LeTourneau tree crushers were used in the 1970s to create browse for moose on the Kenai National Moose Range. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: How resource management has evolved on Kenai National Wildlife Refuge

People (including my mother) often confuse National Wildlife Refuges with National Parks, thinking they serve similar purposes. But parks are about people and refuges are… Continue reading

LeTourneau tree crushers were used in the 1970s to create browse for moose on the Kenai National Moose Range. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
A bicyclist makes her way down the path at Centennial Park on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018 in Soldotna, Alaska. The Soldotna Department of Parks and Recreation recently began grooming the loop trail at Centennial Park for multiple uses, from walking to skiing to biking. The central Kenai Peninsula got a fresh coat of snow Saturday, with more predicted for Sunday night and Monday. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

Out for a spin

A bicyclist makes her way down the path at Centennial Park on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018 in Soldotna, Alaska. The Soldotna Department of Parks and… Continue reading

A bicyclist makes her way down the path at Centennial Park on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018 in Soldotna, Alaska. The Soldotna Department of Parks and Recreation recently began grooming the loop trail at Centennial Park for multiple uses, from walking to skiing to biking. The central Kenai Peninsula got a fresh coat of snow Saturday, with more predicted for Sunday night and Monday. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)
Using a drip torch to light piled vegetation and other burnable debris to reduce fuel loads along the wildland-urban interface on Funny River Road. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: The ‘why factor’ in fire management

In a time-compressed environment, such as during the initial response to a new wildfire, responders don’t always have the opportunity to provide a thorough, in-depth… Continue reading

Using a drip torch to light piled vegetation and other burnable debris to reduce fuel loads along the wildland-urban interface on Funny River Road. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

An Outdoor View: Bonefishing, Part 8

Author’s note: This column is the eighth in a series about fishing at Christmas Island in 1987. — LP March 1 — Tragedy! During the… Continue reading

This October 2017 photo shows the Denali Cabin, a public use cabin, at the Kesugi Ken Campground near Denali State Park, Alaska. The Denali Cabin is one of an extensive system of federal- and state-owned public use cabins on park lands across the state of Alaska. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

State asks to build more public use cabins to meet demand

Alaska’s public use cabins are really popular. Rentable cabins of all shapes and sizes occupy corners all over state and federal park lands in Alaska,… Continue reading

This October 2017 photo shows the Denali Cabin, a public use cabin, at the Kesugi Ken Campground near Denali State Park, Alaska. The Denali Cabin is one of an extensive system of federal- and state-owned public use cabins on park lands across the state of Alaska. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)
A black bear mother and her three cubs on Skilak Lake Road in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (July 2017). Delayed implantation of the fertilized egg prevents pregnancy from starting until late fall, several months after mating. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: Winter wildlife babies on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge

Being six months pregnant in the dead of winter (as I am) has its challenges — from trying to zip up a coat that’s too… Continue reading

A black bear mother and her three cubs on Skilak Lake Road in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (July 2017). Delayed implantation of the fertilized egg prevents pregnancy from starting until late fall, several months after mating. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
This page taken from the Kenai Penisula Borough Lands Department’s documentation submitted to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly shows the proposed new location for the Cooper Landing Rifle and Sportsman’s Club’s gun range. The club has operated the gun range on Bean Creek Road in Cooper Landing since 1947 and is now considering relocating further outside the community. (Courtesy the Kenai Peninsula Borough)

Cooper Landing gun range looks to move out of town

After more than 70 years in the same place, the Cooper Landing gun club is looking to move its shooting range. The range, settled atop… Continue reading

This page taken from the Kenai Penisula Borough Lands Department’s documentation submitted to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly shows the proposed new location for the Cooper Landing Rifle and Sportsman’s Club’s gun range. The club has operated the gun range on Bean Creek Road in Cooper Landing since 1947 and is now considering relocating further outside the community. (Courtesy the Kenai Peninsula Borough)
Musher Travis Beals crosses the finish line of the Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race with his team to take second place Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018 at Freddie’s Roadhouse in Ninilchik, Alaska. Beals came in just after winner Nicolas Petit and said he used the race as training for this year’s Iditarod. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Nicolas Petit claims his first T200 victory, third win in a row

Musher Nicolas Petit can finally say he’s won the Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race. By claiming the top spot Sunday in the race that takes… Continue reading

Musher Travis Beals crosses the finish line of the Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race with his team to take second place Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018 at Freddie’s Roadhouse in Ninilchik, Alaska. Beals came in just after winner Nicolas Petit and said he used the race as training for this year’s Iditarod. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Following tracks left by American marten in the Kenai Lowlands can be a great way to experience the outdoors in winter. (Photo by Andy Baltensperger)

Refuge Notebook: Contact with the natural world benefits our well-being

I read in a recent newspaper article how even a brief contact with the natural world, or nature, can benefit our well-being. Researchers found that… Continue reading

Following tracks left by American marten in the Kenai Lowlands can be a great way to experience the outdoors in winter. (Photo by Andy Baltensperger)
A Soldotna Parks & Recreation worker sprays a layer of water to be frozen into a skating rink Thursday at Soldotna Creek Park. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Ice skating the big thing on area lakes

There are a variety of lakes that provide a perfect frozen landscape for lacing up a pair of skates, but two in the Kenai and… Continue reading

A Soldotna Parks & Recreation worker sprays a layer of water to be frozen into a skating rink Thursday at Soldotna Creek Park. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

An Outdoor View: Bonefishing, Part 7

Author’s note: This column is the seventh in a series about fishing at Christmas Island in 1987. — LP Feb. 27 — Up early and… Continue reading

Drivers skid around one of the corners on the ice track atop a frozen lake at the Decanter Inn on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2018 in Kasilof, Alaska. Every Sunday in the winter, the Decanter Inn hosts Peninsula Ice Racing events for drivers to try their hand at the frozen track on the shallow lake at the bottom of the hill behind the inn. The racers can use studded tires on their front wheels only and equip the sides of their vehicles with bumpers as other vehicles are likely to slip and slide into them. Spinning out is common. A tow truck waits on the sidelines to retrieve drivers who get stuck on the berms alongside the track. Fans gathered Sunday despite the cold to cheer the racers on. The men race in the morning, followed by the women’s races in the afternoon. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

Ready, set, skid

Exhaust plumes toward the sky and engines rev, clattering against the icebound trees and windblown snow around the frozen lake. Drivers in refitted older cars,… Continue reading

Drivers skid around one of the corners on the ice track atop a frozen lake at the Decanter Inn on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2018 in Kasilof, Alaska. Every Sunday in the winter, the Decanter Inn hosts Peninsula Ice Racing events for drivers to try their hand at the frozen track on the shallow lake at the bottom of the hill behind the inn. The racers can use studded tires on their front wheels only and equip the sides of their vehicles with bumpers as other vehicles are likely to slip and slide into them. Spinning out is common. A tow truck waits on the sidelines to retrieve drivers who get stuck on the berms alongside the track. Fans gathered Sunday despite the cold to cheer the racers on. The men race in the morning, followed by the women’s races in the afternoon. (Photo by Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

Ways to go

Learning to move is a task that comes along just a few times per life. As an infant you get two opportunities: first learning to… Continue reading

Participants in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge’s “Stick and String Naturalist Camp” canoe across Dolly Varden Lake in hopes of catching rainbow trout or arctic char on flies that they tied themselves. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: Magical moments on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge

I have a collection of outdoor memories I carry around in my mind at all times. These are magical and unforgettable moments I have experienced… Continue reading

Participants in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge’s “Stick and String Naturalist Camp” canoe across Dolly Varden Lake in hopes of catching rainbow trout or arctic char on flies that they tied themselves. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
Some of the tools for ice fishing, including a rod, holder and auger, are seen here during a trip fishing on Spirit Lake Dec. 26, 2017, while other anglers continue to set up their rigs to fish. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Embracing winter: ice fishing on the Kenai Peninsula

Fishing across the Kenai Peninsula this time of year is easy to find, you just have to drill through a layer of ice to get… Continue reading

Some of the tools for ice fishing, including a rod, holder and auger, are seen here during a trip fishing on Spirit Lake Dec. 26, 2017, while other anglers continue to set up their rigs to fish. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Snowfall increases avalanche danger in Turnagain Pass

Avalanche experts are warning people to stay away from high elevations for the next few days in the Turnagain Pass area. Heavy winds and curtains… Continue reading

An Outdoor View: Bonefishing, Part 6

Author’s note: This column is the sixth in a series about fishing at Christmas Island in 1987. — LP Feb. 26 — In the wee… Continue reading

Magellanic Penguins are only found along the coast of southern South America, not Antarctica. They are named after Ferdinand Magellan, the first European (Portuguese) to navigate around the tip of South America in 1520. (Photo courtesy John &

Refuge Notebook: Lessons learned from Tierra del Fuego

People recreationally travel for many reasons, but most often it’s to see new places, do new things, eat new foods or encounter new cultures. I… Continue reading

Magellanic Penguins are only found along the coast of southern South America, not Antarctica. They are named after Ferdinand Magellan, the first European (Portuguese) to navigate around the tip of South America in 1520. (Photo courtesy John &
A three-toed woodpecker rattles away on a beetle-killed spruce. The yellow staining is apparent on the tail, wingtips, breast, and throat. The gold cap on its head is the normal coloration. (Matt Bowser, USFWS, Jan 28, 2017)

Refuge Notebook: A splash of yellow on the winter landscape

A few years ago I received a call about an odd, unidentifiable bird. This is not an abnormal call to our office and we are… Continue reading

A three-toed woodpecker rattles away on a beetle-killed spruce. The yellow staining is apparent on the tail, wingtips, breast, and throat. The gold cap on its head is the normal coloration. (Matt Bowser, USFWS, Jan 28, 2017)

New years resolutions to receive big boost

Getting out and working on those New Year’s resolution fitness goals just got easier. With the start of the new year comes a bevy of… Continue reading