Recreation briefs

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. On Earth Day, April 22 the first of the refuge’s “Wilderness” events for this year… Continue reading

Refuge Notebook: Know the regs for black bear baiting season

With bear baiting season just around the corner, I thought I’d take this opportunity to review the rules and regulations for baiting black bears on… Continue reading

Les Palmer: Fish board politics

I get an anxious feeling whenever state legislators talk about fishing, so I’ve been anxious lately.Most recently, it happened during “Fish Week,”when user-groups and state… Continue reading

This March 22, 2014 photo shows a ladybug on a residential property in Langley, Wash. Many gardeners use pesticides - organic or otherwise - only as a last resort. They opt instead for such predatory insects as ladybugs, which individually can consume up to 5,000 aphids during their lifetime, and can be bought commercially and released from containers into the garden. (AP Photo/Dean Fosdick)

Benign neglect? Garden pest control naturally

Gardeners worried about the safety of synthetic pest-control products sometimes turn to botanically derived compounds instead. But many of those also contain toxic ingredients, such… Continue reading

This March 22, 2014 photo shows a ladybug on a residential property in Langley, Wash. Many gardeners use pesticides - organic or otherwise - only as a last resort. They opt instead for such predatory insects as ladybugs, which individually can consume up to 5,000 aphids during their lifetime, and can be bought commercially and released from containers into the garden. (AP Photo/Dean Fosdick)
Kenai National Wildlife Refuge photo       Looking to the right of the boat launch across glacially-carved Hidden Lake is 2,890 foot Hideout Hill.

Refuge Notebook: Hidden Lake Campground – a ‘hidden gem’ on the Kenai Refuge

I am often asked thought provoking questions while working in the Kenai Refuge Visitor Center. Recently, I was asked how Hidden Lake Campground received its… Continue reading

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge photo       Looking to the right of the boat launch across glacially-carved Hidden Lake is 2,890 foot Hideout Hill.

Les Palmer: All about zombies

I hadn’t thought much about zombies until just recently, but now that they’re lurching around pretty much everywhere, and a zombie apocalypse is imminent, I… Continue reading

In this photo taken Sunday, March 30, 2014 and provided by Ed Plumb, unicyclist Elliott Wilson leaves a checkpoint during the White Mountains 100-mile ultra-marathon, north of Fairbanks, Alaska. When Wilson decided to ride a unicycle in the White Mountains 100 endurance race, he knew it was an off-the-wall idea. After all, most people wouldn't think about riding 100 miles on snowmachine and dog mushing trails in late March in Fairbanks on two wheels, much less one. Wilson succeeded, much to the surprise of himself, as well as some of Fairbanks' foremost two wheelers. (AP Photo/Ed Plumb)

Fairbanks unicyclist completes 100-mile race

FAIRBANKS, Alaska — When Elliot Wilson decided to ride a unicycle in the White Mountains 100 endurance race, he knew it was an off-the-wall idea.After… Continue reading

In this photo taken Sunday, March 30, 2014 and provided by Ed Plumb, unicyclist Elliott Wilson leaves a checkpoint during the White Mountains 100-mile ultra-marathon, north of Fairbanks, Alaska. When Wilson decided to ride a unicycle in the White Mountains 100 endurance race, he knew it was an off-the-wall idea. After all, most people wouldn't think about riding 100 miles on snowmachine and dog mushing trails in late March in Fairbanks on two wheels, much less one. Wilson succeeded, much to the surprise of himself, as well as some of Fairbanks' foremost two wheelers. (AP Photo/Ed Plumb)

Wetlands donated to Montana’s Outdoor Legacy Foundation

BIGFORK, Mont. (AP) — Thirty acres of land with 3,500 feet of Flathead River shoreline has been donated to Montana’s Outdoor Legacy Foundation. The Missoulian… Continue reading

Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge

Refuge Notebook: Defining Wilderness in a climate changing world

What is “wilderness”? It’s much easier to say what it isn’t than what it is.  It certainly isn’t Central Park. Sometimes it’s tough to acknowledge… Continue reading

Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge

Les Palmer: Remember the Exxon Valdez

Author’s note: The Clarion first published this column on Mar. 17, 2009, the 20th anniversary of Alaska’s worst environmental disaster to date. Lest we forget,… Continue reading

In this photo taken March 7, 2014, Brian Grossman, poses with his mountain bike near Shevlin Park in Bend, Ore.  Grossman is racing the Cape Epic, an eight-day, 445-mile mountain bike race in South Africa that includes more than 48,720 feet of vertical climbing in temperatures over 100 degrees. Grossman is racing to raise funds and awareness for Kids in the Game, a Bend nonprofit he co-founded that provides financial support for underprivileged youths to help them get active and participate in sports. (AP Photo/The Bulletin, Robb Kerr)

Mountain biker headed for epic Africa race

BEND, Ore. — It has been called the Tour de France of mountain bike stage races. The eight-day Cape Epic in South Africa spans nearly… Continue reading

In this photo taken March 7, 2014, Brian Grossman, poses with his mountain bike near Shevlin Park in Bend, Ore.  Grossman is racing the Cape Epic, an eight-day, 445-mile mountain bike race in South Africa that includes more than 48,720 feet of vertical climbing in temperatures over 100 degrees. Grossman is racing to raise funds and awareness for Kids in the Game, a Bend nonprofit he co-founded that provides financial support for underprivileged youths to help them get active and participate in sports. (AP Photo/The Bulletin, Robb Kerr)
In this photo taken March 7, 2014, a number of self healing targets are displayed including some that have taken hundreds of rounds from pistols and rifles in Emmett, Idaho. If you're a shooter, you know putting holes in paper can get boring. No matter how tight a group you can shoot, it can be just as satisfying to make an aluminum can dance with a .22 rifle. With the exploding popularity of AR-15 rifles, lots of folks have taken their plinking to a new level at longer distances and with different targets. (AP Photo/Idaho Statesman, Roger Phillips)

Spring plinking: a guide to safe target shooting

BOISE, Idaho — If you’re a shooter, you know putting holes in paper can get boring. No matter how tight a group you can shoot,… Continue reading

In this photo taken March 7, 2014, a number of self healing targets are displayed including some that have taken hundreds of rounds from pistols and rifles in Emmett, Idaho. If you're a shooter, you know putting holes in paper can get boring. No matter how tight a group you can shoot, it can be just as satisfying to make an aluminum can dance with a .22 rifle. With the exploding popularity of AR-15 rifles, lots of folks have taken their plinking to a new level at longer distances and with different targets. (AP Photo/Idaho Statesman, Roger Phillips)
Steller's Jay photo by Glenn Bartley/www.birds.audobon.org

Refuge Notebook: Two jays for two biomes

A couple weeks ago, a small flock of Steller’s Jays flew across the Sterling Highway as I drove past the Welcome to Soldotna sign. Their… Continue reading

Steller's Jay photo by Glenn Bartley/www.birds.audobon.org

Les Palmer: 50 years in Alaska

Fishing and writing have taken me on trips to the wild places I imagined as a kid while reading stories about British Columbia and Alaska.A… Continue reading

Art Bookstrom, 75, breaks trail on a cross-country skiing route he marked with orange triangles for the enjoyment of skiers who want an old-fashioned nordic skiing experience off the wide, groomed trails at Mount Spokane State Park. (AP Photo/The Spokesman-Review, Rich Landers)

Nordic skiing off groomed trails evokes old days

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — It’s the skinny skier’s version of venturing off-piste at Mount Spokane’s Cross-Country Ski Park.Unannounced by signs, a discrete series of orange… Continue reading

Art Bookstrom, 75, breaks trail on a cross-country skiing route he marked with orange triangles for the enjoyment of skiers who want an old-fashioned nordic skiing experience off the wide, groomed trails at Mount Spokane State Park. (AP Photo/The Spokesman-Review, Rich Landers)
In this November 2008  photo provided b TwoSticksAndABoard.com, Sean Busby stands at scenic site in Antarctica. By riding the highest mountain range in North Africa this year, Busby became the first person with Type 1 diabetes to snowboard on all seven continents. (AP Photo/TwoSticksAndABoard.com)

Diabetic snowboarder Sean Busby rides 7 continents

While a few of his former teammates were competing for gold, silver and bronze, Sean Busby was rounding out a set hardly any Olympian can… Continue reading

In this November 2008  photo provided b TwoSticksAndABoard.com, Sean Busby stands at scenic site in Antarctica. By riding the highest mountain range in North Africa this year, Busby became the first person with Type 1 diabetes to snowboard on all seven continents. (AP Photo/TwoSticksAndABoard.com)
Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center is under construction on Ski Hill Road in Soldotna.

Refuge Notebook: New Visitor Center Becoming Reality

Up from the icy ground adjacent to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters in Soldotna, a building has grown. Through snow fall and rain, during… Continue reading

Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center is under construction on Ski Hill Road in Soldotna.

Les Palmer: Blown off again

My wife and I and another couple were all cranked up and ready to go king salmon fishing out of Homer Monday morning, but an… Continue reading

Faster, safer avalanche rescue

Alaska Electric Light & Power Inc. has purchased a piece of equipment — a long-range receiver that mounts to a helicopter — that will make… Continue reading

Ice skating: an adventure in embarrassing the kids

SUNRIVER, Ore. (AP) — “What did you think about ice skating?” I asked my daughter Lucy.“Eh. It was OK,” she replied, distracted by her reading.We… Continue reading