Global climate models from Germany (green), Canada (red) and USA (black) scaled to the Kenai predict that post-2030 mean summer temperatures will always be above the threshold for spruce bark beetle outbreaks.  Observed temperatures are from the Homer airport since 1932. Lower bar graph shows annual beetle-kill for southern Kenai since aerial surveys began in 1971 (US Forest Service). (Graphic by Ed Berg)

Refuge Notebook: Warm summers prepare for spruce bark beetle return

If you lived in the woods on the Kenai Peninsula in the 1990s, you may not want to read this article. Those were the years… Continue reading

Global climate models from Germany (green), Canada (red) and USA (black) scaled to the Kenai predict that post-2030 mean summer temperatures will always be above the threshold for spruce bark beetle outbreaks.  Observed temperatures are from the Homer airport since 1932. Lower bar graph shows annual beetle-kill for southern Kenai since aerial surveys began in 1971 (US Forest Service). (Graphic by Ed Berg)
ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, SEPT. 5-6 - In this photo taken Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, a dragonfly nymph was one of the macroinvertebrates collected during the Institute for Applied Ecology Willamette River trip near Corvallis, Ore. . (Andy Cripe/The Corvallis Gazette-Times via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

Teachers learn to make the outdoors their classroom

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Bonni Villaman and Deanna Wilson, both elementary school teachers, set the tone of the day early by ramming their canoe into a… Continue reading

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, SEPT. 5-6 - In this photo taken Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, a dragonfly nymph was one of the macroinvertebrates collected during the Institute for Applied Ecology Willamette River trip near Corvallis, Ore. . (Andy Cripe/The Corvallis Gazette-Times via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

An Outdoor View: The money motive

Bill Santos, who lives in Taunton, Mass., called me earlier this week, and the talk soon turned to fishing.For many years, Bill made the long… Continue reading

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND OF AUG. 29-30, 2015. In this August 8, 2015 photo, Christine Simko walks along a trail on the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve near McCarthy, Alaska. Depending on who you ask, the 9-mile round trip from Kennecott Mill Town to Bonanza Mine is either "an easy one" or "unrelenting." Similar sentiments could be applied to the nearby Jumbo Mine trip, which is one mile longer and rises 3,400 feet. (Robin Wood/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner via AP)

Biking and hiking Kennecott’s abandoned mine

FAIRBANKS (AP) — Tires flung mud in our eyes and rain soaked every layer of clothing. The descent made our brake rotors too hot to… Continue reading

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND OF AUG. 29-30, 2015. In this August 8, 2015 photo, Christine Simko walks along a trail on the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve near McCarthy, Alaska. Depending on who you ask, the 9-mile round trip from Kennecott Mill Town to Bonanza Mine is either "an easy one" or "unrelenting." Similar sentiments could be applied to the nearby Jumbo Mine trip, which is one mile longer and rises 3,400 feet. (Robin Wood/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner via AP)
Ranger Jake dissects a salmon at one of his amazing summer camps for local kids at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: The Kenai Crusader – Tales of a Kenai refuge intern

People are screaming and sirens are wailing throughout the city. Children are lost, stumbling lone through the streets. Parents and guardians scramble to sift through… Continue reading

Ranger Jake dissects a salmon at one of his amazing summer camps for local kids at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion  In this October 19, 2014 file photo an angler fishes on the Kenai River near its outlet from Skilak Lake. Rainbow trout fishing has been hot in this area and river-wide for weeks.

For a different challenge, try chasing Kenai River rainbows

For weeks, rainbow trout fishing on the Kenai River has been hot. Clear, low water filled with the rotting flesh and stray eggs of spawned… Continue reading

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion  In this October 19, 2014 file photo an angler fishes on the Kenai River near its outlet from Skilak Lake. Rainbow trout fishing has been hot in this area and river-wide for weeks.

Fishing report: Fall anglers have sights on silvers, rainbows, steelhead

While anglers should be cautious with rising water on the Kenai River from the release of the Snow Glacier-dammed lake, the event does come with… Continue reading

The fishing how-to

The first fishing how-to in print was Izaak Walton’s “The Compleat Angler,” published in 1653, and writers have been writing how-tos ever since.Writing fishing how-tos… Continue reading

The aftermath of this year's Card Street fire where it burned along the Kenai River. Kenai National Wildlife Refuge photo

Refuge Notebook: After the fire

There’s a saying in Alaska that when the fireweed stops blooming that the wildfire season is over. This seems to be valid for most but… Continue reading

The aftermath of this year's Card Street fire where it burned along the Kenai River. Kenai National Wildlife Refuge photo
This June 10, 2015 photo shows a honeybee about to descend on a blackberry blossom growing near Langley, Wash. Hundreds of flowers, shrubs, trees and vines can be used to sustain pollinators. Take a walk around the neighborhood to determine which blooms are the most popular with bees and butterflies and then add similar varieties to your yard. (Dean Fosdick via AP)

Pollinator Pockets: small plots with nectar-rich plants

It doesn’t take massive flowerbeds to make beneficial insects happy — just a few pollen- and nectar-rich plants in a small area, a “pollinator pocket.”Common… Continue reading

This June 10, 2015 photo shows a honeybee about to descend on a blackberry blossom growing near Langley, Wash. Hundreds of flowers, shrubs, trees and vines can be used to sustain pollinators. Take a walk around the neighborhood to determine which blooms are the most popular with bees and butterflies and then add similar varieties to your yard. (Dean Fosdick via AP)

Fishing report: Enjoy the sunshine and the silvers

Normally, the Kenai Peninsula seems to go straight from summer into fall. This year, however, summer has been lingering — and the fish in peninsula… Continue reading

A panoramic view from the summit of Bear Mountain Trail. Hinton's Knob divides Skilak Lake into two sections. Skilak Lookout and Vista trails climb up opposite sides of Hinton's Knob. Photo by Nick Longobardi/USFWS.

Refuge Notebook: Bear Mountain Trail offers photo, berry-picking options

Is that expensive camera you bought last winter in hopes of becoming a professional photographer just sitting there collecting dust? Or did you just get… Continue reading

A panoramic view from the summit of Bear Mountain Trail. Hinton's Knob divides Skilak Lake into two sections. Skilak Lookout and Vista trails climb up opposite sides of Hinton's Knob. Photo by Nick Longobardi/USFWS.

An Outdoor View: Zoo comes to Alaska

For centuries, mankind has been the dominant species. We domesticated animals, locked them up, killed them for sport. But what if all across the globe,… Continue reading

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDTIONS, AUG. 15-16 - In this photo taken July 29, 2015, backpackers Samantha Journot and Luke Bakken of the Spokane Mountaineers climb or crawl through tangles of timber along the Boundary Trail in the Pasayten River drainage  north of Winthrop, Wash. The area was ravaged by a wildfire in 2006. (Rich Landers/The Spokesman-Review via AP) COEUR D'ALENE PRESS OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT

Outdoors club celebrates centennial

WINTHROP, Wash. (AP) — A 100-mile backpacking trip is a good start for sizing up a wilderness area as well as understanding what makes a… Continue reading

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDTIONS, AUG. 15-16 - In this photo taken July 29, 2015, backpackers Samantha Journot and Luke Bakken of the Spokane Mountaineers climb or crawl through tangles of timber along the Boundary Trail in the Pasayten River drainage  north of Winthrop, Wash. The area was ravaged by a wildfire in 2006. (Rich Landers/The Spokesman-Review via AP) COEUR D'ALENE PRESS OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT
This undated photo shows a cover crop that is ornamental even as it improves the soil in flower beds at Chanticleer Gardens in Wayne, Pa. (Lee Reich via AP)

Clothe your soil: Cover crops help enrich it

Cover crops are plants that gardeners and farmers have, since the beginnings of agriculture, grown not to eat but for the good of the soil.Blanketing… Continue reading

This undated photo shows a cover crop that is ornamental even as it improves the soil in flower beds at Chanticleer Gardens in Wayne, Pa. (Lee Reich via AP)

Conserving the Kings

I can’t remember the last time I fished for Kenai River king salmon, but it was at least four years ago, and then only once… Continue reading

Back to front, Nathan Lervold, Talon Musgrave, Atom Skeeba, Elizabeth Keys and Amber Hamar repair benches used for outdoor educational programs at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: Local kids do big work

This year’s Youth Conservation Corps program has come to an end. Every summer a few lucky, randomly-chosen local high school students apply for positions to… Continue reading

Back to front, Nathan Lervold, Talon Musgrave, Atom Skeeba, Elizabeth Keys and Amber Hamar repair benches used for outdoor educational programs at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

An Outdoor View: Why do we hunt?

Author’s note: This column first appeared in the Clarion on Aug. 14, 1987. I’ve edited it slightly for brevity. — LPThe sight of gold leaves… Continue reading

Deanna Wohlgemuth stands outside her camper on July 17, 2015 in Vancouver, Wash.   Wohlgemuth's dubbed the camper "Matilda," which is a 1963 16-foot Aristocrat camper she rescued from the junk heap, she now rents it our for camping and events. (Natalie Behring/The Columbian via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

Live small to live large: Vintage campers inspire bartender

VANCOUVER, Wash. — Sometimes, smaller is better.Just ask Deanna Wohlgemuth, who still lives with her children in the small first home she bought 15 years… Continue reading

Deanna Wohlgemuth stands outside her camper on July 17, 2015 in Vancouver, Wash.   Wohlgemuth's dubbed the camper "Matilda," which is a 1963 16-foot Aristocrat camper she rescued from the junk heap, she now rents it our for camping and events. (Natalie Behring/The Columbian via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
This March 16, 2015 photo shows pink salmon cakes on sourdough with lemon herb aioli  in Concord, NH. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Pink salmon offers lean, soft meat

With a delicate flavor, rosy pink flesh and a texture similar to trout, pink salmon offers a blank canvas for sauces and other flavorings. Pink… Continue reading

This March 16, 2015 photo shows pink salmon cakes on sourdough with lemon herb aioli  in Concord, NH. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)