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Outdoors

KLAS STOLPE | JUNEAU EMPIRE
Josh Jackson, left, and Thomas Skeek, right, walk down Eaglecrest Ski Area's dirt access road after a successful deer hunt on the morning of Saturday, Aug. 16. The two left at 3 a.m. to begin their stalk on Mount Troy, they said. Jackson used a 7mm for the hunt and Skeek a 30.06.

Deer outlook, reports positive

A little more than three weeks into Southeast Alaska's Sitka black-tailed deer season, hunters and biologists report a healthy deer population and a positive outlook.
Juneau-based hunter Darrel Wetherall hunted on Admiralty Island on opening day.

by MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Off the Beaten Path: Berrymania

From bars and auto shops, to the governor's mansion and or the beauty parlors, everyone is talking about it - it's shaping up to be an exceptional berry year.
BJORN DIHLE

On the Trails: Dredge Islands

Gastineau Channel rounds the north end of Douglas Island with a short stretch that runs roughly east-west.
Mary Willson

Researcher: Some rivers' salmon at risk

A Juneau-based scientist recently published a study that found climate change poses a serious threat to the Tongass National Forest's snow-fed salmon streams. On the other hand, watersheds too cold for big salmon runs may become more...
MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

What's in Bloom: Monkshood

Monkshood (Aconitum sp.), also known as wolf's bane, is a large genus of late, summer-blooming perennials native to the northern hemisphere.
MERRILL JENSEN

Candidates for Alaska Governor 'talk fish' at Kodiak forum

KODIAK - Candidates for Alaska governor will be in Kodiak on Aug. 28 to take part in a unique debate that focuses on a single topic: Alaska's seafood industry.

Registration open for the Health and Wellness Institute

The 9th Annual School Health and Wellness Institute will be held Oct. 15-17 in Anchorage. Online registration is open at http://www.akshwi.com.

Waterfowl regulations for 2014 include good news for goose hunters

Alaska goose hunters will be allowed larger bag limits this season, depending upon where in the state they hunt and what goose species they pursue, thanks to changes in the 2014-2015 migratory bird hunting regulations.

Embry-Riddle offers free Aviation 101 course

For high-school and middle-school students, or anyone who dreams of becoming a pilot, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is now offering a free online course, Aviation 101.

SEACC hosting educational hike on new Canadian mining efforts near Herbert Glacier

The Southeast Alaska Conservation Council is leading a free walk to the Herbert Glacier from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow, Aug. 23. The walk will highlight two Canadian mining companies' current exploration of a gold mining claim in that...

Articles from the Outdoors section archive

Friday, Aug 22, 2014

Off the Beaten Path: Berrymania

From bars and auto shops, to the governor's mansion and or the beauty parlors, everyone is talking about it - it's shaping up to be an exceptional berry year.
By BJORN DIHLE

Deer outlook, reports positive

A little more than three weeks into Southeast Alaska's Sitka black-tailed deer season, hunters and biologists report a healthy deer population and a positive outlook. Juneau-based hunter Darrel ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Researcher: Some rivers' salmon at risk

A Juneau-based scientist recently published a study that found climate change poses a serious threat to the Tongass National Forest's snow-fed salmon streams. On the other hand, watersheds too ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

What's in Bloom: Monkshood

Monkshood (Aconitum sp.), also known as wolf's bane, is a large genus of late, summer-blooming perennials native to the northern hemisphere.
By MERRILL JENSEN

On the Trails: Dredge Islands

Gastineau Channel rounds the north end of Douglas Island with a short stretch that runs roughly east-west.
By Mary Willson

Waterfowl regulations for 2014 include good news for goose hunters

Alaska goose hunters will be allowed larger bag limits this season, depending upon where in the state they hunt and what goose species they pursue, thanks to changes in the 2014-2015 migratory ...

SEACC hosting educational hike on new Canadian mining efforts near Herbert Glacier

The Southeast Alaska Conservation Council is leading a free walk to the Herbert Glacier from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow, Aug. 23. The walk will highlight two Canadian mining companies' current ...

Candidates for Alaska Governor 'talk fish' at Kodiak forum

KODIAK - Candidates for Alaska governor will be in Kodiak on Aug. 28 to take part in a unique debate that focuses on a single topic: Alaska's seafood industry.

Registration open for the Health and Wellness Institute

The 9th Annual School Health and Wellness Institute will be held Oct. 15-17 in Anchorage. Online registration is open at http://www.akshwi.com.

Embry-Riddle offers free Aviation 101 course

For high-school and middle-school students, or anyone who dreams of becoming a pilot, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is now offering a free online course, Aviation 101.

Friday, Aug 15, 2014

On the Trails: The scourge of scurvy

Sometimes when friends and I stroll the beaches we find the little plant called scurvy grass. It is not a grass; it belongs to the mustard family (common names can be very misleading).
By Mary Willson

Peterson Lake Trail sees continued improvements

Phase one of work on Peterson Lake Trail is complete, meaning the path is more easily walkable for the first ¾ mile, up to the scenic waterfall overlook. Trail Mix Inc. crews have also maintained ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

First downhill mountain bike trail planned in Juneau

Eaglecrest Ski Area's board of directors recently approved the creation or renovation of eight trails at the ski area, among them Juneau's first dedicated downhill mountain biking trail.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Off the Beaten Path: Camp-food for thought

Most folks take their bellies pretty seriously, especially when they're in the woods, far from a grocery store. I know several who even have nicknames for their bellies - The Incinerator, Lil' ...
By BJORN DIHLE

JIRPers present research

Thirty-two students from the Juneau Icefield Research Program will discuss the 10 projects on which they've been working this summer during a presentation at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 16 at the ...

Bird Bits: Bullet of a hawk

Bursting out of leaf cover, a bird launched itself at a passing warbler. The bird of prey, a small hawk the size of a Stellar jay, missed the warbler and throttled up its speed in acrobatic pursuit.
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.

What's in Bloom: Black Out Lily

One of August's stunning flowers is Lilium "Black Out," an Asiatic hybrid lily. Asiatic lilies generally have large, non-fragrant flowers, unlike their cousins, the Oriental lilies, whose flowers ...
By MERRILL JENSEN

Friday, Aug 8, 2014

What's in Bloom: Volunteers!

Flowers highlighted in this column over the last few months are blooming and thriving, due in great measure, to the conscientious efforts of the Jensen-Olson Arboretum's seasonal gardeners.
By MERRILL JENSEN

AK Experience Camp organizers looking for deer

Organizers of this year's AK Experience Camp: Alaskan Outdoor Skills and Adventure are finding themselves deer-less. The camp, coming up next week (running Aug. 11-15) needs a deer to teach the ...

Still room in Juneau Explorers Camp

The Juneau-Douglas Museum's Juneau Explorers Camp, for children ages 8 to 11, kicks off on Monday and will run from Aug. 11-15. This summer's theme is "Critters".

Upcoming hikes with Alpine Club include Grandchild Peaks, bouldering at Fred's

The local hiking club, the Juneau Alpine Club, will be hosting two events this week - one for advanced hikers and one for bouldering enthusiasts. The first hike will tackle Grandchild Peaks on ...

On the Trails: Hiking to Granite Basin

There are two principal ways to get to Granite Basin, and on a wonderfully warm and sunny day in early August, the Parks and Recreation Hiking Group used both of them.
By MARY F. WILLSON

Southeast Adventure: Observation Loop

Some Juneauites swear by their love of the rain. I've come to love it in many ways, too, as loving the rain is part of loving the rainforest.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Alaska Science Forum: Late summer arrives in the boreal forest

It's early August, 118 miles from the Arctic Circle. Time for a walk to work. The last time I wrote about hiking through the North Campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, summer was a puppy ...
By NED ROZELL

Friday, Aug 1, 2014

A Southeast Adventure: Kayaking Tracy Arm

I have a not-so-secret plan to get my younger brother, Chip, and his girlfriend, Carrie, to move here. Usually, my strategy consists of dropping not-so-subtle hints ("Wow, Chip, Alaska's so ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

On the Trails: Lupine puzzles

Lupine plants are common around here, and perhaps you've noticed that the uppermost petal (the so-called banner petal) is sometimes white and sometimes dark pink or almost purple, while the side ...
By Mary Willson

What's in Bloom: The Rocket

Ligularia stenocephala, commonly called "The Rocket," is a wonderful summer-blooming perennial that seems to have been designed exclusively for Juneau's cool, wet climate.
By MERRILL JENSEN

Bird Bits: Yellow marks the drop zone

The barn swallow chicks in the photo have a "runway lighted strip" for a mouth to guide home the food being delivered by parents. The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center is home to one colony of ...
By PATRICIA WHERRY

Sport fish report for the week of July 28

King salmon Marine boat anglers and shore-based anglers reported catching fewer adult king salmon and more feeder kings this past week compared to previous months.

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.

Salmon return, US Forest Service closes backside of Steep Creek Trail

Spawning sockeye salmon returned to Steep Creek, near the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center, on Saturday, July 26. Each year returning salmon attract wild black bears and many bear watchers. To ...

Alaskans celebrate National Farmers Market Week, Aug. 3-9

Alaskans are encouraged to visit the 37 farmers markets located throughout the state during National Farmers Market Week, Aug. 3 to 9, and throughout the remainder of the growing season.

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, ...
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