An Outdoor View: Wondering what fish want

Besides the question all men have, “What do women want?” another question keeps nagging at me. What do fish want?Right up front, I confess that… Continue reading

Jared White paddles his packraft through a rapid on the South Fork Flathead River, in Mont. Packrafts allows adventurers to float wilderness rivers without needing a pack string to carry a full-sized raft, said Jared White, the Wilderness Society's regional communications manager in Bozeman. (AP Photo/The Great Falls Tribune, Erin Madison)  NO SALES

Packrafting sees boom in popularity

BOB MARSHALL WILDERNESS, Mont. — As Scott Bosse launched his packraft in Youngs Creek, it felt as if gravity disappeared.“I find it tremendously liberating,” Bosse… Continue reading

Jared White paddles his packraft through a rapid on the South Fork Flathead River, in Mont. Packrafts allows adventurers to float wilderness rivers without needing a pack string to carry a full-sized raft, said Jared White, the Wilderness Society's regional communications manager in Bozeman. (AP Photo/The Great Falls Tribune, Erin Madison)  NO SALES
White spruce bearing heavy cone crop at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge's Visitor Center, August 12, 2014.  Photo by Matt Bowser/USFWS.

Refuge Notebook: Spruce mast events – feast or famine

Peer out the window or take a walk around the neighborhood asking yourself if the spruce trees bear an unusually large load of cones this… Continue reading

White spruce bearing heavy cone crop at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge's Visitor Center, August 12, 2014.  Photo by Matt Bowser/USFWS.
A guide waits to net a pink salmon caught by a member of military who spent two days fishing on the Kenai River Friday August 8, 2014 near Soldotna, Alaska. The Kenai River Foundation hosted the "Wounded Heroes" fishing event that brought more than 70 military members down to the Kenai River and paired them up with area guides who took them fishing August 8-9. Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion
A guide waits to net a pink salmon caught by a member of military who spent two days fishing on the Kenai River Friday August 8, 2014 near Soldotna, Alaska. The Kenai River Foundation hosted the "Wounded Heroes" fishing event that brought more than 70 military members down to the Kenai River and paired them up with area guides who took them fishing August 8-9. Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion
Refuge Notebook: Wind carries insidious exotic plant seeds

Refuge Notebook: Wind carries insidious exotic plant seeds

Roses are red, violets are blue, but what are all the yellow flowers along Kalifornsky Beach Road?! Along almost the entire length of Unity Trail… Continue reading

Refuge Notebook: Wind carries insidious exotic plant seeds

DNA tests to start on zoo’s bison

HUTCHINSON, — Across developed Kansas, with its roads and communities, homes and farms, it’s hard to imagine that millions of bison once roamed freely across… Continue reading

In this photo taken on June 29, 2014, South Sister rises high above the Sparks Lake, a popular place for canoeing and kayaking, in the central Cascades in Deschutes County,  about 35 miles west of Bend, Ore. (AP Photo/Statesman-Journal, Zach Urness)

Wilderness lakes offer escapes from masses

BEND, Ore. — With so many recreation-minded visitors descending on Central Oregon this summer, I’m almost hesitant to point this out: Besides Sparks, Elk, Cultus… Continue reading

In this photo taken on June 29, 2014, South Sister rises high above the Sparks Lake, a popular place for canoeing and kayaking, in the central Cascades in Deschutes County,  about 35 miles west of Bend, Ore. (AP Photo/Statesman-Journal, Zach Urness)
Courtesy photo/Kenai National Wildlife Refuge A rehabilitated bank at Jim's Landing on the Kenai River provides a resting place for a tired sockeye salmon.

Fish need riparian vegetation

It’s that magical time of year once again when the salmon are flooding through the Kenai River and its tributaries. People and wildlife alike flock… Continue reading

Courtesy photo/Kenai National Wildlife Refuge A rehabilitated bank at Jim's Landing on the Kenai River provides a resting place for a tired sockeye salmon.
This Monday, July 7, 2014 photo shows a zucchini flower in New Paltz, New York. Zucchini, picked before the flower has been shed, is young and tender and can be eaten flower and all. (AP Photo/Lee Reich)

Small is sometimes better in the vegetable world

Truman Capote famously told friends that the very wealthy eat better vegetables — tiny ones. So there’s another plus for gardening: It’s easier to eat… Continue reading

This Monday, July 7, 2014 photo shows a zucchini flower in New Paltz, New York. Zucchini, picked before the flower has been shed, is young and tender and can be eaten flower and all. (AP Photo/Lee Reich)
In this July 2014 photo, Mike Wieser of Boise, Idaho rides Sun?Valley, Idaho's newest flow trail, Saddle Up, during a race at the ski resort. Sun?Valley's trails and lifts are open to cyclists for the summer. (AP Photo/The Idaho Statesman, Roger Phillips)

Mountain bike trails go with the flow

BOISE, Idaho — Mountain biking started on hiking trails, then trails were later built with bikes in mind. The latest evolution in bike trails is… Continue reading

In this July 2014 photo, Mike Wieser of Boise, Idaho rides Sun?Valley, Idaho's newest flow trail, Saddle Up, during a race at the ski resort. Sun?Valley's trails and lifts are open to cyclists for the summer. (AP Photo/The Idaho Statesman, Roger Phillips)

An Outdoor View: On filling the freezer

In a perfect world, we’d be eating a sandwich made from the last of last year’s salmon while catching our first salmon of this year.… Continue reading

Photo by Bri Kilbourne Greater White Fronted Geese pack into the "pot", part of the trap into which flightless geese are herded by floatplanes on Innoko National Wildlife Refuge

Refuge Notebook: Herding geese – with airplanes?

That’s right! National Wildlife Refuges like to do things in style. And by style I mean using float planes to herd geese in order to… Continue reading

Photo by Bri Kilbourne Greater White Fronted Geese pack into the "pot", part of the trap into which flightless geese are herded by floatplanes on Innoko National Wildlife Refuge

Les Palmer: Changing the process

Author’s note: The Clarion previously published the following column on Mar. 25, 1994. Nothing has changed except the economic value of sport fishing for salmon… Continue reading

One of the yurts at the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies Peterson Bay Field Station.

Sitting on the dock of the bay: Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies gets new access

Since the early days when the Peterson Bay Field Station opened in 1983, visitors to the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies environmental education center started… Continue reading

One of the yurts at the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies Peterson Bay Field Station.

Researchers study Southeast Alaska watershed changes

JUNEAU (AP) — Southeast Alaska’s watersheds are changing quickly, and researchers are working to figure out how, why, and what those changes mean.Sanjay Pyare, Assistant… Continue reading

Photo courtesy John Morton The library at Ephesus, a Greco-Roman city in Turkey that persisted for 2,500 years while contemporary Aleuts and Dena'ina were settling the Kenai Peninsula.

Refuge Notebook: Tracking time in the New and Old Worlds

I had the good fortune to take a cruise through the Mediterranean this summer, focusing on ports with archaeological sites. My family marveled at Greco-Roman… Continue reading

Photo courtesy John Morton The library at Ephesus, a Greco-Roman city in Turkey that persisted for 2,500 years while contemporary Aleuts and Dena'ina were settling the Kenai Peninsula.

An Outdoor View: Chaos at the boat ramp

Let’s talk about one of the most hazardous areas for small boats, their owners and passengers, the launch ramp.For various reasons, boats, trailers and vehicles… Continue reading

This June 9, 2014 photo shows extreme hiker/biker Adam Bradley checking off items on his resupply list for a 16,000-mile trip that will start at his back door in Reno in July. It is a half and half cycling and walking trip. (AP Photo/Reno Gazette-Journal, Andy Barron)

Long haul: Adventurer plans on hiking, biking 16,000 remote miles

RENO, Nev. — After Adam Bradley walks with his wife, Shelly Culbertson, to her workplace about six miles from their Reno home, the couple will… Continue reading

This June 9, 2014 photo shows extreme hiker/biker Adam Bradley checking off items on his resupply list for a 16,000-mile trip that will start at his back door in Reno in July. It is a half and half cycling and walking trip. (AP Photo/Reno Gazette-Journal, Andy Barron)
This photo provided by St. Lynn's Press shows the first step to gather plants materials for making an original eco dyed scarf. For this particular scarf, eucalyptus leaves (both in the dye as well as in the bundled scarf), marigold petals, red and yellow onion skins, red rose petal and avocado skins were used.  (AP Photo/St. Lynn's Press, Chris McLaughlin)

A garden to dye for

Homegrown botanical dyes are in, part of today’s shift toward more natural and organic living.And you don’t need a degree in chemistry to create your… Continue reading

This photo provided by St. Lynn's Press shows the first step to gather plants materials for making an original eco dyed scarf. For this particular scarf, eucalyptus leaves (both in the dye as well as in the bundled scarf), marigold petals, red and yellow onion skins, red rose petal and avocado skins were used.  (AP Photo/St. Lynn's Press, Chris McLaughlin)
Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Alaska's state flower, the bright blue alpine forget-me-not.

Refuge Notebook: Nature shows off its red, white and blue for the Fourth

In an effort to commemorate and celebrate our nation’s birthday, it is with deep honor that I may present an Alaskan patriotic take on ‘Ole… Continue reading

Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Alaska's state flower, the bright blue alpine forget-me-not.