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Outdoors

SAM HERREID
Glacier researcher Sam Herreid baths in a lake on Canwell Glacier in the eastern Alaska Range.

Alaska Science Forum: Living on a glacier, thinking about rocks

This summer, Sam Herreid has slept for 12 nights on these rocks that ride slowly downhill on a mass of ice. For a few days at a time during the last six summers, the 28-year-old has lived on this ephemeral landscape in the eastern Alaska Range.

by NED ROZELL

Off the Beaten Path: A bear's last feast

A very large Admiralty Island brown bear, its bloated belly hanging low, waded down Pack Creek pouncing on the last of the year's salmon. It devoured skin, meat and innards. It dug under a log, racked out a rotten carcass and ravenously...
BJORN DIHLE

Off the Trails: Muskeg ponds

Many of our muskegs are dotted with small ponds that are wonderful microcosms; I like to prowl around them, just to see what is going on there, at least among some of the larger forms of life.
MARY F. WILLSON

Dirt Girl: Drawing up defenses against next year's slugs

When my daughter was little, I created the question game. Basically, it's an either or game. Would you rather eat ice cream or cake? Go down a slide or swing? I still use the game, but I've added one telling question.
CORINNE CONLON

Bristol Bay sockeye output blows last season out of water

For the third season in a row, the world's largest sockeye salmon run featured above-average numbers, a late run, and sub-average prices for the fishermen.
DJ SUMMERS

Forest Service contracting workshops

The U.S. Forest service is offering free government contracting workshops in Juneau and Ketchikan for tribal governments and small businesses interested in contract work with the federal government and the Forest Service.
KEVIN GULLUFSEN

Glacier Fall Fun Fest

The U.S. Forest Service is hosting Fall Fun Fest at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24. The event will be combined with National Public Lands Day and is a fee-free day.
KEVIN GULLUFSEN

Articles from the Outdoors section archive

Friday, Sept. 23, 2016

Glacier Fall Fun Fest

The U.S. Forest Service is hosting Fall Fun Fest at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24. The event will be combined with National Public Lands Day and ...
By KEVIN GULLUFSEN

Forest Service contracting workshops

The U.S. Forest service is offering free government contracting workshops in Juneau and Ketchikan for tribal governments and small businesses interested in contract work with the federal ...
By KEVIN GULLUFSEN

Bristol Bay sockeye output blows last season out of water

For the third season in a row, the world's largest sockeye salmon run featured above-average numbers, a late run, and sub-average prices for the fishermen.
By DJ SUMMERS

Alaska Science Forum: Living on a glacier, thinking about rocks

This summer, Sam Herreid has slept for 12 nights on these rocks that ride slowly downhill on a mass of ice. For a few days at a time during the last six summers, the 28-year-old has lived on this ...
By NED ROZELL

Off the Trails: Muskeg ponds

Many of our muskegs are dotted with small ponds that are wonderful microcosms; I like to prowl around them, just to see what is going on there, at least among some of the larger forms of life.
By MARY F. WILLSON

Dirt Girl: Drawing up defenses against next year's slugs

When my daughter was little, I created the question game. Basically, it's an either or game. Would you rather eat ice cream or cake? Go down a slide or swing? I still use the game, but I've added ...
By CORINNE CONLON

Off the Beaten Path: A bear's last feast

A very large Admiralty Island brown bear, its bloated belly hanging low, waded down Pack Creek pouncing on the last of the year's salmon. It devoured skin, meat and innards. It dug under a log, ...
By BJORN DIHLE

Friday, Sept. 16, 2016

Wild Shots

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

Off the Trails: Hither and yon

One sunny day in late August, a friend and I headed up to the meadows at the base of Mount Jumbo, just above the Treadwell Ditch. On the way, we stopped to check on a rumor that a new bridge over ...
By MARY F. WILLSON

Friday, Sept. 9, 2016

Off the Trails: Getting to know woolly bears

In late August and early September, Juneau folks frequently remarked on the numbers of fuzzy, orange and black caterpillars in their gardens or crawling over paths and roadways.
By MARY F. WILLSON

Alaska Science Forum: Rabies endures with help of the arctic fox

Rabies is a death sentence for any animal. Experts have wondered how a virus survives when it kills all the creatures it infects.
By NED ROZELL

Gustavus moose hunt meeting is Sept. 14

Alaska Department of Fish and Game will hold an informational meeting for the upcoming Gustavus moose hunt (RM049) at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14 at Gustavus School.

Dirt Girl: Know when to harvest root vegetables

Back when I had a small garden, I didn't need to worry too much about the end of the season. By the time the temperatures dropped and we were solidly into the sideways rain of autumn, I was done.
By CORINNE CONLON

Wild Shots

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

Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016

Community takes lead in glacier area upgrades

In retooling 6,000 acres of prized recreation area surrounding the Mendenhall Glacier, the U.S. Forest Service is taking a fresh approach: letting the community lead infrastructure redesign from ...
By KEVIN GULLUFSEN

Friday, Sept. 2, 2016

Off the Trails: Curious naturalists

Some friends and I find it endlessly entertaining to take a walk and just see what we can see. Sometimes our curiosity raises more questions than it answers, but that is OK. Here are a few ...
By MARY F. WILLSON

Alaska Science Forum: Exotic ticks found on Alaska dogs, Alaskans

While Alaskans have long endured dense mosquitoes and frigid air, we've always had the absence of venomous snakes and dog ticks. But the latter may be establishing themselves here.
By NED ROZELL

Obama visits far-flung Midway Atoll

HONOLULU - Halfway between East and West, President Barack Obama traveled Thursday to one of the most remote corners of the ocean - Midway Atoll - to amplify his call for global action on ...
By JOSH LEDERMAN

Portions of Yellowstone River, some tributaries open following parasite infection

BILLINGS, Mont. - Montana re-opened portions of the Yellowstone River and some tributaries Thursday but is keeping a popular stretch closed to all recreational activity due to a parasite that has ...
By MATTHEW BROWN

Hawaii dodges Madeline, prepares for second storm

HILO, Hawaii - A tropical storm left parts of Hawaii's Big Island soggy but intact Thursday as residents of the island state prepare for a second round of potentially volatile tropical weather.
By AUDREY McAVOY

Friday, Aug 26, 2016

Off the Trails: The life of bumblebees

A bumblebee colony begins in spring, when a queen bee emerges from hibernation and searches for nectar and pollen. She mated the previous fall, so her eggs are fertilized.
By MARY F. WILLSON

Alaska Science Forum: The state of the state, 110 years ago

Alfred Brooks was a geologist who traveled thousands of miles in Alaska and left his name on the state's northernmost mountain range.
By NED ROZELL

Dirt Girl: Johnson Youth Center takes home the gold

The Johnson Youth Center Garden Program may not have taken gold, but at the Harvest Fair I counted 29 ribbons from their entries. In the end they took six class championships and the grand ...
By CORINNE CONLON

National Park Service celebrates 100 years, seeks minorities' support

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. - When Asha Jones and other Grand Canyon interns arrived for their summer at the national park, they were struck by its sheer immensity, beauty and world-class ...
By FELICIA FONSECA and BEATRIZ COSTA-LIMA

Waterfowl hunting season to feature bag limit boosts for some species

Waterfowl hunting season opens Sept. 1 over much of Alaska and several regulations changes - including increases to daily bag limits for canvasbacks, snow geese and brant - spell good news for ...

Community input requested for Glacier facilities design

The U.S. Forest Service invites the community to participate in design meetings beginning 6:30 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Juneau Ranger District conference room at 8510 Mendenhall Loop Road.
By KEVIN GULLUFSEN

Wolf advocates outraged that state preparing to kill wolves

SPOKANE, Wash. - Wolf advocates are outraged that the state is preparing for the second time to exterminate an entire wolf pack for preying on livestock in northeastern Washington state.
By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS

Friday, Aug 19, 2016

ATA registered shoot results

On a rainy Juneau day, seven members of the Juneau Gun Club participated in a scheduled ATA Registered Shoot. Six shot while one member, "Bud" Burnett, huddled in raingear under an umbrella and ...

Western Governors plan workshops on forest management

HELENA, Mont. - The Western Governors' Association plans five workshops to discuss forest and rangeland management practices and develop a compromise that could include more logging while also ...

Shooting practice league prep for duck season

For the upcoming duck season, the Juneau Gun Club is offering to its members and the general public a four-week shotgun shooting practice league. The league will be conducted from 10 a.m. until 2 ...

Niagara Falls latest natural wonder to add zip line

Niagara Falls is the latest natural wonder to add a zip line, offering honeymooners and everyone else the chance to take an adrenaline-pumping plunge toward churning mist at speeds topping 40 mph.
By MICHAEL HILL

Toxins found in phytoplankton in Sitka and Hydaburg

The Southeast Alaska Tribal Toxins partnership discovered harmful toxins in some phytoplankton that could cause health effects in humans while collecting samples in Southeast Alaska.

Thursday, Aug 18, 2016

Alaskan restrictions help Yukon kings meet Canadian goals

For the second year running, Yukon River chinook salmon seem to be climbing out of an abundance pit.
By DJ SUMMERS

Poor production of pink salmon mystifies

Weather patterns contributed to a screwy sockeye run in 2015, and this year the same is happening to pinks, the second-largest salmon harvest in Alaska. In 2016, commercial fishermen have only ...
By DJ SUMMERS

Off the Trails: Plant evolution and life cycles

Occasionally, friends have asked me about the life cycles of plants, so here I will attempt to summarize them, in the context of plant evolution.
By MARY F. WILLSON

Tracking Juneau's endangered bats

"It sounds a little bit crackly," Courtney Pegus said, putting his ear to what looked like an oversized walkie talkie.
By KEVIN GULLUFSEN

Wednesday, Aug 17, 2016

Southeast tribes voice mining concerns to State Department

Southeast tribal groups met with officials from the Department of State and the Environmental Protection Agency last week in Juneau and Ketchikan to discuss ongoing issues with Canadian mining ...
By KEVIN GULLUFSEN

Friday, Aug 12, 2016

August trap shooting results

On Aug. 6, ten members of the Juneau Gun Club trap shooters took part in the trap shooting event.

Deep Bay Cabin available for rental

The Deep Bay Cabin on Zarembo Island, which used to be an administrative site for the Wrangell Ranger District, will be a public recreation cabin available for rental. The listing for the cabin ...

Alaska Science Forum: Flood control project keeps Fairbanks dry

MOOSE CREEK DAM - For the thirteenth consecutive day, four plates of steel in a framework of concrete have quietly saved Fairbanks.
By NED ROZELL

Dirt Girl: A few words on fennel

With so many plants at the point of harvest, I feel a bit guilty talking about one plant. And, by one plant, I mean one plant.
By CORINNE CONLON

Anglers without tickets miss derby position

Two anglers in the past week found themselves pulling giant halibut out of the ocean without a derby ticket to their names.
By ANNA FROST

Off the Trails: Summer ending and seed dispersal

Summer seems to be closing down all too quickly. Bird song is past, replaced by the chips and squeaks of juvenile birds scuttling in the underbrush.
By MARY F. WILLSON

Thursday, Aug 11, 2016

15 states to appeals court: Overturn endangered frog ruling

NEW ORLEANS - Fifteen states are asking a federal appeals court to reconsider a Louisiana landowner's attempt to keep the government from listing 1,500 forest acres as essential to an endangered frog.

Protesters urge governor to stop hunting of Denali wolves

FAIRBANKS - The start of wolf hunting season near Denali National Park has opponents calling on Gov. Bill Walker to protect the animals in light of the park's declining wolf population.

Wednesday, Aug 10, 2016

Woodshed Kings: How much wood is enough?

HOW MUCH WOOD IS ENOUGH? The junk mail du jour was one of those women's sportswear catalogs where trim, angular-jawed yuppies peer intently into the distance as they trot on a beach in eighty ...
By DICK CALLAHAN

Friday, Aug 5, 2016

Off the Trails: Spruce aphid numbers are growing, but is it enough to do harm?

When the needles began to fall like rain earlier in the summer, and piled up in windrows on sidewalks and roadways, every one wondered why that was happening.
By MARY F. WILLSON

Alaska Science Forum: Scientists reveal what killed St. Paul mammoths

Using the tiniest of clues, scientists have determined what probably killed the woolly mammoths of St. Paul Island - thirst. "It looks like climate did them in," said Matthew Wooller, the UAF ...
By NED ROZELL

Salmon decline in Yukon River mystifies

TESLIN, Yukon Territory - Ask scientists about the decline of the Yukon River's chinook salmon run, and they'll tell you they know one thing for sure - it's for real. After that, it gets harder.
By BOB WEBER

Feds ban predator control on 73 million acres

ANCHORAGE - Federal wildlife officials are implementing a rule prohibiting predator control on national wildlife refuges in Alaska, more than 73 million acres of land, with some exceptions.

Wild Shots

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

Friday, July 29, 2016

Alaska Science Forum: Elephant Point and forests on ice

For all the descriptive Alaska place names out there - like the Grand Canyon, the Wall of China and the three Death Valleys - there are some that make you wonder. Elephant Point is just south of ...
By NED ROZELL

Fishermen's group kicks off information program

The United Fishermen of Alaska kicked off their Salmon Habitat Information Program (SHIP) this week by opening an online opinion survey for commercial fishermen and their families.
By KEVIN GULLUFSEN

$10 million available for fisheries projects from NOAA

NOAA Fisheries has made $10 million in funding for projects focusing on sustainable fisheries and coastal fishing communities, it reported in a recent press release.

Dirt Girl: When is the right time to harvest garlic, shallots?

Last fall I planted garlic and shallots. Thinking about them now takes me back to those early spring days when the covering was removed and the seaweed pushed aside. This allowed those first ...
By CORINNE CONLON

Off the Trails: Toadlets, sticklebacks and sweetgrass

A short visit to Gustavus in mid-July yielded a diversity of interesting observations. My friend had a report of toads near a gravel pit, so we went out to see.
By MARY F. WILLSON

Butterfly walks are popular with all ages

SPOKANE, Wash. - Butterflies are more than just another pretty bug. They're pollinators and indicators of a healthy environment. They play a role in natural pest control as well as being ...
By RICH LANDERS

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Paddling the Inside Passage in an 'origami' kayak

Below the gangway leading down to Harris Harbor, 25-year-old medical student Austin Jones split open his foldable kayak, revealing among water bottles, camping and survival gear two canisters: one ...
By KEVIN GULLUFSEN

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