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Outdoors

Courtesy of Bryce Iverson
Bryce Iverson stands next to a giant spruce tree burl he and friend Matt Kern found while hunting. Using his own height as a gauge, Iverson estimates the burl to be more than 7.5 feet tall.

Hunters find giant spruce burl; burls' cause a mystery

While hunting in Douglas woods last week, Bryce Iverson and Matt Kern found a spruce tree growing the largest tree burl they - or anyone they talked to - had ever seen.

by MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Off the Beaten Path: The Bigfoot blues

The other day I discovered a number of articles speculating that the Yeti, the elusive hominid cryptid of the Himalayas, is actually the Tibetan brown bear. This theory isn’t new — but a recent analysis of DNA from numerous supposed Yeti...
BJORN DIHLE

On the Trails: Chickadees of the north

A friend and I stood in a small muskeg on Douglas Island, checking out some deer tracks, when little twitterings announced the arrival of chickadees.

Emergency halibut bycatch cut sought

After a motion failed at the North Pacific Fishery Management Council by a single vote with an Alaska delegate absent, another effort is underway to reduce halibut bycatch in the Bering Sea in the face of rapidly sinking catch limits...
DJ SUMMERS

Articles from the Outdoors section archive

Friday, Dec. 26, 2014

Off the Beaten Path: The Bigfoot blues

The other day I discovered a number of articles speculating that the Yeti, the elusive hominid cryptid of the Himalayas, is actually the Tibetan brown bear. This theory isn’t new — but a recent ...
By BJORN DIHLE

Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014

Hunters find giant spruce burl; burls' cause a mystery

While hunting in Douglas woods last week, Bryce Iverson and Matt Kern found a spruce tree growing the largest tree burl they - or anyone they talked to - had ever seen.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

On the Trails: Chickadees of the north

A friend and I stood in a small muskeg on Douglas Island, checking out some deer tracks, when little twitterings announced the arrival of chickadees.

Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014

SEARHC announces Outpatient Clinic holiday schedule

SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium announced this week their outpatient clinics will be closed on Christmas Day, Thursday, Dec. 25, and New Year's Day, Thursday, Jan. 1.

Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

The long road south

Not many people cycle across continents, but Seth McBride and Kelly Schwan are unique even in that small group.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Off the Beaten Path: 'Kayak Horizon'

In late November, with the marine forecast looking decent, I loaded a kayak on the car and coaxed my girlfriend Mary Catharine into giving me a ride to False Outer Point before dawn.
By BJORN DIHLE

On the Trails: Trailside scrapbook

Here are some assorted observations from several winter walks, small things that stirred friends and my interest. A common sight in our forests is a "nurse log" that supports a row of small ...
By Mary Willson

Hilary Lindh Scholarship winners announced

Eaglecrest Ski Area recently announced the recipients of this year's Hilary Lindh Scholarships. Winners were chosen based on "scholastic achievement, competitive spirit and financial need," ...

Subsistence Student Art Contest accepting entries

The Federal Subsistence Management Program is sponsoring its annual art contest for Alaska students from kindergarten through high school. The theme for this year's contest - the submission ...

Alaska Science Forum: Far-north changes pondered in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO - At this annual gathering of more than 20,000 Earth and space scientists, press conferences offered by the organizers feature scientists discussing everything from Mars rovers ...
By NED ROZELL

Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014

Alaskans win chance to stake remote cabin sites

A total of 167 Alaskans won the opportunity to stake state land for recreational cabin sites during the Remote Recreational Cabin Sites lottery drawing held earlier this month, according to a ...

Friday, Dec. 12, 2014

Winter whites

O ne day in late November, Parks and Recreation hikers on the West Glacier trail spotted a fairly small white beast crouched in the brush. It didn't move at first when a human approached, dashing ...
By Mary Willson

Mastodons long gone from the north

A long, long time ago, a hairy elephant stomped the northland, wrecking trees and shrubs as it fed off twigs, leaves and bark.
By NED ROZELL

There's something about Juneau

Juneau has not one photographer, but two, with a photograph hanging in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Juneau photographer Richard Hebhardt estimates he's been taking pictures ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Upper Cook Inlet sockeye harvest forecasted to beat 2014 numbers

If everything goes as forecast, Upper Cook Cook Inlet fishermen should see a total run of 5.8 million sockeye during the 2015 fishing season. Of those, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game ...
By RASHAH MCCHESNEY

Analysis: Southeast wolves aren't subspecies

Southeast Alaska's wolves aren't as unique as some may think, according to a new scientific report published.

Fisheries scholarship awarded to Alexandra Lyons

The University of Alaska Southeast Fisheries Technology program named Alexandra Lyons as its first Douglas Island Pink & Chum scholar.

Wild shots

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

Friday, Dec. 5, 2014

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.

Murkowski praises passage of duck stamp bill

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, on Tuesday thanked Senate colleagues for unanimously passing the Federal Duck Stamp Act of 2014. The U.S.

Whale of a tale gains national attention

Two Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve rangers were acknowledged for their exhibit on a humpback whale named Snow.

USCG: Prepare vessels for winter in Alaska

The U.S. Coast Guard is encouraging Alaska's mariners to winterize their vessels and to prevent excess snow from accumulating on boats being moored for winter.

Growing season

It's December in Southeast Alaska, and the mint on your front porch has already been buried in a foot of snow and an inch of hoarfrost. It's the perfect time to grow things indoors.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Small size, big appetites

Recently, I watched some very small mammals scuttling through the meadow grasses, easily running under the fallen stems. They were shrews, which are smaller than most mice.
By MARY WILSON

Agency proposes critical habitat for ringed seals

ANCHORAGE - The federal agency that oversees the U.S. seal population has proposed 350,000 square miles of ocean off Alaska's north and west coast as critical habitat for the main prey of polar bears.
By Dan Joling

Alaska Science Forum: Alaska blackfish in a world of its own

Imagine a shallow lake north of Hughes, in the cold heart of Alaska. In frigid, sluggish water, dim blue light penetrates two feet of ice. The ice has a quarter-size hole, maintained by a stream ...
By NED ROZELL

Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014

Porcupine Lift opens Saturday at Eaglecrest Ski Area

Eaglecrest ski season is almost here. Eaglecrest general manager Matt Lillard posted on Facebook Monday that the Porcupine Lift will open Saturday, about a week after Juneau received its first ...

Friday, Nov. 28, 2014

Comment deadline nears on NPS proposed regulations

The public comment period for the National Park Service's proposed regulations regarding certain sport hunting practices on national preserves in Alaska ends on Wednesday, Dec. 3, according to a ...

Furbearer trapping season to open in Unit 4

The trapping season for marten, river otter, mink and weasel opens Dec. 1 on Admiralty, Baranof, and Chichagof Islands (Unit 4), according to an Alaska Department of Fish and Game press release. ...

Applications now available for this year's Hilary Lindh Scholarship

Eaglecrest Ski Area has announced the annual Hilary Lindh Scholarship Competition.

Learn about undersea life at upcoming Wildlife Wednesday lecture

Marine ecologist Michelle Ridgway will speak on undersea life in Auke Bay at next week's Wildlife Wednesday beginning at 7 p.m. on Dec. 3 in the Thunder Mountain High School library.

Free safety workshop for commercial fishermen

The Alaska Marine Safety Education Association is offering commercial fishermen a free safety workshop.

Tis the season to harvest that holiday tree

If you plan to harvest a Christmas tree on state or city land, now's the time.

Correction

In the Friday, Nov. 21 edition of Outdoors, Jan Beauchamp's name was incorrectly written as Jan Kelley in an article about Mark Kelley's photography award. The Empire regrets the error.

To camp or not to camp?

There was no question in my mind that I wanted to camp overnight in Haines during my one-night stay there Nov. 15 to cover the American Bald Eagle Festival. Doubt soon began to creep in.
By EMILY RUSSO MILLER

Alaska Science Forum: Snow-starved Alaska not the normal state

During the first 21 days of November 2014, no recordable snow fell in Anchorage, Juneau or Fairbanks. Over an unusual swath of the state, the ground was frozen, dusty and brown. Even extreme parts ...
By NED ROZELL

On the Trails: Rambling

There's little I like better than rambling around the woods, meadows and beaches, just seeing what's to be seen. Sharing these little explorations with a like-minded friend is the best, but solo ...
By Mary Willson

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
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