foreground with beard, stands in the "Soapy" Smith Saloon on Feb. 26, 1898. Smith was killed on July 8, 1898.

Off the Beaten Path: A con like Alaska had never seen, reflections on Soapy Smith

In April of 2009, after spending a month and a half wandering the eastern Brooks Range, I was returning home to Juneau. The ferry was full when I showed up to Skagway and the next sailing south was a few days from departing.

by BJORN DIHLE

Memo: Low snow could be affecting POW wolf mortality

A memorandum from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Wildlife Conservation further explains the drastic decline in Prince of Wales’ wolf population, saying that in addition to known take, the 60 percent population fall...
MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Concerned Alaska Native, First Nation representatives attend Seabridge Gold annual meeting

Alaska Native and First Nation representatives had some questions for a Canadian mining company at its annual meeting, concerned about a project's potential effects on their ancestral lands.
MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

On the Trails: Parasitic flowering plants live off the roots of others

When we think of parasites, we usually think of tapeworms, ticks, fungi and assorted micro-organisms.
Mary Willson

Dirt Girl: Killing is gardening

I was recently reminded of something master gardener Ed Buyarski said at a workshop: "If you're not killing things, you're not a gardener.
CORINNE CONLON

Sport fish report: King salmon catch still kicking, halibut showing up

As hatchery king salmon become more abundant in the immediate Juneau area, fishing this past week has continued to improve for marine boat anglers, especially in the Fritz Cove and Outer Point areas.

New 2015 Juneau Icefield map available

The new 2015 Juneau Icefield map is now available, according to a release from the U.S. Forest Service. One side of the map has an oblique panoramic view of the Juneau Icefield - similar to the display in the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor...

Sport fish report: Kings headed back to Fish Creek, not in the pond yet

King salmon fishing this past week within the terminal harvest area has continued to be good, especially in the Fritz Cove, inner Auke Bay and False Outer Point areas.

What's in Bloom: Rogersia

Rodgersia spp. are big, bold perennials that impart a tropical feel in the garden without enduring the associated heat. These dramatic plants are members of the Saxifrage family and all hail from the cool, moist woodland streamsides of...
MERRILL JENSEN

Annual Wrangell Bearfest runs July 22-26

WRANGELL - The annual Wrangell Bearfest is July 22 to 26. The festival is a celebration of bears of Alaska and features an annual scientific symposium, family events, photography and music workshops, a marathon, and many other events.

Sitka Farmers Markets kick off July 4

SITKA - In a celebration of independence from store-bought and factory-processed food, the Sitka Local Foods Network is inviting the public to enjoy this year's eighth annual Sitka Farmers Market.

BLM seeks public comments on use of new herbicides

To expand its existing list of approved herbicides to treat noxious weeds and other invasive species on Bureau of Land Management-managed public lands, the BLM notified the public last week of the availability of a draft Vegetation...

Across state, early salmon catches underweight

"Big run, small fish," is a Cordova fishermen's rule of thumb that seems to be holding true for salmon in 2015, particularly in the areas adjacent to the Gulf of Alaska.
DJ SUMMERS

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

Sunday, June 28, 2015

NOAA receives $25 million in funding

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced more than $25 million in recommended funding for 88 projects under the 2014-2015 Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant Program.

Thursday, June 25, 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.

What's in Bloom: Rogersia

Rodgersia spp. are big, bold perennials that impart a tropical feel in the garden without enduring the associated heat. These dramatic plants are members of the Saxifrage family and all hail from ...
By MERRILL JENSEN

Sport fish report: Kings headed back to Fish Creek, not in the pond yet

King salmon fishing this past week within the terminal harvest area has continued to be good, especially in the Fritz Cove, inner Auke Bay and False Outer Point areas.

Annual Wrangell Bearfest runs July 22-26

WRANGELL - The annual Wrangell Bearfest is July 22 to 26. The festival is a celebration of bears of Alaska and features an annual scientific symposium, family events, photography and music ...

Sitka Farmers Markets kick off July 4

SITKA - In a celebration of independence from store-bought and factory-processed food, the Sitka Local Foods Network is inviting the public to enjoy this year's eighth annual Sitka Farmers Market.

Across state, early salmon catches underweight

"Big run, small fish," is a Cordova fishermen's rule of thumb that seems to be holding true for salmon in 2015, particularly in the areas adjacent to the Gulf of Alaska.
By DJ SUMMERS

Dirt Girl: Killing is gardening

I was recently reminded of something master gardener Ed Buyarski said at a workshop: "If you're not killing things, you're not a gardener.
By CORINNE CONLON

On the Trails: Parasitic flowering plants live off the roots of others

When we think of parasites, we usually think of tapeworms, ticks, fungi and assorted micro-organisms.
By Mary Willson

Off the Beaten Path: A con like Alaska had never seen, reflections on Soapy Smith

In April of 2009, after spending a month and a half wandering the eastern Brooks Range, I was returning home to Juneau. The ferry was full when I showed up to Skagway and the next sailing south ...
By BJORN DIHLE

New 2015 Juneau Icefield map available

The new 2015 Juneau Icefield map is now available, according to a release from the U.S. Forest Service. One side of the map has an oblique panoramic view of the Juneau Icefield - similar to the ...

Concerned Alaska Native, First Nation representatives attend Seabridge Gold annual meeting

Alaska Native and First Nation representatives had some questions for a Canadian mining company at its annual meeting, concerned about a project's potential effects on their ancestral lands.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Friday, June 19, 2015

What's in Bloom: Oriental poppies

Oriental poppies, Papaver orientale, are some of the largest, most flamboyant flowers that one can grow in Southeast Alaska.
By MERRILL JENSEN

Alaska Science Forum: The northern boreal bird nursery

MIDDLE FORK, CHANDALAR RIVER - Two hundred miles straight north of my home in Fairbanks, I'm at the northern edge of a forest that carpets the continent all the way to Labrador.
By NED ROZELL

Trail roundup 2015

This has been a pretty unusual last year in Southeast Alaska - we had record rain last summer and fall, followed by a major lack of snow in the winter, followed by record sun and warmth this ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Sport fish report: King salmon catch still kicking, halibut showing up

As hatchery king salmon become more abundant in the immediate Juneau area, fishing this past week has continued to improve for marine boat anglers, especially in the Fritz Cove and Outer Point areas.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

An Alaskan's Local Food

What is local food to you? Several years ago, when asked this question in a college class, I paused. As we went around the classroom sharing our ideas, my mind went blank.
By Matthew Kern

Race to Alaska names a winner

Team Elsie Piddock sailed into Ketchikan harbor, and small boat history, to win the inaugural Race to Alaska boat race Friday 100 miles ahead of the nearest competitor.
By DICK CALLAHAN

Juneau's Hidden History: East Glacier Trail

The Mendenhall Glacier seems to be retreating at a pretty fast rate. As a child growing up in Juneau in the late 1980-90s, we hiked the East Glacier Trail, and had a magnificent view of the ...
By BRIAN WEED

Friday, June 12, 2015

Death of sea lions found to be caused by humans

ANCHORAGE - Federal officials are saying several of the 15 Stellar sea lions found dead last week near Cordova had wounds indicating they had been "deliberately killed.

Thursday, June 11, 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.

Gardens of the Masters up for tour

The Southeast Alaska Master Gardeners Association is giving you a chance to see gardens grown by the masters while raising money for an annual scholarship. Saturday, June 20, the master gardeners' ...

Get to know NOAA: Summertime tours kick off again at TSMRI

Whether you are catching 'em or eating 'em - there's a hidden world of science behind Alaska's sustainable fisheries, which produce more than half of all seafood caught in U.S. waters.

NOAA seeks information on Steller sea lions killed near Cordova - reward offered

On June 1, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries received a report of several dead Steller sea lions on a beach near Cordova, Alaska.

State seeking contractor to operate Sitka area state parks

The State of Alaska, Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation is offering an opportunity for a qualified entity to obtain an exclusive competitive permit for commercial activities to operate park ...

What's in Bloom: Columbine

Columbine (Aquilegia spp.) is one of the easiest perennials to grow in Juneau.
By MERRILL JENSEN

On the Trails: Outdoor therapy

One day recently, I was feeling quite grumpy, disgusted, annoyed, and getting down-hearted, so I decided to cheer myself up by thinking about 'a few of my favorite things' that happened in the ...
By Mary Willson

POW's wolf population plummets

Prince of Wales Island’s population of wolves declined 60 percent in just one year, according to a recent U.S. Forest Service briefing paper, leaving only 60 wolves on the island and 89 in the ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Dirt Girl: To hoop, or not to hoop

Walking around the community garden now or walking around the harbor in the fall sometimes feels like marshmallow land. Everything seems covered in visqueen.
By CORINNE CONLON

New king salmon spot coming to town

Douglas Island Pink and Chum hatchery on Wednesday released the last of its fry into the wild, 180,000 of which were king salmon leaving from a new release site - Lena Cove.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Friday, June 5, 2015

First Nations report highlights transboundary mine concerns

A new report has added to the call for increased mining safety in the watersheds of rivers that flow from Canada into Alaska.

Thursday, June 4, 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.

Funding for garden insulation

If you have a large garden and you want to extend its growing season, this information may be for you.

Family Fishing Day happening June 13

The public is invited this year's annual Family Fishing Day at the Lake from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 13 at Twin Lakes. The emphasis for this popular, free community event is family, ...

New members sought for Snowmobile Trails Advisory Council

The Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation is inviting interested individuals to apply to join the Snowmobile Trails Advisory Council.

Give Lemon Creek some love on National Trails Day Saturday

Saturday is National Trails Day, and, with help from the community, Trail Mix Inc. plans on giving Lemon Creek Trail a little love. Volunteers will meet at 9 a.m. at the trailhead, which is past ...

On the Trails: Tricky flowers

Most of our wild flowers are wide-open structures, just letting all the sexual parts hang out.
By Mary Willson

What's in Bloom: Himalayan blue poppy

It's Meconopsis "Lingholm," the Himalayan Blue Poppy, time at the Jensen-Olson Arboretum. Juneau's climate mimics their rain-soaked, native habitat on the sub-alpine slopes and meadows of the ...
By MERRILL JENSEN

Rocks from space in Alaska backcountry

On February 26 at 1:06 p.m., someone in northern Alaska may have seen a torch of light in the cold daytime sky. That afternoon, satellites detected a meteoric fireball headed toward Earth.
By NED ROZELL

Off the Beaten Path: The good, bad and funny when it comes to black bears

The American black bear may lack the charisma of brown/grizzly bears and the romanticism of polar bears. It may be treated like the ugly, quirky stepdaughter of the ursine world.
By BJORN DIHLE

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Glacier visitor center to increase fees in 2016

The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center will increase fees starting May 1, 2016, U.S. Forest Service Ranger Brad Orr announced Wednesday by email.
By JAMES BROOKS

Speed restrictions established to protect Glacier Bay whales

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is implementing a speed restriction for boaters in order to protect humpback whales frequenting the area, acting superintendent Sheri Barry announced Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Catch limit raised for king salmon near Juneau

As hatchery-raised king salmon return to Gastineau Channel, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is raising its catch limit for the prized fish. Starting Monday, fishermen can take up to four ...

Monday, June 1, 2015

Winning king 'hit like a ton of bricks'

The 37.05-pound king salmon that longtime Juneau fisherman Kyle D. Sage caught off the rocks on North Douglas has netted him first place in this year’s 19th annual Spring King Salmon Derby, put on ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Too early to predict strength of king salmon run on the Kenai

KENAI - Wildlife officials are waiting for the king salmon run to develop, but say preliminary signs near the Kenai Peninsula are positive.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Juneau area sport fish report for the week of May 28

King Salmon Fishing Report for the Juneau Area Fishing for king salmon in the Juneau area in recent weeks has been better than previous years for both marine boat and shore based anglers.

From gold rush ghost town to migratory delta

Here in Juneau, people talk about floating the Tatshenshini and Alsek rivers, but they don't talk about floating the Stikine, and I can't really figure out why.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

What's in Bloom: Blue Camas

Small Camas or Blue Camas, Camassia quamash, is an outstanding bulb native to western North America.
By MERRILL JENSEN

On the Trails: Lucky days

One lucky day in May, I hitched a ride to Pack Creek-a lovely, smooth flight each way. As soon as we arrived, we saw a mama brown bear and a big cub, digging clams far out on the tide flats. Mama ...
By Mary Willson

Off the Beaten Path: Dear Patagonia, please hire me as a fashion designer

Dear Patagonia, It was once believed that people who went out of their way to travel into the wilderness did so to ponder the depths of their souls, test their mettle and write flowery poetry. ...
By BJORN DIHLE

Dirt Girl: No space is too small for gardening

Growing up in Wisconsin, I assumed you needed a lot of land in order to have a garden. Even in Green Bay, our back yard was large enough to have an extensive garden even though it was small ...
By CORINNE CONLON

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Whale washes ashore in 12th recent death in California

POINT REYES STATION, Calif. - Another dead whale washed ashore in Northern California, the 12th carcass that has appeared in the past few months and marks a higher-than-normal number of deaths but ...

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Wood bison bulls take barge to meet transplanted herd

FAIRBANKS - A barge carrying 16 wood bison is making a four-day trip down the Tanana and Yukon rivers to reunite the animals with a herd transplanted earlier this spring near Shageluk.
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